Abeng Trading Inc. is the ecommerce platform connecting the Caribbean community of sellers with the global marketplace of producers and buyers. Our focus is the small retailers lacking the ability to connect directly with or source directly from manufacturers. We are the intermediary to consolidate hundreds of small orders into container loads, ship, repackage and distribute in the individual quantity ordered.
Our company, registered in the United States, is geared to serve the Caribbean islands and the larger Caribbean diasporas. The Caribbean community is an amalgam of different cultures overlaid on an afro-centric base. This is a community that enjoys life; works hard, plays hard and enjoys only the best wrapped with simplicity. As an example, take the various cuisines; infused with the best in natural herbs and traditional spices they are at once lively, delectable, subtle and organic. Caribbean folks frown on store bought seasoning concoctions unless they are known to contain only natural ingredients. The now fashionable term "organic" has always been native to Caribbean farming and cooking. Consequently any food product, seasoning or spice found on our store is guaranteed to be not only authentic but emphatically organic.
Our logo, resonant with meaning, also defines this simplicity. The bridge connects the cuisine, cultures and common aspirations of our islands threaded through the solid base of Caricom (the pillars of the bridge). The colors represent the vibrancy of the islands and diasporas, the wealth of our lands and the resiliency of our people. Finally the Abeng, the revered instrument of coded communication and sometimes music, declares to the world the authenticity and exacting standards of our products.
What is "Abeng"?
Abeng is the Akan people of Ghana's word in Twi for a musical instrument or an animal horn. The Akan is the largest of the five major ethinic groups in Ghana, accounting for nearly half the population and nearly thrice the size of the second largest, Mole-Dagbon. The Akan have many subgroups including the Ashanti- once an empire, they are the largest and most powerful and Fante- located on the coast, the first to encounter Europeans. Ghana was once called the Gold Coast.
Enslaved Africans brought to Jamaica were mostly Akan and predominantly Ashanti. The abeng, often a cow's horn, was a communication device of Jamaica's Maroons. The abeng was also used by slaveowners to summon slaves.
What is the etymology of Maroon?
It is an English adoption of the Spanish word 'Cimarronnes' which referred to wild, untamed livestock in the hills and escaped slaves. Most of the slaves brought to the Caribbean were Akan people of whom, some were military captives. The enslaved Akan were referred to as Coromantee (or Coromanti, Coromantese, Coromantins, or Kormantine) after Fort Kormantine in Ghana's Fante town, Kormantse. They were at first well sought after for their reputation as strong and hardworking but news of their proud and rebelliousness nature followed soon thereafter. An act would be proposed to ban their further importation.
Who are the Maroons?
The Maroons were escaped Africans who fled slavery to the mountains. Using the terrains to their advantage, the Maroons launched strategic plantation raids and successfully defended against Spanish and British offensives, They forced a treaty recognizing their independence long before slavery was abolished. The Maroons relied on their abeng to communicate in their complex, coded language to coordinate across long distances without enemy knowledge. The Maroons also expertly used plants and trees to camouflage in the first Maroon War 1728–1739, long before its first cited use by European rifle units. Maroons communities still thrive in Jamaica today.
Who is the most notorious Maroon?
Well, one of Jamaica's seven (7) national heroes is "Nanny of the Maroons", or colloquially "Nanny the Maroon", Queen Nanny, Granny Nanny or Nanny (c. 1686 – c. 1755). She was exalted for her guerilla warfare leadership and role as spiritual leader of the Winward maroons in "Nanny Town", located in the Blue Mountains of Jamaica. She bravely and cunningly freed over 1000 slaves and delivered them to Maroon communities. She is memorialized in our consciousness and on the JA$500 note, sometimes referred to as a "Nanny".
What role did women play?
Queen Nanny, an Ashanti woman, was one of many Maroon warrior women. The Ashanti of the Akan were a proud warrior nation. The Akan people were matrilineal. Women were important to bring back to Maroon communities to increase their numbers.
What is the origin of jerk?
The Maroons dug pits underground to cook meat to prevent the billowing smoke from revealing their positions. The process by which the meat would be slowly smoked, much more that the ingredients, is central to "jerk". It is said that the Tainos or Arawaks taught the Spanish runaway slaves (the Maroons) the process. Our first product launched is authentic Jamaican jerk season that brings this flavorful jerk tradition to your homes.