Abeng Central

News and background stories on maroon communities in the Americas.

Abeng Central is closing

Dear reader, After four years of reporting news stories on Maroon communities in the Americas, Abeng Central is shutting down. This is the final post. I hope you have enjoyed … Continue reading

June 30, 2013 · 4 Comments

Maroon writers collaborate on poetry publication

Source: dWT Online Maroon writers in Suriname have collaborated in the publication of a poetry book that marks a new approach in the promotion and preservation of their culture. Aptly … Continue reading

January 10, 2013 · Leave a comment

Accompong festival organisers say non-traditional vendors not welcomed

Source: Jamaica Star As Jamaica prepares for its 275th celebration of the Accompong Festival on Sunday January 6th, organizers of the event in St Elisabeth have raised the ‘not welcomed’ … Continue reading

January 5, 2013 · Leave a comment

Praise for Accompong book ‘My Father Said’

Colonel Ferron Williams of the Accompong Maroons and professor Verene Shepherd of the University of the West Indies have both lauded the book ‘My Father Said’, written by Deputy Colonel … Continue reading

December 18, 2012 · Leave a comment

Richard Price’s ‘Rainforest Warriors’ earns prestigious book awards

Richard Price’s book Rainforest Warriors, which chronicles the successful legal battles of the Saramaka Maroons in Suriname to protecting their way of life, has recently been awarded two prestigious awards. … Continue reading

November 23, 2012 · Leave a comment

Maroon Day 2012 filled with activities in Suriname

Suriname last Wednesday once again enjoyed many activities related to the annual celebration of Maroon Day. From the principal festivities location at the village of Berlijn, to the capital town … Continue reading

October 12, 2012 · Leave a comment

Klaaskreek School in Suriname closed over church dispute

Around 200 school children in the Christianized Maroon village of Klaaskreek in Suriname are unable to attend classes because of a dispute between members of two churches. One group accuses … Continue reading

October 3, 2012 · Leave a comment

Saamaka Akademiya to preserve cultural and linguistic heritage

Saamaka Maroons in Suriname have recently founded the Saamaka Akademiya. This nonprofit organization aims to preserve, promote and maintain aspects of the Saamaka culture – the Saamaka language in particular. … Continue reading

October 1, 2012 · Leave a comment

Call for papers: the 5th Charles Town International Maroon Conference

The Fifth Charles Town International Maroon Conference is scheduled to take place in Portland, Jamaica, from 20 to 23 June, 2013. The theme for this year’s conference is “Maroon Lands, … Continue reading

September 3, 2012 · 2 Comments

Five lucky winners take home Dread & Alive poster and friendship bracelet

Dread & Alive and Abeng Central are happy to announce that their GiveAway was a great success. Over the past five weeks scores of fans of the Dread & Alive … Continue reading

August 7, 2012 · Leave a comment

Caribbean Maroons hope tourism can save culture

Source: David McFadden, Associated Press Charles Town, Jamaica (AP) – In a backwoods town along a river cutting between green mountains, quick-footed men and women spin and stomp to the … Continue reading

July 9, 2012 · 2 Comments

Dread & Alive and Abeng Central team up for exclusive giveaway

Dread & Alive creator Nicholas Da Silva and Abeng Central have teamed up for an exclusive giveaway campaign that honors the many devotees of the Dread & Alive saga. Between … Continue reading

July 4, 2012 · Leave a comment

Interview with Nicholas Da Silva, creator of Maroon fiction series Dread & Alive

Nicholas Da Silva is a graphic designer best known around the world for his creation of the Dread & Alive series, a multimedia saga that meshes fantasy with Maroon history. … Continue reading

July 3, 2012 · Leave a comment

Many offerings at 4th annual Charles Town Maroon Conference

Source: Paul Williams, Jamaica Gleaner The village of Charles Town, Portland, was buzzing last weekend with the fourth annual Charles Town Maroon Conference. Locals and visitors descended upon the historic … Continue reading

July 3, 2012 · Leave a comment

The journey continues – ‘Akwantu’ lights up Charles Town

Source: Paul H. Williams, Jamaica Gleaner History was once again created in historic Charles Town in Portland when Akwantu: The Journey was projected on to a big screen for its … Continue reading

July 2, 2012 · Leave a comment

Akwantu to premiere as part of Jamaica’s 50th jubilee celebrations

The Jamaican Ministry of Youth and Culture has designated the world premiere of the Maroon documentary film Akwantu as an endorsed event for ‘Jamaica 50’ – the official government program … Continue reading

June 2, 2012 · 2 Comments

Fans line up to become an extra in Maroon fictional series Dread & Alive

A casting call by Nicholas Da Silva, author of the famed Dread & Alive series, has generated over 500 responses from fans hoping to see themselves featured as an extra … Continue reading

