Remembering Ancestor Quao at the Spanish River

Ceremony-at-Spanish-River2 Celebrating Quao Day

In a five-day Charles Town Maroon celebration entitled Sankofa and the Healing of Indigenous Maroon people, Land and Culture, Day 3 was recognised as Quao Day. The celebration was hosted by Okomfo Afua Fofie (Carol Miller) and foundiing DIrector of Sankofie. Colonel Marcia Douglas brought Greetings (Akwaaba).

Quao was a brilliant and strategic military leader who, along with Nanny, his Sister, and other Maroons fought the British in the first Maroon War 1728 -1940 to gain freedom from an oppressive system that dominated them. In fact Okomfo Fofie (Nana Fofie) said Nanny, and her brothers Accompong, Cudjoe, Johnny and Quao arrived as freed persons with a desire to resolve the issues related to enslavement and gross mistreatment of their people.

Nana Fofie offered libations then facilitated a group prayer activity which required groups to be formed. An egg, representing life, and unity was held and individual prayers made before releasing the egg to Oshun, River Goddess of Sweet Water, also known as Mame Wata in Jamaica. The writer belonged to a group with a beautiful infant baby girl and her parents who were invited to the ceremony so that she would get an early immersion into her cultural heritage. The baby was passed from hand to hand and messages whispered in her ears while she slept peacefully. Paulette Simmonds, CEO of Steppin Out Loud begain the prayers and she was given the the egg and a feather to say the closing prayer, everyone entered the water and Paulette deposited the egg in the water. It was a rewarding group experience of love and unity. 

 
The Spanish river, filled with lore of whirlpools and river spirits was one of the places in nature that helped Quao to win this war. Libations were poured, th
e abeng blown, and Djembe drums sounded the language of the spirits, as our Maroon warriors were remembered and honoured by those who "were chosen by the Ancestors to be present."


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Hope Heaven, Writer
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