Posts

Showing posts from June, 2019

[Book List] Caribbean Carnival in Books for Children

Image
It's carnival season! Carnival, along with steel pan music, the traditional music of carnival, is one of the things our region is famous for. Although different islands have different carnival origin stories, carnival is a festival with both African and European origins.

Both during slavery and after Emancipation, black Africans who had been forced into slavery in the Caribbean preserved their cultural traditions. The slaves used African masquerade, music, dance and calinda (stick fighting) to celebrate the sugarcane harvest, poke fun at the European slave-holding class, portray their suffering, and even mock the institution of slavery. Slaves were allowed to leave the plantations at Christmastime to spend time with their families in the barrack yards. They used this time to practice their cultural traditions of dance, drumming and chanting. Slaves would dress up in costumes, parodying the elaborate masquerade balls (from which they were banned) staged by the slaveowners at Chris…