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BEKU (weekly radio program)
Bòi Antoin
Time period: 2007 - now
Number of interviews: 32
Accessibility: Online
Transcripts: Onbekend

Journalist and author Bòi Antoin has built up an extensive collection of Bonairean cultural heritage on Bonaire in recent years. BEKU is a weekly two-hour radio program, on the air since 1985, first as Radiotopiko and since 2007 as BEKU. BEKU is broadcast at radio station Voz di Boneiru 94.7FM. The program provides a platform for the entire community to bring forward, discuss and exchange the state of local holistic culture and dynamic society. All programs are live streamed, recorded and can be viewed on facebook.


More information on the various collections captured by Bòi Antoin can be found here.

Herensia (Heritage)
Bòi Antoin
Time period: 1900 - now
Number of interviews: 1206
Accessibility: Partly
Transcripts: Unknown
Period of interviews: Unknown

Journalist and author Boi Antoin has built up an extensive collection of Bonairean cultural heritage on Bonaire in recent years. Oral history has been recorded primarily through the program “Herensia” (Heritage). Many of these recordings are online.


Interviews have been conducted in Papiamentu. Dutch interviews were conducted in the collection Makambanan na Boneiru (Dutch on Bonaire). More information about the various collections recorded by Bòi Antoin can be found here.



Makambanan na Boneiru (Dutch on Bonaire)
Bòi Antoin
Time period: 1950 - now
Number of interviews: 22
Accessibility: Online
Transcripts: Unknown
Period of interviews: Unknown

Journalist and author Bòi Antoin has built an extensive collection of Bonairean cultural heritage on Bonaire in recent years. Makambanan na Boneiru (Dutch on Bonaire) is a small portion, 22 recordings, of the entire oral history collection that Bòi Antoin has built on Bonaire.


The interviews can be viewed online.

Matawai Recovering Voices

Accessibility: openbaar
Period of interviews: 1970-1980

Smithsonian Institution

link to collection


To give an idea of what life was like in the 1970s when Green lived among the Matawai, original photographs from the Edward C. Green Papers are scattered throughout, courtesy of the Smithsonian Institute


Green, an anthropologist, collected notes, photographs and audio recordings made during his time among the Matawai in the early 1970s, all of which were recently donated to the Smithsonian’s National Anthropological Archives. Sponsored by the Smithsonian Institution’s Recovering Voices programme, three Matawai researchers had access to this valuable historical material for the first time and were allowed to take back copies to share with the rest of their community.


Photograph from the Edward C. Green papers

Archaeological-Anthropological Institute Netherlands Antilles audio tapes

Period of interviews: 1980-1995

Interviews collected for the Archaeological Anthropological Institute Netherlands Antilles (AAINA) by Rose Mary Allen during the period 1980-1995


Brenneker/Juliana audio tapes

Paul Brenneker / Elis Juliana
Period of interviews: 1963-1989


Besides the famous Zikinzá collection, Brenneker and Elis collected many more oral histories, which are stored in the Curaçao Public Library.

When We Was We

Will Johnson
Number of interviews: 60
Period of interviews: 1985


Queen Wilhelmina Library

The original tapes, covering the lives of over 60 different Sabans, can be found at the Queen Wilhelmina Library in The Bottom, Saba.

Based on taped cassette interviews conducted in 1985 on the island of Saba, this film brings to life stories about living on Saba during the 19th and 20th centuries. 



Saban Lore, Tales from My Grandmother’s Pipe

Will Johnson

An updated and expanded version of Will Johnson’s 1979 book, which recounts the history and culture of Saba, drawing from both archival sources and personal interviews.

Archive Boneire Bòi Antoin

Bòi Antoin
Time period: 1900 - present
Number of interviews: >1000
Accessibility: Partly



Number of interviews digitised available: 137

Language: Papiamentu 



Number of interviews: 32 

Language: Papiamentu



Oral history has been recorded mainly through the programme ‘Herensia’ (=heritage in Papiamentu). Many of these recordings are on the Vimeo channel:

Number of interviews: 1206

Language: Papiamentu


Makambanan na Boneiru (Dutch on Bonaire)

Number of interviews: 22



Number of interviews: 326

Language: Papiamentu

Journalist and author Boi Antoin has built up an extensive collection of Bonairean cultural heritage on Bonaire in recent years. The material is stored in a room measuring about six by four metres. The collection includes 20th-century photographs, video tapes, audio tapes, objects, books and documents. Although the material is not very old, storage conditions in Bonaire are far from ideal, so the deterioration in its material condition is easy to see.

