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Like in the other countries of the Americas the Amerindians were already present in Suriname before Columbus discovered America, and they are the indigenous people of the country. The Amerindians in Suriname can be devided into the lowland and upland ones. The lowland Amerindians are the Arowakken and the Caraiben, whilst there are three groups of Amerindians who can be considered as the upland ones namely, the Wajanas, the Trioes and the Akurioes. The upland Amerindians live mainly in the South-Eastern portion of the country.

Amerindian traditional dress and music
Photo: Copyright 2005 Moekiran A. Amatali

Female Captain, traditional leader of the Amerindian village Bernard dorp at the presentation of the novel "From Apoera (Suriname) to Oreala (Guyana)", a lovestory in the tropical rainforests, writen by Clark Accord.
Photo: Copyright 2005 Moekiran A. Amatali

Basja -Assistant traditional leader- of Amerindian villiage Alfonsdorp
Photo: Copyright 2005 Moekiran A. Amatali

Amerindian traditional dance
Photo: Copyright 2005 Moekiran A. Amatali

The Akurioes were the last Amerindians in Suriname who had a nomadic life, and nowadays they have settled in one of the Trio's villages. The Wajanas and Trioes have been influenced by the Christian mission from the US since the sixties in the previous century. The coastal Amerindians were Christainized earlier. Compared with other Christian missions the Roman Catholic Church had more respect for their own Amerindian Culture.

External influences are observed within the materialistic culture, among others the change in dress, culinary, hunting, building roofs with corrugated steel, whilst the silence in the villages is disturbed by western music.

Amerindian Arts in Suriname

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Copyright 2001-2005 Moekiran A. Amatali