Maroons

Image is a still from Nanny Town Rediscovered

Image is a still from Nanny Town Rediscovered

The Maroons were former slaves turned mountain dwelling militia men and settlers throughout American slavery.  They were prevalent in the United State, South America and Jamaica. Being fugitives they were a nomadic people. The largest Maroon community lived in the heart of the Great Dismal Swamp, along the border between Virginia and North Carolina. About two thousand fugitives chose to live and raised their families in this harsh wilderness rather than submit to slavery.

After freeing themselves from European rule the Maroons were able to establish their own distinct culture away from their African homes.  The Maroons are survivors that barter to make a living and have food to eat. They traded with blacks, friendly whites and Native Americans. However, the main source and more common survival strategy for the Maroons was raiding farms, stealing food, clothing, livestock and other items. They would have to evacuate their villages if their enemies came too close and they vigilantly stood guard, constantly ready to defend their freedom.  They made their own weapons by hand and won many wars crafting and expertise in guerrilla tactics.

The Maroons had very limited choices and had to make the best at what they had. They learned how to endure difficult and impossible situations. They had to be creative in developing survival technique to remain free and live. Their relocating was an effective way for them to keep their freedom once discovered.

by Joann Crandall

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