October 9th Dr. Rose Mary Allen was awarded the Premio Boeli van Leeuwen. She’s known for her work on migration, identity and emancipation. Not only does she deserves this award for her investigations of Curacaoan society. I’m assuming she got a fat ass check of Naf. 250.000 from private sector and our social government, right? We need to get them lectures all lectures online.
They are giving her a free Insel Air, DAE and American Airlines pass right?
Goddess willing every year she can inspire at least 5 students to get down with cultural anthropology studies.
We need more Rose Mary Allen’s.
And more doctoral thesises like this superb one:
Di ki manera?
A Social History of
In this study I will present the key factors determining the social and cultural life of Afro-Curaçaoans during the first fifty years after the abolition of slavery in 1863.
I will do so through a socio-cultural analysis of the social system of which they formed part. Their posi-
tion within slave society will be the starting point, followed by an evaluation of the two principle elements of social control after emancipation: the State and the Roman Catholic Church.
Rather than viewing Afro-Curaçaoans as mere objects to be acted upon, in this analysis I cite them as resilient agents, rising to – and often resisting in a variety of ways –the challenges and restrictions they faced in a free society.
Their resilience and resistance are best demonstrated through the factors from which they drew their sustenance; these being mainly their social networks – such as families, peer groups, co-workers, local communities – and their culture, brought to the fore, for example, in their songs, stories and rituals.
This thesis will put forward a historical study of post-abolition social and cultural life of Afro-Curaçaoans within the context of the late nineteenth-century Curaçaoan socio-economic system. It thus looks at their social and cultural life from a historical perspective and in doing so it combines history and anthropology.
Anthropologists have been known to study the culture of non-western people through extensive fieldwork, documenting the
ethnographic present of societies. Anthropology has therefore often been criticized for its a-historical approach.
At the moment historical anthropology, an interdisciplinary exchange between anthropology and history, tries to fill this void. And there are more stud-
ies focusing on social change within society and on the role socially marginalized people play in these processes of change (Burke 1996:49). In the past three decades anthropologists studying the Caribbean have joined historians and specialists in creole languages and literature to analyse how ordinary people in this region have experienced the processes of culture brought about by colonization, slavery, indenture and neocolonialism (Besson
The title of this thesis,
Di Ki Manera? (In Which Manner?), is also the title of a traditional song in which an enslaved person contemplates a world which denies him any respect. In this context I use it to analyse how Afro-Curaçaoans struggled in their day-to-day lives after emancipation. Here, the lives of ‘those without history’ will be told (Wolf 1982).
Due to the lack of written documents on this subject, I will also utilize oral information. In addition I hope to illustrate through this approach how oral sources can be applied to historical studies. Thus my goal is partly of a methodological nature.
In attempting to gain insight into Afro-Curaçaoan life after slavery, it is important to look at change and continuity over time with regard to culture and to examine the role Afro-Curaçaoans played in this process of change.
Of major significance to this study is the view of culture and society as dynamic and subject to change. Curaçaoan culture has changed in complex ways over time, the abolition of slavery being a pivotal point in this process. At the time of abolition freedmen and their offspring constituted around fifty per cent of the island population. They were joined by a group of roughly 35 per cent of the
population who experienced life for the first time as free citizens (Oostindie 1995b:158;
In this respect, Curaçao differed from the rest of the Caribbean, where the proportion of freed people was much lower prior to emancipation.
Caribbean historiography has rarely focused on life following this transformation.
Most studies have concentrated
on slavery and have neglected freedom. With this they have also neglected the role played by those manumitted in the processes of change (Eudell
2002:7; Cooper et al. 2000).
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