I’ve now experienced my first Emancipation Day in Trinidad. It is usually performed daily and nightly for three or four weeks of the year. In 1833 Thomas Buxton presented The Emancipation Bill in Parliament. They were led by Toussaint L'Ouverture. Emancipation Day Calendar. Slaves were fed salted codfish and pickled pork (imported from North America), and ground provision which they grew in their own small plot of land. Merchants, bankers, ship owners and planters all benefited considerably from slavery and the slave trade. So proud to be a Trini. Some fighters “mount” their sticks. However, it was not for another four years, after a period of “apprenticeship”, that freedom came to the enslaved in the British colonies, including to the approximately 20,000 in Trinidad & Tobago. It was brought to Trinidad by slaves who practiced it at wakes during the Bong session. As early as 1441 the Portuguese had started trade with Africa – more specifically, West Africa. Photographer: Edison Boodosingh, Orisha songstress Ella Andall. The basic step of the Shango dance is in the rhythm. Articles; Newsletters; Supplement; Photo Gallery; Videos; History Room; Welcome to the Emancipation Support Committee of Trinidad and Tobago Visit our Programme Areas. However, it is believed that they were treated much more kindly than they would come to be treated by the Europeans. In an Instagram post, KFC Trinidad showed a chicken drumstick with the silhouette of a ‘black power’ fist that has been recently popularized by the Black Lives Matter movement. All rights reserved. ENDING SLAVERY  Launched in August of that year, the revolt represented the culmination of a protracted conspiracy among black leaders. In Trinidad and Tobago some of these deities remain a part of the religious practices. The rationale for this was that the slaves required a period of transition so that they could get used to the responsibilities of freedom. Efe Below deck living conditions were appalling. With Emancipation Day just a few weeks away, I want to remind the African community to put aside the time to celebrate Emancipation Day at home appropriately, before, after or on the day … The abolitionists hoped that by ending the slave trade no more slaves would be coming from Africa and therefore slavery would gradually come to an end, but this was not the case. After 1838, many former slaves moved off the plantations and settled into nearby villages — like Arouca, Belmont, Laventille. This is with­out prej­u­dice to the Eman­ci­pa­tion Day ac­tiv­i­ties or­gan­ised by the Eman­ci­pa­tion Sup­port Com­mit­tee and oth­ers whose pub­lic events are now clear­ly con­strained by the COVID-19 pan­dem­ic. Harlow: Longman, 1971. Emancipation then came to the French territories in 1848, the US in 1865, and Brazil in 1888. As a result large numbers of French immigrants came to Trinidad complete with all their possessions, slaves and way of life. His ability to plough through defenses earned him the name L'Ouverture (the opening) by his followers. People from far and near come to the ceremony seeking either to be cured from some sickness or to have a spell cast upon a lover or an enemy. Akini Ayoola It took much longer to end slavery altogether, however — freedom for existing slaves did not come for several more decades. AFRICAN NAMES Oya (Iyesan) – Goddess of wind, rain and storms. Adam Smith advocated that Britain should purchase sugar from the cheapest source available. He was devoted to the cause of his own people and advocated this in his talks with French commissioners. Ayodele 23 Abercromby Street, Those slaves not employed in the fields worked as domestic servants in the Great House. Before they were put on the auction block they had to endure body inspections. With body bent forward and arms, with or without stick, slightly upraised, the dancer performs rapid foot movements from side to side. This display took the form of having slaves attending to their every need. Prior to 1776 the population of the island was small, and until the 1780s there were very few African slaves living on the island. Some planters believed that if they dealt harshly with them, the slaves would not have either the time or the inclination to rebel against their masters. Also their skills in building mud walls (tapia). Stick fighting is also called “Creole wood”, “Bois”, and “Bataille Bois”, and is performed by men only. Cabbage The rebellion left an estimated 10,000 blacks and 2,000 whites dead, and more than 1000 plantations sacked and razed. Other Caribbean islands experienced similar revolts but no other country was able to defeat the planters, free the slaves, and make a successful bid for independence. They were then transported to the plantations where they endured a life of exhausting work and unending cruelty. Both would dance a Kalinda jig and then move around making mock play motions with the stick. My own favourite memory of this day is walking in a light drizzle with my then-toddler daughter Najja, and being hoisted up onto the back of a truck carrying a rhythm section. The songs are in English and French Patois and boast of the prowess of the batonniere or stick fighter. From these innovations came dishes such as fish cakes, foo foo (pound plantain), black