Blue & John Crow Mountains

Charles Town Maroons

The Charles Town Maroons occupied Crawford Town high in the Blue Mountains before signing the Peace Treaty with the British when they moved down to Charles Town on the Buff Bay River, where they remain today. The leader of the Charles Town Maroons was Nanny’s captain, Quao. Maroon communities are lead by an elected leader – the Colonel. In the photograph below, Colonel Lumsden explains some Maroon traditions to BJCMNP Education Officer (Mr. Taylor) and Conservation Science Officer (Mr. Beale). You should note the “abeng” he is holding in one hand – this is a cow horn used by the Maroons to signal the beginning of a battle or to give various commands to the warriors.

Left to Right: Education Officer Wellington Taylor, Colonel Lumsden and Conservation Science Officer Marlon Beale
Left to Right: Education Officer Wellington Taylor, Colonel Lumsden and Conservation Science Officer Marlon Beale

Charles Town Maroon Museum
Charles Town Maroon Museum

The Charles Town Maroon Museum contains a variety of artefacts and considerable information about Maroon history and traditions. The guided tour includes experiencing the songs and dancing of the Windward Maroons. Beside the Museum is the Asafu Yard where the Maroons meet for festivals. A variety of hikes are possible starting just nearby – Sambo Hill Trail or the ruins of the Orange Vale Plantation. Instead of hiking, visitors can relax by the river, a stone’s throw away from the Asafu Yard. You should definitely taste the Saltfish Rundown and Callaloo or at least purchase a bag of the excellent old time sweety – Busta Backbone – the Charles Town variety is the best !

River beach at Charles Town
River beach at Charles Town

BJCMNP | The Blue Mountains Experience

The JCDT appreciates the involvement and support of our Partners, Donors and Sponsors

  • National Environment & Planning Agency
  • Forestry Department
  • Jamaica National Heritage Trust
  • Environmental Foundation of Jamaica
  • Forest Conservation Fund
  • Pear Tree Press
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