Maroon Cosmopolitics: Personhood, Creativity and Incorporation sheds further light on the contemporary modes of Maroon circulation and presence in Suriname and in the French Guiana. The contributors assembled in the volume look to describe Maroon ways of inhabiting, transforming and circulating through different localities in the Guianas, as well as their modes of creating and incorporating knowledge and artefacts into their social relations and spaces. By bringing together authors with diverse perspectives on the situation of the Guianese Maroon at the twenty-first century, the volume contributes to the anthropological literature on Maroon societies, providing ethnographic, and historical depth and legitimacy to the contemporary lives of the descendants of those who fled from slavery in the Americas.
The area along the Lawa River, the border river between Surinam and French Guiana, is presently inhabited by about 2,000 Maroons who call themselves Aluku or Boni. They are the descendants of Surinamese slaves who escaped from plantations during the period of slavery. After protracted fighting on Surinamese territory, they finally fled to French Guiana.
This is a fascinating account of the genesis of the Boni- Maroons and their continuous warfare against the white planters and their colonial armies. The works that have been published on the Boni-Maroons, for instance John Gabriel Stedman's famous 'Narrative' from 1796, represent only fragments of the Boni-history.
Wim Hoogbergen's book is a successful attempt to paint an overall picture of this interesting Maroon-history. The author combed the archives of The Netherlands, France and Surinam in search of data referring to the Boni-Maroons from their origins until 1860, with astonishing results.
Thanks to Renzo Duin’s annotated translation, the voice of Lodewijk Schmidt—an Afrodiasporic Saramakka Maroon from Surinam—is finally available for Anglophone audiences worldwide. More than anything else, Schmidt’s three mid-twentieth-century ethnographic accounts tell the tragic story of Indigenous Peoples of the Eastern Guiana Highlands (northern Brazil, and southern Suriname and French Guiana). Schmidt’s is a story that takes account of the pathological mechanisms of colonialism, in which Indigenous Peoples and African Diaspora communities, both victims of colonialism, vilify each other falling privy to the divide-and-conquer mentality mechanisms of colonialism.
Accounts like that of the death and mourning of a magnificent Indigenous leader, Alapité, on 13-14 August 1941, suggest a deep respect on the part of the Maroon author, while his accounts also show his awareness of how the Indigenous Peoples vilified the Maroons. Beyond the ethnographic element, Duin argues that Schmidt was sent on a covert mission to determine whether or not the Nazis had engaged in covert missions and if they had established bases and airfields in the region.
As current ecological disasters, incurred by neocolonial, neoliberal and geopolitical practices, threaten to completely destroy the Amazonian forests that Schmidt describes, his meticulous accounts underscore the predetermined tragedy that is the result of the European and later North-American presence in present-day Suriname, French Guiana and Brazil. Duin’s profound knowledge of the history, topography, and fauna of the region contextualizes Schmidt’s ethnographic accounts and forces us to take account of the catastrophe that is deforestation and ethnocide of the Indigenous Peoples of the Eastern Guiana Highlands.
Harnessing conceptual inspiration through the work of Harriet Tubman and Queen Nanny the Maroon of Jamaica, this book explores the historical and contemporary role that education has—and can continually play as an instrument of personal and group liberation.
The book discusses the early formations of the Transatlantic Slave Trade, the enslavement of native populations, and the subsequent development of the Underground Railroad and Maroon societies in the Caribbean and Americas as systems of liberation. It investigates the development and maintenance of racial, gendered and class stratifi cation, and provides a personal path to freedom as a context for a broader discussion on using education as a mechanism for dismantling the effects of colonization, miseducation, and social-psychological domination in schools and society.
As a contemporary issue, it presents an in depth analysis of the Tucson Unifi ed School District in Arizona, and the controversy surrounding its ethnic studies program as an example of one of the contested sites of curriculum development and student liberation. Additionally, it discusses high performing charter schools as an alternative model of education, which may help to provide a systematic way of unshackling institutional barriers and oppression.
Ultimately, this book acknowledges that today the road to freedom is still one we must all travel as: miseducation, school failure, school dropout, unemployment/underemployment, poverty, neighborhood violence, incarceration, and a growing prison industrial complex are all reminders of the work that still must be accomplished. Like those who historically sacrifi ced their lives to gain freedom and an education, today, with the lingering effects of institutionalized systems of domination, education must continue to be an instrument of social mobility and liberation, if indeed, we are to make schools and society more humane and inclusive towards those who are still waiting to be unshackled. The book presents implications regarding the treaties on education for freedom as a school reform and public policy topic.
In and Out of Suriname: Language, Mobility and Identity offers a unique multidisciplinary perspective on a multilingual society in the Caribbean and Guianan sphere. Breaking away from the view of bounded ethnicity, the authors address central theoretical issues of multilingual and multicultural societies including ethnicity as a social distinction, identity as the shifting construction of the self and others, and the role of language therein. They discuss the impact of contact and mobilities on language maintenance, expansion and change. Language, mobility and identity in Suriname are observed through the lens of the actors themselves, from the ever-mobile Amerindians and Maroons on the periphery of land and society through expanding urban societies enhanced by recent migration from Haiti, Brazil and China.
