Formerly New Nanny Town, Moore Town is the home of the Moore Town Maroons, formerly enslaved Africans who through continual warfare were able to negotiate freedom for themselves and their descendants.
The leader of the Moore Town Maroons, Grandy Nanny, was born in what is now Ghana, West Africa, as a member of the Ashanti nation, part of the Akan people. She was enslaved and brought to Jamaica. Experiencing the cruel treatment of slaves on the Jamaican plantations, she and her five brothers, Cudjoe, Accompong, Johnny, Cuffy and Quao decided to join the autonomous African community of Maroons. This community originated from people formerly enslaved by the Spanish, who had refused to submit to British control. This community developed as many more slaves escaped the plantations and joined the Maroons. By the time of the First Maroon War, the newly runaway slaves were also known as Maroons.
Today Grandy Nanny is Jamaica’s only female national hero and is buried in Moore Town. The Americans and Jamaicans travelled to Moore Town to understand the history of the Maroons, to learn who Grandy Nanny is and to visit her grave. The Jamaicans and Americans also came away with a greater appreciation of how the Maroons were able to survive on the mountains by sending traders to the cities to exchange food for weapons and cloth as well as to understand what an excellent location for a stronghold Moore Town is due to it overlooking Stony River via a 900-foot ridge, making a surprise attack by the British virtually impossible. The Maroons organized look-outs for such an attack as well as designated warriors who could be summoned by the sound of a horn called an abeng.
The talk was led by Colonel Sterling, leader of the Moore Town Maroons, after which there was a lunch of traditional Jamaican food and a drumming and dancing presentation. What is of interest here that in addition to this being the first trip of the American delegation to Moore Town, as well this was the first trip of all but one of the community members who travelled with us, Laidley Bishop, to Moore Town. The students and teachers and all who visited where rapt and intrigued by the presentation and afterwards were able to make connections to Maroons in such American states as South and North Carolina.