Black History Month: Queen Nanny of the Maroons

Woman in a head wrap. The text included below the image is in the body of the post.

Queen Nanny of the Maroons is a legendary figure of resistance against slavery. Very little of her life was written down and recorded, but there is general agreement that she was born into the Asante people in Ghana, but then transported as a slace to Jamaica in the early 18th century. She became leader of the Windward Maroons – a band of escaped slaves – and her skills and abilities as a military leader against the British in the First Maroon War were undeniable. She specialised in guerilla warfare, and her influence was so strong that people assumed she had supernatural powers.

Nanny was the leader of Nanny Town, a Maroon stronghold kep secret from the British for years. When it was exposed, it withstood multiple attacks before falling.

Nanny was also well known for passing on Asante legends and customs to her people. Various records suggest that she was in her late 60s when she was doing all of this.

There is no contemporary portait of Queen Nanny of the Maroons: the image above is taken from the Jamaican $500 note.

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