Neil Diamond. Drivers License. Olivia Rodrigo. Most Popular Video Karaoke Wellerman. This Is Me. The Greatest Showman. Rise Up. Andra Day. A Thousand Years. Christina Perri. A Star is Born. The board is headed by a white French president. In case a Maroon president was selected, this might result in favoritism of the own group. In his view some Surinamese Maroon migrants assimilate in a negative way. When you meet someone in the street you cannot know how he or she lives. And this is what I mean with negative assimilation.
The statement above implicitly assumes that positive assimilation requires a deep and complete interpersonal interaction. Apoyou believes that the Surinamese migrants should assimilate positively and integrate in the French culture.
According to him the migrants need to go to school and find a job. There are some institutions and policies that enhance the inte- gration of Maroons in French Guiana. This association supports in finding work, teaches migrants the French language, informs them about the French Guyanese culture and social life, and mediates in legal issues.
First, for a woman, having a child with French who formally requests a document for her legal stay, and next requesting to receive a child allowance from the gov- ernment. Second, at the age of children may apply for the French nationality 18 and request for a legal status of their mother. Within the framework of policies to acquire the French nationality, participation in local and national decision-making bodies or in civil society may enhance integration at the social, economic, educational, and cultural level.
Apoyou believes that integration requires that migrants adapt their tradi- tions — like agricultural techniques — to local circumstances. One cannot cultivate crops in Suriname in the same way as in French Guiana since the soil may be different. According to Apoyou, migrants should adapt their traditions and agricultural techniques, rather than blaming the soil.
However, they also attempt to maintain their own tradi- tion by organizing various events which we will explain later. These poli- cies seem to differ from the traditional French national ideology of direct assimilation that limits the space for the culture of migrants. That is why the French policies towards the Maroon association require some explana- tion. Maroon migrants are faced with a few social problems in the integra- tion process. One is the neglect of children.
Some fathers take away the bio- logical mothers from French Guiana and take new female in the house that does not take care of the children. These children are often hanging at the street corners and sometimes get involved with the police. Another problem is the change of French Guyanese policies.
Migrants have to pay for utilities and hence cannot accommodate other migrants at home. A final problem relates to the adaptation of the new Maroon migrants. According to Apoyou many new migrants are not willing to work hard to build a future: in fact, some are junkies who are involved in smuggling of drugs, which dif- fers from the initiatives and efforts taken by the old generation of Maroon people.
What explains the process of integration of the Aluku from a socio-his- torical perspective? Bilby argues that there are two sides in the pro- cess of political and economic penetration into foreign societies by the Aluku7 from Suriname. The implication is that the Aluku are being gradually. This lone village has become the principal locus of political ten- sions stemming from the conflicting claims of two expanding states.
Bilby, who vis- ited in April the Aluku Kapitein Peeti, indicates that the Aluku clan rivalry and the play of the Surinamese and French Guyanese states are con- tinued in the recent history. Conclusion In 20th century French Guiana the dominant ideology of assimilation to French values and culture was reflected in the social stratification: The Creole group was in center of the process of assimilation, while the Indigenous and Maroons remained on the margins of the assimilation process.
From the s the transition of the social. These corporate clans, most of them localized in single villages, constitute the most important units of Aluku social organization. Following the death of their leader Boni at the hands of the Ndjuka in , the Aluku changed residence several times, establishing villages in a number of locations along the upper reaches of the Lawa River and its tributaries.
Around , the various clans traveled together to the general area where the present-day Aluku vil- lages are located. This combined with the growing demographic and social importance of the Indigenous and the Maroons threatened the hegemony of the Creoles, who remained politically dominant. The actual concentration of different Maroon groups in the coastal area indicates that they have penetrated into the urban zones of French Guiana.
However, the analysis of the Aluku and Ndyuka, the largest Maroon groups learns that there are differences with regard to the political and social position and the responses in the French Guyanese society.
The Aluku lost to a large extent their relative political and social auton- omy and are gradually becoming absorbed into the French nation. The coastal Aluku political and social organizations with the tribal structure headed by the chief are formally accepted by the government.
