Abeng Central

PLEASE NOTE: This blog is no longer being updated

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Seven killed in Suriname gold mine collapse

Source: The Daily Telegraph/AP SEVEN men were killed and two others seriously injured when the sand walls of a gold mine collapsed in Suriname last Saturday, police in the former … Continue reading

November 22, 2010

Maroon Day 2010 in Suriname

Source: De Ware Tijd Suriname celebrated Maroon Day on Sunday October 10, 2010. Festivities were held both in Suriname and its Diaspora. It was a day of speeches, flower offerings, … Continue reading

October 11, 2010 · 3 Comments

Maroon Institute Sabanapeti in the Netherlands celebrates 20th anniversary

Maroon Institute Sabanapeti in Utrecht, the Netherlands, recently celebrated its 20th anniversary. Guests were treated to a viewing of the video documentary ‘Realization of the possible’, a production of Sabanapeti’s … Continue reading

September 30, 2010 · 2 Comments

Granman Aboikoni calls for peace in Kraboedoin

Information source: De Ware Tijd Online Paramount Chief to the Saramacca nation in Suriname, Belfon Aboikoni, has called for peace on the gold mine fields of Kraboedoin . In recent … Continue reading

July 31, 2010

Matawai Maroons argue over candidacy for office of Paramount Chief

Information source: De Ware Tijd The Matawai Maroons in Suriname are uncertain of who will be their next paramount chief. Members of the family Asaf (part of the Hanbéi-clan), whose … Continue reading

June 27, 2010

Matawai Maroons to get cell phone service

Information source: De Ware Tijd, Fenny Zandgrond People in the Matawai region in central Suriname, near the Saramacca River, will soon be able to make mobile phone calls. Telecom provider … Continue reading

June 12, 2010

New book: Rainforest Warriors by Richard Price

Rainforest Warriors (release date: December 2010) is a historical, ethnographic, and documentary account of a people, their threatened rainforest, and their successful attempt to harness international human rights law in … Continue reading

June 8, 2010

Kabiten André Pakosie of Ndyuka Maroons in the Netherlands denounces AC/MC agreement

André Pakosie, the kabiten (highest authority) of the Ndyuka Maroons in the Netherlands, has expressed concern over the governing agreement between the A-Combination (AC) and the MegaCombination (MC). Among others, … Continue reading

June 4, 2010

Brunswijk and Bouterse shake hands on governing Suriname together

Information source: De Ware Tijd Ronny Brunswijk and Desi Bouterse today agreed on governing Suriname together. Brunswijk signed the deal on behalf of the Maroon coalition party A-Combination (AC). Bouterse … Continue reading

June 3, 2010

Moiwana victims want execution of verdict to be completed by May 25 elections

Information source: De Ware Tijd Surviving members of the Moiwana massacre have urged secretary Chandrikapersad Santokhi of Justice and Police to make haste with the completion of the verdict that … Continue reading

May 19, 2010

Richard and Sally Price accept Maroon award

Renowned anthropologists Richard and Sally Price have accepted the Gaanman Gazon Matodja Award. The ceremony took place on April 25 2010 in Utrecht, the Netherlands, at the occasion of the … Continue reading

April 27, 2010 · 1 Comment

Still no school for children in Stoelmaneiland

School doors are still closed for the 300 children in Stoelmanseiland who could not return to their seats after the recent Christmas Break when the school’s principle failed to return … Continue reading

March 31, 2010

Lebi Doti says ‘no’ to artisanal gold miners

Inhabitants of the village Lebi Doti near the hydraulic lake Brokopondo have been preventing artisanal gold miners from entering the gold mine at the Sara Creek. The actions started last … Continue reading

March 22, 2010

Anthropologist Richard and Sally Price to receive highest distinction from Suriname Maroon organization

Maroon dignitary André R.M. Pakosie is to present the Gaanman Gazon Matodja Award (GGMA) of 2010 to  anthropologists Richard and Sally Price. This will happen on Sunday, 25 April, at … Continue reading

March 13, 2010 · 3 Comments

Samuel Forster new paramount chief to Paramaccans

Sixty year old Samuel Samapima Forster has taken the oath of office as Paramount Chief for the Paramaccan Maroons in Suriname. The official ceremony took place on Saturday February 27th … Continue reading

February 27, 2010 · 4 Comments

Maroon museum opens in Pikin Slee, Suriname

Suriname’s first Maroon museum opened its doors on Friday February 26th at the Saramaccan village of Pikin Slee . The museum takes the form of a traditional Saramaccan village, complete … Continue reading

February 27, 2010 · 3 Comments

Artisanal gold miners in violent clash over territorial rights

On Wednesday February 17th, a violent clash erupted between artisanal gold miners (‘porknockers’) from the Aucan village of Nieuw Koffiekamp and their colleagues from the Saramaccan village of Brownsweg. The … Continue reading

February 20, 2010

Main road to Santigron being asphalted

The government of Suriname has started asphalting the 60 kilometers of main road between the northern capital of Paramaribo and the southern Maroon village of Santigron, which will cut down … Continue reading

February 8, 2010

School teachers will return to their posts in Stoelmanseiland and Abenaston

A few hundred children in the villages of Stoelmanseiland and Abenaston will finally be able to return to school next Monday, February 8th, after their respective two schools were abandoned … Continue reading

January 30, 2010 · 6 Comments

Brazilian riot victims choose Suriname over homeland

José Luis Machado e Costa, Brazilian ambassador to Suriname, says that although Brazilian immigrants in Suriname are emotionally shaken by the Christmas violence in Albina, most have rejected the offer … Continue reading

January 4, 2010

Maroons riot against Brazilian and Chinese immigrants in Albina

Police in Suriname have evacuated nearly eighty Brazilians and twenty Chinese from the town of Albina in the eastern part of the country, after Maroon inhabitants of Albina took to … Continue reading

December 27, 2009

Water system in Aucan Village of Tabiki‏ still failing after hefty investments

Submitted by Wayne Rawlins (Wayne Rawlins  is a former American Peace Corps Volunteer with a PhD in engineering who lived and worked in Suriname for 10 months) Where’s the water?  … Continue reading

December 21, 2009 · 2 Comments

State Bus Service now connects Witagron to Paramaribo

The State Bus Service of Suriname has included the Kwinti village of Witagron in its route schedule. The decision to make bus transportation across the 100 mile distance from Witagron … Continue reading

December 19, 2009

Kwinti Maroons argue over village name: Bitagron or Witagron

Members of the Kwinti Maroon nation have entered into a debate over the name of ‘Witagron’. Witagron is an important village; it is where Paramount Chief Andre Mathias keeps his … Continue reading

December 18, 2009

Secretary Felisi criticizes Maroon village management

Suriname’s Secretary for Regional Development, Michel Felisi, has expressed discontent in regards to the management of Maroon villages in the country’s interior. His main critique is that the village heads, … Continue reading

December 2, 2009

Festive opening of Afobakka’s asphalt road

The asphalt hardened Afobakka Road was officially taken into use yesterday with a festive inaugural ceremony that drew the attention of hundreds of people, among whom many supporters of political … Continue reading

November 24, 2009

Teachers’ homes in East Suriname still without electricity

Eighteen new teachers’ homes in Albina and Brokopondo are still without electricity, two months after their residents have moved in. Some angered teachers have notified the Department for Education that … Continue reading

November 23, 2009