Conjuring boundaries: Inferring past identities from religious artifacts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A detailed examination of commonalities between folk religion beliefs and practices of African American and European American ethnic groups raises intriguing issues. Interpretations concerning the ethnic group association of conjuration artifacts uncovered at eighteenth- and nineteenth-century sites in the mid-Atlantic region must be based on a clearer articulation of the interplay of three issues: the general dynamics of ethnic group boundedness; how material culture communicates such ethnic identities; and how conjuration practices support or subvert ethnic group boundaries. A variety of protective and malevolent conjuration practices likely functioned in different ways in intergroup and intragroup settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)281-313
Number of pages33
JournalInternational Journal of Historical Archeology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Conjuration
  • Diagnostic artifacts
  • Ethnicity
  • Folk religion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Archaeology
  • History
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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