Q:  How come Irish names and other influences are so evident in Montserrat?

A:  Montserrat was established as an Irish-Catholic colony. Thomas Warner settled Irish Catholics from St Kitts there, as they were not comfortable among the Protestants in St Kitts. Catholic refugees fleeing persecution in Virginia went to Montserrat. And some Irish political prisoner's of England's Cromwell were also sent there.

Q:  On arrival in Montserrat what Irish emblem is stamped on your passport?

A:  The green shamrock. A carved shamrock may also be seen on the gable of Government House.

Q:  Who is the woman depicted on Montserrat's flag and crest?

A:  Erin of Irish legend. She appears with her harp.

Q:  Who is called a maroon on Montserrat?

A:  Someone who joins in a general effort such as building a house.

Q:  What do bam-chick-lay and goat water stew have in common?

A:  Both may be experienced in Montserrat, and both have Irish origins. Bam-chick-lay is a folk dance and goat water stew is a national dish. It's goat meat  flavored with "herbs and chibble." What's chibble? Thyme and scallions.

Q:  What do the people of Montserrat call "mountain chicken?"

A:  One of the world’s largest frogs. So do the people of Dominica. These two islands are the only places in the world where the frogs are known to occur naturally now. The legs are eaten and are regarded as a great delicacy.  It was reported in 2008 that the frog (Leptodactylus fallax) is under attack by a killer fungus disease called chytrid,  and concerned conservation organizations have taken some into captivity to keep them healthy. They are also treating some sick frogs they have removed from their present locations, hoping to return them to their natural habitat later. The frog appears on the coat of arms of neighboring Dominica. The infection seems to have spread from Dominica where it earlier decimated the mountain chicken population.

Q:  A slave, sold in the 1760s to Robert King in Montserrat, wrote about his experiences there and elsewhere in an autobiography that became a sensation when it was published in 1789. Who was this slave?

A:  Olaudah Equiano or Gustavus Vassa. His was an extraordinary life.

Q:  According to the son of Christopher Columbus, his father did not land on the island of Montserrat because of what he had been told the "Caribbees" had done there. What was he told?

A:  He was told that the Amerindian Caribs (Caribbees) had "unpeopled" the island; that is, that they had devoured the inhabitants. However he gave it a name based on  the resemblance of  the terrain to the land surrounding the Montserrat monastery in Spain.

Q:  What do the people of Montserrat mean by a "jumbie name"?

A:  A nickname. People have official (birth certificate) names and jumbie names. (When the spirits don't know your real name, they can't find you).