BWlA was founded on 27th November ,1939. It commenced operation in T&T in 1940. On 31st December , 2006 name of airline was changed to Caribbean Airlines which is still in operation today
Chacachacare is an island in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago
This mysterious, uninhabited island, once the site of a colony of lepers run by a group of nuns, is only five miles off the northwest coast of Trinidad.The colony housed around 250 patients. They lived in several buildings scattered on the island and was forced to care for themselves other than aid of the nuns
The island was spotted by Christopher Columbus on his third New World voyage on 12 August 1498, and his little fleet spent the night anchored in Monkey Harbour. He named the island 'Port of Cats' because he heard roars of what he thought were wildcats. He had mistaken the call of howler monkeys for a "wildcat". The island later became a nuns quarters and a leper colony. In 1942, 1,000 U.S. Marines were stationed on Chacachacare and built barracks on the island. The island was abandoned by the 1980s, when the nuns left their quarters and when the last leper who was on the island died in 1984.The small former residences of the leper residents have been swallowed up or obscured by vegetation, and parts of the old rock road along the shore, as well as some piers and docks still remain.
There is said to be a ghost of a young nun who walks around at night with a lantern and haunts the former convent because she supposedly committed suicide. The one mentioned on GHI had her falling in love with a Venezuelan sailor. After their relationship was discovered, they were told to split up which led to her hanging herself over the altar in the chapel. Another version states the guy wasn't a sailor but a priest. A third one says she committed suicide after discovering she had become pregnant by a local fisherman.
"Went there on a university field trip and actually spent the night. You do hear strange noises at night, nothing you would expect from the known fauna there. One of my group members claimed hearing footsteps in the abandoned house we slept in while everyone was asleep. only eight of us were in that house."
By Nikoli F
"In the main abandoned doctors house there is indeed a ghosts one night while camping there we were all asleep but suddenly i woke up to see a man standing right in front of where we slept and as i opened my eyes yes i saw him and then he just vanished i remembered clearly that he was wearing a watch and after i remembered earlier we were playing hide and seek upstairs my uncle told me he saw the same man wearing a watch and said to him "ur it i caught u " and he said nothing and walked away he couldnt see his face though cause ut was pitch black its haunted belive me you can feel the heavy presence around u while ur there and oh theirs a cemetery up in the back of the house ".
By orneillia m
"I have had one experience when my friend wondered into the grave yard on his own for an unknown reason even up to now , returning hysterically running along side the cliff on the path to the cemetery claiming his glasses were taken from him by a woman that wore red lip stick , to my surprise while exploring the island , i came across the abandoned houses ,which are a beautiful part of history , i found a tube of red lipstick , and a box of matches ,the very next day .We found them laying in the very same spot, there is something spooky i must admit , even with a crew of 12 you can feel the intense aura in the buildings , it was said by folklore that the head nun was having an affair with the priest , and when it was exposed she hanged herself in the church , its beautiful during the day , not so sure about the night lol..By
The graveyard on the island was for nuns, mostly from France. The nuns cared for the people in the leper colony before the cause of leprosy was fully understood. They probably believed they were putting themselves at great risk for acquiring the disease themselves.
The nuns’ sleeping quarters are very creepy, set amongst the overgrown trees which even in bright daylight make the ruins gloomy and mysterious. It’s easy to see why the buildings became a subject for Ghost Hunters International, especially if you carefully make your way upstairs and see the bizarre person-shaped cutouts in the wooden walls (it’s believed these are where statues were fastened and it was just easier to take out the wall than detach the statue).
The Bolo Rocks are a series of rocks located at the southwestern point of Chacachacare. They were named after a slave named Bolo who worked for a whaling station on the island.
It seems like with every visit to Chacachacare you’re left with more questions and secrets, than answers. Not to say this place is ‘haunted’ or unexplainable, but rather there is so much history on this small island, it’s hardly likely you’ll get it all on one visit!
