What You Can See at Grum Ma’s House Cultural Center
The Bahamas is a country rich with culture and past. This includes the communities of Indigenous Lucayan Indians which call the islands home, a colonial past, the islands’ role as a refuge for freed slaves during the 19th and 20th centuries, and more!. With such a complex and diverse backstory, it can be easy to overlook the important stories and characters, as well as the values and traditions that have been shared throughout time. Knowing this, Taste of the Bahamas founded Grum Ma’s House Cultural Center, with the aim of enlightening locals and tourists alike to The Bahamas’ fascinating history. If you’re ever looking for things to do in Grand Bahama Island, this is the perfect place to discover an important part of Bahamian culture that you otherwise might have missed.
Grum Ma’s House Cultural Center was founded from the plan of Parliament Square Cultural Center. The term “Grum Ma” is how Bahamians refer to their Grandmas, and given that the center itself is a tribute to Donald’s Great Grum Ma Beatrice, the name was only fitting. Donald saw a gap in the Grand Bahama tourism market, feeling that although many tourists loved the island, many weren’t experiencing an authentic part of Bahamian culture. With an ethnic heritage as diverse as the one present on his island home, including Black Seminole Indian, Cherokee, and Scottish lineage, Donald wanted to showcase not only his own family legacy but also the other unique Bahamian cultures and traditions. As such, the Cultural Center was born, initially in Parliament Square but it has since moved next to the oldest Catholic church on the island: St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church. At just a 15-minute ride from Freeport Harbor, it’s the perfect spot for a quick Freeport shore excursion if you’re a cruise passenger!
Grum Ma’s House Cultural Center was created with the goal of providing Bahamian culture and cuisine insights to residents of The Bahamas islands as well as guests. As societies continue to modernize, and technology continues to play an ever-increasing role, holding onto the valuable wisdom and lessons of the past is becoming increasingly important.
The perfect example of this is the value of bush medicine in the Bahamas. In the past, Bahamians would seek out the various healing properties of different plant species by creating teas or applying them onto the skin. However, with colonization and the influx of Western medicine, much of this knowledge is becoming lost. Today, people are turning back to traditional medicine techniques to understand ways that we can create remedies by using the simple and local ingredients in our environment. The Center allows visitors to gain insight into practices like these through interactive experiences. But that’s not all! The Center has much more to offer its visitors.
At Grum Ma’s House, you can immerse yourself in the culture, heritage, cuisine, and knowledge of The Bahamas. Whether you’re just interested in visiting or joining Taste of the Bahamas on one of our tours to find out more from our local, experienced guides and cooks. Learn about the bush teas for yourself on our Bush Tea Tasting Experience or take a bite out of traditional Bahamian food and learn how to cook it yourself on one of our many cuisine tours. The Center also includes a range of Junkanoo artifacts, an essential element in Bahamian celebrations. Or discover the many ancestors that fell in love with our island paradise from the United Kingdom, West Africa, the United States, and the Caribbean, just to name a few! You can expect an interactive experience that is more authentic than the typical and generic Freeport, Bahamas tours.
So, what are you waiting for? On your next trip to Grand Bahama Island, be sure to stop by Grum Ma’s House Cultural Center for an authentic experience and understanding of Bahamian traditions and history. If you can’t make it to the island at the moment then try out one of our virtual tours for an unforgettable experience in the comfort of your own home!