Today (January 6, 2011) marks the 272nd annual Accompong Maroon Festival in Jamaica. Held each year at the Maroon settlement in St. Elizabeth, the festival features the traditional dancing, singing, Maroon feast and ceremonies. The Jamaican Maroons were runaway slaves who fought the British during the 18th century. When the British invaded Jamaica in 1655 the Spanish colonists fled leaving a large number of Africans who they had enslaved. Rather than be re-enslaved by the British, they escaped into the hilly, mountainous regions of the island, joining those who had previously escaped from the Spanish to live with the Taínos.
This celebration commemorates the birthday of Captain Cudjoe, a Maroon warrior, who defeated the English army and later brokered a peace treaty with the British in 1738, which guaranteed them freedom and significant land holdings. Included in this historic treaty are the founding principles that, to this day, govern the day-to-day activities of the people of Accompong, a nation within a nation. Maroons from several Maroon villages across the island and visitors from as far as Japan, China and Germany are also expected to attend. Visitors will also get to partake in a variety of food and drink at the newly constructed African-styled Bickle (food) Village.
Among the other Maroon villages is that formerly led by Captain Cudjoe’s sister Nanny, Jamaica’s only National Heroine; Nanny Town. As a special treat we’ve decided to share a short documentary on Nanny Town and its rich history for your viewing pleasure:
The Maroons were highly influential in the fight to obtain freedom from colonial enslavement and this celebration is a truly significant one. If you’re in St Elizabeth or on Jamaica’s South Coast, come celebrate this truly historical event!
Tags: accompong jamaica, accompong maroon festiva, accompong maroon festival jamaica, caribbean history, festivals in jamaica, jamaican events, jamaican events january 2011, jamaican history, slavery in jamaica, slavery in the caribbean, the maroons, the maroons of jamaica, things to do in jamaica, travel jamaica, travel the caribbean