Afro- Surinamese of African Ancestry in Northeastern, South America.

Afro- Surinamese of African Ancestry in Northeastern, South America.

Afro- Surinamese are African Descendants in Suriname , South America and they were captured by Europeans especially the Dutch People from different parts of Africa such as Angola , Togo , Benin , Ivory Coast , Guinea , Nigeria, Ghana , Senegal , Sierra Leone , Gabon, Cameroon , Congo and other parts of Africa . Afro- Surinamese mostly came from ethnic groups such as Ewe , Ga Dangme , Asante , Fanti or Fante , Ahanta , Igbo , Fon , Dola , Tikar , Bamileke, Bini/Edo , Yoruba , Ambundu , Mandinka , Wolof and other ethnic groups in Africa , It is said most of the Africans brought to Suriname from Africa by the Dutch were captured mostly from West Africa and Central Africa
 The Surinamese Creoles or Black Community are mixed descendants of Enslaved Central and West Africans , the Surinamese Maroons , are said to be of West African Ancestry.

The Dutch were Involved in the Slave Trade and sold Africans from Africa to Suriname , It is believed Africans sought office space of their Plantations and space of they received was when the British in the treaty of Breda in 1667.
It is claimed land was given to them on the Northern and Southern coast of America , ceded to them in exchange for New York.

It is said Suriname became a Dutch Colony and a Slave Colony , rapidly they were Africans captured as Slaves from Africa to Suriname they were forced to labor on the Coffee and Sugar Plantations of the Dutch and Other Europeans.
Winti of Suriname has its roots from what is now Present day Benin and Present day Ghana , even though Winti was practiced in Suriname , It is combined with the Akom Spirituality of the Akans and Vodu Spirituality of the Ewe , Fon and Adja.
It is believed the gods of Winti asked some of the Enslaved Africans to help each other and flee from the Plantations . Saturday was considered as a Spiritual watchful night , Singing and dancing was held by the Enslaved Africans until late into the night as a sign of revolt and The Enslaved Africans in Suriname and French Guiana fled and joined in with the Indigenous People to create a Several Independent ethnic groups.

It is said among the Maroons ethnic groups such as Saramaka , Paramaccan which is part of the Maroon Bushinege , Ndyuka also known as Djuka or Aukan , Kwinti which is part of the Maroon Bushinegue, Aluku, Matawani and others are classified as the formed Maroon tribes or ethnic groups in Suriname . By the 1900s , Maroons of Suriname had begun to fight for their land rights to protect territory which they had long occupied .  
According to Kikiu’s account on Afro-Surinamese People , The Art of the Maroons . They are descendants of runaway Enslaved Africans . They have formed rainforest , Their arts Include stool for men , stool for women also known as Umabangi , Afro-Pick Comb , Wooden Paddle and Decorated houses . Among Afro- Surinamese Maroons , Their traditional wear consists of Pangi for the women and a loincloth for the men . Pangi Cloth is a cotton fabric with multi- colored vertical and horizontal stripes , similar to the Kente Cloth . 

It is said women also used the Pangi wrap to carry their baby or to sling , men use it as a shoulder cape for other purpose . In Suriname Pangi which is similar to Kente , this modern day is highly embroidered , sometimes it carries message with its symbols.
 There is a different names and meaning to some of the textiles used for the Koto , for Instance “ Trowlinga” ( wedding rings) used for the Koto when you get married and the Anisa also referred as Angisa is an Afro- Surinamese wrap folded in a special way , which is worn in combination with the Koto by Enslaved African Creoles in Suriname . During Pregnancy their wrap consists of a Koto , Jaki and Angisa . 
There are several ways of folding or wrapping the angisa and each result anisa model expresses a certain hidden message , some messages are related to social issues and other anisas are created just to be scandalous .  
In Afro- Surinamese Culture , Their household has a chair known as Djarsu Sturu meaning the jealous chair , this Djarusu is also used in Afro- Surinamese traditional ceremonies . According to a well known member of Valley Platform account.
The People of African descent in Suriname , can largely be split up into 2 groups , the maroons and creoles . The Maroons of Suriname are descendants of runaway enslaved Africans , who formed settlements in the Amazon rainforest , the Southern Interior of Suriname.
Kuku believed Maroons can also be split up into 6 large groups , because in the Interiors they formed different tribes , with each their own language . They have preserved their Culture very well the geography of the land had aided in this . They live relatively isolated , free from Influence from “ the world “ there’s so much more to tell about them actually . 
During Slavery , Afro- Surinamese attacked the Plantation Owners , Boni is one of them , It is believed a Boni fort known as Buku was situated in the middle of a swamp and had a secret entrance . The Dutch Military tried to locate the secret entrance , but it is said they failed to do so.

