Maroons under Assault In Suriname And French Guiana

The Maroons of Suriname and French Guiana (formerly known as "Bush Negroes") have long been the hemisphere's largest Maroon population. They are at once the most culturally, politically, and economically independent of all Maroon peoples in the Americas and, since the 1970s and 80s, the most heavily under assault.

Historical Origins

Between the mid-17(th) and late 18(th) centuries, large numbers of slaves escaped from coastal plantations in the Dutch colony of Suriname, in many cases soon after their arrival from Africa. They fled into the forested interior, where they regrouped into small bands and began forging a viable existence in this new and inhospitable environment. This daunting challenge was made even more difficult by the government's persistent and massive efforts to eliminate the threat they posed to the colony's thriving plantations.

The colonists reserved special punishments for recaptured slaves -- hamstringing, amputation of limbs, and a variety of deaths by torture. In the early 1700s, for example, one recaptured town slave, whose punishment was designed "to serve as an example to others," was sentenced:

to be quartered alive, and the pieces thrown in the River. He was laid upon the ground, his head on a long beam. The first blow he was given, on the abdomen, burst open his bladder, yet he uttered not the least sound. The second blow with the axe he tried to deflect with his hand, but it gashed his hand and upper belly, again without his uttering a sound. The slave men and women laughed at this, saying to one another, "That is a man!" Finally, the third blow, to his chest, killed him. His head was cut off and the body cut in four pieces and dumped in the river. (References for the quotations in the historical portion of this article may be found in S. & R. Price, 1999, from which it is adapted.)

Several years later, after two military expeditions against the nascent group of Maroons known as Saramakas captured a number of villagers, the criminal court meted out the following sentences:

The Negro Joosie shall be hanged from the gibbet by an Iron Hook through his ribs, until dead; his head shall then be severed and displayed on a stake by the riverbank, remaining to be picked over by birds of prey. As for the Negroes Wierrie and Manbote, they shall be bound to a stake and roasted alive over a slow fire, while being tortured with glowing Tongs. The Negro girls, Lucretia, Ambira, Aga, Gomba, Marie, and Victoria will be tied to a Cross, to be broken alive, and then their heads severed, to be exposed by the riverbank on stakes. The Negro girls Diana and Christina shall be beheaded with an axe, and their heads exposed on poles by the riverbank.

The organized pursuit of Maroons and expeditions to destroy their settlements date at least from the 1670s, when a citizen's militia was established for this purpose. During the late 17(th) and early 18(th) centuries, numerous small-scale military expeditions were mounted, sometimes at the personal expense of particular planters. But these rarely met with success, for the Maroons had established and protected their settlements with great ingenuity and had become expert at all aspects of guerrilla warfare. It was between the 1730s and 1750s, when "the colony had become the theater of a perpetual war," that such expeditions reached their maximum size and frequency. We know from archival documents, for example, that one was sent out in 1730 that included 50 citizens and 200 slaves, and that another one, in 1743, was composed of 27 civilians, 12 soldiers, 15 Indians, 165 slaves, and 60 canoes. Though one of the military expeditions of this period returned with "47 prisoners and 6 hands of those whom they had killed," most were fruitless. By the late 1740s the colonists were finding the expense overwhelming, with typical expeditions costing more than 100,000 guilders each and having to traverse (as one document put it) "forty mountains and sixty creeks" before reaching the Maroons' hidden villages. It had also become clear to the colonists that the expeditions themselves were contributing to further marronage, by making known to the slaves both the escape routes from the plantations and the locations of Maroon villages.

The increasingly costly warfare culminated in a decision by the colonists, during the late 1740s, to sue their former slaves for permanent peace. But peace proved elusive, and in 1754-55 they decided to mount yet another massive expedition consisting of 500 men against the Saramakas, "either to make one last attempt at a permanent Peace...or else search them out and completely destroy them." (The story of this final expedition -- as well as the whole saga of the 100 years leading to the peace treaties of the 1760s -- is told in detail from both Maroon and colonial perspectives in R. Price 1983a and 1983b.)

