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Slave Naming Patterns: Onomastics and the Taxonomy of Race in Eighteenth-Century Jamaica

By Trevor Burnard


An analysis ofthe naming patterns of Jamaican slaves in the mid-eighteenth century shows that whites considered blacks to be entirely different from themselves. The taxonomic differences between European naming practices and slave naming practices were both considerable and onomastically significant. Slaves could be recognized by their names as much as by their color. Slaves reacted to such naming practices by rejecting their slave names upon gaining their freedom, though they adopted methods of bricolage common to other aspects of Afro-Caribbean expressive culture

Topics: E11
Publisher: MIT Press
Year: 2001
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