RBG | We the Maroon People
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RBG | We the Maroon People



Maroons (from the Spanish word cimarrón: "fugitive, runaway", lit. "living on mountaintops"; from Spanish cima: "top, summit") were runaway slaves in the West Indies, Central America, South America, ...

Maroons (from the Spanish word cimarrón: "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 independent settlements together. The same designation has also become a derivation for the verb to maroon.



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RBG | We the Maroon People RBG | We the Maroon People Document Transcript

  • We the Maroon People [1] RBG | We the Maroon People
  • View a Lecture on Maroonage:Dr. Greg Carr, Associate Professor Howard University, Afro-American Studies Department [2] RBG | We the Maroon People
  • Maroon (people)From Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaBody of Ndyuka Maroon child brought before a shaman, Suriname 1955Maroons (from the Spanish word cimarrón: "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 independent settlements together. The samedesignation has also become a derivation for the verb to maroon.HistoryIn the New World, as early as 1512, black slaves had escaped from Spanish and Portuguesecaptors and either joined indigenous peoples or eked out a living on their own.[1] Sir FrancisDrake enlisted several "cimaroons" during his raids on the Spanish.[2] As early as 1655, runawayslaves had formed their own communities in inland Jamaica, and by the 18th century, NannyTown and other villages began to fight for independent recognition.[3] [3] RBG | We the Maroon People
  • Body of Maroon child brought before medicine man, 1955 [4] RBG | We the Maroon People
  • Ndyuka Maroon women with washing. Suriname River. 1955When runaway slaves banded together and subsisted independently they were called Maroons.On the Caribbean islands, runaway slaves formed bands and on some islands formed armedcamps. Maroon communities faced great odds to survive against white attackers, obtain food forsubsistence living, and to reproduce and increase their numbers. As the planters took over moreland for crops, the Maroons began to vanish on the small islands. Only on some of the largerislands were organized Maroon communities able to thrive by growing crops and hunting. Herethey grew in number as more slaves escaped from plantations and joined their bands. Seeking toseparate themselves from whites, the Maroons gained in power and amid increasing hostilities,they raided and pillaged plantations and harassed planters until the planters began to fear a massslave revolt.[4] [5] RBG | We the Maroon People
  • The early Maroon communities were usually displaced. By 1700, Maroons had disappeared fromthe smaller islands. Survival was always difficult as the Maroons had to fight off attackers aswell as attempt to grow food.[4] One of the most influential Maroons was François Mackandal, ahoungan, or voodoo priest, who led a six-year rebellion against the white plantation owners inHaiti that preceded the Haitian Revolution.[5]In Cuba, there were maroon communities in the mountains, where escaped slaves had joinedrefugee Taínos.[6] Before roads were built into the mountains of Puerto Rico, heavy brush keptmany escaped maroons hidden in the southwestern hills where many also intermarried with thenatives. Escaped Africans sought refuge away from the coastal plantations of Ponce.[7] Remnantsof 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, forexample), but none were seen as such a great threat to the British as the Jamaican Maroons.[9] ABritish governor signed a treaty promising the Maroons 2500 acres (10 km²) in two locations,because they presented a threat to the British. Also, some Maroons kept their freedom byagreeing to capture runaway slaves. They were paid two dollars for each slave returned.[10]Beginning in the late 17th and early 18th centuries, Jamaican Maroons fought British colonists toa draw and eventually signed treaties in the 18th century that effectively freed them over 50years before the abolition of the slave trade in 1807. To this day, the Jamaican Maroons are to asignificant extent autonomous and separate from Jamaican society. The physical isolation used totheir advantage by their ancestors has today led to their communities remaining among the mostinaccessible on the island. In their largest town, Accompong, in the parish of St. Elizabeth, theLeeward 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 signingof the peace treaty with the British after the First Maroon War.[3][11]In Suriname, which the Dutch took over in 1667, runaway slaves revolted and started to buildtheir own villages from the end of the 17th century. As most of the plantations existed in theeastern part of the country, near the Commewijne and Marowijne rivers, the "Marronage"(literally: running away) took place along the river borders and sometimes across the borders ofFrench Guyana. By 1740, Maroons had formed clans and felt strong enough to challenge theDutch colonists, forcing them to sign peace treaties. On October 10, 1760, the Ndyuka signedsuch a treaty forged by Adyáko Benti Basiton of Boston, a former Jamaican slave who hadlearned to read and write and knew about the Jamaican treaty. The treaty is still important, as itdefines the territorial rights of the Maroons in the gold-rich inlands of Suriname.[12] [6] RBG | We the Maroon People
