The Annual International Charles Town Maroon Conference & Festival has come of age. 

In this its 16th year, gratitude is being expressed to all those who, through the years, have ‘mothered’, ‘fathered’, ‘sistered’ and ‘brothered’ with their prayers, participation, financial and all other forms of support.  As we continue to embrace maturity and responsibility on this ‘Jamaica land we love,’ the Charles Town Maroons, in the spirit of community, invite you to come celebrate with us as we educate, entertain and honour our ancestors.  

 
 
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Come join hands and hearts with us as we entertain, educate and celebrate Maroon history, culture and heritage.

Message from Colonel Marcia Douglas

pROGRAMME

Activities

 

 

 

Yucahuna Kachi Areito
(Yamaye Taino Solstice Ceremony)

This is a celebration of the life force energy of the sun which nourishes our plants and our food, celebration of the Taino male spirit of fertility Yucahu.

Our ceremonies will be synchronized with our relatives in Mexico,Peru, Ecuador and Colombia that will be honoring the solstice.

Offerings for the Altar and Sacred Fire :
Tobacco
Fermented drink
Fruits
Flowers
Bammy /cassava flour
Cornmeal
medicinal herbs
Tabonuco (resin incense)

Each year the Conference & Festival features a variety of scholars from top universities around the world. Visitors to the 15th Annual International Charles Town Maroon Conference & Festival on June 22, 24 2023 will be able to hear from and interact with these scholars. The chief architects of the academic conference are:

Dr. Marcus Goffe

Dr. Marcus Goffe is an Attorney-at-Law who specializes in intellectual property law and the protection of traditional knowledge, traditional cultural expressions and the rights of indigenous and local communities. He is regularly consulted by the Maroon communities in Jamaica and is committed to supporting their sustainable development.

Dr. Frances Botkin

Dr.  Frances Botkin is a professor of English at Towson University, where she teaches British Romanticism, Caribbean literature, transatlantic studies, and gender studies. She has published articles on Maria Edgeworth, William Wordsworth, Sydney Owenson, and Jack Mansong. Though she lives primarily in Baltimore, Maryland, Dr. Botkin spends several months of the year in Jamaica where she helps to organize the Annual International Charles Town l Maroon Conference & Festival. Dr. Botkin’s book Thieving Three-fingered Jack: Transatlantic Tales of a Jamaican Outlaw, 1780-2015 came out in 2018 with Rutgers University Press.

Dr. Paul Younquist

Dr. Paul Youngquist is a professor of English in at the University of Colorado -Boulder. His areas of specialization include British Romanticism, Atlantic Studies, science fiction, literary and cultural theory.

ANCESTOR QUAO DAY CELEBRATION

June 23, 2023

Veneration of ancestor Quao and all those who fought with him and those before him, is a continuation of an important aspect of Jamaican culture.  This practice was a natural part of the lifestyle of our Taíno ancestors who kept and protected the remains of ancestors and even today protest the displaying of their bones in museums.   African religiosity and spirituality are often times described as ‘ancestor cults’ because of the recognised and accepted role of ancestors in the daily lives and relationships of African people.  The Chinese, Indians and indeed all those who came and are today regarded as ancestors of this land had ancestor veneration as an integral aspect of their world view and cultural practice

The Annual International Charles Town Maroon Conference & Festival continues to take its place among culturally significant events to honour the life and work of those who walked before us.  With the hosting of the Ancestor Quao Day Celebration,  the Charles Town Maroons, their guest and collaborators pay tribute to Ancestor Quao, the ‘invisible hunter’, who brilliantly led his people and effectively employed military knowledge in the first Maroon War, (1728 – 1740) to move the agenda along and secure our varied expressions of freedom. Fighting along with his sister, who, like him, was also an exceptional asafo military strategist, (and today National Hero called Nanny of the Maroons), other maroon leaders and peoples they engaged in 12 years of war to insist on our inalienable right to be recognised as human beings with a mandate for our own self determination.

With the success of this maroon war, the British were forced to clutch at treaties to minify their losses.  The impacts of this war was wide spread and up to 50 years later, according to C.L.R. James in his book, Black Jacobins, (London: Penguin, 1938), p. 181,  Haiti’s Toussaint L’Ouverture remarked that “in Jamaica there are in the mountains blacks who have forced the English to make treaties with them. Well, I am black like them, I know how to make war.”  And so we continue to give honour and praise to our ancestors, proud people of acumen, courage, integrity, hard work and rich traditions and teachings that have survived till today.

Opening with Akan ancestral invocation, the Ancestor Quao Day Celebration, 15 Annual International Charles Town International Conference & Festival, will be filled with information and entertainment.  Ancestor Quao Day celebrates the triumphant ending of the First Maroon war as signified by the Peace Treaty of 1739.  It celebrates the victorious participation of the Windward Maroons, led by ancestor Quao, male child of the Akan people…born on a Thursday…brilliant warrior… military strategist… Invisible Hunter…spiritual and historical axis…testament to the strong African cultural heritage of the Charles Town Maroons.  May his name live on and on for many generations to come.

Sixteen Years and Counting

Fourteen Years and Counting

Fourteen Years and Counting

Sponsors & Partners

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Organizing committee