Stories Of Suriname Slavery Time In Song – Faja Siton

Some stories survive in song because they are funny and some songs survive because they are cruel. “Faja Sitong” is an example of the latter.

This is now a children’s song in both Surinam and Holland and in Surinam it’s also part of a game. Yet many in both Surinam and Holland do not really know the origin of this song.

This is the real story behind Faja Siton.

During slavery time in Suriname there was a coffee plantation, run by a slave master named Jan (called Masra Jantjie).

During the harvest the slaves had a certain quota of coffee beans to bring in. If you were short of your quota, Masra Jantjie, would make a fire into which he would put stones. When the stones where really hot, those slaves had to stand in a circle and were than forced to pick up the stone and pass it around the other slaves. If any of them dropped the stone they would get a severe beating!

The name of the song “Faja Sitong” literally means hot stone

Faja Sitong

Faja si ton no bron mi so, no bron mi so
agen masra Jantj’e kiri soema pikin,
agen masra Jantj’e kiri soema pikin.

Hot stone don’t burn me se don’t burn me so

again masra Jantjie is killing someone’s son/daughter
again masra Jantjie is killing someone’s son/daughter

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