  • CultureMaroon village, Suriname River, 1955Slaves escaped frequently within the first generation of their arrival from Africa and oftenpreserved their African languages and much of their culture and religion. African traditionsinclude such things as the use of medicinal herbs together with special drums and dances whenthe herbs are administered to a sick person. Other African healing traditions and rites havesurvived through the centuries — see, for example, the accompanying photos of a medicine manand a protective charm from Suriname.The jungles around the Caribbean Sea offered food, shelter and isolation for the escaped 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 other slaves to join their communities. Individual groups of Maroons often alliedthemselves with the local indigenous tribes and occasionally assimilated into these populations.Maroons/Marokons played an important role in the histories of Brazil, Suriname, Puerto Rico,Haiti, Dominican Republic, Cuba, and Jamaica. [7] RBG | We the Maroon People
  • There is much variety among Maroon cultural groups because of differences in history,geography, African nationality, and the culture of indigenous people throughout the Westernhemisphere.Maroon/Marokon settlements often possessed a clannish, outsider identity. They sometimesdeveloped Creole languages by mixing European tongues with their original African languages.One such Maroon Creole language, in Suriname, is Saramaccan. Other times the Maroons wouldadopt the local European language as a common tongue, for members of the communityfrequently spoke a variety of mother tongues.The Maroons/Marokons created their own independent communities which in some cases havesurvived for centuries and until recently remained separate from mainstream society. In the 19thand 20th centuries, Maroon/Marokon communities began to disappear as forests were razed,although some countries, such as Guyana and Suriname, still have large Maroon populationsliving in the forests. Recently, many Maroons/Marokons have moved to cities and towns as theprocess of urbanization accelerates.Geographical distributionNorth AmericaFloridaThe Black Seminoles who allied with Seminole Indians in Florida, were one of the largest andmost successful Maroon communities in the United States.LouisianaUntil the Mid-1760s, Maroon colonies lined the shores of Lake Borgne, just downriver of NewOrleans. These fugitive slaves controlled many of the canals and back-country passages fromLake Pontchartrain to the Gulf, including the Rigolets. These colonies were finally eradicated bymilitia of Spanish-controlled New Orleans. Free people of color and slaves aided in the captureof these fugitives.North Carolina and VirginiaA large settlement of the Great Dismal Swamp maroons lived in oppressive conditions in themarshlands of todays North Carolina and Virginia.Nova ScotiaMain article: Sierra Leone Creole people#Maroons and other transatlantic immigrants [8] RBG | We the Maroon People
  • Briefly, from 1796 to 1800, around 550 maroons, who had been deported from Jamaica after theSecond Maroon War, lived in Nova Scotia. In 1800 they were sent to Sierra Leone. (See BlackNova Scotians)MexicoSee Gaspar Yanga, Afro-Latin, Afro-Mexican.AsianMaroon communities were formed amongst the Afro Asians that resisted slavery.[13] Thesecommunities of maroons still inhabit the South Asian countries.Central AmericaPanamaMain article: Cimarron people (Panama)A recently arrived slave, Bayano, led a rebellion in 1552 against the Spanish in Panama, and heand his followers escaped to found villages in the lowlands. Later these people, known ascimarrons, assisted Sir Francis Drake against the Spanish.Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, NicaraguaThe Gulf of Honduras produced several types of maroon societies. Some of these were found inthe interior of modern day Honduras along the trade routes by which silver mined in the Pacificside of the isthmus was carried down to coastal towns such as Trujillo or Puerto Caballos to beshipped to Europe. The English bishop of Guatemala, Thomas Gage, reported active bands ofmaroons numbering in the hundreds along these routes in 1648.A second group that could be classified as maroons were the Miskito Sambu, who formed fromrevolted slaves on a Portuguese ship around 1640 who wrecked the vessel on the coast ofHonduras-Nicaragua and blended in with the indigenous people over the next half century. Theyeventually rose to leadership of the Mosquito Coast, and led extensive slave raids againstSpanish 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 Vincentdeported to the coast of Honduras in 1797. From their original landing place in Roatan Island,the Garifuna moved to Trujillo, and then groups of them spread south into the MosquitoKingdom and north into Belize. See main article Garifuna. [9] RBG | We the Maroon People
