Nanny of the Maroons
Previous page | Nanny's spirituality is evidenced by her faith in her Creator God, Nyankypon (Yankypon), and her capacity to receive messages from him has contributed to the Nanny legend. A case in point involves Nanny's prayer to Nyankypon when she and her followers were cut off from their main source of food and facing extinction. Nyankypon appeared to Nanny in a vision and suggested that she plant the pumpkin seeds she had in her pocket. Nanny was then able to feed her troops and reflect on her strategies as the seeds produced a bumper crop of pumpkins almost overnight.
Although Nanny has become the source of many legends, her spirit lives on as she is revered by all present-day Maroons. To the eastern Maroons in particular, she has been a constant source of pride and a living presence for the past two centuries. The Maroons exist as a clan and, in keeping with the Akan concept of lineage and the matrilineal society, Nanny is regarded as the primordial ancestor of present-day Maroons.
In 1977, she was proclaimed a Jamaican National Hero, being the only woman thus honored.
Jamaica, a Junior History, Beryl M. Allen, Heinemann, 1989.
Maroon Heritage: Archaeological, Ethnographic and Historical Perspectives, E. Kofi Agorsah, Canoe Press, 1994.
Maroon Societies: Rebel Slave Communities in the Americas, Richard Price (ed.), Anchor Books, 1973.
The Maroon Story, Bev Carey, Agouti Press, 1997.
The Maroons of Jamaica 1855-1796, Mavis C. Campbell, Africa World Press Inc., 1990.
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The Story of the Jamaican People, Philip Sherlock and Hazel Bennett, Ian Randle Publishers, 1998.
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