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Open Access M.G. Smith on the Isle of Lesbos: Kinship and Sexuality in Carriacou

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M.G. Smith on the Isle of Lesbos: Kinship and Sexuality in Carriacou

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AbstractIn Kinship and Community in Carriacou (1962), M.G. Smith documents what he calls “abnormal” sexual relations between women in female-headed households on the island. These lesbian madivines represent statistically significant “deviations” from normative patterns of kinship and residence in domestic groups, and are associated with the shapeshifting witchcraft of sukuyan and lougarou. Linking Smith’s ethnography of “mating patterns” to transactional pathways of reproductive value—blood, money, witchcraft and sexuality—I rework his ideological explanation of Carriacou lesbianism (as a “mechanism” for preserving female marital fidelity) into a feminist model of female empowerment with comparative potentialities throughout the Caribbean.

Affiliations: 1: Departments of History and Anthropology, University of California6265 Bunche Hall, Box 951473, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1473U.S.A.aapter@history.ucla.edu

10.1163/22134360-12340108
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AbstractIn Kinship and Community in Carriacou (1962), M.G. Smith documents what he calls “abnormal” sexual relations between women in female-headed households on the island. These lesbian madivines represent statistically significant “deviations” from normative patterns of kinship and residence in domestic groups, and are associated with the shapeshifting witchcraft of sukuyan and lougarou. Linking Smith’s ethnography of “mating patterns” to transactional pathways of reproductive value—blood, money, witchcraft and sexuality—I rework his ideological explanation of Carriacou lesbianism (as a “mechanism” for preserving female marital fidelity) into a feminist model of female empowerment with comparative potentialities throughout the Caribbean.

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1. Balicki Asen Smith M.G. "Review of Kinship and Community in Carriacou " International Journal 1963 Vol 18 2 270 http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/40198828
2. Barrow Christine Meeks Brian "Mating and Sexuality in Carriacou: Social Logic and Surplus Women" M.G. Smith: Social Theory and Anthropology in the Caribbean and Beyond 2011 Kingston Ian Randle 148 164
3. Blackwood Evelyn "Wedding Bell Blues: Marriage, Missing Men, and Matrifocal Follies" American Ethnologist 2005 Vol 32 1 3 19 http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/ae.2005.32.1.3
4. Comvalius Th. "Het Surinaamsch Negerlied: De Banja en de Doe" West-Indische Gids 1935 Vol 17 213 220 http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/22134360-90000881
5. Dibernard Barbara "Zami: A Portrait of an Artist as a Black Lesbian" The Kenyon Review 1991 Vol 13 4 195 213 New Series
6. Hall Douglas A Man Divided: Michael Garfield Smith, Jamaican Poet and Anthropologist, 1921-1993 1997 Kingston The Press University of the West Indies
7. Herskovits Melville , Herskovits F Rancis Suriname Folk-Lore 1936 New York Columbia University Press
8. Herskovits Melville Trinidad Village 1947 New York Alfred Knopf
9. Hill Donald R. The Impact of Migration on the Metropolitan and Folk Society of Carriacou, Grenada 1977 New York American Museum of Natural History
10. Kempadoo Kamala "Sexuality in the Caribbean: Theory and Research (With an Emphasis on the Anglophone Caribbean)" Social and Economic Studies 2003 Vol 52 3 59 88
11. Lorde Audre Zami: A New Spelling of My Name 1996 London Pandora. [Orig. 1982.]
12. Meeks Brian M.G. Smith: Social Theory and Anthropology in the Caribbean and Beyond 2011 Kingston Ian Randle
13. Nutini Hugo G. Smith M.G. "Review of Kinship and Community in Carriacou " Caribbean Studies 1963 Vol 2 4 69 71
14. Otterbein K.F. "Caribbean Family Organization: A Comparative Analysis." American Anthropologist 1965 Vol 67 1 66 79 http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/aa.1965.67.1.02a00050
15. Rodman Hyman Smith M.G. "Review of Kinship and Community in Carriacou " Canadian Journal of Economics and Political Science 1963 Vol 29 4 594 596 http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/139362
16. Roos J.S. Het Ambacht in Suriname 1912 Rapport van de Commissie Benoemd bij Goevernements-resolutie van 13 januarie 1910, No. 13. Paramaribo
17. Rossi Alice S. Smith M.G. "Review of Kinship and Community in Carriacou " American Journal of Sociology 1963 Vol 69 2 208 209 http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/223565
18. Smith M.G. "On Segmentary Lineage Systems" Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 1956 Vol 86 2 39 80
19. Smith M.G. Rubin Vera "The African Heritage in the Caribbean" Caribbean Studies: A Symposium 1957 Jamaica ISER: University College of the West Indies 34 46
20. Smith M.G. Government in Zazzau 1960 London Oxford University Press 1800 1950
21. Smith M.G. "Kinship and Household in Carriacou" Social and Economic Studies 1961 Vol 10 4 455 477
22. Smith M.G. Kinship and Community in Carriacou 1962 New Haven CT Yale University Press
23. Smith M.G. Stratification in Grenada 1965a Berkeley University of California Press
24. Smith M.G. The Plural Society in the British West Indies 1965b Berkeley University of California Press
25. Smith M.G. Clarke E. "Introduction" My Mother Who Fathered Me: A Study of the Families in Three Selected Communities of Jamaica 1966 London Allen & Unwin xx lvi
26. Smith Raymond T. "Culture and Social Structure in the Caribbean: Some Recent Works on Family and Kinship Studies" Comparative Studies in Society and History 1963 Vol 6 1 24 46 http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0010417500001961
27. Wekker Gloria Blackwood Evelyn , Wieringa Saskia E. "‘What’s Identity Got to Do with It?’ Rethinking Identity in Light of the Mati Work in Suriname" Female Desires: Same-Sex Relations and Gender Practices across Cultures 1999 New York Columbia University Press 119 138
28. Wekker Gloria The Politics of Passion: Women’s Sexual Culture in Afro-Surinamese Diaspora 2006 New York Columbia University Press
29. Williams-Ellis A. Smith M.G. "Review of Kinship and Community in Carriacou " Folklore 1964 Vol 75 1 70
30. Wilson Peter J. Smith M.G. "Review of Kinship and Community in Carriacou " American Anthropologist 1964 Vol 66 1 172 173 http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/aa.1964.66.1.02a00450
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2013-01-01
2016-12-06

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