Another Maroon Site Identified In Blue and John Crow Mountains

Story Highlights

  • Archaeology Division of the Jamaica National Heritage Trust (JNHT) has identified another historical Maroon site in the Blue and John Crow Mountains, Jamaica’s first World Heritage Site.
  • This area is known for its rich cultural heritage, being home to the Windward Maroons, whose traditions are recognised by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
  • Assistant Director of Archaeology at the JNHT, Selvenius Walters, told JIS News that the area, known as the ‘Quao Sacred Site’ was discovered through the JNHT’s research programme.

Archaeology Division of the Jamaica National Heritage Trust (JNHT) has identified another historical Maroon site in the Blue and John Crow Mountains, Jamaica’s first World Heritage Site.

This area is known for its rich cultural heritage, being home to the Windward Maroons, whose traditions are recognised by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

Assistant Director of Archaeology at the JNHT, Selvenius Walters, told JIS News that the area, known as the ‘Quao Sacred Site’ was discovered through the JNHT’s research programme. It was named after a former leader of the Windward Maroons, ‘Quao’, who signed a peace treaty with the British Government in 1739.

Mr. Walters said the site is of great importance to the Windward Maroons, who “were not too sure what this place is.”

“They had numerous stories regarding the area and many of them would not venture into the area, because they are of the view that it is sacred place so the spirits are there and if they have no business there, then harm could befall you,” he said.

Mr. Walters said visits to the Quao site had showed signs of sugar production. “So, we decided to do further research of the area by going in and doing some archaeological exploration to try and ascertain exactly what the site was being used for,” he added.

The Archaeologist said the team has identified pieces of copper pots and other materials used for boiling sugar in the past.

“This would suggest that Maroons were producing or boiling their own sugar within that section of the Blue and John Crow Mountains,” he noted.

Mr. Walters said that exploration work will continue in some areas of the Blue and John Crow Mountains to identify other Maroon sites, including settlements, burial and ritual sites.

The JNHT, a department of the Ministry of Youth and Culture, maintains a national collection of historical and archaeological sites. It is also responsible for recording any precious objects or works of art to be preserved and to identify and record any species of botanical or animal life to be protected.

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