Santa Rosa Carib Community of Arima, Trinidad and Tobago [Video]


Created and uploaded by Maximilian Forte

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A Note From The Gull


"They are homeless in a land that was theirs." --Chief Ricardo Bharath Hernandez

Oh, I LOVE this video! I hope there is much more on this to come. There are so many facets to our amazing country that are often overlooked and I rejoiced to see highlighted in this video so much that is familiar to me.

Although I have never heard it suggested, I think that Maximilian Forte is among the best friends of the First Nations peoples of Trinidad and Tobago. Although I have seldom heard his work being credited in Trinidad and Tobago, he has spent many years distilling and generously sharing his research findings via many publications in traditional formats and on the Internet. Although Maximilian Forte is not a national of Trinidad and Tobago, I consider him a Trinbagonian because he quietly persists, like many unsung Trinbagonians, to hold up his end for this country.

I believe that he was was the first to brush aside the extinction myth and the tendency to talk about First Nations peoples as artifacts and to document in the present, the resurgence of the Carib Community, to attempt to clarify land rights issues, to explore the relations of that community with the Catholic Church, the state [as coloured by various political parties], the media and the growing interaction between our indigenous peoples with an international network of indigenous groups and movements.

Maximilian Forte, thanks for the love!

American Indian Prayer
[As recited by Chief Ricardo Bharath Hernandez - Video position 20:15]

Oh, Great Spirit
Whose voice I hear in the winds,
And whose breath gives life to all the world,
hear me, I am small and weak,
I need your strength and wisdom.
Let me walk in beauty and make my eyes ever behold
the red and purple sunset.
Make my hands respect the things you have
made and my ears sharp to hear your voice.
Make me wise so that I may understand the things
you have taught my people.
Let me learn the lessons you have
hidden in every leaf and rock.

I seek strength, not to be greater than my brother,
but to fight my greatest enemy - myself.
Make me always ready to come to you
with clean hands and straight eyes.
So when life fades, as the fading sunset,
my Spirit may come to you without shame.

(translated by Lakota Sioux Chief Yellow Lark in 1887)
published in Native American Prayers - by the Episcopal Church. Source

"Patria est communis omnium parens" - Our native land is the common parent of us all. Keep it beautiful, make it even more so.

Blessed is all of creation
Blessed be my beautiful people
Blessed be the day of our awakening
Blessed is my country
Blessed are her patient hills.

Mweh ka allay!
Guanaguanare

Santa Rosa [Song]

Republished with the kind permission of Maximilian Forte, Review of the Indigenous Caribbean

SANTA ROSA, by Melan Garcia from Maximilian Forte on Vimeo.

SANTA ROSA
Composed and performed by Melan Garcia
Transcribed by Maximilian Forte

The Caribs are a peaceful people
This is what we know.

And Arima is the home of Caribs
From many years ago
Long ago.

So look way back and I am sure that you will agree with me
That somewhere in your family you have Carib ancestry
Sing me with, now...

Santa Rosa
The feast that holds us all together.
Santa Rosa
Come sing you people from Arima.

Had it not been for the older folks
Then none of us would know
We won't know...

Santa Rosa was found by three men
In that village called Pinto
In Pinto.

The three men were Raimundo, Punyan, and Puyon.
So now you see, my people, this is history put in song.
Sing along, with:

Santa Rosa
The feast that holds us all together.
Santa Rosa
Come sing you people from Arima.

Yes, we learned too that the hunter went back
To where the Saint was found
And on that very spot they found her necklace and her crown
And her crown...

The crown was made with roses of colours real distinct
That is why we use the colours of red, yellow, white, and pink.

What you think was...

Santa Rosa
The feast that holds us all together.
Santa Rosa
Come sing you people of Arima.

***** ***** ***** *****

Filmed by Maximilian Forte in September, 2006, at the cannon on Calvary Hill in Arima. The filming was done in late afternoon just as the sun was setting, and the camera faces south, overlooking the centre of Arima.

Melan Garcia, a well known parrandero from Calvary Hill in Arima, Trinidad and Tobago, in the past played with Los Tocadores and Rebuscar.

For many years he served as an Arima Borough Councillor, representing Calvary Hill, for the People's National Movement. He is also tied to the Carib Community and has Indigenous ancestry.
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"Patria est communis omnium parens" - Our native land is the common parent of us all. Keep it beautiful, make it even more so.

Blessed is all of creation
Blessed be my beautiful people
Blessed be the day of our awakening
Blessed is my country
Blessed are her patient hills.

Mweh ka allay!
Guanaguanare

Sedition [Song]

Listen to The Mighty Sparrow's "Sedition" courtesy we7.
[Link will open in new window.]

SEDITION
By Mighty Sparrow
Album: The Many Moods Of Sparrow, 1967

Oy, you better put your tail between your leg and play it cool
'Cause anything you say we going to call it ridicule
The laws must change up, yes,
But lord, this one too fierce.
And whey ah talking 'bout?
Sedition, careful, careful how you talking...hey
Sedition, careful, careful whey you walking
Plain gesticulation is straight apprehension
In police detention charged with sedition.
I want to hear...

No, don't create no damn ---- control posse in here
Oh yes, the law is now in force so tell all militants beware.
Hasty laws create disharmony and hate
So what I mean?
Sedition, careful, careful how you talking... hey hey!
Sedition, careful, careful whey you walking
Incompetent idiots have genuine patriots
Always under escort in the sedition court.

The people of a country shouldn't 'fraid to talk their mind
If you guilty here is straight to jail without a fine
Betrayal of the people's trust, to me is much more dangerous
Than what they talking 'bout.
Sedition, careful, careful how you talking...hey hey!
Sedition, careful, careful whey you walking
Your right or your left hand, raise it, is straight apprehension
In police detention charged with sedition.

Source: The lyrics posted on this blog are often transcribed directly from performances. Although it is my intention to faithfully transcribe I do not get all the words and I have a knack for hearing the wrong thing. Please feel free to correct me or to fill in the words that I miss by dropping me a message via e-mail. I'd be forever grateful. Thanks in advance!
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A Note From The Gull


Thank you, Mighty Sparrow. Honestly, this calypso just gives me the chills. There is a thin line [that can be deliberately blurred when it is convenient] between censorship/erosion of freedoms and sedition laws. This calypso was Sparrow's protesting of the Sedition Act and he was not the only calypsonian to address this situation. Others included Kitchener's 1973 "No Freedom" and Chalkdust's 1972 "Ah Fraid Karl" and "Who Next?" What happens when the state is a monster which does or does not have popular support and proceeds to use these laws for its own self-preservation against the challenges of "genuine patriots"?

Here is the definition of what does and does not constitute "sedition" in our country according to the Sedition Act 11:04
3. (1) A seditious intention is an intention—

(a) to bring into hatred or contempt, or to excite disaffection against Government or the Constitution as by law established or the House of Representatives or the Senate or the administration of justice;

(b) to excite any person to attempt, otherwise than by lawful means, to procure the alteration of any matter in the State by law established;

(c) to raise discontent or disaffection amongst inhabitants of Trinidad and Tobago;

(d) to engender or promote—
(i) feelings of ill-will or hostility between one or more sections of the community on the one hand and any other section or sections of the community on the other hand; or
(ii) feelings of ill-will towards, hostility to or contempt for any class of inhabitants of Trinidad and Tobago distinguished by race, colour, religion, profession, calling or employment; or

(e) to advocate or promote, with intent to destroy in whole or in part any identifiable group, the commission of any of the following acts, namely:
(i) killing members of the group; or
(ii) deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction.

Limitation
(2) But an act, speech, statement or publication is not seditious by reason only that it intends to show that the Government has been misled or mistaken in its measures, or to point out errors or defects in the Government or Constitution as by law established, with a view to their reformation, or to excite persons to attempt by lawful means the alteration of any matter in the State by law established, or to point out, with a view to their removal by lawful means, matters which are producing, or have a tendency to produce—

(a) feelings of ill-will, hostility or contempt between different sections of the community; or

(b) feelings of ill-will, hostility or contempt between different classes of the inhabitants of Trinidad and Tobago distinguished by race, colour, religion, profession, calling or employment.
"Betrayal of the people's trust, to me is much more dangerous
Than what they talking 'bout.
Sedition, careful, careful how you talking...hey hey!"

"Patria est communis omnium parens" - Our native land is the common parent of us all. Keep it beautiful, make it even more so.

Blessed is all of creation
Blessed be my beautiful people
Blessed be the day of our awakening
Blessed is my country
Blessed are her patient hills.

Mweh ka allay!
Guanaguanare

"Hello, I'm a Trinbagonian!" Are We There Yet?

How long has the US Department of State been using "Trinbagonian" to refer to us in its official documents? I noticed it first in the 2011 Trafficking in Persons Report. Was that their official launch or did they begin soon after October 2010 when these plans were made public?

MP Rodger Samuel said on October 10, 2010, as reported by the Trinidad Express Newspapers:

"We want to take away that identity crisis that we have about Trinidadians and Tobagonians," Samuel said.

