Saturday 2 December 2006

Queen of the Mountain

Queen of the Mountains!

Oh Nanny Nanny Nanny, Nanny Nanny Nanny!

Our Roots, Our I-tality, Our Sacred and Healing Herbs!

many of the legends say that, contrary to more "standard" history, Nanny came to Jamaica of her own free will, having heard that the Natives there, and then the Africans kidnapped and brought there, were suffering under the wealth-crazed "colonizers." so she sailed in her own ship, with her band of fierce Ashanti warriors, to jamaica and began to war with the oppressors there, housing, healing, teaching and arming those who escaped to join her in the mountains...

thanks to for the text below:

a small wiry woman with piercing eyes... her influence over the Maroons appears to have been strong. So strong indeed, that it bordered on the supernatural and was said to be derived from her powers of Myal (i.e. 'Good Obeah'). The Warrior Queen was particularly skilled in organizing the guerrilla warfare carried out by the Eastern Maroons to keep away the British troops who attempted to penetrate the mountains to overpower them. And, she was especially important to the free Africans in their fierce fight with the British during the First Maroon War from 1720 to 1739. Beside inspiring her people to ward off troops, Nanny was also the type of village wise woman who passed down legends that instilled confidence and pride in her people and encouraged the continuation of customs, music and songs that had been traditional in Africa.

Queen Mother Nanny was known as a great healer and extremely powerful Obeah/Myal woman (holder of secret/sacred African knowledge)...

...There is no doubting the fact that Queen Nanny was a spiritual leader, a Priestess, for her people. Nor is there any doubt that she was a knowledgeable herbal healer. However, it is necessary to understand Queen Nanny as a complete personality, encompassing the roles of Queen Mother, Warrior-General, Priestess/Myal Woman, Chieftainess, Herbal Healer, and Mountain Revolutionary. Her multiple personas overlapped and intertwined, each one influencing the other. The Maroons conceive of her as a product of all of these aspects and thus she is seen as a supernatural Cheftainess, a Priestess, a Healer, and a Military Leader who was able to perform miracles...

Queen Nanny had a strong bond and was in close communication with her African Ancestors, and this was the source from which her power as a Myal Woman was derived. As would be expected, Nanny and the Maroons of her day retained aspects of traditional African culture and customs much more than did their counterparts who remained captive on the slave plantations. In fact, Queen Nanny and her people were far more African than they were 'Jamaican' or 'Creole'. The spiritual side of life was very important to the Maroons and it was incorporated into their military strategies, into the raising of children, and into the daily lives of the people.

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