Skip to main content Accesibility Help
×
×
Home

THE ORIGINS OF TRADESCANT’S ‘INDIA OCCIDENTALI’ WOODEN CLUBS: 14C DATING, MATERIAL IDENTIFICATION AND STRONTIUM ISOTOPE STUDIES

  • Joanna Ostapkowicz (a1), Alison Roberts (a2), Jevon Thistlewood (a3), Fiona Brock (a4), Alex C Wiedenhoeft (a5), Christophe Snoeck (a6), Rick Schulting (a7) and Warwick Bray (a8)...
Abstract

This paper focuses on the material study (radiocarbon dating, wood identification and strontium isotope analyses) of four large ‘India occidentali’ clubs, part of the founding collections of the Ashmolean Museum, in Oxford, and originally part of John Tradescant’s ‘Ark’, in Lambeth (1656). During the seventeenth century, the term ‘India occidentali/occidentales’ referred not only to the ‘West Indies’ (its literal translation), but to the Americas as a whole; hence, the Ashmolean clubs and, indeed, the c forty examples of similarly large, decorated clubs known in international museum collections had no firm provenance and lacked even the most basic information. Previous attempts at attribution, based on stylistic comparisons with nineteenth- to twentieth-century Brazilian and Guyanese clubs, have proved inconclusive given the unique features of this club style, raising the intriguing possibility that these may be exceptionally rare examples of ‘Island Carib’ (Kalinago) material culture, particularly as images of such clubs appear in seventeenth-century ethnographic accounts from the Lesser Antilles. This paper provides new data for these poorly known objects from early collections, revealing not only the type of wood from which they were carved (Platymiscium sp. and Brosimum cf guianense) and their probable dates of manufacture (c AD 1300–1640), but also their possible provenance (strontium results are consistent with a possible range from Trinidad south to French Guiana).

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      THE ORIGINS OF TRADESCANT’S ‘INDIA OCCIDENTALI’ WOODEN CLUBS: 14C DATING, MATERIAL IDENTIFICATION AND STRONTIUM ISOTOPE STUDIES
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      THE ORIGINS OF TRADESCANT’S ‘INDIA OCCIDENTALI’ WOODEN CLUBS: 14C DATING, MATERIAL IDENTIFICATION AND STRONTIUM ISOTOPE STUDIES
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      THE ORIGINS OF TRADESCANT’S ‘INDIA OCCIDENTALI’ WOODEN CLUBS: 14C DATING, MATERIAL IDENTIFICATION AND STRONTIUM ISOTOPE STUDIES
      Available formats
      ×
Copyright
References
Hide All
Alegría, R 1985. ‘Christopher Columbus and the treasure of the Taíno Indians of Hispaniola’, Jamaica J, 18 (1), 211
Allaire, L 2013. ‘Ethnohistory of the Caribs’, in W F Keegan, C L Hofman and R Rodríguez Ramos (eds), The Oxford Handbook of Caribbean Archaeology, 97108, Oxford University Press, Oxford
Allen, P H 1964. ‘The timber woods of Panama’, Ceiba, 10 (1), 1761
Boomert, A 1984. ‘The Arawak Indians of Trinidad and Coastal Guiana, c 1500–1650’, J Caribbean Hist, 19 (2), 123188
Boomert, A 1986. ‘The Cayo Complex of St Vincent: ethnohistorical and archaeological aspects of the island Carib problem’, Antropológica, 66, 368
Boomert, A 1995. ‘Island Carib archaeology’, in N L Whitehead (ed), Wolves from the Sea: reading in the anthropology of the Native Caribbean, 2335, KITLV Press, Leiden
Boomert, A 2011. ‘From Cayo to Kalinago’, in Hofman and van Duijvenbode 2011, 291–306
Bray, W 2001. ‘One blow scatters the brains: an ethnographic history of the Guiana war club’, in C McEwan, C Barreto and E Neves (eds), Unknown Amazon: culture in nature in ancient Brazil, 252265, The British Museum Press, London
Breton, Reverend Father Adrien Le 1998. Historic Account of Saint Vincent the Indian Youroumaÿn, the island of the Karaÿabes, by Rev. Fr. Adrien Le Breton S.J. (1662–1736), edited and published by The Mayreau Environmental Development Organization, Kingstown, St Vincent and the Grenadines
Brock, F, Higham, T, Ditchfield, P and Bronk Ramsey, C 2010. ‘Current pre-treatment methods for AMS radiocarbon dating at the Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit (ORAU)’, Radiocarbon, 52 (1), 103112
