Heathen Practices at Funerals
James M. Phillippo, Jamaica: its past and present state (London, 1843), facing p. 244.
This engraving depicts post-mortem divination practices with the remains of the deceased used to determine the causes of death, among other questions. In this case, the entire body was used for divination. Phillippo provides a detailed but very ethnocentric description of the West African custom of carrying the corpse. Although this engraving was published approximately ten years after the period of slavery in Jamaica, starting in 1823 Phillippo was a Baptist missionary on the island and resided there for twenty years; it is quite likely that the scene depicted reflects the later slave period as well.
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