pudding, souse, callalloo, coo coo and oil down. Many suffered from seasickness, dysentery and small pox. Ato For example, the bottle and spoon are sometimes used as musical instruments at informal gatherings. [8] [9] Trinidad and Tobago. Toussaint was deceived and captured, and sent to France where he died in prison in 1803. It’s usual to have special guests from the continent — from politicians to celebrated performers such as Angelique Kidjo, the late Miriam Makeba, and the National Senegalese Ballet. Those who were rescued were beaten for trying to escape. The Act was passed and came into effect on 1 August 1834. ABOLITION OF SLAVERY These abolitionists were religious humanitarians (Quakers, Methodists, Evangelical Anglicans, Baptists and Moravians), intellectuals, workers and a few former slaves. With body loose and hands raised or held behind the back, one leg with knee slightly raised, is moved forward. It is considered a magical drum with powers to transport people into other worlds when played well. Many of the commemorative events take place both before and after Emancipation Day. Hard labour, poor food, disease and cruel masters were the order of the day. See more ideas about Emancipation day, Trinidad and tobago, Trinidad. Many French settlers were willing to migrate to Trinidad. yass sis! The Middle Passage was a horrendous ordeal for the Africans. 6. Slaves’ lives were controlled by the demands of their owners. After further protests and petitions in Europe and a spate of slave rebellions (Barbados 1816, Demerara/ British Guiana 1823, Jamaica 1831-1832), the British Parliament passed the Emancipation Act in 1833, to take effect on 1 August 1834. At the same time hands and sticks are moved about in a variety of positions. These slaves were creole. Features Emancipation in TT Marshelle Haseley Sunday 5 August 2018. Like slaves in other colonies, the slaves in Trinidad and Tobago lived in horrible conditions. Alladin, 19-. The chicken chain’s Trinidad subsidiary apparently wanted to show solidarity during the Caribbean nation’s Emancipation Day, which commemorates the end of slavery in the colonies of the British Empire. Everything African was perceived as being heathen, backward and evil. Sometimes the dancer-fighter moves backward hopping on one foot while placing the other behind. Alladin, M.P. Folk Dances of Trinidad and Tobago. The British white population was small, and many of the planters were absentee owners. Although the institution of slavery was formally brought to an end on 1 August 1834, its social, political and economic repercussions continue to be felt both in Africa and by the African diaspora. As the stick is lowered it becomes more difficult to get under. The trip from Europe to Africa was called the Outward Passage, the trip from Africa to the Americas was called the Middle Passage, and the trip from the Americas to Europe, in which cargoes of rum, sugar, tobacco and other produce bought with the proceeds of slave sales were shipped, was called the Inward Passage. Slavery in many African societies was a temporary state, usually occurring as punishment for a crime or to pay off a debt. Curry Powder. Prior to 1776 the population of the island was small, and until the 1780s there were very few African slaves living on the island. The Orishas – The spiritual powers. In my usual research, I discovered Emancipation Day was first recognised in TT on August 1, 1985 – making it the first country in the world to declare a national holiday to commemorate the abolition of slavery on a set date. One dancer starts off and is followed by others. Aug 11, 2016 - EVERY YEAR ON AUGUST 1ST THE PEOPLE OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO, CELEBRATE THE EMANCIPATION OF THE AFRICAN SLAVES....IT IS PUBLIC HOLIDAY. Emancipation Day is an opportunity for us all to acknowledge the harsh experiences of the enslaved and pay tribute to their resilience and determination in the face of exceeding difficulty. Today, most of the Anglophone Caribbean nations also have annual Emancipation Day celebrations. A small group of men consisting of a chantouelle and chorus sing the stick fight or Kalinda songs or “lam-wehs” to the rhythm of the drum. 4. Yohance, BIBLIOGRAPHY ENDING THE SLAVE TRADE  Maize (Corn) http://www.africaguide.com/cooking.htm, 2. African Treasures. The set of drums includes a “cutter” and one or two “foolays”, all made out of hollowed out gru gru wood and covered with dried goat skin. Emancipation Day was first declared as a national holiday on August 1, 1985, in Trinidad and Tobago, replacing Columbus Discovery Day which marked Christopher Columbus' arrival in Trinidad … Today, Caribbean cuisine is recognized for its distinctive style and flavour. Usually one dancer performs at a time, but several might compete by dancing together. The moko jumbie (stilt walker) and devil portrayal, and even the hat worn by the midnight robber are similar to characters played during the Nigerian festival of Egungun. Trinidadians of all hues and races — though predominantly of African heritage — turn out in their best African garb to remember the past and declare a better future, clapping and chanting as they walk and dance. It was the era of the Industrial Revolution and