Di ki manera? focuses on the dynamics of Afro-Curaçaoan social life from 1863 until 1917, with special emphasis on the close relationship between culture and power in daily life. This study explores the ways the formerly enslaved Curaçaoans contested the asymmetric power relations dominated by the colonial state, the former slave-owners and the Roman Catholic Church. In the face of continuing racial, social and economic inequality, Afro-Curaçaoans carved out their own social practices, political and spiritual beliefs. The use of oral history has been central in this study, enabling the author to present and analyze long forgotten or hidden information about the Afro-Curaçaoan communicty. The speakers expose, in their own words, the diversity and complexity of their social reality. The combination of various types of written and oral data, coupled to extensive literature research, has enabled the author to attain a better understanding of cultural dynamics among the Afro-Curaçaoan population.
Rose Mary Allen (1950) is a Curaçaoan cultural anthropologist with a long-standing research experience in several islands of the Netherlands Antilles, in particular among the descendants of enslaved Africans. The present study is her doctoral dissertation, defended at Utrecht University.