Get To Know The 'Kromanti Experience' In Moore Town, Home Of Nanny Of The Maroons
Photo Credit: Courtesy: Kromanti Experience

Photo Credit: Courtesy: Kromanti Experience

Get To Know The 'Kromanti Experience' In Moore Town, Home Of Nanny Of The Maroons

Africa , black owned business , Caribbean , Jamaica , solo travel
Amara Amaryah
Amara Amaryah Dec 22, 2022

The Kromanti Experience exists to honor the land, freedom, and peoples of Jamaica, this is the undisputed vibe. Jamaica is famed for its history of rebellion and revolution, mainly through the legacy of the Maroons.

Black travelers cherish the Kromanti Experience for many reasons, namely because of the preservation of the island’s history. From the detailed retelling of history to the preservation of the Kromanti language, these tours go beyond visitors’ expectations, showcasing a necessary and unforgotten part of Jamaica’s history.

We sat down with founder Maurice Lee to find out what makes the tours so popular and so crucial in this moment of Jamaican tourism. Here is what to expect when visiting the hometown of Jamaican heroine Nanny of the Maroons in the hills of Jamaica.

Related: Romaine Welds Is The First Jamaican To Visit Every Country In The World

What is the Kromanti Experience?

 

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It is a journey to learn about how our Maroon ancestors were victorious in battle. Most of the stories about African people talk about slavery in terms of the trans-Atlantic experience. The Kromanti Experience speaks of our victories and explains the many things that the Maroons have accomplished on the islands. It brings a more in-depth discussion about the Maroons. 

We invite people to explore the flora and fauna of the area, seeing how our ancestor’s used them for food, shelter, and medicine. We explore the history and timeline of the Maroons, visit historical sites, and then there is the beautiful Nanny Falls that we like to visit. 

What is your relationship to Maroon history?

Courtesy: Kromanti Experience

I was born here in Jamaica and I used to visit Moore Town as a child. More than 13 years ago I decided to move my family here as part of my personal journey.

It was a soul journey and the start of all the things we’re creating now. I grew up in Rastafari and Rastafari teaches you about self, understanding who you are, where you’re from, etc. Being in Moore Town always allowed me to have a deeper sense of self. Really in Jamaica, there is not much that is being taught about the Maroons, or it is just surface information. 

The more you learn, the more you realize how rich the history is. Learning the history gives you more confidence and gives you a sense of pride. Knowing that, I wanted to share it. Honestly, I still learn things as I go on. Visitors from African countries also teach me things, it shows that there is a lot that we have in common. 

What type of things have you learned from African visitors and what are the main countries they visit from?

 

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Nigeria is definitely the main country we see guests visit from. One similarity is Bizzy or Kola nut in Nigeria, which is used as medicine. Also, in Nigeria, a man will give the bride’s family Bizzy, it is considered very special. 

Ghana is another country. A lot of Jamaicans don’t know that the colors of the Jamaican flag are the same royal colors of the Ashanti tribe. Our patwa, our Kromanti, is similar to Twi.  We have herbs in common, too. There are many things to learn. Even while giving the tours I become a student. 

Could you talk about the significance of the word ‘Kromanti’?

I learned about the word as an adult. I was quite shocked that even as a Maroon, I didn’t know about our own language earlier on. Once learning more, I wanted everything about us to be labeled with the word ‘Kromanti’ so people would learn more about it, investigate it, and find out more about the Maroons. It was very strategic. There are a lot of people who don’t know about Kromanti and I want people to know more about it. 

Exactly. As a Jamaican, I also discovered the word Kromanti quite late. It’s encouraging to see you bringing the word to people’s attention

Exactly, the name has even brought us together to have this conversation. I realize that a lot of people are learning more; some are using the name Maroon and using it in advertising/branding. 

Do you think people are jumping on the trend of stating ‘Kromanti’ improperly for marketing purposes?

I don’t want to say they don’t have good intentions, but people copy stuff, especially when things are trending. I think it is a big thing for marketing and getting people’s attention. I just give thanks that we could educate people by using the word ‘Kromanti’ properly, to educate.

What surprises people the most when they visit?

 

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That is a difficult one because people react to different things. One example is that Ghanaians are always surprised by the Blue Drawers which they call Dukunu. Other Ghanaians are surprised by the way we use our herbs, be it the similarities or differences. Most tourists from the U.S. or Europe are even surprised by our existence, they don’t always know much about us.  

What role does legacy play in your life and business?

 

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It’s very important to me. I’m a living testament to it. Culture and legacy can be a way of life, as it is for me. It’s like what Marcus Garvey says: people without culture are like a tree without roots. Identity is very important as is how we see ourselves. 

I have a lot of traditional knowledge that I can share but at the same time, I am able to use technology and participate in the modern world. Some people don’t realize how advanced our ancestors were. For instance, the ‘abeng’ works like a cell phone. This is all legacy. The Kromanti Experience is all about encouraging African people to find our spaces, connect with each other, and know who we truly are.

Related: The Best Of Jamaica Like A Local: Travel With Toni-Ann

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