The Dutch made peace with sixteen Maroon leaders in 1760. According to Dutch sources it happened like this:

  • They swore on the bible [as demanded by the Dutch] and performed a blood ritual [as demanded by the Maroons].
  • Maroon Coffy Chaprando cut the left arm of all leaders and officers. Image
  • He wiped the blood with a linen cloth and rinsed it in the gourd, which was filled with some water and earth as well.
  • The Dutch and the Maroons drank from the mixture in the gourd.
  • The Maroon priest cast a curse over anyone who would break the treaty.
  • The Maroons made cheering sounds and the Dutch called ‘hoezee’ [hurray]. Twenty Dutch soldiers fired three salvos from their rifles to celebrate the peace.

The blood oath symbolised an oath of loyalty like the ancestors of the Maroons on the west coast of Africa used to swear. Earth and blood refer to deceased ancestors and allow them to witness the oath.

Peace with a gourd