Granman

Granman (Ndyuka language: gaanman) is the title of the paramount chief of a Maroon nation in Suriname and French Guiana. The Ndyuka, Saramaka, Matawai, Aluku, Paramaka and Kwinti nations all have a granman. The paramount chiefs of Amerindian peoples in Suriname are nowadays also often called granman.

Granman Atudendu of the Saramaka Maroons (1934-1949).

The word comes from the Sranan Tongo language, a creole spoken in Suriname, and is derived from grand + man meaning "most important man." Granman was also used for the governors of Suriname.[1] The word can be used in combination with other words: granman-oso (big man house) is the Presidential Palace.[1]

GovernmentEdit

The paramount chief of a tribe is the granman. Below the granman are the kabitens (captains) followed by the basiyas (aldermen). The stam lanti consists of all the kabitens and basiyas who meet at least once a year under the authority of the granman and decide the policy for the entire tribe.[2]

A village has a lo lanti (council) consisting of the kabitens and basiyas of the village who are advised by a council of elders. The lo lanti acts as the local government. In case of important decisions, the whole village participates (krutu) and a decision is taken on the basis of consensus.[3]

 
Granman Amakiti with his kabitens in Paramaribo (~1923)

Government is based on unwritten rules and regulations called gwenti which are not all powerful. If decision cannot be reached, a lanti krutu (general meeting) is called consisting of the village elite and the priests.[4] The meeting is chaired by the granman who does not speak directly to the people, but always via a momboor who speaks on his behalf.[5] The granman may not be addressed directly either.[6] All villagers are allowed to participate regardless of age or gender, however the elderly carry the highest weight.[5]

Once a year, the granman and his kabitens have to present themselves at the Government in Paramaribo.[7]

SuccessionEdit

The granman is normally chosen from the same lo (maternal group) and therefore a son can never succeed his father. The successor is chosen from the cousins on the maternal side.[8] The succession is a lengthy process. More than a year must pass before the rituals and ceremonies are performed, and a successor is chosen by the people.[9]

Basiyas and kabitens were normally chosen by the tribe,[10] however political appointments have increased in frequency.[11] The issue has caused diplomatic rifts in the past. In Augustus 1965, before the independence of Suriname, Prime-minister Pengel travelled to Diitabiki to install Gazon Matodya as the new granman, because Gazon was the most likely candidate, and Akontu Velanti had died one year ago. The visit was not appreciated, because the Ndyuka had to chose their own leader, and it was still too early to make a decision. Gazon was also of the opinion that the inauguration ought to be performed by Governor de Vries on behalf of Queen Juliana.[12]

The six Maroon granmanEdit

Ndyuka granmanEdit

The Ndyuka granman is elected from the Otoo matriclan or lo and resides in Diitabiki.[13] The current granman is Bono Velantie, who was installed on 17 March 2015.

The Ndyuka and Saramaka distinguish not only the lo of a person, but also the bee.[14] Every lo consists of multiple bees who have arrived from the same plantation or ancestral mother.[2] The bee forms a segment of 50 to 100 people who are joined together with common practices and rules, but who are often spread out over multiple villages.[14]

Granman of the Ndyuka nation[15]
No. Granman Lo Term in office
1 Fabi Labi Beyman Dikan 1759 – 1764
2 Kwamina Adyubi Dikan 1764 – 1765
3 Agbato Langaofangi Agaamu Nyanfai 1765 – 1767
4 Pamu Langabaiba Otoo 1767 – 1790
5 Toni Otoo (Lebi bee) 1790 – 1808
6 Bambi Kukudyaku Bonponubontanafe Otoo (Baaka bee) 1808 – 1819
7 Kwau Toobi Otoo (Lebi bee) 1820 – 1832
Pikin Pangaboko a.i. Misidyan 1832 – 1833
8 Manyan Beeyman Otoo (Baaka bee) 1833 – 1866
9 Abaan Beeymofu Otoo (Baaka bee) 1867 – 1882
10 Oseyse Otoo (Baaka bee) 1884 – 1915
Yensa Kanape a.i. Otoo (Baaka bee) 1915 – 1916
11 Papa Amakiti Otoo (Baaka bee) 1916 – 1929
Yensa Kanape a.i. Otoo (Baaka bee) 1929 – 1937
12 Pai Amatodya Otoo (Baaka bee) 1937 – 1947
Apianai a.i. Misidyan (Maasaa bee) 1947 – 1950
13 Akontu Velanti Otoo (Baaka bee) 1950 – 1964
Adan Pankuku a.i. Otoo (Lebi bee) 1964 – 1966
14 Gazon Sokoton Matodya Otoo (Baaka bee) 1966 – 2011
15 Bono Velanti Otoo (Baaka bee) 2015 – present

