10 Ways in Which We Preserve, Maintain and Retrieve Traditions Passed on by our Ancestors
October 24, 2017
- Maintaining the “cassava culture”: preparation of cassava bread, farine, and cassareep, using traditional instruments such as the manare (sifter), the wareware (fan), the matapi or sebucán (strainer), and the aripo (griddle).
- Maintaining knowledge of using the terite reed in weaving the above mentioned manare and matapi, along with “finger catchers” (a woven, springy item such that an inserted finger can easily be pushed but cannot be pulled out), as well as a variety of baskets, mats, carry cases and fans.
- Maintaining knowledge of the use of mamu vines in the making of heavy strength baskets.
- Teaching classes in weaving for visiting groups of students, school-children, and Girl Guides.
- Preserving methods of indigenous house construction: walls made of tapia (mud, grass and pebbles, on a frame, and plastered over); roofs thatched from terite and carat palms; internal partitions made from plaited coconut palms; floors made from compressed earth and “washed” over (lipé) with mud.
- Preserving and Reviving Arts of the forest”: hunting, herbal medicines, harvesting forest fruits, nuts, and building materials.
- Retrieval of the Smoke Ceremony: a ceremony led by a shaman designed to pay homage to our ancestors, worship the earth, and seek the guidance and blessings of the Great Spirit.
- Maintaining the Santa Rosa Festival: though a Catholic feast, the Carib Community have historically been, and continue to be, in charge of some of the main preparations for, and performance of, the Festival. As the Chief routinely stresses, “this is what brings the Carib Community together”. Details of the conduct and organization of the Festival, and how the Church and the Carib Community are to divide up the requisite labour tasks, is contained in a document on this site
- Maintaining our involvement in Parang music, with two Parang bands tied to the Carib Community: Los Niños Del Mundo, led by Shaman Cristo Adonis, and Los Niños de Santa Rosa, managed by Carib Secretary Jacqueline Khan until 1999.
- Talking to visiting school groups, journalists, and foreign researchers about the Amerindian heritage of Trinidad and the struggle to maintain an Amerindian cultural presence in the social and intellectual life of a modern and multi-ethnic Trinidad and Tobago.