Edited by Gianni Guadalupi. Texts by James G. Stedman, G. Verschuur
1992 / 218 PAGES.
Among the bends of swift, rushing rivers and under the canopies of the impenetrable forests of the Dutch colony, legendary El Dorado and tropical green prison alike.
Just like in the neighbouring French Guiana, in the 19th century Suriname witnessed a gold rush, the replacement of coffee with cocoa in plantations, the forest exploitation of balata (a rubberlike material) and the appearance of an elitist, peculiar tourism: botanists, zoologists, ethnologists and entomologists crossed its rivers and forests in search of orchids and cross-breeds, of piranhas and hymenopterans; Suriname represented the Manoa of natural sciences. These pages by French-Dutch naturalist G. Verschuur recall the troubled and questionable allure of journeys through the jungle accompanied by Black oarsmen and crinoline-wearing ladies.