The wetting of the ground in Carriacou

Tiny island honors ancestors

thumb: carriacoucemetary

Maura Curley

Known as the Land of Reefs, Carriacou is the largest of Grenada's sister islands. But it's still just 13 square miles long. What it may lack in size, it makes up for in special customs, handed down from African and European ancestors.

One custom, known as the“Wetting of the Ground,” is a central part of Carriacouan culture used to remember the dead during good times and bad.

Whenever a new bottle of alcohol is opened the first few drops are poured onto the ground with some water as an offering to dead relatives and friends. Before having drinks to celebrate birthdays, weddings anniversaries, the ritual of ground wetting takes place to give thanks to God and invite dead relatives to share with the living.

During times of stress and uncertainty, a person may also perform this ritual to call up the graces and guidance of departed relatives and friends.

A cemetary in Carriacou. photo by D.B. Bostdorf

Maura Curley is publisher of

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