10/13/2005

Caribs Celebrate

Perry McLeod-Shabogesic, left, of the Canadian delegation, and Falcon Skye-Shabogesic listen to colleague Bob Goulais at Tuesday's launching of the Amerindian Heritage celebrations in Arima.

Tomorrow, members of the local Carib community will celebrate Amerindian Heritage Day in Arima.

This year marks the fifth anniversary of their celebrations and the Caribs will be joined by overseas delegations of indigenous peoples from North America, Latin America and the Caribbean for the big occasion.

At a press conference held last Tuesday at the Arima Town Hall, Ricardo Bharath, deputy Mayor of Arima and president of the Arima Carib Community, announced plans for this year's celebrations.

In his turn at the podium, Mayor Eustace Nancis praised Bharath's work in keeping alive the rich tradition of the Carib community in Arima.

He said the Arima Borough would continue to support the celebrations of the "First People" of this nation.

An invocation chant by three members of the Canadian delegation launched the proceedings.

Bob Goulais, Perry McLeod-Shabogesic and Falcon Skye-Shabogesic pounded little drums and chanted praises for the gifts bestowed by the Creator.

Hayacinth Ruffino of the Guyanese delegation spoke briefly and said she looked foward to the big celebrations.

In a ceremony taking place today, Nancis will formally welcome the indigenous peoples, while an address will be delivered by Senator Joan Yuille-Williams to the delegates.

Deputy Chief Nelsonson Toulouse of the Anishinabek Nation in Ontario, Canada, will deliver the feature address.

Tomorrow morning the celebrants will take part in a Smoke Ceremony at Hyarima Park and then proceed to the Arima Town Hall, where distinguished speakers will address the gathering.

A gala cultural peformance tomorrow evening will bring down the curtains on the celebrations.

Parang music, folk music, calypso, steelpan, chutney dancing, Spanish dance and poetry reading will be part of the grand cultural concert at the Basket Ball Court, near the Arima market.

The Canadian delegates will also perform an Amerindian dance, while dances by other groups include the may pole, snake dance, Aboriginal dance and Seminole Stomp dance.

Last Friday, a display of artifacts of the local indigenous people was launched at the National Library, Port of Spain, and, according to Ricardo Bharath, these artifacts were worth viewing.

A lecture by Dr Basil Reid entitled "First Peoples of Trinidad and Tobago, History and Impact, Archaeological Perspective" was scheduled for October 12 at the National Library, Port of Spain as part of the celebrations.

There was also a lecture by Ricardo Bharath on "Indigenous Rituals" and a performance from Brother Reststance.

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Source: Trinidad Express

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