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Carnival 4: Grenada JAB JAB, Part 1.

Carnival 4: Grenada JAB JAB, Part 1.

Caribbean, Carnivals

I need to sort out our jab packages.  If you are seriously into carnival (I’m not talking about people that say ‘Oh I love carnival but I love my sleep more’ choops!) and you go to Grenada, if there is one thing you can NOT miss it is j’ourvert. This in Grenada is unique. Last year it threw me. I did not understand why they did what they did. The black oil? erm ok. The helmet with horns? alright. I don’t quite get it but alright. BUT. I kept at the time scratching my head and asking my friend Mel ‘But why?’  Why would you put some half eaten piece of fish in your mouth and go through the wholllllee route like that? Why would you carry a teddy bear and hold it like a child in your arms? Why are six big men carrying a full size coffin on the road? Why oh why lord would you and your bredren decide to haul a big ass, heavy full length white bath on the route?  Mel would just laugh and say ‘they’re Grenadians’. You do see now why I feel that Grenadians are a bit … out there? But here’s the thing. I love it! I love them.  This may say something about me but hey! I love the creativity possibly tinged with suttin.

Last year, I was with a paint and powder band on route. I had to get some oil poured on me. I said to myself, ‘next year, I want a helmet with horns, I want to be oiled down, I wanna play jab’. I tell you, I couldn’t wait, I could not WAIT  for my friends to have the full experience of  Grenadian JAB. And I know my peops. Dellian and Jay will not be satisfied with just powder when they see full jab on the road.  They would want to play jab. Nicole would be reluctant at first but she would enjoy it. If there was one thing that had to go to plan for the cinna villa crew on this trip, they had to play jab.

The helmet with horns was meant to be sorted out loooonnnggg before we landed in Grenada.  That didn’t happen. But no worries. Time to handle this business myself. I get directions to Chubby’s and off we go. Some of the crew wanted to stay and rest up some more. That couldn’t happen. One, I couldn’t bring all the helmets back by myself. Two, they had to choose their own. And three, this was an important part of the experience in my opinion.

We get to Chubby’s (his name is an accurate description of the man) and there are some helmets. Some of the crew get to choose but there were not enough. We had to wait around a bit to get a few more. This is done. We head back to the villa to get some rest before we wake up at 2:30 am? We had to get at Chubby’s by 4am. We get there around 4:30.

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You could feel it. The jab atmosphere. It is dark.  The truck is there, the music is starting to play. Those deep rustic drums echoing of ancient tribal sounds that marks it only as Grenadian in origin. People are gathered. They are basing themselves with vaseline and baby oil in preparation for the heavy duty industrial oil which will be placed all over the skin.  The black dark oil goes on the skin, the helmet goes on.  The transformation is complete.  In the darkness, there is no variation of skin colour, just black. We are all equally jab.


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