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Levi Jordan
Plantation

David Bruner

This is a picture of David Bruner working in the Juden Cemetery, examining a gravestone..(need a better picture, Dave!)

Dave Bruner received his Master's degree in Anthropology from the University of Houston in 1996, and is now a Ph.D.candidate in Anthropology at the University of New York, Binghamton. His work at the Jordan Plantation was on the cemetery in which many of the slave and tenants were buried. He reported on this project at the 1998 Meetings of the Society for Historical Archaeology. The abstract for his paper is below, and the paper is attached.

Hidden Power: Burial Practices from an African-American Slave and Tenant Community

The Juden Cemetery was in active use during the time of slavery, through emancipation, and into recent decades. This research places the artifacts discovered in the Juden Cemetery in context with the artifacts recovered from the slave and tenant quarters, the historical documentation relating to the plantation, and the oral history of the community. By framing the contextual associations of the artifacts as part of a social dialogue, artifacts and features from the Juden Cemetery can be interpreted as symbols of community power and resistance. The symbolic attributes of these artifacts were hidden from Anglo-European surveillance through the re-use of material from the plantation landscape. Further, there is provocative evidence that the cognitive framework surrounding some of the symbolic forms found at the Jordan Plantation and the Juden Cemetery have been adapted from Kongo cosmological attributes.

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Carol McDavid 1998