Le Dou, ou grande fête des esclaves
"The Dou, or Great Festival of the Slaves" (caption translation). This engraving shows a large crowd of people celebrating and playing drums under a big tree in the jungle. On the left, a person holds a rattle, or the maccari, a small instrument which makes the same noise as a vessel filled with stones. The women hold it in their right hand and pound the beat with the left hand. Benoit wrote that "enslaved people and creole blacks place great emphasis on dancing in general and particularly on gatherings which they call Dou. The Dou is ordinarily danced by the negros and by the slaves, above all on New Year's day. It is in these kinds of get togethers that they forget the shovel/fork and the whip, and they appear in all kinds of fancy clothing which is very different from the clothing they wore the day before or will wear the following day when going out to work" (p. 23). Pierre Jacques Benoit (1782-1854) was a Belgian artist, who visited the Dutch colony of Suriname on his own initiative for several months in 1831. He stayed in Paramaribo, but visited plantations, maroon communities and indigenous villages inland.
"Figure 38" in Pierre Jacques Benoit, Voyage à Surinam; description des possessions néerlandaises dans la Guyane (Bruxelles: Société des Beaux-Arts de Wasme et Laurent, 1839).
Benoit, Pierre Jacques
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"Le Dou, ou grande fête des esclaves", Slavery Images: A Visual Record of the African Slave Trade and Slave Life in the Early African Diaspora, accessed February 23, 2020, http://www.slaveryimages.org/s/slaveryimages/item/2354