Dozens honor St. Croix's maroons
Published: September 29, 2012
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ST. CROIX - It was about honoring ancestors.
It was about blessing sacred ground.
It was about choosing to live free, no matter the cost.
And it was about peace and healing.
The inaugural Maroon Commemorative Ceremony on Friday afternoon at the side of a quiet roadway in the island's remote northwest corner was about all of those things - and more.
A group of about 100 gathered for the ceremony, which organizers described as a ceremony "to honor the experience of the maroons, as well as to highlight the importance of preserving Maroon Ridge as a place of solace for all people, for all time."
At Friday's ceremony, people spoke of the maroons, enslaved Africans who escaped their bonds and fled to that corner of the island and the hope of freedom.
The ceremony featured the pouring of libation and the offering of prayers and blessings.
Friday's ceremony was just part of a weekend of activities focusing on the maroons and Maroon Ridge, called the Maroon Commemorative Event and sponsored by St. Croix AHEAD.
St. Croix AHEAD is a joint project of the St. Croix Environmental Association and SUCCEED, which stands for St. Croix Unified for Community, Culture, Environment and Economic Development.
SUCCEED has long been pushing for the establishment of a Maroon Sanctuary Park in the Maroon Ridge area.
The weekend of activities continues today with a Culture and Historic Preservation Symposium from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Carambola Beach Resort.
On Sunday, there will be hikes showcasing the island's northwest corner and Maroon Ridge.
One hike will start at 8 a.m. Sunday behind the guard gate at the Carambola.
Participants, led by Olasee Davis, will hike along the peninsula and will be able to swim in the tidal pools and have a view of Maroon Ridge.
Another hike leaves from Frederiksted, with participants asked to meet at Rainbow Beach at 9 a.m. Sunday. They will then drive to the National Guard gate and hike up Maroon Ridge. This hike will be led by Ras Lumumba.
The hikes are $20. No children younger than 5 are permitted on the hikes, which are considered moderate difficulty.
- Contact Joy Blackburn at 714-9145 or email email@example.com.