Surinamese Culture Jewelry: The Meaning of the Charms and Beads

Updated: Nov 14, 2020

Culture Jewelry has significant meaning to many Surinamers and is used to bring its wearers luck and protection. Below, you will find the meaning and photos of the various charms and beads found in Surinamese Culture Jewelry.

Photos by Foko Juweliers


Mattenklooper (Carpet-Beater): the carpet-beater stands for connection with God and you often get it from someone who cares about you. This can be out of friendship or love. The carpet-beater also keeps 'bad' things off your path.

Piet Piet: The Piet Piet represents a connection with Suriname. You can see it as a piece of land/earth from Suriname that you then carry with you.

Anchor: The anchor represents hope, stability, fortitude, dedication, loyalty, protection, safety, life, and redemption.

Afoe sensi: Many Surinamese know the paintings with the text "Mi na afoe sensi, no wan sma kan broko mi". The afoe sensi really means that you cannot be broken. It was the smallest means of payment in Suriname and therefore literally cannot be exchanged for smaller coins.

Ala Kondre Bead: Is the bead that represents all spirits. This bead must be hand-painted.

Ogri Ai (Black Bead): This bead is often used for the evil eye. Often used by children, because they would be sensitive to it. Ogri ai translated into English is evil eye.

Red Bead: This bead is often worn for Ingis (Indians). These were the first inhabitants of Suriname.

Blue Bead: often used for the ampuku-winti or busi ingi-winti (Spirits of elements of the Earth).

White bead: this bead is often used for the spirits.

Kromanti Bead: This striped black and white bead are worn for the Kromanti-Winti (a pantheon of spirits in the winti religion.) Winti is an Afro-Surinamese traditional religion that has African origins and developed in South America.

#Suriname #AfroSurinameCulture #AfricanSpirituality #Suriname

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