Bronk Ramsey, C 2013. OxCal 4.2. https://c14.arch.ox.ac.uk/ (accessed 26 September 2017)
Butt Colson, A 1983. ‘Catalogue entries for Clubs (5–8)’, in A MacGregor (ed), Tradescant’s Rarities, 115120, Oxford University Press, Oxford
Conrad, G W, Foster, J W and Beeker, C D 2001. ‘Organic artifacts from the Manantial de la Aleta, Dominican Republic: preliminary observations and interpretations’, J Caribbean Archaeol, 2, 120
Cummings, A R and Read, J M 2016. ‘Drawing on traditional knowledge to identify and describe ecosystem services associated with Northern Amazon’s multiple-use plants’, Int J Biodiv Sci Ecosyst Serv Manage, 12 (1–2), 3956
Davies, S 2016. Renaissance Ethnography and the Invention of the Human: new worlds, maps and monsters, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge
DeFilipps, R A, Maina, S L and Crepin, J 2004. Medicinal Plants of the Guianas (Guyana, Surinam, French Guiana), http://botany.si.edu/bdg/medicinal/index.html (accessed 10 August 2017)
de la Borde, S 1674. Voyage qui contient un Relation exacte de l’origine, moeurs, coûtumes, religion, guerres & voyages des Caraïbes, sauvages des Isles Antilles de L’Amerique , Adriaan Braakman, Amsterdam
Delpuech, A and Roux, B 2013. Des cabinets de curiosités aux musées modernes : oú sont les objets caraïbes des Petites Antilles ? 24th Congress of the International Association of Caribbean Archaeology, Martinique, Sidestone Press, Leiden
Delpuech, A and Roux, B 2015. ‘A la recherché de la culture matérielle des Caraïbes insulaires : collections Amazoniennes et Antillais d’Ancien Régime en France’, in B Grunberg (ed), A la Recherché du Caraïbe Perdu : les populations Amérindiennes des Petites Antilles de l’époque Précolombienne a la période colonial, 319344, Le Harmattan, Paris
Dudley, R 1646–7. Dell’arcano del Mare, Francesco Onofri, Firenze
du Tertre, J B 1667. Histoire Générale des Antilles Habitées par les François, Thomas Lolly, Paris
Edmond, J M, Palmer, M R, Measures, C I, Grant, B and Stallard, R F 1995. ‘The fluvial geochemistry and denudation rate of the Guayana Shield in Venezuela, Colombia and Brazil’, Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 59 (16), 33013325
Edmond, J M, Palmer, M R, Measures, C I, Brown, E T and Huh, Y 1996. ‘Fluvial geochemistry of the eastern slope of the north-eastern Andes and its foredeep in the drainage of the Orinoco in Colombia and Venezuela’, Geochemica et Cosmochemica Acta, 60 (16), 29492974
Feest, C 1995. ‘The collecting of American Indian artifacts in Europe, 1493–1750’, in K O Kupperman (ed), America in European Consciousness, 1493–1750, 324360, The University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill
Ferrario, G 1815. Le Costume Ancien et Moderne : où, l’histoire du gouvernement, de la milice, de la religion, des arts, sciences et usages de tous les peuples anciens et modernes, d’après les monuments de l’antiquité et accompagné de dessins analogues au sujet par le Docteur Giulio Ferrario. Asie IV.me vol, Impr. de l’éditeur
Gibbs, A K and Barron, C N 1993. The Geology of the Guiana Shield, Oxford University Press, Oxford
Grenand, F 1989. Dictionnaire Wayãpi-Franais, Peeters/Selaf, Paris
Grunberg, B 2011. ‘An ethnohistorical approach of the Carib through written sources: the example of the Relation by Jacques Bouton’, in Hofman and van Duijvenbode 2011, 327–42
Helms, M W 1987. ‘Art styles and interaction spheres in Central America and the Caribbean: polished black wood in the Greater Antilles’, in R D Drennan and C A Uribe (eds), Chiefdoms in the Americas, 6783, University Press of America, Lanham, Maryland
Herrera Fritot, R 1947. ‘Tres tipos de objetos indo-arqueologicos de Santo Domingo’, Revista de Arqueologia y Etnologia, 2 (4–5), 127142
Hodell, D A, Mead, G A and Mueller, P A 1990. ‘Variation in the strontium isotopic composition of seawater (8 Ma to present): implications for chemical weathering rates and dissolved fluxes to the oceans’, Chem Geol: Isotope Geosci Sect, 80 (4), 291307
