Transcending Oppression: Contributions of Maroon Heritage to Freedom in World History

Published In

The Oxford Handbook of Caribbean Archaeology

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date



The story of the Maroons, enslaved Africans and their descendants, who fled from bondage and fought a long series of wars to maintain their freedom, goes back to the very earliest days of European settlement and slavery in the New World. Colonial Maroon societies ranged in size from small bands of a few people to powerful groups often referred to as bands although some numbered a thousand or more. Marronage was a common phenomenon in all parts of the Western hemisphere where slavery was practiced. Historical archaeology provides perspectives on the indispensability of accommodation and collaboration with a variety of cultural groups from prehistoric communities to enslaved Africans within the plantation complex. The formation and transformation of Maroon cultural identity are central to the stories of survival, including indigenous survivals.



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