Mud: soft, sticky matter resulting from the mixing of earth and water.
Paint and colored powder: a tinted substance that is spread over a surface and dries to leave a thin decorative or protective coating.
Moonlight: the light reflected from the surface of the moon.
Happy People: a group of persons feeling or showing pleasure or contentment. joyful; blissful; carefree; untroubled.
Combination of all of the above = A really good time! Also properly known as J’ouvert! (sounds like joo-veh), Foreday Morning Jam or Mud and Paint.
To understand the history of this event (or to see the controlled chaos of past episodes) please see the posts Mud and Paint party, An orbit gum commercial, Bajan style or last years Paint me up mudder cup.
Quick history lesson: During the time of slavery, Carnival was introduced to the Caribbean by French settlers in 1783. Banned from the masquerade balls, the slaves would stage mini-carnivals in their own backyards creating new rituals. The origins of the street party also referred to as Foreday Morning Jam coincide with the emancipation from slavery in 1838. People smeared themselves with mud to avoid being recognized and partied down the street late at night while the wealthy were sleeping.
In present time, the Bajan version includes mud, paint and powder with energetic soca music to enhance the walk, which in all reality is a bunch of dancing. One motion is called chipping, a step that is flat footed, knees bent and moving forward, almost as if to “chip” away the street. If the music is right, you can sneak in some whining. This is when people attach themselves to one another by their middle section and pulse, sway and thrust to the rhythm in every conceivable manner.
Here’s a collage of the past Morning Jams. Kind of tricky to compact 3 nights and over 300 hundred photos into this little dandy, but hey… worth a try!
Now we come to J’ouvert 2015. As seen before, we take our basic t-shirts (that are given a few days prior to the event) a pair of scissors and Viola!
Time for the bus ride to the starting line!
…and by “starting line”, I mean a huge parking-lot full of thousands of your friends you haven’t met yet. All being served rum punch, light up toys and uhh baby oil? This is new for me, but apparently it helps keep the paint from staining your skin. Meh, I’m not too worried about it!
At this point, you slowly start to see colors emerse from all directions. Powder and paint begin to flood the sky (and your hair and your face) while the energy of the crowd magnifies in seconds!
Once the pre-party is over, we take it to de road! Bouncing to soca music (I still have Spontaneous by Red Plastic Bag stuck in my head) we follow the drink trucks that escort our band. Drink trucks? Yes, a mobile bar that flows with the parade serving all participants whatever they’d like. Soda, water, juice, beer, liquor and/or all of the above.
Flashback collage! I feel the need to recognize this open armed, welcoming gentlemen that took me under his wing during my first (second and third) trip for Cropover. Thank you Ryan for the lessons, fun-facts and freedom to explore! Here’s a look back on years at this event followed by a photo from tonight.
My favorite progressive photos of the night: Before, during and after. Well done girls… well done!
As the sun began to rise we all started to reach the point of hunger, sore feet and a desire for some sort of water soaking. In past years, I’ve expressed my love for the end of this celebration. It’s almost like I sign up (to get demolished with mud and paint), just so I can stay and play in the water. Since we didn’t stick around for the aqua party this round, I combined 4 of my favorite photos from the past 3 years.
Finally getting home… well, you get it.