Saamaka Dreaming, by Richard Price & Sally Price (Duke University Press), august 2017
“Richard and Sally Price’s elegiac account of their time living among the Saamakas of Suriname in the 1960s is wholly engrossing, and of the very highest narrative quality. I can see, smell, and feel everything they describe. The Prices have never been fresher or more readable as literature.”
(George E. Marcus, coauthor of Designs for an Anthropology of the Contemporary)
“With their keen attunements, customary honesty, ethnographic verve, spare poetics, and dashes of hubris and humor, Richard and Sally Price offer an extraordinary meditation on life, anthropology, and their encounter with the Saamakas. Saamaka Dreaming is a compelling text that astounds in its richness.”
(John Collins, author of Revolt of the Saints: Memory and Redemption in the Twilight of Brazilian Racial Democracy)
When Richard and Sally Price stepped out of the canoe to begin their fieldwork with the Saamaka Maroons of Suriname in 1966, they were met with a mixture of curiosity, suspicion, ambivalence, hostility, and fascination. With their gradual acceptance into the community they undertook the work that would shape their careers and influence the study of African American societies throughout the hemisphere for decades to come. In Saamaka Dreaming they look back on the experience, reflecting on a discipline and a society that are considerably different today. Drawing on thousands of pages of field notes, as well as recordings, file cards, photos and sketches, the Prices retell and comment on the most intensive fieldwork of their careers, evoke the joys and hardships of building relationships and trust, and outline their personal adaptation to this unfamiliar universe. The book is at once a moving human story, a portrait of a remarkable society, and a thought-provoking revelation about the development of anthropology over the past half-century.