Cultural Identity and Creolized Religion in Sligoville, Jamaica's First Baptist Free Village

Davis-Palmer, Yvonne Lois. 2004. Cultural Identity and Creolized Religion in Sligoville, Jamaica's First Baptist Free Village. Doctoral thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London [Thesis]

Text (Cultural Identity and Creolized religion in Sligoville, Jamaica's first Baptist free village)
thesis_Davis-PalmerY_2004.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

Download (31MB) | Preview

Abstract or Description

This thesis examines identity formation in Sligoville, Jamaica's first Baptist free village. It charts the complex social processes that Sligovillians utilise in order to shape cultural identity. It also shows how these processes are characterised by notions grounded in the construction of place, the sustaining of history and a particular sense of community.

This study explores how, for the ex-slaves, Sligoville in the post-emancipation era represented a place where they could belong, hold citizenship and establish autonomy. It also explores how these freed settlers drew on their lived experiences, before and after emancipation, to adapt and create new ways of being. These ways of being were often forged in response to socio-economic and cultural forces that marginalised them and militated against their hope for dignity and security. Whilst evolving new ways of being, the Sligovillians established processes of community formation that were central to the development of free villages on the Caribbean island of Jamaica.

The process of creolization provided the framework within which cultural identity and changes to identity could evolve. Specifically, we see how Revivalism, an indigenous creolized religion, enabled Sligovillians to maintain elements of African cosmologies and religious practices within European Christian institutions.

However, Sligovillians; continue to draw upon the process of creolization in order to create new modes of cultural and religious practice. For example, the emergence of New Revival Pentecostalism from within the Pentecostal churches in Sligoville reveals that indigenous religious practices persist. Additionally, it shows that Sligovillians use the Pentecostal churches to validate and authenticate Revivalism, a creolized. religion.

An exploration of the process of creolization is, therefore, fundamental to this research. Creolization plays a major role in Caribbean ethnography. As such, I use it here to consider how the Sligoville's socio-economic and cultural processes are adapted and transformed through time.

Item Type:

Thesis (Doctoral)

Identification Number (DOI):


Cultural identity; Sligoville; Creolization; free villages; emancipation; Jamaica; Baptist; Revivalism

Departments, Centres and Research Units:




Item ID:


Date Deposited:

25 Jun 2020 15:17

Last Modified:

08 Sep 2022 14:31


View statistics for this item...

Edit Record Edit Record (login required)