Introduction: Exploring Maroon Worlds on the Move

In: Maroon Cosmopolitics

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This introduction provides a brief examination of the contemporary configurations and cosmopolitical effects of these transformations by listening attentively to the new modes of Maroon circulation and presence in the Guianas – what some authors have called a population ‘explosion’ (Price ) and a proliferation of ‘cultural forms’ (Bilby 2000) over the last decades. The understanding of these new modes of existence connecting persons and families who circulate between towns and villages, and how these modes connect with the production of the Maroon person, with the practices of creating artifacts and material forms that inhabit different cosmological universes and, finally, with the mechanisms for incorporating knowledge, things and relations into Maroon socialities, evince continuous process of composition, approximation and transformation. These involve the composition of existential territories in which ‘unknown’ worlds and beings are called upon to intervene, act and participate in personal conflicts and political clashes. By problematizing conceptions of the Maroon person associated with the use of bodies and artifacts, with contact with the machines, money, technical staff and transnational corporations that circulate in the world of the bakaa, as well as with the gods and spirits that inhabit landscapes accessible through spiritual and linguistic skills, the introduction discusses the main contribution of the edited volume.