This book represents the first extensive study of the eventful and intriguing history of the cults of the Ndjuka Maroons in Suriname. This Afri-American people has managed to maintain its cultural and social autonomy, despite sweeping economic changes. These economic transformations from the background for an examination of religious movements over time. In great detail, more than a century of religious and social history is passed in review.
This study explores the relation between cult, myth, and the everyday world and compares the interpretation of native and foreign intellectuals. The authors use an idiosyncratic mix of Marx, Weber, and Freud to establish a theoretical framework, containing infrastructural and superstructural explanations as well as political ans symbolic analysis. The fruit of some 25 years of historical and ethnographic research, this publication is based partly on oral histories collected in villages in the Tapanahoni area, but also on archival research in Suriname and the Netherlands.
The Great Father and the Danger will fascinate a large audience: students of Afro-American cultures and religious movements in particular will find this study on the interrelationship between material forces, symbols, and fantasies a treasure trove.
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