4 little-known countries where Africans escaped slavery and created Maroon communities

Deidre Gantt Aug 31, 2019 at 03:00pm

August 31, 2019 at 03:00 pm | Opinions & Features

Deidre Gantt

Deidre Gantt | Contributor

August 31, 2019 at 03:00 pm | Opinions & Features

Maroon men in Suriname

Suriname

The Maroons of Suriname are one of the few communities that have survived with their Maroon identity intact to this day. There are six distinct groups of Maroons in this South American country: the Ndyuka, Saramaka, Paramaka, Matawai, Kwinti, and Aluku. Some of these Maroons also live in the neighbouring nation of French Guiana. Together, they make up more than 100,000 people who have retained many of their ancestors’ cultural practices including spirituality, food, language and marriage habits.

The Surinamese Maroons survived brutal and lengthy attempts to either bring them into bondage or wipe them out completely, but managed to win peace treaties with the Dutch colonizers in the late 1700s. In the past few decades, the Surinamese government seems to have renewed those old efforts to reclaim the rainforest areas that have been possessed and self-ruled by the Maroons for hundreds of years.

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