Synopses & Reviews
The Mother of Us All is an analysis of the history of Queen Nanny, the great 18th century leader of the Windward or Eastern Jamaican Maroons. The importance of this great leader's straggle against British colonial empire and its institution of slavery on the island of Jamaica has previously been largely ignored. To correct this gap, oral histories, including myths, legends, songs, ceremonies and local language are analyzed, as well as written texts including legal documents, journals of the era, historical land grants and peace treaties, poems, novels, critical texts, historical texts and children's books.
The Maroons of Jamaica were ex-slaves who had escaped from slave ships and plantations to form viable communities in remote and inaccessible parts of the country. Queen Nanny, warrior, general, spiritual adviser and, some say, messiah to the Maroons, led her people from their base camp of Nanny Town in the rugged Blue Mountains of Eastern Jamaica, to repeated victories against the British at the height of their world domination, particularly from 1724 to 1739. Repeatedly, the Maroons were vastly outgunned and outmanned, with often 500 half starving Maroons fighting against 5,000 of the best provisioned and best armed soldiers of the British empire. But warfare was only one of her talents. In the area of supernatural and religious interest, or "Science" to the Maroons, Queen Nanny was known as a great healer and an extremely powerful obeah woman (holder of secret sacred African knowledge).
The author analyzes the importance of Queen Nanny from cultural, military, historical, and religious points of view. This book marks an attempt to integrate a key figure of New World history intoher rightful place as the leader of a critical resistance movement in Jamaica in the first part of the 18th century.