This is the Maroon way of peeling coconut in the jungle Let’s see it. Right now we are in the John Crow Hills deep in the Blue Mountains of Jamaica, and things are about to get super interesting. We’re here at the Scotts Hall Maroon Town. The Maroons were originally escaped slaves who carved out autonomous regions within the hills of Jamaica. We’re meeting up with Colonel Pink who is the leader of this community. He’s going to share more about Maroon culture and what makes them unique in Jamaica. The Maroons are descended from West African slaves brought to Jamaica by the Spanish. They escaped slavery and fled to the mountains to live off the land with the Taino Indians. But their numbers surged in 1655. When the British invaded Jamaica, the Spanish abandoned their plantations, and more slaves escaped to join the Maroons in Jamaica’s isolated central mountains. When the British tried to take control, the Maroons fought two guerilla wars, eventually forcing the British to recognize their autonomy and establish their freedom in late 1700s, more than 50 years before the British abolished the slave trade, and over 200 years before Jamaica’s independence. My name is Marko, and I’m one of the Vagabrothers. I’m Alex, and I’m also one of the Vagabrothers. Nice to meet you guys. Just to explain some more about Maroon Town…. Is that a warning for the farmer up there saying it’s you guys; it’s ok? When we were coming up the valley, you guys were blowing that. That’s so cool. Yeah. It’s so cool. It’s just a really fascinating story. This culture has been here for hundreds of years. The first freed people here in Jamaica and they did it through perseverance and will power. Colonel Pink and the captain just explained to us that this village is now turning itself into a tourist destination with a bed and breakfast and cultural experiences open to visitors. We’re in the back of this flatbed truck going down this dirt road heading down to the river. It’s pretty awesome. The entire group is here with their drums with their horns, making a racket. This is wild right now, honestly. I had no idea we’d be doing this, but I’m so happy that we did. I have to say that as a traveler, it’s such a privilege to be able to see this, to be able to partake in this. You can see from these mountains here that this is really rugged terrain If you can’t tell, we are bouncing around. It’s this impassible terrain that first allowed the Maroons to escape here from British rule and that has since allowed them to preserve their culture. One of the squad has just climbed the fruit tree. He’s twenty feet in the air, and he’s just chucking ripe apples down. As you can see, very nice. It’s not easy to get in; it’s not easy to get out, but we’re finding that if you make it here, it’s very much worth the trip. We have taken the truck down to this village in the middle of this valley. It’s down by the river, and now we are heading into the jungle. We’re cruising with the Maroon, and we’re going in. We’re standing next to what’s literally called the Irie River. Jamaica is full of rivers; that’s where the name comes from. The Taino people were the original inhabitants in Jamaica. In Arawak, their language, this means the land of wood and water. Jamaica still is one of the biggest producers of potable water in the world. That’s why cruise ships stop here to restock, and they still export their water as far as Singapore and other countries. What’s that mean? Maroon picnic. He’s picking fruit. Yeah, he’s picking fruit. Mmmm. It’s kind of like a plum. One of the things that is fascinating it just seems like every couple of feet, we’re being stopped and told that this plant is used for that or this fruit is edible; you can make a spice or a marinade. I think that’s one of the coolest things about being here. We’re getting some serious knowledge on the usage of all the different plants. Want some? The Maroons only survived because they knew how to live off the land. I think it’s really interesting how the structure of the society has military names like Colonel, Captain. It’s almost like you can see how this was a culture that was formed during wartime and that cohesion of being a unit walking through these valleys, you can still see where it came from. it’s very cool. But it’s all peace and love now. All peace and love now. No more war. Right behind us is a water fall and back in the day, this was the only entrance into the Maroon’s village, which would have been way up there. We always use a river as our road. We just arrived at the river, and we had a really interesting surprise. Some more of the Maroon community just came up the river with some spear guns, fishing. It’s the way the Maroons have traditionally fished for food to eat, but it looks like the freshest way to catch a fish. Well, that was one of the coolest experiences we’ve had in a very, very long time. Big up for the Scotts Hall Maroon Community for welcoming us into their lands and sharing their cultures with us so that we can share it with you guys. Definitely, if you come to Jamaica, make sure you check out the Maroons. We’ll leave some contact information in the info box because the door’s open. Alright guys, if you enjoyed that video, you know what to do: thumbs-up, share it with your friends. Drop a comment and subscribe if you haven’t already. In the meantime, stay curious, keep exploring, and we’ll see you guys on the road. Peace. This is insane.