Music from Aluku: Maroon Sounds of Struggle, Solace, and Survival
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The Aluku (also known as the Boni) are survivors. Roughly 8,000 strong, the Aluku are an African American Maroon people whose territory lies on the borderlands of French Guiana and Suriname, in a part of the Amazon basin that extends to the northeastern
coast of South America and belongs culturally as much to the Caribbean as to Amazonia. Born out of resistance to slavery some three centuries ago, the Aluku have endured to the present in the face of formidable odds. Today, their survival is threatened once again, as they cope with the assimilationist policies of the French state (of which most Aluku are now citizens), as well as ever-escalating incursions into their territory by multinational corporations and independent gold miners. The fate of their Amazonian rain forest environment—not to mention their cultural and political autonomy—hangs precariously in the balance.