Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Beef, mutton, pork, and a taste of turtle: Zooarchaeology and nineteenth-century African American foodways at the Boston-Higginbotham House, Nantucket, Massachusetts
by Way, Michael A., M.A., University of Massachusetts Boston, 2010, 159; 1480791
Abstract (Summary)

In 1774, nearly ten years before slavery was abolished in Massachusetts, an emancipated African American weaver named Seneca Boston purchased a tract of land in the Newtown section of Nantucket, Massachusetts. It is here that over the next thirty years Seneca Boston and his Wampanoag wife, Thankful Micah, would build a house, now known as the Boston-Higginbotham House, and raise six children. The Boston-Higginbotham House was home to the descendents of Seneca Boston and Thankful Micah for over one hundred years. Throughout the 19th century a vibrant and active African American community was developing in Newtown, and several generations of the Boston family played an integral role in this community’s development. This thesis utilizes foodways as an entrée into the lives of these individuals through a zooarchaeological analysis of faunal remains deposited as trash from the meals they consumed. Focusing specifically on the animal components of their diets, this thesis considers the role that the foods they consumed may have played in constructing, reconstructing, and negotiating social and economic statuses and ethnicity and in challenging racist stereotypes and ideologies.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Landon, David B.
Commitee: Mrozowski, Stephen A., Trigg, Heather B.
School: University of Massachusetts Boston
Department: Historical Archaeology
School Location: United States -- Massachusetts
Source: MAI 49/01M, Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: African American Studies, Archaeology, American history
Keywords: Absalom Boston, African-American archaeology, African-American foodways, Massachusetts, Nantucket, Zooarchaeology
Publication Number: 1480791
ISBN: 9781124194967
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