The Antelope (Adowa) and the Elephant (Esono)
The Akan in the British Caribbean
This chapter focuses on Akan political, spiritual, and expressive culture in the British Caribbean, particularly, Barbados, Antigua, Guyana, and Jamaica. The general characterization of the (A)mina in the Danish and Dutch Caribbean mirrored the slaving label “Coromantee” in the British Caribbean: They were prominent in Maroon communities, conspiracies, and revolts in pursuit of sovereignty, and their spiritual culture led to the formation of spiritual‐healing practices based on indigenous medicinal knowledge, kinship networks and societies as ways to reconstitute family and community in foreign lands. The Gold Coast figured prominently in the minds of British planters and merchants, and British control of key Gold Coast ports and an industrial framework built upon the international enslavement enterprise facilitated the exportation of Akan persons away from their homeland. Though the culture accompanying these Akan persons lent itself to revolts and maroonage wherever the Akan were found, those moments should be treated as means to approach their composite culture and their sovereignty‐driven experiences. Fittingly, the ability of the Akan to influence the course of their own lives and those of others has made some of them national symbols of leadership in the Caribbean in spite of their comparatively small numbers.
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