Witnesses have also reported hearing voices, noises and footsteps, seeing apparitions, shadows, being pushed, feeling cold spots.
Source: Virtual Museum of Trinidad and Tobago
SPECIAL POSTED ON DECEMBER 3, 2010 By HISTORIAN AND AUTHOR ANGELO BISSESSARSINGH
For most Trinidadians, no Christmas season would be complete without a trip to Frederick St in Port of Spain to take advantage of bargains, window-shop and to savour the whirl and rush of humanity occasioned by the hectic Christmas atmosphere. This photo dates from 1950.
With the jolly season now in full swing, we begin to be aware of those annual occurrences which make Christmas in Trinidad a unique and savory experience. The hams have begun to put in appearances in the supermarket freezers, and the ruddy hue of sorrel on the wooden trestles of roadside hucksters. Demijohns of ginger ale have begun to grace windowsills for fermentation, and notwithstanding the astronomical price of the raw material, most assuredly will give a sharp bite to those who dare to partake of the aged vintage. Errant bakers of the domestic kitchens are sampling with gusto the rum-drenched dried fruit which have been soaking since the middle of June and which will soon form an integral part of an aromatic fruit cake. Toys which range from the simple trinkets of a bygone era to complex mechanisms with embedded microchips have commenced their temptation of young desires who fervently hope that Santa will bestow upon them, the rewards of a year of good behavior. Amidst the thick air of anticipation and festivity it would not be amiss to take a retrospective look at local Christmases of yesteryear. Almost every nostalgic Trinidadian and Tobagonian can tell stories of the ham being boiled in a pitch-oil tin, the flurry of new curtains, paranderos and the joyous tedium of pastelles on the make, but I intend to take a more historically systematic view when looking at the Trini Christmases Past.
In the pre-emancipation era (1834 and earlier) Christmas was celebrated in the plantation great houses with much pomp and ceremony as befitted the status of landed gentry. With the influx of French settlers with the 1783 Cedula of Population, Christmas balls became fairly commonplace, graced no doubt by lavish dinners of wild meat roasts, consommés of local fruit, and wines imported from Europe. The house slaves of the estates would have been the grateful end beneficiaries of the residue of these Christmas revels of the masters.
The pleasure of the field slaves were infinitely more simple and consisted of little more than an extra allowance of food and perhaps a length of cloth. One account from 1823 tells of a Christmas on Lopinot’s La Reconnaissance cocoa estate where slaves were given a dole. The account runs thus ‘At nine o’clock while at breakfast, the whole of the negroes came dressed in the gayest clothes to wish us a Merry Christmas, and a piece of beef and an allowance of flour and raisins were distributed to all of them with a proportion of rum for the men and wine for the women.’ The writer continues to describe how the slaves were given two suits of clothes each, following which they visited the cemetery of the Lopinot family (still to be seen) where prayers were said for the departed Comte de Lopinot and flowers strewn over the huge unmarked gravestones. With the advent of East Indian labourers on the sugar and (to a lesser extent) cocoa estates of the island after 1845, Christmas took on a dimension of minor importance. Mostly, the labourers were Hindus and Muslims and therefore did not celebrate Christmas. Admittedly, some aspects of the field slave Christmas still survived as 19th century accounts tell of one proprietor’s wife in Central Trinidad, Elisa DeVerteuil, sharing out an annual bonus of flour, cloth and other staples to the East Indians of Woodford Lodge estate. The arrival of Rev. John Morton in 1868 marked the commencement of the Canadian Mission to the Indians (CMI) through the auspices of the Canadian Presbyterian Church.