This corre- sponds to some extent with the socio-historical perspective outlined by Bilby who observes that the Aluku are being incorporated into a larger unit of the nation that at the same time has some grounding in the local cultural and political context that influences their responses in the Surinamese and French Guyanese nation-states. The Ndyuka Maroons, with a large concentration of its people in Saint-Laurent-du-Maroni and surroundings, express that despite the facili- tation of residence or naturalization of Surinamese children, the Surinamese immigrants generally do not comply with the French assimilation policies.
On the contrary an ideology to retain Surinamese was observed with a strong orientation and socialization towards the home communities and families in Suriname. The explanation of the different ideologies between the Ndyuka in Saint-Laurent and the Aluku in Kourou is related to the different settlement histories in French Guiana. However, the Aluku, are being involved since the 18th century in a mobility between the two countries while maintaining some grounding in their own local Maroon cultural and political context that influenced their strong ten- dency towards integration in the French Guyanese society.
These networks and par- ties are perceived by many Ndyuka at both sides of the frontier in Suriname and French Guiana to contribute to their emancipation.
Apparently this gives the impression that the ideolo- gies of cultural diversity in Suriname and French Guiana are identical. However, principal differences are at the core of the ideologies in the two countries. First, in French Guiana the Creole group is dominating the polit- ical scene, while in Suriname where all ethnic groups are demographically a minority, the tradition evolved of coalition governments representing the different ethnic groups. Second, in French Guiana the new migrant groups are demographically a majority, which is not the case in Suriname.
Third, it is assumed that historically the migrant groups from Suriname in French Guiana are more familiar with the ideologies of diversity; this is not the case for the Creole and other local people in French Guiana who were socialized within the ideology of assimilation. Anthropologica, New Series, 22 1 , Assen, van Gorcum.
Retrieved from www. An Assessment. Caracas, Unesco. Translation of Ph. D Thesis, , Samenleving in een Grensgebied. Een sociaal historische studie van Suriname, Deventer, van Loghum Slaterus. Mais il y a plus. Plus exacte- ment, elle instaure des fissures en leur sein.
Hommes et femmes partent pour trouver du travail et pour la scolarisation des enfants parvenus en secondaire. Les Aluku, eux aussi, bougent beaucoup et de longue date. La ville accueille ainsi. Le moment venu, J. Sambura Woyupore, Galibi et Paramaribo, To counter their peripheral and stigmatized position in Paramaribo and the nation, Maroon reggae artistes employ popular culture in symbolic, moral and economic strategies.
Music offers a way to create and recreate both real, urban places and imagined, non-local spaces. In doing so, they employ spatially derived frames of belonging to moderate or alternate disadvantageous ethno-racial and socio-economic categorizations. Meel eds. Jolivet eds. Tjon Sie Fat eds. With trans- criptions of Suriname Songs and musicological analysis by Dr.
Brian and Neil L. Whitehead eds. Small-scale mining and cross-border movements of gold from French Guiana. Introduction Small-scale gold mining in French Guiana is regulated by strict environ- mental, legal and economic rules.
In , only a few dozen licensed mines were in operation. A much larger number of mines operate illegally, and they are hounded by French gendarmes and soldiers. Most of the gold pro- duced in French Guiana is produced illegally, at sites hidden deep in the tropical forest, by thousands of individuals who are not licensed to mine and, in most cases, have no permit to stay in the country.
These miners enter the gold fields on foot or by pirogue, and sometimes use quad bikes to carry groceries, fuel and tools, such as small suction pumps and engines. The gold they produce leaves the country along the same routes.
In this article, the gold mining and the role of mobility and the border are analysed against the backdrop of cross-boundary economic and social dynamics and the repressive French policies developed with respect to small-scale mining in the region.
Mobilities are at the centre of our analysis. The small-scale gold mining we are talking about here is a mobile activity that moves geographically: when the gold deposits are exhausted at one location, miners move on to veins found elsewhere.
