Near Jacksonville in Duval County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)
African Identity and Archaeology at Kingsley Plantation
— African Identity Discovered Through Archaeology —
Blue Beads in doorway of cabins
There is a belief in many African cultures that beads have supernatural powers and can be worn to provide protection from harm. Archaeologists recovered several blue beads from two slave cabins. The beads varied in shape and size, suggesting that they were selected specifically for their color. Evidence from other antebellum plantations suggests that the color blue had spiritual or religious meaning.
Iron hoe at back doors of cabins (left)
The Ibo have a strong tradition of house charms. Iron is often buried to prevent any harm from entering the house. In 2006 an agricultural hoe was found buried at the back doorway of a cabin. A similar placement of a hoe, axe blade, and other iron objects was found at the back door
River pebbles and small cobbles (right)
The Ibo and other African cultures saw the potential of natural objects to be spiritually charged, and often collected objects such as smooth stones to be used as house charms.
Chicken sacrifice buried in floor of cabin / Deer leg buried in doorway of cabin.
The most spectacular find relating to African spirituality was the remains of a chicken found under the floor of a slave cabin. The chicken was buried with an unbroken egg, a glass bead, and a piece of iron.
Animal sacrifice was practiced by some cultures in Africa to mark births and deaths, and as offering to specific deities. This chicken may have been sacrificed to appease earth spirits disturbed during the initial construction of the cabin. The partial deer leg buried in the doorway of an adjacent cabin may be a similar offering.
Despite being stolen from their former world through enslavement, the men, women, and children who lived at this plantation retained their African traditions. Archaeology provides a window into how the slaves at Kingsley Plantation maintained their African identity.
Erected by National Park Service, University of Florida, and
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African Americans • Settlements & Settlers.
Location. 30° 26.212′ N, 81° 26.312′ W. Marker is near Jacksonville, Florida, in Duval County. Marker is on Palmetto Avenue 2.1 miles from Fort George Road, on the left when traveling north. This historical marker is located in a national park. The historical marker is in a very remote area that is reached by traveling a considerable distance on an unpaved dirt road. To get there one must turn north, off of the Florida State Route 1A (Heckscher Road), onto Fort George Road, and then traveling about 0.6 miles to the intersection of Fort George Road and Palmetto Avenue, were you turn north on Palmetto Avenue and travel to the end of this road to reach the historical marker. The turn-off from state route 1A can be identified by the "Kingsley Plantation, Fort George Island Visitor Center" sign that is situated right at the turnoff point. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Jacksonville FL 32226, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A different marker also named African Identity (here, next to this marker); Slave Cabins (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Slave Cabins (within shouting distance of this marker); Slave Cabins (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); a different marker also named Slave Cabins (about 300 feet away); a different marker also named Slave Cabins (about 300 feet away); a different marker also named Slave Cabins (about 300 feet away); Slaves Cabins (about 700 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Jacksonville.
Also see . . .
1. Kingsley Plantation. This is a link to information provided by the National Park Service. (Submitted on March 27, 2011, by Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio.)
2. Kingsley Plantation. This is a link to information provided by Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. (Submitted on March 28, 2011, by Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio.)
Credits. This page was last revised on August 1, 2017. It was originally submitted on March 27, 2011, by Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio. This page has been viewed 692 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on March 28, 2011, by Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio.