The Journal of Caribbean History: Volume 38, Issue 1

Article 5
Creating Worlds: A Study of Mutuality and Financing among African Guyanese, 1800s-1950s

Barbara P. Josiah


Manifestations of rotating savings and credit associations, mutual aid, and friendly and burial societies in African diaspora emphasize the tenacity and utility of African cultural practices. The practices survived the transatlantic slave trade that brought millions of Africans to the Americas. Over time group efforts of the enslaved and free people evolved as key mechanisms for self-determination and survival. the organisations that they formed reveal their multifaceted capabilities and activities. This study examines how the processes of self-determination and survival operated. It shows the ways in which Africans and their descendants in Guyana utilized aspects of mutuality and financing to grapple with enslavement and freedom and to create their own world.