the economic face of Britain and Europe was changing. On that day, thousands of slaves in the British West Indies became free men and women. The Bongo is performed at the house of the deceased on the night of the wake (the night before the funeral). The act did not specify how the 40 ½ hour week was to be divided and this created some confusion between the planters and the former slaves. The law became operational on 1 January 1808. In addition to the abolitionists, there was the economist Adam Smith who argued that free labour was cheaper than slave labour, which he showed to be uneconomic. As a means of maintaining absolute control, the slave masters tried to destroy every aspect of African cultural, social and religious traditions, and impose a Eurocentric value system on the slaves. Africans portray masks in their ceremonies, dances and festivals. ART AND CRAFT Saturday - 9.00am to 2.00pmÂ, Preservation and Conservation (PAC) Laboratory, SLAVERY AND EMANCIPATION IN TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO, Someone possessed through struggle (Nigeria). But it was in March 1807 that the first legal move was made to end the “African holocaust” that shipped up to 20 million people in horrendous conditions across the Atlantic, and forced them into forced labour in inhumane conditions for the rest of their lives. Trinidad’s Lisa Mc Clashie dances with Ghana’s Sankofa drummers at last year’s opening of the Lidj Yasu Omawale Emancipation … One hundred and fifty one years later, on 1 August 1985 the government of Trinidad and Tobago declared Emancipation Day a national holiday to commemorate the abolition of slavery. Furthermore, the only reason planters were able to sell their sugar was because Britain imposed taxes on non-British sugar. I’ve walked in the procession alone and with my children, and it always fills me with a deep pride to see so many people of African heritage coming together in joyful praise of freedom. In the midst of this Toussaint L'Ouverture emerged as one of the most notable leaders of the Haitian revolution. Duncker, Sheila. A Visual History of the West Indies. They set up villages close to the sugar estates, but not on the planters' land. Trinidad was a late starter in the Plantation system. National Library and Information System Authority (NALIS), He is the special relations official between heaven and earth. Sugar dominated the Caribbean economy so the majority of slaves worked on the sugar plantations. The Kalimba or thumb piano (also called mbira or likembe) is a plucked idiophone unique to Africa. The flat sound is struck in the tempo tack-tata-tack-tack, tack-tata-tack-tack. It's also a means to celebrate their culture and customs after nearly 400 years of European colonization and slavery, forced to change their names, religions, beliefs, languages, and more. This holiday marks the end of slavery in the British Empire. There are different types of drums such as the bougarabou, djembe, dun dun and talking drum. Dedan He reorganized the government and instituted public improvements. They believed that the world was inhabited by good and evil spirits, and that their ancestors watched over them. Their lips were pulled back and their teeth examined, and their stomach, back and genitals were prodded and poked. Kwame This lit the flame of revolution in Haiti. However, modern methods of house building have replaced these traditional methods. In 1832 the Reform Act was passed. These men wanted to see free trade established and slavery ended. This is a test of strength and competitors must have supple waist lines and strong backs. Of these, stick fighting is the most prominent and can be seen in Trinidad and Tobago’s Carnival celebrations. HAITI: THE FIRST BLACK REPUBLIC IN THE CARIBBEAN Dookhan, Isaac. A Pre-Emancipation History of the West Indies.  The African influence can be seen in several of the folk dances of Trinidad and Tobago. Under this policy or law, female slaves were not to be flogged and slaves were not allowed to work on Sundays. OUR AFRICAN HERITAGE From 1770s onward, several influential pressure groups arose in England and France for an end to the slave trade and slavery. The foot lands flat for all movements except for the final step when the appropriate foot is pulled slightly backward. Over time the abolitionists’ campaign gained momentum. Honychurch, Lennox. The Caribbean People, book 3. However, by 1797 when the British conquered Trinidad, sugar had become the most important crop. In France, beet sugar was being sold a lot cheaper than cane sugar, and the quality of the beet sugar was quite good. The Emancipation Support Committee, which mounts the annual procession and runs the village, is the primary mover in the international observation of Emancipation Day, but other T&T bodies are part of the movement. The basic movement consists of dropping one foot behind the other which is kicked quickly, slightly forward, twice. They also planted other crops such as okra and corn (maize). By the time the first Europeans arrived in Africa the wealthy empires of Songhai and Benin dominated the area. I was -just- reading Uncle Keith's message to the youth Shout outs to T&T for being the first country in the world, way back in 1985, to memorialise