He said to a loud round of applause, "It is our intention to rebrand Trinidadians so that our nationality would be known as Trinbagonian. There would be no disparity between you being a Trinidadian and you being a Tobagonian. That is where we are heading in this country." SOURCE
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"Patria est communis omnium parens" - Our native land is the common parent of us all. Keep it beautiful, make it even more so.

Blessed is all of creation
Blessed be my beautiful people
Blessed be the day of our awakening
Blessed is my country
Blessed are her patient hills.

Mweh ka allay!
Guanaguanare

Time Out In Trinidad: Parts I - 23 [Video]

A very interesting series of film clips shot in the 1950s and uploaded by oldtimecalypso. Embedding is not allowed so you can follow the links to the YouTube sources if you are interested. All footage was contributed by Sooty 1312. The film may not be copied without the express written consent of the operator of the YouTube channel.

TIME OUT IN TRINIDAD - 1950s - Pt. 1 - Piarco Airport & Drive South

"In this nostalgic sequence, a British family arrives in Trinidad in 1955, via New York on a Pan American DC6B. The camera lingers on the beautiful airliner as it lands and taxis to Piarco's quaint wooden terminal building of the 1950s. Note the ground crew unloading baggage and a later shot of the flight crew returning to their cars, the stewardess in her semi military PAA uniform. After loading the car the family begins their drive south to their new home in Penal. Note the practically empty roads! A far cry from today. SOURCE"
TIME OUT IN TRINIDAD - 1950s - Pt. 2 - Los Iros, Morne Diablo, Mayaro
"This sequence shows three of the beaches in South Trinidad as they appeared in the mid 1950s. Beginning with the drive to Los Iros, behind a Shell tanker, our visitors can be eventually seen unloading the trunk of their Opel Kapitan. Note the bottle of Fernandes Rum amongst the "supplies" in the old "Flit" box! Included are shots of a beached jellyfish and water lilies. One of the boys displays a shark's head. While their parents picnic, the children enjoy climbing on the branches of a fallen tree. Note the mounted policeman in the Mayaro sequence." Notice the saga boy and he craft crossing the bridge at 2:00. SOURCE
TIME OUT IN TRINIDAD - 1950s - Pt. 3 - Navy Base, Stauble's and Kingfisher to St. Mary's Bay
"This is the first time I've seen a picture of the guard house at the U.S. Naval Station at Chaguaramas since 1960! I remember it well as early in the 50s we managed to wreck it when the brakes failed on the family car! The launch, Kingfisher, forms an integral part of my childhood as it was our transport to the Company Island House at St. Mary's Bay on Gasparee. Finding these films evoke bittersweet memories of a childhood long since past. Once, Harold, our boatman, had to be awakened in the middle of the night to return a very sick me to Port of Spain. I will never forget that night. Even though the two blond boys in the film are not my brother and I, they almost could be as they happily play in the same place we did. SOURCE"
TIME OUT IN TRINIDAD - 1950s - PT. 4 - San Fernando Fire Brigade in Action
"In this sequence the San Fernando Fire Brigade responds to a fire at a Chinese Laundry. It appears, of course, that the laundry has already burned flat to the ground, which is not surprising as most buildings at that time were of wood construction. Note the crowds running back and forth, real pandemonium, almost on an epic scale! Try to find the old lady in the blue dress with the white polka dots. She looks completely lost. There are also several big bamsies in the crowd! The sequence ends with some shots of the damage caused by the huge fire on Frederick Street in Port of Spain in the late 1950s. SOURCE
TIME OUT IN TRINIDAD - 1950s - Pt. 5 - Union Park Turf Club and San Fernando
"A horserace at the Union Park Turf Club. Some city shots of San Fernando including the Colonial Hospital, High Street, Woolworth's, Debe and a Hindu Temple."SOURCE
TIME OUT IN TRINIDAD - 1950s - Pt. 6 - Carnival 1957
"These wonderful 8mm colour home movies capture Trinidad Carnival of over 50 years ago. Note the beautiful art deco Queen's Park Hotel and the unmistakable American influence on the revelers' costumes. At that time, the Chaguaramas Naval Station was still in operation, with thousands of American servicemen stationed there. Look for the Coat of Arms of the Federation of the West Indies and the Anchor Special cigarette head gear! A beautiful troupe of Dakota "Red Indians" dance by among others. The camera work is good and the colour is still relatively stable on this old film that captures a Trinidad that has long since disappeared." SOURCE
TIME OUT IN TRINIDAD - 1950s - Pt. 7 - Ram Lila in Penal 1958
"Ram Lila (Rama's Play) is a dramatic Hindu folk re-enactment of the life of Lord Ram, ending up in a ten day battle between Lord Ram and Ravan. A tradition that originates from the Indian subcontinent, the play is staged annually in Indian communities across Trinidad to this day. This humble Ram Lila was performed in October of 1958 in Penal. SOURCE"
TIME OUT IN TRINIDAD - 1950s - Pt. 8 - Drive from Siparia to Port of Spain,
"This fairly general collection of shots depicts a drive from Siparia in South Trinidad to Port of Spain along the Princess Margaret Highway and the Churchill - Roosevelt Highway in 1957 or 1958. There are a few stops along the way, notably, the transmitting stations for Radio Guardian and Radio Trinidad and the Moslem Mosque at Curepe. A massive crane passes by slowly at the junction of the two highways and the journey finishes at the Port of Spain docks with the Compagnie Generale Transatlantique's beautiful liner ":Antilles" in port. This shot was taken before the "Antilles" was fitted with her taller funnel. A beautiful liner which sadly met her fate at Mosquito Island in 1971 where she hit a reef, caught fire and broke up, fortunately with no loss of life."SOURCE
TIME OUT IN TRINIDAD - 1950s - Pt. 9 - Princess Margaret's Visit to Trinidad. 1958
"This 8mm film marks an important passage in Trinidad's history with the arrival of Princess Margaret to open the parliament of the newly founded Federation of the West Indies. It fell apart some two years later. We see her arrival in a magnificent BOAC Bristol Brittania with Piarco done up for the festivities. She meets all the dignitaries and heads of state and inspects the Trinidad Regiment. The Jamaica Regiment makes an appearance as does the Trinidad Police Force. Note that the film is shot from the Control Tower! On a Royal Visit no less! In an early shot you can see British Pathe at work filming the events. HRH leaves in a Daimler semi drop head limousine. Later shots of the Governor's Residence and Red House fill in those visits and the camera returns in force to Piarco as HRH arrives from Tobago on a Vickers Viscount. HRH is presented with a painting from a Trinidad artist and three cheers are given HRH boards theBritannia to carry her to her next destination, British Guiana (Guyana).

Unedited, mute British Pathe film of this event can be seen at:
http://www.britishpathe.com/record.php?id=64021

This Britannia still exists. Photos of it can be found at:
http://www.primeportal.net/hangar/howard_mason/britannia_312_g-aovf/ "
SOURCE
TIME OUT IN TRINIDAD - 1950s - Pt. 10 - Drilling Operations at Apex Oilfields
"This noisy film recounts the old days of drilling for oil in Trinidad's southern oilfields. I'm going to say that this is Apex Oilfields as you can see an ATO (Apex Trinidad Oilfields) lorry delivering bags of cement. However, the original film opens with shots of Shell operations in Point Fortin. The derricks do look Apexian but I cannot be 100 percent sure of the location, although I hardly think Apex would be delivering concrete to a Shell operation. Nonetheless it is a marvelous sequence that clearly shows how wells were drilled "back in the day". The shots may not be in the correct order and the soundtrack is lifted from current films of drilling and may not be accurate. It has been almost 50 years since I witnessed a well being drilled.

The film continues with amazing shots of a Turntable at Forest Reserve. These massive flywheels with eccentric cams fixed at their hubs powered up to 20 pumping jacks at a time through a system of steel cables known as "jerk lines". These lines criss crossed the oilfields and woe betide the unfortunate bush creature that got caught in them.

The pitch lake at La Brea follows. It is the largest natural deposit of asphalt in the world and pitch and asphalt from here covers most of the roads in North America. At the time this was filmed it was mined by Trinidad Lake Asphalt. Note the Trinidad Automobile Association's sign over the La Brea sign.

