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Creating Identity, Retaining Culture

Part 4


Watch as culinary historians Michael Twitty and Pamela Nyambi discuss the foods of African captives in the colonial North and prepare some of the many African contributions to American cuisine.

Novum Amsterodamum

c. 1671

Jacob van Meurs (Dutch, c. 1620–before 1680)

This 17th-century view of New Amsterdam shows the built environment of the colony, but it also shows an enslaved man subjected to the punishment of being hanged by his mid-section. Enslavers sometimes meted out this harsh public punishment for fugitives. Although not usually fatal, the act still was a brutal and dehumanizing form of torture.

Koninklijke Bibiliotheek, Dutch National Library.

Spice box



This spice box, probably made in The Netherlands, has six compartments for different spices. Some of these, like nutmeg, pepper, and cloves, traveled from the "Spice Islands" of Indonesia as part of the global trade network.

Historic Hudson Valley (PM.65.637a-g).

Africae in Tabula Geographica Delineatio


Nicholaes Visscher (Dutch, 1649–1702)

This map, from a notable Dutch map publisher of the 17th and 18th centuries, shows the extent of European geographic knowledge of the African continent in the mid-18th century.

David Rumsey Historical Map Collection.

Pepper-Pot: A Scene in the Philadelphia Market


John Lewis Krimmel (American, born Germany, 1786–1821)

A pepper-pot seller dispenses her dish in the Philadelphia market.

Philadelphia Museum of Art, 125th Anniversary Acquisition. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Edward B. Leisenring, Jr., 2001-196-1.

The South East Prospect of the City of Philadelphia

c. 1720

Peter Cooper (Possibly American, active 1713–c. 1720)

The view of the city of Philadelphia shows the city as a bustling port, where human cargo arrived by ship.

The Library Company of Philadelphia, Gift of George Mifflin Dallas, 1857.

Cook in Ordinary Costume

c. 1807–1822

Baroness Hyde De Neuville (French, c. 1776–1849)

Although the sitter's name is not recorded, she is clearly identified as a cook in the sketchbook of the artist.

© New-York Historical Society.

Tavern in the Ferry House

Van Cortlandt Manor, Croton-on-Hudson, New York.

Historic Hudson Valley.

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