- Copyright Page
- List of Contributors
- Words or Things in American History?
- Artifacts and Their Functions
- Mastery, Artifice, and the Natural Order: A Jewel from the Early Modern Pearl Industry
- Food and Cognition: Henry Norwood’s A Voyage to Virginia
- On Pins and Needles: Straight Pins, Safety Pins, and Spectacularity
- Mind, Time, and Material Engagement
- Material Time
- Remaking the Kitchen, 1800–1850
- Boston Electric: Science by “Mail Order” and Bricolage at Colonial Harvard
- Making Knowledge Claims in the Eighteenth-Century British Museum
- The Ever-Changing Technology and Significance of Silk on the Silk Road
- Science, Play, and the Material Culture of Twentieth-Century American Boyhood
- The Sensory Web of Vision: Enchantment and Agency in Religious Material Culture
- Sensiotics, or the Study of the Senses in Material Culture and History in Africa and Beyond
- The Numinous Body and the Symbolism of Human Remains
- Symbolic Things and Social Performance: Christmas Nativity Scenes in Late Nineteenth-Century Santiago de Chile
- Heritage Religion and the Mormons
- From Confiscation to Collection: The Objects of China’s Cultural Revolution
- Persons and Things in Marseille and Lucca, 1300–1450
- Cloth and the Rituals of Encounter in La Florida: Weaving and Unraveling the Code
- Street “Luxuries”: Food Hawking in Early Modern Rome
- Ebony and Ivory: Pianos, People, Property, and Freedom on the Plantation, 1861–1870
- The Material Culture of Furniture Production in the British Colonies
- Material Culture, Museums, and the Creation of Multiple Meanings
- Chronology and Time: Northern European Coastal Settlements and Societies, c. 500–1050
- Materialities in the Making of World Histories: South Asia and the South Pacific
- Mapping History in Clay and Skin: Strategies for Remembrance among Ga’ anda of Northeastern Nigeria
- Remember Me: Sensibility and the Sacred in Early Mormonism
- Housing History: The Colonial Revival as Consumer Culture
- Collecting as Historical Practice and the Conundrum of the Unmoored Object
Abstract and Keywords
Elaborate rituals, from the cleared space of encounter to physical gestures and gifts, developed over the course of the sixteenth century in La Florida as Native met European. Searching for a common symbolism between cultures is often limited to those items that both groups recognize and use in a similar fashion. Those are frequently reduced to lived experiences, or the material culture of the body: food, shelter, and clothes. Almost all early Florida encounter rituals involved the body: touch, perception, and presentation of physical form. As this code developed, clothes became one of the most common methods of achieving connections as individuals chose items of dress to do some of the work of cultural interpretation that resonated with their own experiences and parent cultures. Beginning with early Spanish Florida and moving chronologically as other European powers entered the region, this chapter explores how these metaphorical encoding and decoding sessions developed. In the discursive and physical worlds of the early American southeast, textiles were key metaphors for connection and recognition. By the end of the sixteenth century, many Native groups from Carolina to Florida had a working knowledge of European textiles and their metaphorical role in the rituals of encounter.
Laura Johnson is Associate Curator at Historic New England.
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