Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: January 26, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412964623 | Print ISBN: 9781412936361 | Online ISBN: 9781412964623| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
The Saramacca people are one of six Maroon communities found in Surinam in the South American hemisphere. The Maroons of Surinam have the distinction of being the only Maroons to have maintained themselves as politically and culturally autonomous communities in the Americas up to this day. Indeed, unlike Maroon communities in other parts of the Americas, such as Brazil, for example, the Maroons of Surinam have managed to perdure and carry on their traditions. There are about 60,000 Maroons in Surinam, with the Saramacca numbering approximately 25,000. In addition to the Saramacca, the other Maroon communities include the Djuka, the Matawai, the Aluku (also known as Boni), the Paramacca, and the Kwinti. Surinam, formerly known as Dutch Guiana, was invaded in 1651 by the British, who set up a plantation economy based on chattel slavery and the production of sugar, a typical development in South and Central America at that ...