Small-scale gold miners are very flexible and they may decide to move to other places to mine gold for a number of reasons. For those who do not have a license to mine, the gendarmes are a key rea- son to move on to other places.
Mobility is also important for gold and goods. To be able to mine the gold, the miners depend on consumer goods, mainly fuel and food, which are smuggled into French Guiana from the neighbouring countries Suriname and Brazil. Finally, to sell the gold, they are dependent on the markets in those two countries.
At the basis of the ille- gal small-scale gold mining is thus the mobility of people, goods and gold. We use the word mobility in its plural form to emphasize that the move- ment concerns not only people, but also goods and gold. The mobility is closely connected to materiality.
Gold is a very valuable natural resource and the miners and others involved in the small-scale mining economy talk about it in an idiom of socioeconomic inequality and lack of alternative ways to make a living or climb on the ladder of economic betterment. In this paper we show how the illegal mining sector in French Guiana depends entirely on the mobility of people, goods and gold.
With this notion of mobilities, the border must be assessed as an essential and mould- ing factor in the illegal gold mining and gold commercialization in Suri- name and French Guiana. In what follows, we first relate how gold mining was the reason to establish national borders in the Guiana Shield, and sum- marize the political context of the contemporary mining sector that shapes the contours for the mobilities.
We then narrow the focus to the agents of the mobility and their relations with the gold and the border. We differen- tiate and describe three main categories of actors in the small-scale gold mining economy of French Guiana. After that, we go into the basics of the trade and commerce and show how the mobility of goods occurs in this heavily policed situation in the mining region.
Finally, we discuss the ways in which the gold leaves the country. In the final observations, we return to the relation between mobilities and understanding the border and illegal gold mining1. Gold booms, national borders and territorial control The borders of French Guiana were established when the finding of gold in the interior of the Guianas in the last decades of the 19th century made it necessary to make agreements.
In the 17th century, the colonial powers had entered into an agreement stating that the Maroni River marked the border, but it now became important to decide whether the Lawa or the Tapanahoni was the source of the Maroni. The Lawa as border increased the Dutch colonial territory, whereas the Tapanahoni as border increased the French colonial territory.
The French pushed hard to get the Tapanahoni recognized, since French exploration indicated substantial min- eral wealth particularly in the triangle in between the two rivers.
However, in the issue was settled in favour of the Dutch and the Lawa was accepted as the border. A similar conflict arose between French Guiana and Brazil over their mutual border. In this way we guarantee anonymity, but do inform the reader of the position of the interlocutor in the field of illegal gold mining.
We make a link to the original data by referring to the dates of the interviews. The finding of gold led to intensive border traffic and large numbers of migrants arriving in the region. In , more than 5, people were searching for gold in the contested area between French Guiana and Dutch Guiana the later Suriname Sicking, A few years later, between 10, - 20, people were mining for gold in the French-Brazilian con- tested area at the eastern border of French Guiana.
By the early 20th century, infor- mal miners were encroaching more and more on the concessions of title holders, and the formal industrial gold-mining activities virtually ceased.
A system emerged whereby title holders allowed small-scale gold miners orpailleurs to work on their concessions; in exchange, the orpailleurs had to buy their tools and provisions from the title holders.
In these years, the number of miners fluctuated between and 12,, a quarter of the total population of French Guiana Petot, There were an estimated gold miners in , in and fewer than in Piantoni, Gold production shrank to less than kilos per year in this period When the gold price recovered in the s, small-scale miners returned to the abandoned placers. By the s, a second gold boom was underway. Local miners, many of them Aluku in the south of the country, started mining operations, investing in machin- ery and recruiting labourers from neighbouring Brazil.
According to Taubira-Delannon 61 Brazilians were seen as mining experts and they were available for the work in French Guiana. A Brazilian informant in Oyapoque, who had taken care of the paperwork for many of his compatriots, told us that the permits could be extended by another six months.
According to him, some of the Brazilians were even able to obtain an AEX permit. This situation started to change by the late s, when the French government decided to establish standards that small-scale miners had to meet in order to obtain or extend a mining license.
