Showcasing the art and ritual of the African and African-diaspora religions

Secular Pangi, or Cloth

Catalog Number: P024


Lenght: 91.44cm/36inches
Width: 195.58cm/77inches

Religion and Denomination: Winti
Country of Origin: Suriname
Ethnographic Origin: Caribbean
Materials: Cloth
Usage: Ritual (non-yet-used)
Detailed Description of Significance:

The pangi is a common article of clothing among men and women of Surinam’s multiple Maroon populations.  While it marks Maroon ethnic identity in Surinam, it is, according to Dr. Markus Balkenhol, “increasingly used by black youth in the Netherlands who do not have Maroon ancestry.”  He adds, “It is part of a search for cultural identity.” 

In the 20th century, anthropologist Melville J. Herskovits also told the Maroons he studied about the Akan origins of their ancestors, showed them examples of 20th-century Akan art, and may therefore have told them about the proverbial meanings of Akan cloth—a mediated encounter that may also have shaped Maroon cloth-naming practices.