Visitors hail Accompong Maroon celebrations

After being forced to stage a scaled down event in 2022, the Accompong Maroons put on a far bigger show on January 6, 2023 marking the 285th anniversary of their ancestors’ signing of a peace treaty with the British.

Patrons, many from overseas, told the Jamaica Observer that they were delighted to participate in the festivities and learn more about Jamaican history having to do with the Maroons.

Queen Ifrica

I feel charged up.

Kamla ‘Ripe Mango’ Forbes

It was my first time here and it was surreal. I didn’t expect something so big and organised. I got to meet Chief Richard Currie and I will be coming back because I really enjoyed it.

Kern Spencer

The 285th anniversary celebrations for the Accompong Maroons met all expectations. I was here last year and definitely the crowd this year is like five times that of last year. Obviously some extra planning went into it this year. Things are more comfortable on the ground; there is better parking and we see a lot of security officers around so we feel safe. We also see a lot of foreigners.

World Boss

I come here every year except during COVID-19. I am definitely enjoying myself.

Mecca Williams

I am from New York. This is my first time coming to the Maroon festival and it is an honour to be here to learn about the culture and to see so many black people come together and celebrate their heritage. I really enjoyed myself. The food is great, the people, the energy, the culture is amazing. My friend Marleisse educated me. She has Maroons in her family. It’s nice to be here.

Rugie Jalloh

I live in New York. This is my first time to Jamaica. The experience has been really great. It’s beautiful and everyone has been kind. We are here to celebrate Marleisse’s birthday so we are celebrating her while we learn about some history. We went to the museum and a lot of the artefacts were still there so it was really cool to see.

Effie Cudjoe

I am from New York. It is my third time in Jamaica but my first time in Accompong. It’s been really nice to see the community that is here and learn about the history as well. This is very cool to see. My family is from Ghana and so it is nice to see the descendants who have settled here.

Marleisse Stephens

January 5 was my birthday. Traditionally I always come to Maroon Town on January 6, the day after my birthday. Last year was much smaller. I think it is great to see the support. It is always good to come here and support our people and be together as one family. I always enjoy listening to what the elders are saying in their words of encouragement and also just understanding better our ancestry and lineage and the stories. It is really important to uphold that.

Stephanie Boukman-

I hail from Haiti but I live in New York. This experience was powerful. You could really feel the energy and you could feel every drum beat. I felt as if I heard the ancestors talking to me, just being on the land. I felt the power through the soil while sitting on the rocks. It is not my first time in Jamaica but it is my first time in Accompong. The experience was magnetic.

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