You may have already heard that the Surinamese culture is quite diverse. As diverse as Suriname’s culture is, there are two cultures you should and definitely will experience on your next visit to Suriname. These are the authentic cultures of the Maroons and the Amerindians/Indigenous.

Suriname is part of the Guiana Shield. The Guiana Shield underlies Venezuela, Guyana (previously British Guiana), Suriname (previously Dutch Guiana) and French Guiana, as well as parts of Colombia, and Brazil. 

The Amerindians are the original inhabitants and also known as the Indigenous people. The Amerindian Surinamese comprise approximately 3.8% of Suriname's population. They are divided into four tribes, each with their own language and way of life. The Amerindians are comprised of:

  • the Trio
  • the Wajana 
  • the Akurio or Upland Amerindians.

The Akurio lived completely isolated in the past, whereas direct contact with the Akurio’s only occurred for the first time for about sixty years ago when they were found seemingly still living in the stone age. On the tour with Pejego Tours, you will have the possibility to visit their villages.

Palemeu and Apoera, Amerindian villages

Village Palemeu that is nearby the lodge where the Trio and Wajana Indians live and situated at the Tapanahony river. Here you will get the feeling of how the Amerindians are living in there traditional habitat. Try to shoot with the 'Pijl en boog'  a traditional hunting tool (not included in the program price). You can also support local art and buy their handmade souvenirs. You can only fly to Palemeu.

Apoera

Village Apoera is part of the Kabalebo resort in the Sipaliwini District of Suriname.  Apoera is situated on the Surinamese (Eastern) Bank of the river Corantijn and has about 3000 inhabitants, originally mainly Indians of the Arawak tribe. The village of Apoera is situated in the close vicinity of the Indian Village Washabo, the Tiriyó village of Sandlanding, and the Washabo Airstrip.  With Pejego Tours you will visit village Apoera during the trip to Blanche marie falls accessible via the road link Zanderij-Bitagron-Camp 52 (the southern East-West link) and by boat through the city of Nickerie. In Apoera you will visit an authentic Indigenous/Amerindian village taste traditional food such as Cassava bread with Pepere Watra soup and drink locally brewed rum named Casisri.

Maroons

They are descendants of Africans who were forced into slavery by the colonial Dutch on plantations in Suriname. During these times of slavery, they escaped because of the terrible conditions on the plantations. They settled themselves in the rainforest of Suriname, mostly over the rapids, where it would be difficult for the Dutch colonials military officers to find them. The name Maroons is derived from the Spanish word Maroon which means runaway cattle. An important difference with Guyana is, that there they are not considered Maroons. Maroons in Suriname are organized in six main groups which can be divided into two branches based on their location, and cultural differences. The Eastern branch consists of the Djuka (Aucaner, Awka), the Aluku (Aluku nenge, Boni), and the Paramaka (Paramacca). The Central branch consists of the Saramaka (Saramacca), the Matawai, and the Kwinti. The six Maroon tribes that exist, show interesting differences in culture and language. Some even speak languages that derived from the Yoruba’s and Bantoes from West Africa. Maroons speak their own distinctive languages. Ndjuka, is spoken by the Djuka, Aluku, and Paramaka. Saramaccan is spoken by the Saramaka, Experience how it is to live in a Maroon village and enjoy the culture, traditions, and lifestyle of the Saamaka tribe.

Social structures of the Maroons

Most Maroon villages are located along the amazing rivers of the interior rainforest of Suriname and access is heavily dependent on canoes and other watercraft, that you can experience as well. On your visit to these villages with Pejego Tours, you will be able to visit their villages as well. The population of this culture averages from one to three hundred residents. There is a hierarchy structure, where each tribe has a tribal leader (Granman) assisted by Captians and Basjas. Usually, this structure is led by men but recently, women are also becoming Basjas.

Semoisi, an authentic Maroon eco-village

Pejego Tours brings you to Semoisi by bus and boat. Semoisi is an authentic Maroon eco-village of the Saamaka tribe on the Upper Suriname river and has about 300 families. The village has a primary school, a church, a clinic annex consultation bureau, a small resort, 3 small shops, a multi-functional centrum and a meeting house (Krutu Oso). You can travel to authentic Semoisi eco-village by boat and bus or by airplane and boat.

Experience the daily life, food, and culture of the Maroons

On your holiday with Pejego Tours you will be staying in your own room/hut in the village and your host is Fina, a Maroon woman. During your stay, she will make tasty typical authentic fresh seasonal food for you such as Afingi, Cassava goma, Moonga, Mindi foeroe, and Peanut cacao. You can even participate in baking your own cassava bread or other everyday life activities such as bathing in the river, harvesting rice or vegetables. Meet the village Chief, get acquainted with locals and dance on traditional Seketi and Banaba music. Hike to the Ananas mountain and relax afterward in the Tapawatra rapids. Did you ever do your laundry in the river? This is your chance! Walk to village Penpen or just relax in the hammock while your children play football and go fish with the local kids. We advise staying 4 days or more in this eco-village. This trip can be done as a private tour and ideal for families with children. Private tour means own guide, charter transport ( boat and bus) and you will be the only guest in the small resort. 

Bigger Resorts on the Upper Suriname river, that Pejego Tours can arrange for you are situated on islands, are Anaula Resort, and Danpaati River lodge. This cannot be a private tour, you are always traveling in a group with other international guests.

“Wherever you want to go in the Guianas, Pejego Tours makes it possible!”

Pejego Tours takes care of you from airport to airport! Do you want to visit all the 3 Guianas; Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana? Or only Suriname? We arrange everything for you; hotels, one- day trips, multiple day trips and airport service in Suriname. Just give us your wishlist and Pejego Tours will take care of it. Check our website: www.pejegotours.com or follow us on Facebook for more information. Contact us now via our contact form