Saramaka granmanEdit

The Saramaka granman resides in Asidonhopo. The succession of granman Belfon Aboikoni, who died in June 2014, has not been decided as of 2020. There are three candidates, but no agreement between the clans. The decision was forwarded to President Dési Bouterse in 2018, however he decided that the clans have to reach a compromise themselves.[16]

Granman of the Saramaka nation[15]
No. Granman Term in office
1 Abini 1762 – 1767
2 Kwaku Etja 1775 – 1783
3 Johannes Alabi 1783 – 1820
4 Gbagidi Gbago 1821 (died before inauguration)
5 Gbosuma (Kofi Bosuman) 1822 – 1835
6 Abraham Wetiwojo 1835 – 1867
7 Frans Bona (Faansibona) 1870 – 1886
8 Akoosu 1888 – 1897
9 Djankuso 1889 – 1932
10 Atudendu (Binootu) 1934 – 1949
11 Agbago Aboikoni 1951 – 1989
12 Songo 1991 – 2003
13 Belfon Aboikoni 2005 – 2014

Matawai granmanEdit

The Matawai granman resides in Pusugrunu. The current granman is Lesley Valentijn.[17]

Granman of the Matawai nation[15]
No. Granman Term in office
1 Musinga 1760 – 1778
2 Beku 1778 – 1788
3 Bojo 1788 – 1810
4 Kojo 1810 – 1830
5 Afiti Jongman 1830 – 1853
6 Josua Kalkun 1853 – 1867
7 Noah Adrai Vroomhart 1870 – 1893
8 Johannes King 1895 – 1896
9 Lavanti Agubaka 1898 – 1901
10 Matili 1905 – 1908
11 Koso 1913 – 1918 (not installed)
12 Asaf Kine 1926 – 1947
13 Alfred Johan Aboné 1950 – 1980
14 Oscar Charles Lafanti 1981 – 2009[17]
15 Lesley Valentijn 2011 – present

Aluku granmanEdit

The Aluku granman used to reside in Papaïchton. In 1992, there were two granman installed,[18] Paul Doudou who was granman in Papaïchton until his death in 2014,[19] and Joachim-Joseph Adochini who was chosen by election, and not part of maternal lineage.[20] Adochini resides in Maripasoula.[21]

Unlike the other tribes who are located in Suriname, the Aluku are French citizens.[22] There is a village of located in Suriname called Cottica which is governed by a kabiten[23] who is not under the authority of the granman.[24]

The granman of the Aluku is not only a generic tribal chief, but also an arbiter who decides on issues concerning different maternal lineages. No appeal is possible, once a decision has been reached. In practice, his power is limited, because every individual has the right to make their own decisions.[25]

Granman of the Aluku nation[26]
No. Granman Term in office Comment
1 Asikan Silvester unknown – 1765
2 Aluku 1765 – 1792 Leader in charge of women and children.[27]
Bokilifu Boni 1765 – 1793 Leader in charge of the military command.[27]
3 Agosu 1793 – 1810
4 Gongo 1810 – 1841 Illegally installed as granman by Le Prieux who had no authority.[28]
5 Adam (Labi) 1841 – 1870
6 Atyaba 1870 – 1876
7 Anato 1876 – 1891
8 Ochi 1891 – 1915 First granman to be recognized by the French Government.[22]
9 Awensai 1917 – 1936
10 Difu 1937 – 1965
11 Tolinga 1967 – 1990
12a Paul Doudou 1992 – 2014[29] Residence in Papaïchton
12b Joachim-Joseph Adochini 1992 – present Chosen by an election and not part of the maternal lineage.[20] Residence in Maripasoula

Paramaka granmanEdit

The Paramaka granman resides in Langatabiki. The current granman is Jozef Misajere Forster.[30]

Granman of the Paramaka nation[31]
No. Granman Term in office Comment
1 Papa Doffin
2 Tata Bigiman
3 Tata Aboma
4 Frans Kwakoe
Asaisi, Akama, Amerikan and Apensa Interim period with four leaders; Asaisi who was next in line refused the position, which was then given to Apensa as the oldest of the four
5 Kwaku Petrus Apensa 1898 – 1923 First Pamaka granman officially recognized by the Government
6 Jozef Aboenawooko 1932 – 1947
7 Cornelis Zacharia Forster 1951 – 1991
8 Jan Levi 1993 – 2008
9 Samuel Forster 2010 – 2017
10 Jozef Misajere Forster[30] 2020 – present

