Gracialany Omouth (Quality Policy department) is the model for photographer Dorothy Joedah (Inflight Services department). These two SLM employees wish you a nice Day of Maroons on behalf of Surinam Airways! / Background photo: IMoesan Multimedia
The peace treaty with the N’dyuka-maroons in the interior of Suriname, was signed on this day, 10 October, in 1760. After years of waging war unsuccessfully, the Dutch colonizers decided that it would be to their advantage to sign a peace treaty instead of continuing the fight. The N’dyuka, also known as the Aucaners, were those who had escaped from slavery and united themselves in the interior, to subsequently attack the plantations for supplies and to free fellow sufferers.
This picture is a portrayal of the photographer’s vision on the Day of the Maroons in the 21st century. The group of Surinamese women reflects the integration that has taken place since colonial times. The objects that they are holding are all connected to the Maroon culture, even the rice that the woman in the middle carries on her head is heygron aleysi, rice from the interior which is grown on higher ground. The location was also a conscious choice, because it is the spot where the ancestors who were turned into slaves, came ashore in Suriname. / PHOTO Max Lante
In contrast to the abolition of slavery that came about more than a century later at the instigation of the Netherlands, there was an actual battle fought to come to the signing of the peace treaty of October 10th, 1760. This day is celebrated mostly in the villages in the interior and in Paramaribo in places such as the Palmentuin, by the descendants of the Maroons – the Loweman – who are dressed in colorful pangi’s to celebrate freedom together with everyone else in Suriname.
This sculpture by Marcel Pinas stands on the square called ‘Plein 10 oktober 1760’, located on the corner of the Johan Adolf Pengelstraat and the Henck Arronstraat. The artist was commissioned to design this monument by Stichting Pina Bosu and Stichting Sabana Piti. It is a so-called ‘boto ede’, the front tip of a boat that points up towards heaven and which symbolizes the freedom of the Maroons. / PHOTO Max Lante
Text: Euritha Tjan A Way, previously published in Sabaku 60, Aug-Sep-Oct 2019
Translation: Cassandra Gummels-Relyveld
Photos: IMoesan Multimedia, Dorothy Joedah & Max Lante