Children of Kaywana, 1952

(Great Characters in Literature)


Kaywana (ki-WAH-nah), the daughter of a West Indian woman and an English sailor, the mistress of both Adrian van Groenwegel and August Vyfius and the mother of children by both men. She defies the local shaman, because she believes he is poisoning her daughter. Although her daughter recovers, she kills the shaman’s own daughter. She dies in a battle between the Dutch and the natives.

Hendrickje van Groenwegel

Hendrickje van Groenwegel (hehn-DRIHK-yeh fon GREHN-vay-gehl), the great-granddaughter of Kaywana on both her father’s and mother’s sides, and granddaughter of an African slave. She abuses her slaves as well as those of her children whom she considers weaklings. She expresses atheistic views and has an incestuous passion for her son Adrian. Slaves hack her to death in the uprising of 1763.