May 11, 2012 · Leave a comment

Thousands pay final respects to Paramount Chief Matodja Gazon

Sources: De Ware Tijd, Starnieuws On Tuesday 10 April 2012 thousands of people gathered in the Ndyuka village of Drietabiki in Suriname to pay their final respects to granman Matodja … Continue reading

April 11, 2012 · Leave a comment

Suriname parliament excludes Moiwana-crimes from controversial amnesty law

Sources: De Ware Tijd, RNW, AP Lawmakers in Suriname have approved amnesty legislation that pardons President Desi Bouterse for human rights violations committed under his earlier military dictatorship (1980 – … Continue reading

April 4, 2012 · 1 Comment

Plan to preserve Gullah/Geechee culture comes together

Source:  Augusta Chronicle On the sea islands of the Southeast where the descendants of enslaved people have dwelled for generations, a plan is nearly complete to help preserve their unique … Continue reading

March 6, 2012 · 2 Comments

Marcel Pinas creates jewelry inspired by his Ndyuka culture

Source: Repeating Islands The versatile Surinamese artist Marcel Pinas recently launched a line of fine silver jewelry inspired by the Ndyuka (Maroon) culture. Tascha Samuel-Aveloo of De Ware Tijd reports: … Continue reading

February 1, 2012 · Leave a comment

Funeral of paramount chief Gazon Matodja to be held in March

Source: De Ware Tijd The funeral of paramount chief Gazon Matodja of the Ndyuka nation will take place somewhere in the first week of March. An exact date has not … Continue reading

January 25, 2012 · 1 Comment

An interview with Colonel Frank Lumsden and Dr. Frances Botkin

The annual International Maroon Conference and Convention at Charles Town in Jamaica is  becoming an important venue  for highlighting Maroon culture in the Caribbean, Mexico, South America, and Canada. Every … Continue reading

January 24, 2012 · Leave a comment

Jamaica’s Maroon Day: Accompong remembers the treaty of 1738

Once again, the Maroons of Western Jamaica have celebrated the annual Accompong Maroon Festival with much gusto. The event was held over the course of the past weekend, starting on … Continue reading

January 11, 2012 · 2 Comments

Maroons head to the silver screen

Source: Curtis Campbell, Gleaner Writer In a celebration befitting the festive season, Hollywood-based Jamaican stuntman Roy T. Anderson gave the media a taste of history with an Afrocentric preview of … Continue reading

December 21, 2011 · Leave a comment

Maroons in the Netherlands commemorate Gazon Matodja

Suriname Maroons in the Netherlands came together in the city of Utrecht on Saturday December 17th  to commemorate paramount chief Gazon Matodja of the Suriname Ndyuka nation. Gazon Matodja died … Continue reading

December 19, 2011 · Leave a comment

Paramount chief of Ndyuka nation passes at 91

Paramount chief Gazon Matodja of the Ndyuka nation in Suriname has passed on December 1st, 2011, at the age of 91. He died at the Diakonessen Hospital in Paramaribo, where … Continue reading

December 2, 2011 · Leave a comment

Deadline Reminder: 4th International Maroon Conference

The deadline for submissions for the Fourth International Maroon Conference is next Tuesday, November 15, 2011. The conference, organized under the unifying theme “Independence,” will take place in Charles Town, … Continue reading

November 10, 2011 · 3 Comments

Summit on territorial rights comes to shrieking halt

Sources: dWT, Suriname Stemt, RNW, Starnieuws The much anticipated conference on territorial rights in Suriname was unexpectedly cut short after a thundering speech of Amerindian captain Ricardo (Carlo) Lewis, boardmember … Continue reading

October 25, 2011 · Leave a comment

Maroon museum in Suriname now officially open

A year after its soft opening (see previous post), the Maroon museum in Suriname – Marronmuseum Saamaka Kondee -  is now fully operational. The grand opening takes place this weekend, … Continue reading

October 15, 2011 · Leave a comment

Suriname celebrates first National Maroon Day

Suriname marked its first national Maroon holiday yesterday, October 10 2011. Celebrations were held in Santigron, a multi-tribe village about an hour driving south from the capitol city of Paramaribo. … Continue reading

October 11, 2011 · Leave a comment

Paramount chief Gazon Matodja crowned ‘King of the Ndyuka’

Source: No Spang In a colorful ceremony this month, Paramount chief Gazon Matodja of Suriname received a golden crown and a gilded staff from his people, the Ndyuka, in recognition … Continue reading