Under the influence to the early missionaries of the CMI, Christmas became a more regular occurrence in the predominantly Indo-Trinidadian sugar-belt communities of Central and South Trinidad. Those early CMI Christmases were simple affairs, with carols being sung (some in Hindi through the translations of the Rev. Dr. Kenneth Grant and Lal Behari) and presents in the form of decorated cards and booklets being distributed, these being sent from mission fields in Canada for the benefit of their ‘heathen’ brethren in Trinidad. Conversely, as is recorded by Sir V.S Naipaul in A House for Mr. Biswas, Indo-Trinidadian Christmas celebrations in the estate barracks comprised for the most part of a surfeit of food and grog, after which a spate of wife and child beatings would inevitably follow to cap off Christmas Day revelries.
Christmas for the urban Afro-Trinidadian, particularly for those of the barrack-yards of East Port of Spain, was a more complex affair although like their East Indian contemporaries, Yuletide activities invariably involved the consumption of copious libations of spirits, sometimes with unwelcome side-effects. The seminal thesis on life in the barrack-yards published by James Cummings (Barrack-Yard Dwellers) gives an insightful window into the Christmases of these unique inner-city environments. Cummings tells of old curtains being boiled in a broth of tea-leaves to brighten the fading textiles, when new pieces could not be afforded. Crockery, which languished year-round as ornaments would be washed in anticipation of the Christmas feast, the preparation of which was a process in itself. According to Cummings, chicken, ham and beef would be prepared according to the circumstances of the families. ‘Professional’ women known as matadores, would be provided with money beforehand by their male ‘keepers’ and would indulge in much food and drink for the big day.
The all important preparation of the fruit cake would be supervised by ‘peel men’ at local bakeries, which in fine Dickensian style, would take in the batter of the barrack-yard cakes to be baked. The peel men were sometimes tipsy from numerous shots of rum, so often the cakes met with disaster when being slipped into and out of the mud ovens with a long-handled wooden paddle known as the ‘peel’.
The menfolk of the barrack-yards were not left standing in the Christmas bustle. Months beforehand, they would purchase gallons of poor-quality rum known as ‘ca-ca-poule’ to which would be added tonka beans, citrus peel and even methylated spirits to increase the mellowness and potency of the rum. A more dignified barrack-yard Xmas dinner of the 1930s is recounted in C.L.R James’ Minty Alley wherein the well-furnished table of Mrs. Rouse is graced by a quart of iced champagne, good company and the unique camaraderie of a truly Trini Christmas.
A valuable glimpse of a Christmas of the white planter elite in 1911 is given by P.E.T O’Connor, whose grandfather, Gaston De Gannes was one of the last aristocratic French-Creole patriarchs of the plantation era and who presided over his stately home, La Chance, near Arima. Every Christmas, De Gannes’ large family would descend on La Chance, complete with a battery of maidservants for care of the children. O’Connor describes the Christmas morning ritual where the children were sent up to Gaston’s room to pay him their season’s compliments: ‘He would be standing in his bedroom near his huge wardrobe with its doors open, as on the inside was tacked a neatly written list of grandchildren. As we all paraded in and out with our good wishes, he would consult the list and hand out the appropriate largesse. A golden sovereign to the eldest son of each family, a half sovereign to the eldest girl and a silver crown or half-crown to the younger children’. In terms of the monetary values of the day, the golden sovereign coin was worth more than an entire year’s wages for one of the labourers on Gaston’s cocoa estates. O’Connor goes on to describe the breakfast of hot chocolate and bread, followed by Mass at Santa Rosa R.C Church, the day being crowned by a magnificent family dinner, graced by Bordeaux wine and French claret.
The emergence of parang is really attributable to the influx of peons, called the panyols, of Venezuela, who provided a significant percentage of the labour force during the cocoa boom years of 1870-1920. While parang has become fairly commercialized of late, the Christmas ritual, introduced by the panyols, actually involves three stages. In Lopinot, the tradition held true for many years, preserved by such sages as Sotero Gomez and Pedro Segundo Dolabaille. The first stage is when upon arrival at a hospitable home, the paranderos would sing from the doorstep, an Aguinaldo, or song of praise, telling of the Nativity, Adoration or Ascension of Christ. This is the signal for the householder to throw open his/her doors to the paranderos who continue to serenade the home with Aguinaldos until the descanso, or rest period, when the bards are regaled with victuals and drink consisting mainly of ham, pastelles and fruit cake, as well as sorrel and ginger beer.
