Front Cover
 Table of Contents
 Tribute to Manley
 History and the institute
 Science for the layman
 Art, literature, music
 Back Cover

Title: Jamaica journal
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00090030/00008
 Material Information
Title: Jamaica journal
Series Title: Jamaica journal.
Abbreviated Title: Jam. j.
Physical Description: v. : ill. (part col.) ; 31 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Institute of Jamaica
Publisher: Institute of Jamaica.
Place of Publication: Kingston
Publication Date: December 1969
Frequency: semiannual
Subject: Periodicals -- Jamaica   ( lcsh )
Genre: periodical   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: Jamaica
Dates or Sequential Designation: Began with Dec. 1967 issue.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00090030
Volume ID: VID00008
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 01797964
lccn - 75027862
issn - 0021-4124

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Table of Contents
        Page 1
    Tribute to Manley
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
    History and the institute
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
    Science for the layman
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
    Art, literature, music
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
    Back Cover
        Page 57
        Page 58
Full Text

-~ -:
. -i-.r

ii: ';"



,I 4-,~a Il

4. -
f Lv;i


JamaicaJou rnal


lamaica Journal is published Quarterly
by the Institute of Jamaica, 12-16 East
Street, Kingston, Jamaica, WestIndies.

Frank Hill, Chairman.
C. Bernard Lewis, Director.


Design and Production

Lithographed in Jamaica
Litho Press Limited

Jamaica 50 U.K. & Europe 7/6
U.S. & Canada $1.00
West Indies $1.50 (B.W.I.)

1 year $2.00
3 years- $5.00
5 years- $9.00 Post Paid.
U.S. & Canada
1 year $3.50 plus 504 postage
3 years- $10.00 plus $1.50 postage
5 years-$16.00 plus $2.50 postage
West Indies
in West Indies currency
I year $5.00 plus $1.00 postage
3 years-$14.00 plus $3.00 postage
5 years-$18.00 plus $5.00 postage
The above arranged through
The Institute of Jamaica

U.K. & Europe
I year 1. 8.0. plus 5/- postage
3 years- 4. 0.0. plus 15/- postage
5 years- 6.10.0. plus 25/- postage

Africa, Asia and Australia all double
The above arranged through
Grove House, 83 Grove Lane,
Handsworth, Birmingham 21,
Great Britain.

Tribute to Manley . ... ... . .... .Sylvia Wynter
. . . . . .Karl Parboosingh
HISTORY and the Institute .. . . ... ...
Early Jamaican Printing . . .... .. Glory Robertson
Ethiopia ............... Reginald Murray
Bernardo de Balbuena . . . . .. .Sylvia Wynter

SCIENCE for the Layman .. . . ... .......
Sugar . . . . . . . . ... Carol Reckord

Antonio & Morales . . . ... ..... Vic Reid
Rum Lullaby (Poetry). . . . . . Anthony McNeil
To an Expatriat Friend (Poetry) ........ .Mervyn Morris
Fable (Poetry) . . . . . . .. .. Mervyn Morris
Residue (Poetry) . . . . .. .. Anthony McNeil
The Sunday Coronation (Poetry). ... . Dennis Scott
What is Art? . . . . . .. . Alex Gradussov
Aborigines . . . . . . ..Kenneth Ramchand
Professional Photography . .... . .John S. Lopez

NEXT ISSUE will include: James Carnegie "Jazz"
Nelly Ammar "Lebanese"
Jean D'Costa "W.I. Poets"

Cover Photo:University of the West Indies
chappel at Mona.
by Errol Harvey.

Inside cover design by Colin Garland.

p iq



A Lost Leader

I did not go to take my place
In your death procession,
The Mardi Gras of mourning
Must fill my empty space
With words that try, yet fail to say,
Why, hearing you were dead
I wept for yesterday.
Through hills dressed in drought and bronze
You played your piper's song,
Cdme to our tawdrySamarkand
ying wares for our pain
Selling a step or two of a dance.
Your melody was rare.
The hills are avenues that lead
Into sky and air,
The trees are circuses that move
From fair to fair.
Death like a monkey doing tricks -
For peanuts, nothing to it -
Turns somersaults on the bridle track
Where the moon's up.

In some drowned Atlantis where the sun
Filters shadows on the floor
We shall tell your legend when the sea
Sings against the bone.

On the mound of a hill, Ulysses sits
And stares into the dark
A juke box in a Church of God
Decorates a temporary halt.

The words you used as instruments
Long lost their cutting edge,
Words are the mess of pottage:
They've tricked us in the end.

Yet words must be your monument
For how you used them!
Beyond a politician's promise
Into the poetry of a prophet.

The fire died down
The ashes grew cold
The dogs lay among them and gnawed
The dead bones.
The Word became not bread, but a stone.
Yet once the words were wings that took us up
To where the earth was small to Icarus:
What mattered, fat

Town Councillors with the power of their purses?
Their pomp and circumstance and glory?

What mattered if the wings were wax, and we flew
Too near the sun?
What if the slogans we spat
At the sky fell back to blind our eye?
What if we woke up to find we'd come
To the disenchanted end of the story?
What mattered if the dream was circum-
Scribed by facts?
The flight to the impossible was enough.
All went down
With the flood,
Yet our dance traces the sun on the sea-floor
And, in the still palace of the drowned
Music sounds.

The clock in the dragon's den strikes one p.m.
Death fields a catch at silly mid-on:
Death goes in to bat, hits a six, cracks
The stained glass window of the sun.

You played the piper's song but fat
Town Councillors still called the tune:
You could not reach up for the moon, they said.
You bowed your arrogant head, compelled,
Got things done and well, slowed down
To the compass of their circumstance.
Worms ate our innocence
We mocked to show our loss.
Was this the end of Eden then?
Was this the promised Zion?

We cried aloud, we wailed upon the water:
The seeds are brown, the taste is sour
The communion wafer
In our mouths hints of gall and vinegar
Where is yesterday?
What rutted side-tracked turning did it take?

We who took up the bed of ourselves
And walked,
Into what cul-de-sac did we dance
To find ourselves
High walled in Babylon?

Death fields a catch at silly mid-on
Death cracks
The stained glass window of the sun.

Photo: Jamaica Tourist Board
Courtesy Contemporary Artists Gallery.

Rt. Excellent
Norman Washington Manley
Oil Painting by
Karl Parboosingh


Come let us mock at the great
That had such burdens on the mind
And toiled so hard and late
To leave some monument behind.

Come then, let us take stock
Credit the profit, debit the loss
Of this good merchant who sold us
A step or two of a dance, and
Exchanging charity for power
Which he wore like a flower in his lapel,
Lead us along, piped us a song
In our tawdry Samarkand.

One worshipped, or reviled, your shrine:
Not for you the hail-fellow smile,
Back-slapping joke, alert male pride:
The intelligence of the scribe lit
The sea water of your eyes.

Virtue came easy but you found it
Difficult to cross the great divide
To where the publican cotched outside:
Charity took you by surprise.

A gaulin, your wings
Hovered over the salt grass
Over the bemused cattle straying
In the scrub and alien country
Of the wretched of the earth.

You stooped to alight, and came
To know what failure is, to taste its ashes;
Learnt to come to terms with
The intricacy of grief

The broken ones for whom you were a crutch
To lean upon,
Shall guard your memory; the angry ones
For whom you played your role as scapegoat
Someone to fix the blame upon:
Satan in their asphalt slums

Men have need of Satan,
Where God has taken flight
Or, al least, does not advertise.
I am that which I advertise I am.

Before we go down to the dark
Before all language is lost
All meaning is gone, and men speak in neon signs:
Before all the aches of the heart
Are dulled by aspirin, and the tears of things
Catered for by pep-up pills,
Before all grief is institutionalized,
Passion shunted aside, come then:

Let us celebrate this man
Who, in our tawdry Samarkand
Sold us a dream and a song
And a step or two of a dance!

And so, o lost leader, we sing your funeral rites
Words must be your monument, lyrical as light
No Trojan Hector, No tamer of horses
In a dim Mycenian myth
No Alafin of Oyo's vanished kingdom.
In Africa, that gold land of night
And still
The pyre burns bright.

The sons of Priam are gathered as one
They put out the fire with their tears
They wrap the clean bones in cloth
They put the bones in a casket
And the casket in the earth:
The words you spoke print echoes on the air.

0 Trojan Hector, how compare
Your remembrance in the hearts of men?
0 Alafin of Oyo your shadow cast on water
In a patterned bowl all that remains of a man
Which is his soul where is it now?
Your mourning song where has it gone?
Which spirit mouth now chants the words,
Which spirit flute, the tune?

Under the seagirt earth
In the core of the bronze hills
A man goes there to find not what he said or seemed or did
But the dream that he dreamed of himself which was him.
Politician, statesman, lawyer, patriot:
The last time I saw you, you 'd shrugged
Those skins aside:
Arrogance's interregnum and all pride:
Now, the rare smile, poet, old man, child.

We thanked you for the care you'd had for us:
But as we spoke, I knew you'd slipped away from us
Gone to find your crown, o great Prince,
In Death's doomed Kingdom:

The river stopped for a while to give a drink
To death so that without hurrying
You could catch him up.
The hills humped their backs.

Down in the town a bar door swings
Open, closes on brown lips laughing:
The glass jar has spilt its flowers
The feather in the lady's hat is bent.
Death passes.

Two golden birds drowse in your eyes:
Death walks with you, conversing
Along the bridle track.
The moon rises over a staccato of rock:

Death comes alive
In the illuminated wonder of your mind.
The moon weaves a processional of light.

Early Jamaican Printing

by Glory Robertson

A selection from the exhibition mounted
by the Institute of Jamaica at the
National Arena for National Heritage
Week, 1969.

The Need
of a Press

The First

In October 1717, before he left England to take office as Governor of Jamaica, Sir
Nicholas Lawes wrote to the Coincil of Trade proposing the establishment of a printing
press in Jamaica.
"I am of the opinion if a printing press were set up in Jamaica it would
be of great use, and benefit for public intelligence, advertisements, and many
other things. But to prevent abuses, that might attend such a liberty, there
should be but one, and that to be licenced to the Governor for the time

Robert Baldwin was Jamaica's first printer. It is possible that he may have come to
Jamaica on Sir Nicholas Lawes' invitation and started his press shortly after the
Governor's arrival in April 1718. The first thing he printed was "A Pindarique Ode on
the arrival of His Excellency Sir Nicholas Lawes." A facsimile copy of this is exhibited.



Arrival of his Excellency

Sir Nicholas Lawes,

Governorof JAMAICA,',-.

0o4 cfmran vT, aren.
Lratt la~yr: Hor.
71e Second Edition.
HA R K how the Voice of Joy breaks through the Air,
In plealng Srins that captivate the Ear!
Hark, is Great LA WES they loud!
Eccho bern the Name around.
And with Great LAWES the vaulted Hill rebound
What other Cade jull Maiter could afford
For Joy full? W.I lefCi Appdlafloud Fame
M t fing ome Prie's Birs, or Heroa' Name
Thn the Azival of our Ifand's Lord.
And cant 'll h then 0 Mie
Alone land flem by
Amidi the general Harmonl
Thy tribuary Mise nefie ?

A Pindarique Ode on the arrival of His
Excellency Sir Nicholas Lawes, 1718.
Printed by Baldwin.

The hapleCf injured Orphan now
Shall find his juaf RKleif from You
HisGuardian, Father, andhisFriend,
His Old Anccfrial Title to defend,
And Crown his long invaded Right with happy End.
The Widow lays her Weedl afide,
Again apa a bloomingBride,
llonfaure no more,
Though gone her Lord, her better Lord's come o're,
No longer now fhe doubts her Righteons Caufe,
Whilftultice felffits Prdidentin LAWES.
Under thy Aulpicious fway
Diftinguih'd Worth hall point the Way,
To Honour and Keward,
Th' exalted Soul in Virtues Race,
That jnufly claims the forcmoft Place
Shallmeer thy Chief Kegard:
Warm'dby thy influencing Beam
LAWES faull become Fame's pleasing Theam,
And then Per's Our Ifelfllllboaft a Richer Mine:
With more exalted Thought and brighter Fire
The Som of Phrabus their Meccenau ng,
My humbleMue too fond would fain aire
Some Incanfe worthyher High Lord ro ring
Andake her Fighwithbolder Wing
But dazled Drop her Lyre.


