Bajan stick-licking

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Bajan stick-licking (often spelled stick-lickin') or stick science is the traditional form of stick fighting in Barbados.[1] ("Licking" here has the sense of "beating", as in "to take a licking").

Bajan (Barbadian) stick-licking or stick science is an African-descended system of weapons fighting that features the use of fire-hardened sticks of varying lengths, the lickin' stick. This martial art was most likely transferred to Barbados from the Kongo (Congo)/Angola region of Africa during the 16th century by soldiers who had been captured as prisoners of war and sold into the Transatlantic slave trade, purchased by various European slavers and shipped as cargo to the Caribbean, where some ended up in Barbados as plantation laborers.

For much of Barbados's history, this tradition has been an integral part of the society. It has been a test of manhood, a sport, a means of self-defence and a method of settling disputes. Contrary to some mythology, stick-licking is not a hybrid of African stick fighting and European fencing, but is related to the African-descended martial arts (and often derived dance forms) that developed in many other parts of the African diaspora, including Trinidad & Tobago, Grenada, Haiti and New Orleans (calinda or kalenda); Martinique and Guadeloupe (l'agya, damaye and mayolé); Cuba and Puerto Rico (juego de maní); Brazil (capoeira), and elsewhere in and along the Caribbean. A surviving version in modern South Africa is Nguni stick-fighting


  1. ^ Carrington, Sean (2007). A~Z of Barbados Heritage. Macmillan Caribbean Publishers Limited. p. 199. ISBN 0-333-92068-6.