From the doorsteps of the countryside, the parang music was taken to a national level by the artistry of pioneers like the late Parang Queen, Daisy Voisin and the Lara Brothers. While on the subject of music, it is interesting to note that in San Fernando during the 1870s to the 1890s, the crown jewel of the town’s Christmas events calendar consisted of a grand concert which was held first at the Oriental Hall on Carib St. (present-day location of Grant Memorial Presbyterian School) and later, at the Drill Hall (where Naparima Bowl now stands). The performers in this cantata almost unanimously hailed from the very musically-inclined Vilain family, who were a prominent coloured French Creole clan. Patriarch Jean-Marie Vilain, along with his sons Pierre, Alexander and Jean-Marie Jr. were gifted musicians. Pierre, until his death in 1879, even had an international reputation as a master of the violin which earned him the title of ‘The West Indian Paganini’. With the death of Jean Marie and Alexander in the 1890s, this chapter of San Fernando’s Christmas story was brought to a close.
In retrospect, Christmas has from the earliest period, occupied a special place in the collective consciousness of our people. Even when adversity beset the islands during two World Wars and the recessionary period of the 1980s, nothing seemed to be able to dull the inherent warmth and camaraderie of Trinbagonians which find its most apt expression during Christmastime. As the words of Susan Maicoo’s now-staple ballad most appropriately put it ‘Trini Christmas is de best".
1907 Cadillac . Trinidad (1910)
The first car in Trinidad was a steam-powered Locomobile in 1900. This Cadillac was owned by the wealthy DeVerteuil family who owned vast cocoa estates.
Source: Virtual Museum of T&T
Photo description :Mrs Blackadder, schoolmistress of many years at the Tacarigua CMI school, with some of her students and Dalmatian. Circa 1899.
It's that time of year when Christmas Treats for Children is a common occurrence in schools, villages and communities throughout Trinidad and Tobago . But how many are aware of how concept of Christmas Treat for children in Trinidad first started? This article written by Founder of VMOTT Angelo Bissessarsingh provides us with the answer.
When indentured labour began entering Trinidad from India in 1845, the overwhelming majority of these people were Hindus with a small number of Muslims. Christmas was an unknown concept to them of course and here in the Caribbean, they would have their first contact with this festive season.
The labourers were bound in five and ten-year contracts to sugar estates (cocoa plantations to a lesser extent), and from 1866-1880, were offered an incentive to remain in the island and form a peasantry which would provide a seasonal workforce for the plantations. Whilst bound to the estates, a few owners and managers of a more benign disposition would have introduced Christmas to the lives of the workers.
Almost certainly, this was the case of the Orange Grove Estates conglomerate which was managed by the foresighted William Eccles (1816-59), who founded an industrial school and orphanage in Tacarigua, under the auspices of the Anglican Church.
This paternalistic approach would have also pertained at Lothians Estate near Princes Town where the kindly Irishman, H B Darling was the proprietor.
The coming of the Rev John Morton and his wife, Sarah, in 1868 to establish the Presbyterian Church’s Canadian Mission to the Indians (CMI) began a long process of trying to find the right method of evangelisation and at once hit upon education as the key.
Dozens of schools were founded across the island with concentration on the areas where there was a predominantly high population of ex-indentured labourers and their children.
Churches in Quebec, Nova Scotia and Ontario would forward to the CMI large boxes filled with small bibles, toys, religious books and sometimes clothing (made by the Auxiliaries of the Women’s Foreign Mission Society) which would be distributed in the schools.
