The community here was founded by Maroons who originally came from Cattawood Springs in Portland Parish, joining forces with Cudjoe in 1730. The community has retained much of African culture in consequence., with the names Yulie and Oli being used often. The local dialect includes several African words such as bafan which refers to someone who is clumsy, bubu, for someone who behaves stupid, buffa-buffa meaning fat, chacka-chaka for someone who is untidy and fenke fenke for feeble. The name of Cotterwood (like Cattawood) probably derives from the Twi word katá which means to cover conceal or protect.
Leonard Barrett, the author of several books including The Sun and The Drum comes from Cotterwood and has researched the African roots in Jamaican FolkTradition.