Although several issues contributed to the shift in French policies towards small-scale miners — such as violence between Brazilians and the Aluku, and making more room for large-scale mining — the increasing discussions on the ecological impacts of small-scale gold mining led to the protection of biodiversity becoming a pri- ority on the international political agenda. In , the Parc National Amazonien was inaugurated, limiting the territory for mining.
As a result, virtually all existing mining titles were withdrawn and the equipment of Aluku maroon operators who were resisting the letter of the law was destroyed. The number of permits especially AEX per- mits decreased drastically, to only 61 in The surge in gold prices and the decrease in the number of permits have had a major impact on the landscape of gold mining in French Guiana over the last 15 years.
Interviewees reported that several miners with legal titles had entered into the illegal circuit of gold mining or moved to Suriname,2 where there are hardly any formal obstacles to mining.
Contacts with mid- dlemen or mining operators in Paramaribo were enough to find a place to. When they lost their permits, they still had debts and would try to pay them by mining illegally. In the south, Aluku miners in particular could easily make the transfer to the other side of the Lawa border river, because they consider this tribal territory and many Aluku had mined there before. It is important to stress that those who hold this point of view said that restrictions on obtaining legal titles had left gold mining areas open to illegal forms of min- ing.
This created an atmosphere in which thousands of miners started to work illegally. While on a visit to French Guiana in , the French president, Nico- las Sarkozy, decided that enough was enough. Clandestine miners were causing increasingly grievous environmental damage and their presence technically constituted an invasion of France. The name refers to the intensive surveying of the forest by heli- copter crews looking for illegal gold mining sites.
Once a site is spotted in the dense forest, gendarmes, supported by an elite commando squad, are landed and destroy all the mining equipment and the housing on the site. According to the union of mining professionals FEDOMG : Today the profession is threatened by disaster and a whole economic field will disappear.
To stop or limit legal artisanal mining is equivalent to encouraging illegal activity and hence to sacrificing the environmental and cultural heritage as well as the Guianese social fabric. The Aluku themselves are clear about the cause of this shift: as French citizens they are at a disadvantage.
If they get caught carrying out illegal mining activities, they are taken to court, whereas if Brazilians are caught they are, at worst, expelled from the country — exiting French Guiana one day, coming back the next. Inequalities before the law, and strategies for policing gold mining, are seen as a major cause of the current situation in which illegal mining by Brazilians and some Surinamese is not countered effectively, whereas the Aluku have been excluded from gold mining in what they consider to be their territorial patch on the French bank of the Lawa river.
The issue of how the laws are enforced and illegal mining is combated by gendarmes and soldiers are major topics in conversations with citizens, foreigners and government officials alike. Although naming the operation Harpie makes it sound aggressive, the underlying idea is informed by a human rights framework: do not harm the people, focus on the goods.
Sanctions mainly consist of the destruction of goods, the confiscation of gold, and extradition. Even though these actions impact upon the lives and livelihoods of irregular miners, they do not stop illegal mining and the commerce that is linked to it. Opinions as to the effi- cacy of this strategy vary. The decrease in the gold price and the exhaustion of the gold itself may be among the causes.
The observed decrease in illegal mining is not a result of eradication, because the miners move around in the territory. Illegal mining is character- ized by strong mobility: the authorities can ensure that certain sites are abandoned, but often the people will simply move to another site. This huge site6 triggered enormous activities on the Oyapock River in the period It was closed down in March , and these activities have ceased completely. The Brazilian-French Guianese border is now exceptionally quiet.
The Surinamese-French Guiana side, in contrast, may have picked up as a result. The mobility of miners makes it very diffi- cult to control this mining activity throughout the gold belt, which stretches from Maripasoula to Camopi.
Of course, this situation is strongly affected by the border situation: without the nearby presence of Suriname and Brazil, it would not be possible for the miners to continue their work in French Guiana. Mobile miners and gold We can classify the miners according to their relations with the gold and its production.
Most production units are shaft mines, although open-pit mining continues. In shaft mining, which takes place in the primary gold deposits, the sys- tem is a little different, because the production process comprises two steps: digging the tunnels and bringing the gold-containing material to the sur- face, and then grinding the material and extracting the gold from it.
