Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology

2014 Edition
| Editors: Claire Smith

French Guiana: Archaeology and Indigenous Peoples

  • Gérald MigeonEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-0465-2_193


French Guiana, a department of France covering 84,000 km2, was inhabited by approximately 50,000–100,000 Amerindians before the European Conquest. In the late seventeenth and early nineteenth centuries, the Amerindian population was reduced to less than a thousand throughout the territory (as a result of illness, wars, and, at times, escape).

At the end of the nineteenth century, during several World’s Fairs, the Kali’nas were displayed in human zoos. In 1930, the territory of Inini was created, to “protect Indians from civilization.” Between 1946 and 1969 (which marks the end of the status as a territory for the Inini), some geographers (Hurault, Frenay) and ethnologists (Grenand, Pierre, and Françoise) mingled with the people from “the Hinterland.” In 1970, a prefectorial decree limited access to the south of French Guiana, still in order to protect the “primitive and traditional populations who live in the forest.” Young Amerindians, however, were sent to religious...

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  1. Canadian Archaeology Association. n.d. Statement of principles for ethical conduct pertaining to Aboriginal peoples. Available at: canadianarchaeology.com/caa/statement-principles-ethical-conduct-pertaining-aboriginal-peoples.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.SRA Guyane (Ministère de la Culture)CayenneFrance