AtoZChallengeJamaica M is for Maroons

Sadly, I know little about Maroon history and culture, probably like many Jamaicans. I’m familiar with Nanny, one of our National Heroes. Cudjoe…Accompong…the Abeng.

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Blowing the Abeng (Image courtesy The Jamaica Gleaner.)
I attended UWI’s launch last week of the new McIntyre/Nettleford scholarship fund, pushing new initiatives to make the university more relevant for ‘indigenous’ and ‘neighbouring’ communities. A video showed UWI’s efforts to connect with both groups; it’s expand opportunities for the Kalinagos in Dominica and Mayans in Belize. I asked a UWI luminary about our Tainos/Arawaks. But my mind also drifted to the Maroons. Why?

Maroons: our closest direct historical connection to our African ancestry
That morning I’d read about the upcoming  8th Maroons Conference ( Charlestown, Portland, June 23-26).

This year’s theme: ‘Toward a Borderless Indigenous Community’, linking the recurring struggle of indigenous people…around indigenous rights. Discussions will involve a broad range of scholars, ending with the annual celebration of Quao Day on Sunday June 26 (celebrating the victory of the Maroons over the English in the final battle of the First Maroon War at Spanish River, and the subsequent signing of the second Peace Treaty with the Maroons in 1739).

The Maroons’ also care for our other indigenous peoples, the Tainos, whose representatives in Jamaica stress are NOT extinct. More broadly, this has been shown to be true. The Maroons want to develop a project to research Taino DNA in Jamaica to discover its national spread. Out of many, one people, truly. Better start listening to Abeng 88.7.


Author: Dennis G Jones (aka 'The Grasshopper')

Retired International Monetary Fund economist. My blog is for organizing my ideas and thoughts about a range of topics. I was born in Jamaica, but spent 30 years being educated, living, and working in the UK. I lived in the USA for two decades, and worked and travelled abroad, extensively, throughout my careers and for pleasure. My views have a wide international perspective. Father of 3 girls. Also, married to an economist. :)

4 thoughts on “AtoZChallengeJamaica M is for Maroons”

  1. Reblogged this on Petchary's Blog and commented:
    This is a wonderful post in our ongoing series, from Dennis. So much information in here! Nanny’s Moore Town Maroons seem rather quiet, but the other groups, Accompong and Charlestown are very active. I’m going to listen in to that radio station!


    1. Seems that Maroons in St Thomas area are also active, including in words and song. Heard much from them when Irie FM celebrated the Morant Bay Rebellion last October.


  2. This is great, Dennis. We know someone called Quao in Jamaica! Since he was a little boy. A country man so we don’t meet very often. Quao is not so well known compared to other Jamaican rebellious figures.

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