Printed by R. Baldwin in Church-Street in King-



The First


of The Early

Jamaica's first newspaper was The Weekly Jamaica Courant. No copy of the first
issue which appeared on 28th May, 1718 exists. A photocopy of the earliest issue
known to exist, that of 30th July 1718, is exhibited here. Printed by R. Baldwin, it
sold for one Bit, which was worth 7d then

Between 1718 and 1758 a period of forty years fifteen books are known to have
been printed, in addition to newspapers, broadsheets, bills and Acts of Legislature and
almanacks. A selection of these are exhibited.

It was not, however, until the 1780's and 90's that magazines made their appearance
in Jamaica. This was the period when literary magazines and miscellany were becoming
popular in England. The Jamaican counterparts were The Jamaica Magazine, published
1781, of which no copy now exists, and The Bon E'spirit Magazine; or Abstract of the
Times which is on display. This appeared in 1793, but like many magazines of its type,
before and since, it seems to have got into financial waters. Its publisher, William Smart,
was, however, undaunted and published another magazine in 1796, The Columbian
Magazine which had a somewhat longer life.

Tr1 WitlttT

Jamaica Courant
Wit NIiw Foris amd Dmt faUt.

Fublafl'd by Aull,'o .

ledtwfdal, Jul 30. 1718.

T'o i P.R T.

G- 7. 3 I 'Tis f. th. Mr. .c a ,

leAST T ido- In iS- to ''d. b .
hel riS T dl O a 4 ; G ;i. t

G ... h. u a ,o w-41
r*^13U o s"bl~n R ~li-Fi B.I T
.in m-o S -i M.t L- k . = .G u w --

SL Aud i, d.. n,. T C ,ln .oC 1,
ID trl u.1 dr. i ... tno -Yh -. a U..
L--ir by .1 lu d uc l h la K--4 ha tibtc &t tad s.o Y.W-
Luoio T~ot", ^ th. Cu.. a ,n. pne
Utc Ilua Tamer) rr.o t,
Ti fottie Ih Ibd ",d k. t* <>. 111 M, Lti o; l(to. W

kJ -X k h so, d C h-4 ibe . A, t.. !.
.! =0. =i. I-,* t i *'.1; t 1k.S. r ing
.- endIIU UttiiL to Ki i U I ElTlfud iA Ewh

The Speech of His Excellency
olas Lawes ... on Wednesday,
22nd, 1718. Kingston, R.

This broadsheet is thought to
win's third piece of printing.
olas Lawes was the first know
to propose the establishment o
ing press in Jamaica.

Jamaica's first newspaper was The
Weekly Jamaica Courant No copy of
the first issue which appeared on 28th
May, 1718 exists. A photocopy of the
earliest issue known to exist, that of
30th July 1718 is exhibited here. Printed
by R. Baldwin, it sold for one Bit,
which was worth 72d then.

The SPEECH of His
Excellejy Sir Nicholas Lawes Kr. Cap.
taiii-Grtral adGmwrnor in Chief in and
Over thi I&t Mjefiy, lflad of Jo
maica, &'. On Wednefday Odob. zz.
Qaf1 if tk acMen. asa&ss.aIdGatiloe.4f
G Asa.L.m.* "

AND ht I w .as I aW.Id t o~h mr
hie Hwoumety of yi orfo~aaodgd iSoi
AND thbrtlUhddom iIn hvybo.,mi ifb ,n=Miv
cduboip ao AnimtI. 1I &i ld In mny e6p, of.I_
it, BeaL~tad Dhaib SL h bJIb lIo grntwd MooR nhSr
o ahe pinfo of e PNoblick, Oo. Frindy Sodlthsad
-m Nriabokd1; a .faod of. UmioofMind.adArSaiin,
tIeo i I ainot hat with QGridfibf their e are ome fiew iamono Us .
who with lt brdy adoum, ad kta in lom. Meaf.ep r-
2iid, not o* oix hinma Aahafitta, n b ut t it Sthe stc
Old (li.. ,m r l )tp a
  • byWif-, Ad =f Ub god Mm. Nothing but fi.ti
    .ad Tem~pl Pa1fi cuan rel Us to Ha St and itoo.
    raitng Cbl Whch I .IQ*y remvaonto you Cote
    Thoughletithae sAse d wter Grievais ym our iClr
    Sir Nich- d A"'= * o *"* b" yoof oS
    October i S w- I" N i" c iCtwl. o to .B. R..k i ,-.
    Baldwin, A .OW ia cmoFI eaiil toa il aioSU DiM.
    Pde at'Lacu-=Ww Jr4W, fa Jw bwi|ltlhe Gimma
    d Your own S.o.. .Ad .daily pra dIth e .te loaw ofr t
    County, wId thatu Dty d L..ky toth X0. Tha 1 mny be
    bl,, with inari PIafea, a he HiWoet Mya A-ooo,
    be Bald- Hs ., e GIotleoi tiof Col Afmbly, Wve I.-
    Sir Nich- THd E NI toti a hau mtLe h Frind
    Person hk N eighbnuon promote Relig Veiw ad then d& ,RI.
    n person Hit red,,,a, wo ",
    fa print- I -
    jAMEI D (IEI, Cbro

    AMA ICA: Prited by A BALDWIN inKtingtan,
    MDCCXVIII. IPrce One Bit.

    m w2 PRO CE EDINGS ofp
    aaI Dernnis's Evpeditlds to .the Gowrtor of
    anna urns Mewmt *ia/, a. -
    ", ,ef .6ht Oceatr;ceie happened during his
    ^ .2 sr ,_f

    .. .. ay. .. am 1fa J t 178.

    T ,H rS DsyKat Si in the Mero. arrived ia the Havana, at Eight
    ': went mh oar attended bya Solr and the Lieuenantofthe Sea,
    ,; : to he Governor, with te Letters from the Governor oflamaicas
    *..,. : As foonas I bad dAlive'd the Governor's Letter, this Goveror
    aetd i and wear into.an adjacent Room, ianging down the Cover of the
    tidacmr, and then remarj,.m'z :orderd me todeliver all the other Paper
    Ibid-about me which I *fuf dto do at irfl, but he, reiterating hi Con-
    mands,l was obliged to deliver them all to him, as well thofe for the Fado-
    4W thb'others for the Prilomers, and opened them, or moft of them in my
    etet." Then I was dei d to retire to another Room with an Adjudiat
    andSejetim whkiid;ani md, iftd wkieg about Three Hours, the Gover-
    "oot fete m'at "Word, That. I tua gq boardd Ay.Veffel, and Jo lent down
    -s Lieot* namnoftt e Sea with me. When I fit came into the Harbour there
    was feit on Board Twelve Soldiers and a Lieutenant of Horfe, it order to
    AtkepAe- and my People i Prifoners on IBoard.
    ' e'sda l". Fi-ndinagI was detained a-board, and not having fully given
    nmy Mefage to the-Goveimne; this Afternoon. wrote a Letter totheiGover-
    ,nor'..Chlalain (who is arrIrih ManL. and interpreter t9.sa Cth 'crT.o r) id
    Stet a Copy of the faid Letter.
    Friday tr. The Governor ent mn Word that I might cor.ea BhoarwKtz n
    I Louldr firft fending the Lieutenant of the Sea Word ot my Defign, wlo
    would receive me at the Water-fide and brig me to hisP.clnce..I thtn
    wetit a-floar, and made him acquainted (b4y a Meniorando'm fartt p4i-
    pofe ofthe maly Pyradies and Deprodations d4ily Comminritte by tii, lop.e
    of Trinidado, under itis Government i and patrdic .ary accudul one L.tgets
    who lid fbrmiLly taken me coming fioom Carolina, and was now ip th.s
    Town, fitting out a Ship at Trinidido, wlich he had t.l n geinty finmi a-
    m:tica to New-York ; I represented to the Governor how barb.roully they
    had uled the Mate of the faid Ship, by burning M.:chel.bctween ini Fin-

    Dw- Bias dr e 'i

    . .- *

    CART TEA 4&1E

    Faithtully Trinflated bf Malaidgr
    *- "
    Faihnllly Ti ltd byigft ( '*.

    Pdind-bty fold g, "for Pag. d
    .* * .

    Fifth Book Printed In Jamaica.

    The Letter sent from Don Thomas
    Geraldino, in answer to Don Bias de
    Lezo's at Cathagene. Faithfully trans-
    lated by Britannicus. Jamaica, printed
    by John Letts, for Peter and Robert
    Baldwin, 1740.

    First Book Printed In Jamaica.

    The whole proceeds of Captain Dennis's
    Expedition to the Governor of the
    Havana; being a Memorial, or Journal of
    what occurences happen 'd during his stay
    there. Wednesday January 14, 1718.

    Jamaica, printed by R. Baldwin in
    Church Street, Kingston, 1718.

    The earliest book of which a copy exists
    is this eight page journal of Captain
    Dennis, which has been photocopied
    from the original in the Public Record

    .1 O .."
    AL E E7 M As
    i F, yet, Cni'd ihin thy Wdhl.0 O .a. L'._
    The Want of Sccours be thy SYWI-kt Grdd -
    If with Rarenge thy birtial Bo&" 0lo`,1
    And mourns, In vain, the Triumph of oor Fcesi
    Blaine not the wary Conufeflors of Sp is,
    But cu.fe, ohl curfi, thofe Tynte &f iW Mftb "-..'
    Oer all Superior spread their Calvua Wing.
    The Prop of Natioos, or the Fal olEiJg.

    Yet hope, my Friends-though Forme awhle ple; :
    Deep Fraud is all our own, and feldom fllli
    What mighty Things have not by Fraud been done? i
    Fair Virte's Sell hath futk by that alone
    By that Religion hath received new Formns
    And mighty Empires have been Ihook with St .or s

    A Perfia Driver, and. TryA Clown,
    By that have fitch'd the Gitis o f a Cmwp!
    Yet hope our Treachery may fall agai
    ' On Heaven's firl Fav'rites, and thq befl of Me

    vi .

    Then all their Va i*s ofa long, glorious W r,
    Shall, Meteor-like, expend thcmfelveg iQ ;


    The .41EfCHANT'.
    Pocket cip^'
    OR, AN '
    jLMANC I )
    For the Ytar af Lo
    ,,.75J, , --- "
    Being tsh Third E B/e Wk,lor L
    .YEAR. '
    SFitted to thisMeridian.
    The different Quiarte eflians
    Common Plras, P ort-Ryal jd
    Kintflo throughout the Year, tlte laft.
    of Summonin for ditioand'GandCCourt.
    The JEws Hjidy's throughout the Year.
    A Lift of fucl .s reliable to pay
    Duty in the Receivei Ge l'sGic,. and
    the Sums that are to be paid. A complete
    Lit of the Countil and 4Affm of this lI-
    land, The public Offices a'd.Oficers.
    Names of the Cuftos's, Judges of.the Gr.
    Court, Chancery Office and Oficers, Ad-
    miraly Office and Officers, King'a Offi-
    cers, tPovodt Marhil an ki,.Dputies.
    Dayfor chiwifn Ve ymen, .c.
    A PIscOURSE upon METEO.S.
    4.4-44 *+,4444 4 44rH + 44.
    Printed by WIs.LIAM DAIE*l. it King,
    Jfrat, aet the Court-Hom/,
    First Book Almanack Printed in Jamaica.

    To '1"a


    S this ALMANACK is thefirft
    of the Kind, ever attempt-
    A to be introduced in this
    Ifland, and therefore re-
    quired agreat dealof time
    and Pains, I hope the can-
    did Readers will be fo good as to overlpk
    any mall Errors which may arife from the
    hurry it was printed in, and I affure him
    my beft Endeavours hall be exerted to
    make my next a more complete and corre&
    one. Whatever errors in this, or ufeful
    Additions for the next, as may occur to
    the Public, the communicating them to
    me hall be thankfully received, as the one
    hall be corrected and the other infected,
    :vith greatfull acknowledgments, by their

    Moa obedient,
    Humble Servant.

    The Merchant's Pocket Companion, or,
    an Almanack for the year of our Lord
    1751... to which is added A Discourse
    upon Meteors. Kingston, printed by
    William Daniell, in King Street, near the
    Court House, 1751.

