Maroon Festival

Maroon Festival

January 6
When Jamaica was a Spanish territory in the 16th century, African slaves were brought in to work the plantations. The Spanish, disappointed by the lack of gold on the island, eventually left and the former slaves fled to the mountains. During the 17th and 18th centuries, the island's British inhabitants were often harassed or attacked by the descendants of these well-armed and organized fugitive slaves, who were called Maroons (having been marooned or deserted by their owners). By 1738 the Maroons had been given permission to settle in the northern part of the island.
The annual Maroon Festival is held at Accompong on January 6, and commemorates the 1759 signing of the peace treaty with the English and establishment of the town of Accompong. It is celebrated with traditional dancing and singing, maroon feasts and ceremonies, the blowing of the abeng, and the playing of maroon drums.
CONTACTS:
Jamaica Tourist Board
801 Second Ave., Fl. 20
New York, NY 10017
800-233-4582 or 212-856-9727; fax: 212-856-9730
www.jamaicatravel.com