PORT ANTONIO — The Charles Town Maroon Council in Portland will be hosting the 3rd Annual International Maroon Convention, at the Asafu Yard in Charles Town on Thursday, June 23 to Saturday, June 25.
The event will seek to draw international attention to the unique history, cultural heritage and practices of Maroons in Jamaica. The theme of the convention will be, “The return of values of the past, as a way to sustain the future”.
Speaking to the Jamaica Information Service (JIS), Charles Town Maroons Colonel, Frank Lumsden, said the convention was meticulously planned to highlight the most interesting aspects of maroon history and culture, adding that the first two days will consist of discussions and presentations by scholars.
The third day will be dubbed celebration day, in honour of Captain Quao, the Maroon leader who signed the peace treaty with the British, on behalf of the Windward Maroons.
He said that the commencement date for the convention, June 23, will be the 272nd anniversary of the signing of the treaty in 1739, to secure their freedom from slavery, their independence and the right to their own lands, as well as the preservation of their ancient customs and their special status in the Caribbean.
Among the major entertainment features will be cultural performances, drumming, dancing and the blowing of the abeng. Colonel Lumsden said likely attendees include representatives from Canada, Suriname and Brazil, as well as from local Maroon settlements -Moore Town, Scotts Hall, Accompong and Maroon Town.
A special presentation on the history of the Maroons in Canada will be made by Poet Laureate, Shauntay Grant, a Jamaican-Canadian of Maroon descendant currently residing in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
By ASTON G. BAILEY, JIS Reporter