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RBG: We the Maroon People


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RBG: We the Maroon People

RBG: We the Maroon People

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  • 1. “We the Maroon People”Maroons (from the word Spanish word "Cimarron": "fugitive,runaway", lit. "living on mountaintops"; from Spanish cima: "top,summit") were runaway slaves in the West Indies, Central America,South America, and North America, who formed independentsettlements together…
  • 2. 1Maroon (people)Maroons (from the word Spanish word "Cimarron":"fugitive, runaway", lit. "living on mountaintops"; fromSpanish cima: "top, summit") were runaway slaves inthe West Indies, Central America, South America, andNorth America, who formed independent settlementstogether. The same designation has also become aderivation for the verb to maroon.HistoryIn the New World, as early as 1512, black slaves hadescaped from Spanish and Portuguese captors andeither joined indigenous peoples or eked out a living ontheir own.[1] Sir Francis Drake enlisted severalcimaroons during his raids on the Spanish.[2] As earlyas 1655, runaway slaves had formed their own Body of Ndyuka Maroon child brought before a shaman, Surinamecommunities in inland Jamaica, and by the 18th 1955century, Nanny Town and other villages began to fightfor independent recognition.[3]When runaway slaves banded together and subsistedindependently they were called Maroons. On theCaribbean islands, runaway slaves formed bands andon some islands formed armed camps. Marooncommunities faced great odds to survive against whiteattackers, obtain food for subsistence living, and toreproduce and increase their numbers. As the planterstook over more land for crops, the Maroons began tovanish on the small islands. Only on some of the largerislands were organized Maroon communities able tothrive by growing crops and hunting. Here they grew innumber as more slaves escaped from plantations andjoined their bands. Seeking to separate themselves fromwhites, the Maroons gained in power and amidincreasing hostilities, they raided and pillagedplantations and harassed planters until the planters Ndyuka Maroon women with washing. Suriname River. 1955began to fear a mass slave revolt.[4]The early Maroon communities were usually displaced. By 1700, Maroons had disappeared from the smaller islands.Survival was always difficult as the Maroons had to fight off attackers as well as attempt to grow food.[4] One of themost influential Maroons was François Mackandal, a houngan, or voodoo priest, who led a six year rebellion againstthe white plantation owners in Haiti that preceded the Haitian Revolution.[5]In Cuba, there were maroon communities in the mountains, where escaped slaves had joined refugee Taínos.[6]Before roads were built into the mountains of Puerto Rico, heavy brush kept many escaped maroons hidden in thesouthwestern hills where many also intermarried with the natives. Escaped Africans sought refuge away from the “We the Maroon People”
  • 3. 2coastal plantations of Ponce.[7] Remnants of these communities remain to this day (2006) for example in Viñales,Cuba [8] and Adjuntas, Puerto Rico.Maroon communities emerged in many places in the Caribbean (St Vincent and Dominica for example), but nonewere seen as such a great threat to the British as the Jamaican Maroons.[9] A British governor signed a treatypromising the Maroons 2500 acres (10 km²) in two locations, because they presented a threat to the British. Also,some Maroons kept their freedom by agreeing to capture runaway slaves. They were paid two dollars for each slavereturned.