The Dutch government had no point but to sign a peace treaty with these Maroons , and accept their communities . To Commemorate this , on the 10th October it is said the day the treaty was signed is celebrated as a national holiday now in Suriname . Even It is said the day is kind of controversial holiday , however the agreement of the treaty would be capturing the ran away Enslaved Africans and send them back to the City according to a myth , these Maroons the creoles or black people from the Northern part of Suriname this day is celebrated due to the agreement 
It is believed Culturally and religiously the Afro- Surinamese have a lot in common with the Akan especially the Ahantas , Asantes , Fantis and Fon People their resemblance with similar stools .   
There is also a Suriname Kromanti People who have their roots in Present day Ashanti and Central Region of Ghana , It is believed this group of Suriname Kromanti are classified to be Spiritually connected with their Ancestral Kromanti Village in Africa .  
The Koto People which are part of the Afro- Surinamese usually wear their wraps on the national holidays or festivities and the anisa however you see more frequently it's kind of like those Church hats older African American women like to wear . According to Afropede’s account on Afro- Surinamese People , Suriname Creole People are considered as Afro- descendant of Suriname , Some are mixed with African , English and Dutch Ancestry , who unlike the Maroons remain in the Colonial English and Dutch Society . 

Most of them follow Roman Catholicism . They are the 2nd largest group in Suriname and mainly situated in Northern Suriname , they speak Dutch and Sranan Tongo Creole during the Colonial period , It is claimed Suriname had a shortage of white women and took Enslaved African women as their mates and Impregnated another producing offsprings . The City of Paramaribo in Suriname it is considered as one of the largest Capital City located on the north coast of South America .
 According to the History of Paramaribo , Paramaribo began in 1603 when the Dutch People had founded the City as trading post , The English People or British were the first to establish a permanent settlement in the area in 1630 . Paramaribo became the Capital of the Colony of the British in 1650 . It is believed the Dutch People re-claimed control of the Colony through the Treaty of Breda in 1667 and Paramaribo became the Capital of Dutch Guiana .

 Dutch had the opportunities to re-claimed Netherlands now , Present day New York which the British had seize in 1664 , but the Dutch Control in Guiana because of Its potential Sugar Production.

It is said both Dutch and the English settlers established a plantation economy along the coastal region of Suriname that was fueled by Enslaved Africans who labored and their main crops include Cocoa , Coffee , Cotton , and Sugarcane . 

In 1863 , It is believed Slavery was abolished in their former Dutch Slave Trades . In 1975 , Suriname became an Independent nation , Paramaribo was declared the Capital , due to the post - Independence , discovery of gold and oil and the rise in the price of bauxite , Paramaribo became a prosperous South American Capital City . 
 According to the Historical account of the Black history heroes’s account , The African Maroon Societies in the South America , Maroon communities in the so called New world were freed Africans, mostly freed Africans from West Africa , who ,managed to escape European enslavement . 
It is said African Maroon are historically known to have existed throughout the Americas from the Carolina Islands of the U.S. to the Florida Peninsula of the United States to the mountains of Jamaica into the Suriname ( Dutch Guiana) . Maroon Communities also existed in Brazil and Mexico . The Maroons were Enslaved Africans captured by Europeans ( Dutch ) Slave Traders for forced Plantation work in the new world . Through revolt , They developed Suriname as early as the 17th Century .  
The Africans of Suriname ethnic groups of Djuka and Saramaka .

