Representations, Sexuality and Male-Female Relations among the Boni of the Maroni Valley, French Guiana, at the Turn of the Twentieth Century

in Maroon Cosmopolitics

The present article looks to examine the way in which the uman nanga man toli (history of woman and man), the koosi ini toli, kamba toli, the ‘use of pleasure’ (Foucault 1984), the definition of sexual belonging and the responsibilities assigned to each of the sexes can provide a reading grid for registering an evolution of customs in the Boni society of the Maroni-Lawa valley at the turn of the twentieth century. The thematic at the heart of my analysis spans the sociocultural aspects structured not only by education but equally be the history of the Boni as well as by the socioeconomic and political conditions and environmental conditions. This sensitive topic allows us, on one hand, to inquire into the relationship between ‘the female and male sex’ and ‘the expression of intimacy’ within public space through the observation of ideas and practices. On the other hand, by providing an insight into the intimacy of Boni society itself, the subject is capable of further enriching the reflection on the dynamics of social change experienced by this sociocultural group of French Guiana.

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