NEH logo
[Return to Query]

Products for grant FT-60678-13

Contested Commons: Circular Migration and State Rights in the Spanish Circum-Caribbean
Sharika Crawford, United States Naval Academy

Grant details:

A contact zone: The turtle commons of the Western Caribbean (Article)
Title: A contact zone: The turtle commons of the Western Caribbean
Author: Ana Isabel Márquez-Pérez
Author: Sharika Crawford
Abstract: Turtle fishing has a long history in the Caribbean. Early Caribbean accounts from New World sailors and adventurers noted an abundance of the marine reptile, which quickly became desired for its delicious meat and beautiful shell. Nowhere was the presence of sea turtle more pronounced than in the adjacent banks, cays, and reefs of the Western Caribbean, where Europeans also noted the abilities developed by the indigenous peoples of the region. By the mid eighteenth century, English-speaking inhabitants from the Cayman Islands, Jamaica, Nicaragua, and the Colombian islands of San Andrés and Old Providence took to the sea in search of green and hawksbill turtles. In doing so, they created a robust maritime commerce and distinctive seafaring culture, which continues to exist in these communities. In this article, we argue that the turtle trade facilitated the creation and recreation of a dynamic contact zone of ongoing transnational and cross-cultural encounters among indigenous, European, and Afro-Caribbean inhabitants.
Year: 2016
Primary URL:
Primary URL Description: Sage Publishing's International Journal of Maritime History webpage
Access Model: Subscription
Format: Journal
Publisher: International Journal of Maritime History