[10]Beginning in the late 17th and early 18th centuries, Jamaican Maroons fought British colonists to a draw andeventually signed treaties in the 18th century that effectively freed them over 50 years before the abolition of theslave trade in 1807. To this day, the Jamaican Maroons are to a significant extent autonomous and separate fromJamaican society. The physical isolation used to their advantage by their ancestors has today led to theircommunities remaining amongst the most inaccessible on the island. In their largest town, Accompong, in the parishof St. Elizabeth, the Leeward Maroons still possess a vibrant community of about 600. Tours of the village areoffered to foreigners and a large festival is put on every January 6 to commemorate the signing of the peace treatywith the British after the First Maroon War.[3][11]In Suriname, which the Dutch took over in 1667, runaway slaves revolted and started to build their own villagesfrom the end of the 17th century. As most of the plantations existed in the eastern part of the country, near theCommewijne and Marowijne rivers, the "Marronage" (literally: running away) took place along the river borders andsometimes across the borders of French Guyana. By 1740, Maroons had formed clans and felt strong enough tochallenge the Dutch colonists, forcing them to sign peace treaties. On October 10, 1760, the Ndyuka signed such atreaty forged by Adyáko Benti Basiton or Boston, a former Jamaican slave who had learned to read and write andknew about the Jamaican treaty. The treaty is still important, as it defines the territorial rights of the Maroons in thegold-rich inlands of Suriname.[12]CultureSlaves escaped frequently within the firstgeneration of their arrival from Africa andoften preserved their African languages andmuch of their culture and religion. Africantraditions include such things as the use ofmedicinal herbs together with special drumsand dances when the herbs are administeredto a sick person. Other African healingtraditions and rites have survived throughthe centuries — see, for example, theaccompanying photos of a medicine manand a protective charm from Suriname.The jungles around the Caribbean Sea Maroon village, Suriname River, 1955offered food, shelter and isolation for theescaped slaves. Maroons survived by growing vegetables and hunting. They also originally raided plantations.During these attacks, the maroons would burn crops, steal livestock and tools, kill slavemasters, and invite otherslaves to join their communities. Individual groups of Maroons often allied themselves with the local indigenoustribes and occasionally assimilated into these populations. Maroons/Marokons played an important role in thehistories of Brazil, Suriname, Puerto Rico, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Cuba, and Jamaica. “We the Maroon People”
  • 4. 3There is much variety among Maroon cultural groups because of differences in history, geography, Africannationality, and the culture of indigenous people throughout the Western hemisphere.Maroon/Marokon settlements often possessed a clannish, outsider identity. They sometimes developed Creolelanguages by mixing European tongues with their original African languages. One such Maroon Creole language, inSuriname, is Saramaccan. Other times the Maroons would adopt the local European language as a common tongue,for members of the community frequently spoke a variety of mother tongues.The Maroons/Marokons created their own independent communities which in some cases have survived forcenturies and until recently remained separate from mainstream society. In the 19th and 20th centuries,Maroon/Marokon communities began to disappear as forests were razed, although some countries, such as Guyanaand Suriname, still have large Maroon populations living in the forests. Recently, many Maroons/Marokons havemoved to cities and towns as the process of urbanization accelerates.Geographical distributionNorth AmericaFloridaThe Black Seminoles who allied with SeminoleIndians in Florida, were by far the largest and mostsuccessful Maroon community in North America.Nova ScotiaBriefly, from 1796 to 1800, around 550 maroons,who had been deported from Jamaica after theSecond Maroon War, lived in Nova Scotia. In 1800they were sent to Sierra Leone.MexicoSee Gaspar Yanga, Afro-Latin, Afro-Mexican.AsianMaroon communities were formed amongst the AfroAsians that resisted slavery.[13] These communitiesof maroons still inhabit the South Asian countries. Maroon men, picture taken between 1910-1935 “We the Maroon People”
