the colonial era, some of the largest ethnicities to arrive in the colonies
were peoples of West and Central Africa who were brought in as slaves.
While enslaved, Africans interacted with each other, as well as with
Europeans and Native Americans. They mingled their varied cultural practices
in creative ways that were both subtle and obvious, and left a lasting
imprint on American culture.
These imprints, often called Africanisms, are elements
of culture that are traceable to an African origin. Through these Africanisms,
African Americans maintained their unique cultural identities while
also establishing themselves as an integral part of America’s
cultural landscape. Archeological evidence for Africanisms is varied
and complex. Two examples are found in colonoware and "mancala".