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.
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Een zwarte vrijstaat in Suriname; De Okaanse samenleving in de 18e eeuw. Het vertelt de geschiedenis van slaven die in de achttiende eeuw de plantages ontvluchtten om diep in het regenwoud, in het zuidoosten van Suriname, een nieuwe samenleving op te bouwen. Deze Marrons, zoals de ontsnapte slaven werden genoemd, sloten in 1760 een vredesverdrag met de planters. Zij noemden zich Okanisi. Hier, in dit tweede deel van deze historie, wordt verslag gedaan van de gebeurtenissen zoals die zich na 1800 afspeelden in de onafhankelijke gemeenschappen van Okaanse Marrons. Het is een bewogen geschiedenis van profetische bewegingen, heksenvervolgingen, en de opkomst van een eigen, inheemse, kerk. Al deze voor buitenstaanders exotische gebeurtenissen speelden zich af in een samenleving die hecht was geïntegreerd in het economische leven van de Guiana’s. In de twintigste eeuw vinden de eerste grote botsingen plaats tussen de Okanisi en het koloniale en postkoloniale bestuur van Suriname. Soms ging het om een staking die het economische leven van de kolonie dreigde te verlammen; later, eind jaren tachtig, toen Suriname onafhankelijk was, zorgde de opstand van enkele honderden Okaanse jongeren, en de gedoogsteun van de bevolking, voor een kritieke situatie in de jonge republiek. In deze eeuw zijn het voornamelijk conflicten over het behoud van het oude grondgebied, en zijn natuurlijke hulpbronnen, die de oude vrijstaat bedreigen.
Een zwarte vrijstaat in Suriname, deel 2, Van Wetering and Thoden van Velzen relate the history of the Okanisi after their successful escape into the South American rainforest and the signing of a peace treaty with Dutch planters in 1760.
Following Part 1, which deals with their struggle for freedom, this volume describes the emergence of an autonomous Okanisi Maroon state; its integration into the economic life of the Guiana’s, but also its internal development, as it manifested itself through prophetic movements, anti-witchcraft purges and the rise of a native church. Predominantly based on oral sources, this book charts a previously undocumented history and provides a unique insight into a culture emerging from the roots of slavery.
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 study presents a refined analysis of Surinames-Jewish identifications. The story of the Surinamese Jews is one of a colonial Jewish community that became ever more interwoven with the local environment of Suriname. Ever since their first settlement, Jewish migrants from diverse backgrounds, each with their own narrative of migration and settlement, were faced with challenges brought about by this new environment; a colonial order and, in essence, a race-based slave society. A place, furthermore, that was constantly changing: economically, socially, demographically, politically and culturally.
Against this background, the Jewish community transformed from a migrant community into a settlers’ community. Both the Portuguese and High German Jews adopted Paramaribo as their principal place of residence from the late eighteenth century onwards. Radical economic changes—most notably the decline of the Portuguese-Jewish planters’ class—not only influenced the economic wealth of the Surinamese Jews as a group, but also had considerable impact on their social status in Suriname’s society.
The story of the Surinamese Jews is a prime example of the many ways in which a colonial environment and diasporic connections put their stamp on everyday life and affected the demarcation of community boundaries and group identifications. The Surinamese-Jewish community debated, contested and negotiated the pillars of a Surinamese-Jewish group identity not only among themselves but also with the colonial authorities.
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.
on 28 June that it was “neither practicable or desirable to give warnings,” but changed his mind after the July 5th raid. 7 Daytime warnings were to be based on maroons being fired from some fire and police stations with policemen riding around with ‘take cover’ notices. The confusion and inadequacy
. The Nansen Passport relieved places such as Constantinople, where many refugees were marooned and living in dire conditions. At more or less the same time, hundreds of thousands of children from Austria-Hungary, Russia and Germany were transferred to Britain, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Belgium and
, the altar’s paliotto , adorned with the figure of the Magdalen in a patterned gold tondo against a gold and maroon field, aroused the admiration of Markowsky for its exquisite execution. 9 More complex than at first appears, the altarpiece presents us with a depiction of the Trinity in the standard