Boipili: Placing Suriname on the Map with Designer Jewelry

[Our thanks to Peter Jordens for this post, with its translation from the Dutch original.] The versatile Surinamese artist Marcel Pinas recently launched a line of fine silver jewelry inspired by the Ndyuka (Maroon) culture, as Tascha Samuel-Aveloo of De Ware Tijd reports:

In the crowded Readytex Gallery, black-painted models are showing sterling silver jewelry that has been launched under the name Boipili. That is the brand name which the artist, Marcel Pinas, will use to sell his self-designed silver jewelry. Pinas explains the name of his collection: “It was my nickname in my village. If someone says ‘Boipili,’ I know it’s someone from the village.” “I have had the intention of making jewelry since 2005. But now is the right time,” says Pinas with a big smile.

Pinas calmly accepts the many compliments bordering on superlatives. The title of a book published about the modest artist, ‘Marcel Pinas – Not Just an Artist’, is quite fitting in two regards. First, he expresses himself as an artist in a variety of artforms, which is not very common. Second, there is the social dimension that he gives to his art. Making money and designing beautiful things are not Pinas’s only motives. “It’s an entire undertaking that follows from the ‘Kibii wi koni’ project. It’s not just about me, but about offering an opportunity to youngsters, to provide them with a source of income.” At present the ornaments are made ​​by jeweler Sunil Oemrawsing. But the intention is to start teaching youngsters from Moengo, Brokopondo and other districts the smithy profession this year. “They will learn to work on gold and silver and then they will be able to work for me or for themselves.” By the end of the year Pinas hopes to put together a great jewelry exhibition with the graduates.

The smooth curves of all the graceful convolutions are pleasing to the eye. Many visitors are enthusiastically taking pictures with their Ipad or Blackberry. Many try on an ornament and place an order. By twelve o’clock several ornaments have received a red dot. Earrings, bracelets, pendants, rings and one exceptional ornament for the calf – not for the ankle – illustrate the designer’s extraordinary range of creativity. The collection comprises 110 pieces which are all exclusive. A lady who asks for a specific item is told that no duplicates are made. “Exclusivity is our aim.”

“I will continue to design. I am going to take this to the whole world. I am going to launch the line in Trinidad, France, Belgium and Cayenne.” “You feel like royalty with that necklace around your neck,” one visitor utters as she tries on a necklace. The line is presented very well marketing-wise: a unique black-and-white promo for television and beautiful packaging for the ornaments. The standard is high. “We want to place Suriname on the map internationally. We have something unique and we should sell that. We should not wait for other countries but put our own stamp on the world.” [Soon it will be possible to view the collection online at]

For the original news article (in Dutch), see

For photos of the launch event, see

Read the press release on the Facebook page of the Readytex Art Gallery,

For more about Marcel Pinas go to his website,, or the website of the Readytex Art Gallery,

Also see previous post Art Exhibitions: “Kibii Wi Koni Marcel Pinas, The Event”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s