Accession card

Code

HAB-161-310796157

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Location

Suriname
3° 56' 50.37" N, 55° 54' 12.8952" W
SR

Title

Surinamese Children's Songs Are a Reminder of Slavery

Medium

  • Audio

Video contains

Audio contains

Description

Faya Siton, meaning hot stone, is an old song from Suriname that is sung during a specific children’s game. Children sit in a circle and pass on a stone – in reality often a pit – and rub it on the ground so that it turns hot. While cheerful the song is about Master Jan from Holland who brands people and kills children. The lyrics go “Faya siton, no bron miso, no bron miso. Agen masra Jantji e kir sma pikin”, which means “Hot stone, do not burn me so, do not burn me so. Master Jan has killed someone’s child again.”

But the song also used to be sung by enslaved people who had to stir for days in a large container where sugar cane was cooked. When stirring, they burned themselves on that container or on the hot sugar cane. When the enslaved did not obey, they were thrown into the container of boiling hot sugar cane.

Another children’s song that reminds of slavery is ‘Alonki kon dansi’ in which a girl is summoned before the King.

Linguistic translation

Faya siton, no bron miso, no bron miso. Agen masra Jantji e kir sma pikin meaning Hot stone, do not burn me so, do not burn me so. Master Jan has killed someone’s child again

Alonki kon dansi meaning Girl come on dance

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