Current Affairs

Maroons to Reunite with Long Lost Relatives in Sierra Leone

The Trelawny Maroons are going on a mission to west Africa to reconnect with a side of their family not spoken to for nearly two centuries.

Yet this is only the latest chapter in a trans-Atlantic odyssey for a people with a famous name but an often confused past. The Maroons hope that this trip will shed some light on that history.

Following the Second Maroon War in 1795-96, almost the entire Maroon population of Trelawny Town, was deported first to Nova Scotia, Canada and then to Sierra Leone. In Sierra Leone, the Maroons were instrumental in setting up the new colony and formed an elite class.

Despite their success, they never gave up their desire to return to Jamaica. Finally, in 1840 and 1841, scores of Maroons made the trans-Atlantic return voyage to their home in Jamaica.

When they landed, they discovered that in their absence the British built a military barracks over their former community, Trelawny Town. The Maroons waited for the “Maroon Town Barracks” to be abandoned so they could reclaim their land, which was renamed Flagstaff.

Although never again officially recognized as a Maroon community, these Maroons secretly preserved their oral traditions and dreamed that someday all the Trelawny Town Maroons would be reunited.

Since 2007, the Cockpit Country Local Forest Management Committee (CCLFMC) has worked to make that dream a reality.

The “Trans-Atlantic Maroon Connection Project”, sponsored by the CCLFMC and funded by the Commonwealth Foundation, will send two Maroons from Flagstaff to Sierra Leone to document the history and culture of the Trelawny Town people. The project, is an outgrowth of other cultural preservation efforts made by the CCLFMC, such as the Flagstaff Heritage Tour and Trails project.

The CCLFMC hopes to develop alternative sustainable livelihoods for the people of Flagstaff through sustainable heritage tourism.

The Trans-Atlantic Maroon Connection Project be documented on their blog (maroonconnection.blogspot) and will lead to a documentary film to be used in the planned museum at Flagstaff.

For more on the Cockpit Country see their website.

An example of the typical karst formations in Flagstaff, Cockpit Country


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  1. April 4, 2016 at 9:39 pm — Reply

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  2. Jere Thomas
    October 20, 2014 at 6:18 am — Reply

    This is awesome! We the Krios of Sierra Leone are gradually tracing our ancestral links with the West Indies. Trelawney was the name of a street in the Maroon Town area of Freetown. I wish we could reconnect so that our grandchildren would not lose sight of their heritage.

    • Amadu Massally
      July 19, 2015 at 12:50 pm — Reply

      Hi Jere, I am from Sierra Leone too and while not a descendant of the Maroons directly, I am aware of the role they played in not only shaping up life and culture in the capital city of Freetown, but what that influence has had on Sierra Leoneans in general. We must make a conscious effort to connect the dots… and there is no better time than now!

  3. Michael Grizzle
    December 1, 2013 at 6:31 pm — Reply

    please tell us who is the chirf there…..

  4. Giovani
    September 29, 2011 at 3:54 pm — Reply

    Grizzle, you are not the chief. You are a con man.

  5. August 15, 2011 at 5:37 pm — Reply

    As the Maroon Chief of Nyankopong Trelawny Town (Flagstaff). I must say It is great to see where we have reached as we indigenous people struggle to reclaim our ancestral lands within the Trelawny Town Cockpit Country region.This a platform now laid for the recognition of the Trelawny Town Maroon Counsel to represent the sovereign state of our fore parents.

  6. […] Maroons-to-reunite-with-long-lost-relatives-in-sierra-leone […]

  7. June 29, 2011 at 4:30 pm — Reply

    Wow. This is great. My great grandmother is a descendant of the powerful Maroons. Matter of fact, when our family wasn’t as dispersed as it is today, we had a lot of say on the rulings of Trelawny. Seeing this documentary would put me face to face with my relatives… Crazy!

  8. June 28, 2011 at 6:04 pm — Reply

    I have been intrigued and fascinated with the Maroons all my life.

    I would love to join them on the journey to Sierra Leone

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