The film ends with some shots of the Point Fortin and Pointe a Pierre refineries and some shots of the Texaco fields at Forest Reserve."SOURCE
TIME OUT IN TRINIDAD - 1950s - Pt. 11 - Life at the T&TEC Power Plant Compound
"This is a lovely, almost idyllic sequence in which the camera captures the simple delights of daily life at the T&TEC (Trinidad and Tobago Electricity Commission) compound in Penal in the late 1950s. Beautiful shots of the staff bungalows, the reservoir, a pick up game of footy in the backyard, tea next door and mother kissing her two boys goodbye as she sends them off to school leave us in no doubt that this was indeed a special time in this family's life. Both boys attend an unnamed local, fully integrated school and several shots detail the bustle around the school, with some local ladies obviously selling sweets to the students. Later on in the film the older boy's school uniform changes to that worn by boys at Presentation College in San Fernando. The film finishes with some shots of local flowers found at the camp."SOURCE
TIME OUT IN TRINIDAD - 1950s - Pt. 12 - The Longstaffs at Apex Oilfields
"This very short clip shows one of the families I knew at Apex Oilfields, the Longstaffs. I've slowed the film down to 40% of it's speed as the original clips were very short indeed. What a handsome family they are! I only remember Richard, the boy leaning on the window of the Opel Kapitan. I knew he had an older brother, Eric, but have no memory of him. I do remember Richard's father, Bill, slightly. His Mum, Belle, is truly a beautiful woman and so very British. The clip opens with the older boy at the Point Fortin club pool and continues at Bungalow 14 in Apex, where they lived. Bungalow 14 looked out over No. 1 Dam, which can be seen in the background of one of the shots. Noticeable only if you freeze the frame is Singh, the barber, smoking a cigarette and cutting a lad's hair with a pair of hand powered clippers. Singh was a legend in Apex. Once his cow got loose and got into one of the Camp Senior Staff's gardens. He complained loudly to Singh. Unmoved, Singh threated to "slit he belly if he touch mih cow". Sigh. Only in Trinidad. SOURCE"
TIME OUT IN TRINIDAD - 1950s - Pt. 13 - Maracas Bay and North Coast Road.
"Anyone that's visited Trinidad since the arrival of the Americans in 1941 knows this road and its beautiful scenery very well. From the entrance pillars to the fresh water fountain to the amazing lookout these lovely shots will certainly evoke some bittersweet memories of family life in colonial Trinidad. This road was built by American SeaBees (Construction Battalions) early in WW2 to compensate Trinidadians for the loss of their bathing beaches when the U.S. Naval Station was built at Chaguaramas. Some of these same scenes can be seen in my film Trinidad 1948.

One thing I have never seen before though is the beautiful rainbow captured by the cameraman! SOURCE"
TIME OUT IN TRINIDAD - 1950s - Pt. 14 - Mount Saint Benedict
"Set to some of Lionel Belasco's music this pleasant sequence brings us memories of the Benedictine Monastery at St. Augustine. Almost a self contained city in itself, the Benedictine monks administered a Seminary, a boarding school (The Abbey School), their monastery, a senior's residence, a guest house, a farm, beehives, bakeries and the like. Today it is but a shadow of its former glory, with the boarding school closed and recently, the Seminary closing, sending its few remaining seminarians to Jamaica.

Mt. St. Benedict was a popular destination for day visitors as well and many locals came here to picnic. Note the Indian family relaxing with their lunch just behind their two tone Ford Consul with the wide whitewall tires."SOURCE
TIME OUT IN TRINIDAD - 1950s - Pt. 15 - Sunday Afternoon around the Savannah
"Port of Spain was not only a quaint West Indian town as many people of the time thought. By the architecture shown in this short it's easy to see that Port of Spain was also a very genteel and cultured capital city with buildings and public services to rival that of any city in the United States or Great Britain. From Queen's Hall to the Victoria Institute Port of Spain boasted a quality of life that is envied today. To reflect that, I've used some classical piano in this sequence. I hope it conveys to the viewer what a delight the Savannah was on a quiet Sunday afternoon. SOURCE
TIME OUT IN TRINIDAD - 1950s - Pt. 16 - Yacht Club, Goodwood Park, Blue Basin
"Trinidad's Yacht Club is the first feature in this episode with some lovely shots of a family enjoying ice cream on the deck, a boatman starts a mahogany motorboat, a group of Royal Navy officers return to their car and a gentleman shows off his Chris Craft as the RMS Mauretania sails by in the distance. Next we visit Goodwood Park with some shots of some remarkably modern homes. Note the nanny carrying her charge inside through some handsome glass doors. The camera lingers on a local cricket game for a while and the segment ends with some lovely shots of Blue Basin."SOURCE
TIME OUT IN TRINIDAD - 1950s - Pt. 17 - Shell Camp Club Point Fortin
"Central to expatriate life in the southern oil camps was the Club. Each camp had its own and as Jennifer Franko mentions in her book, each club would advertise its events at other camp clubs across the oil belt. By far the largest were the clubs at Pointe-a-Pierre, Forest Reserve and Point Fortin but the other camps, no matter how small, each had its own and together they provided a vibrant and exciting social life for company employees, with any excuse used to put on another "club event". This sequence details pleasant days around the pool at the Shell Camp Club and what a beautiful place it is! At the beginning, note the wrought iron grille with the initials "UBC" from the early days, before Shell, when the Point Fortin fields were operated by United British Oilfields. There is also a shot of the Forest Reserve Club, which looks much the same today, some 55 years later. Christmas Day, 1957 was spent at the club as well, with the children playing with their toy boats in the pool." SOURCE
TIME OUT IN TRINIDAD - 1950s - Pt. 18 - Penal Market, Club, Allum's Grocery
"Number 17 in this series takes the viewer to the Shell Camp in Penal around 1957 with some shots of the Club and in what is becoming a regular sight in these films, the trunk of the Opel Kapitan is once again being loaded with booze! Included is a visit to Penal Market. I think these shots are beautiful as they capture an integral part of life in Trinidad in the 1950s - the market. Look at the shots carefully. Our family picks up their greens and we see the boys unloading some melons at their bungalow at the T&TEC Camp. Follows a short trip through Forest Reserve Camp and a stop at Allum's Grocery store where mother does the shopping. I don't remember Allum's but our camp, Apex, had Grell's grocery at the entrance to the field. After the amalgamation of most of the fields, Grell's became HiLo, a very well known grocery chain in Trinidad." SOURCE
TIME OUT IN TRINIDAD - 1950s - Pt. 19 - Opening Day, Penal Power Plant
"In 1958 construction of the Penal Power Plant was completed. This film contains footage shot on opening day showing the plant and some of the preparations for opening ceremonies. The colony's governor officiated and the Trinidad Police Band provided the music. This short provides a wonderful glimpse of the workings of T&TEC at that time." SOURCE
TIME OUT IN TRINIDAD - 1050s - Pt. 20 - Loading Cane. Erin Dairy. Rural Trinidad
"No. 20 in this series brings a tear to my eye. The lilting love song and the idyllic images of rural Trinidad bring to mind happy memories of a land I left 50 years ago. Beautiful in their simplicity, these scenes tell more than meets the eye about the backbreaking sugar industry in Trinidad. Note the donkey powered crane lifting massive bundles onto waiting railway wagons. Look carefully at the shot of the donkey as it pulls its cart onto the road. Note the hive of activity in the background and the railway crossing. This crossing is the Usine Ste. Madeleine track across the main road just entering Debe from the north.

Continuing on in this episode we visit the Erin Estate, a dairy farm, and we stroll along the byways of a Trinidad that disappeared a long, long time ago." SOURCE
TIME OUT IN TRINIDAD - 1950s - Pt. 21 - Produce of Trinidad
"Set to the tune of the original "Man Smarter" sung by King Radio, this sequences details some of the produce of Trinidad. It never ceases to amaze me how bountiful Trinidad was. Oil and Gas and Sugar have been covered already and this sequence details some of the lesser products of the colony, like calabash, cocoa, bananas etc. For an island only 60 miles by 40, the number and variety of products exported is truly amazing."SOURCE
TIME OUT IN TRINIDAD - 1950s - Pt. 22 - San Fernando Hill, PoS Docks and USAF at Piarco.
"A few of these shots may have appeared in earlier sequences where they were not the actual focus at the time. In this clip I've compiled those locations in more detail. I'm sure that viewers in Trinidad will see a very different San Fernando in this film than exists today! At the Port of Spain docks, we view the liner "Antilles" at the wharf and if you look in the foreground you can see several TGR goods wagons waiting to be loaded. The video concludes with two aeroplanes belonging to the United States Air Force landing at Piarco. The calypso is "Seditious Law" by Growling Tiger." SOURCE
TIME OUT IN TRINIDAD - 1950s - Pt. 23 - Farewell to Trinidad
"Sadly, this brings to an end the Time Out in Trinidad series. There will still be a few more videos coming as I cull the three hours of files to find anything I've missed. Also stay tuned for more exciting films as the Camito sails from Port of Spain, through the British West Indies, to Britain.

One cannot adequately describe the Expatriate in the Colonies. They were a migrant group of people from Britain who fanned out across the British Empire to engage in and contribute to her prosperity. Trinidad provided a wonderful life for these families with housing, medical services, provisioning and in some cases, vehicles provided by the companies that hired them. For most, as surely as they arrived, they would eventually leave. Some stayed for many, many years. Some even took up permanent residence. Most, however, returned home at the completion of their contracts.

