cover of book

Real, Recent, or Replica: Precolumbian Caribbean Heritage as Art, Commodity, and Inspiration
edited by Joanna Ostapkowicz and Jonathan A. Hanna
contributions by Alexander Geurds, Elena Guarch Rodríguez, Jonathan A. Hanna, Corinne L. Hofman, Menno L. P. Hoogland, Vernon James Knight, José R. Oliver, Joanna Ostapkowicz, John G. Swogger, Roberto Valcárcel Rojas, Donna Yates, Arlene Alvarez, Lesley-Gail Atkinson Swaby, Amanda Byer, Roger Colten and Mariana C. Françozo
foreword by Peter E. Siegel
epilogue by L. Antonio Curet
University of Alabama Press
Cloth: 978-0-8173-2087-4 | eISBN: 978-0-8173-9345-8

Exposes the largely unexplored topics in Caribbean archaeology of fraud, looting of heritage sites, and illicit trade of archaeological materials

Real, Recent, or Replica: Precolumbian Caribbean Heritage as Art, Commodity, and Inspiration is the first book-length study of its kind to highlight the increasing commodification of Caribbean precolumbian heritage. Amerindian art, including “Taíno art”, has become highly coveted by collectors, spurring a prolific and increasingly sophisticated black market of forgeries, but also contemporary artistic engagement, openly appreciated as modern artworks taking inspiration from the past. The contributors to this volume contend with difficult subject matter including the continued looting of archaeological sites in the region, the seismic increase of forgeries, and the imbalanced power and economic relations between the producers of neo-Amerindian art and those who consume it.

The case studies document the considerable time depth of forgeries in the region (since the late 19th century), examine the policies put in place by Caribbean governments and institutions to safeguard national patrimony, and explore the impact looted and forged artefacts have on how museums and institutions collect and ultimately represent the Caribbean past to their audiences.  Taken together, it exposes the continued desire for the ‘authentic’ precolumbian artifact, no matter the cost.

The collection explores the unintended consequences, cautionary tales, and lessons learned in this often overlooked but very active region of the antiquities market. It also provides insights for archaeologists, museum professionals, art historians, and collectors to combat illegal trade and support communities in creating sustainable heritage industries.

See other books on: Curet, L. Antonio | Inspiration | Knight, Vernon James | Real | Siegel, Peter E.
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