The Western Indian Ocean in the Eighteenth Century is the first of four volumes offering a sweeping panorama of the Arabian Seas during the early modern period. Focusing on the period 1700-1763, the first volume concentrates on daily life in littoral societies, examining long term issues including climatic change, famine, and the structures of fishing communities. The volume examines littoral societies in each of the major coastal areas of the Western Indian Ocean: East Africa, the Red Seas, the Persian Gulf, and its traditional ties to surrounding hinterlands as well as to the west coast of India. While having particular interest to readers concerned with Indian Ocean history, as an absorbing and innovative account of a much neglected albeit critical area and period,
Arabian Seas, 1700-1763 will be of great interest to anyone interested in early modern maritime, social, or economic history.
Kings, Gangsters, and Companies, volume two of
Arabian Seas, 1700-1763 focuses on European relations with the major states and societies of the Western Indian Ocean during the eighteenth century. As such, it traces the major structural changes in African, South Asian, and Middle Eastern societies during this period. Chapters examine European communities and their relations with the societies of the Indian Ocean basin, the daily life of European soldiers and merchants, relations with Indian women, European views on the Indian caste system as well as the governmental systems they encountered. The volume also details the importance of Indian and Persian merchant communities in the Indian Ocean trading system and the impact of war on the economic development of this system during the eighteenth century.
Men and Merchandise, the third volume of
Arabian Seas, 1700-1763, provides a detailed examination of the economic and social structures in the Western Indian Ocean focusing on key commodities like bullion, textiles, and the slave trade. Readers will also encounter interesting vignettes of daily life: an Indian nautch girl worried about her inheritance, a Portuguese gangster-friar and pariah workers, the infamous buccaneers of Madagascar, coffee-traders from Yemen, Cairo, and the Crimea, and Iraqi and Iranian bankers who all had relevance to this vast economic system.
Men and Merchandise provides insights into other traditionally ignored aspects in the traditional historiography including uprisings aboard slave ships, and details of maroon societies involving refugee slaves in India and Mauritius as well as Dutch slave soldiers in the Persian Gulf. As such, it will prove of great interest to any reader concerned with the social and economic history of the Indian Ocean basin.
Europe in Asia, the fourth volume and final volume in
Arabian Seas, 1700-1763, details the early phase of European territorial empire building in the western Indian Ocean basin. Particular attention is given to the much neglected history of the Portuguese
Estado da India and the attempts of the Portuguese Crown to reform its administration and dwindling possessions in the eighteenth century. The volume examines the direct legacies of the longstanding Portuguese imperial presence in the Arabian Seas, including the experiences of Indian Catholic communities as well as the establishment of Indian settlements and communities in East Africa. Finally, the volume provides an exhaustive treatment of the structures and history of the Dutch East India Company (VOC) and English East India Company (EIC), the establishment of the vast private country trade of the EIC, and the reasons for the relative decline of the VOC and the rise of English power in the region during the eighteenth century.
This volume uses a biography-as-history approach to illuminate the interconnectedness of the peoples of the Americas, West Africa, and Europe. Contributors highlight individuals' and people's experiences made possible by their participation in the creation of an Atlantic world, where conflict, cooperation, neccessity and invention led to new societies and cultures.
Composed of chapters that span a broad chronological, topical and thematic range,
Atlantic Biographies highlights the uniqueness of the Atlantic as a social, political, economic, and cultural theater bound together to illustrate what the Atlantic meant to those subjects of each chapter. This is a book about people, their resilience, and their resolve to carve a niche or have a broader impact in the ever-changing world around them.
The Caribbean imagination as framed within a Dutch historical setting has deep Portuguese-African roots. The Seven Provinces were the first European power, in the first half of the 17th century, to challenge the Iberian countries directly for a share in the slave trade. This book analyzes the philosophy underlying this transoceanic link, when contacts with Africa started to be developed.
The ambiguous morality of the ‘air of liberty’ governing the Afro-Portuguese past had its impact on the creole cultures (white, black, Jewish) of the Dutch territories of Suriname and Curaçao. Although this influence is gradually disappearing, it is astonishing to witness the engagement with which writers and visual artists have interpreted this heritage in their different ways. Recent narratives from Angola and Brazil offer an appropriate starting-point for an examination of strategies of self-representation and national consolidation in works by authors from the Dutch Caribbean. In order to reveal this complex historical pattern, the (formerly) Dutch-related port communities are conceived of as cultural agents whose ‘lettered cities’ (Ángel Rama) have engaged in critical dialogue with the heritage of the South Atlantic trade in human lives.
Artists and writers discussed include (colonial period): Caspar Barlaeus, David Nassy, Frans Post, and John Gabriel Stedman; (modern period): Frank Martinus Arion, Cola Debrot, Gabriel García Márquez, Albert Helman, Francisco Herrera Luque, Boeli van Leeuwen, Tip Marugg, Alberto Mussa, Pepetela, Julio Perrenal, and Mário Pinto de Andrade.