Essay about Memories of the Slave Trade by Rosalid Shaw

Essay about Memories of the Slave Trade by Rosalid Shaw

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This paper examines how memory is entailed in the constitution and representation of global modernity by looking at various articles. The author’s main argument focuses on memory and not origins. Recurring claims are challenged in the book “Memories of the Slave Trade” where the author portrays that Africans felt no sense of moral obligation concerning the sale of the slaves by tracing down memories of the slave trade in the Temne-speaking communities in Sierra Leone. While the slave-trading past is infrequently recollected in explicit verbal accounts, it is frequently made vividly present in such structures as rogue spirits, and the symbolism of divination procedures. Taking into consideration extensive fieldwork and archival exploration the author further contends that memories of the slave trade have molded experiences of colonialism and post colonialism, and additionally the country's ten-year rebel war. Consequently money and commodities, for example, are frequently interfaced to an invisible city of witches whose prosperity was built on the theft of human lives. These ritual and visionary memories have made until now imperceptible substances which form a prism through which past and present are shown mutually configuring each other. This non-fiction ethnography provides an examination of how the memories of bondage still reverberate inside the personalities and society of those living in territories to a great extent influenced by the slave exchange of 17-1800s.Consequently the idea of culture memory is addressed. Rosalind Shaw has created a well-documented and careful exploration of divination by the Temne and Mende people of Sierra Leone, Africa. New standards for the study of memory are set. It has been depicted that indi...


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Modernity, and the Slave Trade in Sierra Leone,” American Ethnologist, Vol. 24, No. 4
(Nov., 1997), pp. 856-876
2) John Thornton “Cannibals, Witches, and Slave Traders in the Atlantic World,” The
William and Mary Quarterly, Third Series, Vol. 60, No. 2 (Apr., 2003), pp. 273-29
3) “White Cannibals, Black Martyrs: Fear, Depression, and Religious Faith as Causes of
Suicide Among New Slaves” William D. Piersen The Journal of Negro History, Vol. 62,
No. 2 (Apr., 1977), pp. 147-159, Published by: Association for the Study of African
American Life and History, Inc.
4) Memories of the Slave Trade: Ritual and the Historical Imagination in Sierra Leone, By
Rosalind Shaw, University of Chicago Press, 08-Apr-2002.
5) http://jadedreprobate.wordpress.com/2011/03/16/a-discussion-about-morality-and-culture-
in-economics/



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