Suriname

Land and History Among the Matawai of Suriname

Along the Saramacca River in central Suriname live the Matawai people. They are descendants of Africans who escaped slavery in the 17th and 18th centuries by fleeing into the jungles and fighting for their freedom. In the rainforest, the survival of the Matawai has always depended on an intimate knowledge of their territories. Place-based stories…

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ACT partakes in Ruby for Good 2018 to develop offline geostorytelling app Terrastories for remote communities

At Ruby For Good 2018, a team of programmers in the Ruby language worked to develop the open-source and offline-compatible Terrastories application, designed for remote communities to map their place-based storytelling traditions. ACT will be using this application for oral histories projects with the Matawai Maroons in Suriname and other indigenous communities elsewhere in the Amazon.

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Storytelling empowers indigenous people to conserve their environments

Oral histories

Indigenous storytelling is a powerful tool for preserving biocultural diversity, says Álvaro Fernández-Llamazares, an environmental researcher at the University of Helsinki in Finland. Having heard stories in Bolivia, Costa Rica, Kenya and Madagascar, he has now proposed that storytelling could transform how conservationists work with native peoples. The Amazon Conservation Team (ACT) embodies this philosophy. ACT partners with South American indigenous communities to preserve rainforests and traditional culture.

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