Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: January 26, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412964623 | Print ISBN: 9781412936361 | Online ISBN: 9781412964623 | Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Pamela D. Reed
Maroons are groups of formerly enslaved Africans and their descendants who gained their freedom by fleeing chattel enslavement and running to the safety and cover of the remote mountains or the dense overgrown tropical terrains near the plantations. Many of the groups are found in the Caribbean and, in general, throughout the Americas—Central, South, and North. In Brazil, Jamaica, Haiti, Suriname (the former Dutch Guiana), Cuba, Puerto Rico, St. Vincent, Guyana, Dominica, Panama, Colombia, and Mexico, and from the Amazon River Basin to the southern United States, primarily Florida and the Carolinas, there are well-known domiciles of the Maroons. The word Maroon , first recorded in English in 1666, is by varying accounts taken from the French word marron , which translates to “runaway Black slave,” or the American/Spanish cimarrón , which means “wild runaway slave,” “the beast who cannot be tamed,” or “living on mountaintops.” The Spanish used the ...