Edited by Iwona Kraska-Szlenk
Laura Caso Barrera
The Maya, showing considerable astuteness and insight, appropriated this knowledge. With this study and facsimile, experts can further their knowledge of Mayan calendars or traditional medicine; and Mayan enthusiasts can discover more about the culture’s world view and history.
En el Chilam Balam de Ixil Laura Caso Barrera traduce por primera vez un documento en maya yucateco, que resultó de la minuciosa lectura que realizaron los mayas coloniales de distintos textos europeos como la Biblia o el Cantar del Mío Cid, así como de diversos estudios de astronomía, astrología, calendarios y medicina.
Con astucia y perspicacia, los mayas hicieron propio ese saber. Con esta edición, los expertos podrán ahondar en las anotaciones calendáricas o la medicina tradicional maya; y los amantes de esta cultura conocerán otros aspectos de su pensamiento e historia.
Personhood, Creativity and Incorporation
Edited by Olívia Maria Gomes da Cunha
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.
Rogério Brittes W. Pires
Life in a Saamaka village is surrounded by rules, from trivial activities such as harvesting fruits to the most formal of public meetings, everything has to be done in the right way, “the way we are used to”. However, these rules seem to be constantly under discussion, there are frequent arguments about which are the rules and how to apply them to each situation. This chapter takes a look at Saamaka politics, trying to understand how deadlocks concerning rules are overcome and how consensus is reached. The main ethnographic are from funerary rituals, activities in which a proper conduct is most important, and thus rules are taken particularly seriously. Brief descriptions of the hierarchy of political offices in Saamaka and the rhetorics in the kuutu (council meetings) will be necessary, in order to understand how authority is conceived and performed, and how rules are established by transforming relationships with the past. The closing arguments contest the recurring description of Maroon polities as “states within a state” and present an alternative approach that takes further into account both Saamaka political philosophy and its inherent relationship with their own style of life.
After a summary of the major changes in the societies and cultures of the Suriname and French Guiana Maroons during the past half-century (demography, communications, education, tourism, migration, urbanization, integration into the national societies, and so forth), this paper outlines the research conducted on each of the Maroon peoples since the 1960s. It ends with a discussion of changing methods in the study of Maroons.
Olívia Maria Gomes da Cunha
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 2013) 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.