Kwinti granmanEdit

The Kwinti granman resides in Witagron. Granman André Mathias died in 2018.[32]

Granman of the Kwinti nation[31]
No. Granman Term in office Comment
1 Boku unknown – 1765[33]
2 Kofi unknown – 1827[33]
3 Alamun 1887 – unknown Officially appointed, but not as granman and only the tribe living on the Coppename River[34]
4 Marcus Mentor 1913 – 1926
5 Paulus Paka 1928 – 1936
6 Johannes Afiti 1937 – 1977
7 Matheus Cornelis Marcus 1978 – 1999[35]
8 André Mathias 2002 – 2018[35] First to rule as granman
9 Remon Clemens 2020[36]

Brooskampers kabitenEdit

 
Kabiten Broos (~1870)

There was a seventh group of Maroons called Brooskampers (also: Bakabusi Nengre). In the 1740s, they lived in the swamps near Surnau Creek.[37] On 2 September 1863, a peace treaty was signed offering the tribe the abandoned plantations Klaverblad and Rorac.[38][39] No granman was appointed, and the tribe was led by a kabiten (captain). Bauxite was discovered on the plantation.[38] In 1917,[38] a deal was negotiated with the tribe by kabiten Hudukanti and Alcoa,[40] the lands were sold, and the people settled in Tout-Lui-Faut near Paramaribo.[38]

Kabitens of the Brooskamper nation
No. Kabiten Term in office Comment
1 Kukudabi 18th century[41] Founder of tribe.[42]
2 Tata Sambo unknown – 1830[34] Taken from Rac à Rac by Kukudabi.[41]
3 April[41] mid 19th century
4 Broos (Brosu) & Kaliko[39] around 1860 – 1880[34] Grandchildren of Tata Sambo.[41] First recognized kabitens
5 Hudukanti (Johannes Babel)[40] 1880 – 1917 Son of Broos. Last kabiten of the Brooskampers.[40]

The indigenous granmanEdit

Tiriyó granmanEdit

Traditionally, there was no clear hierarchy in the Tiriyó tribe. In 1997, Asongo Alalaparu was appointed as first granman for Suriname.[43]

Granman of the Tiriyó
Granman Country Term in office
Asongo Alalaparu[43] Suriname 1997 – present

Wayana granmanEdit

Traditionally, the Wayana did not recognise a form of leadership that transcended the village level. Contact with missionaries and state representatives started to change that, and the Surinamese, French, and Brazilian states preferred to centralise their dealings with the Wayana, and for this purpose installed captains, head captains and granman among the Wayana chief. As the concept of a paramount chief goes against Wayana ideas of political organisation, the authority of these chiefs beyond their own villages is often limited.[44][45]

The granman of the Wayana in Suriname resides in Pïlëuwimë, which is also known as Apetina, after the name of the first granman Kananoe Apetina, who was recognized by governor Jan Klaasesz as granman of the Wayana in 1952.

Granman of the Wayana in Suriname
Granman Term in office
Kananoe Apetina[45] 1952 – 1975[46]
Aptuk Noewahe[45] 1976 – Present

Apart from the granman in Pïlëuwimë, the Wayana on the Surinamese side of the Lawa River have their own head captain residing in Kawemhakan, who is also often referred to as granman.

Head captain of the Wayana on the Lawa River
Granman Term in office
Janomalë[47] 1938 – 1958
Anapaikë[48] 1958 – 2003
Ipomadi Pelenapïn[45] 2005 – Present

The granman of the Wayana in French Guiana resides in Kulumuli, which is also known by the name of the first granman Twenkë. After Twenkë's he was succeeded by his son Amaipotï.

Granman of the Wayana in French Guiana
Granman Term in office
Twenkë[49] 1960 – 1985[50]
Amaipotï[49] 1985 – Present[50]

