With an emphasis on thanksgiving and prayers to the source of life, production and prosperity, Maroon tradition in Carriacou is practiced through drumming, singing, eating of “smoke food” and more. The Carriacou Maroon and String Band Festival offers visitors to the Caribbean a chance to experience pure, undiluted Maroon culture.
About the festival
Performers from various Caribbean islands make the trip to perform at the three-day, family-friendly festival. At the festival, visitors can enjoy traditional smoked food, take part in games and entertainment, and groove to the string bands and heavy drumming.
The festivities, steeped in rich African traditions, kick off on Friday, April 25th, at 6am, with rituals of the blowing of the shell, wetting the ground, and cooking of smoked foods. From 4pm-6pm, festival goers eat and share ancestral smoked food, followed by a flambeau parade and dancing of smoked food in the ring, finished up with drumming and singing. For those wishing to continue on in the fun, a welcome party begins at 11pm.
On Saturday, various string bands perform in the morning, and then that night, the festival stage comes to life with presentations of the big drum nation dance, quadrille dances, Shakespere Mas, and other cultural traditions, as well as a concert featuring regional artists. The Festival wraps up on Sunday with a seafood feast and quadrille, steel pan, and other genres of music on Paradise beach.
A small, 13 miles square island with a population under 10,000 people, Carriacou sits at the most southern position of the Grenadine island chain. A unique and pristine tropical paradise, Carriacou is also known as the “Land of the Reefs”; in fact, it’s originally known name, Kayryouacou, is believed to be translated from the Carib language to mean “land surrounded by reef”.
The warm, charming people of Carriacou hold true as the keepers of ancient traditions, historic folklore, and spiritual beliefs that stem from African, European, and indigenous roots. Much like Grenada is known for its spice production, our sister island of Carriacou is well known for its locally built boats, which can still occassionally be seen being built on the beach in the traditional way.
Getting to Carriacou
From Grenada, Carriacou is a simple ferry ride or short flight away. Whether you choose to go for the whole 3-day weekend or just a day of the festival, the Laluna concierge can help you decide on the best travel plan for your itinerary.