Suriname was a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands between 1954 and 1975.
Whereas the Dutch government initially tried to keep the former colonial possessions under Dutch sovereignty with far-reaching autonomy, this attitude changed in the 1960s, especially after the Netherlands New Guinea crisis of 1962, and the riots in Curaçao in 1969.
Consensus in Dutch parliament became that the costs of colonies in the Caribbean, had to get fully carried by the colonies and subjects themselves, thus the territories were to get independent governments as soon as possible. The Dutch Labour Party added to the economic reasonings an ideological political argument: it could pretend to deem all remnants of colonialism wrong and a thing of the past. Continue reading
Den De Nen
(Deng Dey Neng)
English – Nederlands – Sranantongo – Names (male and female)
Sunday – Zondag – Sonde – Kwasi and Kwasiba
Monday – Maandag – Munde/Moende – Kodjo and Adjuba/Adjoeba/A
Tuesday – Dinsdag – Tudey wroko – Kwamina Abeni ( ba )
Wednesday – Woensdag – Driedey wroko or Mindri wiki – Kwaku/Kwakoe and Akuba/Akoeba Continue reading
The Ndjuká syllabary was invented by Afaka Atumisi of eastern Suriname in 1910. Afaka claimed that he had a dream in which a spirit prophesied that a script would be revealed to him. He went on to invented the Ndjuká or Djuka script, which is also known as the Afaka script (afaka sikifi). Continue reading
The Ndyuka Treaty Of 1760: A Conversation with Granman Gazon
By Martin Misiedjan, December 2001
For Maroons in Suriname, treaties are hard-won symbols of freedom consecrated by the blood and power of our most powerful ancestors — blood that guaranteed our existence as free peoples with autonomous territories and institutions. The treaties were and still are — at least from the Maroon perspective — the basis for defining our relationship with the Surinamese state.
During the course of a land rights education project conducted by myself and another Maroon lawyer with Tapanahony River Ndyuka communities, I had the honor of speaking with Granman Gazon Matodja, paramount leader of the Ndyuka people, about his understandings of the treaty concluded by the Ndyuka and the Dutch in 1760. This conversation, transcribed in part below, took place at Diitabiki, the residence of the Granman, on November 5, 1998. Continue reading
Suriname and the Maroons
From Milwaukee Public Museum, 2008 (edited)
Suriname, a [former] Dutch colony, has been ‘independent’ since 1975. This country, located on the northeast coast of South America (above Brazil), has cultural attributes more in common with Caribbean countries. Suriname has maintained a great diversity of ethnic groups, each with their own strong and longstanding forms of cultural expression. Though Dutch is still the official national language, over 20 other languages are spoken and recognized by the Surinamese government.
Roughly 20 percent of Suriname’s population is Maroon, a term denoting descendants of African enslaved who freed themselves from slavery bondage from Dutch plantations during the late-seventeenth and early-eighteenth centuries. Maroon culture is strongly rooted in African cultural traditions, with some Amerindian influences. Maroon groups are widely dispersed across Suriname and extend into neighboring French Guiana. The largest ethnic group, the Ndyuka, are centralized around Marowijne River, which forms the border between French Guiana and Suriname. Continue reading
The Saramaka Peace Treaty in Sranan: An edition of the 1762 text
Jacques Arends, Margot van den Berg, Universiteit van Amsterdam (edited)
The text presented here is the Sranan version of the Saramaka Peace Treaty, which was signed on September 19, 1762, at the junction of Sara Creek and the Suriname River, between the Saramaka Maroons on the one hand and the Dutch colonial government on the other. While the Dutch text of the treaty has been accessible ever since it was published in Hartsinck (1770:802-9), the Sranan text as it was actually read to the Saramaka – most of whom did not know Dutch – at the time of the negotiations remained unknown until it was published recently by Hoogbergen and Polimé (2000).
Unfortunately, their edition is marred by a large number of errors, concerning both transcription and interpretation. Therefore, we decided to prepare a new transcription, based, of course, on the same original manuscript text. […] Our transcription of the Sranan text is accompanied by a translation into English, which – keeping in mind that the text is primarily of interest to creolists – has been kept as literal as possible, so as to enable readers who do not know Sranan to reconstruct the structure of the Sranan text from the translation. Continue reading