Maroon Festival in Jamaica Date in the current year: January 6, 2018

Maroon Festival in Jamaica On January 6 every year, Jamaican Maroons hold a large festival to celebrate their culture. The celebration takes place in the historical Maroon village of Accompong and includes singing, dancing, drum-playing, and traditional foods.

The term “Maroons” is typically applied to Africans who escaped from slavery in the Americas and their descendants. They mixed with indigenous population and formed independent settlements. In Jamaica, many slaves that had been brought by the Spanish gained freedom during the British invasion in 1655. They established free communities in the mountains and occasionally raided British plantations.

One of the most famous Jamaican Maroon leaders was Cudjoe, also known as Captain Cudjoe. He was responsible for the agreement with the British during the First Maroon War. The war was initiated by the colonial authorities who wanted to eradicate the maroon communities. After much fighting, warfare turned into a stalemate.

Cudjoe agreed to negotiate peace with the British. As a result, the British recognized the independence of the Maroons and granted them 1500 acres of land. In return, the Maroons promised to provide military support in case of future slave rebellions and to return runaway slaves.

To this day, there are isolated Maroon settlements in Jamaica. Jamaican Maroons still maintain their traditional celebrations. Some of these traditional events can be attended by native Jamaicans and tourists, other are kept secret because the Maroons consider them sacred.

Maroon Festival is held to commemorate the signing of the peace treaty after the First Maroon War. It is held in Accompong, the largest Maroon village in Jamaica, located in St. Elizabeth parish.

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Category

Cultural Observances

Country

Jamaica

Tags

Maroon Festival in Jamaica, holidays in Jamaica, cultural observances, Jamaican Maroons, Cudjoe