January 6 marked the annual celebration in Jamaica for the Maroons of Trelawney Town (known as the “Sovereign State of Accompong Town”) and the signing of the peace treaty between themselves and the British, and also the birthday of Kojo, the great leader of the Leeward Maroons.
This year — the 276 anniversary of freedom fighters, was no different for the descendants of such African ancestry who returned from around the world to pay tribute. Europeans were quite visible at this fete, along with uniformed children from within the parish and neighboring parish schools, who planned the first day of the 2014 school year as one of historical and cultural experience.
Natives, decked in traditional garb, were spectacular in keeping their culture alive. Under the ancient Kindah tree, they sang and danced magnificently in the pouring rain, on such sacred grounds. The sampling of boiled pork, eaten from green banana and cocoa leaves, along with roasted yam, was a celebration worth waiting for. The ancestral worship was held several feet away from the Kindah at their leaders’ burial site, where they brought food, prayed and sang songs in ancestral tongues that could only be witnessed by identifiable, able Maroons.
To such a celebration, the value of its deep-rooted culture seems endless.
For such, crime in this vibrant community of nearly 600 residents has taken a back-seat to that of an economy of self-reliance by the use of land and treaty.