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  • Author or Editor: Olívia Maria Gomes da Cunha x
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The chapter explores the role of visual artefacts, and how they relate to Ndyuka Maroon conceptions of creation, knowledge and learning. Families and young adults living in the bauxite town of Moengo (Suriname) use cameras and mobile phones as ‘devices’ to record and learn about their koni (traditional knowledge). In order to understand the place of still and video images, and their uses in a process of transformation of Cottica Ndyuka, this article describes the controversies arising from the invention of a ‘cultural event,’ the Poolo Boto Show, a parade of boats along the Cottica river near to Moengo, involving traditional dance, music and clothes, ‘controversially associated’ with funerary rituals. Some of the activities undertook by young Ndyuka while preparing for the festival included ‘making’ digital images, which, as artefacts, played an important role in discovering ‘what things were like in the past.’ The chapter seeks to describe how ‘creating’ and ‘learning’ how things were done in the past erupted into accusations, criticisms and ontological apperceptions concerning the Maroon person in the present.

In: Maroon Cosmopolitics
In: Maroon Cosmopolitics
In: Maroon Cosmopolitics
In: Maroon Cosmopolitics

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 ) 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.

In: Maroon Cosmopolitics
In: Maroon Cosmopolitics
The Things of Others: Ethnographies, Histories, and Other Artefacts deals with the things mainly, but not only, mobilized by anthropologists in order to produce knowledge about the African American, the Afro-Brazilian and the Afro-Cuban during the 1930s. However, the book's goal is not to dig up evidence of the creation of an epistemology of knowledge and its transnational connections. The research on which this book is based suggests that the artefacts created in fieldwork, offices, libraries, laboratories, museums, and other places and experiences – beyond the important fact that these places and situations involved actors other than the anthropologists themselves – have been different things during their troubled existence. The book seeks to make these differences apparent, highlighting rather than concealing the relationships between partial modes of making and being ‘Afro’ as a subject of science. If the artefacts created in a variety of situations have been different things, we should ask what sort of things they were and how the actors involved in their creation sought to make them meaningful. The book foregrounds these discontinuous and ever-changing contours.
Personhood, Creativity and Incorporation
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.

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 ) 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.

In: Maroon Cosmopolitics
In: Maroon Cosmopolitics