ABSTRACT

This article argues that the idea of political neutrality did not work in the mission of the eighteenth-century Maroons in Surinam. The author outlines the extent to which the missionaries acted politically, made political decisions, used political quarrels for their own interests, and, for the main part, were used for the political interests of the different groups in Surinam. Colonial politics in Surinam were shaped by many different agents and networks: by the Dutch Society of Surinam and the colonial government, but also by indigenous tribes, Saramaccans, slaves, planters, merchants, officials, soldiers, and missionaries. Every daily practice could be read as a political act, as a representation of rebellion or imperialism. Under such circumstances, the idea of neutrality had to fail.

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