There are African Maroon ethnic groups such as Ndyuka also spelled as Djuka , Ndyuka , the eastern Maroons Include Ndyuka , Aucaner , Awka , Aluku is the ethnic group which Boni belonged to Kwinti , Paramaccan and Matawai . The largest African Maroon tribes are the Djuka and Saramaka , It is said the Djuka live along the Interior rivers of Suriname , after a half Century of Guerilla warfare against Colonial and European troops , It is believed African Maroons signed treaties with the Dutch Colonial government in 1760 , enabling them to live Independently . Some Commentators stated that the Policy of autonomy has changed in the past few decades.
 The Djuka population Increased markedly during the 18th and 19th Centuries . Growing numbers in this modern day live in Paramaribo the Capitol of Suriname . According to Harold Jap a Joe’s account , It is believed the Afro- Surinamese Renaissance and the rise of Pentecostalism during the 1960s , after the long period of Suppression , a renaissance of Afro- Surinamese Culture started . Around that time , It is believed Pentecostalism was Introduced and condemned Winti Spirituality of the Afro- Surinamese.

The Afro- Surinamese Culture .

The Culinary Culture of Surinamese has been Indelibly shaped by the Cuisine of West Africa , It is claimed West Africans were brought to Brazil first then to Suriname by Dutch , Portuguese and Jewish Traders and settlers . The Present day Afro- Surinamese Population is primarily made up of Creoles and Maroons . The Peanut , Butter , Rice , Cinnamon as well as cornmeal and Plantains , Other root Vegetables were native to Suriname It is heavily used in Suriname and It reflects the cooking techniques of West Africa , Afro- Surinamese dishes Include Banana, Meal porridge with pork , cassava balls with bakkelijauwballetjets , her’her which is codfish as well as cornmeal cakes and plantain dumplings tom-tom, both of the traditional Surinamese dishes dates back to Slavery era that ended with abolition in 1863 .


Boni Afro- Surinamese Freedom Fighter and Warrior of Suriname .

Boni also referred as Bonni , Bonne or Bonney was born on 1730 in Present day Cottica a Village in the district of Sipaliwini , Suriname Others claimed Boni was born in Present day Paramaribo , Suriname . Boni was a Freedom Fighter and a Warrior in Suriname , his mother was an African native woman from the African Continent who was described as a mistress while his father was a Dutch , It is believed while his mother was Pregnant she went into the forest at Cottica . 
 Boni succeeded Asikan Sylvester as the leader of the group he was a member of the ethnic group formed by African Maroon out of 6 , he belong to an Afro- Surinamese tribe or ethnic group known as Aluku , he was know by other name known as Bokilifu Boni and was described as a former Mulatto or African Slave . Boni trained his People to fight against the Colonists , he gather Other Enslaved Africans Including men and women . 
Numerous attacks on the Dutch on the plantations in Eastern part of Suriname , especially in the area of the river . For the Planters , the marronage meant a significant capital , Boni and Other Warriors operated from a large fort with a four -foot wall in a marshy environment in the coastal area of Commewijne , Fort Boekoe with this name they wanted to Indicate that they would rather perish than surrender . 
The Fort was surrounded by a Swamp and equipped with guns and cannon . It is believed because of robbery and carried out from Boekoe , the money-grubbing punishment that followed , the fortress became a major source of concern for those Dutch in Power . Due to the location of the fort , amid treacherous swamps .
It was virtually untreaceable and inaccessible to Dutch Mercernaries . On several occasions , Colonel Louis Henri Fourgeaud from Geneva and It is said a Stoleman attacked this fort without sucess . 

Fellow members of Warrior Boni Include Baron and Joli- Coeur who are of African Ancestry . In the ranks of Fourgeod and a stoleman , John Gabriel Stedman also fought and shared his experiences . It is believed Stedman stated that among the small groups of four to five men , by moving and shooting the Dutch quickly , that gave the enemy that Impression of being a very large group . Such Insurgency allowed Boni to confuse the defeated enemies over and over again . In the end.

It is believed the Dutch had promised 300 Enslaved Africans which they failed to do so , the Dutch wanted them to declared a war against Boni and Baron which never happen It is a sign of tricks and mind games . The Enslaved Africans formed the Corp group known as Black Hunters , also called “ Redi Moesoes “ to the red hats they wore as part of their Uniform . After a Seven- Month Siege , In 1772 the secret path , which was just under water and gave access to the fort , was betrayed . While Captian Maryland did a feint , the Vrijgekotche Volunteers attacked the fort over the secret path . The Fort was destroyed , but Boni escaped to the east and pulled over the Marowijne , the border with French Guiana . 

It is claimed fort moved headquarters was moved to Fort Aloekoe . In 1777, Pierre- Victor Malouet had discussed the issue of Fort Aloekoe and the 200 Enslaved African Maroons who run away from the Dutch . According to Pierre- Victor Malouet , There were 3,000 Maroons , 150 were on their way and stopped in the woods . 