    In the preface Daniell says that "this
    Almanack is the first of the kind, ever
    attempted to be introduced in this
    island' This is the first of a series
    which ended in 1880 when the last
    Almanack was issued, being succeeded
    in 1881 by the Handbook of Jamaica.



    A T S,
    o F

    ASSEMB Lr,


    First Laws of Jamaica Printed in Jamaica.
    Acts of the Assembly passed in the
    Island ofJamaica from the year 1681 to
    the year 1768, inclusive. In two volumes
    Saint Jago de la Vega, Jamaica, printed
    by Lowry and Sherlock, 1769. (The
    Library has Vol. 1 only).
    This is' the earliest collection of the
    Laws of Jamaica which is known to have
    been printed in Jamaica. Previously
    they were printed in England.

    From the YEAR 01i to the YEAR 1768, iictufivc.

    VOL I

    &M.1 WW LOWRY ad SHERLOCY. PdM4a. .Iokfjk,. E ud-.
    Vmrn:- pmwu
    ; asr ncr\ D .VLXIX. r

    To w ki a ddml

    The NY MPH of T

    OMNI A yVIC It

    Persian Love Elegies. To which is added
    theNymph of Tauris. By John Wolcot,
    Jamaica, from the Press of Joseph
    Thompson & Co., in Kingston, 1773.

    This is the first poetical work published
    in Jamaica, and probably also the earliest
    work of a literary character as opposed
    to pamphlets and propaganda work pre-
    viously printed.

    1u~~~ -^~~aa.uccrlr

    First Magazine

    The Bon E'Spirit Magazine; or Abstract
    of the Times. Vol. 1, No. IlI for March
    1794. Printed by William Smart.

    There are no existant issues of the first
    three numbers of this magazine. Accord-
    ing to the title page of the March 1794
    issue, it is embellished with a plate. This
    plate is an engraving of "The Fortunate

    BA s "*

    A "sr*' gr i

    I ,..Po V .a t i
    .'3" or d .4 I

    pnpbAcl &'*ih d *ruT. Saa*i.r c' '+a

    i l the I' o. kse Peop rph :n Ydas,. lau w

    'I "r.lI, . . . ... .. I,

    i foq ,an-PlaptyreEpiles a6 TrdTwny . . -- i id
    M dn, : .. . . da C n ti -al D ,ne I
    mar e ..nod . O. *1 -s---- JOuna. XMI h .:

    t ..er Eliph. r. .. D ~e i..l i .rl, 6,ra.. I .
    IHBatl dtfc.pzt. of lii JdlItBtd o the Fr< i lBin 's"
    nilDaht *r plt l PI> E.llc. n6', Trnl..ny dum

    eark l *ailr ro ee 'i l Ior .t c D.p tureas | af
    EIaphu r aiV.441 Depalnrtell r.
    - Printb.. IL*VIAM SMART- ----

    Prinited bi *ILLIAM SMART,'T


    U U




    G A LLA


    I.. *1
    OR A..-....


    Those who know something of the
    land of Prester John are fond of drawing
    special attention to a number of remark-
    able features of the country its being
    the oldest independent state of Africa; its
    three hundred years of history during
    which it was almost totally isolated from
    the rest of the world by mountain barriers;
    its feudal society and government (there
    are no political parties); its ancient accep-
    tance of the Christian religion dating from
    the 4th century A.D.; its anarchic mixture
    of the primitive and the modern, its bitter
    colonial experience under the Italians; the
    shrewd genius of Emperor Haile Selassie
    (his power is absolute) whose earnest
    desire is to hasten modernization. All
    these features are real.

    The capital Addis Abbaba is no forest
    of buildings; indeed the building up pro-
    cess as it is known in Western cities has
    only begun in earnest now and from a
    window in the five-storied Ministry of
    Education or in the magnificent Ghion
    Hotel or in the impressive edifice named
    Africa Hall (which has housed the United
    Nations offices and which is the scene of
    numerous international conferences) one
    could look out upon living styles the like
    of which might have existed many cen-
    turies ago. Africa Hall itself was the
    Emperor's personal gift to the peoples of
    Africa. As in developing countries and

    some developed ones,city streets extend at
    a rate faster than the asphalt that will
    cover them; and markets often take on the
    aspects of a bustling favela.

    A native "Tukul"

    From a soaring aircraft one may look
    down upon tiny groups of tukuls (round
    huts) by a river side in the lonesome heart-
    land, the next tiny group being many miles
    away. The living standards of such people
    are easier imagined than described; they
    have no access to any of the amenities of
    "modern life.

    I have heard Ethiopians speak with
    astonishing equanimity of their loss of
    almost a whole generation of their fellow

    men in the Italian invasion Mussolini's
    "civilizing" mission. The Ethiopians
    fought with incredible courage and forti-
    tude. An ever-present sense of history
    mitigates feelings of recrimination: had
    the Italians not come, the propulsion of
    the country into modern times might well
    have been delayed. A Christian disposi-
    tion to forgiveness is consistent with this

    Modern education is at its beginnings.
    It is true that from the earliest Christian
    times the Church with the support and
    encouragement of the Crown maintained a
    wide system of elementary schools, but
    these were attended by a tiny fraction of
    the population. The centre of all studies
    were the Scriptures written largely in
    Ge'ez, the language from which Amharic
    derived (the latter is the official first
    language of the country, English being the
    second). Traditionally, the teachers were
    largely priests. Sylvia Pankhurst, in her
    monumental work on Ethiopia quotes
    a writer who at the beginning of the pre-
    sent century remarked upon the great
    respect of the students for their teacher.
    When the pupils rise to go home, she says,
    they bless the teacher: "May God cause
    thy word to be heard and make thee ...
    to be evergreen like the cibaha. May He
    broaden thee as the sycamore, and cause
    thee to shine as the moon!"

    by Reginald Murray

    Higher learning in the Church was
    available to apt youths who had com-
    pleted the courses in the traditional schools.
    They might be trained in a Lay Order of
    musicians, poets and teachers. A wealth
    of history, poetry, ecclesiastical law, and
    church ritual exists in Ge'ez. For mastery
    of this lore some scholars spent their
    entire lives.

    Apart from the problem of keeping
    the country united, education is today
    perhaps Ethiopia's most pressing task. Like
    other countries, New Guinea for example,
    endeavouring for the first time to face up
    to the problem, Ethiopia did not delay

    The author's daughter mounted on a
    Galla horse. Note the attendant's
    jodhpur and shamma. Galla tribesmen
    are famous. horse lovers.
    the establishment of a university until the
    country could possess an impressive infra-
    structure of modern primary and secondary
    schools. Today,therefore, we find, among
    other institutions of higher education, the
    Haile Selassie University (founded 1961),
    with which are associated the University
    College of Addis Abbaba (founded 1950),
    the Imperial Ethiopian College of Agri-
    culture and Mechanical Arts at Alemaya,
    Diredawa (founded in 1952), the Imperial
    College of Engineering at Addis Abbaba
    (founded 1953), the Haile Selassie I Public
    Health College and Training Centre at
    Gondar (established in 1954), the Institute
    of Building Technology established since
    1954, the Imperial Ethiopian Institute of
    Public Administration at Addis Abbaba
    and the Imperial Ethiopian College also in
    the capital. There are also a number of
    teacher training colleges. The development
    of Education is proceeding, but the major
    task must remain in the future. I gained
    the impression that there was a hunger for
    learning, and as in most parts of Africa,
    pupils take their work seriously. I saw
    primary schools where the age range was

    between seven and perhaps thirty. In one,
    the average of ninth graders was reported
    to be twenty-five. In some provinces,
    Gojjam for example, community initiative
    in school building was a notable feature.
    Often in the eagerness to get a school
    started even elementary criteria, such as a
    new Ministry of Education might impose,
    were ignored. For a Jamaican parallel to
    the value attached to schooling and the
    willingness to contribute to its develop-
    ment, one has to go back to our early
    post-emancipation years.

    Internationally respected and admired,
    the Emperor is proffered aid from diverse
    sources and nowhere is this diversity better
    illustrated than in the field of education
    where private institutions conducted by
    various sects and nationalities as well as
    technical aid on a bilateral basis are much
    in evidence. The Cold War and the Iron
    Curtain are apparently suspended. Prom-
    inence of the American presence did not
    deter the USSR, and one of the most im-
    pressive institutions I have seen was the
    Technicum built by the Soviets at Bahr
    Dar. U.N. agencies are also active in
    many fields. Prior to the establishment of
    modern institutions of higher education,
    the elite of Ethiopia, mostly Amharas of
    course, were educated in universities of
    Europe and America. Proud, intelligent,
    urbane, these formed the Ethiopian van-
    guard in the learned professions.

    Much has been written about Ethiopia's
    problem of unity, comments are prompted
    by the diversity of tribes, each with its
    own loyalties, its own language, its own
    customs. The separatist tendency is now
    critical in Eritrea, the province that was
    most fully colonized. The capital of this
    province is Asmara, an Italian city (minus
    the romantic statues) transferred to Africa.
    This province was federated with Ethiopia
    in 1952 and fully annexed by the Emperor
    ten years later. A community predomin-
    antly Moslem, then became a self-conscious
    minority under a Christian hegemony. The
    result is familiar. Eritrean tribesmen have
    result is familiar. Eritrean tribesmen have
    been waging a guerilla war of indepen-
    dence for years. My one opportunity to
    visit Massawa an Eritrean port on the
    Red Sea was frustrated when my
    Ethiopian colleague who was to have
    taken me there in his motorcar, failed to
    turn up at my hotel at the appointed time.
    When it was too late to set out at all, it was
    confidentially explained to me by some-
    one more talkative than my colleague that
    the road to Massawa was threatened by
    armed tribesmen, who, had we attempted
    the journey, might well have given us an
    unfriendly reception.

    Educated Ethiopian youth, such as
    army personnel and university students,
    have manifested impatience with the rate
    at which social and political innovation is
    leavening the general character of the
    society. An attempted coup d'etat about
    ten years ago was defeated by the personal
    influence and the bold, decisive action of
    the Emperor. It would be my guess that

    internal tranquillity in the immediate
    future could well depend upon the mood
    of the army (with the navy and air-force)
    which appears to contain a very high pro-
    portion of the most self-confident ele-
    ments of educated Ethiopian manhood.

    Ethiopia has been called a land of
    ethnic confusion and indeed its racial heri-
    tage is multifarious. I have been told that
    formerly the Amharas, who are the domi-
    nant tribe, did not readily acknowledge
    their African identity. Modern research
    about their origins seems to give some
    credence to the distinction they were
    making. "Far to the East, Caucasian
    people, speaking a Semitic language had
    long been infiltrating into Africa. From
    the land of the Sabeans(Sheba) in southern
    Arabia, traders and migrants repeatedly
    crossed the Red Sea to the Abyssinian
    Highlands, in the first millennium B.C.
    Finally, the Sabean government also
    moved, and became, by the fourth cen-
    tury A.D., the Kingdom of Axum, or
    Ethiopia".l Another authority claims that
    "while the Emperor Haile Selassie might
    almost pass for a south European, his pre-
    decessor was in feature distinctly negroid".2
    I tried once at a cocktail party, when I
    imagined that my friends had imbibed
    enough to sweeten their mood to find out
    from two yellow-skinned Amharas what
    were the visible ethnic marks of their
    tribe, since they seemed to me to be no
    different from what I knew as "Negroes"
    and many looked exactly like Jamaicans
    black or brown. The reply was unequi-
    vocal: there are no ethnic marks; anyone
    whose natural speech is Amharic is an
    Of Semitic origin the Amharic lan-
    guage bears certain resemblances to Arabic,
    but the script is entirely different. The
    written language is syllabic; each character
    of the alphabet represents a syllable (not a

    A young water carrier

    1. Donald L. Wiedner: A History of Africa
    South of the Sahara. Vihtage 1964. p.30.
    2. Seligman: The Races of Africa. Oxford 1930.

