Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Earlier this evening I was part of the audience that turned up for the launching of Slavery,Law and Society in the British Windward Islands (1763-1823) by the late Dr Bernard Marshall. Hosted by the University of the West Indies in collaboration with the Marshall family the gathering heard addresses from the Resident Tutor Dr Fraser,Oscar Allen who reviewed the book and a brief bio data from a family member. Here in St Vincent,unlike the larger islands there is not a huge amount of printed material put out by our citizens. So, although he spent most of his adult years in his adopted homeland of Jamaica his work was lauded as being critical in the showcasing of Vincentian authors as well as its subject matter.
I have not had an opportunity to go through the book as yet but from tonight's review I learnt that outside of Jamaica the largest Maroon group could be found in Dominica. For some reason I just felt that Maroons were uniquely Jamaican so am wondering if Dominicans are aware of that part of their history. Anyway, I quite enjoyed the launch although it was a bit sad that the author passed away before he could see the fruit of his labours. Nevertheless, he has left his legacy.
Do descendants of the Dominican maroons still exist?
Jaco Flats is an old maroon camp named after the famous runaway African slave and camp leader Jaco; who escaped into the rain forest soon after his arrival from Africa in the 1760s. Jaco, the aging rebel maroon, was killed some forty years later at Jaco Flats. Jaco Plats is now one of the eco-tourism spots in Dominica.
I think the mountainous terrain of Dominica provided superb protection for maroons and their camps. Some of the flatter islands had no such place to hide.
We do not know of any decendants of the maroons.
Some the Maroon Chiefs and Jaco Flats details: scroll down once u have accessed the third link you will find a tourist's trip to Jaco Flats there.... it is a bit dramatic but a detailed recount nonetheless...if you wish.
[look for 1785-1786,1814-1815 in link 1]