Description : Thirty-five years into his research among the descendants of rebel slaves living in the South American rain forest, anthropologist Richard Price encountered Tooy, a priest, philosopher, and healer living in a rough shantytown on the outskirts of Cayenne, French Guiana. Tooy is a time traveler who crosses boundaries between centuries, continents, the worlds of the living and the dead, and the visible and invisible. With an innovative blend of storytelling and scholarship, Travels with Tooy recounts the mutually enlightening and mind-expanding journeys of these two intellectuals. Included on the itinerary for this hallucinatory expedition: forays into the eighteenth century to talk with slaves newly arrived from Africa; leaps into the midst of battles against colonial armies; close encounters with double agents and femme fatale forest spirits; and trips underwater to speak to the comely sea gods who control the world’s money supply. This enchanting book draws on Price’s long-term ethnographic and archival research, but above all on Tooy’s teachings, songs, stories, and secret languages to explore how Africans in the Americas have created marvelous new worlds of the imagination.
Description : In his groundbreaking study of the Akan diaspora, Konadu demonstrates how this cultural group originating in West Africa both engaged in and went beyond the familiar diasporic themes of maroonage, resistance, and freedom. Between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries, the Akan never formed a majority among other Africans in the Americas. But their leadership skills in war and political organization, efficacy in medicinal plant use and spiritual practice, and culture archived in the musical traditions, language, and patterns of African diasporic life far outweighed their sheer numbers. Konadu argues that a composite Akan culture calibrated between the Gold Coast and forest fringe made the contributions of the Akan diaspora possible. The book examines the Akan experience in Guyana, Jamaica, Antigua, Barbados, former Danish and Dutch colonies, and North America, and how those early experiences foreground the modern engagement and movement of diasporic Africans and Akan people between Ghana and North America. Locating the Akan variable in the African diasporic equation allows scholars and students of the Americas to better understand how the diasporic quilt came to be and is still evolving.
Description : Rainforest Warriors is a historical, ethnographic, and documentary account of a people, their threatened rainforest, and their successful attempt to harness international human rights law in their fight to protect their way of life--part of a larger story of tribal and indigenous peoples that is unfolding all over the globe. The Republic of Suriname, in northeastern South America, contains the highest proportion of rainforest within its national territory, and the most forest per person, of any country in the world. During the 1990s, its government began awarding extensive logging and mining concessions to multinational companies from China, Indonesia, Canada, and elsewhere. Saramaka Maroons, the descendants of self-liberated African slaves who had lived in that rainforest for more than 300 years, resisted, bringing their complaints to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. In 2008, when the Inter-American Court of Human Rights delivered its landmark judgment in their favor, their efforts to protect their threatened rainforest were thrust into the international spotlight. Two leaders of the struggle to protect their way of life, Saramaka Headcaptain Wazen Eduards and Saramaka law student Hugo Jabini, were awarded the Goldman Prize for the Environment (often referred to as the environmental Nobel Prize), under the banner of "A New Precedent for Indigenous and Tribal Peoples." Anthropologist Richard Price, who has worked with Saramakas for more than forty years and who participated actively in this struggle, tells the gripping story of how Saramakas harnessed international human rights law to win control of their own piece of the Amazonian forest and guarantee their cultural survival.
Description : The Oxford Handbook of Modern African History represents an invaluable tool for historians and others in the field of African studies. This collection of essays, produced by some of the finest scholars currently working in the field, provides the latest insights into, and interpretations of, the history of Africa - a continent with a rich and complex past. An understanding of this past is essential to gain perspective on Africa's current challenges, and this accessible and comprehensive volume will allow readers to explore various aspects - political, economic, social, and cultural - of the continent's history over the last two hundred years. Since African history first emerged as a serious academic endeavour in the 1950s and 1960s, it has undergone numerous shifts in terms of emphasis and approach, changes brought about by political and economic exigencies and by ideological debates. This multi-faceted Handbook is essential reading for anyone with an interest in those debates, and in Africa and its peoples. While the focus is determinedly historical, anthropology, geography, literary criticism, political science and sociology are all employed in this ground-breaking study of Africa's past.
Description : Mac Griswold's The Manor is the biography of a uniquely American place that has endured through wars great and small, through fortunes won and lost, through histories bright and sinister—and of the family that has lived there since its founding as a Colonial New England slave plantation three and a half centuries ago. In 1984, the landscape historian Mac Griswold was rowing along a Long Island creek when she came upon a stately yellow house and a garden guarded by looming boxwoods. She instantly knew that boxwoods that large—twelve feet tall, fifteen feet wide—had to be hundreds of years old. So, as it happened, was the house: Sylvester Manor had been held in the same family for eleven generations. Formerly encompassing all of Shelter Island, New York, a pearl of 8,000 acres caught between the North and South Forks of Long Island, the manor had dwindled to 243 acres. Still, its hidden vault proved to be full of revelations and treasures, including the 1666 charter for the land, and correspondence from Thomas Jefferson. Most notable was the short and steep flight of steps the family had called the "slave staircase," which would provide clues to the extensive but little-known story of Northern slavery. Alongside a team of archaeologists, Griswold began a dig that would uncover a landscape bursting with stories. Based on years of archival and field research, as well as voyages to Africa, the West Indies, and Europe, The Manor is at once an investigation into forgotten lives and a sweeping drama that captures our history in all its richness and suffering. It is a monumental achievement.
Description : This historical ethnography from Central Sudan explores the century-old intertwining of zar , spirit possession, with past lives of ex-slaves and shows that, despite very different social and cultural contexts, zar has continued to be shaped by the experience of slavery.
Description : When Richard and Sally Price stepped out of the canoe to begin their fieldwork with the Saamaka Maroons of Suriname in 1966, they were met with a mixture of curiosity, suspicion, ambivalence, hostility, and fascination. With their gradual acceptance into the community they undertook the work that would shape their careers and influence the study of African American societies throughout the hemisphere for decades to come. In Saamaka Dreaming they look back on the experience, reflecting on a discipline and a society that are considerably different today. Drawing on thousands of pages of field notes, as well as recordings, file cards, photos, and sketches, the Prices retell and comment on the most intensive fieldwork of their careers, evoke the joys and hardships of building relationships and trust, and outline their personal adaptation to this unfamiliar universe. The book is at once a moving human story, a portrait of a remarkable society, and a thought-provoking revelation about the development of anthropology over the past half-century.