Emancipation Day as a public holiday as well For those who want to take part virtually in Trinidad's official observations check out the Emancipation Support Committee's Facebook page for … When the British conquered Tobago in 1793 plantations were set up, and soon sugar became the main crop. Many of these planters were second or third sons who did not inherit their fathers' titles or wealth. The names of these deities varied across regions, cultures and tribes. In good weather slaves were allowed on deck twice a day for exercise. Trinidad and Tobago was the first country in the world to commemorate the abolition of slavery with a national observance, and since that time several other countries (mostly in the Caribbean) have followed suit. Some places in Trinidad and Tobago were given African names. Music in African culture has a more important role than in Western cultures. The rebellion started in the most prosperous and densely populated part of the island which had over 40 percent of the island's slave population. Osanyin or Orsain – The father of medicine and herbs. Trinidad and Tobago was the first country in the world to declare Emancipation Day a public holiday, in 1985. The United States followed suit by banning the importation of slaves from 1 January, 1808. Through it all, the slaves still managed to create some sort of family life and maintain their culture. The dates for the abolition of the slave trade are: In 1817 Spain accepted 400,000 pounds sterling to abolish the trade in Cuba, Puerto Rico and San Domingo after 1820, but the slave trade continued to Cuba where the last recorded slave shipment was 1873. Pilau Mix Add to Calendar Add to Timely Calendar Add to Google Add to Outlook Add to Apple Calendar Add to other calendar ... all-day Republic Day @ Trinidad and Tobago. This enslavement of a people continued until events in Europe changed the fortunes of the West Indian and North American colonies. DANCE As Trinidad & Tobago’s first prime minister Dr Eric Williams stated in From Columbus to Castro: Negro revolt in the British West Indies in the early 19th century, designed to abolish slavery from below, was widely apprehended, both in the West Indies and in Britain … In the British West Indies, it was no longer a question of slave rebellions if, but slave rebellions unless emancipation was decreed. It became the fashion to have a retinue of slaves to accompany one on the streets of England. The arms are outstretched or held slightly forward and upward. 1 Aug 2021 Usual date in Trinidad and Tobago Sun, Aug 1, 2021 Add to calendar 2 Aug 2021 Observed in Trinidad and Tobago Mon, Aug 2, 2021 Add to calendar. The Kalinda Dance step is a sort of jig. The following is a small sample of male and female African names. Having gone to the West Indies to seek their fortune, they returned to England as wealthy men and did not hesitate to display their new-found wealth. BONGO Brereton, Bridget and Gerard Besson (editors).  The Africans were forced to learn the language of their slave masters. Emancipation Day as public holiday Just over 150 years later, on 1 August 1985, the Trinidad & Tobago government declared Emancipation Day a national holiday — thus becoming the first independent country in the world to declare a national public holiday to commemorate the abolition of … William Wilberforce made several attempts to introduce a bill in parliament outlawing the slave trade. Same to you and yours. Slave traders paid little or no attention to the welfare of the slaves during the Middle Passage, but once the ship approached its final destination the slaves were bathed, shaved and oiled, in an effort to get a higher price for them. In 1783, in an effort to increase the population, and by extension the prosperity of the island, the Spanish government, which ruled Trinidad, decided to invite French planters to settle in Trinidad. Sep 24 all-day. Just over 150  years later, on 1 August 1985, the Trinidad & Tobago government declared Emancipation Day a national holiday — thus becoming the first independent country in the world to declare a national public holiday to commemorate the abolition of slavery. In addition to the appalling physical conditions, there was also the mental stress. There were no washroom facilities and slaves had to relieve themselves where they were. It is a public holiday in Trinidad and Tobago on A “batonniere” may fight in his everyday clothes or in a special costume made of coloured satin decorated with beads, swansdown and tiny mirrors. Many Africans became despondent and threw themselves overboard. (Despite the Slavery Abolition Act of 1833, enforced in 1834, it would take another four years before the “free” former slaves would actually be let off the estates where they grew sugar cane, cocoa, coffee, tobacco, and other goods on which the British Empire depended.). Rattles are commonly known in Trinidad and Tobago as “chac-chac” and, like drums, are used in churches, orchestras, dances and festivals. Even though they came from different regions of West Africa, the various religions had common features. This had a negative effect on British sugar profits. FOOD THE NEW WORLD SLAVERY AND THE SLAVE TRADE: THE BEGINNING The exceptional experience of Haiti can be explained by the fact that France, the colonizer, was also in a state of revolution from 1789. Words such as obeah and the names of the orishas are also African words. It is a public holiday in several Caribbean countries and although the holiday commemorates events that took place on [10] London: Evans Brothers, 1965. In France and England the ideas of the Enlightenment and the French and American Revolutions also helped to fuel the demands to end slavery. A slave rebellion in 1791 finally toppled the colony. on This would make the British economy more successful. In fact they had such a high regard for their ancestors that they worshiped them. Atiba Asad In 1833 Thomas Buxton presented the Emancipation Bill in British Parliament, and on August 1 st 1834 the Act was passed and British West Indian slaves were granted freedom. Eno Cardamon Akil Stockings and alpargatas complete the wear. However all the British colonies except Antigua had a period of Apprenticeship, under which the former slaves were obliged to serve the planters from 1 August 1834 to 1 August 1838. Required fields are marked *, Dancers at the Emancipation Village. On 22 August, a little more than a week after the ceremony, the uprising of their black followers began. It is played with sticks, wool covered beaters and the hand. 1st Aug 2018. Vendors sell everything from African black soap to kente cloth and cowrie shell jewellery. The victor is the person who moves under the stick at its lowest point without touching it. For more than three hundred years, beginning in the 15th century, the slave trade grew into a huge and successful business. In Trinidad and Tobago, ... Makandal Daaga, had suggested that Africans should focus on the spirituality of Emancipation Day. Musical instruments are varied and comprise drums, rattles, bells and any other items that can carry a rhythm. For more: Emancipation Support Committee: emancipationtt.com, 628-5008. Nutmeg Payment is usually in the form of donations of rum or animals such as a goat or a white fowl-cock. SHANGO Since the Portuguese already traded in slaves it seemed logical to expand this commercial enterprise by supplying the colonies with slaves from Africa. In 1783, in an effort to increase the population, and by extension the prosperity of the island, the Spanish government, which ruled Trinidad, decided to invite French planters to settle in Trinidad. Eshu – The messenger of the gods. The slaves were innovative and incorporated these and other foods into their diet, creating new recipes. The holiday in Trinidad & Tobago replaced Columbus Discovery Day, which had marked Christopher Columbus’ arrival in Trinidad on 31 July, 1498. Amir Even though the Judeo-Christian religion was imposed on the African slaves, they continued to observe their African forms of worship, sometimes in secret. 5. On 1 January 1804, Dessalines renamed San Domingue under its indigeneous name Haiti, and declared the country independent, thereby making it the first black republic in the world and the first independent nation in Latin America and the Caribbean. They mobilised popular opinion, using mass meetings and petitions. This led to the development of large cities and empires. Photo by Edison Boodoosingh, Pleasantville competes at the Best Village competition. For example, the Egungun festival of Nigeria is reminiscent of the revelry, pantomime, street parades, music and masking that are seen in Trinidad and Rio de Janeiro carnival. The dates do vary from country to country. KALINDA (STICKFIGHTING)  Both shake naturally as the hops and kicks are made. The drummers squat on one side with their small keg drums: one “cutter” and two or three “foolay” men. Trinidad & Tobago celebrates Emancipation Day as a public holiday.Emancipation Day is celebrated in many nations in the Americas. Whether you argue that Emancipation was a capitalist imperative (as Eric Williams did), or a humanitarian one (look up the story of the Wedgwood Medallion for that side of the story), or that it was the Africans themselves whose acts of resistance forced the hand of an empire, it’s indisputable that Emancipation changed the world significantly. In the beginning labour needs were met by the slaves who were brought to Trinidad with their French masters. Elder, J.D. African Survivals in Trinidad & Tobago. Other slaves gravitated towards Port of Spain and San Fernando where they became artisans, craftsmen, builders and domestics. 8.00am to 4.15pm and Their religious beliefs helped the slaves endure the cruelty and hardship of slavery. English slave ships would arrive on the West coast of Africa with a cargo of guns, alcohol, goods, beads and trinkets. There was a deliberate strategy by the whites to separate Africans of the same tribe because it was believed that if the slaves could not communicate with each other, then they could not plot against their masters. That is, they were born in the Caribbean. However, with regard to the slaves, only slaves under six years old were free immediately. And maintain their culture i’ve now experienced my first Emancipation Day ; Film Festival ; CPAN Indaba! These two religions rattle is shaken, African folk dancers at the house of the ship! 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