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« Vannerie et vanniers »
Approche ethnologique d'une activité artisanale en Guyane française

Abstract : Basketry as a traditional handicraft is a very important activity in French Guyana. Among Amerindian groups, it is the masculine handicraft par excellence, whilst among Creole groups the activity is less clearly linked to gender. Through this study of the different woven forms, theirs uses and the myths and rituals associated with this form of material culture, I offer a comparative analysis of the role of basketry in different Amerindians communities (Arawak-Lokono, Kali'na, Palikur, Teko, Wayana, Wayãpi) and, secondarily, among Creole and Aluku communities. If Guyanese basketry is an activity common to all the groups of the Guiana shield, the forms adopted by each group reflect the complex processes of identity demarcation among the different communities of this region.
Contemporary basketry practices make use of all the parts of an incredible diversity of plants (over 117 botanical species), aroumans (Ischnosiphon spp.) being the emblematic genera. The dissertation reveals that basket makers detain botanical, ecological and technical knowledge of great finesse. This activity has long been limited to the manufacture of production tools, mainly those used to turned bitter cassava into food. Today, with the incursion of money and moderns goods, the practices of basketry are changing as some traditionally woven tools are being replaced by manufactured products. Techniques and some motives are being forgotten, and marketing takes an unprecedented scale. I outline how this transition is taking place in the various Guyanese communities studied, particularly with regard to technical, cultural and botanical knowledge. I explore the various factors surrounding the transmission of these knowledges in a context where the activity is becoming increasingly commercialised.
In sum, the thesis presents an ethnobotanical, socio-economic and ethnographic analysis of the evolution of basketry and of its place in Guyanese communities as they increasingly come to interact with the contemporary world.
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Contributor : Damien Davy <>
Submitted on : Sunday, December 16, 2007 - 1:27:38 PM
Last modification on : Friday, October 23, 2020 - 4:45:24 PM
Long-term archiving on: : Monday, April 12, 2010 - 8:05:24 AM


  • HAL Id : tel-00198078, version 1



Damien Davy. « Vannerie et vanniers »
Approche ethnologique d'une activité artisanale en Guyane française. Anthropologie sociale et ethnologie. Université d'Orléans, 2007. Français. ⟨tel-00198078⟩



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