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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Maroons

A brief history of the Maroons. The struggle of the Maroons of Jamaica against the British colonial authorities, and their subsequent collaboration with Europeans with and betrayal by them is well documented. The Maroons is a story that took a circular voyage from West Africa to Jamaica, then to Canada and in the end returned to Africa. The Maroons of Jamaica originally came from West Africa. Some of them were IBO, a tribe from eastern Nigeria. On the 18th May, 1700 the slaver "Henrietta Marie" sank off the coast of Florida on its way back to England. The ship voyage took it from England to Nigeria where the crew acquired slaves and then travel to Jamaica where over 200 slaves were sold in the market place.
The British and the Maroons

It was the Spanish explorers frequent trips into the hills for Gold and their hunting habits contributed to their slaves becoming skilled hunters and backwoodsmen. The slaves were used more for hunting wild cattle and hogs than farming and so became masters of woodcraft. They learned the trails through the woods and mountains, an invaluable skill to them later on as guerrilla fighters. "It was these black slaves of the Spaniards who took to the hills at the time of the British conquest that were to form the the first Maroon society in Jamaica under the British.

In Jamaica you cannot complete Jamaican History in school without knowing about the Maroons One of the most popular Maroons was Sam Sharpe, who also is one of our National Heroes.
Maroons were "thorns and pricks" in the side of the British, they plunder and burn plantations, captured slaves and killed British soldiers who ventured out too far into the woods.

Where are the Maroons today?

They can be found in the Accompong Village. The future of the residents lies in question. With each changing government the question of employment and existences is threatened. The Governmentof Jamaica, along with the Tourist Product Development Company is currently trying to remedy this situation. Every effort is being made to not only preseve the history, music, craft and folklore but to build up the Cockpit Country. Currently approximately 500 Maroons live in Accompong. However, they can be found throughout the United States, Canada, and Africa.
Children of Accompong

The Accompong Maroons 2007

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