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Book source: De Architektuur van Suriname, C.L. Temminck Groll, A.R.H. Tjin A Djie, De Walburg Pers, Zutphen, 1973. ISBN 906011.441.8

Subject: [History, Agriculture, Tourism] The Plantation
Article:

The plantation agriculture in Suriname is at least 300 years old. This particular kind of agriculture would not have been possible without a good knowledge of hydraulic engineering. Even the elegant plantation homes standing on stilts (neuten) have some connection with 'water'. The sluices around the countryside and the architectural design of the plantation complexes remain unique and historical. The plantation system is like a polder system which uses hydraulic engineering. In the 17th century, the first plantation owners were British, Dutch and Portuguese Jews from Brazil. The first plantation crops were tobacco and sugar. Then came coffee, cotton and cocoa. At present rice, citrus and bananas are grown. In 1720, there were also lesser known crops planted such as orleane a red dye (near Orleane Kreek) and indigo blue (near Blauwgrond). The plantation system required the use of capable Dutch land surveyors to map out the layout of the plantations. The product of all the surveying work can be seen on the 18th century maps of Suriname. Most of these maps are found in a museum or archives. The eldest plantations were located higher up the river not only for security reasons but also the water for planting was fresh and less salty and in addition the soil was more fertile than near the coast. The bigger plantations used mills powered by water to crush the sugar cane while the smaller ones used animals such as a horse or mule. The remnants of the sugar mills can still be found in the jungle as many plantations were deserted over time especiallly during the 18th and 19th century. Of the original sugar plantations, only the'sugar company' at Marienburg remains. Its obsolete mills were upgraded in 1921 with new steam engines designed by "Werkspoor' in Amsterdam. Many black and white photographs of plantation homes can be found in the book below. The plantation homes will continue to attract historians, artists and tourists as many have a unique history of its own. Many sketches and drawing of plantation homes can be found in: Bouwkunst in Suriname, Ir. J.L. Volders, Kersten Co, 1973. No ISBN -------


Met dank aan Albert Buys









Met dank aan Albert Buys







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