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Grant number like: FEL-258168-18

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Award Number Grant ProgramAward RecipientProject TitleAward PeriodApproved Award Total
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FEL-258168-18Research Programs: FellowshipsMatthew RareyMandinga Amulets in the Black Atlantic World7/1/2018 - 6/30/2019$50,400.00Matthew Rarey   Oberlin CollegeOberlinOH44074-1057USA2017Art History and CriticismFellowshipsResearch Programs504000504000

A book-length study of the mandinga amulets made by enslaved Africans.

“Insignificant Things: Occlusion, Accumulation, and the Art of Survival in the Black Atlantic” analyzes the form, reception, and use of “mandinga” amulets made by enslaved Africans and used across Africa, Brazil, and Portugal between the late 17th and early 19th centuries. It argues that mandingas are a rich, and largely unexamined, archive of Africans’ experiences in the black Atlantic world. For the first time, the book closely analyzes extant mandingas and their contents, as well as descriptions of their construction and use. It also presents reconstructions of the trans-Atlantic biographies of mandinga makers and users, and reinterpretations of European, Brazilian, and African objects and images referenced in mandingas. Expanding on key issues in African diaspora art history, slavery studies, and visual culture studies, the book also asks who writes history, how archives are constructed, and how the enslaved represented their experience in arenas meant to obscure it.