Remember that these families had built a life for themselves in the colony and many grew very fond of that lovely island called Trinidad. Parting was sweet sorrow for them. More so, their departure also brought sadness, and in some cases, unemployment for the household staff these families hired. In many cases, the servants and yardboys grew very attached to their employers and their departure brought an uncertain future for them. In this film you can see a somewhat lost servant standing as this family bids their farewell to their friends, to T&TEC and to Trinidad.

The two boys in this film, David and Graham, still fondly remember the land where they spent three happy years at T&TEC. David returned to Trinidad in 1988 with his wife and two sons to find an independent Trinidad that bore little or no resemblance to the beautiful colony he once knew.

With its wealth of natural resources, Trinidad has struggled throughout the 1990s and the 2000s to curb its massive crime rate and rampant corruption. The roads in these films bear no resemblance at all to the traffic choked multi-lane motorways that exist today. The railways are gone. Oil production has moved offshore. The sugar industry has long since collapsed. The beautiful countryside cannot be enjoyed by tourists as robberies, murders and kidnappings continue to rise.

With the election of Kamla Persad Bissessar, hope has returned to Trinidad and only the years ahead will tell us how successful her government will be in solving some of Trinidad's problems. Everyone knows that one cannot return to Colonial days. The past is the past. But every Trinidadian living there today deserves a life that includes the peace and security evident in these films." SOURCE
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"Patria est communis omnium parens" - Our native land is the common parent of us all. Keep it beautiful, make it even more so.

Blessed is all of creation
Blessed be my beautiful people
Blessed be the day of our awakening
Blessed is my country
Blessed are her patient hills.

Mweh ka allay!
Guanaguanare

Corbeau Flying High [Song]


Uploaded by mightysparrowaz

CORBEAU FLYING HIGH
By Lord Melody

Sparrow married a woman from New York
I glad, boys, I couldn't talk
Sparrow married a woman from New York
I glad, boys, I couldn't talk
According to what the papers say
He got a contract with RCA
And with that he fell in love, of course
So the wedding took place in St. Thomas.

Chorus:
The papers declare Sparrow found his sugar pie
Corbeau flying high
She leave him and go 'way with teardrops in his eye
Corbeau flying high
He thought people wouldn't know
Though he married as she leave him and go
He search the whole world looking for his sugar plum
Corbeau fly back down.

I thought she was his complexion and size
But no, she was otherwise
If you see she hair how curly and silk
And her face like a pint of milk
He said she was just his manageress
Attending to his social business
But when they check up it's so
Mister and Mrs Francisco.

Chorus:
The papers declare Sparrow found his sugar pie
Corbeau flying high
She leave him and go 'way with teardrops in his eye
Corbeau flying high
He thought people wouldn't know
Though he married as she leave him and go
He search the whole world looking for his sugar plum
Corbeau fly back down.

The boss of the tent --------------------
Sent the first telegram to me
The headline was Sparrow in Barbados
With a ring, six inch in his nose
And from there his wife sign his contract
To drop him some place and turn she back
When I hear the news, I nearly cry
I ask Sparrow and he say they lie.

Chorus:
The papers declare Sparrow found his sugar pie
Corbeau flying high
She leave him and go 'way with teardrops in his eye
Corbeau flying high
He thought people wouldn't know
Though he married as she leave him and go
You know, he search the whole world looking for his sugar plum
Corbeau fly back down.

Source: The lyrics posted on this blog are often transcribed directly from performances. Although it is my intention to faithfully transcribe I do not get all the words and I have a knack for hearing the wrong thing. Please feel free to correct me or to fill in the words that I miss by dropping me a message via e-mail. I'd be forever grateful. Thanks in advance!
..............................................................................................................................





A Note From The Gull


This calypso is so wicked but I am laughing. Why? Something to ponder at another time as I intend to keep on chuckling for the while. Lord Melody and Sparrow had this ongoing sparring in their songs about each other and they were quite merciless. I don't think that they really meant it but it must have been cultivated to draw audiences to enjoy the picong.

"Patria est communis omnium parens" - Our native land is the common parent of us all. Keep it beautiful, make it even more so.

Blessed is all of creation
Blessed be my beautiful people
Blessed be the day of our awakening
Blessed is my country
Blessed are her patient hills.

Mweh ka allay!
Guanaguanare

Jack Palance [Song]



Uploaded by Tikilizzy

JACK PALANCE
By The Mighty Sparrow

It's a disgrace and a burning shame but I don't know who to blame
A big disgrace and a burning shame but I don't know who to blame
These amount of old women in the night club hustling for bob
Stand in the way of a younger girl but its time they retire, they too old.

Chorus:
Believe me, Caroline and Josephine making more than fifty
And I'm sure, without any doubt, they could be my Granny
Still they walking 'bout at night with dey face like Jack Palance
Go to France! Move! Step aside and give your daughters a chance.
I looking for youth not experience!

I can remember last year Carnival in front the cathedral
Tanty Mildred stand up cool as ever, I thought she was a beggar
So I give a shilling to Mildred saying, "Mama buy some bread."
She turn round and put she hand on she waist
And she cuss me upsided down in the place.
I tell you...

Chorus:
But if you see the woman, brother, she more than sixty
And I'm sure, without any doubt, she could be my Granny
Still she walking 'bout at night, she old face like Jack Palance
Go to France! Move! Step aside and give young people a chance
I looking for youth not experience!

Drinking in the nightclub with my bosom friend
Who come down to spend the weekend
But when I look back, who you think I see? - One of my family
"Good heavens!" I shout out, "Mama Jacob!"
What the heck you doing in the nightclub?
"
Same time the rock and roll start to play
So she hook on to a Yankee and break away.
I tell you...

Chorus:
But if you see the woman, brother, she more than seventy
And I'm sure, without any doubt, she could be my Granny
Still she walking 'bout at night, she prune face like Jack Palance
Go to France! Move girl! Step aside and give the Sparrow a chance.
Oh yes, I looking for youth not experience!

This is what I notice the other day, it's a funny thing to say
The government really should pass a law against women sixty and more
Brother, you better take it from me, if they do that the nightclubs would be empty
So leave them alone and don't get in a rage
When a Yankee drunk he don't study age.
I tell you...

Chorus:
Whether you are twenty-four, twenty-five or eighty
I am sure it will not interest a drunken Yankee
For when you drink your scotch and soda it doesn't matter how old she is,
As long as the Yankee get what is his.

Source: The lyrics posted on this blog are often transcribed directly from performances. Although it is my intention to faithfully transcribe I do not get all the words and I have a knack for hearing the wrong thing. Please feel free to correct me or to fill in the words that I miss by dropping me a message via e-mail. I'd be forever grateful. Thanks in advance!
 ..............................................................................................................................
"Patria est communis omnium parens" - Our native land is the common parent of us all. Keep it beautiful, make it even more so.

Blessed is all of creation
Blessed be my beautiful people
Blessed be the day of our awakening
Blessed is my country
Blessed are her patient hills.

Mweh ka allay!
Guanaguanare

Grampa's Advice [Song]


Uploaded by marledebakkerunicorn

GRAMPA'S ADVICE
By The Mighty Sparrow

Two women in my life, one of them got to be my wife
Two women in my life, one of them got to be my wife,
Betty love me but I love Myra, gone to explain to Grandpapa,
What should I do, who should I wed? Grandpa watch me and then he said...

Chorus:
The one who you love, never marry to she,
Is the one who love you, she go make you happy
Keep the one that you love on the side all the while
But the one who love you, take her straight down the aisle!

Grandpapa you making fun, that is easier said than done,
How I go leave my sweetheart on top the shelf, ups and marry somebody else?
All you, young boy, ain't got no sense, I telling you from experience
A woman must love you more than you love she, before you jump in matrimony.

Chorus:
The one that you love, never marry to she,
Is the one who love you, she go make you happy
Keep the one that you love on the side all the while
But the one who love you, take her straight down the aisle!

She pretty and nice and fat, but you can't marry she just for that
Nine times out of ten is true, the one you love not in love with you
So when you have a sure thing, that is where you must put your ring
If you go get married you got to be smart, boy use your head and not you heart.

Chorus:
The one who you love, never marry to she,
Is the one who love you, she go make you happy
Keep the one that you love on the side all the while
And the one who love you, take her straight down the aisle!

I didn't listen what my Grampa say, that is why I suffering so today
Myra cheat me until I blind, seven children and none ent mine
Every time I open my mouth, she and she Moomma put me out
Now I believe what my Grandpapa said, I can't forget it until I dead.

Chorus:
The one that you love, never marry to she,
Is the one who love you, she go make you happy
Keep the one that you love on the shelf all the while
But the one who love you, take her straight down the aisle!

Source: The lyrics posted on this blog are often transcribed directly from performances. Although it is my intention to faithfully transcribe I do not get all the words and I have a knack for hearing the wrong thing. Please feel free to correct me or to fill in the words that I miss by dropping me a message via e-mail. I'd be forever grateful. Thanks in advance!
..............................................................................................................................




A Note From The Gull
The message is a serious one but the laughter is the spoonful of sugar that makes the medicine go down in a most delightful way.

