Kromanti is one of three languages of Jamaica. It is related to the Akan language group, especially Fante, Asante, and broader Twi family. The lexicon is based on archaic English forms. Kromanti is similiar to the creole languages of Suriname. It is spoken by the Eastern Maroons of Moore Town, in Eastern Jamaica. Maroons were run-away slaves who formed independent communities, after the 17th century. The Maroons kept the language thriving until it began to diminish in the early 20th century, spoken only by the elderly population.

The language is under threat of vanishing because of the secretive nature of Maroon society. The young is slowly losing knowledge of the tongue. The language is mainly used in special ceremonies called Kromanti Play, which invokes the ancestor spirits and addresses the ancestors.

Many Kromanti leaders had names originating from Akan culture Cudjoe, Qauo, Cuffee , Quashie, and Queen Nanny-- Cudjoe refer to Kojo meaning a son born on Monday; Qauo refers to Kwau meaning a son born on Thursday, Cuffee refers to Kofi, a son born on Friday. Queen Nanny comes from the title nana given to chiefs.

Work Cited

Caribbean Indigenous and Endangered Languages. Within the Mountains of Jamaica.

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