In the 1760s, peace treaties were at last successfully concluded with the two largest Maroon groups, the Ndyukas and the Saramakas, and with the much smaller Matawai. New slave revolts and the large-scale war of subsequent decades, for which an army of mercenaries was imported from Europe, eventually led to the formation of the Aluku (Boni), as well as the smaller Paramaka and Kwinti groups.

Six Maroon Peoples

Today, there are six politically distinct Maroon peoples in Suriname and French Guiana -- the Ndyuka and Saramaka each have a population of about 49,000, the Matawai 4000, the Aluku (Boni) and Paramaka each closer to 6000, and the Kwinti only about 500. Their traditional territories are shown on page 40, though today large numbers of Maroons live outside of these areas, in Paramaribo or the Netherlands, and, increasingly, in the coastal towns of French Guiana. (We now estimate that 30 percent of all Maroons reside in French Guiana -- mostly as poor, exploited immigrants; see R. & S. Price, 2002.) Although these societies were formed under broadly similar historical and ecological conditions, they vary in everything from language, diet, and dress to patterns of marriage, residence, and migratory wage labor. The greatest cultural differences are between the Maroons of central Suriname (Saramaka, Matawai, and Kwinti) and those of eastern Suriname and western French Guiana (Ndyuka, Aluku, and Paramaka). Languages divide similarly, with variants of Saramaccan spoken by Saramakas, Matawais, and Kwintis, and variants of Ndyuka spoken by Ndyukas, Alukus, and Paramakas.

In the 1960s, when we began fieldwork, all six groups were still being referred to by anthropologists as "tribes" which functioned as "states within a state." Running their own political and judicial affairs under the authority of paramount chiefs and village captains, they were known to outsiders for such exotic practices as polygyny, oracular divination, spirit possession, body scarification, and ancestor worship, as well as distinctive styles of music, dance, and plastic arts, and countless other aspects of daily life that reflected their uncompromised heritage of independence and their radical difference from the other populations of Suriname and French Guiana. Maroons' dealings with the outside world were largely limited to the men's wage-labor trips, which provided the cash needed to buy soap, salt, tools, cloth, kerosene, kitchenware, and other necessities for life back in the villages of the rainforest. Maroons felt tremendous pride in the accomplishments of their heroic ancestors and, on the whole, remained masters of their forest realm.

State Incursions, 1960s-1990s

Over the past four decades, the world of these peoples has undergone dramatic transformations. The first major incursion came in the 1960s, when the colonial government of Suriname, in collaboration with Alcoa, summarily dispossessed (without consultation or compensation) some 6,000 Saramakas of lands that had been guaranteed under the 18(th) century treaty in order to construct a hydroelectric dam and lake. The period of the 1960s-1970s also witnessed relatively gradual modernization -- out-board motors that facilitated mobility within and beyond the interior, the construction of airstrips in the interior, radios and tape recorders that allowed closer communication with the coast, gasoline-powered generators in some of the villages that brought electric lights and the occasional refrigerator, and an increase in the missionary schools that prepared boys and sometimes girls -- for contacts with Creoles and other non-Maroons. All of these changes were monitored by public consensus, and through community meetings and the consultation of gods, ancestors, and local divinatory instruments such as oracle bundles.

In the 1970s, there were more dramatic transformations. Suriname moved away from its ties to Europe, becoming an independent republic, and French Guiana moved closer, as Paris targeted it for rapid development in connection with the establishment of the European Space Center in Kourou. These shifts eventually had profound consequences for Maroons in terms of territorial sovereignty, political independence, cultural integrity, and economic opportunities, not to mention basic issues of health and personal dignity.

