UNION ISLAND “MAROON 2017” will be held as follows:
MONDAY, MAY 8, 2017 -CLIFTON
AT PETERS JUNCTION NEAR TO CANDY CREAM
THURSDAY MAY 11, 2017 – ASHTON
AT ANGLICAN CHURCH JUNCTION NEAR PAPALAND WELL
IT’S TIME TO RAISE OUR VOICES TO HEAVEN TO ASK THE LORD TO SEND US RAIN
>>HEAR THE PULSATING RHYTHM OF ISLAND MAROON DRUMMERS
>>COME ENJOY THE MESMERISING BIG DRUM DANCERS INCLUDING OUR GUESTS FROM BOGLES, CARRIACOU
>>COME ONE! COME ALL! BE PART OF OUR GRAND CULTURAL EVENT!
About The Island Maroon
The Grenadines due to its size, location and topography have always experienced extended dry seasons and as such have historically suffered from lack of water especially during the first half of the year.
The earth is parched and the grass turns brown after withering, domestic animals are ‘let go’ to forage on their own. Water in small cisterns is used up and those who have large tanks, the water level is frighteningly low.
When this happens you either have to have to buy water, or in the case of the poor, the only and best thing they can do is pray … and that it what the Maroon festival is all about, praying to the Almighty in faith that it will rain, and invariably it does, if not the same day, within a week or so.
The Maroon festival is an all day activity beginning at the crack of dawn and is called the ‘sacrifice’. A table is set up at the junction of a cross road and the community brings whatever foodstuff they have available which will be cooked during the course of the day.
Mostly senior citizens and young children attend this ceremony where they will sing, pray, read scripture, and exhort one another and of course pray for rain. People from all walks of life usually join this activity, wearing African outfits.
During the final prayer, all who gathered for the ‘sacrifice’ join hands while a spiritual ‘mother’ sprinkles water on all present, symbolizing the showers of blessings to follow.
Preparation of Meals
The next aspect of the Maroon festival is the preparation of meals. Traditionally, the men would do the cooking outdoors while the women would cook at home.
One of the main dishes prepared during the Maroon festival is “Wangu Pois” pronounced Wangoo Pwah, made from locally produced corn and peas, conchs, stewed local chicken (yard fowl), rolled rice, fish, and stewed turkey, while drummers pound out their rhythms to keep the spirit of Maroon alive.
By mid afternoon all the food will be cooked and school children fed first then the adults.
Night Drumming and Dancing
The Grand finale will begin about 7:30 pm and will run close to midnight. The activity will begin with the ‘opening of the ring’. Persons will dance in a circle while sprinkling water, rice and strong rum at the same place where the opening ceremony was held, at the ‘cross roads’.
After the opening of the ring, two white towels are placed on the ground to form a cross, the drumming and dancing begins, women wearing skirts with a flair which are flapped like butterfly wings dance to the rhythms with children and adults chanting songs.
For the rest of the Maroon festival it is drumming and dancing with adults and children taking turns to dance which are very entertaining.
To close the event they will sing a song with the words ‘time to go home’ as part of the lyrics and then it is time to go home and of course wait, until the Good Lord sends the rain.