The aroma of the sweet appetizing scent which impregnates the air signifies the work of the talented cooks who come from the richly cultured adjacent communities of Mt Pleasant and Grand Bay. This all helps to further emphasize the delightful and unique nature of the indigenous people of Carriacou and Petite Martinique at the opening day of the 2011 Carriacou Maroon and String Band Festival.
The libations such as wetting of the ring (sprinkling the ground to be used for dancing with rum and water) was carried out by householders, at the venue close to the Primary school where the major activity occurred.
Food is prepared in the traditional way, for visitors and locals to share in the rich culture of the Carriacou Maroon and String Band Festival
Scores of pounds of rice, peas (dry and green), cornflour and other provisions were prepared and various species of animals were slaughtered to cater for the thousands of people who were expected to arrive, for this authentic showcasing of the island’s culture. Using the traditional three stone fire the men and women from the aforementioned communities began the food preparation, one day before the activity commences, to ensure that they comply with the strict traditional values associated with the event.
- The food must not be taken to the official site until the conch shell is blown at 3pm
- The food must not be served before 4pm
- The women offer the portion of the food they prepare at their home.
- The food must be covered with a white piece of cloth. The white represents purity.
The traffic was constant as people came from all parts of the island along with hundreds of visitors, to enjoy the wonderful cuisine.
Amongst the thousands enjoying the scores of pots of wide ranging maroon food were:-
- Minister for Carriacou and Petite Martinique affairs – Hon. George Prime
- Director of the Grenada Board of Tourism – Simon Stiell
- Former Director of the Grenada Board of Tourism – William Joseph
The rolling of the rice and coco was watched intensely by the visitors who marveled at the skills of the natives. The art of turning the coco was also highly appreciated by the visitors.
A wide array of drinks were served to the large crowd present, displaying the typical hospitality in the true Carriacou Maroon style. The display by CCO Big Drum was one of the highlights of the event.
The ring opening and its ‘wetting’ and the dancing with a towel in hand, was carried out by members of the Mt Pleasant and Grand Bay communities.