An Understanding of the Trinidad Carnival: ...A Melange of Borrowed Cultural Elements

An Understanding of the Trinidad Carnival: ...A Melange of Borrowed Cultural Elements

by Johnny Coomansingh


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The Trinidad Carnival is world-renowned. In light of this, the research for this book focuses on the borrowed cultural elements that give to the celebration its uniqueness. Because of its distinctiveness, the Trinidad Carnival has been the most copied, the most imitated, and the most photographed carnival in the world and confirms that the carnival is indeed a unique pre-Lenten celebration. Brazil may boast larger attendances for their Rio Carnival, but Trinidad is the true spiritual home of any pre-Lenten carnival; it has hosted the Carnival for a far longer time, and in a far more expressive form. The ribald carnival became the prime occasion for the proletariat to portray their satire, demonstrative of rebellion against the bourgeoisie giving way to the jamet or lower-class carnival, which grew to what it is today. Everything that came to Trinidad with respect to the carnival came from various sources throughout the world. The cultural elements that came to the shores of Trinidad were borrowed and then modified; these elements formed a mélange by the descendants of predominantly enslaved Africans, French Creoles, Mulattos and indentured servants who originally came to Trinidad. The narrative is about the socio-economic and political struggles of one group of people who were brought, about other groups who came, and those of the ruling class who, without even thinking, threw them together to forge a nation. Despite this constant underlying struggle, Trinidad Carnival radiates with powerful creativity, and exudes the splendor and pageantry of a people who continue to achieve and aspire to the higher reaches of freedom from oppression. To many people, it would seem that Carnival is Trinidad, and Trinidad is Carnival. Dr. Hollis Liverpool (The Mighty Chalkdust) declared: "Carnival is a concatenation of things-it is movement, it is color, it is food, it is drink, it is fete, it is feast, it is ritual, it is is foreign exchange; it is a harbinger

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781977206381
Publisher: Outskirts Press, Inc.
Publication date: 02/16/2019
Pages: 166
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.45(d)

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