chapter  17
13 Pages

The other side of freedom: The Maroon trail in Suriname

The spring 1996 launch of the Maroon Heritage Research Project (MHRP) in Suriname, began the extension of an archaeological research program that had previously worked in Jamaica. The main objective was to investigate the locational distribution and spatial formation of settlements created by “runaway slaves” (Maroons) in Suriname. As is well known, these were groups of people who escaped from slavery into wild and difficult environments, formed independent communities, and pioneered the struggle against slavery. Archaeological studies of the heritage of freedom fighters, carried out in Northern Florida (Weisman 1989; Deagan 1995), Palmares in Brazil (Orser and Funari 1992; Orser 1994), Jamaica at the sites of Nanny Town, Seaman’s Valley, and Old Accompong (Agorsah 1993, 1994, 1999, 2001; Carey 1997), and in Suriname at Kumako and Tuido (Agorsah 1997) are beginning to throw light on the formation and transformation of resistance culture in the African Diaspora. Research in all these areas is showing that Maroons became an almost ubiquitous, though politically variable, feature of the African Diaspora.