Guadeloupe: Let’s talk about food!

2 minutes

Caribbean food is happiness, simples! And Guadeloupean cuisine is even better (still not biased, I swear). You will have to try some of these iconic dishes. Music is also an important part of our culture, particularly the Ka we inherited from our African ancestors.

First up, the cuisine

Accras / Fritters

Beignets du carnaval / Mardi Gras doughnuts

Matété de crabe – Crab & rice

Of course, I cannot talk about food and not mention rum and punches… Guadeloupe still produces tons of sugar cane every year and it’s not just for your sugar cravings! We also produce top notch rums recognised around the world. Cuba’s Baccardi has nothing on ours, that’s for sure!

More on QAMAR

Music is life: the Ka     

In Guadeloupe, the Gwo Ka (big drums) — inherited from West African traditions — is core to the rural culture. A lewoz — a traditional celebration — without Gwo Ka is not a proper lewoz

Why is this so important to us? The Ka was also used by slaves as a way to communicate from plantation to plantation unbeknownst to the masters. Pretty rad when you’re planning a rebellion eh!

Coded and sophisticated, Gwoka is a dance performed solo or in a group – the relationship between dancer-s and drummer-s goes beyond words and sounds. They have to sync and follow each other… even when in improv!

Gwoka is not the only dance part of our heritage. Favoured by our elders, the Mazurka, the Biguine and the Quadrille derive from European classics. And how Guadeloupean women are beautiful in their traditional dresses!

Madras and matadors

When Indians came to work the plantations after slavery was abolished, they came with a few things in their bags too ― including the patterned texture and plaid design fabric known as Madras.

This specific fabric was typical of the eponymous city of Madras (actual Chennai, capital of the Tamil State of Nadu in India).

Pants, shirts, dresses and headscarves, you name it… every piece of clothing can be made out of it. It remains a symbol we’re proud of. Madras and lace are the basics of any good Guadeloupean woman’s wardrobe.

We’re also famous for our sophisticated Madras headdresses. Don’t understimate these little headwears, they hide secrets of their own. Women used them to discretely indicate their marital status. Welp! Who needs Tinder now?

Ever heard of femmes Matadors? For starters, she has nothing to do with your controversial Spanish bullfighter, but close… in a way.

A femme Matador is a woman who’s not afraid to tackle the many trials and challenges life throws at her. Brave, never phased by anything, she takes care of her looks in great details. No one should be able read the struggle on her face. Never mess with her… or at your own risks. She’s the original slay queen!

This is it for part 3. More to come for the curious minds 🤓

📷  Sandrine Néel (featured image)

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Photos are a selection from @ilesguadeloupe. You can also check out @idees@wat_magazine@happyman_photography and @visit_pointeapitre wonderful shots and takes on the Caribbean life.