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CrazyFruits13  » The Biography.com » Nanny Of The Maroons Biography: A True Heroin

Nanny Of The Maroons Biography: A True Heroin

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Peacefulmilitant

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Nanny of the Maroons as she was known is one of Jamaica's most important National Hero. She was a well-known leader of the Jamaican Maroons in the eighteenth century.  However, historical documents refer to her as the “rebels (sic) warrior woman,” and they legally grant “Nanny and the people now residing with her and their heirs,a certain parcel of Land containing five hundred acres in the parish of Portland . . .” (quoted in Campbell 177, 175). Nanny Town was founded on this land.
Maroons

The Maroons were defiant Jamaicans who fled their oppressive existence on the plantations and formed their own communities in the rocky hilly interior of the island. They were considered skilled and very intelligent fighters;which at the time made them hard to defeat.

Under Spanish rule, up to the 1650s,they escaped and intermarried with the native islanders known as the Arawak Indians in their surrounding communities. Later, when the British assumed control of the colony, more of the Maroons were able to escape from plantations to join the two main bands of Maroons in Jamaica: Windward and Leeward Maroons, headed respectively by Nanny of the Maroons and Captain Cudjoe.

The Maroons mainly consisted of people from the Akan region of West Africa. The Ashanti ethnic group from which Nanny came. For over 150 years, the Maroons helped to free enslaved Africans from the plantations whilst they damaged land and property belonging to plantation owners.


Nanny was born c. 1686 in Ghana, Western Africa, into the Ashanti ethnic group, and was brought to Jamaica as a slave. It is believed that some of her family members were involved in intertribal conflict and her village was captured. Nanny and several relatives were sold as slaves and sent to Jamaica. Upon arrival in Jamaica, Nanny was likely sold to a plantation in Saint Thomas Parish, just outside of the Port Royal area. Such plantations grew sugarcane for Europeans as the main crop, and the enslaved Africans toiled under extremely harsh conditions.

As a child, Nanny was influenced by the Maroons. She and her “brothers”, Accompong, Cudjoe, Johnny and Quao ran away from the plantation where they were held captive and hid in the Blue Mountains area of northern Saint Thomas Parish. While in hiding, they split up to organize more Maroon communities across Jamaica: Cudjoe went to Saint James Parish and organized a village, which was later named Cudjoe Town; Accompong settled in Saint Elizabeth Parish in a community known as Accompong Town; Nanny and Quao founded communities in Portland Parish. She was married to a Maroon named Adou.

Nanny became a folk hero. Cudjoe went on to lead slave rebellions in Jamaica.

By 1720, Nanny and Quao had settled and controlled an area in the Blue Mountains. It was given the name Nanny Town, and consisted of the 500 acres (2.4 km²) of land that they won by repeatedly defeating the British army. Nanny Town had a strategic location as it overlooked Stony River via a 900 foot (270 m) ridge making a surprise attack by the British practically impossible. The Maroons at Nanny Town also organized look-outs for such an attack as well as designated warriors who could be summoned by the sound of a horn called an Abeng.

Maroons at Nanny Town and similar communities survived by sending traders to the nearby market towns to exchange food for weapons and cloth. The community raised animals, hunted, and grew crops, and was organized very much like a typical Ashanti village.

The Maroons were also known for raiding plantations for weapons and food, burning the plantations, and leading Africans who were enslaved back to their communities.


There are at least three well-known artistic renderings of Nanny. In fact, Nanny is only mentioned four times in British reports of their struggles with the Maroon Queen.
5. She is Jamaica’s first and only female heroine.

To date, Nanny is the only woman to be bestowed the Order of National Hero, granted posthumously on March 31, 1982.

It;s now time to pay homage to a powerful woman, Queen Nanny. The courageous Queen Nanny was born around 1685 in Ghana, and reported to belong to the Ashanti tribe, married to Adou, with no children.

(The term, Maroon, may have come from the Spanish word cimarron, meaning wild.) She formed free sovereign Black communities, operating outside of British colonization. Queen Nanny’s brilliant mind led expeditions into enemy territory to successfully attack plantations and free at least 1,000 enslaved people. Historians have documented that she fought tremendous odds to help her people escape slavery.

In the book, The Mother of Us All: A History of Queen Nanny, author Karla Gottleib says, “The story of the Maroons is unique in history;because people cannot understand how several hundred escaped slaves with no uniforms, no supply of guns and ammunition except those that they were able to steal or obtain covertly, no steady supply of food, and no secure living place, could fend off the best soldiers of an empire that had an almost endless supply of sophisticated heavy artillery, including portable swivel guns, a seemingly endless supply of new soldiers, as well as a wealth of material resources, is a historical feat that can never be duplicated. ”Violence heightened between the Maroons and British around the 1730s.

Unarmed and asleep:

Nanny town (named after her) suffered a heavy loss in the bloody encounter in 1734 when the British ambushed them while they were asleep.

However, several Maroons survived because a new Nanny town (called Moore Town) was already inhabited and people had been migrating there. It is believed that Queen Nanny was killed by the British in 1730s, but no one is sure of the date. She is credited with being the main figure that united Maroons across Jamaica and played a major role in preservation of African culture, pride and knowledge.

Many believe that Queen Nanny was a science woman, an Obeah woman (someone with superpowers, trained in traditional, Spiritual sciences) and that is what gave the Maroons the upper hand. Many mythical stories have been told of her astonishing abilities. I have heard legends about Queen Nanny, such as her catching bullets with her hands (which was a highly developed art form.

