Lucayan connections: project SIBA (Stone Interchanges in the Bahama Archipelago) explores Bahamian/TCI prehistory and art


The SIBA (Stone Interchanges in the Bahama Archipelago) project, funded through the Arts and Humanities Research Council (UK), brings together over 300 prehistoric stone artefacts from The Bahamas and Turks and Caicos Islands in the collections of national and international museums in order to better understand Lucayan material culture. As the Bahamas/TCI are limestone islands, all hard stone for use as tools and prestige items had to be imported, including jadeites, which have a very restricted distribution in the Caribbean. Our study aims to identify jadeite sources through a variety of traditional and innovative geo-chemical techniques, and explore the networks that bound people together in social interactions that spanned this vast region. It also focuses on the development of a local Lucayan iconography, and how this may have emerged from a mixture of both external and local influences. From about AD 1000, when the islands became permanently settled, a distinctive Lucayan material culture emerged, ranging from unique styles in ceramics (Palmetto ware) to ceremonial artefacts, such duhos (or seats). By exploring the materials imported and their iconography, we begin to better define both ‘source’ and local styles, and how they relate to wider themes in inter-island connections.

For more information:
HomeStone interchanges in the Bahama archipelago
Black Pitch, Carved Histories 
Taíno Pre-Hispanic Sculptural Arts in Wood 

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