The Ministry of Youth and Culture has collaborated with the Accompong Maroons to develop and implement, starting this year, an Accompong Passport, which visitors to the revered heritage location will be able to have stamped as a memento of their trip to the community.
Minister of Youth and Culture, the Honourable Lisa Hanna displayed her symbolic Accompong passport on Sunday as she delivered the keynote address to the maroon celebrations in Accompong to mark the 275th anniversary of the signing of the Maroon treaty with the British forces in 1738.
The treaty granted an element of sovereignty to the Maroons and recognised their ownership of the land they had settled as well as their right to their own system of social and political organisation within their community.
"I proudly wear my Accompong passport as a symbolic gesture that commemorates and celebrates the triumph of Captain Cudjoe and his soldiers 275 years ago. At that time, they utilised the governance, community and military structures and systems of their Ashanti heritage to defeat the colonial military power of the day," Minister Hanna declared. She added that the culture ministry was pleased to have partnered with the Accompong Maroons in establishing this symbolic gesture of a passport that commemorates one of the most significant moments and movements in the history of our country.
"The Accompong passport is a tribute to the resilience of the descendants of Cudjoe, and an acknowledgement of your hard-fought sovereignty within the Jamaican nation," Minister Hanna said.
Meanwhile, acting permanent secretary in the Ministry of Youth and Culture Sydney Bartley, who is also principal director for culture, says the initiative is part of the ministry's support for the Accompong Maroons as they commemorate the important milestone of the 275th anniversary of the treaty this year.
The Accompong Maroon Council has established a system to issue the Accompong Passport.
The Government, through the Culture Ministry, also recently collaborated with the Accompong Maroons to stage the first Accompong Maroon Conference in October 2012. In an address at the conference, Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller commended the Maroons and reiterated the Government's continued support for their cause.