Souvenirs from Suriname
Souvenirs from Suriname are a way for vacationers to continue the experiences they enjoyed in the country, whether it is something as simple as a colorful key chain, a fun refrigerator magnet or a T-shirt emblazoned with brightly colored embroidery. Those who are seeking out exquisite examples of tribal handiwork will be spoiled for choice with the offerings provided by the Amerindians. Elegant craftsmanship in jewelry making is the result of centuries of work in precious gold and silver, with unique designs and structures. Simpler, but no less striking, are the woven baskets and fabrics available for sale. Batik printed cloth and wooden sculptures are created in styles reminiscent of Asia and Africa, reflective of the many explorers and merchants who visited the country, perfect as Surinamese souvenirs. Pottery is another popular art form, made into vases, statues, dinnerware and knickknacks. If you still can't decide, perhaps a box of hand rolled cigars would be ideal.
A Brief History of Suriname
The area of Suriname has been populated since 3000 BC, with many different tribes and people since. The Arawaks first inhabited the region, as a coastal tribe that survived primarily from hunting and fishing, but were conquered by the Caribs, who had developed sailing ships. These two tribes primarily settled on the Marowijne River, while smaller tribes, such as the Trio, Wayana, Warrau, Akurio, and Wayarekule, developed inside the rainforest. Dutch traders began to visit Suriname as a part of the exploration of the "New World," but it was an Englishman named Lord Willoughby who founded the first European settlement. In 1667, the Dutch invaded this settlement, causing a brief battle and diplomatic problems. These problems were resolved with a treaty that gave England New Amsterdam, or modern day New York, in exchange for Suriname. The Dutch maintained control over the country until the mid-twentieth century, when elections for a free government were held.