For 20 years , It is believed Boni continued his battle against the Dutch at the end It is said Boni assassinated Stoleman , Commander of the Redi Moesoes, Boni is usually metioned in a single breath with Baron and Joli- Coeur because John Gabriel Stedman statement on Suriname and linked the Inner parts of Guiana from 1799-1800 . 

The Boni Maroon Wars in Suriname , the area along the Lawa river , the border river between Suriname and French Guiana , is presently Inhabited by about 2,000 Maroons known as the Aluku and According to Wim .S.M. Hoogbergen account , They are descendants of the Enslaved African-Surinamese who escaped from the Plantations during the period of Slavery. 

After protracted fighting on the Surinamese territory , they finally fled to French Guiana . Askian Sylvester was one of the Maroon leaders and the predecessor of Boni . In 1712, there was Confusion in Suriname on Plantations by the arrival of the French Plunderer Jacques Cassard

 He formed a group with a strong structure and was able to stay with them from the hands of bounty hunters . Asikan was in charge of the group for over 50 years . In 1765 he transferred it to Boni , It is said against the background of raids from the sea and from the Boni’s various defense were created in the district of Commewijne . Originally , In 1686 Fort Sommelsdijk , named after the first Dutch Governor , was located at the point where the rivers Commewijne and Cottica merge.

 The aim was to secure the hinterlands against raids . It had became redudant after the completion in 1747 of Fort Nieuw-Amsterdamat the mouth of the Commewjine Later, the Cordon path followed specifically against the Boni , which went on to Jodensavane. During the Boni Wars , several times , Colonel Louis Henri Four Geoud from Geneva and later Stoleman attacked this fort , without sucess. In ranks of Fourgeod and Stoelman John Gabriel Stedman also fought , who recorded his experiences with drawings that appealed to the Imagination.
 Stedman describes , among Other things , how small groups of four or five men , by moving and shooting fast , Boni continued his struggle against the rulers for another 20 years . Finally , Boni was killed , his death was surrounded by various legends. 
His protection on his Surinamese Tapu would have been broken by a woman , after his death of Boni was lost in a so called river some myths it is believed the head of jumped itself which is known as Boni doro Sula on the river the Boni doro Sula river . Aluku also known as the bush negroes , the Maroons maintain a strong African tradition and used to record songs at the night in the virtually dark house.

The Koto Dansi is an Afro- Surinamese Culture related to special occasion where the main focus is on the Koto a traditional Afro- Surinamese dress, the Koto is worn by the Kromanti or Kotomisi Afro- Surinamese woman , Koto Dansi is organized to celebrate Special Occasion such as Bigi Yari a special birthday , weddings and other Special gatherings . The main exports consist of Crude Oil , Rice , Alumina, Fish , Lumber and Shrimp . It is believed The Boni wars has been heard in various head in various place , such as the Bonistraat and travel organization Boni Tours . There is also a Suripop song devoted to him.

 In 2015, the Initiative in through the rediscovery of Fort Boekoe . This is a Central role for the Village of Pikin Santi . The Feydrasi Fu Afrikan Sranaman Association of Afro- Surinamese organized an annual Puwema Neti Poetry evening on Boni’s memorial day and the Idea of creating a Statue .  

Afro- Surinamese Inventor Jan Ernst Matzeliger .

 Jan Ernst Matzeliger was an Inventor of African Ancestry from Suriname born in 1852 , he was known for Shoe Lasting machine , patenting the Shoe lasting machine , which made footwear more affordable.
 Others believed Jan Ernst Matzeliger was born on the 15th September , 1852 in what is now Present day Paramaribo , Suriname , his father was considered as a Dutch man from Netherlands and his mother from Suriname and had her roots in Africa , He began working in machine shops around age 10 , At 19 he left Suriname to see the world as a Sailor on an Eastern Indian Ship , Jan Ernst Matzeliger settled in Philadelphia.
 After settling in the United States of America , Jan Matzeliger worked for several years to learn English . As an African descent , his professional options were limited , and he struggled to make a living in Philadelphia . In 1877 , Matzeliger moved to Lynn, Massachusetts to seek work in the town’s rapidly growing shoe Industry . Jan found a position as an apprentice in a Shoe factory , Matzeliger received patent number 274,207 for his machine.
 The Mechanism held a shoe on a last , pulled the leather down around the heel set and drove the nails , and then discharged the completed Shoe . It had the capacity to produce 700 pairs of Shoe a day more than 10 times the amount typically produced by human hands . Matzeliger’s lasting machine was Immediate sucess . 
In 1889, the consolidated lasting machine company was formed to manufacture the devices , Matzeliger Increased Shoe production tremendously . The result was the employment of more unskilled workers and the proliferation of low cost , high-qualify footwear for people around the world . Matzeliger was able to enjoy his sucess for only a short time , It is believed he contracted tuberculosis In 1886 and he died on 24th August at age 37 in Lynn . In 1991 It is said there was a postage stamp Black Heritage in his honor .
Anton De Kom an Afro- Surinamese Freedom Fighter .

