Colonoware in Western Colonial Louisiana


in French Colonial Archaeology in the Southeast and Caribbean

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print August 2011 | ISBN: 9780813036809
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780813041841 | DOI:
Colonoware in Western Colonial Louisiana

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Debate of the makers and meaning of North American colonoware—here taken as low-fired coarse earthenwares of local, colonial-period manufacture—has been lively on the eastern seaboard, but as yet there has been little contribution from those working in French Louisiana. In particular, it is typical for most recent researchers in lower French Louisiana to uncritically attribute all colonowares to Native American makers. An examination of several colonoware assemblages from northwestern Louisiana suggests that this assumption is broadly supported by ceramic data, but that there are also some exceptions. As on the East Coast, it is apparent that there was a decline in the quantity of colonowares, with a concomitant decline in the proportion of decorations executed on them, in the first decades of the 1800s. North Lousiana Colonowares were seemingly obsolete by around the 1830s, coincident with the removal of much of the native populace to Oklahoma. An attribute analysis of colonowares from the Coincoin plantation (1787–1816) suggests close technical and manufacturing parallels with local Native American pottery traditions, but with variations leaving open the possibility for a contribution to the ceramic series by African potters.

Keywords: Louisiana; colonial-period manufacture; pottery; colonoware; plantation; slavery

Chapter.  11965 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History and Theory of Archaeology

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