The first step may be organized in a similar way as the one described for the open-pit system: one person is the owner of the diesel engine, drill, buckets, etc. They divide the production according to a pre-established, often quite sophisti- cated system. The second step is performed by millers, who possess the small hammer mills that process the gold from the rocks brought to the sur- face by the other teams. Thus, these individuals have invested in the machinery to process the gold-rich material dug up by the others.
At any one mining site, many teams can be active producing the gold-containing material that goes to the mills where the gold is separated from it. We were told that there is usually one mill for every four or five shafts. The gold from the owners of the gold-producing machines — the shaft owners and the crusher owners — is. Merchants bring all these products from Suriname and sell them for high profits to the miners in French Guiana.
They some- times go to Suriname or Brazil themselves, depending on the calculations of the risk of being caught by the French gendarmes.
The miners keep a careful eye on the actions of Harpie and they warn each other by telephone or radio to limit personal encounters and the loss of goods. The boats leave during the night or very early in the morning, but only if there are no signs of gendarme activities on the other side. People can wait for weeks before they risk the crossing.
The second group of actors is composed of the merchants who bring smuggled goods into the mining area. These people buy goods in Brazil or Suriname and bring them to their customers at the gold mining sites in French Guiana.
At the Brazilian border, the merchandise is mostly acquired in Oiapoque; in Suriname it can be bought in Paramaribo or Albina. How- ever, it is increasingly bought at the Chinese8 supermarkets along the border rivers of Marowijne and Lawa. The merchandise consists of food, including alcoholic drinks and cigarettes, clothes, and medicine. Some suppliers fill entire pirogues with goods, whereas others invest less and specialize in one product in smaller quantities.
They then load their goods on a boat and travel to the mining sites to sell the products. Foodstuffs are usually sold to the owners of crushers and mining pits who have to feed their crews.
The merchants are paid in gold by the buyers, and thus become the transporters of gold out of French Guiana. This means that the gold that is spent in the local service economy at the mining sites leaves the coun- try in hands other than the ones that produced it. Furthermore, the mer- chants transform a large part of this gold into new consumption goods to bring back to the mining sites. Thus, this circulation of gold contributes to the internal economy of illegal gold mining.
A few years later, dozens of Chinese grocery stores were all selling the same basic products for the mining activities and the mining communities along the banks of the river.
Across Maripasoula, is a true shop- ping centre; there are also many to be found both upriver and downriver. To our knowl- edge, no research has been done on the culture and economy of this phenomenon.
The third large group of actors are the workers — the miners who do not invest in the means of production, the boatmen, the drivers of all-ter- rain vehicles ATVs , the individuals who make a living by transporting goods on their backs, the cooks who work for the miners, the sex workers, and the personnel of the bars and shops at the mining sites. They all receive percentages of the production, monthly salaries or combined unit prices for specific services in gold.
They save their gold and once every few months they go to Brazil or Suriname to relax a little, see a doctor or dentist, and deal with such matters as sending money home, or to go home in Brazil for a while.
Some miners spend years at the mining sites. They have various reasons for doing so, such as reducing the risk of getting caught by the gen- darmes, or just because they enjoy life in the forest. One miner told us that he once spent five years at one site, without ever leaving the place because he had not saved enough gold to return home.
He had malarial flare-ups every two months, and spent all his earnings on Artecom, the most popular anti-malaria drug in the gold fields 17 March All business at the mining sites is done with gold as the currency. Work- ers receive their share of the production in native gold. Cooks receive their fixed monthly salary in gold usually 40 or 50 grams, but in the case of a large number of workers, it can be as much as grams.
Sex workers are paid in gold, too. The price of beer and food in the bars and canteens is given in grams or tenths of a gram deci. All production means, from engines and pumps to diesel and lubricating oil, are bought with gold.