The ladies of the Chalmers church in Quebec were particularly magnanimous for in addition to the regular fare, they sent along dressed dolls, pocketknives, school bags, marbles, pencil boxes, scissors, whistles, necklaces and watches. The whole was often valued at $60 which was quite a large sum in those days, and this generosity from Quebec was a steady expectation from the early 1890s right up to 1914. One can only imagine the excitement of the poor children of the canefields upon receiving such elaborate presents.
Mrs Morton described one such treat in 1877, at Mission Village, which would later become Princes Town:
“Examination of the Mission School Miss Blackadder’s began at 12 sharp. A number of white people present—Mr Darling, who sent a good supply of candies and two beautiful bouquets, Mr and Mrs Frost, who sent a nice parcel of small books and cards, and some others. Children present sang nicely and, indeed, went through their exercises very well and were particularly clean. The little pictures from the box you sent were greatly prized. I hope you will be able to get some more.
“All got some candy and a large banana; that was all the treat.”
The early experiments with treats proved to be so successful for the conversion process that it spread to other parts of the CMI field including Tunapuna. At the Tacarigua school, where the very same Mrs Blackadder from Mission Village was later assigned, Mrs Morton described a treat in 1887:
“A Christmas treat early became an institution. We had seven schools to provide for. In each we examined the register and counted how many children had made over 400 attendances, how many 300, and so on. All these had cakes and candy and a little present according to the days they had made. The careless ones who had too few attendances were called up and told they could not have any present and only a small share of the sweetmeats. A very few who came in for cakes but had not come to read were sent home without anything as a warning to the rest.
“We find this a good plan for encouraging attendance; we have adopted the same plan in our Sabbath schools, but confining the rewards to the very best children.”
The Christmas treat tradition soon spread to other denominational schools and was often accompanied by a concert. This often coincided with the auspicious annual visit by the local school inspector who would assess the progress of the students.
Today, Christmas treats have become sordid affairs of sometimes dubious motives, but those who were educated in the primary schools of several decades ago still cherish memories of the joy felt at the bestowing of small gifts which meant so much.
Source: Angelo Bissessarsingh, Virtual Museum of Trinidad and Tobago 2014
By Angelo Bissessarsingh, Historian and Author (2014)
Old map showing the proximity of Trinidad to the Orinoco Delta
Sketchy school textbooks have taught generations of Caribbean children numerous myths about the region’s First Peoples such as the conflicts between the savage Caribs and peaceful Arawaks when in reality, there were many different cultures and languages. Around eight thousand years ago, a small band of Neolithic peoples crossed a narrow land bridge from the continental mainland of South America into Trinidad. They carried little, save perhaps a few treasured ceremonial artefacts made of greenstone that had been quarried from the misty heights of the Roraima Mountains. In the south-western part of Trinidad they founded two settlements on the fringe of a mangrove swamp which provided all the necessities of life
Banwari Man, the oldest human remains in the Caribbean.
These peoples were hunter-gatherers and lived off the bounty of nature- from the roots of the mangrove they plucked oysters whose discarded shells formed a great refuse heap that over a millennia of unchanged habitation grew to be a hill almost twenty feet high. The fruits of the wild and the starchy bulbs of water plants were their vegetables, pounded and processed with simple stone tools. Small land mammals were hunted for meat with bone-tipped spears. Bone was also used to make bi-pointed fishhooks. Crude stone axes felled small trees which were used to make round huts.
Cut off from the mainland by rising sea levels. This wave of hunter-gatherers eventually developed the technology to manufacture dugout canoes and may have reached Tobago. Their remains have recently been discovered in Barbados as well, but their presence in Trinidad makes this island the oldest inhabited place in the Caribbean. In the 1960s and 70s the shell mound , located in what was by then known as Banwari Trace in the sleepy village of San Francique, was excavated by the late Peter O’Brien Harris and yielded the remains of Trinidad’s oldest ‘resident’. Banwari Man (or woman) is a human skeleton approximately five thousand years old that was found buried in a foetal position. A tenuous cultural and anthropological connection has been established between Banwari Man and the present-day Warao First Peoples of the Orinoco Delta in Venezuela. It is now housed at the University of the West Indies Zoology Museum at St. Augustine. Persons wishing to view the skeleton and interesting specimen collection can contact curator Mike Rutherford at 1 (868) 662-2002 ext. 82231.