"Patria est communis omnium parens" - Our native land is the common parent of us all. Keep it beautiful, make it even more so.

Blessed is all of creation
Blessed be my beautiful people
Blessed be the day of our awakening
Blessed is my country
Blessed are her patient hills.

Mweh ka allay!
Guanaguanare

Legends Of The Bocas, Trinidad [Text]

Legends of the Bocas
Trinidad


By A.D. RUSSELL

First Puisne Judge, Trinidad and Tobago

with

An Introduction by Sir John Chancellor, K.C.M.G.
Governor and Commander-in-Chief of that Colony,

1916-1921


LONDON

CECIL PALMER
OAKLEY HOUSE, BLOOMSBURY STREET, W.C.1.



FIRST
EDITION
1933
COPYRIGHT


Printed in Great Britain
by J. J. Kelimer & Co., Ltd., 11, Marshalsea Road, London, S.E.1.



AUTHOR'S PREFACE

THESE legends, inspired— nay, it may be said created—
by the scenes to which they relate, with little oral, and
less written or printed tradition to account for the marvels
they contain (except Legends XVII to XXI, which are his-
torical), came to their recipient at intervals during the course
of fifteen years' residence in what is undoubtedly one of the
most beautiful islands in the world. Some, such as "M'an
Grosdent," Los Cotorros," "The Presbyter and the Pitch-
Men," came to him in mirth. Others such as "Duendes'
Mead," "The Three Caves," "La Divina Pastora," "A
Morning Vision," came to him in sorrow. All alike, however,
came of themselves, with little or no drudgery of literary
composition. To the genius loci, therefore, is due any merit
they may possess. For their demerits, which doubtless are
numerous, the deficiencies of the medium ought to be remem-
bered. Non sum dignus, though the deity have entered. When,
instead of a dry lawyer, some true vates sacer visits these shores,
or (as will doubtless happen, though the Serpent forgot to
mention it), one springs from the soil, then shall be seen the
fulness of the inspiration of Trinidad woods and caves and
waterfalls, and the amazing Bocas del Drago.

The identities of "Scribbler," who wrote the verses, and
of "Ignotus," who edited them, may safely be left to the
imagination of the reader.

Port of Spain,
29th March, 1922.

CONTENTS.

I. Dedication To A Child 1
II. The Serpent's Prophecy 3
III. Saint Mary's Bay and the Phantom Boat 7
IV. The Authentic Legend of M'an Grosdent 10
V. The Man of Eld's First Tale 14
VI. Corsair's Bay 22
VII. Boca Chimes 35
VIII. The Three Caves 37
IX. La Sierra Del Diablo 31
X. Sainte Marie de Teteron 33
XI. A Morning Vision 42
XII. Los Cotorros 47
XIII. The Soucouyen of Sodor 49
XIV. The Presbyter and the Pitch-Men 51
XV. Paoua's Bay 55
XVI. DUENDES' Mead 58
XVII. Cristobal Colon 73
XVIII. Raleigh's Comings 77
XIX. Lament for Apodocca 81
XX. Nelson and Villeneuve 84
XXI. Picton's Dream 86
XXII. The Man of Eld's Second Tale 92
XXIII. Blackbeard's Song 103
XXIV. Brigand Hill 106
XXV. La Divina Pastora 108
XXVI. Mercedes' Message 122
XXVII. Comparisons 124
XXVIII.A Wraith 127
XXIX. A Boca Rose 129

Epilogue 132


LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.

Statue of Columbus facing page 4
Copper Hole 8
First Boca — Sierra del Diablo and M'an Teteron's Tooth 1o
Hart's Cut : "Goppee" 16
Corsair's Bay (Winn's Bay) 22
Second Boca 26
Teteron Bay 34
Lennegan, In the Five Islands 48
Maracas 50
(a) Pitch Lake 52
(h) Pitch Lake 52
La Tinta Bay, Chacachacare 62
A Cacique's Grave 74
The Road to El Dorado 78
A Mountain Brook 100
Where Teach Landed 106
High Woods 108




INTRODUCTION.

I HAVE been requested by my friend Mr. Justice Russell
to write an introduction to his volume "Legends of the Bocas."

Though I have no qualifications for such a task, I have
undertaken it because he has asked me to do so, and because
I take a very great interest in everything connected with
Trinidad.

Those who have never visited the tropics cannot visualise
the physical beauties of Trinidad with its valleys and clear
running streams, with its mountain ranges clad to their highest
peaks with luxuriant vegetation and lit by a vertical sun whose
fierce rays are tempered by the humidity of the atmosphere.
To the inhabitants of cold grey northern lands, the climate is
enervating; but to those who from youth have lived there,
Trinidad is as a country where it is ever afternoon.

It is a mistake to believe that the inhabitants of the tropics
do not work hard; but it is true that there is no part of the
world where idleness is so easy and so agreeable as in the tropics.
Few of those who have lived long in them can be ignorant of
the temptation to lead a life of dreamy idleness under those
sunny skies. In the pleasant island of Trinidad, Candide's
maxim: "il faut cultiver notre jardin" does not apply; for
a scratch will make its fertile soil yield all that is necessary
for a man of simple wants.

An English visitor recently addressing a Trinidadian re-
posing by the road side, said to him: "What are you doing
there, passing the time, I suppose?" "No," was the reply,
"No, I am letting the time pass me." But it is not because
that attitude is general that no one, so far as I am aware, has
up to now made a collection of the local legends of Trinidad.
It is because the energies of those who are qualified to write
them are fully occupied in developing the resources of the Island,
of which nearly one half still remains under virgin forest. All
good Trinidadians, therefore, and all who have known and loved
Trinidad owe a debt of gratitude to Mr. Justice Russell,
than whom Trinidad has no warmer friend and sympathetic
admirer, for preserving their local legends in the picturesque
and imaginative medium he has chosen for the present volume.

J.R.C.
London, 24.4.22.

p. xi

SOURCE: Legends of the Bocas, Trinidad. By A.D. Russell, London: Cecil Palmer, 1922.



..............................................................................................................................
"Patria est communis omnium parens" - Our native land is the common parent of us all. Keep it beautiful, make it even more so.

Blessed is all of creation
Blessed be my beautiful people
Blessed be the day of our awakening
Blessed is my country
Blessed are her patient hills.

Mweh ka allay!
Guanaguanare

Dedication To A Child [Poem]

I.

DEDICATION
To A Child

Sing a song of aeons! They were on Time's shelf :
Some were clear as crystal, some were dull as delf;
One aglow with glory, another dross and dregs:
But in a row they made a show - like Easter eggs.

Sing a song of childhood! Fate was once a child:
He came a-choosing aeons, and to himself he smiled,
And turned them in his fingers and tossed them in the wind;
And some he caught, and others not - for Fate is blind.

Sing a song of marvels! The aeons found a voice,
And bade their little tyrant be wise and make a choice.
Hear their several stories, spare such as should please :
And so, like you, he listened to such tales as these.

Tales of mighty marvels, of dragons and of deeps;
Islands going sailing, and a gulf that creeps
On and ever onward, till the hills are rent.
And like a pall it covers all a continent.

Plagues that turn to fishes, towns that turn to trees,
Chapel bells a-chiming under whelming seas ;
Witches and their wonders, maids that grow to rocks;
Earth and sky commingled by convulsive shocks.

These things pleased him greatly, till he older grew ;
Then his fancy altered, and he chose anew;
Tales of love and duty, tried in woe and weal:
If less he smiled, 'twas that the Child had learned to feel.

p. 1

As a child has wisdom, so had Fate, and knew
Aeons have their purpose, and their work to do:
Work that's fair and honest, work that's true and brave.
Seed to sow, and grain to grow, and souls to save.

Sing a song of Goodness! Aeons have their day.
But the Will that made them is with us alway;
Time halts at His bidding. Fate lives in His fear.
Oh, may that Will be gracious still to you, my dear.

SCRIBBLER


NOTES

Instead of "A Child" it ought to be "The Child". There
was only one Child in the world for Scribbler. It was writing
for her benefit, probably, made his style what it is. That is
the best excuse we can put forward for Scribbler.

The scenery of the Bocas, generally, is wild, majestic,
soul-stirring. Parts have a softer charm. Our illustrations
may give some idea of the latter. Not of the former - enormous
cleavages among primeval rocks, such as the Second Boca, defy
photography. The Mountains of Paria to Eastward, distinctly
visible, yet far enough removed to look "en-skyed," are a
background to the whole.

To be amid such surroundings and produce only bur-
lesques! Could there be a more signal proof of poetical
deficiency?

Ignotus

..............................................................................................................................
"Patria est communis omnium parens" - Our native land is the common parent of us all. Keep it beautiful, make it even more so.

Blessed is all of creation
Blessed be my beautiful people
Blessed be the day of our awakening
Blessed is my country
Blessed are her patient hills.

Mweh ka allay!
Guanaguanare

The Serpent's Prophecy [Poem]

II. 