Even though some may not believe that, the facts remain that she is one of the greatest Female Warriors who sacrificed her life that all Jamaicans and Africans could live a peaceful life. Therefore, she is truly the Queen of Jamaica, and should be included in history for people, all over, to know about her. Her life and accomplishments have been recognized by the Government of Jamaica which honored her as one of seven National Heroes awarded the title of Right Excellent. Queen Nanny is the first and only woman Heroine! A portrait based on her description is on the Jamaican $500 note. Every January 6, in honor of the birthday of Nanny’s brother, Captain Cudjoe, a Maroon festival is celebrated.

Historical documents refer to her as the "rebels' oldest 'obeah' woman." Following some armed confrontations, colonial officials reached a settlement for peace. They legally granted "Nanny and the people now residing with her and their heirs ... a certain parcel of Land containing five hundred acres in the parish of Portland.


It is believed that some of her family members were involved in intertribal conflict and her village was captured. Nanny and several relatives were sold as slaves and transported to Jamaica. There she was likely sold to a plantation in Saint Thomas Parish, just outside the Port Royal area. The commodity crop was sugarcane, and the maroons toiled under extremely harsh conditions to cultivate, harvest and process it. Another version of her life tells that she was of royal African blood and came to Jamaica as a free woman. She may have been married to a man named Adou, but had no known
childhood:
As a child, Nanny was influenced by other slave leaders and maroons. One story says that she and her "brothers", Accompong, Cudjoe and Quao, ran away from their plantation and hid in the Blue Mountains area of northern Saint Thomas Parish;While in hiding, they split up to organize more Maroon communities across Jamaica: Cudjoe went to Saint James Parish and organized a village, which was later named Cudjoe Town; Accompong settled in Saint Elizabeth Parish, in a community that came to be known as Accompong Town;and Nanny and Quao founded communities in Portland Parish.

A more likely origin for the Leeward Maroons occurred in 1690 when there was a Coromantee rebellion on Sutton’s estate in western Jamaica, and most of the enslaved ran away to form the Leeward Maroons. Cudjoe is probably the son of one of the leaders of this revolt.While Cudjoe emerged as the leader of the Leeward Maroons of the west, Nanny came to prominence as one of the main leaders of the Windward Maroons of the east.

Nanny became a folk hero; As the British kept capturing Nanny Town on more than one occasion, they were unable to hold on to it, in the wake of numerous guerrilla attacks from the Maroons,successes of the war lasted for over a decade.

Many in her community attributed Nanny's leadership skills to her superpowers which is known as Obeah. Obeah is a spiritual-derived religion that is still practised in Suriname, Jamaica, Haiti, Guyana, Barbados and Belize. It is associated with both good and bad magic, charms, luck, and with mysticism in general. In some Caribbean nations, aspects of Obeah have survived through synthesis with Christian symbolism and practice introduced by European colonials and slave owners.

Nanny possessed a wide knowledge of herbs and other traditional healing methods, She served as a physical and spiritual healer to her community, which in turn elevated her super-human status.

In the Journal of the Assembly of Jamaica, 29–30 March 1733, is a citation for "resolution, bravery and fidelity" awarded to "loyal enslaved people... under the command of Captain Sambo", namely William Cuffee, who was rewarded for having fought the Maroons in the First Maroon War and who is called "a very good party Negro, having killed Nanny, the rebels oldest obeah woman".These hired black foot soldiers were nicknamed sambos or coconuts by the other black slaves that were trying to flee the british plantations,but  were known as "Black Shots" by the british that appointed them to catch newly come slaves if they tried to runaway.

Another record states that in 1740, a parcel of land named Nanny Town was awarded to "Nanny and her descendents" under a treaty with the colonial government.Some claim that Queen Nanny lived to be an old woman, dying of natural causes in the 1760s. The exact date of her death remains a mystery.
Queen Nanny's final resting place:

Nanny's remains are buried at "Bump Grave" in Moore Town. New Nanny Town was renamed Moore Town in the 1760s.

In another clash,A Captain by the name of Stoddart attacked the remnants of Nanny Town, "situated on one of the highest mountains in the island", via "the only path" available: "He found it steep, rocky, and difficult, and not wide enough to admit the passage of two persons abreast."

In addition to the use of the ravine, resembling what Jamaicans call a "cockpit". The Maroons also used decoys to trick the British into ambushes. A few Maroons would run out into view of the British and then run in the direction of fellow Maroons who were hidden and would attack. After falling into these ambushes several times.

The British retaliated. According to what is written in historic passages about these events,in written words.(Captain Stoddart "found the huts in which the negroes were asleep", and "fired upon them so briskly, that many were slain in their habitations".

Eventually, there were five Maroon towns in the eighteenth century – Accompong Town, Trelawny Town, Charles Town, Scots Hall, Nanny Town – living under their own chiefs with a British supervisor in each town. In exchange, they agreed not to harbour new runaway slaves, but to help catch them for bounties. The Maroons were also expected to fight for the British in the case of an attack from the French or Spanish.

There's no doubt that Nanny is one of the greatest and most corageous superb female that ever lived. She was an exceptionally good soldier and a wife,a nurse and fearless leader; a mother to her communities and all the tribes that she taught and lead into countless battles. She was a highly charged spiritual lady that was known to have possessed mystical powers,a herbal scientist,a heroine, a beautiful woman,a true Goddess.

Nanny is celebrated in Jamaica and abroad:

The government of Jamaica declared Queen Nanny a National Hero in 1976. Her portrait graces the $500 Jamaican dollar bill, which is colloquially referred to as a "Nanny".
   Nanny's Monument is located in Moore Town, Portland, Jamaica.
   Nannyville Gardens, a residential community located in Kingston Jamaica, was founded in 1977 and named after her. The Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance and Abolition at Yale University in the United States uses Nanny's portrait in its logo.

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