In the wake of the archaic hunter-gatherers came waves of pottery-making cultures beginning in 250 B.C
A man from the Warao people of the Orinoco Delta (1897). The Warao are believed to be related to the neolithic hunter-gatherers who inhabited Trinidad over 8,000 years ago
These were peoples from the Orinoco Delta and their ceramics were durable and highly decorated. The adornments were fanciful heads and shapes in clay which anthropologists have identified as an intense theological phenomenon rooted in religious practices that deified zoomorphic (animal) and anthropomorphic (human) spirits. The earliest pottery cultures are known as Saladoid because the ceramic style was first classified at Saladero in Venezuela. Later movements of first peoples came to Trinidad and brought with them new agriculture, lithics (stone-tool tech), and ceramics. Their refuse heaps or kitchen middens can be found throughout the island and several are very extensive indeed. One such discovery was recently made under the foundations of the Red House in Port-of-Spain which was erected in 1848 and until its recent renovation began, housed the Parliament of Trinidad and Tobago. The find included potsherds and human remains.
Up until the 1930s, Warao peoples (seen here in 1912) from the Orinoco Delta visited coastal towns in Trinidad to trade parrots, hammocks and wild game for clothes and other merchandise.
Although Columbus stumbled upon the island in 1498, the waning of the Amerindian presence in Trinidad came in the wake of the first permanent Spaniard settlement at San Jose de Oruna (St. Joseph) in 1592. Those natives not killed off by disease or overwork were herded into small villages called Encomiendas which were little more than serfdoms under the control of a Spanish grandee. The alternative from 1687 was residence in one of the several missions established by Capuchin monks which were only mildly preferable to the Encomiendas. An uprising at the mission of San Francisco de los Arenales (near present-day San Rafael village) saw the Amerindians slaying three priests before being pursued and brutally punished. The missions were really the end of Amerindian culture since they adapted into the Spaniard mode of existence. The missions lasted after the British conquest of 1797 and were dissolved in 1840. The mission villages became desolate and the people in them resigned to their fate. In 1825 a rare diary entry gave a glimpse of what they had become:
“They seem to be the identical race of people whose forefather Columbus discovered, and the Spaniards worked to death in Hispaniola. They are short in stature, (none that I saw exceeding five feet and six inches,) yellow in complexion, their eyes dark, their hair long, lank, and glossy as a raven's wing ; they have a remarkable space between the nostrils and the upper lip, and a breadth and massiveness between the shoulders that would do credit to the Farnese Hercules.
A large stone axe discovered at Cedros in 2011 (Angelo Bissessarsingh Collection)
A clay zoomorphic artifact dated to an age of around 1500 years that was found at Erin Bay in 2009 (Angelo Bissessarsingh Collection)
Their hands and feet, however, are small-boned and delicately shaped. Nothing seems to affect themlike other men ; neither joy nor sorrow, anger nor curiosity, take any hold of them. Both mind and body are drenched in the deepest apathy; the children lie quietly on their mothers' bosoms; silence is in their dwellings.”
Arima was the largest and still retains vestiges of its past as well as a vibrant First Peoples group, the Santa Rosa Carib Community which dedicates itself to the preservation of native culture and championing indigenous affairs. Annaparima (San Fernando Hill) is a sacred site and is now visited annually by First Peoples including the Warao of the Orinoco Delta who perform religious ceremonies there. A slow but sure interest in the truths of our first settlers is now firmly rooted and hopefully will continue to grow.