THE SERPENT'S PROPHECY.
By A.D. Russell

The Dragon of Paria ruled the land, the Serpent she ruled the sea;
And all went well, till a quarrel befell, concerning Trinity:
The Dragon claimed it for his own, 'twas a link in his mountain chains;
Oh, he spake her fair; but the Serpent was ware, and mocked him for his pains.
The Dragon rose in his rage and his wrath, with his seven heads out-thrust;
She flung twelve leagues of gulf between, and bade him do his worst.

O Golfo triste!

Then he reared himself on the mountain's crest, and reached out over the sea ;
And the smoke of his mouth rolled north and south, and over to Trinity.
He stretched and he strained, his embers rained like a shower of falling stars;
Iëre shook, as his thunders broke on the face of her wave-washed scaurs.
E'en the Serpent shrank, 'neath his neck long and lank, with its seven fierce heads in a bunch;
Then she rose in the air, like a Diable-Mer, and bit it clean through with a crunch!

Isla liberada!

Then the Serpent she sang a wondrous song, a conqueror's song sang she:
"Oh, my waves are red with the Dragon's blood, and Iëre belongs to me;
To have and to hold, to make, to mould, with the wash of my coiling tides,
While the Moon is regent of the sky, and the Southern Cross abides.
Oh, she shall be free, as my waters be, and the winds that o'er them blow;
And she shall have peace, and her fame increase, and her name shall all men know.

Isla fortunada!

"Her seasons shall seem an endless spring, her flowers bloom all year round;
I will make her rich with oil and with pitch in her caverns underground.
And gold shall be found; and the fruits of the ground shall grow and cover her;
Her Triple Hills shall glad the gaze of the Great Discoverer;
And men shall come from many lands to scan her wonders o'er;
There shall be a place for every race, and a welcome aye for more.

Isla amistosa!

"They shall grow as the seed of the Serpent's breed, in wisdom and in worth;
For learing fair shall flourish there, and art have second birth.
Oh, loyalty and liberty shall there go hand in hand;
And equal laws, and the island's cause, shall hoop them as a band.
The island's name, the island's fame, the island's growth and grit,
Shall be their boast' from coast to coast, and the world shall echo it."

Isla milagrosa!


NOTES.

Scribbler was a nonentity on board. The concert at the
hotel was his debut. He recited this rhapsody about the island.
Being visitors, people thought it polite to applaud. The
Magnate, who is deaf, asked to see the words. That was
enough. Scribbler was launched. Thenceforward his pro-
ductions poured out remorselessly.

Yes, yes, it was his own doggerel. Nobody else ever came
forward to claim it. True, that might be because nobody
thought it worth while. In any case. Scribbler made it over
to me as a home product, when he ... .

But that is anticipating. The Magnate knew a lot about
oil. His literary taste, however, was undeveloped. Some noble
lines of mine left him absolutely cold. He could follow what
Scribbler was trying to get at, he said, but my efforts were
beyond him. Scribbler, pedestrian Scribbler, was his man.

Scribbler had helped the Child to get over her sea-sickness.
That, I think, influenced the old man. It certainly did Mrs.
Magnate. He was a thoroughly good-natured fellow, Scribbler,
to give him his due. Children took to him; and if, instead
of legends, he had written a book of nursery rhymes, I believe
it would have been a success.

One thing I didn't like about Scribbler. He was an
unscrupulous inventor. An example will show this.

Columbus, when he discovered the island which he thought
fit to christen "La Trinidad," instead of "Iëre," as the Caribs
(and Scribbler later on) called it, had a rough passage getting
into the Gulf of Paria by the south-east, and called the strait:
La Boca de la Sierpe, "The Serpent's Mouth." (Note.— Sierpe is feminine, in contradistinction to Serpiente, which is
either masculine or feminine; so Scribbler was right as far
as sex goes). The currents had coiled about his caravel, and
the name was a metaphor. Some openings to the north-west
he called: Las Bocas del Drago, "The Dragon's Mouth."
Another metaphor, but less appropriate.

Was Scribbler satisfied with these names? Not he! He
must need invent things which were perfectly untrue, and
work them up in such a way as to make Columbus seem god-
father to his absurdities.

p. 5

A Carib mythology. That is what it really came to be. Now,
is that fair on the poor Caribs? They had a bad name before.
Cannibal comes from Carib, carib-al, we are told. But, however
they may have devoured each other, I don't believe they would
have swallowed Scribbler's mythology. Unhappily, the race
is extinct, at least in this island. Scribbler, therefore, could do
as he liked. And it will be seen he has artfully mixed in a lot
of true stuff, about the island being rich in minerals and things,
just to bamboozle people.

What he says as to "gold being found" is a bloomer. Iron
pyrites there are, in plenty. Sir Walter Raleigh took them for
gold. Or "the Mother of Gold," whatever he meant by that.
Up to date there is no gold mining in the Island.

"Diable-Mer." Somebody lent Scribbler a book: "Sea
Fish of Trinidad" by Harry Vincent. If you want to know
everything about Diable-Mer (being patois for the giant-ray or devil-fish,
manta-birostris
) you will find it there. But
Scribbler always exaggerates and although devil-fish may jump high,
the feat he makes this one do is preposterous.

However, it is Scribbler's poem, not mine. So imprimatur.

By-the-bye, I have a decided objection to the introduction
of foreign words into English literature; and Scribbler's tags
of Spanish, Isla fortunada, Isla amistosa, and all the rest of
it are ... .

Well, they are Scribbler all over.

Triple Hills: i.e. the Trinity Hills at Moruga supposed
to have been the "three peaks with one base" first sighted
by Columbus. On commencing the voyage, be had specially
invoked the assistance of the Blessed Trinity. Naturally,
therefore, it was a miracle.— Hence Scribbler's Isla Milagrosa,
" Miraculous Island " : {See Leqend XVII).

"Golfo triste." So Columbus called the Gulf of Paria.
Others have thought it rather a jolly place. We certainly found it so.

p. 6

SOURCE: Legends of the Bocas, Trinidad, By A.D. Russell, London: Cecil Palmer, 1922. pp. 3-4
..............................................................................................................................
"Patria est communis omnium parens" - Our native land is the common parent of us all. Keep it beautiful, make it even more so.

Blessed is all of creation
Blessed be my beautiful people
Blessed be the day of our awakening
Blessed is my country
Blessed are her patient hills.

Mweh ka allay!
Guanaguanare

St Mary's Bay [Poem]

III. 

ST. MARY'S BAY
By A.D. Russell

St. Mary's Bay is fair by day,
St. Mary's Bay is bright;
Tranquil and deep, the blessed sleep
Which broods o'er it by night;
And well it is our Lady's grace
Defends the charmed spot;
For, in the middle of the night,
Passes the Phantom Boat.

The Phantom Boat, the Phantom Boat !
Who wakes may hear it pass
Sleep sound, sleep Safe, by Mary's grace
Sleep sound and let it pass.


Was that the howl of a dog, or an owl
A-hoot in the Ceiba tree?
What means that note on the night afloat,
As of laughter wild and free
Voices of women and of men,
And the splash of oars between;
Jesus, Maria, guard us then,
'Tis sure no earthly din.

A laugh, a scream! and 'tis gone like a dream;
The splash of oars is o'er;
The pirate rude, and his demon's brood.
Melt into space once more.
Saint Mary holds her Virgin sway.
O'er land and sea and air;
No harm can break their quiet sleep.
Who rest beneath her care.

NOTES.

"Every night? I can't vouch for that," said the Count.
"But one night I stayed here, years ago, it certainly did pass."

We had come "down the islands" Why? Well, as
Scribbler would say, why indeed? Port of Spain is an ideal
tropical city. Also the Queen's Park Hotel, situated on the
spacious Savannah, with Government House and its ornamental
grounds right opposite, was delightful to stay in. Everybody,
however, kept saying: "Go down the islands. You won't
know real Trinidad life till you go down the islands!" So
we went down the islands, and landed on St. Mary's Bay;
and the Count, who was staying at Copper Hole, came to call.

He it was who told us about the ghost. Or, to be more
precise, the Phantom Boat, which passes there nightly.

"The Johnny Walkers were here at the time," he explained.
"No, not the Johnny Walkers you mean. Another family
altogether. Bridge went on till all hours, and it was close on
midnight when my wife and I got to bed. She was busy with
her chapelet. But, of a sudden, "Felix," she said, "did you
hear that boat passing?"

"Do you know, once she mentioned it, I did hear whatever
it was. Plash, plash, plash, at widish intervals, but quite
distinct. Then a sound like voices, vague and only faintly
audible; but, of a sudden, Sainte Vierge Marie" — and the
Count, like a pious aristocrat, crossed himself — "a scream
that made your blood run chill ! I heard quite as much as
I wanted that night, I assure you!"


It seemed for the moment as though life "down the
islands" were going to be something else than we were looking
for. Under cross-examination, however, the Count modified
the horrific element.

