Suriname celebrates Maroons Day as a national public holiday on 10 October. Although this day had been celebrated by the people of Suriname for many, many years before it gained official status, it was made an official holiday only in 2011.
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Maroons Day brings attention to the escaped African slaves who started up their own independent towns in interior Suriname during the colonial era. They were called “Maroons” after the Spanish term cimarron that means “fugitive”. Some of these fugitive slaves even moved to the Caribbean or to other parts of the world.
The Maroons who stayed in Suriname’s interior formed distinct tribes that lived alongside Amerindian tribes. One of these, the Ndyuka, actually signed a treaty with the Dutch colonial government in 1760, guaranteeing them rights to lands they occupied.
On Maroons Day, the people of Suriname celebrate the unique contribution the Maroons played in their nation’s history.