Field Worker, House Servant and Artisan Roles And Lives In The Slave System


Slaves played many roles in the slavery system. They took up specific roles while others were tasked with more than one work. The slave masters mostly distributed work to the slaves according to gender. The slaves often worked in indigo, rice and tobacco plantations to name a few. Therefore, men and women were assigned different roles according to their gender (Wayne, 2007). The roles of men on the plantation worked by slaves required that men do most of the menial duties while women worked as cooks and attendants in the house. Some of the women and men worked on more or less the same tasks on the plantations especially on small farms. The men would plow while the women dug the land. Women had the role of nursing and healing of their fellow women especially in reproducing children who were assimilated on the farms when they came of age.

The white family chose a woman who would take care of the children and family of the white man. The whites referred to her as Mammy. Some women eventually served as concubines and mistresses to their masters. The roles of men mainly centered on building and construction tasks. Most of the work that men carried out included blacksmithing, carpentry among many others. The skills needed specialization. The other roles that slave partook were in planning resistance. It would include the support of all slaves or one person who would plot an escape. Some slaves performed other activities like overseeing others on the slave plantation and ensuring that the slaves did their work. Some slave masters allowed their slaves to take part in the army though on a support basis.

The role the slaves played was predominantly that of providing labor. The slave masters used them on the farms in different roles and sometimes gender roles.



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