Anton The Kom – Freedom Fighter – Suriname

Anton De Kom, freedom fighter, anti colonialist, and labor leader.

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Suriname African Heritage – religion. Anana, Aisa, winti

Winti(ween tee)

Religious practices also survived. It is still being practiced by creoles in the city and maroons in the interior.

In Suriname we call it Winti.

I will briefly explain the Winti.

Winti, term, is sort of a catch phrase for spirit, spiritual, religion.

winti

Anana(ah nah nah) is the main god or creator but you can only reach him through his lesser gods.

There are 4 groups of lesser gods: god of the earth, god of the water, god of the forest, and god of the air or wind

Aisa(eye sah), mother god of the earth,  is the highest and is considered closest to Anana. Which is why at most Winti rituals or payers begin with an offering or odo(oh doh) to Aisa, hoping that she will intervene on your behalf regarding many issues, such as healing, protection, or general blessing.

Winti is still practiced by maroons & creoles alike. The majority of creoles however are Christian, but the Winti religion still survives. Many maroons are also Christian but I’m not sure about the ratio. I do believe that the Saamaka are the largest Christian maroon group.

One of the most common prayers to Aisa, which everyone in Suriname has heard on many occasions is as follows:

Mama Aisa, gorong winti,
gorong gado,
A pikin suku yepi.

Mother Aisa, spirit of the earth,
god of the earth,
Your children are seeking your help.

This prayer is often accompanied by sprinkling an odo, offering, to the earth, usually some strong alcoholic drink.

The prayer sounds like this:

One personal note about this song.  In my opinion this song’s melody bears a slight resemblance to the African American spiritual “Deep River”.  Searh google: Deep River – Paul Robeson


One can often witness a Winti Prei,(Ween tee pray) which is a ritual prayer ceremony accompanied by drums, where you can see participants get in trance and perform supernatural acts, such as dancing barefoot on broken glass, on hot coals, eating glass and more, without any physical damage or cuts to the skin.

They cover part of their bodies with pemba doti(pih m bah doh tee), a white clay powder, (kaolin) which they believe will bring them closer to the god(s).

Example of a Winti Prei:

General Overview Of Suriname

Suriname is about the size of the state of Georgia, with a population of a little over 500,000

The majority of the population lives along the northern coast, while most of the maroons still live further inland.

sme   srnewzzz

The population is mixed. The main groups are blacks, Indians(from India), Javanese. There is also a sizable Chinese population. Most of the population besides the blacks came right after the emancipation of slavery in the late 1800’s and the early 20th century.

In Suriname there are cultural influences from all those countries, the food, the religions, the music and the language.

You will find for example, Hinduism, Islam, Other Eastern Religions, and the various languages. They are all proud to call themselves Surinamese. This pride is a common recurring theme in our music, art and literature.

bevolking-suriname

In the Netherlands there is also a large population of Surinamese since the mid 1970’s. It is estimated that the number of Surinamese in Holland is about the same as in Surinam.

Here is a video that I hope will give you an overview of the overall cultural makeup of Suriname: