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Nanny of the Jamaica Maroons

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  • Nanny of the Jamaica Maroons

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    Nanny of the Jamaica maroons (Granny Nanny as she is affectionately called) is thought to have been an Asante woman, captured and enslaved in Jamaica. She was sold to a plantation with 4 of her brothers. They all eventually escaped to the mountains and became maroons.

    Along with other maroons they established Nannytown on the eastern (or windward) side of the Blue Mountains and became known as the Windward Maroons. Nannytown quickly thrived under Nanny’s leadership. The maroons were peaceful and preferred to grow their own food and trade with each other. When they raided plantations it was primarily to liberate Africans enslaved on them. Nanny is credited with freeing about 1,000 enslaved Africans during her life.

    Granny Nanny was an obeah woman (obeah is the general term used in parts of the Caribbean to refer to traditional African spiritual systems) and was the spiritual, social, and military leader of her people.

    Threatened by the success of the maroon villages, the plantation owners pushed the local government to destroy the maroons. Hunting parties comprising regular British soldiers, militiamen, and mercenaries took to the mountains to capture and re-enslave the maroons and destroy their villages.

    The maroons defended themselves and the first Maroon War was born. Nanny led her people in battle against the British and was said to have a profound military mind. She trained the maroons to be masters at ambush. They covered themselves with the vines and leaves of the cacoon and other plants. Covered this way, when the British moved through the mountains they did not know they were surrounded by maroons. Only when they were completely surrounded did the maroons reveal themselves and attack their enemies.

    The British tried to sign a peace treaty but Nanny refused. After her death however, her brother Quao, signed a peace treaty with the British agreeing to return any enslaved African who went to them for asylum.

  • #2
    Great info! I Queen Nanny, thanks for sharing sis

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