|Parish||St. Elizabeth Parish|
Accompong (from the Akan name Acheampong) is a historical maroon village, located in the hills of St. Elizabeth Parish in Jamaica, consolidated by a treaty in 1739. It is located in one of the two areas where runaway slaves settled, originally with the Taínos, isolated enough to be safe first from the Spanish and then later from the British. The town of Accompong was named after the Maroon leader Accompong.
In Accompong Town, rebel slaves and their descendants wrested land from the colonial plantation-military regime and transformed a marginal mountainous reservation, imposed by a colonial legal treaty, into a sacred landscape rooted in common land.
Cudjoe (also Kojo), a leader of the Maroons, is said to have united the Maroons in their fight for autonomy under the Kindah Tree - a huge, ancient mango tree that is still standing (2009). Accompong was founded in 1739 after the Maroons signed a peace treaty with the British at nearby "Peace Cave". The treaty granted the Maroons their long sought autonomy. However a second Maroon war broke out in 1795. The Accompong Maroons remained neutral and the British left them alone. At the end of the war all the other Maroon settlements in Jamaica were destroyed, Accompong alone remained.
The fruitful Kindah Tree itself, with its sign proclaiming "We are Family", symbolizes the common kinship of the corporate creole community on its common land. In the 1990s the Myal Dance became a tourist attraction and a symbol of Jamaican nationhood, forged through a history of conflict and alliance.
The inhabitants of Accompong share practices and a culture similar to their African culture originating 200–300 years ago. Every 6 January (Cudjoe's birthday) at Accompong, descendants and friends of the Maroons come together at a festival in celebration of the treaty. In 2007, the festival took on a more political flavor, as attenders protested increased bauxite mining.
- Folk Law and Legal Pluralism in Jamaica by Jean Besson
- Wright, M. L. (1992) "The Accompong Town Maroons: Past and Present" 1992 Festival of American Folklife catalogue Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage of the Smithsonian Institution;
- Myers, Garfield (8 January 2006) "Maroons hold 'mother of all celebrations' at 268th annual festival" African Axis;
- "Parish Information:Accompong" St. Elizabeth Parish Library;
- Myers, Garfield (8 January 2007) "Maroons unite in defence of Cockpit Country" The Jamaica Observer;
- Accompong Town An informative site with information on the town of Accompong as well as the festival
- Jamaicaholics.com Things to see and do when visiting Accompong