Abattis Cottica On the Maroni river, ahistoric site of outstanding biodiversity

In the late eighteenth century the chiefs of the Aluku and Boni tribes at the head of a small group of Maroon slaves left the region of the Cottica River east of Paramaribo to take refuge on the Maroni. Around 1791 they founded their first villages upstream of this series of saults* that later came to be called Abattis Cottica. Shortly afterwards they were pushed back upstream by the Dutch allies of the N’Djuka, and only came back to settle definitively here in what became Aluku country 40 years later. Nowadays the Abattis Cottica (abattis literally means clearings in French) are a natural frontier between the Aluku and Djuka countries and tell of past conflicts. They are still marked by the strong cultural value ascribed to them by the descendants of the Boni and Aluku chiefs. But they are also an extraordinary combination of natural landscapes and home to truly remarkable biodiversity. The Abattis Cottica lie on the Lawa stretch of the Maroni River. They are an emblematic site in Aluku country where the Mount Cottica dominates the river on one of its most majestic stretches. The river fragments here into countless arms and forested islands, interrupted by spectacular saults. On the right bank Mount Cottica (Lebi Dotsi in Aluku) rises to a little over 730 metres, making it one of the highest places in French Guiana. The proximity of the river to the foot of the mountain creates a combination of outstanding landscapes. It is home to a diverse range of ...

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