Since independence in 1975, Suriname has been pursuing an increasingly militant and destructive policy against Maroons, stripping them of their rights to land and its potential riches and endangering their right to exist as distinctive peoples. In 1980, the army seized power in a coup d'état, and the country began a downward spiral from which it has never recovered -- a plummeting economy, a massive brain drain, and a notable increase in poverty, drugs, and crime. In 1986, civil war broke out between Maroons and the national Creole-run military, sending thousands of Maroons fleeing across the border into French Guiana -- some 10,000 Ndyukas as recognized refugees, confined to camps enclosed by barbed wire; and countless others (mainly Saramakas) as clandestines attempting to build a new life while remaining invisible to French authorities charged with the expulsion of illegals. The fighting that raged from 1986 to 1992 pitted Maroons against the national army of Suriname, bringing back to life many of the horrors of their early ancestors' struggles for freedom. African medicine bundles that had lain buried for 200 years were unearthed and carried into battle. Maroon men and boys, often armed with shotguns, confronted the army's automatic weapons, tanks, and helicopter gunships dropping napalm. Whole villages, particularly in the Cottica Ndyuka region, were razed as soldiers killed hundreds of women and children with machetes and bullets. (Polimé & Thoden van Velzen, 1988)

In 1992, the civil war was concluded, the refugee camps in French Guiana were shut down, and their occupants were either "regularized" or sent back to Suriname. As for the remaining "illegals," who number in the thousands, the quality of life generally rises and falls with immigration policy decisions made in Paris. In 1997, for example, Saramaka men in a number of rural settings in French Guiana told us that they'd sent their women back to Suriname because the women couldn't run away fast enough when teams of gendarmes raided their woodcarving stalls and set fire to their houses.

Meanwhile, those Maroons who are officially French citizens by virtue of having been born east of the Marowijne (Maroni) and Lawa Rivers, have been adapting to an aggressive program of francisation. This assimilationist program disseminates the language and culture of the French state, provides generous welfare benefits, redefines the nature of Maroon political leadership and land ownership, encourages consumerism both in the stores of French Guiana and through European mail order catalogues, and redefines Maroon visual and performative arts as part of the cultural patrimony of overseas France. (Bilby, 1989; 1990)

The Current Situation in Suriname

In Suriname, post-civil war Maroon life has been transformed, perhaps irreparably, with rampant poverty and malnutrition, severe degradation of educational and medical resources, and the spread of AIDS and prostitution. The official restoration of peace in 1992 came at a price, as the Maroons were pushed into signing a treaty largely focused on rights to land, minerals, and other natural resources -- all of which are now claimed by the Suriname state. The government has embarked on a rigorous program aimed at the legal unification, uniformization, and ultimately, the appropriation of its Maroon (as well as Amerindian) minorities, insisting that under Suriname law, neither Maroons nor indigenous peoples hold any special rights and that "the interests of the total development of the country" -- which increasingly means the private interests of government officials and their cronies must prevail. (R. Price, 1998) Much of the forest for which the ancestors of the Maroons spilled their blood is being auctioned off by the national government to Indonesian, Malaysian, Chinese, Australian, Canadian, U.S., and Brazilian timber and mining corporations. Reports by non-governmental and other independent observers describe some of the consequences.

[August 21, 1996:] The Saramaka Maroon community of Nieuw Koffiekamp faces forced relocation to make way for a multinational gold mine, being developed by Golden Star Resources of Denver, Colorado, and Cambior Inc. of Montreal. The Maroon community is disputing the relocation and demanding that the companies negotiate with them as the traditional owners of the land. Golden Star has erected a number of gates and other devices, including a huge earth wall, to restrict the movements of community members on their lands, denying them access to their agricultural plots, hunting grounds and religious sites. Suriname police and company security forces have established a presence and collaborate closely. Indeed, the head of Golden Star's security is the commanding officer of the police detachment at the Gros Rosebel mine and has armed Golden Star security personnel with police issue weapons. A unit of the heavily-armed, elite, anti-terrorist Police Support Group has also been stationed at the site. The security officers have threatened, harassed and intimidated community members. On a number of different occasions, patrols have shot live ammunition at or over the heads of Nieuw Koffiekampers, even those engaged in tending their agricultural plots and gathering forest foods. (World Rainforest Movement, 1996)

More recently, Chinese timber companies have been ratcheting up the pressure on Maroon lands.

