A new book by local historian, Dr. Lennox Honychurch which tells the story of the Maroons of Dominica, has been described as a vital treasure since very little has been done to honor the memory of the island’s African ancestors.
“Negre Mawon: The Fighting Maroons of Dominica” was launched at the Baracun Building in Roseau on Thursday evening and former chief cultural officer, Raymond Lawrence said it helps honor the memories of the African ancestors.
“It helps to salute the vital contributions which they made to our freedom and emancipation in Dominica,” he said.
Lawrence noted that up until recently very little had been done to honor the African ancestors.
“So we still need to do more to recognize this very significant part of our African heritage,” he noted. “We do have a mountain which was named in memory of the Negre Mawon, we have a Morne Negre Mawon, and on the first of August last year, as part of our Emancipation celebrations, we unveiled a Negre Mawon emancipation monument located close to the Peebles Park. This monument is dedicated to the memory of our African ancestors, especially our Negre Mawon.”
He pointed out that a play, directed by Alex Bruno and named Negre Mawon, was also presented to honor the memory of the ancestors.
He said Dr. Honychurch’s book expounds the history of the Dominica’s Negre Mawon.
“The circumstance and the events and the experiences which all unfolded to tell a story of capture, suffering, pain, degradation, survival, struggle, resistance and triumph,” he noted.
Meanwhile Dr. Honychurch said the Negre Mawon had a ‘big impact’ on the island and they have “really changed the whole pattern of Dominica.”
He said the presence of the Maroons in the interior putting pressure on the plantations “meant that Dominica changed.”
“Dominican society is different because of that,” he noted.
The book was dedicated to Dr. Honychurch’s father, Ted Honychurch.