Slave Uprising – Tempati Rebellion – Ndyuka

One of the most significant uprisings in Suriname was the Tempati Rebellion. This rebellion later grew into one of the most powerful maroon groups, the Ndyuka.

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The Tempati uprising of 1757.

The Tempati region was an area that was dominated by several timber plantations.

The slaves in the timber plantations had more freedom than most slaves in the colony.
Tempati was no different. The slaves there generally had more privilages. They cut timber for the plantation and they were allowed to sell some of this timber in the city for their own personal profit. They had little supervision compared to slaves on coffee or sugar plantations.

The plantation La Paix was owned by Pierre Naveau. He died at a fairly young age and his wife inherited the plantation. She later married A certain Mr Martin.

One day in 1757, the plantation owner of La Paix, a certain Mr Martin, made a decision to send some of his timber slaves to go work one of his sugar plantations. This decision set off a series of events that led to the uprising.

The slaves pleaded with him not to separate them from their loved ones. However Mr Martin remained firm in his decision. Seeing the slaves were not pleased with this decision he decided to enlist the help of the Army to move the slaves by force if need be.
When the slaves found out about this they acted quickly before reinforcements could arrive, and planned a region wide uprising consisting of several plantations in the Tempati region, namely: Plantation Bleyenburg, Plantation Maagdenburg, Plantation L’Hermitage, Plantation Beerenburg & Plantation La Paix.

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They quickly overpowered the overseers & directors, one of which lost his hands by a machete attack.

The slaves fled into the forrest and when the army contingent caught up with them, they defeated the army decisively which had many casualties. They joined other groups of rebel slaves and helped form what is now known as the Ndyuka, one of the biggest and most influential maroon groups in Suriname.

In 1760 the colonials were forced to sign a peace treaty with the Ndyuka, which made them in essence a free state within a state. (This peace treaty was made before the Boni maroon wars)

It is important to note that the Saamamka is considered the first free group of maroons dating back to the 16th century. Yet the first peace treaty was signed with the Ndyuka.

The Tempati region never recovered and the plantations in that region remained pretty much abandoned after this uprising.

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