Maroon hunting and trapping technology is derived from a combination of European, African, and indigenous techniques.
Ndjuka boys setting a kaapana (trap) for birds made from
split sticks and baited with grains of rice, Diitabiki, Suriname, 1991.
" . . . What the Aluku people really know well and what our ancestors really knew is how to deal with the dangers of the forest."
Papa Tobu, Aluku elder and village leader, Komontibo, French Guiana, 1991.
Major Charles Aarons and his apprentices making a fishpot, a
type of fish trap used by Maroons, Moore Town, Jamaica, 1991.
"Together we rode against the white man to preserve our freedom, and together we created a Seminole society from both Indian and African roots."
Charles Emily Wilson, Seminole Maroon elder and community historian, Brackettville, Texas, 1992
African Seminole leader John Horse (also known as Gopher John
and Juan Caballo). Engraving from a line drawing by N. Orr from Joshua Giddings The
Exiles of Florida, 1858.
"John Horse was the one with Chief Wild Cat that led the group of Seminoles from Florida into Oklahoma . . . he was our black leader."
William "Dub" Warrior, Seminole Maroon community historian, Brackettville, Texas, 1992
Seminole Indian Chief Coacoochee (also known as Wild Cat).
Engraving from a line drawing by N. Orr from Joshua Giddings The Exiles of
Man dressed in leaves for ambush holding a jonga (spear),
Moore Town, Jamaica, 1978.
"Nanny used nature as her greatest ally . . . She got her warriors and clothed them in vines and green leaves of trees."
Colonel C.L.G. Harris, leader of the Windward Maroons, Moore Town, Jamaica, 1992
Native Americans taught Maroons in Suriname and French Guiana how to use a matapi (plaited straw sieve) to press poisonous juices out of cassava root to make the plant edible. A native plant of the Americas and still grown as a staple food today, cassava root is eaten as flat cakes in some regions and as kwaka (cassava cereal) in others.
Matapi (plaited straw sieve), Suriname,
Women peeling cassava for grating, Langa Tabiki, Suriname, 1995.
Woman grating cassava, Moitaki, Suriname, 1995.
Matapi (plaited straw sieve) attached to tree to drain the cassavas poisonous juices, Moitaki, Suriname, 1995.
Woman sifting cassava, Langa Tabiki, Suriname, 1995.
Woman stirring kwaka (cassava cereal), Langa Tabiki, Suriname, 1995.
Woman baking cassava cakes on a griddle, Diitabiki, Suriname, 1991.
Photographs by Thomas Polimé and Diana Baird NDiaye