Cheryl N. White
Grant TypePost PhD Research Grant
Institutional AffiliationAnton de Kom U. of Suriname
Grant numberGr. 10089
Approve DateApril 8, 2021
Project TitleWhite, Cheryl (Anton de Kom U. of Suriname) "Tallawah: The Maroons of Amazonia"
Researching the archaeology of Amazonian Maroons allows us to understand how colonialism spurred the development of new and enduring social groups. The Maroon culture we see today, was born from the will of the enslaved Africans, to escape and traverse the dense rainforest of Amazonia in search of an untethered life. They found it, and remain in their “ancestral” territories until this day. Hundreds of years of negotiating the Amazonian landscape, with the help of Indigenous peoples, all the while evading European occupation, has afforded them the freedom they enjoy today. The adventurous tourist will ride the river’s white-water rapids, just to experience traditional Maroon life in a river side village. But what do we know of these first settlements formed in the tumultuous years of slavery in the late 1600s, deep in the forest, where clan groups marked the matrilineal descent order that is still observed today? This research will explore several ancestral settlements of the Saramaka Maroons to identify the tangible residues of Maroon history.