Abstract

This article explores the music of Maroon nations in the Americas as a source of Africana spirituality, (oral) history, and culture. It draws on the author's multidisciplinary research and engagement with the Windward Maroons of Jamaica, which include, inter alia, the production of a documentary film (Queen Nanny: Legendary Maroon Chieftainess) on their most sacred ancestor, the eighteenth-century leader Granny Nanny; a recorded album, Granny Nanny Come Oh: Jamaican Maroon Kromanti and Kumina Music and other Oral Traditions; and a major U.S. tour by the Moore Town Granny Nanny Cultural Group, a performing arts ensemble. In addition to their spiritual music, which is underpinned by the veneration of their ancestors, the Jamaican Maroons also have a long and complex history that includes the administration of sacred oaths, the signing of sacred (but controversial) treaties, and the reverence of sacred sites such as Granny Nanny's former stronghold of Old Nanny Town, which is now part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park.

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