JIS News

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  • Minister with responsibility for Information, Senator the Hon. Sandrea Falconer, has called on the country’s Maroons to protect their culture and guard against over-commercialisation.
  • She noted that the Maroons have a rich heritage, which must be preserved for future generations.
  • Senator Falconer noted that the Maroons have kept many of the traditional African rituals intact since the signing of the 1739 peace treaty, and commended them for maintaining the traditions.

Minister with responsibility for Information, Senator the Hon. Sandrea Falconer, has called on the country’s Maroons to protect their culture and guard against over-commercialisation.

She noted that the Maroons have a rich heritage, which must be preserved for future generations.

She was speaking at the annual celebration to mark the signing of the peace treaty with the British and also celebrate the birthday of Captain Cudjoe, held on Tuesday (January 6), at Accompong Town in St. Elizabeth.

“As I walked around today though, I saw quite a bit of commercialisation and I am going to ask you that as you celebrate and it (annual celebration) gets bigger and bigger, because you have such an interesting history and an interesting tradition, let us not lose the tradition of the Maroons. Let us ensure that many, many generations after us will know what the Maroons represent for our country and the significant role the Maroons have played in taking our country to the place where it is today,” she urged.

Senator Falconer noted that the Maroons have kept many of the traditional African rituals intact since the signing of the 1739 peace treaty, and commended them for maintaining the traditions.

“Those of us privileged to witness the ceremonies and celebrations over the years, including the unmistakable call of the Abeng, continue to be enamoured by your rich and authentic reflection of our African heritage. As a recognised indigenous people by the United Nations, the Maroons of Jamaica, through the staging of such rituals and ceremonies, not only underscore the importance of our indigenous culture but the contribution it can make to sustainable development,” she said.

Delivering the official welcome, leader of the Accompong Maroons, Colonel Ferron Williams, made a call for peace and unity as the community prepares to elect a new leader this year.

He expressed appreciation to Deputy Colonel, Norma Rowe-Edwards, and all Council members for their work and support over the past four years.

The Maroons are the descendants of Africans, who fought British colonisers from mountain hideouts for decades, following the eviction by the British of Spanish colonisers in the 1650s.

On January 6 each year, the Accompong Maroons celebrate the anniversary of the signing of the 1739 peace treaty with the British.