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Показать все книги автора/авторов: Hambly Barbara

«04 Sold Down the River», Barbara Hambly


Benjamin January Book 4


For Mom and Dad Special thanks are owed to Paul Nevski, Bill Coble, Norman and Sand Marmillion, and the rest of the staff of Le Monde Creole in New Orleans and Laura Plantation in St. John Parish, for unbelievable help, inspiration, and friendship in putting together this book.

Thanks also to Pamela Arcineaux and the staff of the Historic New Orleans Collection for their patience, friendship, and help; to Laurie Perry for her comments and help on early black music; and to Kate Miciak of Bantam Books.

Thank you also to Jill and Charles, to Neil and Deb, to Michael, and, of course, to George.




One of the problems with the terminology found in accounts of slavery-in Louisiana in particular-is that words have often been transcribed phonetically, and spelling differs from account to account. As usual, my research has spanned so many small sources that the spelling is completely inconsistent. I apologize for this.

Arpent-192 linear feet. Plantations were usually measured in arpents of river-front, extending sometimes twenty, sometimes forty arpents back from the river towards the swamps.

Baron Cemetery (also Baron Samedei, or Baron La Croix)-voodoo spirit of the dead.

Batture-the ground between the levee and the actual edge of the water. Frequently heavily wooded, and piled with snags and debris washed up in high water.

Blankittes (or blanquittes)-disrespectfiil term for whites, used by slaves.

Bousillage-river mud mixed with moss, ground shells, straw, hair, or any other binding substance to make a hard plaster. Also, the act or process of making walls out of this material.

Bozal (or bosal)-A slave newly arrived from Africa; in other words, a raw savage.

Brigitte of the Dry Arms-voodoo spirit of death, wife of Baron Cemetery.

Callas-fried rice-balls (frequently dusted with powdered sugar).

Cipriere-the swampy cypress forests that lay behind the cleared plantation lands along the river.

Also called simply the swamp by Americans, and the "desert" by French (meaning "a waste place," not as the word is understood in English).

Congris-mixture of chickpeas and rice, or more broadly (in other parts of the Caribbean), any kind of beans and rice.

Damballah-Wedo (or Damballa-Wedo) -voodoo snake-spirit of water and wisdom. Gar~onniereseparate wing of a plantation or town house where the grown sons of the family lived. Sometimes a separate building.

Griot-African word for the village storyteller, bard, and historian.

Loa-voodoo spirits or "gods." Loa can be great or not-so-great, powerful or minor, dangerous or benign or even comical, though the line between "good" and "bad" spirits is often less sharp in the African religions than in Western: spirits can be summoned to help with good causes or bad.

Osnabrig (or osnaberg)-short for Osnaberg cloth, a coarse heavy cotton manufactured in Osnaberg, Sweden, usually used for slave clothing.

Papa Legba-voodoo spirit of the crossroads, often conflated with St. Peter, the keeper of Heaven's keys. Guardian of the doorways from this world into the next.

Pla?ee-free colored mistress of a wealthy white gentleman. The relationships were usually monogamous and frequently arranged with a contract on business lines.

Quantiers (also quanteers)-a type of extremely coarse rawhide shoes made for slaves by the plantation shoemaker.

Rattoon-to grow cane from stalks planted in a previous season and left in the ground (rather than being dug up and replanted). Rattooned cane tends to come up thinner and is more trouble to harvest.

Ronlaison-cane-harvest and grinding season.

Tignon-the head-scarves or turbans whose wear was mandated by law for all women of color, slave or free.

Veve-voodoo signs or diagrams drawn to summon the loa.


When someone ties you naked to a tree in the yard and beats you unconscious with a broom handle, you don't soon forget it, or him.

"Ben, you remember Monsieur Fourchet," said his mother.

Standing in the doorway of her parlor, Benjamin January felt the hair lift on his nape at the sight of the man beside the window.

In the nightmares, he was taller.

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