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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 77913 Find in a Library
Title: Planned Research Into the Criminological Consequences of the Mass Transmigration of the Bush Negroes in Suriname (From Crime and Punishment in the Caribbean, P 114-123, 1980, Rosemary Brana-Shute and Gary Brana-Shute, ed. - See NCJ-77904)
Author(s): A Leerschool-Liong A Jin
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 10
Sponsoring Agency: University Press of Florida
Gainesville, FL 32603
Sale Source: University Press of Florida
15 15th Street, NW
Gainesville, FL 32603
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Background information is provided for a research project intended to examine crime patterns among bush negro populations in Suriname before and after their relocation due to a new dam.
Abstract: The presentation focuses primarily on the social and crime patterns of the bush negroes in the Brokopondo area prior to their relocation in the late 1950's because of a hydroelectric project on the Suriname River. The cultural patterns of all the bush negroes in Suriname are similar, although tight political and social organizations keep the six tribes separate from one another. Their ancestors were brought as slaves from Africa. Many, in fleeing from plantations along the Saramacca River, settled in the forest along the Suriname River. Twenty-one Saramaccan and 5 Aucan villages were affected by the dam construction. The Saramacca tribe forms a political and cultural unit through shared language, manners, and customs. Each Saramaccan belongs to a kinship group. Vocational patterns are regular and fixed, as gardens are planted in the dry season, after which the men leave the village to bleed rubber or fell timber. A religion centered in nature informs Saramaccan perceptions and behavior. Although they are theoretically under the national law of Suriname, the Saramaccans' location in the interior leaves them largely free to pursue their own penal code. Murder and incest are considered the most serious crimes, and the most frequent criminal offenses are adultery and poaching. Sanctions are often determined by the preference of the victim, with the most severe sanction being banishment from the village. Capital punishment is disallowed. Since relocation, there appears to be a change in criminality among bush negroes. The proposed research, which is planned for 1979-1981, will examine the nature and causes of these changes. Maps and footnotes are given. A bibliography contains 11 listings.
Index Term(s): Crime patterns; Cultural influences; Ethnic groups; West Indies
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