Sunday 30th March 2014
It wasn’t the usual Mother’s Day for me this year. Instead of the lie in, followed by a leisurely breakfast and keeping my feet up for most of the day, I went to Accompong, the main Maroon town in Jamaica.
Welcome to Accompong
Back in April of last year I was given a message during a psychic development circle to look more closely at the Maroons. It’s taken a while, but here I was, on my way to the town I’d learned so much about.
Mural at Accompong
The Maroons were formed from a group of slaves originally from what is now Ghana and Cameroon. Through amazing guerrilla warfare assisted by the strong psychic connection Queen Nanny, one of their leaders, had with the ancestors, they were able to secure their freedom 100 years before slavery was officially abolished.
Cujoe and Queen nanny
Their main residence was in the mountains of St Elizabeth with several smaller communities in Clarendon and in Trelawney.
As it was complicated to get to by public transport I hired a private taxi to take me at a cost of $10,000.00 Jamaican Dollars (Approx £55 British Pounds).
We left the hotel at 8.30 and travelled via Negril. Having done that journey a few times I was quite familiar with many of the land marks.
Roundabout in the centre of Negril
We then headed into Westmoreland’s capital Savannah-La-Mar which is my Dad’s parish. I stopped to take some pictures but realised that the guide books were right about Sav (as they say locally). There really isn’t much to see. Westmoreland, unlike many of the parishes in Jamaica is flat, and I have to confess to finding it quite monotonous.
That is until we came to Bamboo Avenue, three miles of bamboo arching from both sides of the road to form a spectacular green tunnel.
Peter Tosh’s Mausoleum – Everybody wants to go to heaven but nobody wants to die
On the other side we came to Peter Tosh’s Mausoleum. It’s hidden behind Prince’s restaurant and we could have driven past it if we hadn’t stopped to ask directions.
It’s a small space in a huge garden, which is used to host a massive concert on the anniversary of his birth each year. It started small and is growing each year.
Accompong is reached by driving through some stunningly beautiful mountains, and some very bumpy roads, but it was worth it.
Visitors and tourists must report to Colonel’s office
It is a self governing enclave within Jamaica, akin to the Vatican in Rome. No passport is required but all visitors must report to the Colonels office to either state their business of book a tour of the town.
Mural celebrating the life of the Maroons
The history of the town is fascinating, as is their crime record. There is virtually no crime in this town, in fact in the last 275 there has been one murder here.
Maroon Peace Treaty displayed at the Colonel’s office
They attribute this to the fact that the town was created in peace (as is evidenced by the display of the peace treaty signed back in 1739) and the constant respect paid to, and guidance sought from, the ancestors.
Cite of libation
I had the honour of being able to partake in a libation to the ancestors.