Grenada Jab Jab

The Jabs come out to play on Carnival morning in Grenada

Grenada Carnival is color, music, mas, steel pan and brass, with a touch of class. Grenada Carnival is fun and rum, and feting all day in the blazing sun. But of all the things Grenada Carnival is and can be, nothing comes close to jumping J’ouvert with the Jab Jab Posse. The masquerade Jab Jab is a reenactment of enslaved showing their retaliation against their slave masters for decades of adversity. When slavery was abolished, it was a way of mocking the slave masters, A symbolic way of saying we no longer fear you, in those day you couldn’t fight back against. So Jab Jab was a way you could mock them in front of their faces without them knowing that you are doing it. Jab Jab would paraded down the streets celebrating freedom, wearing animal horns on their heads, covered in molasses, dragging chains that symbolizing the years of bondage and suffering, They saw these colonists as the ‘devil’ because of the way they were treated.

The Jab Jab’s portrayal brings focus on our African roots. Jab has its own music consisting of drumming, conch shell blowing and Jab chanting. It’s authentic, just the way African slaves and ancestors used to do it. The staccato rhythms will captivate your soul. The Jab Jab’s dramatization is the mockery of the evils visited upon our black Africans ancestors by the white colonialists, these colonialists were the devils; not the masqueraders. These masqueraders are instead acting out the actions done by a people they believed to be wicked and oppressive.

If you wish to participate in Jab you can hook up with one of the local Jab bands, you are not confined to wearing a costume, and you don’t even have to pay money to play Jab Jab. You can just walk into a band and get ‘oil up’ and you’re a Jab— you don’t have to buy a costume and register. It is a free event and opened to anyone. Which is what makes it so appealing.