On en faisait aussi des carreaux pour le pavage de l'atrium des MosquUu[c]es et des MUu[c]dersas, des vasques et bassins Uu ablutions, des dalles murales donnant des inscriptions de hae1/4aobous, des stUuA les funUu[c]raires ae1/4A* Le bronze a servi Uu faire des lustres de MosquUu[c]es, des heurtoirs et placage
de vantaux comme Uu la porte
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries in Haiti, very few couples married legally, particularly in the rural areas; the norm was rather concubinage called "placage
", and that's what GrandAngele and Grandpa Joseph did.
and the Louisiana Gens de Couleur Libre, in CREOLE: THE HISTORY AND LEGACY OF LOUISIANA'S FREE PEOPLE OF COLOR 61-60 (Sybil Kien ed., 2000) ("White women were not only few in number, but also were frequently former inmates of asylums and houses of correction in France who had been brought to the frontier territory by force; they were typically described by many of the men as 'ugly, ignorant, irascible, and promiscuous.' The other white women said to have been available to European men are the famed 'casket girls.' Reputed to be from middle class families and chosen for their 'skill in housewifery duties' and 'excellence of character,' they are reported to have reached New Orleans in 1728, with others arriving in intervals, until 1751.").
involved an informal marriage between white Creole men and mixed-race women.
She becomes a white man's concubine, and subsequently publishes the story of her voluntary enslavement and participation in placage
, The Octoroon: A Tale of Southern Slave Life; or, Inside Views of Southern Domestic Life, to raise money to purchase and free her mother.
Chapter three moves from a discussion of slavery to an analysis of placage
, a system in which wealthy white men supported free women of color in an arrangement merging aspects of marriage and slavery.
In New Orleans manumission and the placage
system developed hand in hand.
DeLille, born in 1812, came from a line of femmes de couleur libres ("free women of color") who lived under Louisiana's system of placage
, in which black women entered into "a more-or-less permanent sexual arrangement" with white men and bore them children.
Shapiro's translation, here, is not only more accurate, but it also renders the poem's Louisiana specificity by more carefully referring to the institution of placage
, or contractual relationships between white men and Creole women of color.