    -i Jc Yve occuuatur. i cr mrren ujLur wter uounpurs. ine wnlie nome-spun cotton
    shawl, known as a shamma is worn by both men and women.

    letter as in English). There are 276
    characters, a sample of which is repro-
    duced below.
    Tradition holds that the Ethiopian
    royal dynasty derived from their Queen
    Makeda and King Solomon. Makeda was
    the Queen of Sheba, a woman of splendid
    beauty, who undertook the long and
    perilous journey to Jerusalem to hear the
    wisdom of Solomon. The story goes that
    the king persuaded Makeda to accept the
    condition that if she would forego the
    taste of water for a certain time she would
    be free of his insistence on possessing her.
    The wily monarch instructed his slaves
    who waited upon her to load her food
    with salt and keep watch. When, soon


    enough, she attempted to obtain a drink,
    she was caught red-handed. The story is a
    popular subject of Ethiopian traditional
    painting. So is that of St. George slaying
    the dragon.
    The visitor marvels at the architecture
    of this incredible country which may be
    seen at its most impressive at ancient
    Axum, a main characteristic of which are
    the remains of granite columns resembling
    obelisks and known as stelae. Hardly any
    of these now remain standing. Modem
    archaeological discoveries at Axum and
    elsewhere include temples, statues and
    bronze objects, some of which were con-
    temporary with the Pharaohs of Egypt.
    The rock-hewn churches of Lalibela are a
    source of never ending amazement. The

    largest of these is Medhane Alem. Its
    dimensions are 110 x 75 x 36 feet, and its
    gabled roof, barrel-vaulted nave and aisles
    are supported by rectangular pillars, all
    part of the one huge block of stone which
    forms the church. Another of the famous
    rock churches is Debra Damo, where a
    monastery stands on the flat summit of a
    very high hill which can only be reached
    by means of a rope let down from above!
    This church is said to be the oldest build-
    ing in Ethiopia, and to have been in un-
    broken use for longer than any other
    church in the Christian world.

    Art survives in Ethiopia not only in its
    ancient monuments and its traditional and
    folk culture, but in the work of sophisti-
    cated painters and sculptors now known

    throughout the world. Art courses of a
    high standard are available at the Univer-
    sity of Addis Abbaba, and exhibitions of
    work in various media are held, Menghestu

    A country woman, her baby secured to
    her back.

    KING SOLOMON Traditional Ethiopian Painting

    on the plateau, but to the northwest side
    there is considerable erosion in the region
    of Lake Tana and the Blue Nile. to which

    THE AMHARIC ALPHABET videe pp. I and 2)

    lat fm 2nd form 3rd form 4th1 form 5th form 6th form 7th form

    a aShor it a i Loj i. ILoug Lo a in Log ii Lotg in V ort. owel- 0 au" Remarks as to pronunciation
    "Cona" "rtlc" "marne" "11 in "let," Ica. terminal, in "Paul"
    "gun butmoreopenrt or tiasin
    "pi." 11

    (I h.orhi
    Ah l.orli
    tl h, or hi

    95h It. or hi

    9 or si
    Sr, or chri
    f or i
    n it, or ahi

    -n h.orbi
    j" t.orti
    5f. oh orchi
    3 n, or i

    0 1
    z1 .horki
    fl kh,orkl i
    y ., or yi
    H Ir,-ril
    Il' oh. or o1ti
    y. y.oyai
    J d.ordi
    k iorji
    1 g.orgi
    IV .or ti
    SL ch, or chi
    * p. or pi
    Sto, or tai

    . f,or i
    T P. or pi

    As in English.

    " "
    Called the ig aod
    Iao"Trinity" "kiOg" etc.

    At oxpluive k. made from the back
    of the roof of the moth.
    A in Engih.

    The l as in Spanish, or French g

    As in English.

    Guttural, as i loch.
    An in Englinh; but sao p. 2 of text.
    As in English.

    As "a in Eng. pleasure."
    As in English.

    11 -

    Always hard.
    An explosive T.
    An explosive CH.
    An explosive P.
    An explosive TS. often replaced ill Sheo
    by ts (m), etc.
    An explosive TS, rarely uud.
    As in English.
    M n

    Ethiopia is a country of the future. It
    is true that inaccessible mountains and
    arid deserts form much of its territory,
    but there are arable plateaux, stretches of
    rolling country and lovely plains waiting
    to be exploited. There is a high rainfall

    this lake gives rise. Grains, coffee (sup-
    posed by many to have originated in Kaffa
    province), honey, beeswax, hides, and
    gold are exported. Sugar growing and
    refining have been introduced by the
    Dutch, machine manufacture of cotton and

    Lemma, Agegnu Engeda, and above all,
    Afewerk Tekle, are, among others, artists
    of genius.

    of material for bags, ropes and other goods
    by the Indians. There is also vegetable oil
    extraction, improved tobacco manufacture,
    cement manufacture, the making of pipes
    and blocks, machine corn milling, the can-
    ning of meat and tomatoes, the bottling of
    carbonated and mineral beverages, soap
    and dairy products, and the growing of
    grapes, oranges, bananas and other fruit.

    There are lakes of great beauty; hot
    springs whose commercial value as a
    mineral drinking water supply and as the
    centre of holiday resorts is being developed.
    Internal road or rail communication is
    limited, and much use is made of aero-
    planes. There is a single railroad linking
    Addis Abbaba to the port of Djibouti in
    the Gulf of Aden.

    The opening up process is indispen-
    sable to more rapid progress, and the con-
    version, were this desirable, of a mainly
    pastoral economy to a more diversified
    modern one is possible.

    With its 400,000 square miles, and its
    20 million inhabitants, most of whom are
    strangers to the technics of the 20th cen-
    tury, Ethiopia has need for pioneering
    skills of every conceivable type. It is not
    a place to go in search of a job. The coun-
    try has no lack of jobless folk. Anyone,
    Rastafarians included, who wishes to emi-
    grate should bear this in mind. Know-how,
    initiative and hardihood such as the Pil-
    grim Fathers displayed, would be essential
    to the would-be peasant settler.

    No visitor to Ethiopia can forget the
    hospitality of the people, their gentleness
    of manner, and the disciplined character of
    their social relationships. Their greeting
    sometimes takes the form of a protracted
    catechism in which the health of every
    member of the family is enquired after.
    This completed, ordinary conversation
    may ensue.

    The national dish is injera and wat.
    'Injera' is a large flat cake of slightly sour
    taste made from tef, a kind of wheat. 'Wat'
    is the meat sauce (beef or chicken mostly)
    well flavoured with pepper and other in-
    gredients. The preparation of injera is a
    laborious process occupying women much
    of their time. 'Tef, a kind of honey wine
    and 'talla' the local beer, go well with
    injera and wat. Traditionally, one does
    not use a fork in eating. The food would
    be brought in upon baskets shaped like two
    cones joined at the peaks. Lower than
    normal table height, the baskets have con-
    cave tops, and thick layers of injera serve
    as receptacle for the sauce and meat. If
    you are a male, and fortunate, you may
    still be able to find a native restuarant
    where these old dining customs may be
    demonstrated for you by some angel-faced
    Ethiopian damsel and you may partake of
    this feast. She will roll a piece of injera
    around some flesh, half immerse it in wat,
    and feed it into your gaping mouth.
    Ethiopian is a land of wonders and

    For the sake of good pronunciation, it should be observed that thereis always a slight "w sound before an o.
    e.. tankol, dereit, soun dalmo tankwol.
    gomman, caiae .. .. gwomman
    t It will be r .that the H's and A's are exception..
    +9 kwa . . ea. k'i 9 ka e '" +- t **" L a -
    hls . . hi h It hwI hwwi .
    11. kI w . . kw i 1% iU kwi It kwi . .
    1-. gw . . 1h gtl '. ge" I3 gw gwi . .
    Na.--Spelling i entity phonetic anld t is thcrrlore sometimes possible to spell a given word in several different way. In geest. does,
    not matter in hih of these way the word is shelled. but cam ourld be taken in the se of the different kinds of S ". ". and "A "
    sinos them have a definite signlitahe assigned to them by custom.
    Exanump :
    n-IiwA: 00: niM'r: njc%%..: oT-wn : -or i::
    At ford water as it abounded on us by bridge road we eame.
    or (it abounded on us and)
    Comparing the above letter by letter, the letters will be easily reognsed to be-
    B it firt form. mounded hb (short a).
    U *,-lint ,, B ( q.ort a).
    L ,. sixth I termlnaL
    K.. fourth .. ki.
    So the word will be BANALKA Each succeeding word being treated in this way, the whole entonce an be put into English characters, ad
    will read -
    wal ~ Bamalkii wihl bazibbininn& badildl mangad matana.
    and can then be translated with the aid of the votab slary, or through the tra slater's Mollqni lunowldgf a
    Ai tIn savr was Se high for as at the ford, wa cme by k bridge-rt d. or The water swa io s or n at the a t s we ty

    VARTnauig ationtinHfaniolamportwiaituprobiiitwu Columbut
    'Bombaddla, lamascam inflam tenuit. bi Francfcus Porefiuvnius
    E D Carauell Prstor cum fiatre &maxima milttum part feditionem in
    cum commoet,a rcontradir aliquot Indorm lintribut in Hif:aniolam
    profugereconatur. Sedquumtam exiguirlntribs impetum maridfupe-
    rarefruflratentafJet,regrefumeH. Audit eiu aduentu,Columbu cumfratrefiosm
    aciem educit: ventumeft admanus: caduntnonnulli :multi vtringJ~ucj:
    Franciufc Porefim cumfratre capitur.

    Bernardo De Balbuena

    Epic Poet and Abbot
    of Jamaica 1562-1627 by Sylvia Wynter
    Part 2

    Cervantes', creator of Spain's immortal
    hero of failure, Don Quixote, knew in his
    own lifetime, little of favour and less of
    luck. As a soldier, he had his left hand
    maimed from the wars, had been captured
    by pirates and imprisoned in Algiers. Ran-
    somed at last, he had to return home to
    Spain, and to the struggle of managing to
    make both ends meet. He shifted and
    scuffled from one job to the next, trying
    to get a safe post in the administrative
    bureaucracy of the Crown. He applied
    for, and hoped to get a substantial post in
    the Indies. But the competition and
    scramble for these places was fierce. He
    was turned down in 1590. This refusal

    may have added a certain acidity to his
    comment in one of his shorter novels that,
    "' .. the passage to the Indies is the
    refuge and protection of all the desperate
    men in Spain, the safe hiding place of
    those in revolt ... the will of the wisp of
    the many and the private hope of the
    Bernardo de Balbuena was determined
    to be one of the favoured few. Born in
    1. In El celoso extremeno, i.e. The Jealous
    Extremenian. ". que es el de pasarse a las
    Indias, refugios y amparo de los desesperados de
    Espana, Iglesia de los alzados .. engano comun
    de muchos, y remedio particular de pocos.

    "A man studies and studies, and then,
    with favour and good luck, he'll find him-
    self with a staff in his hand or a mitre on
    his head when he least expects it... "
    Cervantes, Don Quixote, Part II. Ch. 67.
    "He (i.e. Balbuena) was elected Abbot
    of Jamaica, on 29th April, in the year
    1608. "
    Gonzalez Davila, Ecclesiastical Theatre of
    The Primitive Church of the West Indies,
    Madrid, 1649.

    0@ nn



    Coat of Arms of Bernardo de Balbuena
    Spain, in 1562, taken as a child to Mexico,
    educated there, ordained as a priest and
    crowned as a poet in several literary
    festivals, held in Mexico City, Balbuena
    was returning home, to the centre of the
    imperial administration with the intention
    of obtaining an ecclesiastical post some-
    where in the New World. 2 He had enough
    of what he himself had termed 'the small
    and narrow world' of provincial Mexico,
    where he had worked out his service as a
    priest for some ten years. He had now
    set his sights on a position in the impor-
    tant Churches of Mexico City or Tlascala;
    2. See Part 1 of this article in Jamaica Journal
    Volume 3., Number 3, 1969.

    or, failing that, in the other New World
    centre, in Lima, in the Vice royalty of

    And of course, as a writer, he had also
    come to the most important cultural
    centre Spain in search of greater fame
    and recognition. For one thing, such
    fame and recognition could be set to work
    for him in the more tangible down to
    earth search for a job. He carried with him
    in his luggage, one published book of
    and the manuscript of his heroic poem,
    THE BERNARD in Spanish, EL BER-
    NARDO. The poem was eventually to be
    published in 1624. A copy of this princeps
    edition can be seen at the Institute of
    Jamaica where it is labelled as 'the earliest
    book published by a resident in Jamaica.'

