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