Living Wallpaper

LIVING WALLPAPER | Whitney Plantation Museum (Edgard, Louisiana)| Relax , Meditate, Study, Pray or Whateva.

Whitney Plantation Museum is the only museum in Louisiana with an exclusive focus on the lives of enslaved people. In 1819, sixty-one enslaved men and women lived on this plantation. This information comes from an inventory of the plantation owner, Jean Jacques Haydel, Sr. A majority of these enslaved people were considered “Creoles,” meaning they were born in Louisiana. The transatlantic slave trade had been outlawed in the United States in 1808. Nonetheless, nineteen who were enslaved on this plantation in 1819 were African-born survivors of the Atlantic crossing. In 1819, eleven years after the end of the transatlantic trade, several enslaved individuals at this plantation were still quite young, between the ages of 20 and 35. This means that some people enslaved at Whitney Plantation were forced through the Middle Passage when they were younger than 10. Eight of the African-born people in 1819 would have been considered elderly, with ages from 50 to 66.

In addition to African-born people, the inventory also lists people who had experience different types of slave trading. Two people came from the Caribbean (Jamaica and St. Domingue), and three had been traded from the Upper South (the slaveholding states along the Eastern Seaboard).

Of the 19 enslaved Africans listed on the plantation in 1819, 8 were Mande people (Mandingo, / Bambara, and Soso). Six were Congo (Bantu) people of Central Africa. Four were listed as Kiamba (Tchamba), people from modern-day Ghana. One person was Temne, which is a group primarily found in Sierra Leone today. Mande people deeply influenced the culture of Louisiana. They brought foodways and customs that have remained prevalent in the state. Importantly, their masking traditions which can still be seen today in the tradition of Mardi Gras Indians of New Orleans.


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