  • 5. 4Central AmericaPanamaA recently arrived slave, Bayano, led a rebellion in 1552 against the Spanish in Panama, and he and his followersescaped to found villages in the lowlands. Later these people, known as cimarrons, assisted Sir Francis Drake againstthe Spanish.Honduras, Belize, Guatemala, NicaraguaThe Gulf of Honduras produced several types of maroon societies. Some of these were found in the interior ofmodern day Honduras along the trade routes by which silver mined in the Pacific side of the isthmus was carrieddown to coastal towns such as Trujillo or Puerto Caballos to be shipped to Europe. The English bishop ofGuatemala, Thomas Gage, reported active bands of maroons numbering in the hundreds along these routes in 1648.A second group that could be classified as maroons were the Miskito Sambu, who formed from revolted slaves on aPortuguese ship around 1640 who wrecked the vessel on the coast of Honduras-Nicaragua and blended in with theindigenous people over the next half century. They eventually rose to leadership of the Mosquito Coast, and ledextensive slave raids against Spanish held territories in the first half of the eighteenth century.A third group were the Garifuna, who were actually maroons on the island of Saint Vincent deported to the coast ofHonduras in 1797. From their original landing place in Roatan Island, the Garifuna moved to Trujillo, and thengroups of them spread south into the Mosquito Kingdom and north into Belize. See main article Garifuna.Caribbean islandsJamaicaEscaped slaves during the Spanish occupation of the island of Jamaica fled to the rugged interior and joined with theTaínos living there. Additional numbers fled during the confusion surrounding the 1655 British invasion. Run-awayslaves continued to join them until the abolition of slavery. The main British complaint was that they occasionallyraided plantations, and made expansion into the interior more difficult. These conflicts led to the First Maroon Warin 1731 and the Second Maroon War in 1795. After which, approximately 600 maroons were deported to NovaScotia, and later in 1800 removed to Sierra Leone. The only maroon settlement that remained after the SecondMaroon War was Accompong, which had abided by its 1739 treaty with the British.HaïtiSee Mawon.Dominican Republicsee History of the Dominican Republic.St. Vincent and DominicaSimilar Maroon communities emerged elsewhere in the Caribbean (St Vincent and Dominica for example).CubaIn Cuba, there were maroon communities in the mountains, where escaped slaves had joined refugee Taínos.[6]Remnants of these communities remain to this day (2006) for example in Viñales.[8] “We the Maroon People”
  • 6. 5Puerto RicoIn Puerto Rico, Taíno families from neighboring Utuado were found living in the Southwestern mountain ranges,along with the escaped Africans who intermarried with the Taíno. DNA genetic evidence shows that many Africansfled up the Camino Real into the mountains to escape the sugar plantations of Ponce. The Mandinka, Wolof & FulanimtDNA African haplotype, L1b, is present here.[14] Taíno haplogroups A & C can also be found in this area.South AmericaFrench Guiana and SurinameEscaped slaves in French Guiana and Suriname fled to the interior and joined with indigenous peoples and createdseveral independent tribes, among them the Saramaka, the Paramaka, the Ndyuka (Aukan), the Kwinti, the Aluku(Boni), and the Matawai. By the 1990s the maroons in Suriname had begun to fight for their land rights.[15]BrazilOne of the best-known quilombos (maroon settlements) in Brazil was Palmares (the Palm Nation) which wasfounded in the early 17th century. At its height, it had a population of over 30,000 free people and was ruled by kingZumbi. Palmares maintained its independent existence for almost a hundred years until it was conquered by thePortuguese in 1694.Colombia and EcuadorEscaped slaves established independent communities along the remote Pacific coast, outside of the reach of thecolonial administration.Notes[1] "Sir Francis Drake Revived" in Voyages and Travels: Ancient and Modern. The Harvard Classics. 