- Graman Quassi was a Ghanaian who discovered the Quassia Tonic that was used to heal Whites and slaves
- He became a Surinamese healer, botanist, slave and a freedman of the 18th century
- Graman Quassi was born in the Gold Coast, present-day Ghana
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Born Kwasimukamba in the Gold Coast, present-day Ghana, Graman Quassi was a Surinamese healer, botanist, slave and a freedman of the 18th century.
He made history as the first person to discover the Quassia tonic and his name Quassia was given to a plant species ‘quassie’ which means bitter wood.
Graman Quasi was sold into slavery in Suriname as a child to a Dutch protectorate in South America.
He was given the name Obeah after he was sold into slavery because he was skilled in medical and spiritual knowledge.
Quassi used his medical and spiritual knowledge to heal the Europeans and the slaves as well and was paid for his services.
Through that, he gradually became an influential person at the time.
Quassi participated in the wars against the Samaraka maroons as a scout and negotiator for the Dutch as a slave in Suriname.
For helping to defeat the maroon rebellion, Graman Quassi, was given a golden breastplate engraved with ‘Quassi, faithful to the whites’.
He was later made the personal slave to the governor and subsequently given his own freedom via an act called manumission.
However, the Surinamese considered Graman Quassi a traitor while the Dutch viewed him as a secret weapon to be used in defeating the maroon rebels.
During their missions in the maroon communities, anthropologists in Saramanka heard oral tales about him as many considered him a traitor who gained knowledge from them and eventually helped the Europeans with it to defeat them.
The maroon communities cut all ties with Quasi after their embarrassing defeat in the war with the Dutch.
Quassi was the first botanist to scientifically describe the Quassia amara, a small tree with elongated, bright red flowers also known as amargo, bitter-ash or bitter-wood.
Quassia amara is used as an insecticide, in traditional medicine and as an additive in the food industry.
In other stories, YEN.om.gh previously reported that controversial Ghanaian lawyer Maurice Ampaw recently marked his sixteenth wedding anniversary and disclosed the challenging circumstances under which he got married.
The popular lawyer got married to his childhood friend Evelyn after they dated for 15 years. His wife was the financial backbone of their family for two years after their marriage.
Lawyer Ampaw and his wife had to wait for ten years before they were gifted with children.
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