Caribbean Beat — January/February 2018 (#149)

A calendar of events; music, film, and book reviews; travel features; people profiles, and much more.

A calendar of events; music, film, and book reviews; travel features; people profiles, and much more.


You also want an ePaper? Increase the reach of your titles

YUMPU automatically turns print PDFs into web optimized ePapers that Google loves.

Is your Lady Luck<br />

a princess?<br />

Princess Hotels and Casinos<br />

Belize<br />

Ramada Belize City Princess Hotel<br />

Princess Belize City Casino<br />

Princess Freezone Hotel and Casino<br />

Next Night Club – San Ignacio<br />

Elite Night Club – Belize City<br />

Princess San Ignacio Casino<br />

Dominican Republic<br />

Ramada Santo Domingo Princess Hotel<br />

Princess Santo Domingo Casino<br />

Guatemala<br />

Guyana<br />

Ramada Georgetown Princess Hotel<br />

Princess Georgetown Casino<br />

Princess Cinemas and Arcade<br />

Next Night Club – Georgetown<br />

Nicaragua<br />

Princess Nicaragua Casino<br />

Next Night Club – Managua<br />

Panama<br />

Sercotel Panama Princess Hotel<br />

Princess Casino<br />

Saint Maarten<br />

Princess Coliseum Casino<br />

Princess Tropicana Casino<br />

Suriname<br />

Ramada Paramaribo Princess Hotel<br />

Princess Suriname Casino<br />

Princess Paramaribo Casino<br />

Trinidad<br />

Princess Movietowne – Port of Spain<br />

Princess Price Plaza – Chaguanas<br />

Southpark Princess – San Fernando<br />

Next Night Club – San Fernando<br />

HOTELS &<br />


Guatemala Princess Casino –<br />

Galerias Prima<br />

Princess Port de Plaisance Hotel<br />

and Casino<br />

www.worldofprincess.com<br />

Play responsibly

Aspire for a more luxurious holistic living experience?<br />

Re -Define the way you live.<br />

Living Re - Defined<br />

Enjoy the Affordable Luxury of<br />

THE<br />

Just outside the city center in the peaceful upmarket suburb of<br />

Bacolet, you’ll find The Inez – Tobago’s first fully integrated development.<br />

Enjoy the good life with luxurious residential living,<br />

unmatched amenities and outdoor living spaces.<br />

THE<br />

Re-Define the way you live.<br />

Land Lots | Townhouses & Single Family Dwellings |<br />

Shopping Mall | Nature Trails | Restaurants & Nightlife | Beach Access<br />


Inquiries:<br />

Inez Investments Limited<br />

Email address: info@ inezinvestmentstt.com<br />

Phone contact: 1 (868) 680 7813<br />

Facebook: Inezttliving<br />


BANK<br />

on the<br />

APP!<br />

It’s the all-you-need-to-do-your-banking-anywhere, kind of APP!<br />

• Transfer Funds • Pay Bills • Pay Credit Cards<br />

• Check Account Balances and More!<br />

Download it today!


Contents<br />

No. 149 <strong>January</strong>/<strong>February</strong> <strong>2018</strong><br />

76<br />

42<br />

EMBARK<br />

19 Datebook<br />

Events around the <strong>Caribbean</strong> in<br />

<strong>January</strong> and <strong>February</strong>, from Bahamas<br />

Junkanoo to Guyana’s Mashramani<br />

to Carnival celebrations up and down<br />

the islands, plus St Lucia’s Nobel<br />

Laureates Festival, a marathon in<br />

Haiti, and the world-famous Havana<br />

Book Fair<br />

26 Word of Mouth<br />

It’s Carnival time! Come on a<br />

panyard lime with Barbara Jenkins,<br />

experience the thrilling, shapeshifting<br />

ritual of J’Ouvert in a poem<br />

by Shivanee Ramlochan, and discover<br />

Carriacou’s unique Shakespeare mas.<br />

Meanwhile, Jamaica celebrates its<br />

musical heritage at Reggae Month<br />

34 the game<br />

Superhero moves<br />

Inspired since childhood by the<br />

Power Rangers TV show, Jamaican<br />

taekwondo champ Akino Lindsay<br />

uses martial arts to change his life<br />

and inspire other young people in<br />

Kingston’s toughest communities,<br />

writes Kellie Magnus<br />

36 Bookshelf, playlist, and<br />

screenshots<br />

This month’s reading, listening, and<br />

film-watching picks, to keep you<br />

culturally up-to-date<br />


42 closeup<br />

Walk tall<br />

It’s one of the oldest masquerades<br />

in T&T’s Carnival, brought across<br />

the Atlantic from West Africa. The<br />

moko jumbie tradition once seemed<br />

to be dying away, but in recent<br />

years a handful of enthusiasts have<br />

created a moko jumbie revival,<br />

training hundreds of young people<br />

in the art of stilt-walking. Ray Funk<br />

investigates, and explains the power<br />

of these towering figures<br />

57 backstory<br />

How to win the road<br />

T&T’s Carnival is full of rivalries and<br />

competitions, and none is more fierce<br />

than the annual Road March battle.<br />

Mark Lyndersay traces the history of<br />

the musical title that reflects the will<br />

of masqueraders on the street <strong>—</strong> and<br />

we dare to share our picks for the top<br />

ten Road March songs from the 1930s<br />

to the present day<br />

72 own words<br />

“I’m unfinished”<br />

Tobago-born actor Winston Duke,<br />

appearing in the eagerly awaited<br />

Black Panther movie, on his love of<br />

stories and magical realism, how his<br />

village childhood shaped his ethos,<br />

and his love of soca music <strong>—</strong> as told to<br />

Caroline Taylor<br />

ARRIVE<br />

76 Destination<br />

Escape to Tobago<br />

Even at the height of Carnival season,<br />

Trinidad’s sister island maintains its<br />

laid-back, tranquil vibe. Need to<br />

escape from the fetes and frenzy?<br />

Welcome to Tobago’s beaches and<br />

bays, forests and waterfalls <strong>—</strong> a<br />

natural vitamin shot for the soul<br />

94 Neighbourhood<br />

Gustavia, St Barthélemy<br />

The picturesque capital of St Barts<br />

took a beating during Hurricane Irma<br />

<strong>—</strong> but was soon ready to welcome<br />

visitors again, to enjoy its Gallic<br />

charms with a Scandinavian twist<br />

96 round trip<br />

Art in the open<br />

Year-round, across the <strong>Caribbean</strong>,<br />

you can experience art in the street,<br />

in public spaces, out in the open <strong>—</strong><br />

no need to buy a museum ticket.<br />

Here are murals, monuments, and<br />

even an impromptu art gallery in<br />

Port-au-Prince<br />

ENGAGE<br />

106 green<br />

what follows the storm<br />

In September 2017, Hurricane Maria<br />

devastated Dominica’s houses,<br />

businesses, and infrastructure. But the<br />


<strong>Caribbean</strong><strong>Beat</strong><br />

An MEP publication<br />

96<br />

Editor Nicholas Laughlin<br />

General manager Halcyon Salazar<br />

Design artists Kevon Webster & Bridget van Dongen<br />

Web editor Caroline Taylor<br />

Editorial assistant Shelly-Ann Inniss<br />

Business Development Manager,<br />

Tobago and International<br />

Evelyn Chung<br />

T: (868) 684 4409<br />

E: evelyn@meppublishers.com<br />

Business Development<br />

Representative, Trinidad<br />

Mark-Jason Ramesar<br />

T: (868) 775-6110<br />

E: mark@meppublishers.com<br />

storm also took a toll on the Nature<br />

Isle’s forests and wildlife <strong>—</strong> a major<br />

blow for an economy that depends on<br />

eco-tourism. Paul Crask reports<br />

Business Development Manager<br />

Yuri Chin Choy<br />

T: (868) 460 0068, 622 3821<br />

E: yuri@meppublishers.com<br />

108the deal<br />

Seaweed for sale<br />

For St Lucian Johanan Dujon,<br />

sargassum-covered beaches are’t just a<br />

problem <strong>—</strong> they’re an opportunity. As<br />

Erline Andrews learns, Dujon has his<br />

eye on a regional market for his Algas<br />

Organics line of fertilisers<br />

110 On this day<br />

A distant light<br />

A small speck of land at the northern<br />

end of the Leewards, Sombrero<br />

Island is known to few <strong>—</strong> but has a<br />

surprisngly colourful history. James<br />

Ferguson tells tales of shipwrecks,<br />

guano mines, and the 150-year-old<br />

lighthouse that saved countless sailors’<br />

lives in the dangerous Anegada<br />

Passage<br />

112 puzzles<br />

Enjoy our crossword, sudoku, and<br />

other brain-teasers!<br />

Media & Editorial Projects Ltd.<br />

6 Prospect Avenue, Maraval, Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago<br />

T: (868) 622 3821/5813/6138 • F: (868) 628 0639<br />

E: caribbean-beat@meppublishers.com<br />

Website: www.meppublishers.com<br />

Read and save issues of <strong>Caribbean</strong> <strong>Beat</strong> on your smartphone,<br />

tablet, computer, and favourite digital devices!<br />

Printed by Solo Printing Inc., Miami, Florida<br />

<strong>Caribbean</strong> <strong>Beat</strong> is published six times a year for <strong>Caribbean</strong> Airlines by Media & Editorial Projects Ltd. It is also available on<br />

subscription. Copyright © <strong>Caribbean</strong> Airlines <strong>2018</strong>. All rights reserved. ISSN 1680–6158. No part of this magazine may be<br />

reproduced in any form whatsoever without the written permission of the publisher. MEP accepts no responsibility for<br />

content supplied by our advertisers. The views of the advertisers are theirs and do not represent MEP in any way.<br />

Website: www.caribbean-airlines.com<br />

118 onboard entertainment<br />

Music and movies to keep you busy<br />

in the air<br />

120 parting shot<br />

On Union Island, colourful produce<br />

makes a still life of a vendor‘s stall<br />

The <strong>Caribbean</strong> Airlines logo shows a hummingbird in flight. Native to the <strong>Caribbean</strong>, the hummingbird represents<br />

flight, travel, vibrancy, and colour. It encompasses the spirit of both the region and <strong>Caribbean</strong> Airlines.<br />


Cover Stephanie Kanhai<br />

of the Touch D Sky moko<br />

jumbie group on the road<br />

at T&T’s Carnival 2017<br />

Photo Maria Nunes<br />

This issue’s contributors include:<br />

Born in Britain and resident in Dominica since<br />

2005, Paul Crask (“What follows the storm”, page<br />

106) is an independent writer, photographer, and<br />

magazine publisher. He is the author of two Bradt<br />

travel guides and the creator of Dominica Traveller<br />

magazine: www.dominicatraveller.com.<br />

Ray Funk (“Walk tall”, page 42) is a mostly retired<br />

Alaskan trial judge who has been passionately<br />

researching Trinidad Carnival arts for two decades.<br />

He writes regularly for the Trinidad Guardian.<br />

Barbara Jenkins (“Pan jumbie”, page 26) immerses<br />

herself in reading and writing, visiting children and<br />

grandchildren, cooking, tending weeds, and in the<br />

calm citrine waters of Macqueripe Bay. Her novel De<br />

Rightest Place will be published in <strong>2018</strong>.<br />

Mark Lyndersay (“How to win the road”, page 55)<br />

is a Trinidadian photographer and journalist. His<br />

BitDepth is the longest running newspaper column<br />

reporting on technology in the country.<br />

Kellie Magnus (“Superhero moves”, page 34) is a<br />

Jamaican author who writes primarily for children.<br />

She also runs the Jamaica Safer Communities<br />

Programme for Fight for Peace International,<br />

an NGO that uses martial arts combined with<br />

education to realise the potential of young people<br />

in communities affected by violence.<br />

Attillah Springer (“How to win the road” page 55)<br />

is a Trinidad-born writer, DJ, and flag woman. She<br />

is one of the conveners of Say Something, a media<br />

advocacy group working on issues of gender-based<br />

violence, and a director of Idakeda, a collective of<br />

women in her family creating cultural interventions<br />

for social change.<br />




delpixel/shutterstock.com<br />

Havana, Cuba <strong>—</strong> <strong>Caribbean</strong> Airlines’<br />

newest destination<br />

Hello <strong>Caribbean</strong>, and Happy New Year!<br />

I am delighted to have joined <strong>Caribbean</strong><br />

Airlines at the end of 2017. Leading this<br />

passionate team inspires me, as I see<br />

our tremendous potential to connect the<br />

<strong>Caribbean</strong> and beyond. As a company,<br />

we are looking forward to executing<br />

the transformation that the airline must<br />

embrace to compete successfully.<br />

<strong>Caribbean</strong> Airlines is an authentic<br />

<strong>Caribbean</strong> airline, and we provide a<br />

genuine <strong>Caribbean</strong> experience on all our<br />

services. Our professional teams offer<br />

you the warmth of the islands both on<br />

and off the aircraft, and we will continue<br />

to share <strong>Caribbean</strong> culture and energy<br />

with you.<br />

As the airline which knows the region<br />

best, our vision is to connect the <strong>Caribbean</strong><br />

by sharing more of it with you,<br />

and to bring our beautiful islands closer<br />

together. The airline business is about<br />

providing the service that our customers<br />

want, and we have listened to your<br />

feedback. Based on what you have told<br />

us, our campaign to connect the region<br />

more closely begins on 13 <strong>January</strong>, with<br />

the launch of service to Havana, Cuba,<br />

our twentieth destination.<br />

<strong>Caribbean</strong> Airlines will fly twice<br />

weekly from Piarco International Airport<br />

in Trinidad, every Tuesday and Saturday,<br />

with easy connections to and from<br />

Barbados, Grenada, and Guyana. Now<br />

business, leisure, and other travellers<br />

can easily connect to Cuba and enjoy<br />

all that this charming country offers.<br />

Cuba is the <strong>Caribbean</strong>’s largest<br />

island. It is rich in history and culture, with<br />

a captivating mystique. Vintage cars still<br />

cruise the streets, and the beautiful old<br />

buildings of Cuba’s colonial cities evoke<br />

the feel of a country frozen in time. The<br />

island is almost eight hundred miles from<br />

end to end, and it abounds in natural<br />

beauty, with some of the <strong>Caribbean</strong>’s<br />

most dazzling beaches. Cuba’s depth<br />

and diversity make it one of the world’s<br />

most fascinating countries.<br />

<strong>Caribbean</strong> Airlines is also looking<br />

inward, with a laser focus on customer<br />

experience and a view to growing our<br />

business. To enhance our commercial<br />

planning, we will concentrate on<br />

research, route development, and<br />

developing a schedule based on your<br />

needs. You can look forward to new and<br />

exciting developments in key areas as<br />

<strong>2018</strong> unfolds.<br />

<strong>January</strong> and <strong>February</strong> are busy<br />

months in the <strong>Caribbean</strong>, and you<br />

can fly with us to many of the events<br />

taking place. The Mustique Blues Festival<br />

runs from 25 to 31 <strong>January</strong>, at an<br />

exclusive venue overlooking the majestic<br />

<strong>Caribbean</strong> Sea. You can fly with us<br />

to St Vincent and connect from there.<br />

Grenada Sailing Week takes place<br />

from 29 <strong>January</strong> to 3 <strong>February</strong>: this<br />

regatta is becoming increasingly popular,<br />

and is now a signature event on the<br />

<strong>Caribbean</strong> calendar.<br />

Other events include the Holetown<br />

Festival in Barbados (11 to 18<br />

<strong>February</strong>) and Mashramani in Guyana<br />

(23 <strong>February</strong>), which is billed as the<br />

most colourful festival of the year<br />

and celebrates Guyana’s becoming a<br />

Republic on 23 <strong>February</strong>, 1970. With<br />

several daily flights to and from Guyana,<br />

<strong>Caribbean</strong> Airlines will certainly get you<br />

there! You can see a detailed <strong>Caribbean</strong><br />

calendar in the Datebook section of this<br />

magazine. Please take a copy home<br />

with you, with our compliments.<br />

At <strong>Caribbean</strong> Airlines, it is our<br />

privilege to serve you. Please visit our<br />

website at www.caribbean-airlines.<br />

com; become a fan by liking us on<br />

Facebook at www.facebook.com/<br />

caribbeanairlines; and follow us on<br />

Twitter and Instagram @iflycaribbean.<br />

Best wishes to you and your families<br />

for <strong>2018</strong>!<br />

Garvin Medera<br />

Chief Executive Officer<br />


datebook<br />

Your guide to <strong>Caribbean</strong> events in <strong>January</strong> and <strong>February</strong>, from<br />

Junkanoo in the Bahamas to Carnival across the region<br />

Don’t miss . . .<br />

Carnival<br />

11 to 14 <strong>February</strong><br />

Martinique<br />

Colour, spontaneity, extravagance, and<br />

wild energy jam through Carnival parade<br />

routes across the French <strong>Caribbean</strong>,<br />

following weeks of events leading up<br />

to the big masquerade. Biguine music,<br />

creole dance moves, and general antics<br />

will put a spring in your step.<br />

T photography/shutterstock.com<br />


datebook<br />

If you’re in . . .<br />


MIAMI<br />

St Lucia<br />

PAUL ATKINSON/shutterstock.com<br />

Accompong Festival<br />

6 <strong>January</strong><br />

Marcus Garvey said “a people without<br />

the knowledge of their past history,<br />

origin, and culture is like a tree<br />

without roots.” That isn’t the case<br />

below the wide-spreading Kindah<br />

Tree in Accompong, the headquarters<br />

of the Maroon community in<br />

St Elizabeth, Jamaica. Every year,<br />

hundreds of Maroons and non-<br />

Maroons gather to observe their<br />

independence from the British, and<br />

the honoured Kindah Tree is the main<br />

stage. Storytelling and traditional<br />

dances go down under this sacred<br />

mango tree <strong>—</strong> a symbol of unity.<br />

Before 1739, Captain Cudjoe, the<br />

fierce Maroon leader, held important<br />

meetings and ceremonies there.<br />

Today, in the spirit of<br />

remembrance, the abeng horn <strong>—</strong><br />

once used for communication among<br />

isolated settlements <strong>—</strong> is blown to<br />

commence the festivities. Women<br />

chant and men beat the drums in<br />

procession towards the tree. Prepare<br />

for libations of white rum flicked<br />

into the crowd, to fend off evil spirits<br />

and bring luck. But what good is a<br />

rum shower without food? To end<br />

the ceremony, the crowd gathers for<br />

a meal of unsalted and unseasoned<br />

pork with yams. And, of course, a<br />

sound-system party that continues<br />

until dawn.<br />

holbox/shutterstock.com<br />

Art Deco Weekend<br />

12 to 14 <strong>January</strong><br />

artdecoweekend.com<br />

In downtown Miami, skyscrapers<br />

embrace the horizon, and<br />

architectural elements from various<br />

cultural influences abound. But if you<br />

appreciate the historical phenomenon<br />

of Art Deco, head over the bay to<br />

Miami Beach, which boasts one of the<br />

world’s most celebrated collections<br />

of Art Deco buildings <strong>—</strong> described<br />

as a “modern take on neoclassical,<br />

one that is equally historic, retro,<br />

and fabulous.” Over eight hundred<br />

structures built between 1923 and<br />

1943 make up the Miami Beach Art<br />

Deco Historic District <strong>—</strong> including a<br />

row of lavishly refurbished, rainbowhued<br />

hotels with prime views of the<br />

Atlantic.<br />

And even if you’re not into the<br />

architecture, but just want to shake a<br />

leg and be entertained, the Miami Art<br />

Deco Weekend programme will keep<br />

you on your feet.<br />

“Art Deco Around the World” is<br />

the <strong>2018</strong> festival’s theme, and over<br />

150,000 people will be on Ocean<br />

Drive in Miami Beach for educational<br />

events organised by the Miami<br />

Design Preservation League. There’s<br />

something for everyone <strong>—</strong> theatre<br />

shows, Hollywood movie tours, classic<br />

car shows, dog shows, fashion shows,<br />

culinary delights, and activities for<br />

children. Arrive early, as many of the<br />

events are free.<br />

Nobel Laureate Festival<br />

Last two weeks of <strong>January</strong><br />

Venues around St Lucia<br />

Hear ye, hear ye, all devoted<br />

followers of <strong>Caribbean</strong> literature:<br />

St Lucia’s highly anticipated Nobel<br />

Laureates Festival has returned, and<br />

as usual it coincides with the shared<br />

birthdate of St Lucia’s two luminaries:<br />

Sir Arthur Lewis and Sir Derek<br />

Walcott. In 1979, Lewis won the<br />

Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics,<br />

while Walcott received his Nobel<br />

Prize in Literature in 1992. A year<br />

later, a captivating and prestigious<br />

festival celebrating the achievements<br />

of these achievers was launched, and<br />

has been a significant literary affair<br />

in St Lucia’s calendar ever since.<br />

Music, theatre, and visual arts<br />

events always feature on the<br />

programme, with distinguished<br />

lectures dedicated to Lewis and<br />

Walcott being popular highlights.<br />

Academics and cultural luminaries<br />

such as the late Professor Rex<br />

Nettleford from Jamaica, Barbadian<br />

author George Lamming, Haitian<br />

filmmaker Raoul Peck, and many<br />

others have delivered the featured<br />

address at the annual lectures <strong>—</strong><br />

impressing audiences and forming<br />

loyal returnees. This is the first year<br />

of the festival since Walcott’s death in<br />

2017. Expect the organisers to pull out<br />

all the stops.<br />

Event previews by Shelly-Ann Inniss<br />

courtesy farrar, straus and giroux<br />


@eldoradorums<br />

eldorado_rum<br />


datebook<br />

Jump into <strong>January</strong><br />

New Year’s Day Junkanoo Parade<br />

Downtown Nassau, Bahamas<br />

bahamas.com<br />

Join the “rush” as large groups parade along<br />

Bay Street in Nassau with elaborate costumes,<br />

dances, horns, bells, and whistles<br />

[1 to 2]<br />

jo Crebbin/shutterstock.com<br />

The Next Stage Theatre Festival<br />

Venues around Toronto, Canada<br />

fringetoronto.com<br />

The best of the fringe festival performers<br />

return to the Factory Theatre, giving<br />

new life to hit shows and artists from<br />

previous years<br />

[3 to 14]<br />

30 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15<br />

16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31<br />


courtesy bequia mount gay music fest<br />

Bequia Mount Gay Music Fest<br />

Venues around Bequia<br />

bequiamusicfestival.com<br />

The most anticipated music festival on<br />

the island is back, featuring a thrilling<br />

lineup making you groove to the<br />

blues in a cozy, intimate atmosphere<br />

[18 to 21]<br />

Cayman Cookout<br />

Venues around Grand Cayman<br />

visitcaymanislands.com<br />

Tastings, tours, dinners, pairings,<br />

and unique epicurean experiences<br />

in a relaxed setting of fun,<br />

friendship, and barefoot elegance<br />

[10 to 14]<br />

Port-au-Prince Half Marathon<br />

Haiti<br />

lghmarathon.org<br />

Shoe drives, fitness expos <strong>—</strong> and, of<br />

course, marathon day <strong>—</strong> unite runners<br />

from over sixteen countries in the<br />

Haitian capital<br />

[20 to 25]<br />

KSK Imaging/shutterstock.com<br />

30 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15<br />

16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31<br />


datebook<br />

<strong>February</strong> fever<br />

Mashramani<br />

Venues around Georgetown, Guyana<br />

Guyana’s rich cultural heritage and<br />

diversity are celebrated on a grand scale<br />

by people from all walks of life<br />

[30 Jan to 23 Feb]<br />

DigiClicks/istock.com<br />

Antigua Superyacht Challenge<br />

Off the coast of Antigua<br />

yachtcharterfleet.com<br />

Excitement and unpredictability are in the air, as incredible<br />

yachts vie in four daily races along Antigua’s south coast<br />

[31 Jan to 4 Feb]<br />

Started 30 <strong>January</strong><br />

Havana International<br />

Book Fair<br />

Havana, Cuba<br />

Authors, publishers, and avid<br />

readers gather for an exciting<br />

festival of poetry, readings, art<br />

exhibitions, and concerts<br />

[1 to 11]<br />

3 14 15<br />

30 31 30 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15<br />

16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31<br />


Admiral’s Cup Pro-Am Golf Tournament<br />

Golf courses in St Kitts<br />

golfstkittsandnevis.com<br />

A PGA club professional and three amateurs pair<br />

up to compete against other teams from golf clubs<br />

across the US, Canada, UK, and the <strong>Caribbean</strong><br />

[3 to 8]<br />

COURTESY angostura<br />

KaiMook Studio 99/shutterstock.com<br />

Angostura Global Cocktail Challenge<br />

Trinidad<br />

angosturaglobalcocktailchallenge.com<br />

The world’s best bartenders compete to become the House<br />

of Angostura’s next global ambassador. Skills, charm,<br />

cocktail knowledge, and unbridled talent will be on show<br />

[11]<br />

30 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14<br />

12 13 14 15<br />

16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 3<br />

29 30<br />

31<br />


word of mouth<br />

Dispatches from our correspondents around the <strong>Caribbean</strong> and further afield<br />

Desperadoes, 2016 Panorama<br />

champions , rehearsing for<br />

the finals<br />

Every night I lie down in mih bed<br />

Ah hearing a Bass Man in mih head.<br />

<strong>—</strong> The Mighty Shadow<br />

maria nunes<br />

Pan jumbie<br />

In T&T, Carnival is the season of<br />

steelpan music, and the truest<br />

devotees <strong>—</strong> like Barbara Jenkins<br />

<strong>—</strong> haunt the panyards in the<br />

weeks before the Panorama<br />

competition<br />

A<br />

bassman. A woman on the<br />

bass. Tenor man, double<br />

seconds woman, guitar-pan<br />

man, cello-pan woman. Engine room.<br />

Haunting you, pan jumbie, when you lie<br />

down in your bed, in those last weeks<br />

before Carnival.<br />

Christmas come. You not taking<br />

that on. Itching for New Year’s to hurry<br />

up. Because. Next is Epiphany. Feast of<br />

Kings. The royalty of your music world<br />

come out to play theyself, and you, into<br />

a frenzied state of distracted joy.<br />

Gillian B quickens to early summons.<br />

You concede a Woodbrook<br />

childhood might have some benefit.<br />

“Belmont You” already take win for<br />

Ken Morris, Jason Griffith, Harold<br />

Saldenah, Dixieland, Burrokeets,<br />

Wayne Berkeley, Wendell Manwarren,<br />

David Rudder . . .<br />

She, camel shawl and Egyptian hat<br />

<strong>—</strong> 22 degrees Celsius is winter here <strong>—</strong><br />

and you, off to Phase II. Park easy on the narrow gap between<br />

modest houses and upscale towers. Next week, week after, is<br />

way-way down Taylor Street. Walk slow. The ground don’t<br />

remember your foot yet. You hearing something. Ting. Ting.<br />

Careful, hesitant notes. Floating beyond. Speed up now. Take<br />

sharp right.<br />

Before you, a shallow basin. Staid Fatima College, looming<br />

One Woodbrook Place frame distant views of Fort George,<br />

Cumberland Hill, Lady Chancellor. Metal pan racks lie scattered.<br />

Banners bearing the faded name of last year’s tune.<br />

Panyard low buzz. Sprinkle of people. The season early still.<br />

You here for the feeling, the vibe <strong>—</strong> confirmation that you<br />

reach where you supposed to be.<br />

Gillian taking a mental roll call. Look Mackie. Shortsleeved<br />

shirt, short pants, polished sockless loafers,<br />

backwards baseball cap. The feller with the walking stick?<br />

Not here yet. Over early weeks, a gradual gathering.<br />

Arrivals noted with nods, brief exchanges, the peculiarly<br />

Trinidadian nonchalant affirmation of a certain class, a<br />

certain generation, who never doubt they belong, be they<br />

foreign-based annual Christmas-to-Carnival returnees or<br />

us, the never-left.<br />


Early pannists already putting down the tune. Stage side<br />

of thirtyish eventually swelling to the Carnival hundred. The<br />

Man, legendary Len “Boogsie” Sharpe, Phase II founder,<br />

composer, arranger, emerges, circulates, greets. You relish<br />

this fleeting time. When practice really begins, the tune<br />

rounding, this gentle energy will be gone. Diluted and distracted,<br />

amplified and augmented.<br />

Natasha will be drilling down the sections, mannersing<br />

them with quiet authority. The Chuckaree boy, the Japanese<br />

girls, the brother and sister, still in primary school, the Couva<br />

girl, wee hours heading home, asleep as head hit pillow, waking<br />

up, doing whole day’s work, coming back, eager to take<br />

on this. You bear witness to one of the most adventurous steel<br />

orchestras rehearsing, shaping a tune from scratch to polish.<br />

“Jump High”. All yours. No questions. No entrance fee. No<br />

secret handshake.<br />

Come next week, week after, this yard, every panyard in the<br />

country, will be brightly lit, bleachers overflowing, bar open,<br />

t-shirts selling, people drifting in and out. Groupies, floaters,<br />

musicologists, sightseers, filmmakers. Cognoscenti and ignoranti<br />

all giving voluble opinion on music choice, arrangement,<br />

level of pannist skill. By the way, where the bearded Alaskan?<br />

Pat Bishop, late great pan icon, used to say that Laventille<br />

would not calm down until her Despers, the Desperadoes<br />

Steel Orchestra, returns home up Laventille Hill. Now<br />

nomadic, its pan racks like clean-picked bones of mastodons,<br />

strewn among razor grass fringing the Foreshore, the band<br />

temporarily lodged where a recently razed historic church<br />

stood. In that hallowed space, Despers builds their visceral<br />

music. Dispossessed, itinerant, defiantly brilliant: sell-out<br />

performances in international concert halls, eleven Panorama<br />

titles, latest 2016, “Different Me”. In the belly of this<br />

kind of rebellious beast, pan was conceived. Fire forging<br />

hammer with steel.<br />

Despers beats pan. Into submission. Music exposing scars.<br />

Telling of pain, insults, prohibitions. Hardship endured and<br />

overcome. Revelling in the triumphs of recognition, acclaim,<br />

the fanatical zeal of community supporters. Turfed out again.<br />

Landowner building a mall. Where to find Despers this year?<br />

Must call Chantal.<br />

Night before Prelims, Behind the Bridge relaxes its<br />

edginess for the season. The navel string of your pan passion<br />

buried in All Stars. The Blonde Terror, riding partner,<br />

squeezes her jeep into bare air near Hell Yard. Humanity<br />

solid in the yard. Crush past Jackie. His sketchbook busy.<br />

Come Lent, you will lust after another of his panyard scenes<br />

<strong>—</strong> players, regulars, bar, food booths, merchandise store,<br />

Laventille Hills backdrop, moonlight softening precariously<br />

perched house clusters. Shove forward. Wedge yourself<br />

between man in muscled merino and woman in shapedefying<br />

leopard-print leggings.<br />

Ping, ping, ping-ping-ping-ping. The “Full Extreme” tsunami<br />

of sound rushes towards you, swallows you alive into its<br />

tossing depths, invades every orifice, every pore. You are the<br />

sound and the sound is you. This is what you live for. Why you<br />

persist in being here. In this complex, crazy, extraordinary<br />

little island.<br />


word of mouth<br />

At Jouvay, it eh matter if you play yourself<br />

or somebody else.<br />

Play your dead eighty-year-old granny,<br />

who had tongue like scorpion pepper,<br />

two foot like twinned fishtail in Caura River,<br />

a smile like a butterknife cutting through hot sada.<br />

Play your living mother,<br />

who made of more parts glitter than flour,<br />

who teach you softness have more than enough space<br />

to leave a cutlass waiting,<br />

glistening between fat folds,<br />

ready to chop yuh from a bed of ample waist.<br />

Play all the dead and all the living in you,<br />

in yuh shortpants,<br />

in yuh badjohn drawers,<br />

in yuh ragged fishnets and curry-gold battyriders,<br />

in yuh half-top, in yuh no-top,<br />

breasts swinging under electric-tape nipples,<br />

panty forgotten in a culvert overflowing with holy water and hell liquor,<br />

your own perspiration sliding between bodies at play<br />

like the wetness from your body is purgatory-unction.<br />

All the<br />

dead, all<br />

the living<br />

Poet Shivanee Ramlochan<br />

on the mystical, carnal,<br />

pre-dawn ritual that begins<br />

T&T’s Carnival<br />

Illustration by Shalini Seereeram<br />

Play yuhself.<br />

Clay yuhself.<br />

Wine en pointe and wine to the four stations of the cross,<br />

dutty angel,<br />

bragadang badting,<br />

St James soucouyant,<br />

deep bush douen come to town<br />

to make a killing in mud and mudder-in-law<br />

on fresh doubles, after.<br />

Play like you eh playing in your public servant office on Ash Wednesday,<br />

calves aching and twitching in sensible slingback heels,<br />

a pulse in your lower back blossoming<br />

each time you bend down to file a papers,<br />

salute a clerk,<br />

say grace before ashes.<br />

You know where you are, really.<br />

Just how you know the clerk is a chantwell,<br />

the office is a concrete antechamber before the final mas,<br />

the pavement is a busshead-convergence,<br />

the parking lot is a gayelle,<br />

the savannah is a arena where paint and abeer might wash,<br />

but spirit does linger.<br />

You eh waiting til next year.<br />

Where you plant yourself this Jouvay<br />

is where your spectral, midnight lagahoo rattling she coffin,<br />

turning wolf<br />

to woman<br />

to wolf again.<br />


word of mouth<br />

Shakespeare mas in<br />

Hillsborough<br />

Bard vs bard<br />

Paul Crask visits Carriacou and experiences<br />

the unusual spectacle of Shakespeare mas<br />

On the morning of Shrove Tuesday,<br />

people from two villages on the<br />

diminutive island of Carriacou<br />

set off on foot towards the main town of<br />

Hillsborough. One group meanders down<br />

the hillside from the north, the other from<br />

the south.<br />

Some of the men and boys in the<br />

group are dressed in gaudily patterned<br />

flowing cloaks and pantaloons, costumes<br />

that are vaguely reminiscent of<br />

English medieval court jesters. They also<br />

wear hand-painted face masks and wield<br />

wooden sticks. On their slow journey<br />

to town, they recite passages of Shakespeare’s<br />

verse and drop into roadside<br />

rumshops for a fortifying drink or two.<br />

These incongruous processions are the<br />

start of one of the most unusual cultural<br />

customs of the entire <strong>Caribbean</strong> region,<br />

Carriacou’s Shakespeare mas.<br />

Celebrations begin the day before<br />

at J’Ouvert, the traditional opening<br />

of Carnival. By the time the sun rises,<br />

Hillsborough’s Main Street is jampacked<br />

with revellers. Many arrive over<br />

the preceding weekend from Grenada,<br />

filling the Osprey ferry and mail boat,<br />

then squeezing into any and every free<br />

corner of the island’s budget hotel rooms.<br />

J’Ouvert in Hillsborough is bohemian,<br />

wild, and sometimes downright bizarre.<br />

It’s also great fun.<br />

Covering themselves from top to toe<br />

in thick black engine oil, jab-jabs <strong>—</strong> a<br />

name derived from the French patois<br />

for devil <strong>—</strong> often sport a pair of horns<br />

on their head and are loosely fettered<br />

with chains and shackles. Some jabjabs<br />

carry animal skulls, or drag them<br />

around on ropes or in carts. Others<br />

spend J’Ouvert with a fish or octopus<br />

tentacles held half in, half out of their<br />

mouths. For travellers on the morning<br />

ferry from the luxury resorts of<br />

Grenada, these devilish figures might<br />

create a rather unsettling first impression<br />

of a tranquil little island.<br />

paul crask<br />

In stark contrast to the engine oil,<br />

bright paint in either powder or liquid<br />

form is daubed on face, body, and<br />

clothing, and tossed up into the air with<br />

abandon. The music is loud, the jump-up<br />

is frenzied, and the rum is constantly<br />

flowing. Carriacou is an Amerindian<br />

word meaning “land of reefs,” and<br />

J’Ouvert morning comes to a fitting close<br />

with grilled lobster and fish breakfasts,<br />

all prepared street-side.<br />

Hillsborough is a small coastal town,<br />

and the afternoon costume parade fills<br />

up most of it, by the time it’s completed<br />

a first circuit of the two thoroughfares.<br />

It is a colourful, family occasion that<br />

continues into the evening with spontaneous<br />

singing, drumming, and the<br />

kind of string band performances that<br />

are usually associated with the island’s<br />

traditional boat launching ceremonies.<br />

By lunchtime on Carnival Tuesday,<br />

the two groups of villagers who have<br />

been making their way down to Hillsborough<br />

finally meet on Main Street,<br />

where they face off. Women brandish<br />

sticks, ring bells, and bang on pots.<br />

Then battle commences. In turn, men<br />

from each village square up to each<br />

other, stick in hand, and begin quoting<br />

passages from Julius Caesar. If their<br />

opponent hears a mistake, they receive<br />

the swift blow of a stick. Fired up with<br />

village pride and local rum, the contest<br />

often ends up in a brawl, with sticks and<br />

punches flying.<br />

No one seems to have any firm idea<br />

about how Shakespeare mas came<br />

about, but the most common theory is<br />

that English planters of past centuries<br />

forced it upon their enslaved labourers<br />

as a form of entertainment. Wherever it<br />

came from, it has evolved into a unique<br />

and unusual custom on an island that is<br />

rich in cultural heritage <strong>—</strong> including a<br />

Carnival festival that should be on every<br />

<strong>Caribbean</strong> traveller’s bucket list.<br />


word of mouth<br />

Catch a fire<br />

There’s nothing like hearing reggae<br />

music performed live in the island of<br />

its birth, says Nazma Muller <strong>—</strong> and<br />

<strong>February</strong> is the month to celebrate<br />

that cultural heritage<br />

The year was 1995, and the place was Priory, St Ann. It was<br />

the opening night of Reggae Sunsplash, and my life would<br />

be changed forever.<br />

For five nights I listened, spellbound, to the sonic history of<br />

the wild child of music <strong>—</strong> from its birth in the form of mento and<br />

its growth and evolution, through the decades, to become ska,<br />

rocksteady, lovers’ rock, and conscious reggae. Thousands of<br />

devotees, local and foreign, were all united in ecstasy under that<br />

star-studded sky, as the high priests of reggae blessed us with<br />

hit after hit. There is something magical about hearing reggae<br />

performed live in the ganja-perfumed air of Jamaica that cannot<br />

be described or replicated. It’s as if the very trees and sky hum<br />

along with this mystical vibration.<br />

On 24 <strong>January</strong>, 2008, the then governor-general of Jamaica,<br />

Professor Sir Kenneth Hall, read an official proclamation declaring<br />

the month of <strong>February</strong> as Jamaica’s Reggae Month. It was<br />

a signal moment in the history of reggae. The time had come<br />

to analyse and reflect on what reggae had done globally and<br />

for Jamaica, and for the island that gave the world this most<br />

beautiful sound to celebrate its pioneers and progenitors. And<br />

peeterv/istock.com<br />

<strong>February</strong> was the ideal month, as two of Jamaica’s<br />

most revered musical sons <strong>—</strong> Dennis Brown, the<br />

Crown Prince of Reggae, and Bob Marley, the<br />

undisputed King <strong>—</strong> were born on 1 and 6 <strong>February</strong>,<br />

respectively.<br />

Jamaica’s Ministry of Culture has led the way in<br />

marketing Reggae Month and making it an international<br />

phenomenon. Activities in that inaugural<br />

year, a decade ago, included the hosting of the<br />

Reggae Academy Awards, the Bob Marley Photographic<br />

Exhibition, an Africa Unite/Smile Jamaica<br />

Youth Symposium, the first annual Bob Marley<br />

Lecture, an African Film Festival, a Reggae Film<br />

Festival, the annual Irie FM Reggae Music Awards,<br />

and the Bob Marley Creative Expression Day.<br />

In 2009, under the theme “Reggae to Di Worl,”<br />

an NGO called the Jamaica Reggae Industry Association<br />

(JaRIA) was given the task of coordinating<br />

events and activities for Reggae Month. That<br />

year, eleven of Jamaica’s music veterans were<br />

honoured and celebrated for their contributions,<br />

including Count Ossie and the Mystic Revelation<br />

of Rastafari, who were given a Lifetime Achievement<br />

Award. Pam Hall and Dennis Brown were<br />

also honoured. Other legends celebrated over the<br />

years include John Holt, Gregory Isaacs, Nadine<br />

Sutherland, George Nooks, Sugar Minott, Ernie<br />

Smith, Pablo Moses, and the Heptones.<br />

The Reggae Month Committee has always<br />

emphasised the importance of the reggae music<br />

industry to Jamaica’s economy. Education is<br />

crucial also: every year the committee organises<br />

symposia for high school students in collaboration<br />

with the Bob Marley Foundation and the Jamaica<br />

Cultural Development Commission, to improve<br />

public awareness about the island’s musical<br />

heritage. The committee also works with the Ministry of Education<br />

to host seminars with fifth- and sixth-formers to educate<br />

them about career opportunities available in music, and for<br />

musicians and stakeholders to learn where reggae music fits into<br />

the global music industry.<br />

Most Reggae Month activities are free. And the proceeds of<br />

events with admission fees go towards buying musical instruments<br />

for schools, supporting industry players, and setting up a<br />

music industry foundation. As Reggae Month hits the ten-year<br />

milestone, the <strong>2018</strong> programme <strong>—</strong> its details being confirmed<br />

as this magazine went to press <strong>—</strong> promises to be spectacular,<br />

with the Jamaica Tourist Board and the Ministry of Culture<br />

adding their strength to a planned mega-event, which will no<br />

doubt bring together some of the biggest names in reggae. And<br />

maybe some lucky person in the audience will find her life being<br />

changed <strong>—</strong> as mine was, all those years ago. n<br />

For updates on the <strong>2018</strong> Reggae Month programme,<br />

visit www.jariajamaicamusic.com<br />


The game<br />

Superhero<br />

MOVES<br />

Jamaican taekwondo champ Akino Lindsay channels the Power<br />

Rangers to change his life and inspire youth in Kingston’s<br />

toughest communities. Kellie Magnus finds out more<br />

Photo by Nickii Kane<br />

“<br />

Who<br />

doesn’t want to be a superhero?”<br />

Akino Lindsay, the reigning<br />

International Sport Kickboxing<br />

Association (ISKA) World Champion,<br />

is defending his love for the<br />

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.<br />

“That show had me. I liked the suits, the fighting, the action.<br />

Everything they did was so cool. I wanted to be the black Power<br />

Ranger.”<br />

The twenty-one-year-old’s love for the TV show may not<br />

be surprising, given its popularity in 1990s Jamaica. The liveaction<br />

superhero series was in heavy rotation, featuring a team<br />

of teenagers with the ability to morph into Power Rangers with<br />

superhuman capabilities.<br />

For Lindsay, the show had a special place in an otherwise<br />

challenging childhood. He grew up in Drewsland, an economically<br />

disadvantaged area in Kingston, where his mother raised<br />

him and his siblings on her own, after his father was killed<br />

violently when Lindsay was only five years old.<br />

“Drewsland wasn’t a place for kids,” says Lindsay. “It was<br />

where my father died, and that put me in a constant state of<br />

unease. I acted out a lot and got into a lot of trouble. Taekwondo<br />

literally saved my life. If I hadn’t started taekwondo, I’d be dead<br />

or in prison.”<br />

The transition from watching small-screen action to participating<br />

in real-life martial arts happened when taekwondo<br />

was introduced at his high school, St George’s College. Initially<br />

attracted to the flips and kicks he’d seen on television, Lindsay<br />

fell in love with the sport’s discipline and camaraderie, and<br />

found in its competitive environment a safe channel for his<br />

energy, anger, and resentment.<br />

“Taekwondo is a way of life,” says Lindsay. “The thrill of competition<br />

pushes me. I want to go all out and give one hundred per<br />

cent. If somebody does something better than me, I want to do<br />

it ten times better.”<br />

There were other moments off the mat that cemented his love<br />

for the sport. “The best experience I’ve ever had in taekwondo<br />

was when my first coach, ‘Sir’ Herbert Stewart, carried me out<br />

for my birthday. He kept calling me son, and that felt good to<br />

me. I had a male figure in my life looking out for me, and I felt<br />

well blessed.”<br />

From his first competition at age seventeen <strong>—</strong> which<br />

resulted in a loss he describes as spectacular <strong>—</strong> Lindsay has<br />

rolled out an impressive string of performances at the national,<br />

regional, and international level. He holds the 2017 ISKA<br />

World Champion title, which he first won in 2015. Last year,<br />

he also won the Jamaica Taekwondo National Invitational<br />

and placed second in the US Open ISKA World Martial Arts<br />

Championship. He’s won gold and silver, respectively, at the<br />

2014 and 2016 Pan American Championships, and was the<br />

2014 International Taekwondo Federation World Champion.<br />

He trains in both the International Taekwondo Federation and<br />

World Taekwondo Federation disciplines, and enters nearly a<br />

“If I’m doing something, I want to<br />

take it all the way”<br />

dozen local and international championships each year.<br />

Lindsay competes in both light contact continuous sparring<br />

and point sparring categories, with a competition schedule that<br />

can include three or more fights a day for consecutive days.<br />

“As an athlete, Akino is very dedicated,” says Michael Rose,<br />

taekwondo black-stripe and long-time friend. “In sparring, he’s<br />

always excited. I try to emulate him and learn from him.<br />

“As a fan, if you’ve ever seen him fight, you’d want to do taekwondo,”<br />

Rose continues. “It’s exciting, dramatic, over the top.<br />

It’s like watching the Power Rangers. The techniques you’d see<br />

in the movies are the things he executes. He does all the moves<br />

that aren’t easy to do, and makes it look fun.”<br />


Five questions for Akino Lindsay<br />

What’s your superhero name?<br />

Shringo, my alter ego. Shringo can block out all<br />

tiredness and pain. But so far I haven’t needed<br />

him to show up yet.<br />

What are your favourite moves?<br />

A tie. Tornado kick (360-degree turning kick):<br />

it’s really cool when you execute it properly.<br />

Reverse turning kick: it’s really hard, but if you<br />

do it properly you can counter most kicks.<br />

What do you do for fun?<br />

Play Pokemon GO, text my girlfriend, play<br />

football.<br />

What’s your training routine?<br />

Taekwondo training for four hours a day, four<br />

days a week. Run once a week.<br />

And your biggest fears?<br />

Planes, elevators, getting old, flying<br />

cockroaches, and getting kicked in the teeth.<br />

Lindsay’s ultimate prize is Olympic gold. “If I’m doing<br />

something, I want to take it all the way,” he says. “It would be<br />

huge for Jamaica.” Kenneth Edwards, who represented Jamaica<br />

in taekwondo in the 2012 Olympics, is the only athlete to do so<br />

to date. Lindsay trains with Edwards on Jamaica’s combined<br />

martial arts team, and is motivated to increase the recognition<br />

of Jamaica’s success in the sport.<br />

But that longstanding dream is now rivalled by a more<br />

personal project: using his skills and talents to transform<br />

the lives of young people in circumstances similar to those<br />

he grew up in. On hiatus from the University of the West Indies<br />

for a year, Lindsay is currently a coach in the Safer Communities<br />

Programme, a multi-partner effort to reduce youth violence in six<br />

volatile communities in Kingston.<br />

The programme is led by Fight for Peace International, a<br />

global NGO that uses boxing and martial arts to transform<br />

young people’s lives. (Full disclosure: I run the Jamaica country<br />

programme.) The SCP communities are<br />

like Drewsland in income levels and levels<br />

of violence, and it’s not hard to see why<br />

Lindsay sees himself in the faces of his<br />

young charges.<br />

“Taekwondo changed my life. It’s<br />

more than the training and the fancy<br />

kicks. Now I see it as a way to help other<br />

people,” he explains. “We’re keeping<br />

children off the street. We’re giving them<br />

a family away from family. My most<br />

important role is to be there for them.”<br />

Lindsay’s dedication as a coach in the SCP earned him a<br />

nomination to the Michael Johnson Young Leaders Course, a<br />

coaching development programme for young coaches around<br />

the world. The programme is now providing funds and coaching<br />

support for Lindsay to develop Math Ninjas, an innovative<br />

approach to integrating math instruction into his taekwondo<br />

lessons, which Lindsay designed when he recognised many of<br />

his young athletes needed help with math.<br />

“I love math and I love taekwondo. I’m fusing the things I<br />

love to solve a big problem in Jamaica. Getting this right is as<br />

important to me now as the Olympics.”<br />

Balancing his commitment to the project with his Olympic<br />

dreams is a challenge, but one that Lindsay is fully ready to take<br />

on. “One thing I’ve learned from ISKA is you always have to find<br />

a way to keep advancing,” he says. The person backing up is the<br />

person losing.<br />

“You never, ever stop fighting.” n<br />


Bookshelf<br />

The Light in Paint: 50 Years of Watercolours, by Jackie Hinkson<br />

(202 pp, ISBN 9789768244260)<br />

“To get the images I wanted<br />

for this book,” writes Jackie<br />

Hinkson in his acknowledgements,<br />

“I had to borrow,<br />

photograph, and return<br />

scores of paintings.” No<br />

more immediate testament<br />

to Hinkson’s enduring<br />

reputation as a visual artist<br />

need be found. If artists<br />

truly begin to perish when<br />

their paintings fade into<br />

obsolescence, The Light in<br />

Paint proves that Hinkson<br />

is here to stay. These works<br />

adorn staterooms and living<br />

rooms, ampitheatre foyers and art galleries, kitchens and<br />

embassies: they are lived with, observed, pored over. They<br />

are, even in the generous cross-section afforded us in this<br />

book, but a sample of Hinkson’s fifty years of watercolours.<br />

Unsentimental, devoid of florid self-praise, Hinkson<br />

is perhaps well known in T&T circles for getting on with<br />

the business of painting. It is that business on which<br />

this publication trains its<br />

eye: apart from a revelatory<br />

essay by the artist,<br />

and a sensitively wrought<br />

contribution from art historian<br />

and curator Timothy<br />

Wilcox, the book suffuses us<br />

in images.<br />

Ordered both by a basic<br />

chronology of the artist’s<br />

life and by movements in<br />

his career, the pieces in<br />

The Light in Paint command<br />

their own subtle and<br />

magnanimous vocabulary.<br />

That is, they contain in their<br />

depictions of seascapes, Carnivals, still lifes, architecture,<br />

human subjects, and street scenes all they need to make<br />

their multiple meanings seen. No further essays, reviews,<br />

or verbal dissections are required. In washes of colour on<br />

canvas, Hinkson’s The Light in Paint speaks the <strong>Caribbean</strong><br />

world to us all: vibrant, versatile, forever moving between<br />

darkness and its radiant opposite.<br />

Grounds for Tenure, by Barbara Lalla<br />

(University of the West Indies Press, 361 pp,<br />

ISBN 9789766406219)<br />

When a mysterious offer of a<br />

post at an offshore Jamaican<br />

campus crops up, Candace<br />

Clarke seizes it. Clinging to<br />

part-time employment at UWI,<br />

St Augustine, has long lost<br />

even a faint shimmer of appeal.<br />

To the non-academic mind, the<br />

halls of campuses and the<br />

trimmed hedges of university<br />

quadrangles seem like paltry<br />

settings for real drama: yet<br />

Grounds for Tenure teems with<br />

intrigue, fascination, and more than a few outlandish<br />

professors. Clarke is the narrative lynchpin in this subtle,<br />

anecdotally seductive novel from Lalla. We do more than<br />

feel for Candace: we are invited to think alongside her.<br />

“What really occupied her thoughts was how it was possible<br />

to word the wind howling Heathcliff’s anguish, and<br />

whether the letters Man-man inscribed on Miguel Street<br />

were a sign of his madness or some part of the cause.”<br />

Into Candace’s mind of novels, nuisances, and novelties<br />

we go, entering a world of vast imaginations and venial<br />

sins, spun in Lalla’s gently magnetic prose.<br />

The Tryst, by Monique Roffey<br />

(Dodo Ink, 198 pp, ISBN 9780993575860)<br />

Chaste and virginal? Beware:<br />

The Tryst might send you<br />

spiralling straight out of your<br />

demure cocoon, with riveting<br />

results. In this new erotic<br />

novel from the winner of<br />

the 2013 OCM Bocas Prize<br />

for <strong>Caribbean</strong> Literature,<br />

the stakes for a passion-dry<br />

marriage’s survival are high.<br />

Britons Bill and Jane pick<br />

up Lilah, a woman cloaked<br />

in intrigue, whose origins<br />

are far more ancient than the couple know. Lilah, a<br />

character study nonpareil in archetypal, predatory<br />

female divinity, captivates in every scene. Roffey draws<br />

her with bold, unapologetic strokes, revelling in Lilah’s<br />

capacity to raze tepid domesticities. Ripe segments of<br />

this novel read as poetic riffs: “In the mirror I sparkled<br />

and radiated evil. I was lit up by all the loving horrors of<br />

my deeds.” The Tryst encircles you at the wrist, leading<br />

you down the garden path of darkly-tinctured pleasure:<br />

this is ferocious fiction, in any genre.<br />


Collected Poems, 1975–2015, by John Robert Lee<br />

(Peepal Tree Press, 212 pp, ISBN 9781845233518)<br />

In “Line”, written for Derek<br />

Walcott, the St Lucian poet John<br />

Robert Lee asks, “When have I<br />

not measured this land by your<br />

lines? When have I not tracked<br />

blue-smoke pits to their riverstone<br />

roots by your metaphor?”<br />

Lee’s Collected Poems assembles<br />

forty years of his own poems<br />

that lead without calamitous<br />

disharmony, with the steadying,<br />

solid weight of attention, to<br />

the land of St Lucia. Everywhere, light pierces darkness,<br />

waters trouble ships and souls, “mythology parses into<br />

facts,” and the verses do their own careful, robustly<br />

considered mapmaking. What Lee invokes for us is both<br />

a devotion to the St Lucian landscape and an ardent<br />

contemplation of what that landscape might resemble,<br />

if we watered it with deeper, stronger loves. Of the<br />

love that exists, Lee also writes words that compel us to<br />

follow: “all that is left us now is careful patience, that<br />

stubborn heart of love, hope, faith, of the ordering line,<br />

of the turning word.”<br />

The Greatest Films: A Poem, by Faizal Deen<br />

(Mawenzi House, 80 pp, ISBN 9781927494837)<br />

A powerful anti-hymnal to cultural<br />

assimilation, The Greatest<br />

Films explores the brown queer<br />

body’s survival in a post-9/11<br />

world. Faizal Deen <strong>—</strong> author<br />

of the first Guyanese LGBTQI<br />

poetry collection, Land Without<br />

Chocolate <strong>—</strong> leaps and vaults in<br />

experimental flourishes while<br />

never succumbing to careless<br />

indulgence. Rather, the work in<br />

The Greatest Films ricochets to<br />

the percussive power of memory: by summoning movies<br />

and songs, Deen gifts us a personal world of rich meaning.<br />

Gliding suggestively and smoothly between real vistas<br />

and reconstituted dreamscapes, these verses are at their<br />

best when they startle, unsettle, and prompt reflection in<br />

the reader. In these worlds of motion and fusion, Edgar<br />

Mittelholzer brushes up against Christopher Isherwood;<br />

“raleigh’s guiana dabbles in alchemy”; roots of boyhood<br />

origin relocate betwixt Guyana, Canada, and India. The<br />

effects are revivifying: here is a long poem unafraid to<br />

bare its bold, revisionist face.<br />

Reviews by Shivanee Ramlochan, Bookshelf editor<br />


playlist<br />

R.A.W. Angela Hunte (The Hunted Group/<br />

Therapist Music)<br />

Brooklyn-born Angela Hunte<br />

has receded from her Trinidadian<br />

roots, and her recent<br />

inventions and collaborations<br />

with soca, to rediscover<br />

her other <strong>Caribbean</strong> voice as<br />

a reggae songstress. On her<br />

debut solo album R.A.W. <strong>—</strong><br />

an acronym for “reasoning<br />

and words” <strong>—</strong> she uses the<br />

sound of roots reggae, dub music, and rockers to convey<br />

songs of love beyond the traditional pop music schmaltz<br />

that dominates the global charts. As a Grammy-winning<br />

songwriter, Hunte knows how to create a memorable<br />

hook and an earworm that lives beyond a temporary<br />

listen. With lyrics and production values that resonate<br />

with a digital native generation, this album sparkles as<br />

a daring experiment to move <strong>Caribbean</strong> music forwards.<br />

Collaborations with reggae star Tarrus Riley on “King<br />

& Queen” and reggae DJ and producer Taranchyla on<br />

“Rub Dub” give this album both an island vibe and an<br />

urban feel that suggest that it has cross-genre appeal<br />

beyond borders.<br />

Glass World Rudy Smith Quartet (Stunt Records)<br />

Trailblazing steelpan jazz<br />

virtuoso Rudy Smith has<br />

been fusing the sound of<br />

the pan with bebop and<br />

progressive jazz for nearly<br />

fifty years, premiering the<br />

sound of native invention<br />

and “creole imagination” in<br />

the wider world. Europe has<br />

been his stomping ground<br />

for all those years, and with his eleventh full-length<br />

album Smith serves as a bona fide symbol of music<br />

excellence. Glass World finds Smith back fronting his<br />

Danish jazz band, re-inventing the idea of the steelpan<br />

as a solo instrument for jazz without the feeling of it<br />

being too avant garde. “Plangent” was the word used by<br />

a reviewer to describe the sound of the double second<br />

steelpans used by Smith, but a more apt descriptive<br />

would be “euphonious.” That tone juxtaposes beautifully<br />

within the songs, mainly written by his long-time<br />

collaborator and pianist Ole Matthiessen, to serve up a<br />

new standard in a diminishing marketplace for unique<br />

jazz. Traditional jazz is best served with originality, and<br />

this album delivers.<br />

Discover the real Italy<br />

Now Open<br />

MammaMia!<br />


Shops of Arima,<br />

Tumpuna Road, Arima<br />


(868) 223-MAMA (6262)<br />


Appetizer<br />

Pasta<br />

Italian Wine & Beers<br />

<strong>2018</strong> edition<br />

now available<br />

across T&T,<br />

and online<br />

www.discovertnt.com<br />

FREE<br />


Single Spotlight<br />

Plaisance Eddy Grant (Ice Records)<br />

Guyanese singer and songwriter<br />

Eddy Grant returns<br />

to his native “land of many<br />

waters” <strong>—</strong> and specifically his<br />

birthplace village of Plaisance<br />

<strong>—</strong> to contemplate his life<br />

and how that place impacted<br />

his musical and personal<br />

career. The village’s history<br />

highlights the story of its<br />

purchase by sixty-five newly freed Africans in the immediate<br />

post-emancipation period <strong>—</strong> one of the first of several<br />

predominantly African villages in Guyana purchased by<br />

the formerly enslaved with their savings. In this context<br />

of real independence, Plaisance represents a return to<br />

the original unfettered aesthetic of the young Eddy Grant<br />

who successfully blended rock, pop, R&B, and <strong>Caribbean</strong><br />

music tropes to carve a pioneering international career.<br />

Using his trademarked Ringbang <strong>—</strong> more an all-inclusive<br />

philosophy than a genre <strong>—</strong> to elucidate this album, the<br />

songs have a directness unparalleled in <strong>Caribbean</strong> songcraft.<br />

The standout track “Now We’re All Together” lets<br />

Grant’s voice dramatically emote the story of overcoming<br />

and homecoming.<br />

Bodyline Olatunji and System32 (self-released)<br />

With a cheeky stride piano<br />

introduction, Olatunji<br />

Yearwood blows the lid off of<br />

what can be expected in soca<br />

this year, as the genre and the<br />

players make a determined<br />

turn in the direction of global<br />

appeal. “Shake your bodyline,<br />

shake your bodyline,”<br />

the lyrical hook, has Olatunji<br />

singing and scatting over it like a Cab Calloway clone or,<br />

more contemporarily, Kid Creole, to drive party folk and<br />

crowds to the dance floor. Producer System32 has made<br />

magic with the vocals that spit rapid-fire wordplay in<br />

pleasing tones. Add the freewheeling jazz aesthetic of a<br />

Cotton Club big band, and we’re in a new chapter in the<br />

continuing fusion exercise that has been soca in search of<br />

the ultimate crossover. A driving rhythm and synth horn<br />

line says soca, but when that clarinet solo comes in near<br />

the end, we know we are onto something big that begins<br />

and ends with a bang. Tadow!<br />

Reviews by Nigel A. Campbell<br />



Woodpeckers<br />

Directed by José María Cabral, 2017, 106 minutes<br />

Love literally knows no bounds in Woodpeckers, an inventive,<br />

at times enthralling prison drama from the Dominican<br />

Republic’s José María Cabral. A precocious filmmaker<br />

(he made his first feature at<br />

twenty), Cabral <strong>—</strong> still shy of<br />

thirty <strong>—</strong> achieved notice in<br />

2012 with Check Mate, a slick,<br />

formulaic thriller. Woodpeckers<br />

<strong>—</strong> which has been submitted to<br />

the upcoming Academy Awards<br />

for best foreign-language film<br />

<strong>—</strong> sees him grappling with<br />

more interesting material, and<br />

for the most part wringing<br />

from it successful results.<br />

Inspired by true events, Woodpeckers was shot on location<br />

in adjacent men’s and women’s prisons, a catastrophe<br />

waiting to happen if ever there was one. Julian (Jean<br />

Jean, wiry and compellingly intense) is sent to the men’s<br />

penitentiary after being convicted of a robbery charge.<br />

Here he encounters an astonishing phenomenon: men<br />

communicating with women in the yard across the way<br />

through a form of sign language known as pecker talk,<br />

the men’s hands when grasping the prison bars mimicking<br />

woodpeckers grasping a tree branch.<br />

Deputised by Manaury (Ramón Candelario), a<br />

convicted murderer temporarily in solitary confinement,<br />

Jean Jean quickly learns this unique language of love in<br />

order to trade messages with Manaury’s girlfriend Yanelly<br />

(a fiery Judith Rodríguez, with<br />

a hairstyle to match). It isn’t<br />

long before Jean Jean and<br />

Yanelly are attracted to one<br />

another, and the film must<br />

contrive ways of bringing the<br />

couple into physical contact<br />

with each other. It also isn’t<br />

long before Manaury begins<br />

to suspect something’s amiss,<br />

and the lovers’ idyll is in<br />

jeopardy.<br />

Woodpeckers has a novel core idea, the director dramatising<br />

it with the panache it deserves. The attendant<br />

plotting might still be rather formulaic, but Cabral is able<br />

to create a tragic denouement of almost Shakespearean<br />

proportions. And the crafty final shot will make you want<br />

to watch the film again.<br />

For more information, visit facebook.com/<br />

carpinterosmovie<br />

Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami<br />

Directed by Sophie Fiennes, 2017, 115 minutes<br />

Predictable and conventional<br />

are not words<br />

associated with Grace<br />

Jones. Shot over nearly<br />

a decade by British<br />

documentarian Sophie<br />

Fiennes, Bloodlight and<br />

Bami is an engrossing<br />

portrait of the provocative Jamaican disco icon that<br />

is appropriately neither of those things. Not for the<br />

uninitiated, the film forgoes the usual trappings of<br />

the biographical profile (there isn’t a single archival<br />

photograph or bit of file footage), instead presenting<br />

an intimate, vérité-style look at the current life of the<br />

virtually ageless Jones, in locations ranging from Paris to<br />

Jamaica to New York.<br />

The unvarnished observational sequences are punctuated<br />

by polished concert performances, Jones giving<br />

redoubtable renditions of dance-floor anthems like<br />

“Slave to the Rhythm” and “Pull Up to the Bumper”. Yet<br />

it’s in the often-unguarded moments when Jones is out<br />

of the spotlight that the film attains its power, becoming<br />

a witness to her tenacity, vulnerability, and simple,<br />

affecting humanness.<br />

For more information, visit westendfilms.com<br />

The West Indies Gang<br />

Directed by Jean-Claude Barny, 2016, 90 minutes<br />

Based on actual events,<br />

The West Indies Gang<br />

recounts the deeds of<br />

a group of men from<br />

the French Antilles <strong>—</strong><br />

victims of poverty and<br />

racism <strong>—</strong> who robbed a<br />

string of post offices in<br />

Paris in the 1970s. The protagonist, Jimmy (a sympathetic<br />

Djedje Apali), is a single father to a young daughter.<br />

When Jimmy returns to mainland France after obtaining<br />

weapons from a separatist militia in Martinique, the<br />

gang prepares for its final and most ambitious heist, a<br />

bank job.<br />

Sadly, what could have been a bracingly political crime<br />

thriller flounders amid unreconstructed Blaxploitation<br />

tropes (a scene where a woman is savagely beaten is<br />

particularly disturbing) and a literal lack of firepower.<br />

The film also lacks the courage of its anti-colonial convictions,<br />

when at the end an incarcerated Jimmy puzzlingly<br />

declares that “Our struggle isn’t racial, it’s societal.”<br />

For more information, visit facebook.com/<br />

Legangdesantillais<br />

Reviews by Jonathan Ali<br />


Immerse<br />

Ron Burton / hulton archive / getty images<br />

42 Closeup<br />

Walk tall<br />

57 Backstory<br />

How to win the road<br />

72<br />

Own Words<br />

“I’m unfinished’<br />

With ten wins, the late calypsonian Lord KItchener is T&T’s all-time Road March champion


With Port of Spain’s Central<br />

Bank towers in the background,<br />

a member of the Keylemanjahro<br />

School of Arts and Culture shows<br />

off his stiltwalking skills<br />


Walk tall<br />

Towering above the crowds,<br />

striding majestically or dancing<br />

in acrobatic defiance of gravity,<br />

moko jumbies are one of the<br />

most impressive sights in T&T’s<br />

Carnival. A performance art<br />

derived from West Africa, moko<br />

jumbies once seemed to be a<br />

dying tradition <strong>—</strong> but, as<br />

Ray Funk explains, the efforts<br />

of an enthusiastic few have<br />

led in recent years to a bona<br />

fide moko jumbie revival, with<br />

hundreds of young people<br />

learning the art of “getting<br />

high” on stilts<br />

Photography by Maria Nunes<br />


“<br />

Are you coming up?” they ask you at classes and workshops all over<br />

Trinidad. That’s the question <strong>—</strong> are you joining them up on sticks<br />

today, or just watching?<br />

There is a moko jumbie revolution building momentum in T&T,<br />

with growing numbers of young people <strong>—</strong> and some parents <strong>—</strong> learning<br />

the art of stiltwalking behind this traditional Carnival masquerade.<br />

Even as other forms of traditional mas seem in decline, young people are taking to<br />

stilts and striving to touch the sky.<br />

Almost any public event in Trinidad <strong>—</strong> from government ceremonies to corporate promotions<br />

to tourist shows <strong>—</strong> now has at least a couple of moko jumbies. During Carnival,<br />

they join every competition and every parade. In the past decade, creativity in costuming<br />

and growing acrobatic skill have led to more and more enthusiasm from the public.<br />

A moko jumbie needs to perfect a nimble athleticism. Getting and remaining aloft<br />

require constantly shifting weight and attention. A graceful dismount is also a necessary<br />

skill. No wonder the young and limber are drawn to this revelry.<br />

Like the eager participants in #1000mokos, a group formed by artist Joshua Lue<br />

Chee Kong and designer Kriston Chen. Since early 2017, they have met every Sunday<br />

at the Alice Yard arts space in Woodbrook, west Port of Spain. Free classes strive to get<br />

students up and comfortable on sticks, progressing to increasing heights as they leave<br />

the yard and walk through the streets to practice in local parks.<br />

Artist and architect Michael Lee Poy, who works closely with #1000mokos, has<br />

been smitten with the moko jumbie bug for many years, having previously worked<br />

with them in Peter Minshall’s mas band and at the Cleveland Art Museum. Lee<br />

Poy builds all the #1000mokos stilts himself, experimenting with various woods<br />

and different designs and connectors. For him, moko jumbies are not just about<br />

individual athleticism and performing tricks, but about creating new possibilities in<br />

mas narratives.<br />

Members of the #1000mokos<br />

group performing in downtown<br />

Port of Spain<br />

A moko jumbie needs<br />

to perfect a nimble<br />

athleticism. Getting<br />

and remaining aloft<br />

require constantly<br />

shifting weight and<br />

attention<br />


But these are the newcomers. Other pioneers have been<br />

training moko jumbies for decades, in some of Trinidad’s<br />

poorer communities. In the north, it is Glen de Souza,<br />

better known as Dragon, who in 1986 founded a cultural yard in<br />

Cocorite, west of Port of Spain, to offer local kids a place to come<br />

after school, free from crime and drugs. Initially, Dragon’s focus<br />

was on dancing and drumming, but he soon noticed it was stilts<br />

that got the kids excited. As one parent commented, “The kids<br />

never want to come back to the ground.”<br />

Over the years, Dragon’s Keylemanjahro School of Arts and<br />

Culture has trained thousands, and his yard has become the safe<br />

haven for a generation of young people. Singlehandedly, he is<br />

the person who really paved the way for many others to take the<br />

moko jumbie in different directions.<br />

German photographer Stephan Falke became fascinated with<br />

Dragon’s work in the mid-1990s, and for seven years he travelled<br />

to Trinidad from New York City to document it. The resulting<br />

oversized book, Moko Jumbies: The Dancing Spirits of Trinidad<br />

(2004), is full of stunning colour photos of the young people who<br />

answered Dragon’s call.<br />

Overlapping with Falke’s time, Mexican-American artist<br />

Laura Anderson Barbata spent five years coming to Dragon’s<br />

yard to make costumes and help with the band in various ways.<br />

Singlehandedly, Glen “Dragon”<br />

de Souza is the person who really<br />

paved the way for many others to<br />

take the moko jumbie in different<br />

directions<br />

Prior to her arrival, the band wasn’t able to afford any level of<br />

costuming, and often relied on body paint, especially bright<br />

reds and blues, to stand out at Carnival. Anderson Barbata’s<br />

work with the Keylemanjahro band created stunning narratives<br />

and new possibilities, such as horse jumbies, scarlet ibis, and<br />

portrayals inspired by the Dogon of Mali.<br />

A 2007 documentary by German director Harald Rumpf, Up<br />

and Dancing: The Magical Stilts of Trinidad, features the drama<br />

of young members of Dragon’s group as they struggle against<br />

family challenges to perform for Carnival. Keylemanjahro moko<br />

jumbies have even made an appearance on Sesame Street. All this<br />

outside support added to the exposure and interest in Dragon’s<br />

work and in moko jumbies themselves. Over the years, Dragon<br />

has faced various challenges, but he perseveres.<br />

In south Trinidad, meanwhile, the moko jumbie catalyst is<br />

Junior Bisnath of San Fernando. After receiving some initial<br />

training from Dragon, Bisnath has gone on to train hundreds<br />

himself with his Kaisokah moko jumbie group, running since<br />

1995. Kaisokah has an active small group hired for numerous<br />

corporate or government events. They’ve travelled to St Lucia,<br />

Zimbabwe, the UK, and Panama to perform and train. Bisnath<br />

even took a contingent of moko jumbies to the 2006 FIFA World<br />

Cup competition in Germany, with the Trinidad and Tobago<br />

national team.<br />

Last year, Bisnath set his eyes on a new milestone. The<br />

Guinness Book of World Records includes several stiltwalkers’<br />

exploits. In June 2009, a total of 1,908 participants got on stilts<br />

across the globe, from the US and Canada to Brazil, Russia, and<br />

Macau, to celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Cirque<br />

du Soleil. And in 2011, 957 primary students in the Netherlands<br />


smashed the record for most stiltwalkers to walk one hundred<br />

metres together.<br />

So the Kaisoca crew issued a call throughout Trinidad and<br />

Tobago to beat the record. On Sunday 10 September, 2017, they<br />

assembled over five hundred moko jumbies, including a small<br />

contingent from Grenada, at Skinner Park in San Fernando.<br />

Bisnath hopes to make this gathering an annual event, and<br />

is confident he will break the record soon, given the growing<br />

numbers of children and adults taking classes. He does hold the<br />

record, he believes, for the youngest person on stilts: his son at<br />

eleven months.<br />

Moko jumbies from the Touch D Sky<br />

group join the Canboulay Riots<br />

re-enactment at Piccadilly Greens on<br />

the Friday before Carnival<br />


Jhawan Thomas portrays Peter Minshall’s<br />

controversial moko jumbie king, The<br />

Dying Swan<br />

In 2012, Kaisokah members Adrian Young<br />

and Jonadiah Gonzales started their own<br />

moko jumbie group, Touch D Sky, based<br />

in their home village of Tarodale. They were<br />

joined by British artist Alan Vaughan, who<br />

had been coming to Trinidad for many years,<br />

and had designed Young’s king costume, The<br />

Crow, for Kaisokah earlier that year, placing<br />

fourth in the national competition. Together,<br />

they wanted to deepen and extend the<br />

traditional masquerade art form. Vaughan’s<br />

designs for the band find their inspiration in<br />

the richness of Afro-Atlantic culture, and have<br />

proven consistently stunning. He believes the<br />

costumes and characters portrayed by the<br />

moko jumbies should reflect each individual’s<br />

athletic agility, and also express an aspect of<br />

their personal qualities.<br />

In 2015, Touch D Sky’s Stephanie Kanhai<br />

won the national Carnival Queen title, the<br />

first moko jumbie ever to do so. Since then,<br />

the band has become a force at Carnival,<br />

relocating in the weeks before the festival to<br />

temporary quarters near the Savannah stage<br />

at Granderson Lab, an arts incubation space<br />

run by the founders of Alice Yard. Individual<br />

Touch D Sky members have increasing<br />

opportunities to perform around T&T and<br />

even internationally. Young also leads and<br />

trains a new youth team, Future Jumbies,<br />

and he, Vaughan, and other members of<br />

the band have gone to teach in St Martin,<br />

Montserrat, and Dominica, to revive and<br />

strengthen the art in those islands.<br />

But perhaps the best known individual<br />

moko jumbie performer in T&T is Jhawhan<br />

Thomas. He was one of those who grew<br />

up spending every day at Dragon’s Keylemanjahro<br />

yard, and eventually helped train<br />

younger kids. He also joined several dance<br />

companies and worked in Peter Minshall’s<br />

mas camp, and later on in designer Brian<br />

Mac Farlane’s studio. In 2007, in what many<br />

consider Mac Farlane’s finest Carnival band,<br />

India, Jhawan portrayed a stunning moko<br />

jumbie elephant. The following year he<br />



Style<br />

“Simple and iconic” was the aim, and<br />

Suzuki have not disappointed!<br />

The Ignis body begins with the<br />

distinctive front that integrates the<br />

striking gaze of LED headlamps. Road<br />

presence is heightened by bulging<br />

wheel arches, angular window line,<br />

and “floating roof” look. Elevated<br />

seating provides ease of access and<br />

excellent visibility, instilling driver<br />

confidence and awareness.<br />

Convenient<br />

The new-generation platform<br />

features Total Effective Control<br />

Technology (HEARTECT), resulting in<br />

a versatile and spacious cabin that is<br />

roomy both front and rear.<br />

Everywhere you look, every detail you see, everything stimulates your senses.<br />

The new Suzuki Ignis is taking the <strong>Caribbean</strong> by storm.<br />

Suzuki’s all new Ignis A segment SUV features clever<br />

design, convenience, and comfort in a stylish new<br />

package that has received widespread international<br />

acclaim since its launch in 2017<br />

Smart<br />

Linking your smartphone enables<br />

hands-free calls, volume control,<br />

and other convenient features,<br />

eliminating the need to remove<br />

your hands from the steering wheel.<br />

Optional keyless entry and<br />

push-button start makes this<br />

one of the smartest in its class.<br />

Safe<br />

As a result of its high strength<br />

lightweight HEARTECT platform, the<br />

structure efficiently absorbs and<br />

disperses energy in the event of a<br />

collision. Front airbags and ABS are<br />

standard on all models.<br />

PerformanCe<br />

Ignis features an improved 1200cc<br />

engine, combining both performance<br />

and fuel efficiency.<br />

Want to Ignite your Senses?<br />

Contact your local Suzuki dealer<br />

today to arrange a test drive! More<br />

information can be found at<br />


won the King of Carnival title for Mac Farlane’s band Earth,<br />

with an abstract costume called Pandemic Rage, engineered by<br />

Michael Lee Poy.<br />

Then in 2016, just a few weeks before Carnival, Minshall <strong>—</strong><br />

Trinidad’s most celebrated mas man <strong>—</strong> called on Thomas to<br />

dance a solo moko jumbie king controversially titled The Dying<br />

Swan: Ras Nijinsky in Drag as Pavlova. Minshall had featured<br />

various moko jumbies in past bands, and indeed his 1988 band<br />

was called Jumbie, with both king and queen on stilts. But this<br />

new Carnival king created a storm in the press and social media:<br />

Thomas performed costumed as a ballet dancer, all in white, with<br />

the stilts themselves carved to look like ballet shoes en pointe.<br />

The Dying Swan is considered a turning point in Russian<br />

ballet. It is a short piece about the end of life, choreographed in<br />

1905 for ballerina Anna Pavlova, to a cello solo from composer<br />

Camille Saint-Saëns’s Carnival of the Animals. It became her<br />

signature piece, which she performed over four thousand times.<br />

Pavlova’s equally celebrated contemporary, Vaslav Nijinsky, was<br />

never known to have done The Dying Swan.<br />

On stage, Thomas performed ballet moves on stilts, imagining<br />

one of the great male Russian ballet dancers in the most<br />

famous role of one of his female contemporaries, with the<br />

addition of Rastafarian dreads, and the transfer of the music to<br />

steelpan. It was unlike anything ever seen at Trinidad Carnival.<br />

Filmmaker Christopher Laird’s short film of it is a remarkable<br />

record of a tradition turned on its head.<br />

Around the world, stiltwalking has been going on for<br />

thousands of years, and its origins are shrouded in the<br />

mists of history. Stiltwalkers are depicted on ancient<br />

Greek and Pre-Colombian pottery, and reports from Asia and the<br />

Central American Popol Vuh narrative go far back as well. In some<br />

places, stilts were simply an efficient mode of transport, especially<br />

in hilly or swampy terrain. In nineteenth-century France, sheep<br />

herders used them to keep track of their flocks. From these<br />

practical uses, stiltwalking became a standard feature in circuses<br />

and other public entertainments around the globe.<br />

<strong>Caribbean</strong> moko jumbies are traced to West African roots that<br />

stretch back centuries, brought over the Atlantic in slave ships.<br />

(Or, as some say, the moko jumbies walked across the Atlantic<br />

following the ships.) The masquerade’s<br />

very name has West African origins.<br />

Scholar Robert Nichols has recorded the<br />

history of moko jumbies across Africa,<br />

largely in sacred functions, often secret<br />

societies. They were completely covered<br />

in masks, hats, and gloves, so their identities<br />

remained hidden.<br />

Stiltwalking has<br />

been going on for<br />

thousands of years,<br />

and its origins are<br />

shrouded in the mists<br />

of history<br />

Touch D Sky moko jumbies heading<br />

through Belmont to the Queen’s Park<br />

Savannah<br />


A moko jumbie from the Kaisokah group<br />

shows off on Port of Spain’s Ariapita<br />

Avenue<br />

There are historical reports of moko jumbies<br />

throughout the <strong>Caribbean</strong>, and they survive in<br />

limited numbers in many countries. Nichols<br />

reports the earliest known <strong>Caribbean</strong> reference<br />

at a 1791 Christmas event with “a masked moko<br />

jumbie roaming the streets accompanied by<br />

musicians.” In Trinidad, John Cowley notes<br />

a newspaper report from the 1890s of stilt<br />

dancers stalking “through the streets to the<br />

strains of drum and fife.” In 1956, Dan Crowley<br />

described Trinidad moko jumbies as having<br />

brightly painted skirts and satin or velvet jackets,<br />

and peaked hats with feathers <strong>—</strong> but they<br />

were “virtually extinct.” And Trinidad’s great<br />

dancer and choreographer Geoffrey Holder,<br />

who used moko jumbies in his 1978 Broadway<br />

musical Timbuktu, recalled: “I will never forget,<br />

as a child, being frightened and awed by these<br />

gigantic, masked spectres wandering the<br />

streets after the parade.”<br />

In many parts of the <strong>Caribbean</strong>, moko<br />

jumbies survive primarily as part of folklore<br />

Moko jumbies to<br />

the world<br />

Like many other element of culture, moko jumbies have followed<br />

the T&T diaspora around the world. In New York City, a<br />

few individuals and small groups have performed at Labour Day<br />

Carnival and related events for decades. In recent years, the primary<br />

band has been the Brooklyn Jumbies formed in the 1990s<br />

by Ali Sylvester, inspired by Dragon in Trinidad, and working<br />

with Najja Codrington from Barbados, who had gone to Senegal<br />

for moko jumbie training. The Brooklyn Jumbies worked hard to<br />

develop a batch of dancers from all over the <strong>Caribbean</strong> diaspora.<br />

Now that Sylvester has moved to Orlando, Florida, he’s starting<br />

a new troupe there. They explore both African and <strong>Caribbean</strong><br />

traditions, and have performed and trained in Singapore, Japan,<br />

China, the UK, and Costa Rica. Not long ago, a contingent went<br />

with the Something Positive dance troupe to Morocco.<br />

Laura Anderson Barbata, after her experience in Trinidad,<br />

sought out the Brooklyn Jumbies, and has been working closely<br />

with them in a series of projects that have taken them beyond the<br />

NYC West Indian community. In 2007, Anderson Barbata launched<br />

the exhibition Jumbie Camp at an art gallery in<br />

Chelsea in Manhattan. Moko jumbie costumes<br />

were transformed into sculptures for the show,<br />

and the Brooklyn Jumbies paraded on the nearby streets.<br />

The following year, Anderson Barbata and Najja Codrington<br />

of the Brooklyn Jumbies went to Oaxaca, Mexico, where they<br />

connected with a traditional stiltwalking group there, Los Zancudos<br />

de Zaachila. In 2011, when the Occupy Wall Street protests<br />

were at their height, Anderson Barbata staged her Intervention:<br />

Wall Street, for which she created giant oversize business suits<br />

for the Brooklyn Jumbies. Together they rambled through New<br />

York’s Financial District handing out gold-foil-covered chocolate<br />

coins, drawing worldwide press attention.<br />

Another recent project in September 2016, Anderson<br />

Barbata’s Intervention Indigo was a Carnival-style performance<br />

that combined dance, music, costuming, procession, and protest.<br />

Moko jumbies hit the streets of the Bushwick neighbourhood<br />

of Brooklyn dressed in traditional indigo-dyed fabric, echoing<br />

African traditions from the Dogon culture. Anderson Barbata has<br />

also worked closely with choreographer Chris Walker at the University<br />

of Wisconsin, who had a number of solo pieces on stilts at<br />

his October 2017 show Unmasked.<br />

San Fernando’s Kaisokah also has a US branch, founded by<br />

Trinidadian Jason Edwards, who trained under Junior Bisnath,<br />

Continued on page 54<br />


presentations and tourist shows. Beyond Trinidad,<br />

they currently have a strong presence in the<br />

Virgin Islands, with Wilfred John of St Croix as<br />

a missionary in their cause for forty years. John<br />

runs the Guardians of Culture moko jumbies, who<br />

appear weekly at local hotels, and made a 2009<br />

documentary called Mokolution tracing the roots<br />

of the tradition in the Virgin Islands. John notes<br />

a long tradition of male jumbies dressing in skirts<br />

with petticoats or bloomers, which changed in the<br />

1960s when teacher Ali Paul moved to welcome<br />

women as jumbies, leading to costumes in other<br />

styles. John continues to work with schools to get<br />

more young people to take up the art, exploring<br />

ever more adventurous choreography.<br />

Today’s moko jumbie practitioners, in T&T and<br />

elsewhere, are working not just at preserving cultural<br />

heritage, but broadening and deepening what<br />

is possible, from choreography to design. They are<br />

offering young people, from both under-served<br />

communities and more middle-class backgrounds,<br />

opportunities to develop athletic ability and<br />

artistic skills, while building confidence and selfesteem.<br />

Junior Bisnath’s motto <strong>—</strong> painted on the<br />

side of his home <strong>—</strong> summarises the ethos: “Say yes<br />

to life, get high on stilts!” n<br />

Trinidad, and seeing moko jumbies as part of a<br />

<strong>Caribbean</strong> aesthetic that could be universal, Pinheiro<br />

has been involved in two decades of Carnival<br />

and other performances, major theatre events, and<br />

lots of workshops.<br />

A Keylemanjahro moko jumbie On the other side of the Atlantic, there is little<br />

ties on his stilts history of moko jumbies at London’s Notting Hill or<br />

other West Indian Carnival celebrations in Britain,<br />

but that is gradually changing. Touch D Sky’s popularity<br />

in T&T has led to an offshoot based in Newcastle-upon-<br />

and two friends. Since 2010, they have run after-school programmes<br />

in Brooklyn and Newark, New Jersey. They have participated<br />

in Kiddies Carnival in Brooklyn (last year, with all the dadian team. They run workshops and now perform with the<br />

Tyne run by Alan Vaughan, together with some of the Trini-<br />

girls costumed as butterflies and all the boys as dragonflies) and Elimu Mas Academy for Notting Hill. This year, Vaughan and<br />

the Greenwich Village Halloween Parade. They’ve performed at Adrian Young developed performances working with contemporary<br />

dancers, an art performance called The Isle Is Full of Noises<br />

events of all kinds <strong>—</strong> birthday parties, weddings, political rallies,<br />

and even the funeral of a prince from Nigeria.<br />

(based on Shakespeare’s play The Tempest), and, in collaboration<br />

with choreographer Martin Hylton, the performance work<br />

The Universoul Circus, which started in 1994 and travels the<br />

United States, reflects black culture through circus arts. For many My Knowledge Increase, My Memories Reflect, a celebration of<br />

years, it has featured both limbo dancers and moko jumbies Martin Luther King, Jr, and the Civil Rights Movement.<br />

from Trinidad, offering perhaps the only full-time professional In 2016, Zak Ové, a British artist of Trinidadian heritage, was<br />

work available for practitioners. They hold auditions in Trinidad commissioned by the British Museum to build two moko jumbie<br />

to get the most accomplished from various groups.<br />

sculptures, seven metres tall, mounted in the museum’s entrance<br />

Meanwhile, in Toronto, Canada, moko jumbies have featured hall in conjunction with an African art exhibit. It was timed with<br />

in the work of the Swizzlestick Theatre, formed back in 1997, Notting Hill Carnival, and members of Touch D Sky performed<br />

growing out of the theatre and performance work of<br />

at the opening. The sculptures were ultimately chosen for the<br />

Christopher Pinheiro. Having worked in Minshall’s mas camp in museum’s permanent collection.<br />



snapshot<br />

There’s no T&T Carnival without music<br />

<strong>—</strong> or without competition. From calypso<br />

monarch to extempo champ, the Carnival<br />

season is full of opportunities for calypso<br />

and soca artistes to match their composition<br />

and performance skills, and rivalries can<br />

persist for lifetimes. But there’s one musical title<br />

that reflects the will of ordinary masqueraders,<br />

and for some performers it’s the ultimate accolade.<br />

Mark Lyndersay looks back at the eight-decade history of<br />

the Road March competition <strong>—</strong> and we share our picks for<br />

the top ten Road March songs of all time<br />


On Ash Wednesday 2017, MX<br />

Prime <strong>—</strong> the performer formerly<br />

known as Maximus Dan and<br />

christened Edghill Thomas <strong>—</strong><br />

along with his production and<br />

performance team, Ultimate<br />

Rejects, were announced as the winners of Trinidad<br />

and Tobago’s Carnival Road March competition.<br />

Their song, “Full Extreme”, was played 556<br />

times at competition venues around Port of Spain.<br />

The second-place winner, Machel Montano’s<br />

“Your Time Now”, trailed with seventy-two plays.<br />

The Road March competition isn’t like most<br />

popularity contests or talent competitions judged<br />

by the public. Nobody sits at home to make a call<br />

or send a text. To win the Road March, a composer<br />

has to write a song that makes people get up<br />

and dance <strong>—</strong> to be specific, all the people<br />

who celebrate T&T’s Carnival every<br />

year <strong>—</strong> and keep them on their feet for<br />

two days of prancing. To stand any<br />

chance of succeeding,<br />

the modern<br />

Road March must<br />

be the anthem of wining, that rhythmic gyration<br />

of the waist, often done in concert with a partner<br />

or two, that found wider international notice in a<br />

distinctly corrupted form as twerking.<br />

Each year’s Road March and its contenders are<br />

consigned to history along with the masqueraders’<br />

costumes, and it’s a rare song that earns a<br />

play on the road after its year of glory. The first<br />

Road March title was recorded in 1930, Inveigler<br />

(MacDonald Borel)’s “Captain Cipriani”, and a<br />

song has won the accolade every year since then,<br />

even between 1942 and 1945, when Carnival was<br />

officially suspended during the Second World War.<br />

There were, of course, enormously popular<br />

songs before then, songs so entrancing<br />

that they jumped from band to band in<br />

an environment that was quite different from the<br />

mechanised, industrially driven Carnival of today.<br />

Back then, a Carnival band took to the road with<br />

its own live music, the earliest form of which<br />

were long sticks of bamboo rhythmically beaten<br />

to accompany the chantwell <strong>—</strong> the singer leading<br />

the costumed group <strong>—</strong> who considered life, love,<br />

politics, and the bacchanal of the barrack yard in<br />

his composition.<br />

“The first song sung by almost every band on the<br />

road was probably ‘Sly Mongoose’,” says Professor<br />

Gordon Rohlehr, the eminent literary scholar<br />

with a lifelong personal and academic interest<br />

in the genesis of calypso. The song came to<br />

Trinidad and Tobago in 1919, and was<br />

sung in a tent by Houdini in 1921,<br />

becoming popular on the road<br />

in 1923. “It was likely to have<br />

been a Jamaican folk song, but<br />

melodies travelled throughout<br />

the islands and became<br />

songs with different lyrics and<br />

Michele Jorsling courtesy ultimate rejects<br />

The Road March<br />

competition isn’t<br />

like most popularity<br />

contests judged by the<br />

public. Nobody sits at<br />

home to make a call<br />

MX Prime (centre) and Ultimate<br />

Rejects, 2017 Road March champs<br />


David Rudder, whose<br />

“Bahia Girl” won the 1986<br />

Road March<br />

mark lyndersay/lyndersaydigital.com<br />

arrangements. ‘Captain Cipriani’ was most likely a<br />

melody we know as ‘Ambakaila’.”<br />

That music would evolve along with Carnival<br />

itself. Popular chantwells would host visitors to<br />

their yards as they rehearsed, and eventually a<br />

small fee was asked, beginning a tradition that<br />

would eventually become the calypso tent. In<br />

search of louder rhythms and smoother melodies,<br />

the bands would beat biscuit tins, paint<br />

cans, and eventually steel drums, which would<br />

be shaped and refined to create the modern<br />

steelpan instrument.<br />

In parallel, musicians would accompany the<br />

bands, first bringing small woodwind instruments,<br />

flutes, clarinets, guitars, and violins. These<br />

were eventually joined by full-throated brass,<br />

as saxophones and trumpets provided a path of<br />

influence for big-band jazz music to flow into the<br />

calypsonian’s repertoire.<br />

Railway Douglas (Walter Douglas), who won<br />

the Road March in 1934 with “After Johnny Drink<br />

Meh Rum”, was a key personality in the evolution<br />

of this stage of the calypso as the favoured voice<br />

of the people. “Inveigler was Railway Douglas’s<br />

assistant,” explains Rohlehr, “but Douglas thought<br />

that picong calypsoes were demeaning and a<br />

throwback to slavery days. He would sing topically<br />

about social issues and the scandals of the day.”<br />

Calypso would emerge as a narrative form of<br />

storytelling and commentary, the structure of the<br />

words in balance with the melody, even as live<br />

band music entered a long period of jousting with<br />

the steelband as the preferred soundtrack to drive<br />

bands along the parade route.<br />


After Sparrow won in<br />

1956, the Road March<br />

competition belonged to<br />

him and his career-long<br />

rival Lord Kitchener for<br />

the next decade<br />

Kingsley LYNDERSAY/lyndersaydigital.com<br />

With eight Road March<br />

wins over three decades,<br />

the Mighty Sparrow is tied<br />

for third place in the overall<br />

Road March rankings<br />

“Rum and Coca-Cola”, Lord Invader (Rupert<br />

Grant)’s 1943 hit, would characterise the sentiments<br />

of the male calypso fraternity, who chafed<br />

at the presence of the American military on the<br />

island and the response of local women to the<br />

prized “Yankee dollar.” That response to the social<br />

circumstances of the day would find their apotheosis<br />

in the Mighty Sparrow (Slinger Francisco)’s<br />

1956 Road March “Jean and Dinah”, a song he later<br />

admitted was created as an advertisement for a<br />

local store that he repurposed into groundbreaking<br />

social commentary, and the first Calypso King<br />

crown of his career.<br />

Sparrow’s emergence was preceded by one of<br />

the oddest Road Marches of the twentieth century,<br />

1955’s “The Happy Wanderer”, a German march<br />

sung by the Obernkirchen Children’s Choir <strong>—</strong><br />

better known by its catchy chorus, “Val-de-ri,<br />

Val-de-ra.” The song, says Rohlehr, “was larger in<br />

structure than a traditional calypso and may have<br />

influenced the form of ‘Jean and Dinah’, which also<br />

had a long chorus.” This was a very different era<br />

for the Road March, one in which any song with<br />

a catchy melody might be popular on the road.<br />

Advertisements for Tisane de Durbon and Nagib<br />

Elias’s lumber business were cheerfully sung<br />

alongside performances by calypsonians.<br />

It wasn’t until 1976 that the popular “Tourist<br />

Leggo” by Antiguan Lord Short Shirt would annoy<br />

calypso’s establishment so much that it would be<br />

banned from official competitions, beginning an<br />

unfortunate era of Road March insularity. Since<br />

then, only performers from T&T have been eligible<br />

for the competition <strong>—</strong> though Short Shirt’s song<br />

went on to win the Antigua and Barbuda Road<br />

March title.<br />


His ten Road March titles<br />

make the late Lord Kitchener<br />

the all-time champion of the<br />

competition<br />

courtesy rca victor<br />

After Sparrow won in 1956, the Road March<br />

competition belonged to him and his career-long<br />

rival Lord Kitchener (Aldwyn Roberts) for the next<br />

decade <strong>—</strong> interrupted only by Lord Christo and<br />

Nap Hepburn, who won a twin competition in 1957<br />

with “Chicken Chest” and “Doctor Nelson”, by<br />

Lord Caruso in 1959 with “Run the Gunslingers”,<br />

and Lord Blakie’s plaintive 1962 “Maria”.<br />

Sparrow and Kitchener’s second ten-year<br />

stretch of Road March dominance, starting in<br />

the 1960s, was interrupted only once by Shadow<br />

(Aldwyn Bailey)’s 1974 “Bass Man”, but that was a<br />

change that fundamentally refocused the competition<br />

on music. The Mighty Shadow was a Tobagoborn<br />

calypsonian who had been working for years<br />

to break into the big times. It happened with “Bass<br />

Man”, which told of a melody gifted to him as he<br />

was about “to give up calypso and go plant peas in<br />

Tobago.” That melody, anchored by a “poom pittity<br />

poom” sung deep from his chest, was nothing less<br />

than a bass run on a steelpan in a song, anchored<br />

by a surprisingly funky bass line.<br />

Shadow <strong>—</strong> an unabashed fan of Teddy Pendergrass<br />

who titled one album If Ah Woulda, I Coulda,<br />

I Shoulda <strong>—</strong> launched a career of songs anchored<br />

by soulful beats and empathic, often psychedelic<br />

lyrics that drifted some distance from the more<br />

commonplace topics favoured by his calypsonian<br />

peers. He dropped the traditional calypsonian’s<br />

superlative soon afterward, shedding a “Mighty”<br />

that was now demonstrably superfluous.<br />

Three years later, Calypso Rose (McCartha<br />


Sandy-Lewis)’s 1977 hit “Tempo” forever ended the<br />

Sparrow-Kitchener axis with a Road March that<br />

was all about melody, and a chorus that echoed<br />

the percussiveness of “Bass Man”. Rose became<br />

the first female champion of the road, singing<br />

triumphantly over a music bed that made liberal<br />

use of modern synthesiser technology.<br />

Kitchener, who understood music in a particularly<br />

deep and profound way, would put his stamp<br />

on the young people’s soca music, by then the<br />

dominant form in play at Carnival parties and on<br />

the road, with 1978’s “Sugar Bum Bum”, but would<br />

have greater success developing complex musical<br />

ideas for the steelband, most notably with “The<br />

Bee’s Melody” and “Pan in A Minor”.<br />

The “revenge”<br />

Road March<br />

The story of the Road March after “Bass<br />

Man” and “Tempo” is a narrative of conflict<br />

between the traditional calypso art form<br />

and soca, its funk-influenced derivative, alongside<br />

the rising importance of the disc jockey as the<br />

preferred delivery mechanism for the music of the<br />

road, eventually overwhelming the role of the live<br />

performing band.<br />

Soca’s hypnotic beat was cemented as the<br />

commanding presence in the Road March between<br />

1977 and 1990, but in 1991 the freshly rechristened<br />

Superblue <strong>—</strong> born Austin Lyons, and formerly<br />

known as Blue Boy <strong>—</strong> would introduce the lyric-ascommand<br />

to the road mix with the urgent chorus<br />

of “Get Something and Wave”. In the twenty-seven<br />

Shadow’s 1974 Road<br />

March, “Bass Man”, was<br />

a game-changer for<br />

Carnival music<br />

The Calypso Monarch<br />

competition once<br />

required finalists to sing<br />

two songs for a marking<br />

system that encouraged<br />

the performance of a<br />

“serious” calypso and<br />

a party number. In<br />

1974, Sparrow won the<br />

competition with a pair<br />

of songs tailor-made<br />

for the requirements of<br />

the competition, “We<br />

Pass that Stage” and<br />

“Miss Mary”. That year,<br />

Shadow performed<br />

“Bass Man” and “I Come<br />

Out to Play”, two songs<br />

popular in parties. From<br />

J’Ouvert on Carnival<br />

Monday, it was clear<br />

that masqueraders were<br />

intent on redressing the<br />

Calypso Monarch judges’<br />

verdict, demanding “Bass<br />

Man” for two days and<br />

making Shadow’s vertical<br />

prance the dance of the<br />

festival.<br />

“That wasn’t revenge<br />

as much as it was<br />

pure street justice,”<br />

recalls Gordon Rohlehr.<br />

“There is an element of<br />

mischievous fun in the<br />

Road March.”<br />

mark lyndersay/lyndersaydigital.com<br />


The first woman ever to win a Road<br />

March title, Calypso Rose has enjoyed<br />

a long career breaking barriers<br />

Soca’s hypnotic beat was<br />

cemented as the commanding<br />

presence in the Road<br />

March between 1977 and<br />

1990<br />

Frans Schellekens / redferns / getty images<br />

years since then, the explosive, post-curfew release<br />

of the song, which followed the attempted coup of<br />

September 1990, still echoes in soca dance music.<br />

Younger performers <strong>—</strong> including Superblue’s<br />

daughter Fay-Ann Lyons, twice winner of the Road<br />

March title <strong>—</strong> have taken that song and its successors<br />

as the baseline for their own successful songs<br />

for the road.<br />

As Blue Boy, Lyons had already registered two<br />

successive Road March wins in 1980 and 1981<br />

with “Soca Baptist” and “Ethel” when he changed<br />

the pace and focus of the Road March forever with<br />

“Get Something and Wave”. He would infuse that<br />

formula into three more winners, “Jab Jab”, “Bacchanal<br />

Time”, and “Signal to Lara”, characterising<br />

them with sharp chord changes across melodies.<br />

These were songs with music enough for three<br />

tunes, eccentric and easy-to-shout lyrics, and a<br />

profoundly intuitive sense of what makes people<br />

go crazy at Carnival time. Gordon Rohlehr sees<br />

a parallel in the relationship between Superblue’s<br />

interaction with crowds and the long-ago chantwell’s<br />

management of his Carnival band.<br />

The Road March as zeitgeist<br />

There’s an argument to be made that the celebration of<br />

Carnival on Monday and Tuesday has been influenced<br />

deeply by the music of each era of its development. The<br />

shuffling march of the earliest Carnivals proceeded to the<br />

staccato, almost military beat of bamboo percussion. As the<br />

music grew louder and more melodic with the entry of the<br />

steelband, the words of the songs became less of a chant<br />

and more of a sing-along. The celebratory blast of horns<br />

from big bands added the miming of brass playing and the<br />

celebratory raising of arms to mostly sunswept skies.<br />

In this heated competition, what made one song the<br />

Road March and the others merely popular?<br />

The earliest recorded road marches are distinguished<br />

by a subversive wit and topical humour. Between 1935 and<br />

1941, the Roaring Lion (Rafael De Leon) won four of the<br />

six competitions with calypsoes that managed to be both<br />

bawdy and socially concerned. Lord Kitchener’s return<br />

from England was formally heralded with “The Road”, a<br />

song that remains, to this day, the unofficial anthem and<br />

reference point for summarising the annual street party. It<br />

was also a gauntlet thrown down to Sparrow, and for the<br />

next two decades the pair would battle for the attention of<br />

revellers on the road.<br />

Kitchener’s melodies were wildly successful on the<br />

steelpan, and he would increasingly turn his attention to<br />

that instrument as the decisive interpreter of his compositions,<br />

with unparalleled success. His last Road March, “Flag<br />

Woman” in 1976, was both a final coda to the supremacy<br />

of the steelband as the driving force for music on the<br />

road, and a paean to the woman charged with bearing<br />

the band’s standard and clearing a path for the heavy steel<br />

drums as they rolled through crowded streets.<br />

The next year, Calypso Rose would win with “Tempo”, a<br />

song crafted for brass bands, beginning an era that would<br />

run from 1977 to 1990 <strong>—</strong> upbeat songs for dancing that<br />

increasingly abandoned commentary for catchy hook lines<br />

Continued on page 66<br />


Meanwhile, as the beat has grown faster, the<br />

lyrics have largely abandoned narrative for pop<br />

song hooklines, phrases that can be shouted as<br />

you leap forward on the tips of your toes, twirling<br />

a handy cloth over your head. Several popular soca<br />

hits have lifted chord progressions from well-known<br />

pop songs and layered them into their music, and<br />

the Road March winners of the last seven years<br />

have been influenced by the style and<br />

structure of international electronic<br />

dance music (EDM).<br />

Since the late 1990s, Machel<br />

Montano has emerged as<br />

the most successful architect<br />

of the modern Road<br />

March, blending an<br />

understanding of the<br />

lyric as supporting<br />

framework for the<br />

music with a<br />

master’s touch<br />

in the production of the final work. Montano has<br />

won eight of the Road March competitions since<br />

1997, five of them since 2010.<br />

In <strong>2018</strong>, the traditional calypso tent, once the<br />

stamp of artistic approval for a calypsonian, has<br />

shrunk almost into insignificance, subsisting on a<br />

lifeline of state support. Local radio and the Carnival<br />

party are now where music is auditioned for<br />

public consumption, and the range that’s offered<br />

represents only a fraction of the music actually<br />

created for the festival.<br />

The calypsonian now finds himself in the<br />

position of the chantwell he replaced more than<br />

a hundred years ago, losing ground in Carnival<br />

to a more popular music with aggressive, focused<br />

practitioners. But, as the recent success of Calypso<br />

Rose in Europe demonstrates, the form still has a<br />

lot of life to it. The Road March and the creators<br />

who compose for it once more look to all the music<br />

that makes people dance <strong>—</strong> whatever its origins <strong>—</strong><br />

for its influences.<br />

mark lyndersay/lyndersaydigital.com<br />

Currently tied with Sparrow at<br />

eight Road March wins, Machel<br />

Montano conceivably has decades<br />

ahead of him to break Kitchener’s<br />

record<br />

and tip-of-the-toes prancing.<br />

That trend would go to another level in 1991 with a<br />

resurgent Blue Boy, now singing as Super Blue. His astonishing<br />

troika of winners, “Get Something and Wave”, “Jab Jab”, and<br />

“Bacchanal Time”, put down a template for dance-focused<br />

soca that fundamentally changed the pace and approach of<br />

composers, arrangers, and musicians who would find the fast<br />

time and heated pitch of the songs difficult to maintain on<br />

the road.<br />

It was here that two things happened in the Road March<br />

competition. First, the gulf between the songs that got played<br />

on stage to stoke the bands and the music played on the actual<br />

road grew wider. Then it became clear to bandleaders that<br />

the music, now prepared in special “road mix” recordings, was<br />

more easily played by disc jockeys, who also happened to be<br />

cheaper than full live bands.<br />

That opened the door to more multi-tracking, sharper<br />

cutting on chord changes, and deeper use of electronics in<br />

creating the songs, just when it became possible for almost<br />

anyone to create music on their computer at home.<br />

On its surface, at the level of the lyrics, Road Marches<br />

became instructions to revellers. “Moving to the left,” sang<br />

Nigel Lewis. “Hold on to the big truck,” urged Machel Montano.<br />

“Footsteps . . . on the ground,” demanded the late<br />

Wayne Rodriguez.<br />

On a deeper level, this was music that did more<br />

than invite the listener to get up and dance <strong>—</strong> it was<br />

designed to take people already committed to prancing<br />

to another level of euphoria and excitement.<br />

It isn’t surprising, then, to find elements of electronic<br />

dance music (EDM) showing up in recent Road March<br />

contenders, and to see the influence of dance soca<br />

bleeding back, as it did in 2014’s “Antenna”, the<br />

breakout single by Fuse ODG (Richard Abiona).<br />


Ten for<br />

the road<br />

Of the eighty-plus songs that have won the official Road March<br />

title, some are little remembered, some have become “back-intimes”<br />

favourites, and a few are considered landmarks <strong>—</strong> whether<br />

for their musical qualities or for trends they ushered in. Here are all<br />

the recorded Road March winners up to 2017 <strong>—</strong> and our picks* for<br />

an all-time Road March top ten.<br />

1930<br />

Lord Inveigler<br />

Captain Cipriani<br />

1931<br />

King Houdini<br />

Mr Huggins<br />

1932<br />

King Radio<br />

Tiger Tom Play Tiger Cat<br />

1933<br />

King Radio<br />

Wash Pan Wash<br />

1934<br />

Railway Douglas<br />

After Johnny Drink Me<br />

Rum<br />

1935<br />

Roaring Lion<br />

Dingolay Oy<br />

1936<br />

Roaring Lion<br />

Advantage Could Never<br />

Done<br />

1937<br />

Roaring Lion<br />

Netty Netty<br />

1938<br />

Roaring Lion<br />

No Norah Darling<br />

1939<br />

King Radio<br />

Mathilda<br />

She take meh money and run<br />

Venezuela . . . With a perfect<br />

combination of plaintive<br />

lyrics and jaunty melody,<br />

King Radio (Norman Span)<br />

lamented the unfaithfulness<br />

of a wife or girlfriend who<br />

stole the cash hidden in his<br />

mattress and headed for<br />

the mainland. Nearly eight<br />

decades later, it remains one<br />

of the most immediately recognisable<br />

calypso choruses,<br />

and not just for Trinbagonians.<br />

Harry Belafonte’s 1953<br />

recording became an international<br />

hit, later covered by<br />

performers as unlikely as the<br />

Greatful Dead. Needless to<br />

say, King Radio never saw a<br />

cent in royalties.<br />

1940<br />

Lord Beginner<br />

Run Yuh Run<br />

Philip Sander<br />

1941<br />

Roaring Lion<br />

Whoopsin Whoopsin<br />

Though there were no official<br />

Carnival celebrations from 1942<br />

to 1945, at the height of the Second<br />

World War, informal “Road<br />

March” titles are recognised<br />

for the most popular songs in<br />

calypso tents in those years.<br />

1942<br />

Lord Kitchener<br />

Lai Fook Lee<br />

1943<br />

Lord Invader<br />

Rum and Coca-Cola<br />

1944<br />

King Radio<br />

Brown Skin Girl<br />

1945<br />

Roaring Lion<br />

All Day All Night, Mary-Ann<br />

1946<br />

Lord Kitchener<br />

Jump in the Line<br />

1947<br />

King Pharaoh<br />

Portuguese Dance<br />

(Vishki Vashki Voo)<br />

1948<br />

Lord Melody<br />

Canaan Barrow<br />

1949<br />

Roaring Wonder<br />

Ramgoat Baptism<br />

1950<br />

Mighty Killer<br />

In a Calabash<br />

1951<br />

Mighty Terror<br />

Tiny Davis<br />

1953<br />

Vivian Comma / Spit Fire<br />

Madeline Oye / Bow Wow<br />

Wow<br />

Two separate Road March<br />

competitions this year produced<br />

rival winners.<br />

1952<br />

Spit Fire<br />

Post, Post Another Letter<br />

for Thelma<br />

1954<br />

Lord Blakie<br />

Steel Band Clash<br />

1955<br />

Obernkirchen Children’s<br />

Choir<br />

The Happy Wanderer<br />

(German pop song)<br />

1956<br />

Mighty Sparrow<br />

Jean and Dinah<br />

The greatest calypsonian of all<br />

time? The Birdie would certainly<br />

agree. It’s a reign that<br />

started with a bang in 1956,<br />

with the song that won him<br />

both the Calypso King and<br />

Road March titles. Sixty-two<br />

years later, “Jean and Dinah”<br />

is more than a calypso classic<br />

<strong>—</strong> it’s a cultural touchstone<br />

and a symbol of that brash,<br />

confident era between the end<br />

of the Second World War and<br />

Independence in 1962.<br />

Above all, it tells a story of<br />

social evolution. Well, the girls<br />

in town feeling bad, no more<br />

Yankees in Trinidad . . . As US<br />

troops withdrew from the<br />

bases around Port of Spain, a<br />

surging sentiment of nationalism<br />

culminated in the general<br />

elections of September 1956,<br />

which returned Eric Williams<br />

of the PNM as premier and<br />

cleared the path to Independence<br />

negotiations. But Sparrow<br />

portrayed this moment<br />

of change in more personal,<br />

down-to-earth terms. With<br />

the Americans out of the<br />

way, Sparrow and his fellow<br />

“glamour boys” were “back<br />

in control” of Port of Spain’s<br />

nightlife scene. “Jean and<br />

Dinah, Rosita and Clementina,”<br />

the good-time girls who<br />


had reserved their favours<br />

for the US servicemen, now<br />

had to make do with local<br />

trade. In for a penny, in for a<br />

pound. A tide was turning, in<br />

personal relations as much<br />

as in politics, and Sparrow’s<br />

preening delivery suggested<br />

who he thought would end up<br />

on top.<br />

“Jean and Dinah” was oral<br />

history and penetrating social<br />

commentary, cocky and<br />

risqué, with lyrics deserving<br />

literary analysis and an unforgettable<br />

tune: a calypso to<br />

engage listeners’ wits as much<br />

as their waists. For most<br />

Trinbagonians, it’s as familiar<br />

as the National Anthem, a<br />

song of similar vintage and<br />

asserted confidence. And the<br />

famous last line of the chorus<br />

<strong>—</strong> “Sparrow take over now”<br />

<strong>—</strong> was an accurate prediction<br />

of the Birdie’s calypso dominance<br />

of the coming decades.<br />

Philip Sander<br />

1957<br />

Lord Christo / Nap Hepburn<br />

Chicken Chest / Doctor<br />

Nelson<br />

As in 1953, separate Road<br />

March competitions produced<br />

rival winners.<br />

1958<br />

Mighty Sparrow<br />

Pay As You Earn<br />

1959<br />

Lord Caruso<br />

Run the Gunslingers<br />

1960<br />

Mighty Sparrow<br />

Mae Mae<br />

1961<br />

Mighty Sparrow<br />

Royal Jail<br />

1962<br />

Lord Blakie<br />

Maria<br />

1963<br />

Lord Kitchener<br />

The Road<br />

1964<br />

Lord Kitchener<br />

This Is Mas<br />

1965<br />

Lord Kitchener<br />

My Pussin<br />

1966<br />

Mighty Sparrow<br />

Obeah Wedding<br />

1967<br />

Lord Kitchener<br />

Sixty-Seven<br />

1968<br />

Lord Kitchener<br />

Miss Tourist<br />

1969<br />

Mighty Sparrow<br />

Sa Sa Yea<br />

1970<br />

Lord Kitchener<br />

Margie<br />

1971<br />

Lord Kitchener<br />

Madison Square Garden<br />

1972<br />

Mighty Sparrow<br />

Drunk and Disorderly<br />

1973<br />

Lord Kitchener<br />

Rainorama<br />

Only once in the past century<br />

has Carnival’s traditional<br />

connection with the start of<br />

Lent been severed. In 1972,<br />

faced with a polio outbreak,<br />

the government threatened<br />

to cancel the festival <strong>—</strong> then,<br />

faced with public outcry,<br />

postponed it from <strong>February</strong><br />

to May, and from the dry to<br />

the rainy season, so that masqueraders<br />

were predictably<br />

drenched. A year later,<br />

Kitchener’s “Rainorama”<br />

recounted the drama <strong>—</strong> and<br />

won the Grandmaster his<br />

ninth Road March title.<br />

The song’s laid-back<br />

rhythm and sweet melody<br />

almost disguise the fact that<br />

“Rainorama” is an uncompromising<br />

defence of Carnival<br />

and its place in T&T’s national<br />

life, a riposte to those “so and<br />

so hypocrites” who call it an<br />

unneeded distraction or waste<br />

of time. This is calypso as<br />

history lesson and as protest,<br />

but so seductively composed,<br />

it allows no resistance. And<br />

for Kitchener it was such a<br />

big hit that when he built his<br />

dream house in Diego Martin,<br />

on Port of Spain’s western<br />

outskirts, he named it “Rainorama”<br />

<strong>—</strong> proudly declared<br />

in an illuminated sign on the<br />

front lawn.<br />

1974<br />

Shadow<br />

Bass Man<br />

Philip Sander<br />

It was the song that broke the<br />

Sparrow/Kitchener monopoly<br />

on the Road March title.<br />

I wasn’t even born when<br />

“Bass Man” won the Road<br />

March <strong>—</strong> but, growing up in<br />

a house with Shadow being<br />

played constantly, I decided<br />

early on that he is the greatest<br />

thing that ever happened to<br />

music in Trinidad and Tobago.<br />

Although he’s won the Road<br />

March title only twice in his<br />

long career, Shadow’s skill<br />

at storytelling and the way<br />

he plays with melody, his<br />

bizarre vocal range and the<br />

sweet sadness of his musical<br />

arrangements, make him<br />

the most avant-garde street<br />

philosopher we’ve ever had.<br />

In “Bass Man”, Shadow<br />

manages to capture the<br />

frustration of the calypsonian<br />

who can’t make a living from<br />

his art, yet the impetus to create<br />

is greater than the frustration.<br />

I don’t know how this thing<br />

get inside me. Which artist<br />

doesn’t know that truth? This<br />

song is the strong foundation<br />

on which Shadow has created<br />

an entire universe of feeling<br />

in his music: a different<br />

language and energy, a way<br />

to channel all the pain, all the<br />

sadness, all those feelings of<br />

inadequacy into the ability to<br />

have hope and dance in spite<br />

of it all.<br />

Attillah Springer<br />

1975<br />

Lord Kitchener<br />

Tribute to Spree Simon<br />

1976<br />

Lord Kitchener<br />

Flag Woman<br />

1977<br />

Calypso Rose<br />

Tempo<br />

Port of Spain too small for the<br />

Carnival . . . T&T’s capital<br />

considers itself ground zero<br />

for the festival, but Calypso<br />

Rose dared sing this infectious<br />

tune about heading<br />

south to San Fernando, and<br />

took her first Road March<br />

title. It was history-making:<br />

for the first time ever, the<br />

Road March was won by a<br />

woman, and Rose successfully<br />

defended the title a year<br />

later, when she also became<br />

the first woman ever to<br />

win the Calypso King title,<br />

which immediately had to<br />

be renamed. After Rose, it<br />

was twenty-one years before<br />

another woman, Sanelle<br />

Dempster, won Road March,<br />


and only two others <strong>—</strong> Fay-<br />

Ann Lyons and Patrice<br />

Roberts (duetting with Machel<br />

Montano) <strong>—</strong> have taken the<br />

title.<br />

Some say Rose’s Road<br />

March breakthrough should<br />

have come a decade earlier,<br />

with “Fire in Me Wire”. For<br />

years, rumours have had it<br />

that the 1966 Road March<br />

invigilators fudged the<br />

figures, unready for a woman<br />

calypsonian to win. Whatever<br />

the truth, if longevity is the<br />

best revenge, Rose has come<br />

out on top, enjoying a huge<br />

surge of international success<br />

in recent years with her Far<br />

From Home album.<br />

1978<br />

Calypso Rose<br />

Come Leh We Jam<br />

Philip Sander<br />

1979<br />

Poser<br />

A Tell She (Smoke Ah<br />

Watty)<br />

1980<br />

Blue Boy<br />

Soca Baptist<br />

Almost any Road March by<br />

nine-time winner Superblue<br />

<strong>—</strong> formerly known as Blue<br />

Boy <strong>—</strong> could make a top ten.<br />

But his first-ever Road March<br />

does something extraordinary.<br />

Without a single<br />

historical reference, Blue tells<br />

the story of how we masked<br />

our spiritual traditions in<br />

our popular artforms, as his<br />

observation of the Spiritual<br />

Baptists “bacchanal” brings<br />

him to the conclusion that the<br />

ecstatic nature of the doption<br />

is the same as what happens<br />

in the soca fete.<br />

Some loved it for the<br />

music, and some thought<br />

it was another example of<br />

the trivialising of non-mainstream<br />

modes of worship.<br />

But if you’ve ever seen or<br />

heard a gathering of Spiritual<br />

Baptists on a street corner, or<br />

observed that moment in an<br />

Orisa feast when the repetitive<br />

nature of the drumming<br />

and the call and response<br />

of the chants propel some<br />

dancers into a state of possession,<br />

then you understand<br />

that “Soca Baptist” speaks<br />

deep truths about the ecstatic<br />

nature of Carnival music.<br />

When I hear it now, I think<br />

it is a classically non-Western<br />

way of not seeing a distinction<br />

between what is sacred<br />

and what is profane. Indeed,<br />

beyond the perception of the<br />

profanity of jam and wine,<br />

soca is a spiritual encounter.<br />

1981<br />

Blue Boy<br />

Ethel<br />

1982<br />

Penguin<br />

Deputy<br />

1983<br />

Blue Boy<br />

Rebecca<br />

1984<br />

Mighty Sparrow<br />

Doh Back Back<br />

1985<br />

Crazy<br />

Soucoyant<br />

1986<br />

David Rudder<br />

Bahia Girl<br />

Attillah Springer<br />

In his breakthrough year,<br />

David Rudder won it all,<br />

taking the title of Calypso<br />

Monarch with “The Hammer”<br />

and both Young King and<br />

Road March with “Bahia<br />

Girl”. So simple and pure in<br />

its sweetness, this is a classic<br />

<strong>Caribbean</strong> love song, the<br />

chipping pace perfect for the<br />

road. But the secret to why<br />

“Bahia Girl” is so significant is<br />

in the last verse: Ile Ife Ile Ife,<br />

she make me to understand. Ile<br />

Ife, the mythical home of the<br />

Yoruba people of Nigeria, is<br />

the reason Rudder shares so<br />

much in common with “this<br />

girl from Bahia.” It’s no accident<br />

this was the same time<br />

scholars and spiritual leaders<br />

of the Orisa community were<br />

starting to share information<br />

on shared spiritual retentions<br />

in Brazil, Trinidad, and Cuba.<br />

In the post–Black Power<br />

era, when T&T’s black middle<br />

class started reconnecting<br />

with African spiritual forms<br />

that had been shamed into<br />

secrecy, music became a way<br />

to reclaim what was lost. It<br />

was common to hear stories<br />

of people “ketching power”<br />

when Rudder was on stage,<br />

then ending up in an Orisa<br />

yard soon after to consult<br />

with an elder. It terrified<br />

many and delighted many<br />

more. Still others missed it<br />

completely, distracted by the<br />

infectiousness of the music.<br />

1987<br />

Mighty Duke<br />

Thunder<br />

1988<br />

Tambu<br />

This Party Is It<br />

1989<br />

Tambu<br />

Free Up<br />

Attillah Springer<br />

1990<br />

Tambu<br />

We Ain’t Going Home<br />

1991<br />

Superblue (formerly Blue Boy)<br />

Get Something and Wave<br />

1992<br />

Superblue<br />

Jab Jab<br />

1993<br />

Superblue<br />

Bacchanal Time<br />

1994<br />

Preacher<br />

Jump and Wave<br />

1995<br />

Superblue<br />

Signal to Lara<br />

1996<br />

Nigel Lewis<br />

Movin’<br />

1997<br />

Machel Montano<br />

Big Truck<br />

It was the coming-of-age<br />

song for the generation of<br />

Trini xennials: too young to<br />

remember Black Power, too<br />

young to attend curfew parties<br />

in 1990, but old enough<br />

to remember the disappointment<br />

of 1989’s World Cup<br />

football defeat <strong>—</strong> all defining<br />

moments in T&T history. The<br />

popularity of dancehall in<br />

the 1990s had led to a kind of<br />

apathy towards mainstream<br />

soca and calypso. That<br />

apathy was challenged by<br />

the advent of Kisskidee<br />

Karavan, which advanced a<br />

new frontline of local rapso,<br />

ragga, and hip-hop artists<br />

unfraid of articulating their<br />

reality in their own language,<br />

and also made you want to<br />

dance. What Machel Montano<br />

<strong>—</strong> who himself had grown up<br />

with us <strong>—</strong> was able to do was<br />

take soca and turn it on its<br />

head again, pull it away from<br />

the establishment and open<br />

the way for a whole new era<br />


of celebratory defiance. “Big<br />

Truck”, the first of eight Road<br />

March titles for Montano<br />

over the next two decades,<br />

set the pace and defined a<br />

generation. The nostalgia<br />

the song evokes for a time of<br />

innocence, adventure, and<br />

experimentation is bittersweet,<br />

hardened by the cynical<br />

jump-and-wave formula<br />

for winning prizes and fete<br />

money. It remains to be seen<br />

if the direction soca has been<br />

going since “Big Truck” is<br />

what the music needs or what<br />

the Carnival deserves.<br />

1998<br />

Wayne Rodriguez<br />

Footsteps<br />

1999<br />

Sanelle Dempster<br />

River<br />

Attillah Springer<br />

2000 (tie)<br />

Superblue / Iwer George<br />

Pump Up / Carnival Come<br />

Back Again<br />

2001<br />

Shadow<br />

Stranger<br />

2002<br />

Naya George<br />

Trinidad<br />

2003<br />

Fay-Ann Lyons<br />

Display<br />

2004<br />

Shurwayne Winchester<br />

Look de Band Comin’<br />

2005<br />

Shurwayne Winchester<br />

Dead or Alive<br />

2006<br />

Machel Montano and Patrice<br />

Roberts<br />

Band of de Year<br />

2007<br />

Machel Montano<br />

Jumbie<br />

2008<br />

Fay-Ann Lyons<br />

Get On<br />

2009<br />

Fay-Ann Lyons<br />

Meet Superblue<br />

2010<br />

JW & Blaze<br />

Palance<br />

It was a song that seemed<br />

to come out of nowhere and<br />

rampaged over all opposition.<br />

Radio DJs Jason “JW”<br />

Williams and Ancil “Blaze”<br />

Isaacs <strong>—</strong>the former skinny<br />

and antic, the latter stocky<br />

and serious <strong>—</strong> looked like a<br />

classic odd couple on stage<br />

and in the wildly popular<br />

video (which inexplicably<br />

featured a man in a Cookie<br />

Monster costume, a triumphant<br />

touch of the absurd<br />

and a reminder that a whole<br />

generation of young Trinbagonians<br />

grew up watching<br />

Sesame Street twice a day on<br />

the state-owned TV station).<br />

“Palance” took its title from<br />

a Trinidadian word meaning<br />

“have a good time,” a concept<br />

exhaustively represented in<br />

our vocabulary. Repeated<br />

endlessly in the chorus,<br />

“palance” was the cue for<br />

fete-goers and masqueraders<br />

to fling themselves from side<br />

to side, arms outstretched, en<br />

masse. It was totally senseless,<br />

and resistance was futile.<br />

2011<br />

Machel Montano<br />

Advantage<br />

2012<br />

Machel Montano<br />

Pump Yuh Flag<br />

2013<br />

Superblue<br />

Fantastic Friday<br />

2014<br />

Machel Montano<br />

Ministry of Road<br />

2015<br />

Machel Montano<br />

Like ah Boss<br />

Philip Sander<br />

2016<br />

Machel Montano<br />

Waiting on the Stage<br />

2017<br />

Ultimate Rejects, featuring<br />

MX Prime<br />

Full Extreme<br />

On the Wednesday before<br />

Carnival 2017, a building<br />

caught fire in downtown Port<br />

of Spain. Pedestrians and<br />

office workers stopped to gape<br />

as firetrucks wailed through<br />

the city. Two blocks to the<br />

west, another crowd gathered,<br />

taking part in a company’s<br />

giveaway game. The speakers<br />

blared as the flames rose<br />

higher: the city could bun down,<br />

we jamming still. Was MX<br />

Prime <strong>—</strong> formerly known as<br />

Maximus Dan and the main<br />

voice of Ultimate Rejects’ “Full<br />

Extreme” <strong>—</strong> poking fun at<br />

Trinbagonians’ inability to take<br />

anything seriously? Maybe.<br />

Undeniably, the song<br />

was the biggest of last year’s<br />

season. Like all great Road<br />

March songs, it captured the<br />

desires and fears of the people<br />

in the most straightforward<br />

language. Ultimate Rejects<br />

sang the ultimate jammette<br />

song <strong>—</strong> a song of defiance<br />

and also a sad understanding<br />

that the systems that exist<br />

in our society are not really<br />

made to benefit the people<br />

anyway. We wine as the city<br />

burns: a prophecy fulfilled.<br />

I stormed Panorama champs<br />

All Stars’ band on Carnival<br />

Tuesday afternoon as they<br />

chipped through town playing<br />

their “Full Extreme”. All<br />

those people, all that rum,<br />

all that choking in the cloud<br />

of talcum powder in a sea of<br />

sailors. It was the most beautiful<br />

non-J’Ouvert Carnival<br />

experience I’ve had in years.<br />

Carnival is the mirror that<br />

reflects that Trinbagonian<br />

ability to seek joy and beauty<br />

even in the worst situations. It<br />

is as much a blessing as it is a<br />

curse.<br />

Attillah Springer<br />

* So how did we choose our ten standout Road Marches? By the not very scientific method of polling all the members<br />

of the <strong>Caribbean</strong> <strong>Beat</strong> team, plus a handful of the magazine’s past and present music writers. Disagree with our picks?<br />

Have your say at www.caribbean-beat.com/roadmarch.<br />


Own words<br />

“ I’m<br />

unfinished”<br />

Tobago-born actor Winston Duke, appearing in the<br />

upcoming Black Panther movie, on his love of stories, his<br />

sense of being a work in process, and why returning to T&T<br />

keeps him grounded <strong>—</strong> as told to Caroline Taylor<br />

I<br />

left Tobago when I was about ten<br />

years old. My memories of Tobago<br />

are of running up and down on the<br />

beach, exploring my neighbourhood<br />

with friends, and a strong community<br />

of family. Family that always cooked<br />

and laughed together, family that supported<br />

each other, and came over any day they<br />

chose to. I remember freshly baked bread<br />

and sweet bread which my cousin, who<br />

lived about ten miles and four villages away,<br />

would have her teenage son deliver to us<br />

via bicycle. I really remember being part<br />

of something and somewhere <strong>—</strong> knowing<br />

I belonged.<br />

Something in particular which is etched<br />

in my memory is my village’s annual<br />

harvest festival. There was nothing, and<br />

has been nothing in my life ever since,<br />

that compared to that kind of familial<br />

and community interaction <strong>—</strong> my entire<br />

village cooking and opening their homes<br />

for others, including complete strangers,<br />

to freely eat, drink, dance, and converse.<br />

Then I moved to Brooklyn, New York,<br />

and the transition for me was incredibly<br />

hard. It was a huge culture shock. I came<br />

from an extended family in Tobago that<br />

easily spans at least two hundred and fifty<br />

people. So emigrating to a place where<br />

it’s just your mother and sister and little<br />

to no support systems was hard. I think I<br />

retreated deeply within myself.<br />

Brooklyn wasn’t a safe space for me. I<br />

remember our first year living at our new<br />

studio apartment, it was broken into and<br />

all we had was stolen. I often wanted us<br />

to come back home, but I also knew it just<br />

was not the plan. The plan was to build <strong>—</strong><br />

to achieve <strong>—</strong> to gain something different<br />

and valuable.<br />

I wanted to become an actor because<br />

I love stories and I wanted to be a part of<br />

telling great stories to as many people as I<br />

could. I figured out early on that I wanted<br />

to be a part of stories that reflect the lives of<br />

people who don’t always get to have a voice.<br />

My love for storytelling started back<br />

home in Tobago. I would listen to the<br />

older people in my village tell folklore<br />

stories about a gold-toothed donkey that<br />

they believed was a person who could<br />

shape-shift. Or of the douens which were<br />

supposedly the souls of children who died<br />

before they were christened. Or of this old<br />

man, Papa Bois, who lived in the forest<br />

and would protect it from hunters. I would<br />

always ask for those stories to be told to<br />

me every time older family and friends<br />

dropped by our house or restaurant. And<br />

let me tell you, they loved telling me those<br />

stories as well. This, I think, created my<br />

love for the genre of magical realism to<br />

this day.<br />

Landing the role of M’Baku in<br />

Black Panther was incredible. I just<br />

wanted to get in the room. I told my<br />

representation to just get me an audition<br />

and I’d do the rest. I loved [director] Ryan<br />

Coogler’s work <strong>—</strong> I remember being<br />

incredibly moved by Fruitvale Station and<br />

knowing that’s the kind of storyteller I<br />

wanted to work with one day. One with a<br />

clear and distinct voice.<br />

Being on set was something I never<br />

experienced before. Working with my<br />

own personal heroes in that superhero<br />

setting was something poetic and epic.<br />

To be able to meet and work alongside<br />

Angela Bassett, Forest Whittaker, Martin<br />

Freeman, and Chadwick Boseman, to<br />

name a few of this incredible ensemble,<br />

and not end up feeling out of place, was<br />

something I had only ever dreamed of<br />

before this movie. The knowledge that I<br />

was part of something that would allow<br />

people of colour all over the world to<br />

see themselves represented was surreal.<br />

What helped me to stay grounded was<br />

being careful to constantly check in with<br />

who M’Baku was <strong>—</strong> I wanted viewers<br />

to see a strong and impassioned leader<br />

willing to do whatever he has to for the<br />

betterment of his people.<br />

Hollywood is going through a period<br />

where a lot of people are advocating for<br />

inclusion and representation, and I think<br />

that directly correlates to the opportunities<br />

I am getting. Also, people are crying<br />

out for transparency, equality, and equity,<br />

so it’s a space that is empowering artists<br />


Kwaku Alston<br />


©Marvel Studios <strong>2018</strong><br />

Winston Duke (at centre) as M’Baku in Black Panther<br />

such as myself <strong>—</strong> who, perhaps, do not<br />

fit some of the previously held notions<br />

of leading male or female actor. I am sixfoot-five,<br />

two hundred and thirty pounds,<br />

and I think now is the time when the possibilities<br />

are higher for me to play people<br />

with depth. Not just goons and muscle,<br />

but layered and thinking individuals who<br />

have complex motivations.<br />

I figured out early on that I wanted to be a part<br />

of stories that reflect the lives of people who<br />

don’t always get to have a voice<br />

I believe this creates a huge market<br />

for strong stories that can come from the<br />

<strong>Caribbean</strong> <strong>—</strong> our folklore, our knack for<br />

great drama and storytelling has its place<br />

now. We just have to create the work. It’s<br />

not like it hasn’t been done before <strong>—</strong> just<br />

think of Euzhan Palcy and Sidney Poitier<br />

as zenith examples. We have beautiful<br />

sub-cultures which can and should be<br />

explored <strong>—</strong> our relationship to the sea<br />

and our fishermen, our mixed, blended<br />

cultures and the trials that come with<br />

that, our richly mixed and painful history<br />

of rebellion, revolution, and discovery<br />

<strong>—</strong> all of these stories are present in our<br />

<strong>Caribbean</strong> culture, and I would say the<br />

time is now. The world is “smaller” due to<br />

the internet and social media. People are<br />

craving their reflection.<br />

I would like my career to go into<br />

writing and producing stories about the<br />

immigrant experience. I love stories<br />

about outsiders who, through sheer will,<br />

create their own path. I would love to<br />

explore more magical realism, and follow<br />

my personal mission of depicting people<br />

who usually don’t get seen or given the<br />

opportunity to be visible.<br />

I<br />

try to return to Tobago at least once<br />

a year. Most recently I was in T&T<br />

briefly in the days before Carnival<br />

2017, but then had to rush back to set<br />

to complete shooting for Black Panther.<br />

It never works out perfectly to be there<br />

for Carnival, but I try every year. I fail<br />

because Carnival usually falls at one of<br />

the busiest times of year for me. That said,<br />

I love coming home. It charges me up.<br />

There are still a lot of things in process.<br />

Homes get built by people with their bare<br />

hands, with their blocks and cement and<br />

PVC pipes, and things aren’t finished, and<br />

it always feels like me. I’m in process <strong>—</strong><br />

I’m unfinished.<br />

Film, and my current life, are all about<br />

the product and the end result <strong>—</strong> but,<br />

to me, it’s the story in the process that<br />

makes everything worthwhile. So my<br />

focus tends to stay there, and coming<br />

home always reminds me of that. It keeps<br />

me grounded.<br />

I want to say a big shout-out to Bunji<br />

Garlin and Machel Montano <strong>—</strong> because<br />

I listen to their music almost every day.<br />

“Buss Head” <strong>—</strong> I listen to their lyrics of<br />

artistry, patience, process, and integrity.<br />

It reminds me that I come from a place<br />

with beautiful people who create and<br />

know themselves. It makes me further<br />

interrogate who I am and why I do what<br />

I do. n<br />

Black Panther will be released on 9 <strong>February</strong> in the UK, and 16 <strong>February</strong> in<br />

the US. For a longer version of this interview, visit discovertnt.com<br />


ARRIVE<br />

Photostravellers/shutterstock.com<br />

76 Destination<br />

Escape to Tobago<br />

88 Neighbourhood<br />

Gustavia,<br />

St Barthélemy<br />

96<br />

Round trip<br />

Art in the open<br />

Despite the ravages of Hurricane Irma, St Barthélemy is ready to receive visitors

Destination<br />

The beach is usually a place to relax, but there<br />

are also options to get your blood racing <strong>—</strong> like a<br />

shoreline canter on horseback. As co-founder of the<br />

Buccoo-based NGO Healing with Horses, Veronika<br />

Danzer-La Fortune introduces differently-abled<br />

youngsters to a gentle equine herd for fun and<br />

therapeutic play<br />


Carnival season is bacchanal time in T&T. But<br />

although Tobago has its share of the intense<br />

action, Trinidad’s smaller sister island still manages<br />

to hold on to its tranquil vibe year-round. If<br />

Carnival isn’t your thing, and you’re looking for an<br />

escape option, Tobago’s lush hills and clear, warm<br />

waters beckon <strong>—</strong> as you can see in this photo<br />

essay. Prepare for a dose of true natural beauty<br />

piotrandrewsphotography.com<br />


The numerous small rivers tumbling down<br />

Tobago’s hillsides create an abundance of<br />

waterfalls <strong>—</strong> some of them popular tourist<br />

spots, others known only to locals. Getting<br />

to Parlatuvier Falls <strong>—</strong> near the village of the<br />

same name on the island’s Leeward Coast<br />

<strong>—</strong> requires an arduous scramble over giant<br />

boulders, but the reward is a pristine pool<br />

surrounded by emerald green foliage<br />

marianne s. hosein<br />


Villas Are Us<br />

Mahi Mahi & Flamboyant<br />

Luciana<br />

Casa La Mancha<br />

We specialize in seaside villa rentals, so call to let us<br />

make your sandy dreams come true!<br />

Tel: (868) 481-5986 / 236-5190<br />

Gillian@TobagoVillasAreUs.com<br />

www.tobagovillasareus.com<br />

a Tobago time...for real<br />


call for details<br />

Administrative Office<br />

78-79 la clave Street, Lange Park,<br />

Chaguanas, Trinidad<br />

Tel: (868) 671-9143, 671-0631<br />

Fax: (868) 665-9236<br />

your ideal location at<br />


Tel: (868) 639-8512-3<br />

Fax: (868) 639-9605<br />

great<br />

location<br />

✓ Airport<br />

✓ store bay beach<br />

✓ pigeon point beach<br />

✓ entertainment &<br />

nightlife<br />

tropikistbeachhotelresort@gmail.com • www.tropikist.com<br />


Tobago has no shortage of pristine blue<br />

bays <strong>—</strong> but, for many locals, Pirate’s Bay near<br />

the island’s northern tip may be the most<br />

treasured of all. On the outskirts of the village<br />

of Charlotteville, it’s accessible only by boat or<br />

footpath, making it an oasis of quiet<br />

‘Life is always Sweeter at the Sugar Mill Suites, Tobago Plantations’<br />

Contact us: (868) 631-1054/639-8000 | E: rentals@tobagoplantations.com<br />

Or visit our website: www.sugarmilltobago.com<br />


joanne husain<br />

Luxury<br />

Villa Rental<br />

Experience the Grandeur of<br />

Old-Fashioned Nostalgia<br />

Situated on a majestic cliff overlooking Bacolet Beach, Blue Haven<br />

Hotel combines the ambiance of yesteryear with modern living.<br />


Bacolet Bay, Tobago | Tel: 868 660 7400<br />

E: reservations@bluehavenhotel.com<br />

www.bluehavenhotel.com<br />

124 Anthony Charles Crescent,<br />

Bon Accord<br />

info@tomasvillas.com<br />

(868) 765 8602<br />

www.tomasvillas.com<br />


Over two hundred and forty bird species<br />

have been recorded on Tobago <strong>—</strong> from<br />

shy manakins to gregarious parrots,<br />

impressively large tropicbirds to tiny<br />

hummingbirds, their iridescent plumage<br />

catching the light as they flit among<br />

nectar-filled flowers<br />

DebraLee Wiseberg/istock.com<br />


Barcode<br />

This Carnival season, Barcode continues to bring premier<br />

entertainment in our “I Love Soca” series. Every Tuesday,<br />

from 2 <strong>January</strong> to 13 <strong>February</strong>, <strong>2018</strong>, Barcode showcases<br />

the best soca artistes from Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados,<br />

Grenada, St Vincent, and beyond. Situated on the<br />

Scarborough Waterfront, our bar/club hybrid is unique as<br />

the island itself. Our newly extended outdoor decking is fully<br />

covered, and can easily accommodate three hundred persons<br />

with the extraordinary feel of the southern Atlantic breeze.<br />

Blue Haven<br />

Experience the grandeur of old-fashioned nostalgia!<br />

Situated on a majestic cliff overlooking Bacolet Beach,<br />

romantic Blue Haven provided the idyllic scenery for several<br />

golden-age movies. Splendidly refurbished while retaining<br />

its retro-charm, Blue Haven combines the ambiance and<br />

atmosphere of “yesterday” with modern living.<br />

Guys Autozone<br />

When visiting beautiful Tobago, why not optimise your<br />

exploring by renting a vehicle from Guys Autozone? What<br />

can you expect from this family-owned company? We offer<br />

the most affordable rates on the island and individualised<br />

packages to suit our diverse customers. Continuously aspiring<br />

to remain the best in the auto rental industry, we ensure a<br />

convenient, courteous experience, which adds to our clients’<br />

peace of mind. Our mantra, “excellence matters,” speaks for<br />

itself!<br />

Island Investments<br />

Leading real estate and villa rentals, established for over<br />

thirty years. We are the experts on property ownership and<br />

vacation home rentals in Tobago. Our standards exceed the<br />

rest. See us for property or land acquisition and sales with<br />

personalised, knowledgeable service.<br />

Peeping Fish<br />

“Where beach meets street.” The one-stop shop for the<br />

trendiest local and international brands of swimwear,<br />

resortwear, footwear, and accessories. Our eclectic mix of<br />

specially curated pieces celebrates the individuality of the<br />

adventurous spirit, on or off the beach.<br />


WE specialize in<br />

• intimate weddings ,<br />

• every day floral arrangements<br />

• bridal bouquets<br />

• coordinating<br />

• planning/decor<br />

Gulf City Lowland Mall | Tobago<br />

(o) 1 868 639 8828/660 8828 | (m) 1 868 360 0179<br />

eyefordesignflowershop@gmail.com<br />


Viewed from beach level, the jetty at<br />

Pigeon Point and its thatched shed may be<br />

Tobago’s most instantly recognisable and<br />

most photographed landmark. But from<br />

high above it’s barely a speck in the broad<br />

expanse of shallow blue water extending<br />

all the way out to Buccoo Reef<br />

tarique eastman<br />


An Oasis of Serenity<br />

www.plantationbeachvillas.com<br />

info@plantationbeachvillas.com<br />

Tel: (868) 639-9377<br />

Black Rock, Tobago<br />

Ideal for Families,<br />

Reunions and<br />

Intimate Weddings<br />

Relax… Rejuvenate… Reconnect<br />

• Warm friendly service<br />

• Peaceful cosy rooms<br />

• Yoga and massage<br />

• Organic herb gardens<br />

• World-renowned restaurant<br />

• Live band on weekends<br />

Come home to yourself… come home<br />

to Kariwak… where Tobago begins.<br />

868 639 8442<br />

info@kariwak.com<br />

www.kariwak.com<br />

@kariwakvillage<br />

Coco Reef Resort • Magdalena Grand Beach Resort • Mt Irvine Bay Resort<br />

Tel: 868.631.2626 • E: underseatobagoltd@gmail.com • www.underseatobago.com<br />

Intimate Tobago Weddings<br />

create memories in paradise<br />

Packages include<br />

* Breathtaking Blooms<br />

* Unique Venues<br />

* Outstanding Menus<br />

* Distinctive Decor<br />

* Professional Vendors<br />

www.tobagoflowersonline.com<br />

(868) 660 7748/395 8330<br />

Black Rock • Tobago • Tel: 868-639-0361<br />

www.stonehavenvillas.com<br />

reservations@stonehavenvillas.com<br />


As any Tobagonian can tell you, the island’s<br />

Main Ridge is home to the oldest legally<br />

protected forest reserve in the world, dating<br />

to 1776 <strong>—</strong> an early milestone in the history<br />

of conservation. The reserve is home to<br />

hundreds of species of wildlife, and protects<br />

Tobago’s watershed <strong>—</strong> and is criss-crossed<br />

by hiking trails that can take you to the very<br />

heart of the island’s natural splendour<br />

DebraLee Wiseberg/istock.com<br />


Just twenty-five miles long and six wide,<br />

Tobago can feel bigger than its size on<br />

the map, thanks to its rugged terrain<br />

and winding mountain roads<br />

DebraLee Wiseberg/istock.com<br />


Among villages of modern concrete<br />

houses, a few Victorian-era wooden<br />

gingerbread cottages still survive. Even<br />

the most modest boast hints of elaborate<br />

fretwork, and high-pitched roofs<br />

designed to repel tropical downpours<br />

chris anderson<br />


Bambú<br />


Rare & exotic arts and crafts<br />

made in the <strong>Caribbean</strong><br />

Lovely <strong>Caribbean</strong> wear, collectibles,<br />

accessories and much more...<br />

#199 Milford Road, Crown Point, Tobago<br />

T. 868-639-8133<br />

E: mariela0767@hotmail.com<br />

Tobago<br />

Resort wear<br />

Coco Reef Resort and Spa<br />

(868) 631 5244<br />

Magdalena Grand Beach Resort<br />

(868) 631 0960<br />

Tobago Plantaons, Lowlands, Tobago. Tel: 868 660 4411<br />

Open: Wed to Mon 10am-11pm. Closed on Tuesdays.<br />

GOOD<br />

food<br />

GOOD<br />

prices<br />

Cnr Crompstain & Milford Rds, Crown Point, Tobago<br />

Tel: (868) 639-8660 goodeatstobago<br />

*Across the road from the ANR International Airport<br />

Crown Point, Tobago<br />

Casino/Bar: 868 631-0044/0500<br />

Jade Cafe: 868 6398361<br />


Goats <strong>—</strong> like these, heading home on a<br />

rural lane <strong>—</strong> are staple livestock in Tobago.<br />

They also become the star attraction at<br />

Easter, when traditional goat-racing brings<br />

out the island’s competitive instincts<br />

chris anderson<br />


Shaw Park Complex<br />

Home to stunning local art and a stellar events team who<br />

ensure an exceptional and tailored experience for every<br />

guest. The 5,000-capacity Shaw Park Complex is a modern<br />

centre for the arts which features both theatre and<br />

conferencing capabilities.<br />

Skewers<br />

One of the island’s gems, Tobago’s number one Arabic<br />

restaurant, providing a consistently exquisite menu of unique<br />

Middle Eastern food infused with a local flavour, for over ten<br />

years. There’s only one Skewers. 100% Halal.<br />

The Sugar Mill Suites<br />

Nestled in the unsullied Tobago Plantations Beach &<br />

Golf Resort, you can choose between our comfortable<br />

luxurious modern “homes,” our elegant old-fashioned<br />

condo-style units, and our cozy bungalows. These types of<br />

accommodation offer you the convenience and excellent<br />

service you’d expect from a top class-resort. Find out more<br />

about Sugar Mill Condos, Bungalows, and Villas to better<br />

accommodate you.<br />

Tomas Villa<br />

This luxurious villa, recently renovated, is located in the Bon<br />

Accord Development, five minutes from the A.N.R. Robinson<br />

International Airport and the popular beaches of Store Bay<br />

and Pigeon Point. Restaurants, nightlife, and supermarkets<br />

are only minutes away. Tobago is known for its green,<br />

clean, and serene atmosphere. You’ll be enthralled by its<br />

tranquility, diverse cultures, beautiful beaches, and dive sites.<br />

Tropikist Beach Hotel & Resort<br />

Tropikist offers a stunning panoramic view, an ideal location<br />

close to the airport, plus easy access to beaches, local<br />

attractions, and activities. Bask in the sun, then enjoy a<br />

cocktail as the sun sets! Tropikist <strong>—</strong> your tropical destination.<br />

Villas Are Us<br />

We are a small full-service rental agency, offering effortless<br />

vacations and villas which are among the most beautifully<br />

appointed and ideally situated on the island. Our caring staff<br />

is committed to seeing that your every need is met.<br />



Sunset at Mt Irvine Bay, Tobago’s most<br />

popular surfing site<br />

welmoet photography<br />

Spacious, Comfortable, Rustic Community Lane,<br />

Tasty local lunches [from $25]<br />

Mt Pleasant,<br />

Delicious Fireside Curries<br />

Tobago<br />

Well Stocked Bar<br />

(868) 313 2917<br />

(868) 298 5249<br />

Happy Hour Fridays<br />

See our reviews<br />

After-work Specials<br />

on Google Maps,<br />

10 Minutes from Crown Pt Tripadvisor & Facebook.<br />

Steak & Seafood Dinners For more information visit<br />

[from $120]<br />

www.honeysrestaurants.com<br />


Little Tobago<br />

Charlotteville<br />

Tobago Main Ridge<br />

Forest Reserve<br />

Black Rock<br />

Buccoo Reef<br />

Speyside<br />

Pigeon Point<br />

Store Bay<br />

Scarborough<br />

Crown Point<br />

<strong>Caribbean</strong> Airlines operates numerous flights each day between<br />

Trinidad and Tobago<br />

<br />

<br />

Roosserie & Grill PLUS<br />

Roosserie Chicken<br />

Pork Chops | Baby Back Ribs<br />

Garlic Chicken | BBQ Pigtail<br />

Grilled Fish | Jerk Wings<br />

Buffalo Wings<br />

and more<br />

Located at Pelican Plaza,<br />

Milford Road, Crown Point,<br />

Tobago, W.I.<br />

Tel. (868) 639-8563<br />

Sister outlets<br />

ANR Robinson airport<br />

639 5000<br />

Shirvan Plaza<br />

631 1000<br />



cdwheatley/istock.com<br />

t:mtcurado/istock.com<br />

Gustavia,<br />

St Barthélemy<br />

The postcard-perfect capital of St Barts<br />

looks like a small French harbour town<br />

transplanted in the Antilles <strong>—</strong> with a<br />

Swedish twist to its Gallic charms<br />

After the storm<br />

Although battered by Hurricane<br />

Irma in September 2017, the<br />

residents of Gustavia got to work in<br />

the immediate aftermath, cleaning<br />

up and rebuilding their town.<br />

By the end of October, St Barts<br />

authorities reported that the island<br />

was ready to receive visitors for<br />

the traditional start of the tourism<br />

season in November.<br />

Streetscape<br />

Gustavia’s U-shape is determined by the<br />

contours of its harbour, hemmed in by<br />

the hills to the east, and watched over<br />

by three Swedish-era forts. Swedish<br />

influence is also evident in the town’s<br />

historic architecture, with its redroofed,<br />

white-painted stone houses, now<br />

scrupulously restored. Look out for the<br />

clock tower on Rue Gambetta, shaped<br />

like a slightly squat obelisk, with an<br />

upper-section of blue-painted timber<br />

<strong>—</strong> the remnant of a church destroyed<br />

long ago in a hurricane. The bell, dated<br />

to 1799, is still rung to mark municipal<br />

celebrations and other momentous<br />

events. Another town landmark is a huge<br />

eighteenth-century anchor discovered<br />

by accident in 1981, thought to have<br />

belonged to a ship of the Royal Navy.<br />

mtcurado/istock.com<br />


History<br />

When St Barthélemy was claimed by France in 1648, Le Carénage <strong>—</strong> the small,<br />

narrow bay on the island’s west coast, sheltered by volcanic hills <strong>—</strong> was the natural<br />

site for a harbour. In 1784, St Barts was ceded by France to Sweden, beginning a nearcentury<br />

of Scandinavian rule. The Swedes renamed the capital after King Gustav<br />

III, and declared Gustavia a free port, opening an era of highly profitable trade (and<br />

smuggling). Repurchased by France in 1878, the island declined into an economic<br />

backwater until the 1960s, when electricity finally arrived and the construction of<br />

a small airport encouraged the first tourist resorts. High-end tourism is now the<br />

mainstay, as St Barts has developed a reputation as a playground of the international<br />

jet-set, who converge here in their yachts for New Year’s celebrations <strong>—</strong> when locals<br />

retreat to their homes, awaiting the return of the low season.<br />

leonard Zhukovsky/shutterstock.com<br />

Elvira Sa/shutterstock.com<br />

Time for a swim<br />

St Barts’s beaches are deservedly<br />

famous, and the island’s compact<br />

size <strong>—</strong> less than ten square miles <strong>—</strong><br />

means they’re all within easy reach of<br />

Gustavia. Nearest to hand is popular<br />

Anse de Grands Galets, better known<br />

as Shell Beach, just over the hill from<br />

the harbour and below Fort Karl. (As its<br />

name suggests, the beach is strewn with<br />

pink seashells underfoot.) Further out<br />

along the coast, you can take your pick:<br />

does your dream beach have trendy bars<br />

and restaurants like St-Jean on the north<br />

coast, or do you prefer a more isolated<br />

locale, like Gouverneur to the south (with<br />

its view of St Kitts) or rugged Colombier<br />

at the island’s western tip, accessible<br />

only by a hiking trail?<br />

Souvenir<br />

Given the extremely well-heeled<br />

demographic of most St Barts visitors,<br />

it’s no surprise that Gustavia boasts<br />

some of the <strong>Caribbean</strong>’s poshest<br />

boutiques, including branches<br />

of designer shops from the most<br />

fashionable Paris streets. You’ll have<br />

no trouble replacing your Louis Vuitton<br />

luggage, your Hermès scarf, your<br />

Cartier necklace. In a somewhat<br />

less ruinous price range,<br />

you can also find boutiques<br />

with locally made jewellery<br />

and straw hats, and beauty<br />

products from Ligne St Barth,<br />

made with indigenous herbs<br />

and ingredients like mango butter,<br />

frangipani, and pineapple.<br />

Fort to fort<br />

Gustavia is small enough to explore<br />

by foot in a morning, and the town’s<br />

three forts make ideal guideposts.<br />

Start on the eastern side of the harbour<br />

entrance, where the Quai Jeanne d’Arc<br />

is overshadowed by the remains of<br />

Fort Gustav and its almost comical<br />

lighthouse. From here, you can scope<br />

out your entire route: south along the<br />

waterfront to St Bartholemew’s Anglican<br />

Church, then west to Fort Karl, then<br />

north again along the harbour to Fort<br />

Oscar and the Municipal Museum in the<br />

eighteenth-century Wall House, home<br />

to everything from historic artifacts<br />

to natural history specimens and local<br />

craft. Should your stroll rouse a thirst,<br />

you’ll have your pick of chic little cafés<br />

where the atmosphere ranges from<br />

French to very French.<br />

Gustavia<br />

Co-ordinates<br />

17.9º N 62.9º W<br />

Sea Level<br />

St Barthélemy<br />

<strong>Caribbean</strong> Airlines operates regular flights to Princess Juliana International<br />

Airport in Sint Maarten, with connections on other airlines and via ferry to<br />

St Barthélemy<br />


Round Trip<br />

It’s a common sight in Port-au-Prince:<br />

informal outdoor galleries set up by<br />

working artists like Baptiste Jonas, who<br />

displays his paintings in the Petionville<br />

neighbourhood, hung salon-style on<br />

a chain-link fence. All are available<br />

for sale, or simply to catch the eyes of<br />

passing traffic<br />


Across the <strong>Caribbean</strong>, Carnival brings astonishing artistry out into the<br />

streets. But all year round there are ample opportunities to experience<br />

art in public spaces, out in the open <strong>—</strong> en plein air, as a painter might<br />

say. From murals to monuments, here’s a regional roundup of outdoor<br />

art that doesn’t require you to set foot in a museum<br />

Hemis / Alamy Stock Photo<br />


Born in Ciudad Bolívar, the Venezuelan<br />

artist Jésus Soto (1923–2005) is<br />

famous for his interactive Penetrable<br />

sculptures, in which flexible hanging<br />

tubes create geometric forms that<br />

viewers can enter. Like this red sphere,<br />

which floats along the Francisco<br />

Fajardo highway in Caracas<br />

paolo costa/shutterstock.com<br />


imagebroker/alamystockphoto<br />

Officially known as the 1763<br />

Monument, towering above<br />

Georgetown’s Square of the<br />

Revolution, this sculpture by<br />

pioneering Guyanese artist Philip<br />

Moore (1921–2012) depicts the<br />

rebel leader Cuffy, mastermind of<br />

a rebellion against slavery in the<br />

colony of Berbice. The statue’s<br />

intricately carved surfaces include<br />

West African and Amerindian<br />

symbols of strength and power<br />


Devised by the Fresh Milk art centre in 2014, the Fresh Stops<br />

project commissioned six young artists to produce original artworks<br />

to be incorporated into roadside benches across Barbados. Works<br />

by Simone Padmore (above) Matthew Clarke (right), Mark King<br />

(below right), Versia Harris (below), and others put provocative<br />

imagery literally behind the backs of commuters across the island<br />

courtesy fresh milk<br />

courtesy fresh milk<br />

COURTESY fresh milk<br />

courtesy fresh milk<br />


A landmark of the<br />

University of the West<br />

Indies Mona campus in<br />

Jamaica, the mural by<br />

Belgian artist Claude Rahir<br />

(1937–2007) <strong>—</strong> completed<br />

in 1979 <strong>—</strong> adorns the<br />

façade of the Assembly<br />

Hall. Three stories high,<br />

it depicts the university’s<br />

eight faculties alongside<br />

images of children at<br />

school and at play<br />



Jeff Greenberg/UIG via Getty Images

On Martinique’s southwest coast,<br />

the Anse Cafard Slavery Memorial<br />

is an unforgettable reminder of the<br />

<strong>Caribbean</strong>’s tragic past. Created by<br />

sculptor Laurent Valére in 1998, the<br />

memorial’s hulking concrete figures<br />

<strong>—</strong> each eight feet tall and staring out<br />

to sea <strong>—</strong> depict a group of Africans<br />

drowned nearby in 1830, shackled<br />

together in the hold of a slave ship. The<br />

figures’ posture suggests a powerful<br />

sorrow, while their rough-hewn faces<br />

project a determination to survive<br />

hemis/alamy stock photo<br />


ENGAGE<br />

arun madisetti/images dominica<br />

106 Green<br />

What follows the storm<br />

108<br />

The Deal<br />

Seaweed for sale<br />

110<br />

On This Day<br />

A distant light<br />

Recent sightings of Dominica’s national bird, the Sisserou parrot, prove that the endangered species survived Hurricane Maria

Green<br />

WhAT follows<br />

the storm<br />

When Hurricane Maria tore through Dominica<br />

in September 2017, lives were lost, homes<br />

destroyed, and businesses crippled. But the<br />

storm also took a toll on forests and wildlife <strong>—</strong><br />

with major implications for an economy that<br />

depends on eco-tourism. Paul Crask reports<br />

Photography by Paul Crask<br />

In the silent, misty morning after the<br />

hurricane, it both felt and looked<br />

like the end. With sustained winds<br />

recorded at 220 miles per hour, and<br />

gusting off the scale, the devastation<br />

wreaked by Hurricane Maria was so brutal<br />

and stark that it brought me to my knees.<br />

Lush forests were transformed to<br />

naked hillsides of leafless, skeletal shards<br />

that were once trees but now looked more<br />

like ghosts. Some had even had been<br />

stripped of their bark. Around eighty<br />

percent of Dominica’s 25,000 homes<br />

were damaged, with most losing at least<br />

the roof. Businesses were destroyed and<br />

wantonly looted, lives had been lost, and<br />

others were declared missing. A stunned<br />

silence reigned.<br />

While the socio-economic and infrastructure<br />

damage, clean-up, and repair<br />

became the immediate focus of the collective<br />

recovery efforts, the effect of the<br />

storm on the island’s natural heritage was,<br />

understandably, of secondary concern.<br />

It was not until the fourth week of the<br />

aftermath that I happened to hear a local<br />

radio broadcast discussing the impact of<br />

the hurricane on nature.<br />

“Nature takes care of itself,” said one<br />

expert, urging us not to worry about it<br />

too much, yet acknowledging that the<br />

revival of the island’s nature and wildlife<br />

was important for tourism. Increasingly,<br />

Dominica’s natural and cultural heritage<br />

are linked to tourism revenue, rather than<br />

something that ought to be preserved<br />

and celebrated in its own right. With<br />

the advent of destination marketing,<br />

nature has, rather unfortunately, become<br />

regarded as an eco-tourism product.<br />

Dominica’s habitats range from dry<br />

and littoral woodlands on its coasts to<br />

cloud forest atop its many volcanic peaks.<br />

But the predominant habitat, covering<br />

around eighty percent of the island, is<br />

rainforest. The island’s rainforest is home<br />

to a diverse and fragile ecosystem that<br />

includes around two hundred species of<br />

fern and rare birds such as the regionally<br />

endemic rufous-throated solitaire (or<br />

mountain whistler), four species of hummingbird,<br />

twelve species of bat, and the<br />

locally endemic and endangered red-neck<br />

(Jaco) and imperial (Sisserou) parrots.<br />

Hiking trails, often developed from<br />

historic traces used by Kalinago and<br />

Maroons, weave through this habitat in a<br />

vast but hidden network, and have become<br />

a draw for independent travellers with<br />

a love of the outdoors and unexplored<br />

places. Waterfalls, countless rivers, crater<br />

lakes, and one of the densest clusters of<br />

volcanoes beyond the Pacific Rim have<br />

earned the Morne Trois Pitons National<br />

Park UNESCO status, and Dominica<br />

has long branded itself the <strong>Caribbean</strong>’s<br />

“Nature Island.” With most hotels describing<br />

themselves in some shape or form<br />

as eco accommodation, and with many<br />

people employed in the eco-tourism<br />

service sector, nature has indeed become<br />

inextricably linked to earnings.<br />

Nature does take care of itself,<br />

and, thankfully, there’s been no<br />

suggestion anyone should interfere<br />

with its recovery in Dominica. But the<br />

leaves that were beginning to reappear on<br />

trees four weeks after the hurricane were<br />

far from a canopy. And a rainforest really<br />

needs a canopy.<br />

Without a full leaf canopy, the forest is<br />

exposed to full sunlight, and plants that<br />

are opportunistic and sun-loving will tend<br />

to occupy the spaces on the forest floor<br />

that were previously the domain of those<br />

that prefer the shade, and upon which<br />

other plants, mammals, reptiles, birds,<br />

insects, amphibians, and invertebrates<br />

are dependent. Without a canopy, birds<br />

such as the two endemic parrot species<br />

have no natural source of food, and will<br />

seek fruits elsewhere, usually in gardens<br />

or citrus plantations. In the weeks following<br />

the hurricane, people observed the<br />

Jaco parrot foraging in such places. In late<br />

November, there was finally a confirmed<br />

sighting of the Sisserou. Given that it<br />

exists only in Dominica <strong>—</strong> and is the<br />

national bird, appearing on the country’s<br />

flag <strong>—</strong> there is real concern that the species<br />

could be pushed closer to extinction.<br />

Recent studies of the effect of hurricanes<br />

on forests have been made in Brazil,<br />

Jamaica, and Puerto Rico. Conclusions<br />

are varied, as are estimates of how long it<br />

takes for a forest to fully recover <strong>—</strong> ranging<br />

from fifty to four thousand years. But<br />


Dominica’s Trafalgar Falls, a popular<br />

attraction for visitors, before and after<br />

Hurricane Maria<br />

in this kind of habitat are dependent on<br />

animals and birds to disperse seeds. If those<br />

creatures are not there to do that, or their<br />

numbers have been adversely impacted,<br />

new tree growth is reduced, along with<br />

future food sources.<br />

From my porch on the western slopes<br />

of the Morne Anglais volcano, I saw the<br />

landscape transition from brown to green<br />

within four weeks of the hurricane and,<br />

even though I know it is just thin new foliage<br />

painted over much deeper cracks, I see<br />

it as a promising beginning, and no longer<br />

an end. Nature may well recover better<br />

than its dependent eco-tourism sector,<br />

Nature may well<br />

recover better than its<br />

dependent eco-tourism<br />

sector, which has been<br />

very badly hit<br />

none of the studies followed a hurricane<br />

as severe as Maria, and even Dominica’s<br />

own experience after Hurricane David in<br />

1979 is not really comparable, as David<br />

was a weaker storm and predominantly<br />

affected the south of the island. Category<br />

five (plus) Hurricane Maria tracked<br />

through the middle of the island, and so<br />

all habitats were affected.<br />

Having hiked all over Dominica, and<br />

written about it for more than ten years, I<br />

am concerned, but not without hope. I do<br />

fear for the survival of the Sisserou, but<br />

I also know how fertile this island is and<br />

how quickly plants and trees grow. Also<br />

the sheer number of deep valleys and steep<br />

mountain slopes means that leeward-facing<br />

and other slightly more protected sections<br />

of forest perhaps did not suffer quite as<br />

much as those that are more exposed. In<br />

these largely inaccessible habitats, I would<br />

like to imagine the mountain whistler still<br />

sings and the Sisserou finds nourishment.<br />

But around eighty percent of tree species<br />

which has been very badly hit. It is estimated<br />

that around fifty per cent of hotels<br />

in Dominica will require a partial or total<br />

rebuilding period of a year or more, and<br />

(unsubstantiated) estimates of the scale of<br />

migration from the island by people who<br />

need to find a life and an income elsewhere<br />

are already quite disturbing.<br />

As time passes, I am hopeful that the<br />

shade-loving plants will out-muscle the<br />

sun-loving opportunists in Dominica, and<br />

that nature will thrive. But this has to be a<br />

time for fresh, new, creative thinking, and<br />

not simply more of the same. “The same”<br />

doesn’t exist any longer <strong>—</strong> and, with the<br />

obvious effects of climate change, more<br />

extreme weather events like Maria seem<br />

inevitable. The future is not what it used<br />

to be. n<br />


THE DEAL<br />

Seaweed<br />

When the beaches of St Lucia<br />

were inundated with sargassum,<br />

Johanan Dujon didn’t see a<br />

problem <strong>—</strong> he saw an opportunity.<br />

Under the Algas Organics label, the<br />

young entrepreneur manufactures<br />

a sargassum-based fertiliser, and<br />

his eye is on a regional market.<br />

Erline Andrews learns more<br />

Back in 2011, sargassum seaweed <strong>—</strong> a greenishbrown<br />

mass of vegetation that usually originates<br />

from the Sargasso Sea in the North Atlantic <strong>—</strong><br />

began piling up on beaches across the <strong>Caribbean</strong>.<br />

It’s not unusual for the seaweed to appear<br />

seasonally, but scientists speculate that because<br />

of warmer temperatures due to climate change <strong>—</strong> plus the effect<br />

of man-made fertilisers and sewage contaminating the sea <strong>—</strong><br />

quantities grew dramatically, becoming a serious challenge for<br />

the <strong>Caribbean</strong>’s tourism and fishing industries, the mainstay of<br />

many islands.<br />

In 2014, the seaweed problem reached a peak. Twentyone-year-old<br />

Johanan Dujon was at a friend’s house when the<br />

conversation turned <strong>—</strong> as it likely did at many gatherings in<br />

St Lucia <strong>—</strong> to the sargassum, which was clogging the engines of<br />

fishing vessels, killing fish and crabs, and emanating a sickening<br />

odour as it rotted on beaches.<br />

“Her mom was mentioning that seaweed can be used as<br />

fertiliser, [and asking] why was nobody doing anything about<br />

it,” Dujon recalls. “That is where the thought came from. If this<br />

material is coming here and we can make something out of it,<br />

then we’d be solving two issues. We’d be creating a product that<br />

we could make money off of, that [also] kept the beaches clean.”<br />

Dujon, by his account, hadn’t been a brilliant science student.<br />

After graduating from the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College<br />

<strong>—</strong> where he studied literature, Spanish, and business <strong>—</strong> he was<br />

a primary school physical education teacher and ran a fishing<br />

supplies business. But he had the foresight to see an opportunity<br />

in the sargassum influx, and the drive and the family support to<br />

carry it out.<br />

For Sale<br />

“When I first came up with the idea, I couldn’t sleep. It was<br />

like a tugging <strong>—</strong> get up and go try something with the seaweed!”<br />

says Dujon. “I finally said to my father, Dad, let’s go and collect<br />

some seaweed to experiment. The average person who said that<br />

to their parents, their reaction would be, What are you doing?<br />

His reaction was <strong>—</strong> he has a pickup that we still use to move the<br />

products around <strong>—</strong> he says to me, OK, let’s go.<br />

“He would go out with me to collect the seaweed. My mom as<br />

well,” Dujon continues. “We would dry the seaweed in the initial<br />

instance and try to sell it off in front of supermarkets <strong>—</strong> and<br />

nobody bought one bag. Nobody. But . . . the point is the support<br />

was there from the onset. It’s still there now.”<br />

Today, Dujon is managing director of Algas Organics,<br />

which produces a liquid fertiliser <strong>—</strong> Algas Total Plant<br />

Tonic <strong>—</strong> made from sargassum. Dujon came up with the<br />

product after months of experimenting. He, his family,<br />

and a small team of part-time employees harvest the sargassum<br />

from affected coastlines and manufacture bottles of the fertiliser<br />

with support from international and local public agencies.<br />

After operating for several years out of the Dujon home, a<br />

processing plant will formally open later this year, and after<br />

selling to retailers and corporate clients in St Lucia, Algas has<br />

begun exporting to Barbados. Dujon hopes eventually to export<br />

to other countries in the region and beyond, and expand manufacturing<br />

operations to other parts of the <strong>Caribbean</strong> affected by<br />

sargassum. In <strong>January</strong> 2017, the St Lucia Chamber of Commerce<br />

named him Young Entrepreneur of the Year.<br />

Giles Romulus runs the UNDP’s Global Environment Facility<br />

Small Grants Programme in St Lucia, which helped fund<br />

Algas’s operations after Dujon agreed to share profits with the<br />

St Lucia Fisherfolk Cooperative Society, an NGO that represents<br />

the fishing community. “He got a lot of support,” Romulus<br />

explains, “and the fact that he’s willing to go into partnership<br />

with a civil society organisation that can benefit and also<br />

give him some guidance <strong>—</strong> that helped. Johanan realised he<br />

couldn’t do it alone.”<br />

Romulus points to Microsoft, Dell, and Facebook. “Many of<br />

the biggest companies in the world started in the university bed-<br />


Marc Bruxelle/shutterstock.com<br />

“Being successful as an entrepreneur<br />

comes from you having the latitude<br />

to fail,” explains Johanan Dujon<br />

Courtesy<br />

Johanan Dujon<br />

room,” he says. “You start small and you look for opportunities<br />

for partnerships. [Algas] is an excellent example of a partnership<br />

that has brought results in a short period of time.”<br />

Romulus said he hopes the project will grow if another<br />

injection of funding is approved. In addition to the manufacturing<br />

plant, he’d like to see Algas set up a research lab. “We<br />

want expansion beyond sargassum,” he says. “St Lucia has a<br />

lot of endemic plants that need to be studied. I believe that<br />

there are chemicals in our plants in the <strong>Caribbean</strong> that are yet<br />

untouched.”<br />

Last year, Dujon was a presenter at the Earth Optimism Summit<br />

organised by the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, DC.<br />

The inaugural event was intended to celebrate and share successful<br />

ideas in environmental protection. Dujon was selected<br />

after responding to an invitation for submissions, and may have<br />

been the only representative from the English-speaking <strong>Caribbean</strong>.<br />

