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Book source: Afro-American Arts of The Suriname Rain Forest, Sally and Richard Price, Univ of California Press, Berkeley, 1980. ISBN: 0-520-044126

Subject: [Customs, Traditions] Personal Adornment
Article:

Sally and Richard Price illustrate with text and photos, in their book: 'Afro-American Arts of the Suriname Rain Forest', the various Maroon heirdos, clothes and jewelry. They want to show with this that under a system of plantation slavery where the individual identity came under attack the slaves managed to retain nevertheless their individual identity. Each person who was enslaved feared the most physical violence and death as a result of the violence. He or she were treated as nameless numbers. The assault on their pesonal identity on the other hand encouraged a cultivation and appreciation of qualties within the individual which the slave master could not take away from them. For example: keeping a sense of humor and wit, showing a certain skill or knowledge, developing a distinctive way of walking or talking, wearing certain clothing or combination of clothing ( a matter of their individual taste) and various hairdos (braided and un-braided). In the 18th century an observer in Suriname described how the hair of slaves was shaved in different figures with the help of a broken bottle. captain J.G. Stedman claimed that the rebel Maroons had their hair braided to distinguish them from the captive slaves. Numerous photographs of various hairdos, clothing, hats and caps (for the males) are shown in Sally and Richard Price book. -------


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