It is therefore no wonder that everybody carries gold with them when walking in the forest. Furthermore, all calculations with respect to the feasibility of mining operations or other economic projects are made in quantities of gold. This causes a relative delay in the response to changes in the value of gold on the world market. The commercial prices of goods and services are in gold and these may remain the same for a long time. Of course, one has to take into account that the repression of illegal mining has increased along with the price of gold in the intervening years.
To summarize, different actors play different roles in the handling of the gold that is produced in French Guiana. A considerable part of it leaves French Guiana not in the hands of the miners, but in the hands of mer- chants, service providers or gold buyers. The gold circulates between the gold producers and the others, possibly for a long time, before leaving.
This economy can only exist in this form because the neighbouring countries function as selling markets and the buy- ers of the gold. In a previous publication de Theije, , we summarized a story that a woman told us in She had made some very lucrative trips to French Guiana to sell clothes and drinks.
She paid 30 grams of gold and two bar- rels of fuel to have kilos of merchandise transported up the Ouaqui River. In eight days, she sold everything for grams. She decided to quit the business, and later returned to Brazil. Sur ce merveilleux raisonnement, la locomotive siffla. Il croyait ainsi faire un coup superbe. Je me sentis vaguement perdu. La nouvelle du mariage apprise en arrivant, venait de lui porter un coup. La nuit tombant, il fallut partir. Ta faute, te dis-je! Pourtant la saison ne valait rien pour fouir.
Allez-y voir! Puis, un bruit de grelots. Un grand diable brun et sec en descendait, Janan sans doute; Les vieilles remportaient le drap et la pioche Un coup de fouet! Je fus comme un enfant pendant huit jours.
O surprise! Roset trouva tout excellent. Jean-des-Figues, quelle aventure! Tiens, tu sais son nom? Balandran, suant et rendu, pauvre Balandran! Mais, sartibois! Sans doute M. Toi, Balandran, ton affaire est autre. Tu dois, Balandran, tu dois!
Balandran, courage! Comment payer? Vous me connaissez, conseillez-moi, je trouverais des garanties Mais quoi!
Dans la chambre, il vit table mise, nappe blanche et service de vieux Moustier. Epouser mademoiselle Blasy! Elle est simple. On se lia.
Brave homme aussi, ce M. Au contraire:—Eh bien! Il entendait dans son bassin de pierre froide, la fontaine claire chanter. Les paysans de Canteperdrix soupiraient, voyant tant de bonne terre perdue. Ces mises en parcelles de gros domaines deviennent plus communes chaque jour. Quinze sous par jour!
Aussi, mes amis, quelle vie! Puis vingt-cinq sous, puis trente sous, puis quarante avec une bouteille de bon vin en plus. Il le fallait! Tel M. Pour conclusion: mariage ou vente! Toutes ses craintes se dissipaient. Sinon, vous pouvez vendre. Jeanne restera pauvre, pauvre par ma faute, mais libre Mais il avait compris aussi que M.
La vue du Tor, disait-il, lui faisait saigner les yeux; M. Parfois il interrogeait Jeanne. Pourquoi pleure-t-elle ainsi toute seule? Un autre! Blasy se rasseyant, continuait:. Pourquoi ne disaient-ils rien? Blasy ouvrit la grille. Blasy se contenta de sourire. Blasy souriait toujours. En effet, depuis un moment il se passait quelque chose au Plus-bas-Tor. La vente! Mais si Entrays se vend, il en mourra, le vieux bonhomme!
Allons, Jeanne! Balandran est mauvaise paye Le plus peureux aussi! Pour M. Or le pieux M. Ce fut pourtant M. Tirse qui, sans le vouloir, causa la fin tragique de M.
Ce projet de M. Un fait pourtant troubla M. Alors, M. Sube se rappela le sourire de M. Or, voici ce qui la faisait sourire, voici ce qui remplissait de larmes les yeux du malheureux M.
Sube Eudore Anacharsis Trotabas , commissaire, etc. A deux heures moins dix, M. Tirse perdit patience et prenant son chapeau et sa canne, il se dirigea vers le Clos. Bien que discret naturellement, M. Personne encore! Tirse devina. Sube allait et venait. Monsieur Sube!!!
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