Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Melvin E. Page

Committee Members

Anthony P. Cavender, William Douglas Burgess Jr.


The degree of African cultural survivals in African-American culture has been debated since the Civil War. Convincing research that West African cultural traits did survive in African-American culture, particularly in African-Amercian foodways, focuses on the lower south, neglecting the upper south. This thesis fills that gap by identifying West African traits in African-as well as Anglo-America foodways in Virginia, focusing on four broad research areas: Native American and Anglo-American foodways during the colonial and early Republic eras; West African foodways; African-American foodways during slavery; and current trends in Virginia foodways. Primary sources consulted for this study included archaeological reports, eighteenth and nineteenth century personal accounts, personal interviews, and published cookbooks. Drawing on these research themes, this study concludes that West African food traditions did survive slavery and have affected foodways across cultural lines in Virginia and calls for further research on post Civil War transmission processes.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.