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Queen Nanny: Legendary Maroon Priestess

She is the only woman among Jamaica’s seven national heroes. Her bravery and skill as a military strategist are unparalleled.

Born in the 18th century in Ghana, Queen Nanny became the spiritual leader of the Winward Maroons, the enslaved Africans who fled to the rugged mountains of Jamaica’s eastern parishes of Portland, St. Thomas, and St. Mary. It is from this her stronghold that she led her people in several decisive battles against the British army, bringing them to heel.

However, unlike her male counterparts, very little was written about Queen Nanny. The recently released documentary, Queen Nanny: Legendary Maroon Chieftainness, will change that.

Conceived by veteran stuntman and award-winning filmmaker (Akwantu, the Journey 2012), Roy T. Anderson, and Professor of History, Dr. Harcourt T. Fuller, both Maroon descendants, and filmed in Jamaica, Ghana, Canada and the United States, Queen Nanny shines a light on the indomitable spirit of this larger-than-life woman. It tells her story through songs, performances and reenactments, interviews with Maroons, and scholars who are experts in Caribbean history and the study of slavery.

The documentary also examines the legacy Queen Nanny has bequeathed to contemporary Jamaican women.

Queen Nanny: Legendary Maroon Chieftainness had its World Premier at the United Nations on October 19th, the day that is celebrated in Jamaica as National Heroes Day.

The screening was part of the UN’s 2015 Remember Slavery Programme of Activities, which included a solemn commemorative meeting of the UN General Assembly, film screenings, roundtable discussion and an exhibit. The events also draw attention to the International Decade for People of African Descent.

This year’s theme of Women and Slavery pays tribute to the many enslaved women who endured unbearable hardships, including sexual exploitation, as well as those who fought for freedom from slavery and advocated for its abolition.

Every year on 25 March, the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade offers the opportunity to honor and remember those who suffered and died at the hands of the brutal slavery system. This historic day in 2015 marked the unveiling of a Permanent Memorial to Slavery at the UN Headquarters in New York. Titled the Ark of Return, it was designed by Rodney Leon, an American architect of Haitian descent.

 

Comments

  1. I’ve been missing reading your posts, so it’s good to hear from you again. I’m not familiar with Queen Nanny. She sounds impressive and inspiring, and I hope that film introduces her to many people.
    Michele {Malaysian Meanders} recently posted..Disney’s Haunted Mansions Around the WorldMy Profile

  2. Thanks, Michele!
    Not many people are, unfortunately, but I hope they will now with this documentary.

  3. Jave has mentioned Nanny to me often, but I still don’t know much about her. I’ll be on the lookout for this documentary because I’d love to learn more about her life. We’re headed to Jamaica for Christmas, and if possible, I’d love to visit a Maroon community. Thanks for sharing!

  4. You’re welcome, Dana! Nanny is a pretty significant figure in Jamaican history. Because of who she was and her activities, she became a National Heroine and is also on the $500 note, aka the Nanny. If you’re going to be in Negril, check out Accompong in St. Elizabeth. It’s probably easier to get to though I don’t know what the procedure is for going there outside of the January 6th independence celebration. Here’s a post I did on the celebration. http://insidejourneys.com/accompong-maroons-celebrate-275-years-of-independence-from-britain/

  5. Great post about Queen Nanny . It is very helpful to know about queen nanny . Thanks for your sharing .

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