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Source: Kimesha Walters, Gleaner Writer
Maroon chieftess Gloria Simms has started a group to give voice to female Maroons as well as preserve and transmit their culture in Jamaica.
Simms, who is the founder and director of Maroon Indigenous Women’s Circle, is from the Trelawny Town Maroons in St James.
Decked out in her African outfit and accessories, Simms told The Gleaner that the initiative came to her when she made an observation in her village.
“I sat for a while with all the colonels from all the villages and I realise from sitting in those meetings that the women did not have a voice,” she said, adding that she could no longer have this as a reality knowing that the Maroon women represent Nanny as the nation’s first and only heroine.
Meetings started in 2007, but the group was formalised last year, and Simms said it could be the group’s influence that resulted in the election of the first woman deputy colonel, in Accompong, St Elizabeth this year.
She said members hail from five Maroon villages in Jamaica, and numbered approximately 100 women, including those who work or reside outside the villages. Speaking confidently, she noted that those who have left the village are important because they have valuable views as well.
The chieftess is concerned that Jamaican culture is fast eroding, and is on a quest to ensure that future generations do not forget the rich history.
“When we look and see what is going on, we know that it is acculturation of our people taking on different cultures that were not designed for them, so sometimes it is hard for them to fit into other cultures and be themselves,” she asserted ….Read full article in Jamaica Gleaner….