Cassava bread was an essential part of indigenous diets in the West Indies. It is still made at the Santa Rosa Carib Community in Arima . This 19th century engraving shows the discs of bread hung out to dry after which it can be stored for months.
by Rudolph Bissessarsingh
Often the language of our European colonisers distort the truth of reality. When Columbus discovered the New World in 1492, the indigenous people were labelled Indians because he thought he had reached the East Indies by sailing west. The numerous tribes that were found in the islands of the Caribbean and the continent of South America in short time lost their distinctive individualities under the label of Amerindians. Even up to today, very little serious anthropological research has been done and the historical genocide of many of the first peoples have erased their record of existence.
All writers of the time however, testify to their intrepid spirit and their courage, sensitivity to nature and their hospitality. Their independence and love of liberty were equally marked. The myth of the languid and apathetic indian was never subscribed to by those who had first knowledge of them. Richard Schomburgk described in 1841 the Indians as a passionate race, vain, proud and ambitious with an intense love for family.
The Arawaks called themselves Lokono. The Caribs called themselves Carinya and the Akawois, Kapohn all meaning the People. It was written in 1841 that their pride was softened by their sense of humour and they indulged in practical jokes and gave nicknames to each other and foreign invaders. The tragedy of many first peoples were that they fell to the addiction of alcohol given freely to them by the colonisers for services rendered. Richard Schomburgk observed that it was “an uncontrollable passion in the Caribs.” It became the tool of demoralization and genocide more than the gun. Studies in Guyana where many of the Caribbean first peoples sought refuge list these other tribes. The Akawoi, the Wai Wai, the Warrau, the Maiongkongs, Maopityans, Drios and Pianoghottos. Many of these tribes were never assimilated but became extinct.
Their legacies however remain. The Warraus became noted as canoe builders. Another incorrect word was Caribisi. It was an Arawak word meaning 'Caribs live there'. Another explorer noted that the tribes of the True Carib Akawaoi, Macusi and Arecuna were the true names of the indigenous tribes.
First people's museum at Santa Rosa, Arima
W.H. Brett in his book 'The Indian Tribes' described the Caribs, 'the cloth which is worn by the Caribi men was secured around their loins by a cord and is of sufficient length to form a scarf. The coronal of feathers is sometimes worn around the head. The head is usually adorned by a large daub of arnotto and the forehead and cheeks are painted in the same vermillion colour. This makes them look ferocious.' “The women's dress was merely a narrow strip of blue cloth and their bodies were smeared red with the arnotto. Some painted blue spots on their bodies. They wore a tight strip of red cotton around the knee and ankle. This is called 'sapuru'. The most singular part of their appearance is the piercing of their lower lip adorned with either pins of thorns poking downwards. They have the ability to weave cotton cloth and have the technology of the spindle.” (1843)
There is still much to be written of these first peoples and much credit has to be given to that small group that survive in Arima' Ricardo Barath who has struggled to give them their place in the timeline in the history of not only Trinidad and Tobago but the Caribbean region. We salute these descendants of the first peoples.
We had previous images of rice planting and this is one showing individuals washing rice seedlings in the nursery area of the rice lagoon in 1957. East Indians have always had a special relationship with rice. Despite its uneconomic nature, many East Indian settlers chose to live in the Caroni and Oropouche lagoon areas because of the prospect of rice cultivation. Through toil, dedicated effort and determination they elevated the land area under rice cultivation in Trinidad from ~10000 acres just before WWII to 35000 acres in 1945 (Ref: The Indian Centenary Review, 1945) Rice is the only important crop that also bore religious significance to East Indians, particularly Hindus. Symbolising abundance and prosperity, it is still an integral ingredient of Hindu rituals and ceremonies. A family would cultivate rice in the flooded lagoon in the rainy season and a variety of alternative crops (cucumbers, watermelons, bodi beans etc) in the dryer months. Source: Dev Ramnarine-Misir Virtual Museum of T&T
Kings Street, St Joseph - one of the few standing gingerbread houses. Source: Virtual Museum of T&T
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