Maroon Chief Jacko to be commemorated on July 10

Play held last year to commemorate Maroon ancestors
Play held last year to commemorate Maroon ancestors

July 12th 2016 will be the 203rd anniversary of the death in battle of illustrious Maroon leader, Chief Jacko and it is the third time that the anniversary will be observed under the auspices of the 12th of July Movement.

Since the 12th this year will fall on a week day (Tuesday), the commemoration will take place on Sunday 10th July at the Old Market in Roseau starting at 4.00 p.m.

Members of the public are invited to share with the Movement this act of remembrance and recognition of the unique contribution of the ancestors to the never ending struggle of humankind for liberty, dignity and autonomy of identity. The Maroons, along with their Kalinago predecessors, represented that struggle in this island.

“We want to ensure that the memory of their deeds will never perish from this land,” the Movement said in a release. “Our aim is to transform the Old Market in Roseau into a national monument of remembrance in their honour and in the honour of all those who suffered under and fought against slavery.”

This year, the programme will include power talks relating the deeds of the Maroons, as well as those of Kalinago heroes, the Libation at the Well, rendition of the newly composed “Song to the Heroes” and a treat of “wawa” (wild yam) and cocoa tea with cane juice and coconut milk, part of the diet that has contributed to the island having the most centenarians for its size anywhere in the world.

“We will also announce plans for an expedition to find the ‘Grand Camp’ of the Maroons, hidden in the forest somewhere we believe on Morne Neg Mawon. This will be the first of a series of such expeditions to discover and restore the 13 or so other Maroon camps in our forests,” the Movement said.

Guest of honour at the celebration will be Kalinago Chief, Charles Williams.

Maroon Chief Jacko was born in Africa but was transported to Dominica in the late 1760’s.

He escaped from the Beau Bois Estate in Castle Comfort and established a camp on a plateau near the present day village of Belles.

His camp was one of the main targets of a massive offensive launched by the British during the Second Maroon War in 1812.

He was eventually surrounded and killed after living in the forest for over 40 years.

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9 Comments

  1. June 22, 2016

    12th of July Movement is definitely on the right track. With more Education and Conscious Awareness of who we truly are, :lol: we will surely get to where we need to be. Liberators! I like that one. Once we get the core values right, all the other details will follow. Respect to the movement! How can I become a part of this?

  2. Chief Jaco
    June 21, 2016

    Chief Jacko was a freedom fighter who gave his life for the liberation of his people. He must be made a national hero.

  3. Proud of 12th July Movement
    June 21, 2016

    Yes!, I’m proud to see the 12th July movement going from strength to strength in its efforts to uphold the strong legacy of our forefathers. I agree with Shaka Zulu that where possible we must shake off the negative names and titles imposed on our forefathers by the former colonial brutilizer’s.
    Our history is strong rich and proud and should be appropriately honored and passed onto current and future generations with a sense of pride. Just imagine the impact on a child’s self image who is taught about the strength and determination of their ancestors like Jacko and others who fought for the never ending struggle of humankind for liberty, dignity and autonomy of identity as apposed to just being descendants of slaves. We are and were so much more than that. Dominica please support the 12th July Movement. If you want to help, the movement is still in need of support by way of funding and manpower. Spread the word!!!

    • Jacko is a True National Hero
      June 22, 2016

      I join the chorus of those conscious Dominicans who uphold the legacy of Maroon Chief Jacko. The actions of Jacko, despite the repression of Governor Ainslie and his minions such as the ranger Savarin, helped usher the abolition of slavery into reality. The government needs to make Jacko a national hero and his life’s story needs to be taught in our schools. It is only when we are proud of our liberators and names streets after them, not after slave catchers or kings and queens who did nothing for our freedom or development, will we know progress. Progress will only come where we cleanse our minds of all this negative mental conditioning which keeps us hating ourselves and exalting our oppressors.

      Jacko is a true national hero. A petition drive must be started to persuade the government to make it official.

  4. baro
    June 21, 2016

    I agree with Shaka Zulu. I also add that they should be made national heroes.

  5. Shaka Zulu
    June 21, 2016

    Salute to the jacko. One thing, we need to stop calling these heros of freedom neg maroon or maroons. These terms have a negative connotation in the British minds and were considered wild and animal like. They were the first freedom fighters sacrificing thier lives for what some people still seek today. They were brave and strong and refused to remain enslaved. The are what you called ” live free or die trying”. Mean tim wilberforce and Clark are hailed as emancipators.

    • out of south city
      June 21, 2016

      I agree with you, my brother. We need to redifine our story. We must first emancipate ourselves from mental slavery in order to find ourselves again. We also need to do for ourselves instead of being so dependent. Our foreparents led the way by planting so that we could eat to keep our bodies strong and healthy. If we don’t feed our minds with the right foods then our brains will become foggy.
      Yes, we need to give more credence to our heroes and, like you said and stop the negative connations that our oppressors have used against our foreparents who were truly liberators and fighterrs.
      We need to write our own story and stop accepting the oppressors’ history. Our children and grand-children need to know our story so that they can pass it on to the future generation.

      HOTEP (PEACE)

    • Alex Bruno
      June 21, 2016

      Thank you very much, Shaka Zulu. Displaced Africans or freedom worriers could also suffice.

      May the good spirits of our ancestors be glad with this intervention.

      Peace.

    • Shaka Zulu
      June 22, 2016

      the term rebellion was used to diminish the importance of what these slaves were fighting for. Rebellion would indicate they were rebels. Rebles do not fight for worthy cause. We have too long passed on that narrative from generation to generation. Nelson mandela fighting for freedom for his people was labelled a terrorist by the USA because he got help from YassarArafat and the PLO. Banned from travel. All he wanted was equality for his kin. History keep repeating itself when we do not appreciate and understand the past. Historical perspective is one sided its time we find our true self. Today we dont need to shed blood but we must stand for what is right and just. Those who sit silent in the face of injustice, abuse, slavery, and hate are just as guilty. Lets lift the stories of jako, Toussaint, cudjoe, jarette, nanny et al. This are the freedom fighters we come from.

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