The Chinese companies are relative newcomers to an international scene that has been dominated by Malaysian, Indonesian and European companies. The Chinese have been more active abroad since a ban on logging in China was imposed two years ago, after devastating floods on the Yangtze River. And foreign governments have been welcoming. "If a company wants to come in and invest, provide jobs and is willing to obey the laws, we think they ought to be given a chance," said René Somopawiro, deputy director of Suriname's Foundation for Forest Management.... Surinamese officials point out that only eight million of the nation's 32 million acres of rain forest will be opened to logging. Unfortunately for the Saramaka Maroons, the acres being offered to foreign loggers happen to be right where the Maroons live. "This is a problem," conceded Somopawiro. "Every time we talk about forest development, this question of indigenous people comes up," Somopawiro said. "And so far we really don't have a good solution." . . . This [environmental destruction] was all too clear walking through the Jin Lin concession. The company had plowed large, muddy roads about 45 feet wide into the forest, churned up huge piles of earth, and created fetid pools of green and brown water. Upended and broken trees were everywhere and what were once plots of sweet potatoes, peanuts, ginger, cassava, palm and banana crops -- planted in the forest by Maroon villagers -- were muddy pits. (Jaffe, 2001)

In a submission to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights dated June 6, 2001, the Association of Saramaka Authorities further specified that:

The companies logging in Saramaka territory disclaim any responsibility for their activities beyond wholly inadequate offers of compensation for destruction of farming areas and assert complete authority to act pursuant to government issued permits. They refer all complaints to State authorities.... For instance, a Saramaka woman, Silvi Adjako of Kaayapati village (Matjau lö), was offered 15,000 Surinamese guilders [about US$ 6.50] compensation for the loss other farm, which was recently destroyed by a logging road constructed by the company, if she filed a formal complaint with the government. It cost her 80,000 Suriname guilders to pay someone to clear the forest plot prior to planting. All told she lost enough produce to feed her family for almost a year as well as cash crops that provide much needed income to supplement the subsistence economy. She now must rely on relatives to feed herself and her family...In the course of constructing the same road that destroyed Silvi Adjako's and others' agricultural plots, the same company, Jin Lin Wood Industries, effectively blocked the creek running through the area. This creek was the primary source of water for drinking, bathing and domestic use available to the community. It is now without a readily accessible water supply and is forced to travel large distances to obtain fresh water. The creek is also an important source of fish, a primary source of protein in the Saramaka diet. The company's activities, as has occurred elsewhere in Saramaka territory, have also severely polluted other water sources.

In July 2001, the Suriname government unveiled plans to force the relocation of several Saramaka villages that are located on top of, or near, a lucrative gold reserve, "for the good of the whole country," and to give exploitation rights exclusively to the multinational Golden Star/Cambior. (Fergus MacKay, personal communication, 24 July 2001) In a more sinister mode, the president of Suriname has now stated his direct opposition to Saramakas seeking to defend their rights by petitioning the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, casting them in the role of anti-government terrorists. The national newspaper, De Ware Tijd, reports:

[President Venetiaan told the National Assembly:] "When you open a website you see that there are people who say that they will start a guerrilla war with the help of some really impressive names of guerrilla organizations in Colombia, if their wishes are not being met." According to the head of state there are indeed elements who are trying to get a permanent armed struggle started in Suriname, such as is the case in countries like Colombia and Sri Lanka. Is that what one wants in Suriname? he asked. "And let us not think that people don't have such wishes for our country," he warned. He said that when people think that this is just bluffing, they should take into account that the little people of Brokopondo and Sipaliwini [i.e. the Saramakas and other Maroons] are capable of going to neighboring countries and of offering petitions to the OAS. (De Ware Tijd, 25 July, 2001)

We must hope that international cooperation and pressure may goad the desperately poor government of Suriname into finding ways to safeguard the rights of the Maroons, to preserve their irreplaceable forest resources, and to encourage Maroon economic development (particularly in terms of much-needed hospitals and schools) while still respecting the Maroons' autonomy and their right to a separate identity. But the outlook is far from promising. Suriname is now routinely described by foreign journalists as a "narcocracy," where shady business interests in collusion with the army fly light planes across the forest to exchange arms for drugs with Colombian guerrilla groups, and then transship the drugs to Europe. The 1999 conviction-in-absentia by a Dutch court of Desi Bouterse, Suriname's former president and commander-in-chief who led the 1980 coup d'état, for international drug trafficking, and his sentence of 16 years in prison and a fine of $2.3 million, have had little effect on the country's general malaise.

