Dancing with the Dead — Barbados

“The last time the vault was opened was in 1819. Lord Combermere was then present, and the coffins were found confusedly thrown about the vault, some with their heads down and others up. What could have occasioned this phenomenon? In no other vault in the island has this ever occurred. Was it an earthquake which occasioned it, or the effects of an inundation in the vault? Different versions of the story appeared over the years, with other accounts published in 1844 and 1860.”

The Magic of Montserrat’s Masquerade

Although there are many customs and cultures fading in Montserrat, there are some that are most ancient and, thankfully, still present. That’s the Montserrat Masquerade. The Masquerade dance is a defiant show of protest carried on from generation to generation, since slavery […]

Dancing with the Dead No. 13

A well-known plant used in the practice of voodoo on the island of Nevis is the Dieffenbachia sp., whose sap causes temporary paralysis of the larynx. Literally one’s vocal cords are shut down for a period of time. Some farmers use the sap to ward off theft by rubbing it on their fruits and vegetables – an exhausting task. Rewards are great however when a ‘cursed’ villager, the thief, is found to be speechless.

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