An Anthropologist’s Dilemma: Maroon Tembe in the Twenty-First Century

In: Maroon Cosmopolitics
Author: Sally Price

Western commentary on Maroon tembe (woodcarving) has traditionally insisted, despite Maroon denials, that it constitutes a system of symbolic motifs that can be read like a language, transmitting messages from the artist (a man) to the recipient of the art (a woman). Some of the Maroon artists in Guyane, working mainly with paint rather than carving, have adopted and promoted the stereotype in the context of rapid integration into the tourist market. This paper, which includes Maroon women’s views on the subject, underscores the delicacy of questioning the artists’ new discourse.