NotesEdit

  1. ^ a b "Sranan Tongo – English Dictionary" (PDF). SIL International. p. 63. Retrieved 28 July 2020.
  2. ^ a b Pakosie 1990, p. 876.
  3. ^ Scholtens 1994, p. 20.
  4. ^ Helman 1977, p. 150.
  5. ^ a b Helman 1977, p. 151.
  6. ^ Ellen de Vries (23 November 2005). "Nergens ligt vast wat de Granman mag" (PDF). Trouw via Ellen de Vries (in Dutch). Retrieved 28 July 2020.
  7. ^ "Suriname 1599-1975". University of Amsterdam (in Dutch). Retrieved 28 July 2020.
  8. ^ "Bono Velantie nieuwe gaanman der Ndjuka's". Dagblad the West (in Dutch). Retrieved 26 July 2020.
  9. ^ "INSTALLATIE OPVOLGING GRANMAN GAZON INZICHT". Radio Boskopu via Nieuws-Suriname (in Dutch). Retrieved 30 July 2020.
  10. ^ Helman 1977, p. 152.
  11. ^ Pakosie 1990, p. 875.
  12. ^ Wim Hoogbergen (2001). "André R.M. Pakosie, Gazon Matodja; Surinaams stamhoofd aan het einde van een tijdperk". Digital Library for Dutch Literature. OSO. Tijdschrift voor Surinaamse taalkunde, letterkunde en geschiedenis. Jaargang 20 (in Dutch). Retrieved 30 July 2020.
  13. ^ Van Wetering & Thoden van Velzen 2013, pp. 1, 28-31.
  14. ^ a b Helman 1977, p. 157.
  15. ^ a b c Scholtens 1994, p. 155.
  16. ^ "Saramaccaners hebben nog geen granman". Suriname Herald (in Dutch). Retrieved 27 July 2020.
  17. ^ a b "Lesley Valentijn volgens traditie al granman Matuariërs". Star Nieuws (in Dutch). Retrieved 26 July 2020.
  18. ^ Denis Bassargette and Guy Di Meo (2008). "Les limites du modèle communal français en Guyane : le cas de Maripasoula". Open Edition (in French): 57.
  19. ^ "Décès du Gran Man Paul Doudou : les condoléances". Blada (in French). Retrieved 26 July 2020.
  20. ^ a b Scholtens 1994, p. 120.
  21. ^ "Statement by Gaanman Joachim-Joseph Adochini, Paramount Chief of the Aluku (Boni) People". Smithsonian Institution. 1992. Retrieved 31 July 2020.
  22. ^ a b Scholtens 1994, p. 65.
  23. ^ Scholtens 1994, p. 68.
  24. ^ Scholtens 1994, p. 11.
  25. ^ Helman 1977, pp. 154-155.
  26. ^ Scholtens 1994, p. 155-156.
  27. ^ a b "Boni (ca. 1730 – 1793), leider van de slavenrevoltes in Suriname". Is Geschiedenis (in Dutch). Retrieved 21 July 2020.
  28. ^ Scholtens 1994, p. 29.
  29. ^ "Mort du Gran Man Boni". Guyane, Le Première (in French). Retrieved 31 July 2020.
  30. ^ a b "Pamaka stam in Suriname heeft nieuwe granman". Waterkant (in Dutch).
  31. ^ a b Scholtens 1994, p. 156.
  32. ^ "Opperhoofd der Kwinti's, André Mathias, ingeslapen; RO krijgt rapportage". Suriname Herald (in Dutch). Retrieved 26 July 2020.
  33. ^ a b Scholtens 1994, p. 32.
  34. ^ a b c Scholtens 1994, p. 33.
  35. ^ a b "Commissie Kwinti moet stam der Kwinti's overleden stamhoofd bijstaan". GFC Nieuws via Nieuws Suriname (in Dutch). Retrieved 27 July 2020.
  36. ^ https://www.srherald.com/suriname/2020/10/03/nieuwe-granman-der-kwintis-moet-zorgen-voor-ontwikkeling-in-woongebied/
  37. ^ Edwin Marshall. "De Brooskampers". NAKS Suriname (in Dutch). Retrieved 27 July 2020.
  38. ^ a b c d Scholtens 1994, p. 34.
  39. ^ a b "Plantage Rorac". Suriname Plantages (in Dutch). Retrieved 27 July 2020.
  40. ^ a b c "Twee Amerikanen onderhandelen met de eigenaren van Onoribo en De Vrijheid". De West via Delpher (in Dutch). 26 June 1950. Retrieved 30 July 2020. Referred to both as captain and granman in the newspaper article
  41. ^ a b c d "Tweede gedeelte: de boschnegers". Delpher.nl. Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde van Nederlandsch-Indië: 533. 1903. Retrieved 30 July 2020.
  42. ^ "Tweede gedeelte: de boschnegers". Delpher.nl. Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde van Nederlandsch-Indië: 530. 1903. Retrieved 30 July 2020.
  43. ^ a b Heemskerk & Delvoye 2007, p. 3.
  44. ^ "Wayana: political organisation". Povos Indígenas no Brazil. Retrieved 1 March 2018.
  45. ^ a b c d Boven 2006, p. 243.
  46. ^ Boven 2006, p. 108.
  47. ^ Boven 2006, p. 95.
  48. ^ Boven 2006, p. 127.
  49. ^ a b Fleury 2016, p. 19.
  50. ^ a b Chapuis 2007, p. 184.

ReferencesEdit