Kudos again to my friends, June and Afrika (mom and daughter) visiting from the US! They prompted the visit and so it was a pleasure taking them with my family over to Charlestown in Portland.
Oracabessa! To get in some fuel - some cool Jelly coconut - right on the street side.
My daughter Aliana, 'souping in' her jelly coconut
We continued on the journey until we reached Buff Bay, then turned towards the cool community of Charles Town!
You Are Entering Charles Town!
and then the final direction...
When we saw this, we knew we were 'home' :-)
We were immediately greeted by Acting Colonel Kim in the friendly maroon tone. She welcomed us in open arms and took care of the formalities.
Before long, I was busy adoring the 'yard' with all its imagery, medicinal plants, etc. I saw cerasee, leaf of life, ganja, fresh cut, semi contract and a host of other healing herbs.
Right after a chilling expose of the maroon history, captain brought us inside the museum, where we were schooled again.
This time she captured elements of the maroon life, which included an explanation of the derivation and meaning the word 'Maroon', the political structure, the timeline, the treaties, biography of former heroes, maroon names, etc.
Political structure of the maroons.
Examples of common maroon names in jamaica
Alert! We Have Visitors
But before anything else can transpired, the Abeng was blown!
VIDEO - Click Below To Listen To The Abeng
Why? Good question! I asked too!
It is to alert the rest of the community that there are visitors in the area - and according to captain, this time, we'll be having some 'fun'.
Jamaican Maroon Exhibits
She continued with the exhibits.
This section of the tour was both reflective and in some cases, a reliving of history for me as I was brought back to some of the 'simple' things that made me appreciate my own youth.
The sud iron, the 'gig' (also called 'top') and the calabash are a few examples. Here (below) are some of the pictures.
Mortar and Pestle
Jamaican gig or 'top' (Jamaican boy child game)
Old 'Three Foot' Pot
Traditional Jamaican Sud Iron
But these two items were perhaps the most telling for me...
And the old time Jamaican 10 shilling note!
The Maroon's Abeng
Jamaica's historic 10 Shilling - Front
Jamaica's historic 10 Shilling - Back
And Then... THE MAROON DANCE
The dance started with some instructions from the captain and the instructor - of course, we had to be a part of the dance so God help me now! This is a skill I am still learning!
But the drums started! And everything just came together!
At first, it appears it was just an ordinary formality for visitors, but I noticed two things:
All the children from the community rushed in, except 1 who apparently was not feeling well - but the minute she stepped in the dance, she was transformed, she is in the purplish blow, look for her in the video below.
It was quite captivating, at one point, it felt quite different - like we had the spirits there - no joke!
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About The Author
A patriotic Jamaican who adores his culture, Wellesley has been using this medium to share what he calls 'the uniqueness of Jamaica with the world' - since April 2007.
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