anny of the Maroons lived about 250 years ago. She died in the 1750s. Her ancestors were the Asante people of Africa. They lived in the country now called Ghana. When Nanny lived, most of the African people in Jamaica were slaves. They were brought to Jamaica to work on the sugar plantations.
At the time Jamaica was captured by the English, a number of slaves were set free by the Spanish to prevent them falling into the hands of the English. They were the maroons.
Nanny was not a slave, but she led many Maroons into the hills in Portland. They called the place where they lived Nanny Town. The owners of the plantations wanted to get the slaves back. The colonial forces came into the hills, and Nanny and her people had to fight these soldiers to stay free. Nanny became the Queen Mother. In Asante Land the Queen Mother was the "Mother of the people". She was the political leader and a religious leader. Nanny was very powerful. Her people thought she could work magic.
The Maroons did not have many guns. They took some from dead soldiers. They stole some, and they traded for some. Mostly, they had to fight without guns. They were very good at living and fighting in the bush. They had to be, in order to survive. They hid in the bush, and they set traps for the colonial forces.
They surprised them, and they frightened them. This way of fighting is called Guerilla warfare
. While the Maroon men were fighting, the women planted and grew food. Everyone had a job to do. Nanny used an Abeng to call her people in the bush
An abeng is a cow horn. And the Maroons still use them. Nanny town was hidden in the hills, but in the end the colonial forces found it. They captured it and kept it for about a year. They built a small fort there. But Nanny took her people further into the hills. Later, they went back to Nanny town. They surprised the soldiers, and they took the town again
Maroons in eastern and Central Jamaica made peace with the English. Nanny did not want to, but the English persuaded her War-chief Quao to sign a peace-treaty. Nanny was one of the most important fighters for freedom and independence.
In the end, the English let Nanny have land at a place called New Nanny Town, which we call Moore Town. Nanny got this land for her people forever