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Travels with Tooy: History, Memory, and the African American Imagination
     

Travels with Tooy: History, Memory, and the African American Imagination

by Richard Price
 

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Thirty-five years into his research among the descendants of rebel slaves living in the South American rain forest, anthropologist Richard Price encountered Tooy, a priest, philosopher, and healer living in a rough shantytown on the outskirts of Cayenne, French Guiana. Tooy is a time traveler who crosses boundaries between centuries, continents, the worlds of the

Overview

Thirty-five years into his research among the descendants of rebel slaves living in the South American rain forest, anthropologist Richard Price encountered Tooy, a priest, philosopher, and healer living in a rough shantytown on the outskirts of Cayenne, French Guiana. Tooy is a time traveler who crosses boundaries between centuries, continents, the worlds of the living and the dead, and the visible and invisible. With an innovative blend of storytelling and scholarship, Travels with Tooy recounts the mutually enlightening and mind-expanding journeys of these two intellectuals.

Included on the itinerary for this hallucinatory expedition: forays into the eighteenth century to talk with slaves newly arrived from Africa; leaps into the midst of battles against colonial armies; close encounters with double agents and femme fatale forest spirits; and trips underwater to speak to the comely sea gods who control the world’s money supply. This enchanting book draws on Price’s long-term ethnographic and archival research, but above all on Tooy’s teachings, songs, stories, and secret languages to explore how Africans in the Americas have created marvelous new worlds of the imagination.

Editorial Reviews

Choice
"Anthropologists wait a lifetime for an informant like Tooy who possesses much knowledge and is willing to share it. This work constitutes Price's most complete synthesis of Saramaka worldview to date, and serves as an enduring testament to over 30 years of painstaking, diligent, and innovative research. . . . This is a great book! Persistent readers will be amply rewarded."
Bookslut
It's not the bony skeleton of an anthropology-of-religion text I seek, but the well-muscled and all-enveloping immersion of an ethnography. One of the best is Richard Price's Travels with Tooy. . . . The book glows with knowledge.

— Barbara J. King

George Lamming
“Richard Price has had a long and torrential romance with the Saramaka Maroons of Suriname, exploring them and himself through a harvest of mythologies that dissolve all boundaries of time and geographical location. With Tooy as guide and mentor, across three centuries of African exile and resettlement in the Americas, we revisit the recent or forgotten spaces of Price’s near forty years of patient, scholarly research. It is an astonishing performance, rendering these treasures of anthropological materials in a narrative style as lucid and cordial as the best contemporary fiction.”

Stephan Palmie
“A tour de force—a tightly argued, incisive contribution to the newly rekindled debate about the role of Africa in the history and social imaginary of African American societies. A major achievement.”
John Collins
“True ethnographic magic. Beautifully written and theoretically sophisticated, it is a model of politically engaged historical ethnography and sustained transcultural dialogue.”
Victor Turner Prize
2008 Victor Turner Prize, Society for Humanistic Anthropology
Bookslut - Barbara J. King
"It's not the bony skeleton of an anthropology-of-religion text I seek, but the well-muscled and all-enveloping immersion of an ethnography. One of the best is Richard Price's Travels with Tooy. . . . The book glows with knowledge."
Geertz Prize
Winner of the 2009 Clifford Geertz Prize in the Anthropology of Religion

 

Lewis Award
Winner of the 2009 Gordon K. and Sybil Lewis Memorial Award for Caribbean Scholarship
Studies in Ethnicity and Nationalism
"Yet again we benefit from Richard Price's patient and passionate commitment to the Maroons in general and the Saramak tribe in particular. Price's anthropological imaginaire and his extraordinary eloquence have woven the field notes and transcripts from differing geographic and temporal contexts into an absorbing travelogue."

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780226680576
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
Publication date:
02/15/2010
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
448
File size:
4 MB

Meet the Author

Richard Price is the Duane A. and Virginia S. Dittman Professor of American Studies, Anthropology, and History at the College of William and Mary. He is the author or coauthor of more than twenty books, including the award-winning Alabi’s World.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
New York, New York
Date of Birth:
October 12, 1949
Place of Birth:
Bronx, New York
Education:
B.A., Cornell University, 1971; M.F.A., Columbia University

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