8195 - A diachronic approach to changing material identities among the Trio of Suriname

A complex set of changing parallel identities can be discerned over time among the Trio of Suriname. Apart from their linguistic identity, further identities are also formed on a group, settlement, family, individual and material level. These identities are not given constants and their boundaries are continuously being renegotiated. The cause for these renegotiations is the frequent movement of persons and goods which together shape an ever-evolving identity which becomes temporarily solidified in the material construct of a village. This construct, in turn, is not a passive entity, rather it determines and limits subsequent movements of all sorts, such as the construction of a new house in an existing village. In this contribution I take a site-based approach (the village Amotopo) and discuss the mobility of one extended family and their objects in a multi-site region. In addition, a diachronic perspective is adopted to elucidate the movement of this family in concert with other families and groups of people in the region. In this narrative a few Trio villages, which are separated in time, are discussed. I pose the contemporary archaeological questions as to what role mobility plays in these village dynamics and how site-based research can give us insight into the larger changing social matrix in which a single village is embedded.

Keywords: Contemporary Archaeology, Material Identity, Trio (Suriname), Mobility

Author: Mans, Jimmy (Leiden University/Museum Volkenkunde, Netherlands / Niederlande)


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