Anton De Kom was described as a Conscious man , he was also known as Adek , In 1930s Anton De Kom was also Involved in successfully organizing strikes among the laborers in Suriname which Include East Indians, Javanese , Maroons and Former Enslaved Africans , all who were being exploited and were mistreated by the Dutch Colonials . Anton De Kom is considered as a hero , some workers even defeated him against the Colonial Police with their own lives.
It is said one time Anton De Kom was arrested by the Colonial Police , a large group of Laborers , which consisted of Eastern Indians , Javanese , Creoles , stormed the Police quarters intending to get him out , and would any hesitantly after Anton De Kom admonished them to let peace prevail.

Anton De Kom was eventually sentenced for Anti- Colonial activities and was banished to Netherlands . In spite of this It is said he joined the Dutch Underground resistance against the Germans during WWII , but was betrayed by a Dutch Citizen . Anton De Kom was arrested by Germans and eventually died in a Nazi Concentration Camp during WWII.

The Afro- Surinamese Festival Obiaman Dey Festival .
Obiaman Dey which is also known as Obeah man’s day is celebrated by the Afro- Surinamese , Obia or Obeah is a term used to refer to religious practice derived from West Africa and the Obiaman dey is combined with Akan Including Asante , Fanti and some of the Fon practices . 
In Suriname specifically , It is believed Afro- Surinamese have Origins among the Akan Including Fanti , Asante and Ahanta , Ga Dangme Edo , , Yoruba , Adja , Ambundu , Tikar , Bamileke , Mende , Temne , Ewe and other tribes mostly they have ancestry in Angola , Ivory Coast , Benin , Ghana , Nigeria, Senegal , Sierra leone and Togo which It is believed it Influenced their Culture in Suriname .

The Ala Kondre Traditional Dance .
The Ala Kondre dance also known as Naks Wan Rutu Ala Kondre has similarities with the Legba or Leba , Elegua , Obatala and Akom Spiritual systems and Opete dance the Vulture dance and Fodu which is a Snake or Python dance .

The Afro- Surinamese Winti Spirituality .
The Winti Spirituality is combined with the Akom Spirituality of the Akan and Vodu by the Fon , Ewe and Adja Spirituality , In Winti God is known as Anana Kedyaman , Mother Earth or godess is known as Maame or Mama Aisa , other deities Include Papa Winti which is Papa Legba , Opete in Twi language spoken in Ghana , Opete is a Vulture in Twi , among them Opete is said to be one of their deity who is a Chief of the air.
It is said by an Afro- Surinamese known as Grani that Anana Kedyaman is rather Twediapong which was used by the Akan People sold into Slavery especially the Asantes and Fantes , Djo which is said to be of the Ewe and Fon and the Kra which is Soul in Twi.
 Boukman or Bonuman is said to be the Traditional Priest , Bonuman provide his or her service to the People there is a purification of the Kra which is the Soul and Kabra is the ancestral spirits which have been reincarnated and they traced their lineage to the Patrilineal line for the Boukmans or Bonumans . Winti is similar to Akom and Vodu and the deities and Abosom also Tapu Kromanti Winti is a group of Sky Warriors or Asafo who got their names from unknown place known as Kromanti , Central Region of Ghana. 
There is a village known as Gunsi which is Inhabited by the Saamaka tribe also known as Saramacca People , one of the Maroon ethnic groups in Suriname , It is said they are descendants of Africans who were captured and escaped who resumed a Traditional African way of Life of their African Ancestors.
Source: Selikem Okatakyie Wiredu 
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