Jamaica is gearing up to celebrate its history. On January 6, 2006, the 267th Accompong Maroon Festival will feature traditional dancing, singing, Maroon feast and ceremonies.
The blowing of the Abeng, the playing of the Maroon drums and the traditional march to the Kindah tree are just some of the ways Jamaica pays tribute to the ancestors of the Maroons, the descendants of
slaves who were freed by the Spanish and fled to Jamaica’s untouched South Coast in the pursuit of freedom, and who live there to this day.
Visitors will also get to partake in a variety of food and drink at the newly constructed African-styled Bickle (food) Village.
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.
Visiting Maroons from several Maroon villages across the island and visitors from as far as Japan, China and Germany are also expected to attend. Last year, more than 16,000 visitors flocked to the small rural village to experience the celebration and the Maroon community’s unique sub-culture.