1st Edition

Connecting Continents Rice Cultivation in South Carolina and the Guinea Coast

Edited By Kenneth Kelly Copyright 2021
    134 Pages
    by Routledge

    134 Pages
    by Routledge

    This volume draws together richly textured and deeply empirical accounts of rice and how its cultivation in the Carolina low country stitch together a globe that maps colonial economies, displacement, and the creative solutions of enslaved people conscripted to cultivate its grain.

    If sugar fueled the economic hegemony of North Europe in the 18th and 19th century, rice fed it. Nowhere has this story been a more integral part of the landscape than Low Country of the coasts of Georgia, South and North Carolina. Rice played a key role in the expansion of slavery in the Carolinas during the 18th century as West African captives were enslaved, in part for their expertise in growing rice. Contributors to this volume explore the varied genealogies of rice cultivation in the Low Country through archaeological, anthropological, and historical research. This multi-sited volume draws on case studies from Guinea, Sierra Leone, and South Carolina, the Caribbean and India to both compare and connect these disparate regions. Through these studies the reader will learn how the rice cultivation knowledge of untold numbers of captive Africans contributed to the development of the Carolinas and by extension, the United States and Europe.

    The chapters in this book were originally published as a special issue of Atlantic Studies.

    1. Rice and its consequences in the greater "Atlantic" world

    Kenneth G. Kelly

    2. Atlantic rice and rice farmers: rising from debate, engaging new sources, methods, and modes of inquiry, and asking new questions

    Edda L. Fields-Black

    3. Sierra Leone in the Atlantic World: concepts, contours, and exchange

    Christopher R. DeCorse

    4. Employing archaeology to (dis)entangle the nineteenth-century illegal slave trade on the Rio Pongo, Guinea

    Kenneth G. Kelly and Elhadj Ibrahima Fall

    5. Standing the test of time: embankment investigations, their implications for African technology transfer and effect on African American archaeology in South Carolina

    Andrew Agha

    6. "This na true story of our history": South Carolina in Sierra Leone’s historical memory

    Nemata Blyden

    7. Risky business: rice and inter-colonial dependencies in the Indian and Atlantic Ocean

    Kathleen D. Morrison and Mark W. Hauser


    Kenneth G. Kelly is Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at the University of South Carolina, USA, and Professor of Anthropology by Courtesy Appointment, Syracuse University, USA. He is an archaeologist who explores the Diasporic links between West Africa and the Americas through the lens of plantation slavery and the slave trade and is a pioneer in multi-sited archaeology. He has conducted research in Benin, Guinea, Togo, Jamaica, Guadeloupe, Martinique, and Dominica.