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Queen Nanny *LINK*
In Response To: Obeah still with us ()

One needs to hear the History of the Maroons of Jamaica (who defeated the Mighty British Army of that time) from the lips of Jamaicans.

Historical Maroon Identity and Culture

Slaves imported to Jamaica from Africa came from the Gold Coast, the Congo and Madagascar. The dominant group among Maroon communities was from the Gold Coast. In Jamaica this group was referred to as Coromantie or Koromantee. They were fierce and ferocious fighters with a preference for resistance, survival and above all freedom and refused to become slaves. Between 1655 until the 1830’s they led most of the slave rebellions in Jamaica.

Spiritual life was of the utmost importance to the Maroons which was incorporated into every aspect of life, from child rearing to military strategies. Almost every slave rebellion involved African spiritual practices. Leaders, such as Queen Nanny usually practiced Obeah and were able to instill confidence in their followers. Spiritual practices such as Obeah (and voodoo in Haiti) evolved from Africa, and during slavery times were of great significance to the black population. However, under colonial rule as Western culture was imposed on the Caribbean, these African practices became ‘outlawed’ and took on negative connotations.

Among Maroon culture, their ancestors are revered and their importance to everyday life is recognized. The past is a source of pride which is both taught and shared. Amongst modern day Maroons, the history of their resistance against slavery is an extreme form of pride that forms a large part of Maroon identity. The story of the Maroons endurance and ability to hold off the British troops for almost eighty years is one that has never been repeated in history. What saw the Maroons through to freedom were their unfailing courage and determination. Their resistance to slavery drew on the strength of their memory of Africa and its culture. Their African culture and identity instilled in them great confidence and self esteem. So much so, that this diluted the stigma of inferiority imposed by the plantocracy. Therefore, the resistance against slavery by the Maroons was a defense of their culture and identity, their spiritual and political values and preservation of African civilization. This is why Maroon ancestors are an integral part of their day to day lives. At each annual Maroon celebration of the 1739 Peace Treaties there is a ‘private’ element of the festivities at which only Maroons may attend, where the ancestors are said to visit, including Queen Nanny who is honored.

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Obeah still with us
Queen Nanny *LINK*
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