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Surinam und seine Bewohner oder Nachrichten über die geographischen, physischen, statistischen, moralischen und politischen Verhältnisse dieser Insel während eines zwanzigjährigen Aufenthalts daselbst, gesammelt.  J.D. Kunitz. Erfurt, Beyer un Maring, 1805.
Very rare first edition of this important report of a former director of a sugar- and coffee plantation in Suriname. Kunitz has spent over twenty years in Suriname. In this book we can find first hand information about the rebellious runaway slaves, their resistance against the white colonists and their destructive actions against the plantations. In the title a reference is made to Suriname as an island (‘dieser Insel’). Probably his publisher, not aware of the fact that Suriname  lies on the mainland of South-America, made this mistake. Kunitz writes extensively about Suriname, architecture, the various nationalities that form the population of Paramaribo and their lifestyles, funerals, religion, government and coffee plantations (SABIN 38345).

Prof.dr. Alex van Stipriaan has written extensively on slavery in Suriname. He is certain that during the workshift the slaves were singing. He quotes Kunitz: ” ….pflegen die Sclaven mit Singen die Zeit zu verkürzen und dann hört man Virtuosen und Virtuosinnen aller Art”.  Kunitz advises not to pu the sugarfactory too close to the other buildings because of the disturbance the singing creates.*)

 

 


8°. VIII, 352 pp. Half leather binding with gilt lettering and decoration on the spine (probably from around 1840). This copy was purchased from Antiquarian bookseller Susanne Koppel in Hamburg during the Antiquariatsmesse in Stuttgart (Germany).  A rare find on the last day of this three day bookfair. During my thirty years of  book collecting I have only seen one other copy in a private collection.er.

*) Alex van Stipriaan, ‘“Een verre verwijderd trommelen…” Ontwikkeling van Afro-Surinaamse muziek en dans in de slavernij’, in: Ton Bevers, Antoon Van den Braembussche en Berend Jan Langenberg (red.), De Kunstwereld. Produktie, distributie en receptie in de wereld van kunst en cultuur. Verloren, Hilversum 1993, p. 143-173.