or Grandy Nanny
(c. 1686 - 1733), Jamaican National Hero
, was a well-known leader of the Jamaican Maroons
in the eighteenth century. Historical documents refer to her as the "rebels (sic) old obeah
woman," and they legally grant "Nanny and the people now residing with her and their heirs . . . a certain parcel of Land containing five hundred acres in the parish of Portland . . ." (quoted in Campbell 177, 175). Nanny Town
was founded on this land. Much of what is known about Nanny comes from oral history as little textual evidence exists.
were defiant Jamaican slaves who fled their oppressive existence on plantations and formed their own communities in the rugged, hilly interior of the island. They were considered skilled fighters and hard to defeat. Under Spanish rule, up to the 1650s, slaves escaped and intermarried with the native islanders, Arawaks
, in their communities. Later, when the British assumed control of the colony, more slaves were able to escape from plantations to join the two main bands of Maroons in Jamaica: Leeward and Windward Maroons, headed respectively by Nanny of the Maroons and Captain Cudjoe.
The Maroons mainly consisted of people from the Akan
region of West Africa. The Ashante tribe, from which Nanny came, lived in this region. However, slaves originating from other regions of West Africa joined the Maroons in their escapes. For over 150 years, the Maroons... Read More