By Patricia Spyer
First released in 1998. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa corporation.
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Additional info for Border Fetishisms: Material Objects in Unstable Spaces
In 1832 he notes with pride a natural growth of the slave popula tion of Clifford Kocqshove in the period 1824-1831. "11 This statement reflects his ambivalent reasoning in which economics clearly prevails. Van Breugel's calculating approach is most clear in those cases where irregularities were discovered, as in the case of a small boy who lived in the administrator's house, or the black carpenter who profited from irregular privileges. Here, however, Van Breugel ran up against emotional and family relationships which he found rather embar rassing.
The stone altar is where we meet. It's like if I promise to meet you, we need to have someplace to meet, right? How can we meet if there's no sign? . The Psalm says God exists everywhere—in the house, on the ve randa, in the forest. Well, if this is so, how come when we pray [in these places] they tell us it's Satan? By my understanding of marapu ritual, Umbu Paji is correct in saying that Christians misrepresent the role of stone altars. Still, Umbu Paji's experience with the Christians, who form the majority in his village, has made him a skilled casuist, and his words should not be taken to represent the views of all marapu followers.
To discuss this process, we will follow here the trip across the ocean of two Suriname obeah. 5 This should not be regarded as a paradox. These obeah indeed are ritual objects from the Afroamerican wmf/-religion in which spirits and inspired objects play a crucial role. What we will see is that these objects only could become visible as religious symbols the very moment they were destined to disappear from their own community. Within that community, the two obeah could be regarded as "border fetishes" in a literal sense, referring here to the crosscultural process in which they were created by enslaved and displaced peoples from a variety of African ethnic and cultural backgrounds, both newly arrived in the colony and born on planta tions, who lived in close contact with indigenous Amerindian and maroon communities in the rainforests, as well as with a growing number of free blacks and mulattos.