August 25, 2011 · Leave a comment

Nanny Town, Cunha Cunha Pass to be declared national monuments

Source: Pressrelease JNHT The Jamaica National Heritage Trust (JNHT) says it is in the process of declaring Nanny Town and the Cunha Cunha Pass as national monuments. “The sites form … Continue reading

August 21, 2011 · Leave a comment

Suriname youth receive school supplies from Sabanapeti foundation

Seventy children in the greater Paramaribo area have received school supplies from Maroon Institute Sabanapeti. The foundation, located in the Netherlands, has made it an annual tradition to send school … Continue reading

August 19, 2011 · Leave a comment

Akwantu: The Journey

Source: BoxscoreNews As far back as Roy Anderson can remember his family in Jamaica has always spoken proudly of their Maroon heritage. The Maroons were former slaves who escaped the … Continue reading

August 11, 2011 · 3 Comments

Roy T. Anderson: Filmmaker documents his heritage

Source: Paul H. Williams, Jamaica Gleaner The story of the Jamaican Maroons goes back, perhaps, to when the first shipload of slaves arrived in the island. These nonconformists led a … Continue reading

August 11, 2011 · 3 Comments

New exhibition by artist Marcel Pinas: Kibii wi koni

Source: SrananArt.wordpress.com On the 21st of June, the Kibii foundation from visual artist Marcel Pinas and the Readytex Art Gallery will launch a series of art exhibitions within the framework … Continue reading

June 16, 2011 · Leave a comment

Burglars invade home of activist Erna Aviankoi

Source: Suriname Stemt Human rights activist Erna Aviankoi has become the victim of a burglary. Thieves forced their way into her home on Friday May 27th, while Aviankoi was away … Continue reading

June 7, 2011 · Leave a comment

Accompong Town gets Internet cafe

Source: Jamaica Observer SANTA CRUZ, St Elizabeth — The Maroon community of Accompong Town in St Elizabeth, Jamaica, now has an Internet café, which was established through funding from the … Continue reading

April 1, 2011 · 1 Comment

Interview with Dr. Cheryl White, Maroon archeologist

Dr. Cheryl White is one of few archeologists to explore Maroon sites in Suriname and Jamaica. As a member of the Maroon Heritage Research Project, she traveled deep into the … Continue reading

March 18, 2011 · Leave a comment

3rd International Maroon Conference in Jamaica

The 3rd International Maroon Conference, “The Return,” will take place in Charles Town, Portland, Jamaica, on June 22-25 2011. The deadline for abstracts is March 30, 2011. The convention seeks … Continue reading

March 8, 2011 · 2 Comments

Marooned in Nova Scotia – A story of the Jamaican Maroons in Canada

Jamaican born author Horane Smith has written a novel on the experiences of the Jamaican Maroons who were deported to Canada in 1796. The book, entitled ‘Marooned in Nova Scotia’, … Continue reading

February 24, 2011 · Leave a comment

Erna Aviankoi to lead the campaign for indigenous land rights in Suriname

Sources: De Ware Tijd Online & Suriname Stemt Amerindian and Maroon authorities in Suriname have appointed Erna Aviankoi as leader and spokesperson in the campaign for land rights. Aviankoi was … Continue reading

February 22, 2011 · Leave a comment

Suriname government announces June summit on indigenous territorial rights

Source: De Ware Tijd Online, Ivan Cairo The Suriname government has announced a national conference on the territorial rights of Maroons and Amerindians to be held in June of this … Continue reading

February 19, 2011 · Leave a comment

Jamaican Maroons demand autonomy

‘We want to be recognized by Jamaican Constitution’, says Maroon chief Source: Jamaica Observer, Horace Hines ACCOMPONG TOWN, St Elizabeth — Colonel Fearon Williams of the Accompong maroons last week … Continue reading

February 14, 2011 · Leave a comment

Maroon chiefs convene over Newmont deal

Source: De Ware Tijd,  Isaak Poetisi Maroon authorities in Suriname are opposed to an agreement the government of Suriname intends to sign with American gold mining company Newmont. The Americans … Continue reading

February 14, 2011 · Leave a comment

Abeng Central’s 2010 in review

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health: The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads This blog … Continue reading

January 3, 2011 · Leave a comment

Jamaican Minister of State wants Maroon councils under Local Government umbrella

Source: Jamaica Observer, Horace Hines SAVANNA-LA-MAR, Westmoreland — Minister of State in the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibility for Local Government Robert Montague wants to draw Maroon councils … Continue reading

November 30, 2010 · Leave a comment

Questions after deadly mine collapse

Source: BBC Caribbean The deaths of at least seven people in a mining accident in Suriname have served to highlight the impact on the industry of record gold prices. The … Continue reading

November 22, 2010 · Leave a comment