Afáka Atumisi, a Ndyuka Maroon of eastern Suriname

Discussion in 'Honoring Black Ancestors' started by dustyelbow, May 11, 2006.

  1. dustyelbow

    dustyelbow Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    In 1908, Afáka Atumisi, a Ndyuka Maroon of eastern Suriname, dreamed that he was visited by a spirit who told him that it was time for Afáka to teach the Ndyuka how to write. The spirit promised to teach him one or two signs each night when he visited him. And so it happened. Afáka, who couldn’t read or write, learned 56 syllabic signs from his spiritual adviser, each consisting of a vowel or a consonant followed by a vowel. In 1910, struck by the appearance of Halley’s comet, Afáka felt convinced that he had been given an important tool for the improvement of the fate of the Maroons. He started teaching the signs to the Ndyuka.

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    Part of a letter of da Usa Afáka, where he refered to the comet of Halley

    All persons who took the trouble to learn the Afáka script thoroughly, are given the title of “bukuman.” Afáka was the first ede-bukuman (head of the association of bukuman). When he died on July 8th, 1918 , Abena from the Ndyuka village of Saaye, inherited the title and responsibilities. Before he died in 1960, Abena had trained his son, Alufaisi Kasitioe, to use the script. Alufaisi trained André R.M. Pakosie on how to read and write Afáka’s script. On July 1, 1977 , Alufaisi picked Pakosie as successor to the office of ede-bukuman. When Alufaisie died in 1993, Pakosie assumed all responsibilities connected with the function of ede-bukuman. He has taught several persons in Suriname and the Netherlands the proper use of Afáka’s script.

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    Ede-kabiten and Ede-bukuman Alufaisi Kasitioe (Photo: Dr. C.N. Dubelaar)


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    On July 1, 1977 , Ede-kabiten and ede-bukuman Alufaisi (left) appoints André R.M.
    Pakosie as his successor to the position of ede-bukuman. (Photo Dr. Verna Giles).



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    In the Afáka script Alufaisi wrote the following declaration: “Kabiten Alufaisi herewith declares that he has taught André Pakosie the script. After I have passed away, I wish him to assume the position of ede-bukuman in order for this knowledge not to be lost. Today is the first day of the seventh month .“ ( July 1, 1977 )

    Sabanapeti Foundation has included the Afáka script in the courses offered. Those who succeed in mastering it receive a certificate signed by the ede-bukuman. For more information contact Sabanapeti secretariat [email protected] or phone 030 294
    3402.

    For the history of the Afáka script, see: Cornelis Dubelaar and André Pakosie. 'Het Afakaschrift van de Tapanahoni rivier in Suriname '. Bronnen voor de Studie van
    Suriname , vol. 21 Utrecht : Thela Thesis & Clacs-IBS. 1999. ISBN 90 5538 032 6.
     
  2. I-khan

    I-khan Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    GREAT POST
     
  3. dustyelbow

    dustyelbow Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    I like this particular one too, because it shows what can happen to us when we fight until our struggle is WON.

    1) Maroons fought against the Dutch and made a treaty with them to be left in PEACE.

    2) Find peace with ourselves. These Maroons did not know how to read and write. They had to communicate some way and had to follow some blueprint. That is their ancestors. It may be past tense but I believe the decisions we made in the past do help or harm us now and the future.

    3) Do good for those around you. Best of all this person did not have a BIBLE. Still a spirit of gentleness feel on this man because he wanted to do something for his people (ask and you shall recieve). The same principal meaning it is a UNIVERSAL LAW that everyone can follow if they CHOOSE.
     
  4. dustyelbow

    dustyelbow Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Some Maroon philosophy

    Surinam Maroons

    Art and Culture

    "This prayer is good. This prayer makes children grow, makes them get big. Just the way the night and the day are fertile. God created them to make things grow, to make the earth fruitful. That's what this prayer says. That's what it’s about."

    Introduction to prayer in sacred language offered by Gaama Songo Aboikoni, paramount leader of the Saramaka Maroons,

    The Smithsonian Festival of American Folklife, Washington, D.C., 1992
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    The Surinam Maroons are the descendents of runaway slaves who where never captured by the Dutch Kolonialists.

    Hidden away deep in the amazon rain forrests of Surinam, South America they still live as they did hundreds of years ago on the West coast of Africa.


    Because of little contact with the outside world the african culture is still very well preserved. They where made up from many different tribes. Within a short time created a new culture with it's own religion and artistic expression and language.


    N'djuka /Aluku Maroon
    Human Life Cycle
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    According to Ndjuka and Aluku Maroons, human beings have an akaa (unchanging essential spirit), a soul, and a body.

    A person is born from the invisible world of the ancestors, grows from childhood into adulthood in the visible world of the living, grows old, dies, and returns to the status of ancestor.

    When a person has lived a good life, his or her soul returns to the visible world after death as a newborn. This process is known as nenseki (reincarnation).


    The chart shows each of the three levels of existence in concentric circles.

    Inner circle = akaa (essential spirit)
    Middle circle = nenseki (ancestral soul in process of reincarnation)
    Outer circle = person in the life-cycle

    The upper half of the circle represents the visible world into which people are born and out of which they die.

    The lower half of the circle represents the invisible world inhabited by ancestors and spirits.

    The two worlds co-exist but only ritual specialists (mediums) usually see and interact with the invisible world.

    Courtesy of Thomas Polimé
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    Art by Francky Amete and other Maroon Artists. This traditional work is full of ancient symbolism known only by the tribe's people. These bright colored pattern paintings can also be seen on the houses and handmade fabrics of the Maroon poeple.

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    N'djuka wooden shrine near Marowijne River, Ampoma Tapu


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    N'djuka Maroon man in front of painted home, wearing traditional dress


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    Saramaka Maroon man with rattle and drums used in ritual ceremonies


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    Saramaka Maroons taking part in a ponsu, a community fishing event they learned from local indians. Fish are drugged with herbs to make them easier to catch.


    Photographs by Thomas Polimé and Diana Baird N’Diaye and Bart Kamphuis.
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    Once we WON our struggle against ruthless "white" and others, I EXPECT US TO RECEIVE SUCH SPIRITUAL GIFTS TO TRANSFORM THIS WORLD.

    THIS IS WHY I STRUGGLE. I DONT WANT TO STRUGGLE FOR MONEY AS THE END OR TO SIT NEXT TO RUTHLESS WHITE IN HIS GLOBAL BUSINESS OF DESTRUCTION.

    I want simply peace. And peace itself is not EASY. Alot of work is involves but the STRUGGLE is the exercise to make PEACE work BETTER.
     
  5. Isaiah

    Isaiah Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Excellent Job, brother Dusty, excellent!

    And the pictures and the symbols are out of this world! Awesome!


    Peace!
    Isaiah
     
  6. OmowaleX

    OmowaleX Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Ase'!
     
  7. OmowaleX

    OmowaleX Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    :terrific:
     
  8. cherryblossom

    cherryblossom Banned MEMBER

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    Thanx for the history!