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Jamaican Maroon heritage resurrected in Flagstaff, St James

Source: Paul H. Williams, Gleaner Writer

Photo: Chairman of the Local Forest Management Committee in Flagstaff, St James, Michael Grizzle (left), has the attention of dignitaries as he briefs them on the newly opened Flagstaff Visitors Centre, which was handed over to the community on Thursday, October 15. Looking on from right (back row) are Isaiah Parnell, chargé d’affaires at the US Embassy; his wife, Tammie, and Derrick Kellier, member of Parliament for South St James. From right (front row) are Carrole Guntley, director general in the Ministry of Tourism; Edmund Bartlett, tourism minister; Charles Sinclair, Montego Bay’s mayor and Karen Hillard, mission director of USAID.

High in the hills of the St James section of the Cockpit Country, at the end of the long, winding mountain road, there is a district called Flagstaff. It is part of a region extending all the way to north St Elizabeth that used to be called Trelawney Town. Many decades ago, the residents were all Maroons, who valiantly defied British colonisers, and were subsequently left alone to carry on their lives in that rocky place.

As time passed, other people moved in, the culture and population became diverse, some descendants and offspring moved out of the region and the Maroon culture became diluted. This is basically the story of all the Maroon villages in Jamaica. But while districts such as Accompong Town in St Elizabeth, Charles Town and Moore Town in Portland and Scotts Hall in St Mary have got much local and international publicity, St James’ Maroon Town and Flagstaff seem to be forgotten places in the annals of Maroon history…..read full article in Jamaica Gleaner here…

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This entry was posted on November 7, 2009 by in Jamaica News and tagged , , .