Suriname observes Maroons Day as a public holiday on October 10. This festival celebrates the heritage and contributions of the Maroon people to Suriname. This day is predominantly observed in residential areas of Paramaribo, including the Palmentuin, where descendants of the Maroons—the ‘Loweman’—adorn themselves in vibrant ‘pangi’ to partake in the national celebration of Suriname alongside the general populace. Maroons Day often proclaimed the ideal that “unity in strength is strength.” The new objective of the organizational committee (the Foundation ‘October 10, 1760’) prompted the selection of this subject. The objective of the foundation is to promote collaboration among the six Maroon countries of Suriname.
The background of Maroons Day
Maroons, whose ancestry is contested, were Africans and their progeny who established abolitionist colonies in the Americas. While some had escaped from plantations, others had been born into these communities free. In addition to the Americas, Maroon communities emerged in other colonized regions of the globe, including Madagascar. This is the etymology of the English word’maroon,’ which signifies deliberate abandonment on an uninhabited island or coastline—a circumstance that resembled that of the majority of the initial Maroons.
The Dutch seized Suriname in 1667. The Dutch subsequently established more than two hundred estates producing sugar, coffee, cocoa, and cotton, the majority of which were transferred back to Holland. Suriname was enslaved more than 13,000 Africans for labor on the plantations. Slaves who fled to the bush after escaping from plantations comprised the indigenous Maroon population. Living in a barren, hostile South American jungle was preferable to the deplorable conditions that the majority of slaves endured on the plantations. Proliferating and referred to as “Bushinengues,” which translates to “people of the forest,” the Maroons would conduct raids on estates in search of provisions and to free female captives.
On October 10, 1760, the Maroons and the Dutch colonial authority entered into a peace agreement whereby they were acknowledged as sovereign individuals and remunerated with an annual tribute consisting of the looted goods from the plantations. Maron people comprise approximately 20% of Suriname’s population at present. Suriname’s national holidays reflect the country’s renown for diversity; thus, it is only fitting that the Maroons have their own day of observance, which was established in 2011 to coincide with the anniversary of the momentous peace accord of 1760.
A Day of Maroons Activities
Take part in the motorcade.
Celebrations were held in Santigron, a multi-tribal community located around one hour’s journey south of Paramaribo. Attend the ‘Prodo Waka’ (Flamboyance Parade), during which a woman adorns herself with a copper container brimming with maroon rags.
Join the dance party with everyone!
The ambiance of the celebrations was established by traditional Maroon music and dancing, which were accompanied by remarks and libations. Attend the semi-formal parade that traverses the city streets, where individuals representing every Maroon nation perform their cultural and historical heritage through dancing, percussion, and music.
Visit the nearby craft market.
The purpose of establishing a craft fair was to exhibit the labor of women. This forum was established by the women’s group Mafondo with the intention of promoting commerce among Maroon women.
5 facts concerning the name Surinname
Suriname, according to the 2012 census, is the smallest country in South America in terms of both area and population, with a mere 63,250 square miles of land area and 541,638 inhabitants.
In 2002, the capital city of Suriname, Paramaribo, was officially recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.
Religious diversity coexists in harmony throughout the nation; religious tolerance is just one of the numerous illustrations that Suriname imparts to the global community.
Numerous ethnic groups reside in Suriname, including East Indians, Maroons, Creoles, Javanese, Amerindians, Chinese, and Whites.
Dutch is the native dialect of approximately 60% of the Surinamese population; the remaining individuals speak it as a secondary language.
MAROONS DAY DATES