The scream? Yes, certainly he and his wife had both
heard it. But there had been laughter too. More laughter
than screaming.

"We thought perhaps it was people from some of the
other Bays."

("Bay" in their Creole parlance means a house on one of
these islets. Naturally they select a bay suitable for bathing,
when they want to build).

"But no; they were all people we knew, and could not
reasonably suspect of running a spree at that hour of the night.
I would have stayed on, but my wife would not hear of it.
We made an excuse and left the next morning."

p. 8


"Whose boat is it?" piped the Child.
"Blackbeard's," replied the Count conclusively.
"Who is Blackbeard?"

Ma chere, you have never read 'Tom Cringle's Log' or
'The Master of Ballantrae' Otherwise you would know that
'Blackbeard' was a noted pirate. He visited Trinidad in 1716,
and pillaged a ship loaded with cocoa in the harbour. Merely
that, I believe, so far as facts go. But legends—oh, galore!

"Why does he come to Saint Mary's Bay?"

"After buried treasure, I suppose. Isn't that the regular
thing in the story books?"

"Yes, yes, of course. I ought to have guessed it. He wants
to come on shore, but that lovely statue of Saint Mary in front
prevents his landing."

"Right, right, my child. — A cocktail? No thank you. —
Good gracious, you have got hold of Henry!"

The dusky one-eyed compounder of inebriants grinned all
over. He was evidently a celebrity—like Blackbeard.

"There's the man to give you stories of ghosts and
soucouyens. Well, chin-chin."

"What is a soucouyen?" queried the Child.

"My dear it is late, and the remous is just beginning."

"What is the remous?"

The Count made a dash for his hat, and ran down the
gravel path. "An revoir," he called out, getting into his boat.
"Henry will enlighten you on local topics."

Whether or not the Phantom Boat passed that night, this
deponent is unable to say. The Magnate had the Manager of
his Oil Company bawling at him all night, about derricks and
sumps and seeps and financial matters. Blackbeard and ship-
mates would nave wanted powerful megaphones to get a
hearing.

Next morning, at early coffee, however. Scribbler was to
the fore with his inevitable "legend." A short one, for a
mercy. He afterwards got somebody — the Child, I suspect — to
set it to music. Nobody, thank goodness, seemed to care to
sing it. Not on account of the music, I assured the Child.
She made some unintelligible remark, and left the room.

p. 9


SOURCE:
Legends of the Bocas, Trinidad. By A.D. Russell, London: Cecil Palmer, 1922. p.7
..............................................................................................................................
"Patria est communis omnium parens" - Our native land is the common parent of us all. Keep it beautiful, make it even more so.

Blessed is all of creation
Blessed be my beautiful people
Blessed be the day of our awakening
Blessed is my country
Blessed are her patient hills.

Mweh ka allay!
Guanaguanare

Boca Chimes [Poem]

VII. BOCA CHIMES.
By A.D. Russell

In the air there is a chiming, stealing far from out the west,
Where the crimson sun is sinking, o'er the mountains to his rest.
Oft, at eve, I hear that chiming, solemn, silvery, dying fast;
'Tis as from some Chapel hidden 'mid these Bocas wild and vast.
Chime, chime, chime ! God is Eternity, the world is Time !

Oft, at eve, I've sought that chiming ; sought it by the lone sea shore,
'Mong the islets and the reaches, where the seabird hovers o'er;
'Mid the ebb- and 'mid the flow-tide, 'mid the remous' rune-like moan,
Till my heart is sick with longing, and my eyes are weary grown.
Chime, chime, chime ! God is Eternity, the world is Time!

Somewhere, somewhere that fair Chapel hidden lies from mortal ken,
In an elder world of wonder, for a race of sinless men ;
And they kneel in the old arches, young and old, and evermore
Rises up the rich, undoubting, simple faith of days of yore.
Chime, chime, chime ! God is Eternity, the world is Time!

Might I find it, might I enter, kneel within its hallowed shrine,
Lave me at its mossy fountain, it might calm this heart of mine;
Still the anguish, still the grieving, heal all sorrow, cleanse all sin . . .
But the Way is deep in shadow, and the Light is all within.
Chime, chime, chime ! God is Eternity, the world is Time!


NOTES.

Somebody, I forget who, entertained us one day with a
vague tradition, said to exist among the fisher people, about
voices being heard in the Second Boca.

Men's voices. Young men's, I think, the idea was.

Certainly no women's.

Scribbler takes a hold of this, and of course spoils it. He
must have a mixed congregation, or the Child would be dis-
pleased. He deliberately sacrifices what might have been a
sort of Parsifal Legend. Yes, sacrifices it. For surely the
natural thing would have been to introduce Papa Teteron
and his sons as Cenobites, leading a mysterious life like
Amfortas, or whatever his name was, and his sons.

But no, Scribbler always knew better than anyone else.

SOURCE: Legends of the Bocas, Trinidad. By A.D. Russell, London: Cecil Palmer, 1922. pp. 25-26
..............................................................................................................................
"Patria est communis omnium parens" - Our native land is the common parent of us all. Keep it beautiful, make it even more so.

Blessed is all of creation
Blessed be my beautiful people
Blessed be the day of our awakening
Blessed is my country
Blessed are her patient hills.

Mweh ka allay!
Guanaguanare

The Authentic Legend of M'an Grosdent [Poem]

IV.

THE AUTHENTIC LEGEND OF M'AN GROSDENT
(As told by an Irish Dominican Father)

Oh, M'an Grosdent was a witch indeed.
And a grand old witch was she;
She sold her soul to the Devil twice.
And cheated him of his fee.
But when it came to the third compact.
The Devil he swore an oath.
That he would have M'an Grosdent's soul.
Though she were never so loath.

 Oh M'an Grosdent, Dent M'an Grosdent!

He gave her the girth of the good green earth,
And the height of the clouds that soar.
And a voice that spoke like a thunder peal.
Or the wild Tornado's roar;
He gave her the speed of the rushing winds,
And the strength of the whelming seas;
And teeth that could bite through the hardest rock,
For she bargained for all these.

Oh M'an Grosdent, Dent M'an Grosdent!

Seven hundred years he granted her.
To do as she should please;
The earth was weary of her deeds.
Aweary were the seas.
She slew the infant in its cot.
The monarch on his throne.
She grew and she slew, till the years ran through
And the Devil came for his own.

Oh M'an Grosdent, Dent M'an Grosdent!

p. 10

But when the Devil saw her there, Tis sore afraid was he;
For she had grown so tall, so stout.
He readied scarce to her knee
"Oh come with me, Machree," says he,
"And come with me, my dear:
"Have I not done your full pleasure,
"So many and many a year?"

Oh M'an Grosdent. Dent M'an Grosdent!

"My full pleasure," quoth she, "forsooth!
"Small pleasure have I known;
"But if I need must go with you,
"Tis go I must, ochone!
"So make your back both strong and broad,
"And fly with me with heed;
"For I'm old and frail, and if I fall,
"Oh, 'twill be the Devil indeed! ''

Oh, M'an Grosdent, Dent M'an Grosdent !

The Devil he flew o'er Montserrat,
With M'an Grosdent on his back ;
But when he saw Tucuche's height.
He cried, "Ochone, alack!
"I never can fly so high," said he.
"With such an awful load;"
And he turned from the hills, and made for the isles.
And he spilt her on the road!

Oh, M'an Grosdent, Dent M'an Grosdent !

At Diego Martin, 'tis known for certain.
She came down with a thud;
For witches there, enough and to spare.
Have sprung from the witch's blood.
Her heart is buried at Hart's Cut,
Her head is Gasparee ;
And there in sooth, you may see her tooth.
Oh, a good mile out at sea.

Oh, M'an Grosdent, Dent M'an Grosdent !

p. 11

And do you doubt this legend old?
Or is it proof you crave?
Go, visit Gasparee, my child.
And see the wondrous cave,
Oh, that is M'an Grosdent's brain-pan;
The little Cave's her eye;
And if you don't believe it now.
Why - neither in truth do I!

Oh, M'an Grosdent, Dent M'an Grosdent!

S.

NOTES

The Count took us to Pointe Baleine, where the remains of an old whale-oil refinery still stand to explain the name. What we went to see, however, was "The Caves" : (see Legend VIII. )

Towards the evening the parish priest of Diego Martin and the Isles came to call, and brought with him one of the Fathers from Saint Mary's College. Two such brogues you never heard! One could observe Scribbler assimilating them for literary purposes.

The next legend was bound to be "brogued."

A rock in the First Boca is pointed out to visitors as "M'an (i.e., Madame) Teteron's Tooth." Teteron Village, called after a respectable French-Creole family of the same designation, is close by. Hence the nickname. No harm is thought of it. Who the individual ancestress was, nobody knows. Nobody cares either. The rock has always been called so. It is rather a family distinction.