“We, in all of the environmental challenges that we’re<br />

faced with, have the opportunity to convert them into profitable<br />

ventures,” he told the audience.<br />

He presented test results that show Algas fertiliser performing<br />

better than the big American brand Miracle-Gro, and touted<br />

its organic nature. “Our product reduces the need for synthetic<br />

chemicals, which leach out into our soils and into our waters<br />

and increases your yield,” he told the summit. “If you match<br />

innovation with funding, mentorship, technical support, and<br />

community and environmental conscience, what you’re going to<br />

get is a revolutionary solution which can stand out at the global<br />

scale,” he concluded.<br />

There’ve been other ideas bandied about for making productive<br />

use of sargassum. A team at the University of the West<br />

Indies St Augustine campus has experimented with turning it<br />

into plastic. Barbadian environmental entrepreneur Mark Hill<br />

has made it into food and particleboard. But Dujon’s project<br />

seems to be the first to really bear fruit.<br />

He’s encountered other people who had the idea to convert<br />

the sargassum into salable fertiliser. “They had the idea but they<br />

couldn’t do it,” he says. “Entrepreneurship is about risks. I am<br />

twenty-something. If I leave my job and this doesn’t work, I can<br />

do something else. Being successful as an entrepreneur comes<br />

from you having the latitude to fail. If you have a mortgage and<br />

children and a wife, it’s not OK to fail. The younger you, are the<br />

easier it should be to take risks.”<br />

The region needs more venture capitalists, he says, to put<br />

money into risky but potentially lucrative start-up businesses.<br />

“Once you have that kind of network, then you would see entrepreneurship<br />

really take off.” n<br />


on this day<br />


light<br />

For such a tiny, remote place, Sombrero<br />

Island in the Anegada Passage has had<br />

a surprisingly colourful history <strong>—</strong> from<br />

shipwrecks to a guano-inspired international<br />

incident to the crucial lighthouse that began<br />

service one hundred and fifty years ago.<br />

James Ferguson tells its story<br />

Illustration by Rohan Mitchell<br />

As dusk fell on the evening of 1 <strong>January</strong>, 1868,<br />

Europe-bound ships passing warily through the<br />

infamous Anegada Passage <strong>—</strong> the forty-mile<br />

stretch of water separating the British Virgin<br />

Islands from the northern tip of the Leewards<br />

<strong>—</strong> may have been surprised to see the regular<br />

and reassuring flashes of a distant lighthouse on their starboard<br />

side. A white glow appeared directly across the dark water every<br />

sixty seconds before fading away into the night. Some ships, it<br />

is said, sounded their sirens in appreciation as they headed out<br />

of the <strong>Caribbean</strong> Sea into the Atlantic. Once a dangerous place<br />

of hidden reefs and unpredictable currents, the Anegada Passage<br />

was suddenly a great deal safer.<br />

The site of the beacon was a tiny, arid outcrop at the northernmost<br />

tip of the Leeward archipelago, one of the most remote<br />

of the <strong>Caribbean</strong>’s seven thousand islands and a minuscule<br />

outpost of the British Empire. Named Sombrero Island because<br />

it resembled a Mexican hat in shape, this ninety-acre islet had<br />

no fresh water, almost no vegetation, and a large population of<br />

lizards and seabirds. It was considered part of the (relatively)<br />

larger colony of Anguilla and had belonged to Britain since 1714.<br />

The lighthouse, made of steel girders and shipped across<br />

the Atlantic from London, was assembled and situated on<br />

Sombrero’s highest point, forty feet above sea level. An engraving<br />

of 1875 shows an Eiffel Tower–like construction standing<br />

on a base, topped by a lantern room. It burned kerosene<br />

and was operated by a staff of four lighthouse keepers, who<br />

worked shifts at night to keep the light shining before it was<br />

extinguished at dawn.<br />

Sombrero was undeniably isolated, lying thirty-four miles<br />

northwest of Anguilla, but it had known irregular human<br />

habitation since the early nineteenth century. A British sailor<br />

marooned for stealing beer had survived his ordeal by being<br />

spotted by a passing American ship. It was then discovered<br />

by British geologists that vast accretions of seabird droppings<br />

had formed nitrate-rich guano deposits. News of this find<br />

reached the United States, and in 1856 an American company<br />

began extracting the fertiliser and exporting it back to the<br />

plantations of the South. Workers were required for the gruelling<br />

mining operation, and an exclusively black workforce was<br />

recruited from neighbouring islands. In its heyday, the operation<br />

employed two hundred men, accommodated in ramshackle huts<br />

and reliant on supplies brought from St Martin. As there was no<br />

port or beach, the guano had to be shovelled into barges which<br />

then transferred their cargo to boats lying off the island.<br />

Just like the extraction process, the social situation was<br />

unsustainable. A violent dispute over wages broke out in August<br />

1860, and, according to The New York Times, one of the workers<br />

“hurled a tremendous lump of guano at [a white foreman’s]<br />

head, crushed his skull with the blow, and left him for dead on<br />

the ground.” The workers then took over the island, plundering<br />

the stores, until order was finally restored. Seven years later,<br />

an international court ruled that the US company had illegally<br />

occupied the island, and sovereignty <strong>—</strong> together with the guano<br />

mine <strong>—</strong> was restored to Britain. Extraction continued until<br />

supplies ran out in 1890 and the mine was closed. Little remains<br />

of this nitrate mini-boom, apart from a few scattered industrial<br />

ruins, a worker’s tombstone, and the gouged, cratered landscape.<br />


Little remains of Sombrero Island’s<br />

nitrate mini-boom, apart from a<br />

few scattered industrial ruins<br />

Perhaps understandably for someone who spent thirty-one years<br />

adrift in the middle of the ocean with only four companions, Sam likes<br />

to talk. He was part of a team that consisted of a Principal Keeper, two<br />

assistant keepers and a cook. They would each spend six weeks on<br />

Sombrero and two weeks leave back on Anguilla. According<br />

to Sam, those six weeks flew by. Unless you got to<br />

brooding, that is. “Sometimes it<br />

could get a little boring if you<br />

started to think too much”<br />

. . . For recreation, the keepers<br />

snorkelled and fished.<br />

Once Sam saw a large shark<br />

while snorkelling, which, thankfully,<br />

was not interested in him. They listened<br />

to the radio, played cards or dominoes,<br />

and star-gazed.<br />

For twenty-two years, the lighthouse keepers had shared the<br />

island with a fractious community of miners and overseers,<br />

but now they were left on their own. The lighthouse itself<br />

was administered by Trinity House in London, the organisation<br />

charged with UK maritime safety. In 1931, improvements were<br />

made to its light power and it was given a solid concrete base. This<br />

proved ineffective, however, when Hurricane Donna smashed<br />

into Sombrero in September 1960, and damaged it beyond repair.<br />

It was demolished and replaced by a similar-looking skeletal<br />

structure mounted on a concrete base, inaugurated in July 1962.<br />

It was 126 feet high, requiring the keepers to climb 163 steps to<br />

reach the lantern room at the top.<br />

The lives of the lighthouse keepers from the 1970s are<br />

evocatively recreated in an article entitled “Marooned” by Sarah<br />

Harrison in The Anguillian. Interviewing the recently retired Sam<br />

Richardson in 2013, she captures the strange, lonely existence<br />

of those men:<br />

This way of life was to end, to<br />

Sam’s regret, in September 2001,<br />

when a third, automated lighthouse<br />

was donated to Anguilla’s<br />

government by Trinity House and<br />

installed alongside the now disused concrete<br />

bases of the two previous structures. Looking rather<br />

like a white space rocket ready for take-off, this fifty-foot<br />

unmanned facility emits a white flash every ten seconds, powered<br />

by solar energy.<br />

Sombrero Island continues to provide a vital maritime<br />

service, exactly 150 years after the first London-built lighthouse<br />

began guiding shipping through the feared Anegada Passage.<br />

Today it is uninhabited, visited occasionally for maintenance<br />

checks or by divers or ornithologists, who must climb steep<br />

metal stairs from a dinghy to reach flat ground. The site is eerily<br />

atmospheric, with crashing waves and the noise of breeding<br />

boobies and terns filling the air.<br />

Twenty years ago, in 1998, there were reports that the nowdefunct<br />

Beal Aerospace company wanted to lease the island<br />

as a test rocket launch pad <strong>—</strong> but, thankfully, the plans came<br />

to nothing. And that will probably remain the case, as one of<br />

Sombrero’s distinct disadvantages <strong>—</strong> along with its precipitous<br />

cliffs and lunar appearance <strong>—</strong> is the fact that at only forty feet<br />

above sea level, it is occasionally swamped by large waves during<br />

storms or hurricanes, leaving only the lighthouse standing<br />

above water. n<br />


puzzles<br />

1 2 3 4 5 6 7<br />


Across<br />

1 This ultra-hot chilli has a sting [8,6]<br />

9 Magical dexterity [7]<br />

10 Art style newly acquired [7]<br />

11 Something other [4]<br />

12 Borat’s former Soviet Republic [10]<br />

14 A monument, tall and pointy [7]<br />

15 Give generously [6]<br />

18 Apparition [6]<br />

20 Spartan [7]<br />

22 Like some rum barrels [5]<br />

24 Alongside [4]<br />

25 What was borrowed [4]<br />

27 Finish [3]<br />

28 Untruth [3]<br />

29 Like the dodo bird [7]<br />

30 Lord Invader’s most famous calypso hit [3,3,4,4]<br />

9 10<br />

11 12<br />

13<br />

14 15 16<br />

18 19 20<br />

21<br />

22 23 24 25<br />

26<br />

27 28 29<br />

8<br />

17<br />

Down<br />

1 Dominica’s rare national bird [8]<br />

2 When you miss your alarm [9]<br />

3 Books have these [4]<br />

4 Australia’s interior [7]<br />

5 The place to hear steel music [7]<br />

6 Softness and fluffiness [10]<br />

7 Function [5]<br />

8 Bird droppings make good fertiliser [5]<br />

13 Scent to ward off mosquitos [10]<br />

30<br />

16 Jamaican Akino Lindsay is a champ at this martial art [9]<br />

17 Blood feud [8]<br />

19 Blonde child [7]<br />

20 Historic Miami architectural style [3,4]<br />

21 Scandinavian prize [5]<br />

23 Invasive weed [5]<br />

26 Italian volcano [4]<br />


by James Hackett<br />

There are 10 differences<br />

between these two pictures.<br />

How many can you spot?<br />

Spot the Difference answers<br />

Boy on stilts has a different shirt; there is more detail in his head-tie; there is a handkerchief in the boy’s pocket; the left-hand stilts have<br />

grooves; the boy on the ground has a different shirt; there is more grass detail in the right image; the circle on the boy’s cap is bigger on the<br />

right; the boy’s cap has a different bill on the right; the boy on the right has a bandana on his hand; the shadows are different.<br />



artist<br />


beach<br />

BEATEN<br />

Belmont<br />

Big Truck<br />

Blue Boy<br />

current<br />

Desperadoes<br />

fern<br />

FLY<br />

Gustav<br />

harbour<br />


hills<br />

hurricane<br />

Inveigler<br />

Jean and Dinah<br />

Kitchener<br />

lime<br />

Maroon<br />


moko jumbie<br />

organic<br />


PORT<br />

road march<br />

run<br />

sargassum<br />


sky<br />

Spice Island<br />

STILT<br />

Store Bay<br />

tent<br />

track<br />

J S T O R E B A Y N O O R A M<br />

E E B H C I N A G R O M C H O<br />

A N A I H A R B O U R D U A K<br />

N A R Y G U P A N T H E R R O<br />

A C T K N T D O T N D R R V J<br />

N I I S P M R N R E F E E E U<br />

D R S T A B O U S T N T N S M<br />

D R T R E M Y P C E V L T T B<br />

I U C A L L E O H K A E N L I<br />

N H C E T R H C B I T H E A E<br />

A H B L A F T T R E S S T I T<br />

H W I D L I M E A K U L A T R<br />

N T O Y K I N V E I G L E R A<br />

S E M U S S A G R A S I B A C<br />

S P I C E I S L A N D H G M K<br />

<strong>Caribbean</strong> <strong>Beat</strong> Magazine<br />

<strong>Caribbean</strong> <strong>Beat</strong> Magazine<br />

Sudoku<br />

by www.sudoku-puzzle.net<br />

Fill the empty square with numbers<br />

from 1 to 9 so that each row, each<br />

column, and each 3x3 box contains<br />

all of the numbers from 1 to 9. For<br />

the mini sudoku use numbers from<br />

1 to 6.<br />

Sudoku 9x9 - Puzzle 4 of 5 - Medium<br />

Medium 9x9 sudoku puzzle<br />

2 7 1 5<br />

5 6<br />

8 6 2 3<br />

5 2 7 3 6<br />

8 2<br />

3 4 8 9 1<br />

Sudoku 6x6 - Puzzle 3 of 5 - Medium<br />

Medium 6x6 mini sudoku puzzle<br />

1<br />

2 4<br />

1<br />

2 5<br />

If the puzzle you want to do has<br />

already been filled in, just ask your<br />

flight attendant for a new copy of the<br />

magazine!<br />

1 9 7 5<br />

7 4<br />

6 3 5 9<br />

www.sudoku-puzzles.net<br />

3 4<br />

4 6 1<br />

www.sudoku-puzzles.net<br />

www.sudoku-puzzle.net<br />

Solutions<br />

<strong>Caribbean</strong> Crossword<br />

Word Search<br />

U M A N D C O C A C O L A<br />

L Z L A C N D T<br />

N D 28 L I E 29 E X T I N C T<br />

Sudoku<br />

www.sudoku-puzzles.net<br />

Mini Sudoku<br />

Sudoku 6x6 - Solution 3 of 5 - Medium<br />

Sudoku 9x9 - Solution 4 of 5 - Medium<br />

6 4 2 3 5 1<br />

1 3 5 2 4 6<br />

6 2 4 7 3 1 8 5 9<br />

5 1 3 8 9 4 2 7 6<br />

9 7 8 6 5 2 3 4 1<br />

J S T O R E B A Y N O O R A M<br />

E E B H C I N A G R O M C H O<br />

S<br />

1<br />

S<br />

9<br />

C 2 O R 3 P I 4 O N 5 P E 6 P P 7 E R<br />

8<br />

I V A U A L V G<br />

L E I G H T 10 N O U V E A U<br />

1 5 9 2 7 3 4 6 8<br />

4 8 7 5 1 6 9 2 3<br />

2 3 6 4 8 9 7 1 5<br />

3 4 1 9 6 7 5 8 2<br />

7 9 5 1 2 8 6 3 4<br />

8 6 2 3 4 5 1 9 7<br />

www.sudoku-puzzles.net<br />

S R E B Y S N A<br />

E<br />

11<br />

5 1 3 4 6 2<br />

2 6 4 1 3 5<br />

3 5 1 6 2 4<br />

4 2 6 5 1 3<br />

O<br />

14<br />

L S E 12 K A Z A K H S T A N<br />

R L 13 C C R I O<br />

B U E H D 26 E O E<br />

B E L I S K 15 D O N A 16 T E<br />

U E T E A 17<br />

V<br />

N<br />

21<br />

S<br />

18<br />

P I R I T<br />

19 A<br />

20 U S T E R E<br />

O O R S K N<br />

A 23 K E N 24 W I T H 25 O W E D<br />

R<br />

30<br />

E<br />

27<br />

O<br />

22<br />

A N A I H A R B O U R D U A K<br />

N A R Y G U P A N T H E R R O<br />

A C T K N T D O T N D R R V J<br />

N I I S P M R N R E F E E E U<br />

D R S T A B O U S T N T N S M<br />

D R T R E M Y P C E V L T T B<br />

I U C A L L E O H K A E N L I<br />

N H C E T R H C B I T H E A E<br />

S P I C E I S L A N D H G M K<br />

S E M U S S A G R A S I B A C<br />

N T O Y K I N V E I G L E R A<br />

H W I D L I M E A K U L A T R<br />

A H B L A F T T R E S S T I T<br />

<strong>Caribbean</strong> <strong>Beat</strong> Magazine<br />


<strong>Caribbean</strong> <strong>Beat</strong> Magazine

79% (2017 year-to-date: 10 December)

<strong>Caribbean</strong> Airlines<br />

/<br />

Across the World<br />


Trinidad Head Office<br />

Airport: Piarco International<br />

Reservations & information:<br />

+ 868 625 7200 (local)<br />

Ticket offices: Mezzanine Level, The Parkade,<br />

Corner of Queen and Richmond Streets,<br />

Port-of-Spain;<br />

Golden Grove Road, Piarco;<br />

Carlton Centre, San Fernando<br />

Baggage: + 868 669 3000 Ext 7513/4<br />

Antigua<br />

Airport: VC Bird International<br />

Reservations & information:<br />

+ 800 744 2225 (toll free)<br />

Ticketing: VC Bird International Airport<br />

Hours: Mon – Fri 8 am – 4 pm<br />

Baggage: + 268-480-5705 Tues, Thurs, Fri, Sun,<br />

or + 268 462 0528 Mon, Wed, Sat.<br />

Hours: Mon – Fri 4 am – 10 pm<br />

Barbados<br />

Airport: Grantley Adams International<br />

Reservations & information: 1 246 429 5929 /<br />

1 800 744 2225 (toll free)<br />

City Ticket Office: 1st Floor Norman Centre Building,<br />

Broad Street, Bridgetown, Barbados<br />

Ticket office hours: 6 am – 10 am & 11 am –<br />

7 pm daily<br />

Flight Information: + 1 800 744 2225<br />

Baggage: + 1 246 428 1650/1 or + 1 246 428 7101<br />

ext. 4628<br />

Grenada<br />

Airport: Maurice Bishop International<br />

Reservations & Information:<br />

1 800 744 2225 (toll free)<br />

Ticketing: Maurice Bishop International Main<br />

Terminal<br />

Baggage: + 473 439 0681<br />

Jamaica (Kingston)<br />

Airport: Norman Manley International<br />

Reservations & information: + 800 523 5585 (International);<br />

1 888 359 2475 (Local)<br />

City Ticket Office: 128 Old Hope Road, Kingston 6<br />

Hours: Mon-Fri 7.30 am – 5.30 pm,<br />

Saturdays 10 am – 4 pm<br />

Airport Ticket Office: Norman Manley Airport<br />

Counter #1<br />

Hours: 3.30 am – 8 pm daily<br />

Baggage: + 876 924 8500<br />

Jamaica (Montego Bay)<br />

Airport: Sangster International<br />

Reservations & information:<br />

+ 800 744 2225 (toll free)<br />

Ticketing at check-in counter:<br />

8.30 am – 6 pm daily<br />

Baggage: + 876 363 6433<br />

Nassau<br />

Airport: Lynden Pindling International<br />

Terminal: Concourse 2<br />

Reservations & information: + 1 242 377 3300<br />

(local)<br />

Airport Ticket Office: Terminal A-East Departure<br />

Hours: Flight days – Sat, Mon, Thurs 10 am – 4 pm<br />

Non-flight days – Tues, Wed, Fri 10 am – 4 pm<br />

Flight Information: + 1 242 377 3300 (local)<br />

Baggage: + 1 242 377 7035 Ext 255<br />

9 am – 5 pm daily<br />

St Maarten<br />

Airport: Princess Juliana International<br />

Reservations & information: + 1721 546 7660/7661<br />

(local)<br />

Ticket office: PJIA Departure Concourse<br />

Baggage: + 1721 546 7660/3<br />

Hours: Mon – Fri 9 am – 5 pm / Sat 9 am – 6 pm<br />

St Lucia<br />

Airport: George F L Charles<br />

Reservations & information: 1 800 744 2225<br />

Ticket office: George F.L. Charles Airport<br />

Ticket office hours: 10 am – 4 pm<br />

Baggage contact number: 1 758 452 2789<br />

or 1 758 451 7269<br />

St Vincent and the Grenadines<br />

Airport: Argyle International<br />

Reservations & information: + 800 744 2225<br />

Ticketing: Argyle International Airport (during flight<br />

check-in ONLY)<br />

Tobago<br />

Airport: ANR Robinson International<br />

Reservations & information: + 868 660 7200 (local)<br />

Ticket office: ANR Robinson International Airport<br />

Baggage: + 639 0595 / 631 8023<br />

Flight information: + 868 669 3000<br />


Fort Lauderdale<br />

Airport: Hollywood Fort Lauderdale International<br />

Reservations & information: + 800 920 4225<br />

(toll free)<br />

Ticketing: Terminal 4 – departures level (during<br />

flight check-in ONLY – 7.30 am to 7 pm)<br />

Baggage: + 954 359 4487<br />

Miami<br />

Airport: Miami International<br />

Reservations & information: + 800 920 4225<br />

(toll free)<br />

Ticketing: South Terminal J – departures level (during<br />

flight check-in ONLY – 12 pm to 3.00 pm);<br />

Baggage: + 305 869 3795<br />

Orlando<br />

Airport: Orlando International<br />

Reservations & information:<br />

+ 800 920 4225 (toll free)<br />

Ticketing: Terminal A – departures level<br />

(during flight check-in ONLY – Mon/Fri 11:30 am<br />

– 2.15 pm)<br />

Baggage: + 407 825 3482<br />

New York<br />

Airport: John F Kennedy International<br />

Reservations & information: + 800 920 4225<br />

(toll free)<br />

Ticketing: Concourse B, Terminal 4, JFK<br />

International – open 24 hours (situated at departures,<br />

4th floor)<br />

Baggage: + 718 360 8930<br />

Toronto<br />

Airport: Lester B Pearson International<br />

Reservations & information: + 800 920 4225<br />

(toll free)<br />

Ticket office: Terminal 3<br />

Ticketing available daily at check-in counters<br />

422 and 423. Available 3 hours prior to<br />

departure times<br />

Baggage: + 905 672 9991<br />


Caracas<br />

Airport: Simón Bolívar International<br />

Reservations & information:<br />

+ 58 212 3552880<br />

Ticketing: Simón Bolívar International Level 2 –<br />

East Sector<br />

Hours: 7 am – 11 pm<br />

City Ticket Office: Sabana Grande Boulevard,<br />

Building “Galerias Bolivar”, 1st Floor, office 11-A,<br />

Caracas, Distrito Capital<br />

+ 58 212 762 4389 / 762 0231<br />

Baggage: + 58 424 1065937<br />

Guyana<br />

Airport: Cheddi Jagan International<br />

Reservations & information: + 800 744 2225<br />

(toll free)<br />

Ticket office: 91-92 Avenue of the Republic,<br />

Georgetown<br />

Baggage: + 011 592 261 2202<br />

Suriname<br />

Airport: Johan Adolf Pengel International<br />

Reservations & information: + 597 52 0034/0035<br />

(local); 1 868 625 6200 (Trinidad)<br />

Ticket Office: Paramaribo Express, N.V. Wagenwegstraat<br />

36, Paramaribo<br />

Baggage: + 597 325 437

Destination:<br />

The RBC® <strong>Caribbean</strong> Airlines Visa ‡ Platinum<br />

personal and business credit cards are everything you need.<br />

With <strong>Caribbean</strong> Miles and exclusive travel benefits, it’s your perfect travel partner.<br />

Start your journey. Apply now at rbc.com/miles-platinum.<br />

The RBC® <strong>Caribbean</strong> Airlines Visa‡ Platinum credit cards are available to nationals of Trinidad and Tobago only<br />

® / Trademark(s) of Royal Bank of Canada. Used under licence. ‡ Trademark(s) are the property of their respective owner(s).

737 onboard Entertainment <strong>—</strong> <strong>January</strong>/february<br />

Northbound<br />

Southbound<br />

J A N U A R Y<br />

Spider-Man: Homecoming<br />

Peter Parker’s attempts to fall back into his normal daily routine<br />

are threatened by the emergence of a new villain.<br />

Logan Lucky<br />

Jimmy Logan leads his siblings, Clyde and Mellie, in an elaborate<br />

scheme to rob North Carolina’s Charlotte Motor Speedway.<br />

Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Robert Downey, Jr • director: Jon Watts •<br />

sci-fi, action • PG-13 • 130 minutes<br />

Channing Tatum, Adam Driver, Daniel Craig • director: Steven Soderbergh •<br />

comedy, drama • PG-13 • 119 minutes<br />

Northbound<br />

Southbound<br />

Marvel’s Thor: Ragnarok<br />

Thor must race against time to stop Ragnarok <strong>—</strong> the destruction<br />

of his world and the end of Asgardian civilisation at the hands<br />

of the ruthless Hela.<br />

Murder on the Orient Express<br />

In the most timeless of whodunits, we follow renowned detective<br />

Hercule Poirot as he attempts to solve what would become<br />

one of the most infamous crimes in history.<br />

F E B R U A R Y<br />

Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Cate Blanchett • director: Taika Waititi •<br />

sci-fi, action • PG-13 • 130 minutes<br />

Tom Bateman, Lucy Boynton, Kenneth Branagh • director: Kenneth<br />

Branagh • drama, thriller • PG-13 • 113 minutes<br />

Audio Channels<br />

Channel 5 • The Hits<br />

Channel 6 • Soft Hits<br />

Channel 7 • Concert Hall<br />

Channel 8 • East Indian Fusion<br />

Channel 9 • Irie Vibes<br />

Channel 10 • Jazz Sessions<br />

Channel 11 • Kaiso Kaiso<br />

Channel 12 • Steelband Jamboree

parting shot<br />

ISLAND<br />

bounty<br />

In Union Island, southernmost part of<br />

St Vincent and the Grenadines, the centre<br />

of action is Mulzac Square in the small town<br />

of Clifton. Piles of fruit and vegetables in<br />

vendors’ stalls make a series of colourful<br />

still-life scenes, while the brilliant blue water<br />

of Clifton Harbour glistens nearby.<br />

Photography by Nature Picture Library/Alamy<br />


Hooray! Your file is uploaded and ready to be published.

Saved successfully!

Ooh no, something went wrong!