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Source: Jamaica Gleaner
While environmentalist and bauxite interests continue to battle over the Cockpit Country, the Accompong Maroons who occupy a section of this area rich in flora and fauna were scheduled yesterday to stage their annual festival.
The event, which coincided with the birthday of the great Maroon hero, Captain Cudjoe, marked the 269th anniversary of a peace treaty that was brokered with the British in 1738, which secured the liberty and freedom of the Maroons.
Leader of the Opposition, Mr. Bruce Golding and the Jamaica Labour Party, yesterday congratulated the Accompong Maroons on the staging of the event and hailed them for the role played in the eventual emancipation from slavery.
“The Maroons’ path to freedom was an arduous one and was paved by men and women who displayed tenacity, fortitude and great valour.
“Many of the privileges and advantages we currently enjoy and often times take for granted, were attained through the sufferings and sacrifices of these brave souls who faced gruelling living and working conditions; and regrettably, many paid a great price with their lives. The commemorative celebrations afford the Accompong Maroons the opportunity to pay homage and give acclaim to such persons for their vigorous struggles and campaigns,” Mr. Golding said.
In recent years, significant developments have taken place in the Accompong maroon village, which bring to the fore the concept of heritage tourism, as the community, with its rich, unique and diverse culture can be highlighted as one of the country’s main cultural tourist destinations.