According to official figures, which do not include income related to the drug trade nor to the largely clandestine goldmining industry, bauxite still generates more than 70 percent of export earnings (and 15 percent of GNP) and forests still cover some 80 percent of the country. But Indonesian and Chinese multinational timber companies, working through scores of smaller local front companies to appear as if they are staying within the law, have now obtained concessions for about 1 million hectares of forest. Canadian gold mining companies have obtained concessions of well over 1 million hectares which include at least 19 Maroon communities -- none of which were informed of or consulted about these concessions. And some 30,000 to 40,000 Brazilians have joined the 10,000 Surinamers (mostly Maroons) who are mining gold all over the interior. Recent observers describe some of the consequences:

The massive influx of [Brazilian] miners has resulted in immense social and environmental problems in the interior. Shoot-outs between Brazilians and Maroons have been reported, Maroons have been killed and farming areas have been destroyed. An estimated 20 tonnes of mercury was released into the environment in 1998 alone and many waterways in the interior are unfit for human consumption.... Malaria and sexually transmitted diseases [including AIDS] have reached epidemic proportions in most areas of the interior. The situation has become so bad that parts of the interior are routinely referred to as the "wild west" by government authorities and the media. (Kambel & MacKay, 1999)

The overall decline in Suriname's prosperity during the past 20 years has had strong trickle-down effects on Maroons. State services in Maroon territories -- clinics, hospitals, schools -- scarcely function. (The state currently pays US$ .05 per student per year for the maintenance of school buildings and educational materials in the interior of the country.) Medical facilities and other essential services are consistently far below even the deteriorating standards on the coast. Moreover, the basic rights of Suriname Maroons

-- to be free from discrimination, to own and enjoy their lands and resources, to participate in decision making, to practice their cultures, etc. -- are routinely violated in policy and practice, through, among others, assimilationist policies and laws, issuing [of] logging and mining concessions without any consultation, environmental degradation, dispossession, and by ignoring [of] legal agreements, such as Maroon treaties. (Kambel & MacKay, 1999)

In 1998, Suriname conducted a remarkable public relations campaign culminating with a lead editorial in The New York Times head-lined "Suriname's Example." (June 21, 1998) At a press conference in New York featuring film star Harrison Ford, the rainforest protection group Conservation International, which is in partnership in Suriname with Bristol-Myers Squibb, announced the creation of a four-million-acre nature (and bio-prospecting) park in central Suriname, which would be free from logging and mining, and maintained with the assistance of funds from Conservation International. The designated area was said to include neither Amerindian nor Maroon lands. However, "the statement that the area is uninhabited is surprising since the Maroon (Kwinti) communities of Witagron and Kaimanston...are located within and near the reserve [and] were not informed about the establishment of the new reserve.... It is doubtful whether the Trio [Indians, who traditionally hunted and gathered on these lands] or the Kwinti will be allowed to [exploit] the area." (Kambel & MacKay, 1999) The New York Times seems unaware, as Conservation International surely cannot be, that this project provides a timely smokescreen for Suriname's ongoing forestry depredations just to the west of the park. The situation is much like that in the 1960s, when Suriname flooded Saramaka territory for a hydroelectric project yet received a great deal of feel-good publicity as part of the International Society for the Protection of Animals' save-the-wildlife project (see, for example, Walsh & Gannon, 1967). The very public announcement of the nature reserve's establishment might be considered a magnificent diversion from the vast devastation and abuse that Suriname is perpetrating in precisely those areas where large numbers of Maroons and Amerindians do live.

What seems to be most needed is rapid legislation to bring Suriname's constitution and legal code in line with the various human rights conventions to which it is already officially committed (see Fergus MacKay's article in this issue). Yet the government seems unconcerned that its treatment of Maroons and indigenous peoples gives Suriname the shameful distinction of being "the only state in the western hemisphere in which indigenous peoples [and Maroons] live that does not in some way legally recognize their rights to own their ancestral territories." (Forest Peoples Programme, 1998) From our perspective, the government's unilateral program to abrogate the Maroons' 18th century treaties in the alleged interest of national unity is tantamount to ethnocide.