  • Caribbean islandsJamaicaMain article: Jamaican MaroonsEscaped slaves during the Spanish occupation of the island of Jamaica fled to the rugged interiorand joined with the Taínos living there. Additional numbers fled during the confusionsurrounding the 1655 British invasion. Runaway slaves continued to join them until the abolitionof slavery. The main British complaint was that they occasionally raided plantations, and madeexpansion into the interior more difficult. These conflicts led to the First Maroon War in 1731and the Second Maroon War in 1795. After which, approximately 600 maroons were deported toNova Scotia, and later in 1800 removed to Sierra Leone. The only maroon settlement thatremained after the Second Maroon War was Accompong, which had abided by its 1739 treatywith 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 forexample).CubaIn Cuba, there were maroon communities in the mountains, where escaped slaves had joinedrefugee Taínos.[6] Remnants of these communities remain to this day (2006) for example inViñales.[8]Puerto RicoIn Puerto Rico, Taíno families from neighboring Utuado were found living in the Southwesternmountain ranges, along with the escaped Africans who intermarried with the Taíno. DNAgenetic evidence shows that many Africans fled up the Camino Real into the mountains toescape the sugar plantations of Ponce. The Mandinka, Wolof and Fulani mtDNA Africanhaplotype, L1b, is present here.[14] Taíno haplogroups A & C can also be found in this area. [10] RBG | We the Maroon People
  • South AmericaFrench Guiana and Suriname Maroon men in Suriname, picture taken between 1910–1935Main article: History of Suriname#Slavery and emancipationEscaped slaves in French Guiana and Suriname fled to the interior and joined with indigenouspeoples and created several independent tribes, among them the Saramaka, the Paramaka, theNdyuka (Aukan), the Kwinti, the Aluku (Boni), and the Matawai. By the 1990s the maroons inSuriname had begun to fight for their land rights.[15]BrazilMain article: QuilomboOne of the best-known quilombos (maroon settlements) in Brazil was Palmares (the PalmNation) which was founded in the early 17th century. At its height, it had a population of over30,000 free people and was ruled by king Zumbi. Palmares maintained its independent existencefor almost a hundred years until it was conquered by the Portuguese in 1694. [11] RBG | We the Maroon People
  • ColombiaEscaped slaves established independent communities along the remote Pacific coast, outside ofthe reach of the colonial administration. In Colombia the Caribbean coast still sees marooncommunities like San Basilio de Palenque, where the creole Palenquero language is spoken.EcuadorIn addition to escaped slaves, survivors of a ship wreck formed independent communities alongrivers of the northern coast and probably mingled with indigenous communities in areas beyondthe reach of the colonial administration. Separate communities can be distingeshed form thecantones Limones, Esmeraldas, Cojimies y Tababuela.See also  Afro-Latin American  Black Indians  Black Seminoles  Capoeira  Cimarron people (Panama)  Gaspar Yanga  Jamaican Maroons  Marie-Elena John  Maroon music  Quilombo  Saramaka  Sranan Tongo  ZamboNotes 1. "Sir Francis Drake Revived" in Voyages and Travels: Ancient and Modern. The Harvard Classics. 1909–14 paragraph 21. 2. "Sir Francis Drake Revived" in Voyages and Travels: Ancient and Modern. The Harvard Classics. 1909–14 paragraph 101. 3. Campbell, Mavis Christine (1988), The Maroons of Jamaica, 1655–1796: A History of Resistance, Collaboration & Betrayal, Granby, MA: Bergin & Garvey. 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. [12] RBG | We the Maroon People
  • 5. "The History of Haiti and the Haitian Revolution". The City of Miami. Retrieved 2007- 08-16. 6. Aimes, Hubert H. S. (1967), A History of Slavery in Cuba, 1511 to 1868, New York: Octagon Books. 7. The Hispanic American Historical Review, Vol. 66, No. 2 (May 1986), pp. 381–82. 8. "El Templo de los Cimarrones" Guerrillero:Pinar del Río in Spanish 9. Edwards, Bryan (1801), Historical Survey of the Island of Saint Domingo, London: J. Stockdale. 10. Taylor, Alan (2001), American Colonies: The Settling of North America, New York: Penguin Books. 11. Edwards, Bryan (1796), "Observations on the disposition, character, manners, and habits of life, of the Maroon negroes of the island of Jamaica; and 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, London: J. Stockdale, 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 African DNA Project, archived May 8, 2008 from the original 15. Case of the Saramaka People v. Suriname, Judgment of November 28, 2007, Inter- American Court of Human Rights (La Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos), accessed 21 May 2009.References  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), Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press. ISBN 0-8078-2803-3 [13] RBG | We the Maroon People
  •  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, Long Grove, Illinois: Waveland Press. ISBN 1-57766-323-3  Price, Richard (ed.) (1973), Maroon Societies: rebel slave communities in the Americas, Garden City, N.Y.: Anchor Books. ISBN 0-385-06508-6  Honychurch, Lennox (1995), The Dominica Story, London: Macmillan. ISBN 0-333- 62776-8 (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 976-640-180-2  Learning, Hugo Prosper (1995), Hidden Americans: Maroons of Virginia and the Carolinas Garland Publishing, New York, ISBN 0-8153-1543-0  Campbell, Mavis Christine (1988), The Maroons of Jamaica, 1655–1796: a history of resistance, collaboration & betrayal, Granby, Mass.: Bergin & Garvey. 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–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  A good short history of the "Bush Negroes" of Suriname  The Maroons, Hindustanis and others of Surinam  "The Maroon Culture of Endurance by Helen Reidell". A history of Jamaican Maroons. Also available in Américas Magazine, Vol. 42, January–February 1990, pp. 46–49. [14] RBG | We the Maroon People