    And the poem whilst still in manuscript
    was to be instrumental in obtaining him
    his first important post as Abbot of

    Balbuena brought with him to Spain,
    as his servant, a nine-year old boy and free
    mulatto, calledChristopher4. Black men,
    Negroes, free and enslaved, had accom-
    3. Published in Mexico in two editions, both
    dated 1604 on the title page, although the
    second may have been released as late as 1606.
    4. Van Horne points out that the records of
    disembarking passengers at Seville, in this case
    wrongly, describes him as being an esclavo. i.e.

    panied Cortes in his conquest of Mexico,
    and the African presence had early begun
    its at once agonized and formidable in-
    filtration of the New World reality.

    On 16th October, 1606, Balbuena and
    Christopher disembarked at Seville, that
    port that was the hub of and gateway to,
    the Indies. Balbuena at once set about the
    business of being a 'pretendiente, that is,
    a man on the make for a job. Unlike Cer-
    vantes, Balbuena belonged to the educated
    elite, the letrados, a kind of intel-
    lectual aristocracy who had studied at the
    University, and who, with the customary
    arrogance of academics, tended to despise
    the lay genius the ingenio lego of
    writers like Cervantes. But Balbuena,
    besides being a poet as well as 'letrado',
    held as yet, only the licentiate degree from
    the University of Mexico. And he knew
    that a doctorate was an essential part of
    the equipment of survival and success.
    In much the same way as today, a
    doctorate was not so much the mark of a
    scholar, as the bureaucratic rung of a
    ladder. He applied himself with diligence.
    One year after his arrival, in 1607, he
    obtained the doctorate in theology from
    the University of Siguenza; and acquired,
    among other fringe benefits, the right to
    wear the borla blanca, the white tassel
    which proved that he had made it.

    The Count of Lemos, a powerful

    ELl. BfRN 1OY. -nft,

    31. 1y -( o fl.. laO La- -

    S- I nc -" ," .- c s

    naf Cdidaihe lDuv iu(2n



    VdelDot or Dom Bernards de Balieais .


    P R fig(e Mal gefiu viagenioflrAndo tcdas lJas Iagunes y Sigeos
    e / Cotel. Ernro difolc dee V(w llado del Parunao rontemltcp lA va
    tiednA lie Monflr*is quefalen al smunso por i ipucrta idel Cnaiio. Acsi
    IRCten ls lines del mcfn deA la Forimrat,i fagqueer cl Parnafo: defied
    defelo el Leoiesshaztido e n dies gran mortandad 4Apole,y las MUas
    xn Lhonra def watsoria,le ilcuav at 7 T rpl dte I ismortalidad. tbra
    Av;i DosztIla de i, I ecm y del lrefgSle wnogs CanlleroS,y
    vafe con n ella ALe firfs Ade Mile,,cdend haze nm fpelt-
    grofos baladi. c vtin causes ler no cosxucd.

    e pe from te P ep ii of T

    Title page from the Princeps Edition of THE BERNARD

    SVa elvarcotanalto,qie pudiera
    aferrar con elancora ein la Luna,
    y tomar puzrro en all fi quificra
    verclitlmdable Ryno dc For:unai
    y noallifolo,cn Iola aquella lEsfra,
    m s cn tolaspud.cra c vna en vna,
    quc como Iflas doradas a pofi.a
    qu, nacian vnas de otras parccia.
    Afsi a los que huyendo las riberas
    Sd labarbaraiPe'cen,fielcamino
    toman,,tcxando el P6to y fus laderas
    a vr d- Chio el regliadovino;
    lasCvclt i's le's van naciendo enteras
    por -: golf a 1i cf(recho mas vezino
    aqui Scirno,alli L-sbor,alla Amato,
    y clNaxo puerto de vi amice ingrato

    Y por cl Cielo afsi al cubrirfe eldia
    Nils fe fuerondefcubriendo de oro, 3
    la lihmei a Luna,la montafi fria
    de Saturno,y dc \enus el teforo:
    fu zeroo amafado de alegria
    de Mar:e el roaco eftrepito fonoro,
    y la mayor fortunaqiie en fu cumbre
    jouiales rayos di de alegre lumbre.
    El fabio que en los angulos del Ciclo
    tan cerca viola celeftial Milicia, 4
    de oyr cl fon de fi compuefto bielo,
    y ver fus Globos de oro fc acadicia:
    y va perdiendo de la vilia cl fuelo
    del mundo superior dio alFi noticia
    a aquellos que primero de la tierra
    las pobrezas conmb q fu orbe encierra

    First page of the PrincepsEdition of THE BERNARD from the WIRL

    grandee, was President of the Council
    which governed the Indies. As such he was
    the source and fount of all patronage. In
    his campaign to tap this source for a post,
    Balbuena, whilst still in Mexico, had
    dedicated his second edition of the GRAN-
    DEUR OF MEXICO to the Count. Whilst
    still in Mexico, too, he had sent on for
    publication in Spain, the manuscript of a
    pastoral novel called THE GOLDENAGE
    the same year in which he got his doc-
    torate 1607 Balbuena had this pas-
    toral novel published in Madrid. And this
    book too, was dedicated to the Count.
    Already, in the long poem of praise, which
    Balbuena had inserted in the second
    edition of the GRANDEUR OFMEXICO,
    the poet had promised the Count to cele-
    brate his name and lineage in his forth-
    coming heroic poem, THE BERNARD.
    This poem, like all epic poems, long in
    preparation, is again heralded at the end of
    Balbuena's pastoral novel as a new song to
    be sung to trumpets, one that would
    startle the world and its peoples from 'the
    Indian to theMoor' Now, the poem itself,
    still in manuscript, began to play its part;
    and to win, not only fame for its author
    but that 'favour' and 'good luck' which
    would ensure him bread and a place at the
    table. From Balbuena himself, we learn
    that the Count of Lemos, in recognition
    of the two books already dedicated to
    him, took time off to read the manuscript
    of THE BERNARD.6 On reading it, the
    Count of Lemos, even in an age in which
    adulation was common, could hardly have
    failed to have-been flattered.

    At the beginning of the heroic poem in
    the second stanza7, the Count of Lemos is
    made central to the poem. He is pro-
    claimed the lineal descendant of the legen-
    dary hero of the poem, and not only any
    descendant, but one whose own heroic
    deeds and acts have brought it about that,

    Fame now promises the House of Castro
    Laminas of gold, statues of alabaster.

    More to the meat of the matter, the
    Count is praised in his role as President of
    the Council of the Indies, and Governor,
    so to speak, of the New World:

    The New World, unworthy of your
    Adores you with the voice and livery
    of man

    5. "El Siglo de oro en las selvas de Erifile."
    6. The Count of Lemos died in 1622. Bal-
    buena, in 1624, re-wrote the dedication of THE
    BERNARD to the Count's heir and brother, Don
    Francisco Fernandez de Castro etc. Balbuena
    told the new Count that his predecessor 'with
    the agreeable kindliness of his most noble con-
    dition did not disdain to pass his eyes over it."
    Biblioteca de Autores Espanoles poemasEpicos:
    Volume I, p. 139.
    7. The poem is written in 'octaves', a stanza
    consisting of eight lines, each of 11 syllables,
    with a regular rhyme scheme. Adopted from
    Italian into Spanish poetry the octave form was
    used for formal, solemn and serious poetry.

    Your noble blood, descended from a
    thousand kings
    Sends just laws and honours to that
    (Bk. 1 St. 3)

    The Count is praised in the epic dimen-
    sions of a hero his wisdom is compared
    to that of Nestor in Homer's epic, the
    Iliad; his prudence to that of Homer's
    epic hero, Ulysses. His magnanimity and
    generosity is compared to that of the
    Roman Emperor Augustus who was the
    real life patron of Vergil, the Roman epic
    poet of the Aeneid. The implied corres-
    pondence is clear. Augustus had been
    Vergil's patron; so also had been Maecenas,
    Augustus' adviser, whose name has become
    a synonym for patron. Their financial
    bounty made it possible for writers to live
    for their art. In exchange the writer,
    Vergil, glorified the Emperor as the lineal
    descendant of his epic hero Aeneas, whom
    he makes the founder of Rome; and
    glorifies too, the Empire over which Augus-
    tus rules. In a literal as well as in a poetic
    sense, Vergil saw his patron-Augustus-as
    the source of inspiration, the begetter, the
    muse of his poetry. So, too, Balbuena
    praises the Count as equal to the gods
    Apollo and Bacchus, as the fountain and
    source of his song. The Count will smooth
    the rough path to Mount Parnassus, at the
    top of which the poet will achieve excel-
    lence and fame since the Muses have
    their dwelling place there. The Count will
    honour Balbuena's work with spiritual and
    practical help, since as Balbuena reminds
    him in the poem, he is,

    ".. a new Augustus who showers
    Honours on men of letters... "
    (Bk.XXI. St. 84)

    In return, as quid pro quo, Balbuena's
    poem will record the Count's fame, and
    eternalize his name.

    What might seem to us today like out-
    rageous flattery was commonplace in those
    ages when writers had to depend on the
    personal patronage of the rich in order to
    live. The rich too, came to need the poets.
    They wanted to survive their mortal
    bodies, through the survival of their name
    in the permanence of the printed page.
    Some did it through elaborate tombs with
    suitable epitaphs, and who could write
    these better than a poet.? And where too
    would it live as long on stone, as on the
    printed page? In his defence of poetry,
    Balbuena's near contemporary, Sir Philip
    Sidney warned rich and powerful men who
    did not patronize poets with their money
    that their memory would 'die from the
    earth for want of an epitaph.' Edmund
    Spenser, too, warned patrons that they
    should provide poets with the wherewith-
    all while they lived, since the poet's verses
    'steel in strength and time and durance shall
    outwear'; and the rich and the great who
    could not sing for themselves would be
    sure, except they paid a poet to sing for
    them, to 'die in obscure oblivion'.

    The Count of Lemos and his kind were

    the antecedents of Foundations like Ford
    and Guggenheim and others. Henry Ford
    may have called history 'bunk', but he
    would not have been averse to his own
    role in it, being recorded. Balbuena, like
    any modern aspirant for a foundation
    grant, made his application in the pre-
    scribed manner according to the pre-
    scribed formula. His poetry was good
    enough for its purpose. Lemos saw that
    his name would live as long as Balbuena's
    poem about Spain's legendary, but myth-
    ical national hero Bernardo del Carpio -
    survived. He would not gamble with his
    own immortality by ignoring the poet who
    could ensure it. So this time, Balbuena
    hit the bull's eye. When the Council of
    the Indies met to consider the applicant
    for the vacant post of Abbot to the
    Church of Jamaica, Balbuena's name was
    not even on the short list of eight that
    came up for consideration. But the Count
    exerted his influence, and the official
    Chronicler and historian of Spain, Gon-
    zalez Davila records that:

    "He (i.e. Bemardo de Balbuena) was
    elected Abbot of Jamaica on 29th April,
    in the year 1608."

    One cannot help thinking, that, relatively
    speaking, the Count of Lemos, ensured his
    immortality, at cut-price.

    Cut-rate or not, a post was still a post.
    And, as Abbot, Balbuena would be quite
    some way up in the hierarchy of the
    Church, even if his rung on the ladder was
    in Jamaica, and somewhat remote. Yet it
    was to be some two and a half years or
    more before the abbot would arrive to
    pursue his vocation in Villa de la Vega,
    today's Spanish Town. Balbuena ran into
    trouble when he tried to obtain the cus-
    tomary Bulls from the Pope, confirming
    his appointment. This trouble had to do
    withhis illegitimate birth. In a letter
    the Spanish emissary in Rome wrote to the
    authorities in Spain, pointing out not only
    that Balbuena was illegitimate:

    '" ... by the papers that have come it
    is clear that the afore-mentioned Doctor is
    the natural son of his parents, not legiti-
    mate nor legitimized by subsequent mat-
    rimony. ",

    but that he seemed to have tried to evade
    the implications of his illegitimacy:

    "He says that he has no obstacle in
    this Abbacy, whereas being illegitimate,
    he needs dispensation which His Holiness
    will grant. But please advise if he needs it
    as is certain, unless he has already had it
    for such offices, which I doubt."

