The Saramaka or Saramacca are one of six Maroon peoples (formerly called "Bush Negroes") in the Republic of Suriname. The word "Maroon" comes from the Spanish cimarron, itself derived from an Arawakan root; by the early 16th century it was used throughout the Americas to designate slaves who successfully escaped from slavery. Suriname, formerly called Dutch Guiana, has been independent from the Netherlands since 1975. The 55,000 Saramakas (some of whom live in neighboring French Guiana) are one minority within this multiethnic nation, which includes approximately 37 per cent Hindustanis (East Indian descendants of contract laborers brought in after the abolition of slavery); 31 per cent Creoles (descendants of Africans brought as slaves); 15 per cent Javanese (descendants of contract workers brought during the early 20th century from Indonesia); 3 per cent Chinese, Levantines, and Europeans; 2 per cent Amerindians; and 12 per cent Maroons.
Contributions by Jfparktucson, Parkwells, and Lcyarrington.