On July 28th, I set off on an adventure to Barbados with two friends for an experience of a lifetime. We had been planning this trip for a little over five months, and it was finally time for us to start ‘wukking up’ all over Barbados. Our vacation began with late night partying in St. George parish, and came to a close when we were over 30,000 feet in the air heading back home.
Crop Over, which is also known as ‘Harvest Home’, began on the sugar cane plantations during the colonial period. The crop over tradition first started in 1688, and featured singing, dancing and accompaniment by bottles filled with water, shak-shak, banjo, triangle, fiddle, guitar, and bones. Other traditions included climbing a greased pole, feasting and drinking competitions. While it was originally a celebration signaling the end of the yearly sugar cane harvest, it has since evolved into Barbados' biggest national festival similar to Carnival in Brazil and Trinidad.
While on the island, we began our days on the beach and ended them with dancing till the wee hours of the morning. This routine helped prepare us for Kadooment Day (parade day), which consisted of adorning a heavily feathered and bejeweled costume at four-thirty in the morning, meeting up with the rest of our band (#AurafaCropOva), and then finally hitting the road--dancing and drinking the day away.
For me, Crop Over was truly liberating. I am not one that walks around in next to nothing ... EVER. But low and behold, there I was on this beautiful island with these beautiful people dancing away in my itty bitty bikini. No longer did I care about what my thighs were doing, I finally tossed my self-consciousness to the wind and danced however I wanted, with whomever I wanted and it felt amazing.
Growing up up with ass, hips, and breast-- I felt like I always had to be wary of what I had on before I left my room. I never wanted it to seem as if I was trying to lead someone on, or coming off as forward (which is another topic for another day). My goal was to have fun, but to never draw too much attention to myself. In Barbados, I found myself surrounded by so many beautiful women of color that were all shades of brown, with different curves and hairstyles. It felt like I had walked into a museum of beauty, and I finally found a gallery where I belonged.
I cannot say that it's for everyone; some people can't stand Soca Music, and others do not enjoy being in the sun or standing for so long. All I know is that I am excited to continue celebrating this explosion of life and color for years to come.
Interested in the type of music they play during Crop Over? Check out Dj Private Ryan’s 2016 Playlist!
Three women going through life.