Pitchy Patchy. One of the many characters of Jonkonnu, traditionally seen at Christmas time. They are sometimes invited to perform at Heritage festivities. While very colourful and entertaining, their antics and mingling with onlookers often had the effect of scaring young children.
The strips of different coloured clothes is said to mimic the camouflage worn by Maroons during warfare with the British during their occupation in the 18th century.
The Maroons were the runaway slaves who established settlements in the mountainous areas away from the plantations. Frequent battles with British soldiers, sworn to protect the Planters' right to maintain slaves eventually ended with a treaty being signed in 1738. In this treaty they were granted 1500 acres of Crown land as an independent territory. Among the various articles of the Treaty was that the Maroons would not harbour runaway slaves but instead return them to the plantations from which they came.