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.

Dancing with the Dead No. 12 – New York, A Caribbean Perspective

The big plane slowed for landing at Idlewild Airport, now JFK Airport, in New York. My goodness, what a sight met my eyes. Below there were so many lights and tall buildings. I’d never left the Caribbean before so this was entirely […]

Dancing with the Dead No.10: Montserrat

She was just about to continue on to the bathroom, when a tall cadaverous gentleman approached her with his hands held out towards her. In a trance, she stepped into the drawing room and her small hands were lost in his large hands. As she had often done with her grandfather, and as so many children do when dancing with an adult, she put her bare feet on the top of gentleman’s shoes. He spun her around into a whirl of dancing, drawing her further and further into the crowd of partygoers. The music played on.

Dancing with the Dead No.9: ST. VINCENT & THE GRENADINES (1955 – 1962)

Suddenly a cry rang out and I was almost thrown to the ground. There was a huge stampede as every last person fled in terror. I couldn’t see or hear what had happened to cause such a reaction, but if everyone was running away, something terrible must have happened. I ran along with the crowd, panting, until I reached the car and quickly drove home.

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