Society for the Anthropology of Religion
Oral Presentation Session
This paper is an attempt to think through the politics of mourning beyond intimacy. If morning has been considered primarily about the affective intensities of sociality and care, this paper considers the wider consequences of coming to terms with death beyond immediate human social relations and the forms of responsibility they provoke. Examining the ways in which Ndyuka Maroons in Suriname deal with the moral implications of killing animals and harming trees alongside how Ndyukas mourn dead kin, I describe how Ndyuka politics emerges from the ethical complexities of confronting responsibility for death. This politics exposes both the expanded ways in which Ndyukas feel they are forced to grieve their relations with non-humans and the limits to this acknowledgement. In doing so, this paper points to the broader ways in which grief creates ideas about what the environment is, but also how responsibility and mourning are often separated to restrict grief to only a narrow range of social relations.