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Source: Paul Williams, Jamaica Gleaner
On any regular day, visit Safu Yard, in Charles Town, Portland, and you will be entranced by the hypnotic sounds of Maroon drums. And chances are, you will see dancers moving spiritedly to the commands of the drummers.
They are members of the Charles Town Maroon Drummers and Dancers, who, in their youthfulness, are making sure that the rich cultural heritage bequeathed them by their illustrious forebears continue to be preserved for posterity.
The Charles Town Maroon Drummers and Dancers performing at the Jambana festival in Toronto, Canada, in August. From left, back row, are Rodney Rose, Cashaine Richards, Marcia Douglas and Kerry Bryan. From left, front row, are Gregory Henry, Aundray White, Dwight Christie, Delano Douglas and Dwayne Christie. – (photo Contributed to Jamaica Gleaner)
But, at a time when dancehall, reggae, rhythm and blues and hip-hop music are a source of joy for many young Jamaicans, why are these obviously talented youths not sucked in by the undercurrents of popularity that surround these genres? In a discussion with The Sunday Gleaner earlier this year, the young Maroons said they have no choice than to obey the call of their ancestors.
Captain Delano Douglas, youth minister and master drummer, said his role was to keep the group together, which is a way of life. He was introduced to Maroon culture by his father, Maroon icon , the late Ken Douglas, and there was no looking back.
“It was already in me, so there was no need to disobey – yuh don’t need nobody to motivate yuh from yuh in the culture. Yuh can’t forget where yuh coming from. If it wasn’t for the ancestors, we wouldn’t be here,” he declared…..Read full article in Jamaica Gleaner here….