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Jack Sparrow with the Pelegostos tribe.

"Why would he do this to us? If Jack is the chief—"
"Aye, the Pelegostos have made Jack their chief. But he only remains chief as long as he
acts like a chief."
"So he had no choice. He's a captive there as much as the rest of us.
Will Turner and Joshamee Gibbs[src]

The Pelegostos were a tribe of cannibals native to Isla de Pelegostos.


Tribe life[]

"There's an island just south of the straits, where I trade spice for…delicious long pork. Cannot say about Jack, but you'll find a ship there. A ship with black sails."
Shrimper to William Turner[src]

Located in Pelegosto, the Pelegostos lived a cannibalistic life. With their island in the middle of trading with shrimpers and merchants, a number of items bartered, which would end up with the Pelegostos' camp, bore the insignia of the East India Trading Company, thus indirectly expanding its presence across the world.[1]

Chiefs of the Pelegostos[]

Jack Sparrow[]

"Worse, as it turns out. See, the Pelegostos believe that Jack is a god in human form, and they intend to do him the honor of releasing him from his fleshy prison. [Mr. Cotton bites him to illustrate what he's trying to imply, much to his annoyance] They'll roast him and eat him."
Joshamee Gibbs to William Turner[src]

Captain Jack Sparrow happened upon the Pelegostos at some point prior to commandeering the HMS Interceptor at Port Royal, and was made the natives' chief. Jack stayed long enough only to grasp the basics of the Pelegostos language and left. He would tell of this tale to Mullroy and Murtogg.

Jack would return to the island, while attempting to hide from the Kraken, and was once again made chief of the Pelegostos, while the rest of his crew were either devoured by the cannibals or held captive in bone cages, made from the crewmen eaten. Jack himself was in no less of a precarious situation, as the Pelegostos believed that he was a god, trapped in human form, and were intending to roast him alive and eat his flesh, in order that his spirit would be released.[1]

Jack escapes the Pelegostos.

"Alas, my children, this is the day you shall always remember as the day you almost—[a wave splashes on him]...Captain Jack Sparrow."
Jack Sparrow to the Pelegostos[src]

Jack, naturally adverse to this idea, fled the cannibal village while many of its warriors were preoccupied with chasing down his similarly errant crew. A wild chase through the island's jungles and ravines led the crew back to the Black Pearl, where their chief bade farewell to his "children."[1]

Prison Dog[]

With Jack Sparrow gone, the Pelegostos were left without a chief, until they spotted a dog sitting on the beach. And so the Pelegostos accepted the dog as their new chief. They gave him a bone as they continued with their feast ceremony. However, the dog managed to escape the island before the Pelegostos could perform their religious service.[1]


The encounter with the Pelegostos Tribe at Isla de Pelegostos would be later recalled by the crew of the Dying Gull in 1751 when Sparrow ordered his men to pay him a tribute for being their captain.[2]


A group of Pelegostos tribespeople.

"The feast is about to begin. Jack's life will end when the drums stop."
Joshamee Gibbs[src]

The Pelegostos were a warlike people, and relished the taste of "long pork," or human flesh. Sailors were known to trade valuable spices for long pork,[1] and some may even have lured unwitting victims onto the island.

The Pelegostos constructed villages up in the peaks of the island's mountains, connected by rickety bridges made from jungle vines. Their homes were simple huts woven from plant fibers, and were sturdy enough to provide shelter from tropical storms. The Pelegostos decorated their bodies with paint, piercings and tribal masks to help them blend in to their jungle surroundings, in order to ambush unsuspecting prey. For weapons, the Pelegostos used spears, bows and arrows, machetes and blow-pipes loaded with drugged darts.[3]

Prior to a feast of long pork, members of the tribe would celebrate the coming meal with a tribal dance; half ballet, half funeral march, this frenzied performance was a particularly unpleasant sight for the Pelegostos' victims. Following a cannibalistic feast, victims' skulls were commonly put to good use as drinking cups or candle holders, showing that the Pelegostos were at least economical.[3]


Main article: Umshoko
"Oi, ma boogie snickle-snickle. Toot de suite, come on! More wood!"
Jack Sparrow speaking the Pelegostos language[src]

"...There was even an invented language for the Pelegostos called "Umshoko" that was developed by dialect coach Carla Meyer and UCLA linguist Peter Ladefogend. "Gore didn't want the natives to be identified as anything in particular," says Meyer. "So Peter drew from several international languages, mixed with Pig Latin and English words spelled backwards." A few examples of this brand new tongue? "Rah rah rah fi fi" means "big, big, big fire." "Bugo" means "please." "Kamino" means "come back."[4]

The language of the Pelegostos, Umshoko, was a curious mix of varied languages.[4] Jack Sparrow was able to pick it up over the course of his two visits to the island, and could use it well enough to make himself understood in the context of his role as the natives' chief.[1]

Notable members[]

A Pelegostos warrior

"I notice you've got loads of women everywhere, but very few children. Why is that? Are the little ones a bit more tasty, then?"
Jack Sparrow to a member of the Pelegostos[src] (deleted scene)

Behind the scenes[]

  • Around 130 members of the Kalinago Nation—the original inhabitants of many Caribbean islands—were used as extras in the Pelegostos scenes.
  • Walt Disney Pictures has been questioned by the National Garifuna Council, a representative body of the Garifuna people, for what they feel is a racist portrayal of the Calinago, or Caribs, as cannibals in Dead Man's Chest. The Council called for what they considered to be a fair and accurate representation, and Disney responded that the script could not be altered. No known changes were made to the film regardless of the council's concern.[5][6]



Notes and references[]