For the past decade, the youth of Accompong study the history of the Maroon people and the Cockpit region covering topics like herbs and medicinal plants as well as etiquette and manners when dealing with tourists and other visitors. Depending on the time of day and availability of a youth tour guide, a knowledgeable town member may be chosen to conduct the tour if a qualified youth is not available.
At either the beginning or end of the tour, the small museum within the Community Center will be opened to view artifacts from past periods of Accompong Town’s history. On the walls of the Center are; a painting of the Peace Treaty, portraits of the towns and National heroes as well as a scene depicting a Maroon encampment.
A guided tour begins across from the Community Center at the “Homage to a Hero” or Cudjoe’s Monument as it is referred to in Accompong Town. Your guide will explain about who were Cudjoe and Accompong and how Accompong Town came into being after the Peace Treaty on March 1st, 1739.
Tours can take various routes depending on the guide but most tours continue up the main street of Accompong Town past the various shops and homes up to where the road splits in front of A & E store/bar and restaurant. On top of the rise between the split, you will see a sign explaining what a Seal Ground is and why it is considered sacred ground to the Maroon people. There are four such Seal Grounds around the town. The store, bar and restaurant are a good place to get a refreshment or food either going on or returning from the tour.
The tour continues taking the right fork past some small stores and houses up a hill to the Accompong School sitting atop the tallest spot in Accompong Town. If classes are in session, you might like to peek inside. The large, flat area in front of the school is called “Parade Ground” where Cudjoe and Accompong used to train their warriors to prepare for battle. There is also a Seal Ground next to the Parade
Ground. This is also the setting for the January 6th Celebration when this area is converted into a small stage and viewing area for cultural events, food and drinks.
The tour continues down the hill on the far side of the Parade Grounds for a walk to the Kindah “One Family” Tree. On the side of the trail near the Kindah Tree you will see plants and trees named for past honored residents of the town. Under the spreading limbs of this huge mango tree, the community and the warriors would assemble to plan attack strategies or just to discuss community matters.
During the January 6th Celebration, the drummers, singers and dancers assemble there before marching up to the Parade Grounds and down through the town. Also, you will find a cooking pit where ceremonial food is cooked to be shared with the residents. A black male pig, male yams and a male rooster are the main cooked food and no salt is added. Fertility and good luck is wished on all who eat this food. Depending on the guide, a number of routes can be taken to return to the Community Center. I personally suggest continuing on around the circular town road and trail up to the old Moravian Church and town cemetery. Browsing and reading the headstones will show a surprising number of people who lived past 100 years and a large number of members of some of the major family names that make up this community. A good stop is the Accompong “Likkle ” School (Kindergarten).The tour is now ending and you can either return to the Community Center to prepare to leave.