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Suriname president Ronald Venetiaan has formally accepted the candidacy of 59 year old Samuel Johannes Amoida as the new Paramount Chief of the Paramacca Maroons. Amoida will be legally sworn in at the Presidential Palace in Paramaribo on a date somewhere in the future. (Additional info, added on February 28th, 2010: Amoida’s official name is Samuel Samapima Forster).
Amoida’s traditional installation among the Paramacca took place at Langa Tabiki on the 18th and 19th of August 2009, exactly one year after the death of former chief Jan Levie who passed away on the 21th of August 2008. The Antoosi-family appointed and inaugurated Amoida, according to the family’s prerogative to select all Paramaccan chiefs.
Former chief Jan Levie died on August 21, 2008 at the Diaconnesen Hopsital in Paramaribo. The 88 year old dignitary had been ill for some time. Levie belonged to the Antoosi-family line and had held residence at the village of Langa Tabiki on the River Marowijne.
His funeral ceremony in Langa Tabiki comprised of traditional Paramaccan and Christian customs, as he was a baptized member of the Evangelical Brethren Church. Jan Levie was a widely respected person who had presided over the Paramaccans since 1993, when he followed in the foot steps of chieftain Cornelis Zacharia Forster who had died in 1991. An interim chieftain, Atyode Kamili, ruled the Paramacca nation from 1991 to 1993.
The Paramaccan community consists of approximately 2.500 men, women and children.
(Photo left:)August 22, 2008. The body of Paramount Chief Jan Levie is airlifted from Paramaribo to Langa Tabiki, where he lay in state until his burial on September 27. In the wake of his death, extensive memorial ceremonies were held in both Suriname and the Netherlands. His funeral was attended by hundreds of people, including representatives of all twelve Paramaccan family lines (‘lo’s’), other Maroons nations and the governments of Suriname and French Guyana, the latter having close diplomatic ties to Suriname Maroons who live on French Guyanese territory. The official mourning period for a Maroon chieftain is one full year, during which no new leader is instated yet.