Jamaican Maroon leader Grandy Nanny on the $500 banknote.


Creativity and Resistance: Maroon Cultures in the Americas

Archived exhibitions are no longer available for booking but are maintained as a virtual record of past Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) programs.

Derived from the Spanish cimarrón, meaning “fugitive” or “wild one,” the term maroon refers to Africans (and others) who escaped from the plantations and mines owned by European colonizers throughout the Americas and founded independent communities in the wilderness. These settlements, ranging in size from small groups of 10 to 20 people to powerful kingdoms with thousands of members, united people from many regions of Africa and sometimes achieved alliances with Native Americans. Over the course of three centuries, hundreds of these Maroon communities emerged throughout the Caribbean and North, Central, and South America. A number of these communities still exist today.

Early Maroon communities included individuals who had escaped shortly after their arrival from Africa, others who had lived on plantations for years before escaping, and yet others born on this side of the Atlantic. Survival for these diverse individuals meant creating new societies, common cultures, and shared languages, contributing to the unique sense of identity and history that their descendants still celebrate today. As part of their struggle, Maroons were among the first Americans to successfully challenge colonial domination and enslavement, striking hard at the foundation of the plantation economy of the Western Hemisphere.

Creativity and Resistance: Maroon Cultures in the Americas explores the legacy of this significant aspect of the African Diaspora. The freestanding exhibition examines the creativity, spirituality, resourcefulness, and self-determination of contemporary Maroons living in Jamaica, French Guiana, Suriname, and the Seminole community along the United States and Mexican border. Creativity and Resistance provides visitors with an exceptional opportunity to understand the history and vitality of the Maroon people and the strong links between their past and present.


Exhibition Specifications

Contents 5 freestanding units, panel-hung vitrines, 16 objects

Educational resources, glossary, speaker list, bibliography, educational music component

Participation Fee

$800 for an 8-week booking period

Square Feet

750 sq. feet (70 sq. meters)

Crates 7

600 kg (1,300 lb.)

Category History & Culture
Shipping Outgoing; host museum arranges shipping and pays carrier directly
SITES Contacts

Evelyn Figueroa, 202.633.3110 (Content)

Security Limited
Toured Through December 2005


Dates   Host Institution Status
4/22/02 7/14/02 Smith Robertson Museum and Cultural Center, Jackson, MS Booked
9/7/02 11/3/02 Hammonds House Galleries and Research Center for African American Art, Atlanta, GA Booked
11/23/02 1/19/03 Chattanooga African American Museum, Chattanooga, TN Booked
2/8/03 4/6/03 International Storytelling Center, Jonesborough, TN Booked
4/26/03 6/22/03 African American Museum and Library at Oakland, Oakland, CA Booked
7/12/03 9/7/03 Kemper Art Gallery, Manhattan, KS Booked
11/1/03 11/30/03 Media Union Gallery, Ann Arbor, MI Booked
12/20/03 2/29/04 Roland Park Country School, Baltimore, MD Booked
6/5/04 8/1/04 Rosa Parks Library and Museum, Montgomery, AL Booked
8/21/04 10/17/04 Museum of Lifestyle and Fashion History, Delray Beach, FL Booked
11/6/04 1/2/05 Louisiana State Exhibit Museum, Shreveport, LA Booked
1/22/05 3/20/05 Historic Arkansas Museum, Little Rock, AR Booked
4/9/05 8/21/05 DuSable Museum of African American History, Chicago, IL Booked
9/3/05 11/27/05 Chucalissa Museum, Memphis, TN Booked
12/17/05 2/28/06 African American Cultural Center, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC Booked



Exhibition Specifications

Tour Itinerary

Images & Websites

More Exhibitions from SITES


| | | |

Mailing Address
PO Box 37012
MRC 941
Washington, DC 20013-7012
202.633.3168 (tel.)
202.633.5347 (fax)

Delivery Address
470 L'Enfant Plaza, SW
Suite 7103
Washington, DC 20024



SITES Home SITES blog SITES on Facebook SITES on YouTube SITES on Twitter SITES RSS