William Derman
Serfs, Peasants, and Socialists:
A former Serf Village in the Republic of Guinea

University of California Press. 1968. 280 p.


To the government of the Republic of Guinea I owe a great deal for accepting me as a representative of the discipline of anthropology and thereby allowing my wife and I to live and study in their country. Anthropologists have not always deserved this trust, which assumes that the only purpose of ethnographic study is to contribute to mankind's knowledge as a whole and not to serve short-term national political interests. In particular I wish to thank Mr. Bounama Sy and Mr. Ray Autra, who served as direcrors of the National Institute of Research and Documentation of the Republic of Guinea during the time of this study, for their help in setting up and facilitating my work. I hope that my materiaI will be of some use to the National Institute's historical and cultural studies of the people of Guinea. A special word of appreciation is also due Mrs. Fanny Lalande-Isnard, then librarian of the institute who went out of her way to see that a raw scholar learned the complexities of working in the Fouta-Djallon, and made available the resources of the Iibrary.
Utimately, it is the vilIagers of Hollaande, who permitted my wife and me to live with them, who patiently tolerated our ignorance, and who shared their knowledge, experiences and feeling with us, to whom we owe the most. The friendship they gave us will never be forgotten even if the means of keeping that friendship fades with time.
To Alpha Oumar DiaIlo and Mamadu BailIo Diallo - friends, interpreters and assistants - I cannot find words to express adequately what they gave in terms of insight, patience, and constant comradeship.
Reverend and Mrs. Harry Watkins, missionaries formerly at Labe, greatly assisted our understanding and learning of Fulfulde by making available their outstanding unpublished work on the language of the Fulbhe. They gave generously of their time and hospitality. Their aid will be long and warmly remembered.
For the many favors done and hospitality offered by Mr. and Mrs. Walter Girdner, Naomi ChamberIain, Karen Doering and Henry Norman go many thanks. To Walter, particularIy, much appreciation is due for his interest in my work and the considerable pains he took to help make it successfuI. Special thanks aIso go to Larry Busch and Bill Reiss for their invaluable support during inevitable times of discouragement.
To my teachers at the University of Michigan, and especiaIIy Marshall Sahlins, Elman Service and Eric Wolf, I owe the debt of a student. To Dr. Iwao Ishino I express thanks for helping me see the manuscript through to completion. Professor Jean Suret-Canale was kind enough to critically read the manuscript and made several helpful comments and corrections. Albertha Brown and Jane O'Neill set aside much time from other work and did an excellent job of typing the manuscript.
This book is a joint effort. Louise and I shared the experience of living and working in Guinea. Together we workod out many problems. Louise gathered information about the Fulbhe economy, and the Fulbhe women and chiIdren. Also she edited one version of the manuscript, thus contributing throughout to the study and this book. Therefore, acknowledgment needs to be greater than a dedication.
The study was made possible by a fellowship and research grant from the National Institute of Mental Health and by a dissertation grant from the National Science Foundation.
I ask forgiveness of my Guinean friends and colIeagues for my mistakes and errors of interpretation. The responsibility is mine and mine aIone. I regard this study as a beginning step toward exploring the rich and significant life of the Fouta-Djallon and the Republic of Guinea.


Facebook logo Twitter logo LinkedIn Logo