The Current Situation in French Guiana

In neighboring French Guiana, the economic and social situation contrasts sharply with that of Suriname, but the threats to the survival of Maroon cultures are equally devastating. This rapidly developing overseas département of France is home to the European Space Center and is experiencing tremendous pressures from immigration (Haitians, Brazilians, Surinamese, and others) as well as from perceived crises of crime and social disorder. During the past few years, those Maroons native to French Guiana have been largely left to their own devices. This has led to radical transformations of the life of those Alukus who have remained in their upriver villages, which have become engulfed -- like so many Suriname Maroon villages -- by forces connected to gold mining and the unchecked extraction of forest products.

In 2000, many of these problems came to a head in direct clashes between Aluku Maroons who were running large goldmining operations, Wayana (and some Emerillon) Indians who live just downstream from the mining sites, and the French state which officially controls the territory. All the familiar elements came into play: quick money from gold, serious ecological degradation (forest destruction), and contamination of the drinking water from mercury and other pollutants (see page 43). The once-quiet town of Maripasoula, which has an Aluku mayor (and is inhabited by Alukus and Creoles, with a large recent influx of Brazilian gold miners and Haitian immigrants, plus a brigade of French gendarmes and a French doctor), has exploded, and gold mining has become "the only economic activity -- other than state-supported jobs -- to provide an income. Yet it brings in its wake a whole range of activities that are ruining the town -- bars, prostitution, drug trafficking, arms trafficking, nightclubs that attract adolescents. There is even an immigration of criminals -- the Suriname police claims that wanted bandits are crossing the river to French Guiana." (Taubira-Delannon, 2000)

The current atmosphere in Maripasoula -- like that in parts of the interior of Suriname -- is described by observers as "Wild West" ("like the very worst movies about the conquest of Arizona"), with clandestine helicopters routinely bringing in black-market fuel from Suriname for the all-terrain "quads" used by Aluku and Brazilian miners for overland transport as well as for the bulldozers and other mining machinery. Aluku children, "for whom there are not enough places in the elementary school," watch the daily "spectacle of miners flaunting large nuggets of gold, with bills pinned to their shirts, and with women walking around thinly- or barely-clad" (Taubira-Delannon, 2000) and "the activity of prostitution is truly intense." (Hoogbergen, Kruijt & Polimé, 2001) The Aluku world's physical distance from Cayenne has combined with the general indifference (and ignorance about the interior of French Guiana) of the politicians there to turn French plans for the social and cultural assimilation of Alukus into something of an ongoing nightmare. Recent news that "large mining companies have moved into the [Ndyuka-run] commune of Grand Santi and [the Alukurun] commune of Apatou and have forbidden the Aluku and Ndyuka villagers the right of free movement in the forest to get to their gardens" (Taubira-Delannon, 2000) suggests that the strong-arm tactics of multinational corporations operate in the "European" legal/political context of French Guiana in much the same way that they do in the third-world postcolonial context of Suriname.

A Final Word

One important caution: It would be simplistic to imagine solitary Maroon communities standing firm against the onslaught of outside -- often state -- interests, either in Suriname or French Guiana. Both logging and gold mining have provided opportunities for many Maroons, particularly Maroon officials and their relatives, to reap new wealth. Indeed, in some areas, most small-scale mining concessions are owned by Maroons. Maroon concession owners split profits with the Brazilian miners manning the shovels and machines, and in many cases get along well with them. A number of Maroon women have been willing entrants into sex work, and Maroon men frequent the Brazilian women who also follow the miners and rent rooms in makeshift brothels throughout the mining regions, where prices by the hour are tallied indifferently in grams of gold or French francs. (See Marieke Heemskerk's article in CSQ 25:1.) In a sense, these Maroon and Brazilian miners temporarily share a culture. Almost all carry guns (pistols, shotguns, or automatic weapons), make use of the same sex workers (both Brazilian and Maroon), and expose themselves to the same dangers -- from AIDS and malaria (Suriname now has the highest rate of infection in the Americas) to everyday violence (in eastern Suriname, Saramaka Maroon mining concession owners have been hiring former French foreign legionnaires as security guards). (Hoogbergen, Kruijt & Polimé, 2001)