    It is possible that in Mexico, Balbuena
    through the influence of his family con-
    nections had been able to hold his priestly
    office without papal dispensation. In the
    New World, as Eric Williams comments
    about Spanish Trinidad, illegality, was the

    rule that proved the exception of metro-
    politan law. But even in Mexico, his
    illegitimacy may well have been the bar to
    his advancement. This was his buried hurt,
    his secret wound which gave an added
    quality of ferocity to his ambition both
    for a high Church position and for success
    as an epic poet. As we shall see later,
    Bernardo de Carpio, the national hero of
    his poem, was himself of illegitimate birth.
    The choice of his subject was an attempt
    to auto-create himself, through the cele-
    bration of this hero. Meanwhile, he had to
    live. Depending on the Count of Lemos'
    influence he had evidently evaded any
    reference to the problem of his illegitimacy
    in applying for the Bulls from Rome. This
    evasion can be understood when we realise
    the extent to which birth, lineage, the
    mania for rank and titles of nobility, and
    the peculiar and all pervasive obsession of
    Spaniards of the time with the problem of
    timpieza de sangre' purity of blood -
    formed and dominated the very structure
    of Spanish society in which Balbuena
    lived. The need to be well born, to be of
    Christian descent, unmixed with Jewish or
    Moorish blood, to be the legitimate son of
    verifiable descent, of 'someone'(hijo d'algo
    i.e. hidalgo) was part of a psychological
    compulsion comparable in terms of our
    own society to the need to be as 'white'
    as possible; and to deny 'black' blood as
    the original taint. We shall see how Bal-
    buena used his heroic poem in this con-
    text as a literary and psychological justi-
    fication of his illegitimacy; how he used
    his epic poem to make legitimate his out-
    sidership in relation to the structure of a
    society to which he was devoted, and to
    whose values he paid full allegiance.

    For the moment, however, Balbuena
    concerned himself with the strictly prac-
    tical issue of survival. Survival had to do
    with money, or rather, Balbuena's lack of
    it. His stay in Spain, getting his doctorate;
    his time in Madrid, the capital, as a
    'pretendiente' in search of a post, greasing
    the necessary palms, and paying living ex-
    penses for himself and his servants, seemed
    to have eaten into the money which he had
    taken with him from Mexico. The obtain-
    ing of the Bulls also cost money. And,
    whilst the Pope in Rome was prepared to
    grant the needed dispensation, he could
    not make the slow and rusty wheels of
    the papal bureaucracy move any faster.
    Also, in addition to the dispensation pro-
    cedure, there was another holdup. For
    purely technical reasons, the papal bureau-
    crats had to search in the Papal Archives
    for the Bulls that had been issued to Bal-
    buena's predecessor as Abbot of Jamaica -
    Marquez de Villalobos before they
    could issue the new Bulls to Balbuena.
    The latter, in Madrid, waited and waited,
    His money began to run out. One year
    after his appointment in 1609, he sent in
    a petition to the Council of the Indies, In
    this he asked that the income accruing
    from the Abbacy of Jamaica should be
    given to him, until the matter of his

    appointment was confirmed. Because of
    the delay in this, he wrote,

    . he has been delayed here for a
    year, so impoverished that he can no
    longer support himself in the capital."

    He got no answer to this petition. He
    fired off another, requesting that he be
    allowed to go to Jamaica and to act there
    in his post until the Bulls were issued. In
    May, 1609, this second petition was
    granted, but Balbuena did not leave. He
    may have been reluctant to do so without
    the official bulls, knowing what difficul-
    ties the ecclesiastical appointees could have
    with the civil authorities, in places like
    Jamaica, if their appointments offered a
    loophole for attack, through not being
    fully confirmed.

    He may have been waiting too, on the
    publication of his poem, THE BERNARD.
    In February, 1609, through the influence of
    the Count of Lemos, Balbuena had obtained
    for his poem the necessary ecclesiastical
    approbation, and by June he had also
    managed to obtain the license to print and
    publish his book. The printing press, and
    the power of its influence similar to
    television today had been early recog-
    nized by the Church. The Inquisition,
    among its other manifold duties, kept a
    watchful eye to see that literature re-
    mained orthodox in matters of faith; and
    fulfilled a social and moral responsibility
    within the limits laid down by the Cath-
    olic faith. Control was strict, as for exam-
    ple, in Soviet Russia today. Yet, in Spain,
    literature flourished rather than otherwise.
    But the author had to go through quite a
    process in order to get his book published.
    He had to obtain the license or 'privilegio'
    a kind of copyright which he could sell
    outright to the printer-dealer; and of
    course the eccelesiastical approval which
    testified that the work deserved to be
    printed for its excellence and above all,
    because, as the censorlO said of 'THE

    "there is nothing in it against the
    Catholic Faith and good morals.. "11

    Yet, for some reason or the other his
    poem was not published; nor was it to be
    for many a long year. Whilst he waited
    for the Bulls to arrive from Rome he
    seems to have survived by borrowing
    money. On coming to Spain he had
    returned to Valdepenas where he was born
    and to Viso del Marques from where his
    father had originated. A cousin of his in
    Valdepenas, a certain Martinez Castellanos
    recorded in his will that,

    "Likewise I declared that I advanced

    10.The ecclesiastical censor was in this case
    MIRA DE AMESCUA also priest and writer, a
    well-known playwright of Spain's Golden Age.
    Like Balbuena, he was of illegitimate birth, and
    his illegitimacy also influenced his choice of
    career, and his attitudes.
    11.". no ay en el cosa contra la Fe Catolica, y
    buenas costumbres".

    money to my cousin Don Bernardo de Bal-
    buena, Bishop of Puerto Rico, and accord-
    ing to his letters, he offers me very good
    expectations; especially now that he has
    taken possession of that office, he writes
    to me and offers me good payment with
    interest... "

    This of course, was written when Bal-
    buena, after his long stay in Jamaica as
    Abbot, had at last received promotion
    (1619) and taken up the bishopric of
    Puerto Rico (1623).

    Balbuena may have managed to survive,
    too, through the help and charity of
    Spain's Shakespeare the prolific drama-
    tist, poet, lover and priest, Lope de Vega
    Carpio. Although about this time he was
    usually impecunious, Lope was known for
    his generosity. He and Balbuena struck up
    a friendship, not least of all, because of
    their common obsession with the theme
    of the mythical Spanish hero, Bernardo
    del Carpio, and the manner in which, one
    in his plays and the other in his epic poem,
    both used it for similar psychological
    ends the auto-creation of themselves,
    transforming their lowly births through
    the magic wand of fiction. In 1625, Lope
    de Vega was to praise Balbuena among
    other Spanish poets, and in 1627, the year
    of Balbuena's death, Lope de Vega testi-
    fies in a letter to the fact that Balbuena,
    then Bishop of Puerto Rico, had sent him
    eight hundred realesl2 through his agent
    in Seville. Was Balbuena sending this
    money as a gift in recognition of past
    favours Lope de Vega, had earlier on
    been valet Secretary to the young Count
    of Lemos and might have been instru-
    mental in helping Balbuena to win the
    Count's favour or was he repaying
    money he had borrowed from the great
    poet and playwright during his time of

    By February, 1610, the Bulls had
    arrived from Rome. Although Balbuena
    had received his clearance papers for him-
    self and his party to proceed to Jamaica by
    May 1609, another decree was made out
    in February 1610, to allow them to 'pass
    to the island of Jamaica' His party con-
    sisted of, according to the records which
    were kept as a.corollary of the strict watch
    and control exercised over those travelling
    to the Indies his servantsChristopher,
    now about thirteen or fourteen years old
    and described in the clearance papers as
    'free mulatto, native of Mexico'; a married
    couple and a single man, both from Bal-
    buena's native Valdepenas; one other single
    man also from Madrid, who listed himself
    as ahidalgo i.e. gentleman, although he was
    going out as Balbuena's servant. Van
    Home conjectures that they went out as
    intending emigrants as well as servants.
    12.An eighth part of the well known silver
    piece of eight. One real was worth 34 maravedis
    which were the basic Spanish money denomina-

    They all had to swear except Christopher
    of course that they were of old Christian
    blood, untainted with the intermixture of
    Jew or Moorish blood, and therefore un-
    likely to be heretics and therefore subver-
    sive to the State which was based on the
    Catholic-Christian faith.

    One other cleric went with him, Father
    Gonzalo Sanabria. And, in the permission
    which had been granted him in 1609,
    sandwiched between the servants and the
    goods that he was allowed to carry with
    him,'three Negro slaves were listed. Like the
    goods 'to the amount of 1,000 ducats,
    jewels worth 500 ducats and books con-
    nected with his studies, worth 200 ducats, ''3
    the Negro slaves, considered but another
    and more profitable kind of goods, were to
    be admitted into Jamaica, free from the
    usual tax, which the King and the State
    collected as their cut of the profitable
    African slave-trade. Although, according
    to Catholic practice the slaves would have
    been baptized, and would be theoretically
    classed as men they were supposed to
    have, like everyone else, immortal souls -
    but, they came within the Aristotelian de-
    finition, accepted by some theologians, as
    inferior men with implicitly 'inferior souls'
    who occupied the status of a 'living tool.
    In the final clearance papers, they were
    not listed among the passengers; their re-
    cords remain mute among the goods.

    The actual date on which Balbuena and
    his party sailed from Seville is not known.
    But we know that, as very few ships of
    the 'flota'-or regular sailing fleet which
    went to the Indies under heavy escort -
    went directly to unimportant outposts
    like Jamaica, they sailed to Santo Domingo.
    From there they arranged the trip across
    to Jamaica. Their final permits were dated
    in June 1610, and they may have sailed
    soon after. They then stayed in Santo
    Domingo some three months, while Bal-
    buena met the important dignitaries, with
    an eye to future promotion in the far more
    important centre of Santo Domingo; and
    tried to hire a small vessel in which to
    cross over to Jamaica. He found a ship
    jointly owned by its Captain and co-pilot,
    Francisco Coldera and Manuel Luis, and
    rented it from them for the excessive
    price of 400 silver pesos each one to the
    value of eight reales The price was
    high because of the riskiness of the venture.
    Armed contraband traders of other nations
    who broke the prohibition that no one
    but Spaniards should trade in the Indies,
    were thick in Caribbean waters; and es-
    pecially frequented the deserted ports of
    Jamaica. Even worse, fortune-seeking
    pirates of all nations had established their
    dominion over the Caribbean seas. The
    passage, also, could be stormy and rough.
    On top of all this the inflated prices,
    which is part of the unhappy fate of all
    colonies, came into play here. In addition
    to the money he paid for the hiring of the
    vessel, Balbuena, as was customary, had to
    find food and drink for his party on the

    13.See Van Horne, Bernardo de Balbuena in
    Jamaica', in The Daily Gleaner, 1934.

    crossing. They could not have eaten very
    well if they ate at all. Balbuena himself
    later wrote that he had difficulty scraping
    up the money to pay his passage on the
    ship to Jamaica.

    Somewhere towards the end of 1610,
    they arrived at Port Caguaya today's
    Passage Fort. The Abbot and his party
    were met by the dignitaries of the town of
    Villa de La Vega. They proceeded in a
    stately manner by road to the town which
    was some seven miles from the disembarka-
    tion point. When he arrived, the Abbot,
    to borrow a nice phrase of the historian
    of Spanish Jamaical4 in regard to another
    incumbent 15 looked at Villa de la Vega,
    and Villa de la Vega looked at the Abbot.

    "When Your Majesty bestowed this
    Abbacy on me, and while preparing to
    come out to serve my Church, the Count
    of Lemos, at that time, President of Your
    Royal Council of the Indies, directed me
    to observe carefully the things that in this
    island appeared to me to be worthy there-
    of, and in a faithful and brief report to
    give the same to Your Majesty and to
    your Royal Council."

    Balbuena in a letter from Jamaica, July
    We are left in no doubt as to what the
    Abbot saw as he looked at Villa de la
    Vega towards the end of the first decade
    of the seventeenth century. In a letter
    written to the King, about a year and a
    half after his arrival, he gives a picture of
    Spanish Jamaica, of its religious, social and
    economic life. In his epic poem, too,
    Spanish Jamaica makes its appearance in a
    more idealized form. The two descrip-
    tions illustrate two kinds of truth the
    truth of history and historical facts, and
    that of poetic or universal truth. In the
    Prologue to the Epic poem, a prologue
    which Balbuena wrote in Jamaica in 1615,
    he discusses the relative validity of these
    two kinds of truth. There, as first and
    foremost a poet, Balbuena comes down
    with vehemence on the side of universal
    and poetic truth. As Abbot, however, as
    an ecclesiastical administrator, he had to
    deal with historical facts, as he encountered
    and contended with them, in his task of
    ministering to the immortal souls of the
    people of Jamaica.

