One afternoon during a visit to a neighboring village we observed a most unusual practice: a group of about fifty young women (and some of their children) had formed a circle around a single older woman. They were dressing the happy woman in colorful beads and cloth and singing to her. They paraded her through the village, chanting a beautiful chorus to her… After a few more songs and cheers and a brief dance form the delighted older woman, the group quietly disbanded and all went back to their respective huts, their soft laughter trailing as they slowly disappeared. When we inquired about this ceremony, we were told that from time to time the young and middle-aged women of the village select and older woman who is single or widowed and pay her a special tribute by decorating her in bright colors, parading her throughout the villages, and singing songs to her that say she is still beautiful and still loved by the people of the village. These compassionate, so-called primitive people seemed in many ways so much more advanced than many of their counterparts in the United States.
-S. Allen Counter
I Sought My Brother, On the Bush-African-Americans in the interior of Surinam