Plataforma Kultural and Fundashon Historiko Kultural Boneriano have taken the initiative to have the existing material digitised and made accessible. They are collaborating with Regionaal Archief Dordrecht in the process. The National Archives advised and the Institute for Sound and Vision will include part of the collection in its catalogue.


Programme category:

Boneiru Ayera i Awe (Bonaire past and present): 460
Documentaries: 70
Herensia (Heritage): 1385
Herensia di Siglo (Heritage of the Ages): 85
Aki Boneiru: 446 (1981- )
Aktualidat: 38 (oug 2021- )
Beku (weekly radio programme): ±1000 (2007- )

G.F. ‘Ito’ Tromp Collection

Number of interviews: 41
Transcripts: yes
Period of interviews: 1960-1970

Links to transcriptions


Entrevistanan Etnografico y Grabacionnan Musical y Cultural (1967-1975)

– Index Cards
– Lista di hendenan entrevista

Entrevista cu: Dijkhoff, Casildo Castulio (n. 7 maart 1895)
Entrevista cu: Fuentes geb. Koolman, Nicolasa (n. 1898)
Entrevista cu: Ridderstap, Catharina (Mayeye; n. 31 oktober 1875)
Tur entrevista cu transcripcion:

Interview transcription uploads
Interview tape (open tape reel) digitization: pending funding and audiovisual digitization equipment


On Aruba in the 1960s and 1970s, Mr. Hubert Lio Booi and Mr. Ito Tromp collected the oral history of the Aruban people, mainly of the Mestizo (indigenous) Aruban people. Their collection is kept in the National Library of Aruba under the name G.F. ‘Ito’ Tromp Collection.

Booi and Tromp have collected much valuable information about Aruban traditional culture.


Ito Tromp

Zikinzá collection

Elis Juliana and Paul Brenneker
Number of interviews: 267
Period of interviews: 1960 - 1970

On Curaçao, Paul Brenneker and Elis Juliana collected a large amount of oral data beginning in 1958.

Their oldest informant was born about 1853, ten years before the abolition of slavery.

Most of the information collected by Juliana and Brenneker is stored in the Zikinzá Collection, a database consisting of 1,400 songs, stories, and life histories. Anecdotes, childhood memories, rituals and folk songs were taped from 267 informants.


Content-wise, Brenneker and Juliana were concerned with capturing the knowledge and wisdom of the older, rural population, who still lived isolated from the city and encroaching modernization on Banda’bou or Band’riba.



Rose Mary Allen used the Zikinzá collection for her dissertation, “Di ki manera,” on the Afro-Curaçaoan population in the period after the abolition of slavery.


Rose Mary Allen:

In this study I will present the key factors determining the social and cultural life of Afro-Curaçaoans during the first fifty years after the abolition of slavery in 1863. I will do so through a socio-cultural analysis of the social system of which they formed part. Their position within slave society will be the starting point, followed by an evaluation of the two principle elements of social control after emancipation: the State and the Roman Catholic Church. Rather than viewing Afro-Curaçaoans as mere objects to be acted upon, in this analysis I cite them as resilient agents, rising to – and often resisting in a variety of ways – the challenges and restrictions they faced in a free society. Their resilience and resistance are best demonstrated through the factors from which they drew their sustenance; these being mainly their social networks – such as families, peer groups, co-workers, local communities – and their culture, brought to the fore, for example, in their songs, stories and rituals. 

René V. Rosalia,

Tambú ; De legale en kerkelijke repressie van Afro-Curaçaose volksuitingen.

Publisher: Walburg Pers

Zutphen,  1997.

ISBN: 9060119878


Rene Vicente Rosalia (b. 1948) received his doctorate from the University of Amsterdam on the legal and ecclesiastical repression of tambu, the multifarious and rich Afro-Antillean cultural expression that recalls the slave past. In addition to being the word for felling drum, tambu is also a collective term for polyrhythmic music, played in twelve-eighths time, dance, symbolism, sacred and everyday rituals, entertainment, community building, conflict resolution, information provision, social protest and courting.


He used the Zikinzá collection in addition to his own interviews.


See: Article Bernadette de Wit in the Groene Amsterdammer: