Transformations of Freedom in the Land of the Maroons: Creolization in the Cockpits, Jamaica

Besson, Jean. 2016. Transformations of Freedom in the Land of the Maroons: Creolization in the Cockpits, Jamaica. Kingston and Miami: Ian Randle Publishers. ISBN 978-9766374082 [Book]

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Abstract or Description

Despite outstanding histories and ethnographies on maroons, there has been little attempt to draw modern maroons into a comparative perspective with the descendants of emancipated slaves who are the majority of African-Americans today. There is therefore a gap in the comparative exploration of creolization in maroon and non-maroon derivations of African-American slave cultures. Transformations of Freedom in the Land of the Maroons bridges that gap through a comparative ethnography of three post-slavery transnational communities - Accompong, Aberdeen and Maroon Town - that stand fast in the Jamaican Cockpit Country today. The Cockpit Country, so named after the cock-fighting pits introduced by the Spanish to the Americas, with steep mountains and deep valleys, straddles the interior of adjoining parishes in central Jamaica. During slavery these Cockpits served as a refuge for fighting maroons and the provision grounds of plantation slaves. In the twenty-first century Accompong endures as a corporate maroon society; Aberdeen is a village descended from emancipated slaves; and Maroon Town is a community claiming descent from planters, maroons and slaves. Consolidating over 30 years of research and fieldwork in these communities, Jean Besson provides a sweeping yet all-encompassing examination of comparative creolization and the complexities of ethnicity at the maroon/non-maroon interface.

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Date Deposited:

13 Jun 2016 11:09

Last Modified:

16 Jun 2017 13:06


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