Green would spend the next two years in Suriname with his family, documenting the Matawai dialect of the Saramaccan language and Matawai kinship structures. (Green’s dissertation, completed in 1974, was entitled “The Matawai Maroons: An Acculturating Afro-American Society.”)
In December 1971, Green wrote, “We flew to Jacobkondre because we were afraid the boat trip would be dangerous for the baby…Gaddan [Jarien Gaddan, a member of Parliament] and the village (missionary) schoolteachers were quite interested in us. We were given a house by the airstrip, the upstairs of which is used for radioing Paramaribo. Then Gaddan and the plane left. A number of children came over to look at Timmy and our big dog, and soon they were all playing.” Perhaps no notebook entry is so dramatic as the opening salvo, but the diaries nevertheless capture the intimate and messy process of ethnographic field work – including the loss of traveler’s checks and their miraculous recovery!
Kate Madison, Processing Archivist
National Anthropological Archives