Hofman, C L and van Duijvenbode, A (eds) 2011. Communities in Contact: essays in archaeology, ethnohistory and ethnography of the Amerindian circum-Caribbean, Sidestone Press, Leiden
Hulme, P and Whitehead, N L (eds) 1992. Wild Majesty: encounters with Caribs from Columbus to the present day: an anthology, Clarendon Press, Oxford
Klitgaard, B 2005. ‘ Platymiscium (Leguminosae: Dalbergiaeae): biogeography systematics, morphology, taxonomy and uses’, Kew Bulletin, 60, 321400
Labat, J B 1931. Memoirs of Père Labat, 1693–1705, translated by John Eaden, Constable, London
Laffoon, J E, Davies, G R, Hoogland, M L P and Hofman, C L 2012. ‘Spatial variation of biologically available strontium isotopes (87Sr/86Sr) in an archipelagic setting: a case study from the Caribbean’, J Archaeol Sci, 39 (7), 23712384
Lafitau, J-F 1724. Moeurs des sauvages américains, comparées aux moeurs des premiers temps . Vol 1, Paris
Lamb, F M 1992. Splits and Cracks in Wood, Western Dry Kiln Association, 43rd Annual Meeting, Reno, http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/xmlui/bitstream/handle/1957/5302/Splits_Cracks_Wood_ocr.pdf (accessed 10 October 2016)
Las Casas, B. 1951. Historia de las Indias, Biblioteca Americana, Vol 1–3, Fondo de Cultura Economica, Mexico City
Laurance, W F, Nascimento, H E M, Laurance, S G, Condit, R, D’Angelo, S and Andrade, A 2004. ‘Inferred longevity of Amazonian rainforest trees based on a long-term demographic study’, Forest Ecol Manage, 190 (2–3), 131143
Lorimer, J (ed) 2006. Sir Walter Raleigh’s Discoveries of Guiana, The Hakluyt Society, London
Lovén, S 2010 [1935]. ‘ Origins of the Taínan Culture, West Indies , L A Curet (ed), Caribbean Archaeology and Ethnohistory Series, University of Alabama Press, Tuscaloosa, Ala
MacGregor, A (ed) 1983. Tradescant’s Rarities, Oxford University Press, Oxford
MacGregor, A with Mendonça, M and White, J 2000. Manuscript Catalogues of the Early Museum Collections 1683–1886: part 1, Ashmolean Museum and BAR International Series, Oxford
Massing, J M 1991. ‘Early European Images of America: the ethnographic approach’, in J A Levenson (ed), Circa 1492: art in the age of exploration, 514520, National Gallery of Art, Washington DC
Milliman, J D, Summerhayes, C P and Barretto, H T 1975. ‘Quaternary sedimentation on the Amazon continental margin: a model’, Geolog Soc Am, 86 (5), 610614
Négrel, P and Lachassagne, P 2000. ‘Geochemistry of the Maroni river (French Guyana) during low water stage: implications for water rock interaction and groundwater characteristics’, J Hydrol, 237, 212233
Ostapkowicz, J 1998. ‘Taíno Wooden Sculpture: duhos, rulership and the visual arts in 12th–16th century Caribbean’, unpublished PhD thesis, Sainsbury Research Unit for the Visual Arts, University of East Anglia
Ostapkowicz, J, Naqqi Manco, B, Richards, M and Wiedenhoeft, A C 2012a. ‘Hidden stories: trees and the charting of Lucayan histories’, Times of the Islands, summer, 2227
Ostapkowicz, J, Ramsey, C B, Wiedenhoeft, A C, Brock, F, Higham, T and Wilson, S 2011. ‘“This relic of antiquity”: 5th–15th century wood carvings from the southern Lesser Antilles’, in Hofman and van Duijvenbode 2011, 137–70
Ostapkowicz, J, Ramsey, C B, Brock, F, Cartwright, C, Stacey, R and Richards, M 2013. ‘Birdmen, cemís and duhos: material studies and AMS 14C dating of pre-Hispanic Caribbean wood sculptures in the British Museum’, J Archaeol Sci, 40, 46754687
Ostapkowicz, J, Ramsey, C B, Brock, F, Higham, T, Wiedenhoeft, A C, Ribechini, E, Lucejko, J J and Wilson, S 2012b. ‘Chronologies in wood and resin: AMS 14C dating of pre-Hispanic Caribbean wood sculpture’, J Archaeol Sci, 39, 22382251
Ostapkowicz, J, Brock, F, Wiedenhoeft, A C, Snoeck, C, Pouncett, J, Baksh-Comeau, Y, Schulting, R, Claeys, P, Mattielli, N, Richards, M and Boomert, A 2017. ‘Black pitch, carved histories: radiocarbon dating, wood species, identification and strontium isotope analysis of prehistoric wood carvings from Trinidad’s Pitch Lake’, J Archaeol Sci: Reports, 16, 341358
Peck, L L 2005. Consuming Splendour: society and culture in seventeenth-century England, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge
Pierpont Morgan Library 1996. The Drake Manuscript: histoire naturelle des Indes, André Deutsch Limited, London
Plumier, C 1688. Plantes de la Martinique et de la Guadeloupe avec des plans et des figures des sauvages de ces pays, Bibliothèque National, Département des Imprimés, Jd 18f-4 MI 46 (R1), Paris
Poszwa, A, Dambrine, E, Ferry, B, Pollier, B and Loubet, M 2002. ‘Do deep tree roots provide nutrients to the tropical rainforest?’, Biogeochem, 60, 97118
Poszwa, A, Ferry, B, Pollie, B, Grimaldi, C, Charles-Dominique, P, Loubet, M and Dambrine, E 2008. ‘Variations of plant and soil 87Sr/86Sr along the slope of a tropical inselberg’, Ann Forest Sci, 66 (5), 512
Record, S J and Hess, R W 1943. Timbers of the World, Yale University Press, New Haven, Conn
Reimer, P J, Bard, E, Bayliss, A, Beck, J W, Blackwell, P G, Bronk Ramsey, C, Buck, C E, Cheng, H, Edwards, R L, Friedrich, M, Grootes, P M, Guilderson, T P, Haflidason, H, Hajdas, I, Hatté, C, Heaton, T J, Hoffmann, D L, Hogg, A G, Hughen, K A, Kaiser, K F, Kromer, B, Manning, S W, Niu, M, Reimer, R W, Richards, D A, Scott, E M, Southon, J R, Staff, R A, Turney, C S M and van der Plicht, J 2013. ‘IntCal13 and Marine13 radiocarbon age calibration curves 0–50,000 years cal BP’, Radiocarbon, 55 (4), 18691887
Rochefort, C de, 1658. Histoire naturelle des iles Antilles de l’Amerique, Arnout leers, Roterdam
Rochefort, C de, 1666. The History of the Caribby-Islands, Viz. Barbados, St Christopher, St Vincents, Martinico, Dominicano, Barbouthos, Monserrat, Mevis, Antego, &c. in all XVIII, Thomas Dring and John Starkey, London
Rouse, I 1963. ‘The Carib’, in J Steward (ed), Handbook of South American Indians, Volume 4: the Circum-Caribbean tribes, Cooper Square Publishers, Inc, New York
Rouse, I 1992. The Taínos: Rise and decline of the people who greeted Columbus, Yale University Press, New Haven, Conn
Roux, B 2011. ‘De Insulis Karaybicis Relationes Manuscriptae: Adrien Le Breton, the last Jesuit missionary in the Carib island of St Vincent’, in Hofman and van Duijvenbode 2011, 343–60
Roux, B 2012. Les collections royales d’Amérique du sud au musée du quai Branly. (En)quêtes d’archives autour des pièces amazoniennes et caraïbes d’Ancien Régime, note de recherche, Musée du quai Branly, Paris
Scholz, G, Liebner, F, Koch, G, Bues, C-T, Günther, B and Bäucker, E 2007. ‘Chemical, anatomical and technical properties of Snakewood (Brosimum guianense (Aubl.) Huber)’, Wood Sci Technol, 41, 673686
Snoeck, C, Brock, F, Claeys, P, Mattielli, N, Ostapkowicz, J and Schulting, R (in preparation). ‘Pre-treatment of contaminated wood and wood artefacts for strontium isotope analyses’
Snoeck, C, Lee-Thorp, J, Schulting, R J, Mattielli, N, deJong, J and Debouge, W 2015. ‘Calcined bone provides a reliable substrate for strontium isotope ratios as shown by an enrichment experiment’, Rapid Comm Mass Spectrom, 29 (1), 107114
Stolpe, H 1927. Collected Essays in Ornamental Art, Aftonbladets Tryckeri, Stockholm
Tradescant, John 1656. Musaeum Tradescantianum: Or, a Collection of Rarities Preserved at South Lambeth neer London, John Grismond, London
Verrand, L 2001. La Vie Quotidienne des Indiens Caraïbes aux Petites Antilles (XVIIe siècle), Karthala, Paris
Watts, G 2014. Shipwrecked! Bermuda’s maritime heritage, National Museum of Barbados, Bridgetown, Barbados
Weis, D, Kieffer, B, Maerschalk, C, Barling, J, de Jong, J, Williams, G A, Hanano, D, Pretorius, W, Mattielli, N, Scoates, J S, Goolaerts, G, Friedman, R M and Mahoney, J B 2006. ‘High-precision isotopic characterization of USGS reference materials by TIMS and MC-ICP-MS’, Geochem Geophys Geosyst, 7 (8), Q08006
Williamson, J A 1923. English Colonies in Guiana and on the Amazon, 1604–1668, Clarendon Press, Oxford
Wood, J G 1874. Natural History of Man, George Routledge and Sons, London
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

The Antiquaries Journal
  • ISSN: 0003-5815
  • EISSN: 1758-5309
  • URL: /core/journals/antiquaries-journal
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed