International Journal of Historical Archaeology

, Volume 18, Issue 3, pp 441–466

Production Activities in the Household Economies of Plantation Slaves: Barbados and Martinique, Mid-1600s to Mid-1800s


DOI: 10.1007/s10761-014-0265-2

Cite this article as:
Handler, J. & Wallman, D. Int J Histor Archaeol (2014) 18: 441. doi:10.1007/s10761-014-0265-2


Formerly British and French colonies, the eastern Caribbean islands of Barbados and Martinique were major players in the early development of European overseas empires dependent on African slave labor and the large-scale production of sugar. Utilizing documentary and archaeological data we discuss and compare the independent production activities or household economies of plantation slaves on these two islands. The household economy was one of the more prominent aspects of plantation slave life throughout the Caribbean, and in this paper we examine the multiple adaptive production strategies slaves employed to ameliorate the poverty of their material and economic lives.


Slavery Household economy Plantations Barbados Martinique 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Virginia Foundation for the HumanitiesCharlottesvilleUSA
  2. 2.Department of AnthropologyUniversity of South CarolinaColumbiaUSA

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