    As one of his first acts as Abbot, Bal-
    buena wrote in his letter, he had ordered
    confessions to be taken throughout the
    island with particular care'. From these
    confessions, he fixes the total number of
    inhabitants at 1,510. Of these he lists 523
    as Spaniards, including men and women.
    Children number 173. There are 75
    'foreigners' these most likely refer to
    Portuguese settlers, among them Portu-
    guese Jews, some of them merchants. Of
    the original inhabitants, the Arawak In-
    dians, 'natives of the island' as Balbuena

    14. Morales Padron, "Jamayca Espanola"
    15.Marques de Villalobos, the predecessor of

    lists them, there are only 74. The class of
    the free Blacks was fairly heavily repre-
    sented. There were some 107 'free
    Negroes' And the number of slaves of
    African origin was relatively large 558,
    in Balbuena's confessional census.

    The number given for the European
    inhabitants must have been nearly accurate.
    There most likely were more Arawak In-
    dians, and African ex-slaves in the island,
    however, refugees in the fastness of the
    mountains. The Maroon tradition in
    Jamaica sprang from both an Arawak and
    an African resistance to forced labour.
    With the first settlement of Spaniards in
    the island, during the early decades of the
    XVI century, 'the sharing out of the In-
    dians to settlers in the system which later
    became standardized as the 'encomienda'
    systeml6, the resistance to forced labour,
    and to the whole work-money-Christian
    God ethos of the Spaniards had led to mass
    suicides with cassava poison; or to escape
    into the inaccessible regions of the Blue
    Mountains. The escape of African slaves
    too, to these regions, began almost at once
    and at the same time. Arawaks and
    Africans would have joined forces.

    The present day Maroon memory and
    legend that they are descended from. the
    Arawaks as well as from the Africans, has
    recently been denied, in a controversy in
    the Pressl7, by someone who claims to
    deal with historical facts. But his histori-
    cal facts are based on insufficient informa-
    tion in this case, on English records alone.
    The earlier Spanish records show that as
    late as 1601, the Spanish Governor of
    Jamaica, Melgarejo, sent an expedition to
    attack and subdue and bring in a settle-
    ment of Indians, entrenched in the Blue
    Mountains; and at the same time, to search
    for gold. The expedition does not seem to
    have succeeded in either venture. It is
    clear though, from the records that the
    tradition of a guerilla defence in the
    mountains, was in its early stage, a fusion
    of Arawak and African actions. The
    Maroon myth belongs then, to that species
    of truth, of universal truth, in this case,
    the resistance of men to being reduced
    from manhood to slavery, which lives on
    in what Balbuena terms 'the common
    tradition' in the prologue which he wrote
    in Jamaica. It is this kind of truth which,
    like Sir Philip Sidney, in his 'Apology for
    Poetry' Balbuena defends in his prologue,
    exalting it against historical truth based on
    facts. The historian, hampered by what
    Sidney terms 'the cloudy knowledge of
    mankind' can never be in possession of all
    the facts; therefore his so-called factual
    dogma is always open to error. The myth
    or the legend on the other hand, does not
    claim that its facts are true; only that its
    underlying essence could have been true.

    The Maroon legend, which lays claim
    to both African and Arawak antecedents

    16.See Part I,Jamaica Journal Vol. 3, No. 3.
    17. Daily Gleaner, Barker & Harris controversy.

    is true not in its detailed and fallible fact;
    but in its core. The question as to how
    much of racial fusion there really was, is
    irrelevant; what is important is that the
    myth itself, which embodies 'the self-
    consciousness and memory of mankind'l18
    has sprung from the deeds of both peoples;
    a myth that pays tribute to the invinci-
    bility of the human aspiration to be free.
    The Maroons are factually, the mythic
    descendants of Arawaks and Africans. As
    Balbuena in his epic poem would make
    the mythical Spanish hero Bernardo del
    Carpio, the ancestor of his patron, the
    Count of Lemos; of the glory and heroism
    of Spain and the patriotism of the Span-
    iards; and of the moral choice needed in
    the search for the true and ideal destiny
    of Man.


    A considerable nucleus of the total
    population lived in the town of Villa de la
    Vega. In his letter to the King, Balbuena
    does not describe the town in detail. He
    tells us, that 'a river of good water' passes
    through the town this was of course,
    today's Rio Cobre. From his account of
    the main buildings and principal function-
    aries, it is clear that the town itself was
    laid out on the typical plan which the
    Spaniards translated from Spain to all
    areas of the New World, The life of the
    town was centred around the main square-
    the Plaza Mayor with the principal
    Church and the Town Hall as the focus of
    community life. The streets had been laid
    out in an orderly manner by Alonso de
    Miranda, the Governor who welcomed
    Balbuena when he arrived. The same
    Governor had also repaired the Town Hall
    or Cabildo. Although Balbuena does not
    tell us this, we know from a later record
    that there were some two hundred houses
    in the town itself. These were built low,
    without lofts, as a protection against
    earthquakes and hurricanes. The roofs
    were covered with tiles, the walls were
    made of mud, although some were of
    wood, and a few of the principal ones
    made of brick.

    There were common lands in and near
    the town for the benefit of all the citizens.
    But in 1604, the citizens of Villa de la
    Vega had complained that the then Gover-
    nor Melgarejo de Cordoba had
    allowed many of the free Negroes to build
    their huts on a part of this common land.
    Balbuena himself tells us of the 'many
    hunting grounds' outside the town, these
    occupied by horned stock,

    'in which the colonists have their
    shares similar to the ranches they formerly
    had stocked with tame cattle from which
    have sprung those that are now wild in

    18. George Lukacs
    19.In later document see Morales Padron -
    referred to as Santiago de la Vega; hence the
    English referred to it as St. Jago later as Spanish

    ... .. '.. -- / -g *; .....
    Map of Jamaica executed in the XVIIth. CenturyArchives of the Indies,Seville.

    I ,M



    Spanish House under construction

    ., ,
    : 1 t ,|

    / L

    of the IndiesSeville.

    these grounds. "

    The economic life of the town and the
    island then centred to a large extent on the
    export of hides and tallow, as Balbuena
    tells the King, on the 'killing of cows and
    bulls, leaving the meat wasted. In addi-
    tion lard which was obtained from 'the
    large herds of swine raised in the moun-
    tains, which are common to who may
    wish to hunt them' was another export
    commodity. Jerked pork, in the manner
    of the Carib Indians, was plentiful that
    method has been handed down to us
    today, mainly through the Maroons.

    Farms growing cassava, maize and
    vegetables, and sugar mills, cocoa walks
    'and cowpens surrounded the town, accord-
    ing to a later description. Balbuena him-
    self tells us that the 'land is abundant and
    suitable for growing all the seeds and
    grains that are cultivated in Spain' Cas-
    sava, the Arawak food par excellence, was
    planted in fairly large quantities. Bal-
    buena writes that the 'bread eaten here'is
    made from cassava and can be 'preserved
    for many months'. He tells the king, too,
    of the groves of cedars, basil trees, mahog-
    any and other woods. As we shall see
    later, the woods of the island feature
    among the measures that he suggests to
    the King for the island's benefit and im-
    provement. For what appalls the goodly
    Abbot above all else, is, in spite of the
    great natural advantages that the island
    possesses, the state of neglect and the
    general misery; a misery which affects the
    state of the Church and of religion as
    much as everything else, and is almost

    There was a root cause for the neglec-
    ted condition, the condition which would
    cause him to look back from Puerto Rico,
    and regard Jamaica as the 'soledades' in
    which he had been as one bewitched
    (encantado). The root cause of the
    neglect of Jamaica had to do with the fact
    that, as Balbuena says early, in his letter,
    the island of Jamaica 'now belongs to the
    estate of the Admirals of the Indies, the
    Dukes of Veragua'. The Admirals of the
    Indies and the Dukes of Veragua were the
    heirs and descendants of the great Dis-
    coverer, Christopher Columbus. Jamaica,
    in between bouts of litigation, belonged to
    them. It was their island estate; to bor-
    row an English phrase it was their 'Planta-
    tion'. How had this come about and what
    effect did this have on Jamaica, on Bal-
    buena and on his epic?

    The magnificent titles, powers, lands
    that had been granted to Christopher
    Columbus as part of the package deal that
    was his reward for discovering the New
    World had been, through the intrigue of
    his enemies, and the ingratitude of kings,
    gradually diminished. He died in Spain, in
    relative obscurity in 1506. His son Diego,
    who had married into a powerful grandee
    Spanish family, contested these rights of

    his father with the Crown. After his
    death in 1526, his wife Dona Maria de
    Toledo returned from Espanola to Spain
    to fight for these rights on behalf of her
    son Luis, who was still a child. Her son,
    she claimed, should be Admiral and Vice-
    roy of all the Islands and the Mainland; he
    should obtain among other perquisites,
    ten per cent of all treasure found in the
    Indies. After years of stubborn litigation
    a settlement was reached in 1536. Colum-
    bus' grandson was to have a relatively
    small part of what was claimed for him:
    land on the mainland for a Dukedom
    which would entitle him to be called Duke
    of Veragua; and as his entailed estate
    (mayorazgo) 'the island of Jamaica'. At
    the time of the award, the President of
    the Indies' Council21 had argued with harsh
    commonsense that Jamaica should be
    given to the Columbus heir,

    '. .. because it is small, and up till
    now has been of no advantage whatsoever,
    seeing that it possesses neither gold nor
    silver nor pearls nor anything else, besides
    cattle pens. "

    The President went on to recommend,

    "This should be given to him as his
    with the title of Duke or Marquis, the
    King remaining the Supreme Authority. "

    Jamaica then was to be at one and the
    same time, the private property of the
    heir of Columbus; and part of the Spanish
    empire overseas. From this divided role,
    and because of the dual authority, much
    of the neglect which the island suffered
    was to ensue. Much of the factionalism
    in Church and State politics was to spring
    from this cause. One was either a Colum-
    bus-family man; or a King and Crown man.
    Balbuena was appointed by the Count of
    Lemos22 acting for the King at a time
    when the Columbus family was busily
    litigating among themselves. After the
    death of one of the heirs of Columbus -
    Don Cristobal de Cardona y Colon two
    branches of the family went to law to
    settle which branch should succeed to the
    title and estates.

    The right to appoint both Abbots and
    Governors belonged to the Columbus heir.
    During the litigation, however, the King
    and the Crown temporarily took over this
    right, until the issue of the rightful heir
    was concluded. And so, an abbot like Bal-
    buena's predecessor Marquis de Villa-
    lobos was a King's appointee; so was the
    Governor, whom Balbuena met when he
    arrived in Spanish Town. That Governor
    21 Fray Garcia de Loaysa, Bishop of Siguenza
    and President of the Council of the Indies.
    22 The fact that Balbuena, in writing to the
    King, his descriptive letter of July 1611, states
    that the Count of Lemos asked him to write
    such a letter, makes it almost certain that Bal-
    buena had been appointed through Lemos'
    23 Alonso de Miranda, who was Governor be-
    tween 1607-1611. During Balbuena's stay in
    the island, some three other Governors were
    appointed Espejo Barranco, Gonzalez de Vera,
    Lorenzo Romano.

    left shortly after. This may have been due
    to the fact that in the year 1608, the in-
    heritance lawsuit had finally been settled
    in favour of Don Nuno Colon. This was
    also the very year in which Balbuena had
    been appointed as Abbot by the King.
    Our Abbot must have been placed in a
    precarious position. Would Don Nuno
    Colon insist on his right to appoint his
    own Abbot? Was this one of the reasons
    why Balbuena had to delay his departure
    from Spain? Certainly, we know that
    Don Nuno insisted on appointing in 1610,
    his own man to be Governor of Jamaica -
    Espejo Barranco and that, after Bal-
    buena was promoted, to the bishopric of
    Puerto Rico, (1619) Don Nuno Colon in-
    sisted to the King on his right to appoint
    the next Abbot.

