The Maroon Lifestyle


The daily life of the Maroons focused on caring for their physical and spiritual needs.

Farming

Daily field work was required to sustain the large populations in Maroon villages. Men, women and older children worked in the fields – hoeing, planting and weeding. Younger children did lighter work, such as feeding the animals.

Older boys were usually tasked with catching birds for meals using traps and weapons made from trees and twine.  They also keep natural predators, such as hawks, at bay.  Their skills were regarded highly in their communities.

Religion

Religion was an important part of Maroon life. They worshipped a god they called Nyancompong or Yankipon.

Maroons believed that the spirits of their ancestors were all around them and could be called upon for guidance and protection at any time. They would also stage special ceremonies and feasts to honour their dead.

Language

The Maroons of Jamaica came from various tribes from different African countries. One of the most widely spoken language of the Maroons was Kramanti – the language of the Akan people of the Gold Coast (Modern-day Ghana).

Many Maroons also spoke Arabic, which suggested that they had originated from among the Sudanese who practised Islam.

Some Maroons, particularly those from Stony River Town in St. Ann, spoke French, Spanish and English, which was likely a result of their contact with European settlers who also spoke those languages.

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