Saramaccan Woman with Traditional Pito Hairstyle

Authentic curly haircuts of Surinamese Saramacan Women with photos, videos, explanation and meaning

Traditional Maroon Frizzy Haircut
Saramaccan women with traditional frizzy haircut

Where you can see from the hair type to which race someone belongs, you can often see from a haircut to which culture someone belongs. My name is Marcelien Reims-Soeboe. Born in Sipaliwini, daughter of Alfred Pikientio of the village of Granslee and Elisabeth Soeboe of Bindiwata. I'm going to talk about the different hairstyles (hairwear) on the Saramacan (Maroon) woman.

As in other cultures, hair is the crown for a Saramaccan woman. In the past, a Saramaccan woman would never shave her hair. Only a widow did that during the mourning period. 

In any other case, the woman could be admired in beautiful braided hairstyles. You could see her glowing with her naturally braided frizzy hair on every occasion. The various hairstyles are said to have been “roadmaps” of fleeing from the plantations. Never, ever would you see a woman in a pangi without a haircut to match. 

The different hairstyles each have a unique name and/or history. I will highlight a few: 

manda posu

goose putu

Pitö or sitonu-kaapatu

Kofi ajompo



lolo uwii

Manda posu Frizzy hair hairstyle of the Maroon woman


 Manda-posu owes its name to the traditional baskets of the Saramaccaners. The weaving of the baskets was done in a specific way. If you wanted to weave a good basket, you had to start in a certain way. In exactly the same way manda posu is braided.

Gansë putu Frizzy hair hairstyle of the Maroon woman

Gansë putu is a hairstyle in which the hair is first divided into four equal halves, starting from the center of the head. The center of the head then becomes the vanishing point, from which you will braid. The end of the hair is not tightly braided. In the past, the Saramaccan woman did not have enough or no accessories available. She really had to make do with what she had, so she used yarn to decorate the ends of her “gansë putu”. Color is very important for the Saramaccaners. The brighter the better! 

Pitö or sitonu-kaapatu haircut on the Maroon woman

Pitö is nothing but the way this hairstyle is braided. Traditionally, the name pitö has been used for braiding hair that was very short. It is also said “mio pitö uwii dai”, (I will braid your hair, which is very short). Because pitö can be very beautiful, it is also braided for ladies with slightly longer hair. After the braids are made, they are tucked in so that they appear short. It is also called “motjokumba” these days.

Kofi ajompo haircut on the Maroon woman 

Kofi ajompo is the traditional cornrows or kwi kwi ba (that's what they call it in Suriname). Vertical divisions are then made from the center of the forehead to the neck. And the hair is also braided in this way. It is worth noting that the separations at kofi ajompo are parallel. The name kofi ajompo has a history. During the internal war, there was a member of the jungle commando named Kofi Ajompo. Kofi ajompo was often seen with this hairstyle. The haircut was then named after him; kofi ajompo. 

Tuusidow Kroeshaar haircut with the Maroon woman

In tuusidow the traditional divisions are made as in cornrows or kofi ajompo. The vertical divisions are then divided into parallel, horizontal divisions. This results in rectangular distributions. You then make a braid and you take that one braid with you while braiding the next braid, you keep repeating this until the neck. If you are braiding tuusidow in the form of djontolo, braid it to the middle of the head. Tuusidow can be seen as a cornrow replacement. Just as learning cornrow is a start, tuusidow is a start too. After mastering tuusidow you can decide for yourself how and which partings you make to braid tuusidow. 

Djontolo frizzy haircut at the Maroon woman

Djontolo is a hairstyle in which one has parallel partings from the forehead to the center of the head and from the nape to the center of the head. And cornrows are made (braided), from the forehead and neck to the center of the head. The cornrow can also be replaced by tuusidow. 

Lölö uwii frizzy haircut on the Maroon woman

Lölö uwii is nothing but the so-called twisted braids. Braids are made with two strands instead of three strands. 

Saramacan culture has many more hairstyles, such as: 

lontu ede


putu a buka

goon uwii

Pina uwii and so much more. 

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