1909–14 paragraph 21 (http:/ / www. bartleby. com/ 33/ 34. html).[2] "Sir Francis Drake Revived" in Voyages and Travels: Ancient and Modern. The Harvard Classics. 1909–14 paragraph 101 (http:/ / www. bartleby. com/ 33/ 35. html).[3] Campbell, Mavis Christine (1988) The Maroons of Jamaica, 1655–1796: A History of Resistance, Collaboration & Betrayal Bergin & Garvey, Granby, MA, ISBN 0-89789-148-1.[4] Rogozinski, Jan (1999). A Brief History of the Caribbean (Revised ed.). New York: Facts on File, Inc.. pp. 155–68. ISBN 0-8160-3811-2.[5] "The History of Haiti and the Haitian Revolution" (http:/ / www. ci. miami. fl. us/ haiti2004/ history. htm). The City of Miami. . Retrieved 2007-08-16.[6] Aimes, Hubert H. S. (1967) A History of Slavery in Cuba, 1511 to 1868 Octagon Books, New York;[7] The Hispanic American Historical Review, Vol. 66, No. 2 (May, 1986), pp. 381-382 (http:/ / links. jstor. org/ sici?sici=0018-2168(198605)66:2<381:EPYCPR>2. 0. CO;2-R)[8] "El Templo de los Cimarrones" Guerrillero:Pinar del Río (http:/ / www. guerrillero. co. cu/ pinardelrio/ 2004/ marzo/ eltemplo. htm) in Spanish[9] Edwards, Bryan (1801) Historical Survey of the Island of Saint Domingo J. Stockdale, London;[10] Taylor, Alan (2001) American Colonies: The Settling of North America Penguin Books, New York;[11] Edwards, Bryan (1796) "Observations on the disposition, character, manners, and habits of life, of the Maroon negroes of the island of Jamaica; |b an a detail of the origin, progress, and termination of the late war between those people and the white inhabitants." in Edwards, Bryan (1801) Historical Survey of the Island of Saint Domingo J. Stockdale, London, pp. 303-360;[12] Alex van Stipriaan, Surinaams contrast (1995); Hans Buddingh, Geschiedenis van Suriname (1995/1999); Alex van Stipriaan/Thomas Polimé, Kunst van overleven (KIT, 2009)[13] Oka, R., & Kusimba, C. (2007). Siddi as Mercenary or as African Success Story on the West Coast of India. In J. C. Hawley, India in Africa Africa in India: Indian Ocean Cosmopolitans (pp. 203-224). Bloomington: Indiana University Press.[14] African DNA Project mtDNA Haplogroup L1b (http:/ / web. archive. org/ web/ 20080508023420/ http:/ / africandnaproject. homestead. com/ L1bmtDNA. html) African DNA Project, archived May 8, 2008 from the original (http:/ / africandnaproject. homestead. com/ L1bmtDNA. html)[15] Case of the Saramaka People v. Suriname, Judgment of November 28, 2007 (http:/ / www. corteidh. or. cr/ docs/ casos/ articulos/ seriec_172_ing. pdf), Inter-American Court of Human Rights (La Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos), accessed 21 May 2009 “We the Maroon People”
  • 7. 6References• Daughters of the Dust, 1991, film by Julie Dash taking place in 1902 off the coast of South Carolina and Georgia. It shows how, on an isolated island, a group of people manages to hold on to their Ibo customs and traditions. ISBN 0-525-94109-6• Ganga Zumba, (1963), film by Carlos Diegues• Quilombo, (1985), film by Carlos Diegues about Palmares, ASIN B0009WIE8E• Hoogbergen, Wim S.M. Brill (1997) The Boni Maroon Wars in Suriname Academic Publishers, ISBN 90-04-09303-6• Corzo, Gabino La Rosa (2003) Runaway Slave Settlements in Cuba: Resistance and Repression (translated by Mary Todd), University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, ISBN 0807828033• De Granada, Germán (1970) Cimarronismo, palenques y Hablas “Criollas” en Hispanoamérica Instituto Caro y Cuero, Santa Fe de Bogotá, Colombia, OCLC 37821053 ( (in Spanish)• van Velzen, H.U.E. Thoden and van Wetering, Wilhelmina (2004) In the Shadow of the Oracle: Religion as Politics in a Suriname Maroon Society Waveland Press, Long Grove, Illinois ISBN 1577663233• Price, Richard (ed.) (1973) Maroon societies: rebel slave communities in the Americas Anchor