Now, had Scribbler invented something complimentary, something nice, to explain the size of the lady's tooth, probably the Teteron family would have complimented him. With a fine mackerel, say. Or a fair-sized grouper. When not too large, a grouper, done with a good wine sauce (Vieille au vin), is a most delicious dish.

No, no: that is not Scribbler's way.

p. 12

The name Teteron is not sonorous enough for him. Also he is a Royalist. Round-heads, Cromwell's men, are his historical antipathies. French Round-heads, Têtes-rondes, even in the twentieth century and the West Indies, and though the best Catholics in the world, find Scribbler indifferent, not to say hostile. To work up a lagging inspiration he must change the name.

Now, to me, this appears mean. The Teteron family were in possession, so to speak, and entitled to mention. Still, blessings sometimes come in disguise, and so it happened to the Teterons. Scribbler's explanation of the Tooth was not nice, not complimentary.

You will read it in the legend. Endorse it personally, I will not! M'an Gros-Dent (Grosse-Dent) and her creator, must settle matters between themselves. I am thankful, at any rate, that the respectable M'an Teteron is out of it.

"Diego Martin Witches." Father O'Dowd, who is a wag, stuffed Scribbler with tales about women who wrote Latin, yet could not read a word of English, and such-like fairy tales. Scribbler, having no sense of humour, took it all senously.

"Hart's Cut," however, is a deliberate attempt to mislead the reader. The word is "Hart,'' not heart, to begin with. Also it was clearly explained to Scribbler that it stood for a gaoler of the name of Lovelace-Hart, who employed the prisoners on Carrera Island, a penal settlement halt a mile away, to make the cut or canal which bears his name. Scribbler was really too unscrupulous.

Tucuche is commonly reputed to be the highest mountain in the island. Cerro Naranjo, in Toco, and Aripo, near Arima, however, dispute the claim.

Montserrat is a lowish range in the centre of the island. On its slopes flourish many nine cocoa estates, belonging to old French-Creole families, including the Count's. According to him, the allegation that the Devil flew o'er Montserrat is likely to be resented. They are all sportsmen and good Catholics, and would have shot the Devil at sight, had he really come there.

"Neither in truth do I." This is the most bare-faced hoax of all. I think it decidedly unfair of Scribbler to have gone away, and left me to bear the brunt of publishing it. Only an elevated consciousness of rectitude, besides my plighted word to the deceased, induces me to shoulder die responsibility.

I.

 p. 13

SOURCE: Legends of the Bocas, Trinidad. By A.D. Russell, London: Cecil Palmer, 1922. pp. 10-13


..............................................................................................................................
"Patria est communis omnium parens" - Our native land is the common parent of us all. Keep it beautiful, make it even more so.

Blessed is all of creation
Blessed be my beautiful people
Blessed be the day of our awakening
Blessed is my country
Blessed are her patient hills.

Mweh ka allay!
Guanaguanare

A Morning Vision [Poem]

XL. A MORNING VISION.

I lay when dawn was breaking.
And dreamed of days that were;
The lapless tide was waking,
And birds began to stir,
E'en as they might in England
In a green midsummer.

All in a leafy thicket
Of jasmin, cool and lush.
They were as gay a picket
As ever sang in bush
The Chow-chow, he sang loudest.
Sweet as an English thrush.

Well might his song be thrush-like,
A thrush, a thrush is he;
His varied notes, they gush like
The song of brook or sea;
His cousin over the water
Chants not more cheerily.

To him lest bard should tender
Some lesser meed of fame.
No touch of tropic splendour
Belies his sober claim —
A plain grey English minstrel
Under an Indian name.

Alike is your true singer
In all the climes that be;
He loves the bright day-bringer.
He loves the pleasant lea;
Not, not the swamp, the jungle,
Nor yet the lonesome sea.

There richer hues may glimmer,
As gruesome beasts go by —
The snake with coral shimmer,
The hawk with emerald eye;
The gull shrill to the tempest.
The parrot shriek on high.

The songster scans the clearing,
He is a merry thief ;
With songs and ways endearing.
He steals away your grief;
And well he knows the "Julie,"
The corn, the cabbage leaf.

The God-bird — have you guessed it !
Your old-world "Jenny Wren!"
Here, too, a favoured guest, it
Frequents the haunts of men.
One high within my chamber
Made chirp enough for ten.

In gamut still ascending,
Without, the Jacamar,
Trilled on and on, unending;
I knew his note from far:
Methinks the quaintest choir-bird
Of all the birds that are.

A dozen little Grass-birds
Along my lattice came.
All with their proper pass-words.
Each with his family name;
Their chief, the Pico-Plata,
Of ancient Spanish fame.

In black and white and yellow,
A rich Canary hue,
With cheery notes, and mellow.
The Honey-Creeper flew.
And perched on my old pipe-rack,
To join the merry crew.

These, ay, and many, many
A happy bird beside.
Sang joyously; nor any
Gave heed to how I sighed,
A-listening to their lilting.
That might not be denied.

And still I lay a- dreaming,
And mourning on my bed
Till all the east was beaming
And half the west was red;
A Colibri came flashing.
And hovered o'er my head.

Vermilion tiny ringlets
Looped in a golden crest;
Two ruby flames for winglets.
And tiny opal breast,
So busily it bickered,
Not might a moment rest.

Ah, winged gem, no sadness
Might ever dwell with you!
An ecstasy, a madness.
Dull mortals never knew,
Roared like a fairy furnace
Your rushing pinions through.

Rose-flashing, fiery-darting.
Passion- or angel-bid,
It touched my eyes; and, smarting
In orb and drowsy lid,
I saw a sudden glory
From common vision hid.

Blue was the sky with millions
Of souls in azure sheen;
Star spoke to star, and trillions
Of voices sang between;
A never-ending present
Was as the past had been . . . .

A-top of an old stable,
My window near below,
Loud, loud, as he was able,
A cock began to crow;
My morning vision ended.
And left me to my woe.

pp. 40-45


NOTES.

Supposed to have been "beholden" at Pointe Baleine. This
is another production belonging to the period of Scribbler's
mourning for his comrade-in-arms. Cf. Legend VIII. Here,
it is noticeable, his grief is more resigned.

"L'Enfant y est pour quelque chose." (the Child has some-
thing to do with it), the Count declared.

Certainly the description of local song-birds, constituting
the main interest of the poem, is playful, not to say humorous,
in tone. It is exceptionally accurate too. Why? For a very
simple reason; the Chile! began a collection of wild birds,
and Scribbler had to study what he was writing about — a thing
he very seldom troubled to do.

"Colibri," i.e., humming-bird. The description given cor-
responds to Trochilus Moschitus, the ruby-hued variety. By
the bye, the theory about tropical song-birds being plain-
coloured and frequenting cultivated parts, while gaudy ones
are songless or utter only raucous cries and belong to the
jungle, etc., originated with the Magnate. He, now, was an
accurate observer. Remarkably good-natured too as a rule.
When Scribbler stole the idea and put it in his verses, far from
being angry the old man seemed quite bucked. Scribbler
was a favourite with him. He knew his people in Canada,
who, it came out later, were in a more important position
than anyone would have imagined who only knew Scribbler.
(See Legend XXVII).

The Magnate never liked me. He pretended to fall asleep
when I explained how birds were classified : raptores, incessores,
rasores, etc.; and once, on the voyage, when he found me sitting
on deck with the Child, he was positively rude, I thought.

p. 45


"Chow-chow,"(alias "day-clean" (because he heralds the
dawn) or "Mocking Thrush, really a kind of thrush. A
remarkable variety of notes^ and would-be-dignified way of
strutting about, with funny little half-flights. Chow-chow ts a
phonetic rendering of his call to his mate.

"Godbird." Everybody knows the old rhyme: "Robin
Redbreast and Jenny wren are God's cock and hen." It is
curious to find something analogous in the West Indies. Notes
rather loud for "chamber music," which, however, he specially
cultivates.

"Jacamar" This is more of an operatic fellow, going up
and up chromatically, and getting very excited in the process.
Long tail tipped with white.

"Grass-birds." So called because they feed on grass seeds;
a numerous family, most of them with pretty little notes.

"Pico-Plata" ("Silver-beak,") is really a high-class per-
former. They are pugnacious little birds, despite their French
patois nickname: "Cici Zebe." Cici means little fellow or
puny thing; Zebe stands for des herbes. {See "Qiseaux de
I'Ile de la Trinidad," par A. Leotaud. Port d'Espagne, 1866,
page 326.)

"Honeycreeper" or Sucrier; very common, notes cheery,
though not (to my ear) particularly sweet. Rather smaller,
but same colour, as the wild canary.

SOURCE: Legends of the Bocas, Trinidad. By A.D. Russell, London: Cecil Palmer, 1922. pp. 42-46

..............................................................................................................................
"Patria est communis omnium parens" - Our native land is the common parent of us all. Keep it beautiful, make it even more so.

Blessed is all of creation
Blessed be my beautiful people
Blessed be the day of our awakening
Blessed is my country
Blessed are her patient hills.

Mweh ka allay!
Guanaguanare