Does all this mean that a visitor walking into a Saramaka or Ndyuka village today would no longer find women pounding rice or doing their laundry at the riverside, men making canoes or repairing shotguns, people consulting oracles or praying at an ancestor shrine, or other activities of the sort pictured in the ethnographies of the 1970s and 1980s? Not at all. The rhythm of daily life still continues in many ways as in the past. Current assaults on Maroon cultural survival differ by region and change rapidly -- logging poses a greater threat in some areas, mining in others -- but poverty and the degradation of schooling and public health facilities have left their mark almost everywhere. The Maroon cultures of Suriname and French Guiana, the most resilient of all Maroon cultures in the Americas, endure into the 21(st) century. With the help of international support for Maroon self-determination, they would seem to have at least a fighting chance to survive into the next.

References & further reading

Bilby, K.M. (1989). The Aluku and the Communes: A Problematic Policy of Assimilation in French Guiana. Cultural Survival Quarterly 13:3, pp 71-75.

Bilby, K.M. (1990). The Remaking of the Aluku: Culture, Politics, and Maroon Ethnicity in French South America. Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, Johns Hopkins University.

Forest Peoples Programme (1998). Suriname Information Update, April 20. Available at

Hoogbergen, W. (1990). The Boni Maroon Wars in Suriname. Leiden: Brill.

Hoogbergen, W., Kruijt, D. & Polimé, T. (2001). Goud en Brazilianen. Oso 20, pp 109-127.

Jaffe, M. (2001, May 20). Raiding the Rain Forest. For a Global Treasure, A New Threat: Asian Companies in Weakly Regulated Countries Tamper with the Ecosystem to Fill a Growing Demand for Hardwood. Philadelphia Inquirer.

Kambel, E.-R. & MacKay, F. (1999). The Rights of Indigenous People and Maroons in Suriname. Copenhagen: International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs.

Polimé, T. S. & Thoden van Velzen, H.U.E. (1988). Vluchtelingen, opstandelingen en andere Bosnegers van Oost-Suriname, 1986-1988. Utrecht: Instituut voor Culturele Antropologie.

Price, R. (1983a). First-Time: The Historical Vision of an Afro-American People. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.

Price, R. (1983b). To Slay the Hydra: Dutch Colonial Perspectives on the Saramaka Wars. Ann Arbor MI: Karoma.

Price, R. (1990). Alabi's World. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.

Price, R. (1998). Scrapping Maroon History: Brazil's Promise, Suriname's Shame. New West Indian Guide 72, pp 233-255.

Price, R. & Price, S. (1992). Equatoria. New York: Routledge.

Price, R. & Price, S. (2002). Les Noirs Marrons en Guyone. Châteauneuf-le-Rouge: Vents d'ailleurs.

Price, S. (1993). Co-Wives and Calabashes. 2nd ed. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.

Price, S. & Price, R. (1999). Maroon Arts: Cultural Vitality in the African Diaspora. Boston: Beacon Press.

Stedman, J.G. (1988). Narrative of a Five Years Expedition Against the Revolted Negroes of Surinam (Newly Transcribed from the Original 1790 Manuscript). R. & S. Price, Eds. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.

Thoden van Velzen, H.U.E. & van Werering, W. (1988). The Great Father and the Danger: Religious Cults, Material Forces and Collective Fantasies in the World of the Surinamese Maroons. Dordrecht, Netherlands: Foris.

Taubira-Delannon, C. (2000). L'or en Guyane: Éclats et artifices. (Rapport à Monsieur le Premier Ministre). Cayenne: [no publisher listed].

Walsh, J. & Gannon, R. (1967). Time is Short and the Water Rises. New York: E.P. Dutton.

World Rainforest Movement (1996, August 21). Urgent Action Suriname. Available at 3.html.

Article copyright Cultural Survival, Inc.

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