This book project would have been impossible had many of its contributors not accepted an unusual invitation, made by a beginner in Maroon studies, to participate in a two-day conference held in Rio de Janeiro on April 28–29, 2014. This event was a unique experiment in which pioneering scholars could meet up again, but also get to know those just starting their work in the field, sharing and exchanging ideas, ongoing research projects, and ethnographic material.
The conference at which most of the papers were presented, entitled ‘Maroons and Businenges in the Guianas: persons, times and places,’ was organized by the Laboratory of Anthropology and History (lah), a research nucleus linked to the Graduate Program in Social Anthropology (ppgas), and hosted by the Museu Nacional, and by the Casa da Ciência, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (ufrj). The Conference was generously funded by Brazilian national institutions supporting research on science and technology (in 2013-2014), namely CNPq (the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development) and capes (the Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel). I thank all the ppgas and ufrj graduate students, also members of lah, for their active participation in the event. I am grateful to Rogério B. W. Pires for his valuable support toward the executive organization of the meeting.
I am greatly indebted to all authors who presented and discussed their papers with students and scholars at the Museu Nacional, to those who, for various reasons, were unable to attend but sent their chapters to be part of this project, as well as others who have engaged in subsequent steps during the preparation of this volume. I thank professor Marjo de Theije for have introduced to Suriname. I would like to express my gratitude to my colleagues and friends Ine Apapoe and Thomas Polimé, respectively, scholars in political science and anthropology, both Maroon Ndyuka. Although for other reasons, their contributions could not be included in the book, their participation and continued dialogue throughout the process of its preparation have helped shape the final result of the project. My thanks to the Slavery Global Series’ editors and Brill executive editors’ support. Additional work toward writing and preparing the manuscript was supported by an intense and productive visiting professor fellowship at the University of Amsterdam (UvA), generously funded by the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (knaw), and I especially wish to thank Rivke Jaffe for her collegiality, academic partnership, and friendship during the Autumn of 2017 when I was working at UvA. Finally, my thanks to Rogério Viana, for his assistance in the preparation of the manuscript, Clémence Léobal, Richard Price and Alex van Stirpriaan for have granted me permission to use their maps, and to David Rodgers for the careful work of translation and editing some chapters of the volume.