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Document Type:Latin Dissertation
Language of Document:English
Record Number:52592
Doc. No:TL22546
Call number:‭3194173‬
Main Entry:Rachel Malcolm-Woods
Title & Author:Igbo talking signs in antebellum Virginia: Religion, ancestors and the aesthetics of freedomRachel Malcolm-Woods
College:University of Missouri - Kansas City
Date:2005
Degree:Ph.D.
student score:2005
Page No:284-284 p.
Abstract:Explaining the presence of cemetery stones with Igbo writing in Amherst County, Virginia, was the basis for this study. How, when and why did inscriptions called Nsibiri make the journey from West Africa to the Blue Ridge Mountains? A combination of sources and disciplines was used to verify a strong Igbo presence in Virginia and to support the theory that the stones were carved by people from Igboland. Primary sources, recent scholarship, oral interviews and studying Igbo culture and religion answered many questions. A historical methodological approach, the interrogation of primary sources, was employed with the Igbo methodology of documenting history in traditions and material culture. Early history of Igbo Americans was recorded in Igbo fashion in burial traditions, by making the marks of the ancestors and through hard work. Religion was the binder that held Igbo culture together in West Africa and carried it to the United States. Igbo craftsmen, who were both traditional and contemporary, appropriated new ideas but maintained core religious practices and beliefs. They practiced religion, formed brotherhoods and helped pioneer the Virginia hinterland. The Blue Ridge gorge was tamed with the creation of bateau canals by enslaved black men, descendants of Igbo slaves. The iron furnace industry became successful through their talents and labor. By floating iron and hogsheads of tobacco to market in Nigerian-style boats on the James River, they established working relationships with whites based on the philosophy of Igbo Ikenga, the masculine drive to work and live well. While building the canals, they left their signatures in the stone blocks of Balcony Falls and on the grave markers of revered brothers. Early Igbo American history was documented through their actions and by the marks they left.
Subject:Social sciences; African-American; Igbo; Talking; Signs; Antebellum; Virginia; Religion; Ancestors; Aesthetics; Freedom; American history; African Americans; 0337:American history; 0325:African Americans
Added Entry:D. D. Matthews, Burton
Added Entry:University of Missouri - Kansas City