Books, Garden City, N.Y., ISBN 0-385-06508-6• Honychurch, Lennox (1995) The Dominica Story Macmillan, London, ISBN 0333627768 (Includes extensive chapters on the Maroons of Dominica)• Thompson, Alvin O. (2006) Flight to freedom: African runaways and maroons in the Americas University of West Indies Press, Kingston, Jamaica, ISBN 9766401802• Learning, Hugo Prosper (1995) Hidden Americans: Maroons of Virginia and the Carolinas Garland Publishing, New York, ISBN 0815315430• Campbell, Mavis Christine (1988) The Maroons of Jamaica, 1655-1796 : a history of resistance, collaboration & betrayal Bergin & Garvey, Granby, Mass., ISBN 0-89789-148-1• Dallas, R. C. The History of the Maroons, from Their Origin to the Establishment of Their Chief Tribe at Sierra Leone. 2 vols. London: Longman. 1803.• Sergey Slepchenko (2009) Nations of Latin America, Phoenix, Rostov-on-Don, ISBm 92-86-36414-2Further reading• Johnson, Brian D. "The Land of Look Behind." Equinox Magazine, September to October, 1983, pp. 49–65. A detailed article with many superb photos.External links• Maroon music and teaching methods (• Creativity and Resistance: Maroon Cultures in the Americas ( presentation.htm)• A good short history of the "Bush Negroes" of Suriname ( Culture.7834)• The Maroons, Hindustanis and others of Surinam ( art/1008/PageName/English)• "The Maroon Culture of Endurance by Helen Reidell". ( culture+of+endurance.-a08929661). A history of Jamaican Maroons. Also available in Américas Magazine, Vol. 42, January–February 1990, pp. 46–49. “We the Maroon People”
  • 8. Article Sources and Contributors 7 Article Sources and Contributors Maroon (people)  Source:  Contributors: 1ForTheMoney, AKeen, Adam Keller, AeonicOmega, Aetylus, Afv2006, Altaar, Andonic, Andycjp, Art Unbound, Austinbirdman, Aymatth2, Bart133, Beepsie, Bejnar, Bender235, Big Adamsky, Bob32rere, Bobblewik, Bohemianpotato, Buzzlightyear, Calatayudboy, Canthusus, Carlon, Chris Edgemon, Contributor777, Culturama, Darklilac, Darwinek, Deeceevoice, Ekotkie, Esperant, Fabzgy, Fishal, Futurebird, Gaius Cornelius, Glasperlenspiel, Goustien, Gwellesley, Hammer1980, Helelyn, Hottentot, Hugo.arg, Infoseeker560, Ipatrol, IronChris, Ishikawa Minoru, J.delanoy, JaGa, Jaberwocky6669, Jeodesic, JoJan, Johan Lont, John Hill, JohnI, Jor, Joriki, Joseph Solis in Australia, Josh a brewer, Joshdboz, Jpcarver, Junuxx, Jupitereng, Kbdank71, Kemet, Khatru2, Khoikhoi, LaNicoya, Leandrod, Lestari, Leutha, Levisky, Magidin, Marek69, Matthew Platts, Mattisse, Medicineman84, Michael Daly, Michael Hardy, Mindymazur, Mkmcconn, Moorishbrooklyninteligence, MsTingaK, Night w, Noozgroop, North Shoreman, Not with all those rocks about, Nwavi, Ollydurrant, Omnipaedista, PatGallacher, Paul Barlow, Pearle, Pgan002, Pharos, Picaroon, Pigman, Postdlf, PumpkinSky, Pwt898, RJFJR, Raedwulf16, RafaAzevedo, RepublicanJacobite, Rich Farmbrough, Richard Keatinge, SFGiants, Saintswithin, Sangrene, Sannse, Scarian, ScottyBerg, Shanes, ShelfSkewed, Skomorokh, Smalljim, Spyder00Boi, Srinivasasha, Statisfactions, Stevey7788, TUF-KAT, Taranah, The WikiWhippet, Thierry Caro, Thiseye, Toodeep, Trabelsiismail, Tukes, Wikiaddict8962, Wikiuser100, Woohookitty, Xjy, Zak Arntson, Zondor, 188 anonymous edits Image Sources, Licenses and Contributors Image:Body of Maroon child brought before medicine man, 1955.jpg  Source:,_1955.jpg  License: GNU Free Documentation License  Contributors: John Hill Image:Maroon women with washing. Suriname River. 1955.jpg  Source:  License: GNU Free Documentation License  Contributors: GregManninLB, John Hill File:Maroon village, Suriname River, 1955.jpg  Source:,_Suriname_River,_1955.jpg  License: GNU Free Documentation License  Contributors: John Hill File:Tropenmuseum Royal Tropical Institute Objectnumber 10024950 Portret van drie Marron mannen en een.jpg  Source:  License: unknown  Contributors: Al Silonov, Docu, Encyacht, Mangercratie, Siebrand, Trinity507, 2 anonymous edits License Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported // “We the Maroon People”