    What exactly took place we do not
    know. Perhaps Balbuena, with that suave
    tact and prudence which was to mark his
    performance both as Abbot and Bishop,
    met the agent of Don Nuno, or Don Nuno
    himself in Madrid, and made it easier for
    them to accept his appointment to the
    Abbacy of Jamaica as a fait accompli.
    And, either in Madrid, or in Jamaica, Bal-
    buena wrote Don Nuno Colon into his
    epic poem, praising him along with his
    great ancestor the Discoverer. In prais-
    ing Don Nuno, he praised the island which
    was the marquisate, the estate of the Col-
    umbus family. There is no doubt that in
    this case, as in others, Balbuena used his
    pen to good effect, to assure his survival
    in a sea of uncertainty. The island of
    Jamaica may have entered epic poetry in
    a somewhat tortuous manner. Be that as
    it may, Balbuena was left undisturbed in
    his Abbotship.

    His epic description of Jamaica is con-
    densed into a single stanza in the XIXth
    Bk. of THE BERNARD. But his praise of
    Don Nuno, and the prophecy about him-
    self as Abbot of Jamaica, expands the
    Jamaica reference into three stanzas. The
    action of the heroic poem, The Bernard is
    imagined to take place in the 9th century
    so the praise of Columbus' discovery of
    the New World, of Don Nuno and Jamaica,
    is praise which is given as a prophecy, by
    the great magician, a Tlascalan Indian who
    is visited in Mexico by the French magi-
    cian Malgesi and two other characters in a
    flying boat.

    The Tlascalan magician first foretells
    to them the discovery of the New World
    by Columbus, and the consequence which
    it will bring in its train. Columbus, trans-
    forming men into dolphins will reach the
    shores of the unknown world; he will
    meet with people, concealed and hidden
    from the eyes of his world until then, and
    take some of them back to Spain. The
    Golden Age will then be reborn again, as
    the rich earth of the New World yields up
    its treasures which will load the ships for
    Spain. The Christian faith which Colum-
    bus brings almost one feels, as a quid
    pro quo will transform the Indian gods,
    graven idols without souls, back into the
    stone from whence they came. Columbus

    will give to Castile and Leon a New World
    He will give to them vast new peoples
    still hidden in the shadows of the West.

    In exchange, the Colon family would
    be given the right to use the following
    heraldic shield. In his poem Balbuena
    describes the heraldic device of Columbus
    and his family, which will bear testimony
    to the ducal Crown which he and his suc-
    cessors will wear.

    Coat of Arms of the Columbus family

    But, the Tlascalan Magician addressing
    Columbus, still to be born, prophesies that
    avaricious ingratitude will diminish the
    honours and titles which he would leave
    to his descendants24In spite of this, how-
    ever, his memory will be preserved in the
    eternal flow of time, and among his suc-
    cessors one, in particular, and that Don
    Nuno Colon who else? will add lustre
    to that memory. From stanzas 83-85,
    Balbuena sings with dignity for his Abbot-
    ship and his supper. In the first stanza
    of these three, the Tlascalan magician tells
    Columbus that Time will repay the great
    debts owed to his solicitude, and,

    In Don Nuno Colon, reborn again
    The grandeur which your heroic spirit
    Will become in him the fiery forge of
    Spanish honour:
    Great Lord Admiral and Duke of

    In the next stanza Jamaica comes into its
    epic own: Don Nuno is the,

    Marquis of the hidden Jamaica
    Abounding in precious woods
    Green pastures, rich metals,
    If cursed with a careless and an idle

    24 In 1556, the privileges of the Columbus
    heirs were whittled away even more. They lost
    all rights to Veragua, kept only the ducal title;
    kept their title of Admiral, but only honorary,
    without pay. Only an income of 17,000 ducats,
    and Jamaica were left. After Jamaica was cap-
    tured by the English, only the income, and the
    nominal title of Marquis of Jamaica, remained as
    the legacy of the Discoverer.

    In whose spacious earth the gleaming
    Multiplies for tomorrow's world;
    Which now, with glittering rays, spreads
    Haloes of light along the Rio Cobre's
    shores: 25

    Jamaica is of course, 'hidden' because
    the Tlascalan magician is prophesying of
    the New World long before it became
    'revealed' through Columbus to Europe.
    The myth of the presence of gold in
    Jamaica had begun with Columbus him-
    self and had been often repeated. In fact,
    Balbuena's predecessor as Abbot, Marquez
    de Villalobos, had written to the King in
    November, 1582, urging him to take over
    the island from the Columbus family, who,
    he implied, mismanaged it. Worse than
    that, since in the terms of the agreement
    made with the Crown, the Columbus
    family were not permitted to put up
    fortifications on the island the Crown
    was not anxious for the Columbus family
    to fortify themselves on the island and set
    up an independent Kingdom as many of
    the early conquistadores had been tempted
    to do the coasts of Jamaica were in-
    fested with corsairs, contraband smugglers
    and buccaneers. In fact the settlers com-
    plained that they lived a 'frontier'life. To
    encourage the King to take over the
    island Villalobos stated categorically that
    there were mines of gold and copper; and
    there were seabeds with oysters which had
    yielded pearls to a few fortunate inhabi-

    The more cautious Balbuena does not
    mention the existence of gold as a fact in
    his letter. Only in his epic poem, does he
    insist on the gold which lay buried in the
    earth, signs of which were to be found in
    shining grains on the Rio Cobre's shores.
    His letter goes into details instead about
    the 'precious woods' He uses these woods
    as the bait with which he tactfully implies
    to the King that he should take over the
    island. He does not openly state this.
    Mail and letters were opened by the State
    authorities who were the Columbus family
    partisans; and if necessary, intercepted.
    Villalobos had complained to the King
    about this fact. But Balbuena walked
    more carefully. He points out the pos-
    sible usefulness of Jamaica to the Spanish
    Navy. The island is 'surrounded with

    25 The belief that Jamaica had deposits of gold
    caused King Ferdinand to appoint an official,
    Juan Lopez de Torr-alba, to supervise the gold
    mines etc, The latter went to Barcelona around
    1519, carrying samples of Jamaican gold which
    Morales Padron guesses might have been gold
    washed down by rivers. Clinton Black in his his-
    torical guide to Spanish Town, surmises that the
    Rio Cobre may have got its name from deposits
    of copper found on the river bank. But the belief
    in gold, as expressed by Balbuena, might have
    lead to quote Black "to the myth of the Golden
    Table which, legend says, lies hidden somewhere
    in the Rio Cobre's depths". Before the river
    diverted to irrigation, it is believed, that if one
    stood on the riverbank at a certain spot, at noon,
    a Golden Table rose out of the river, and hung
    glowing on the air for twelve seconds. Bal-
    buena would have loved this myth which could
    have come straight out of the enchanted land-
    scape of 'THE BERNARD.

    ports with very secure harbours and rivers
    of fresh water that flow from the moun-
    tain ridges' From the abundance of
    woods, among them, one called red ebony,
    granadillo which is 'incorruptible and
    not quite as black as ebony'; another
    called thorn espino 'of variegated
    colours: and, in addition, cedar, mahogany
    and brasil wood. Balbuena points out
    that the island would be most suitable for

    ".. and so convenient for this that if
    Your Majesty should desire some ships or
    galleons to be built there, any such works
    would from the natural fitness of the
    country, the great abundance of woods and
    cheap provisions .. prove much cheaper
    and more profitable than those that have
    been done, and are going on in other
    parts of the world. .. "

    Had his advice been followed and Jamaica
    become a naval centre for the Spaniards,
    the essentially sea-borne power of England
    some forty years later, would have found
    it impossible or at least more difficult to
    capture Jamaica.

    The cheapness of food was partly due
    to the historical role that Jamaica had
    played in the early part of the sixteenth
    century. The island had provided pro-
    visions and horses for conquistadores like
    Ojeda, Nicuesa, Davila on their expedi-
    tions to the Mainland. The island had
    even provisioned Balboa, discoverer of
    the Pacific, who, incidentally, forgot to
    pay for the provisions sent him26 But at
    the same time she emptied herself of her
    settlers, since all the more enterprising
    got out to search for the rich El Dorado
    on the mainland. Meanwhile the island
    had been well stocked with cattle and
    pigs as a provisioning base; and soon,
    many were running wild. But, denuded of
    its men, the island slipped into a remote
    backwater -a soledad, as Balbuena would
    call it and became even more so as the
    'historical axis' of discovery and settle-
    ment shifted entirely to the mainland.

    The island, and Villa de la Vega fell
    into a drowsy inertia. With all the advan-
    tages that the island possesses-- 'all these
    good possession' yet, Balbuena writes,
    'because of their natural laziness,' the
    settlers are so poverty-stricken, that 'they
    can hardly manage to feed themselves
    with cassava and beef which are the cheap-
    est commodities here' In an earlier part
    of his letter he was even more trenchant.
    In spite of the fertile soil and good cli-
    mate, 'the people are so lazy and indolent
    and opposed to work that through this
    fault it (i.e. the island) generally suffers
    great misery'.

    Not even in the epic vision and ideal-
    ized language of THE BERNARD does

    26 Vasco Nunez de Balboa. He died on the
    gallows, accused of being a traitor, before he

    Balbuena retract the charge of laziness on
    the part of the inhabitants. In his epic
    poem Jamaica is 'cursed with a careless
    and an idle people'. The Abbot seems to
    have tried to encourage some show of
    activity on the part of the settlers. In his
    letter he tells of a new venture that has
    been made in brasil wood. Cargoes had
    been sent to Spain for the first time that
    year, that is, the year in which he was
    writing. The wood has been sent to be
    used to make dyes, and, the Abbot adds,

    'Here, experiments have been made
    with it, and it gives three different dyes,
    all very fine, both for wool or silk".

    If the venture turns out well, Balbuena
    hopes, it could mean great wealth for an
    island, rich in woods and oppressed by

    The poverty of the people and the
    island was reflected in the state of the
    Church. Balbuena must have been rather
    dazed, that first morning after his arrival
    when he went through the prescribed
    ceremonial, with which a prelate was
    greeted. The ceremony for the arrival of
    a high ranking churchman paralleled that
    of the Governor. The latter on first
    arriving, presented his credentials then
    walked through the Town Hall, and its
    several rooms, opening and closing the
    doors as he did so. Similarly Balbuena
    had to go to the Church in the Plaza
    Mayor in Spanish Town, pray, open and
    close the doors, ring the bells, and walk
    through the Church, taking possession in
    the Lord's Name. Balbuena performing
    this ceremony, could hardly have avoided
    feeling that if this was what he had come
    to be Abbot over, then the Abbacy of
    Jamaica was not much.

    In his letter to the King, after sketch-
    ing something of the religious organiza-
    tion in general -

    'There are some clergy born in the
    island with a lot of chaplaincies but these
    are poor like the people in general. There
    are two monasteries, one of Saint Dominic
    and one of Saint Francis, and at present,
    three monks in each and among them two
    preachers". He describes the state of the
    principal church itself, the Church dedi-
    cated to Our Lady of Expectation. He
    found the church, Balbuena reports, 'so
    poor, ruined and roofless, that when it
    rains it cannot be entered to say mass".
    The Church is 'bare and despoiled of
    vestments by incursion of enemies who
    have sacked it three times". These enemies
    pirates and privateers of Spain's enemies
    attacked Jamaica with impunity because
    of its undefended state. They grabbed all
    they could get; and as rich ornaments
    were to be found in the Church in 1604
    for example, the King had given 2,000
    ducats to the Church to repair it and to
    buy ornaments they always made sack-
    ing the Church a priority. They also came
    either to plunder the settlers of provisions

    for their ships; or, more ordinarily, to
    trade manufactured goods in exchange
    for dried pork, meat, bread. One of the
    attacks to which Balbuena referred, had
    been lead by Sir Anthony Shirley called
    by the English a 'gentleman'- adventurer,
    and by the Spaniards, a pirate who in
    1596 landed with his men, attacked the
    town. and demanded a large ransom, inclu-
    ding provisions from the inhabitants, as a
    ransom not to set fire to their houses.
    Villalobos, who had retreated to the Cayo
    de la Legua in company with the other
    priests, whilst the bulk of the people hid
    in the mountains, was surprised by Shirley
    in his hiding place, and forced to flee in
    his nightshirt. Shirley and his men seized
    on the Abbot's jewels, ornaments taken
    from the Church for safekeeping, his
    books, clothes, linen etc. Church and
    Abbot remained poorer than ever. And
    Villalobos may well have died out of a
    feeling of futility and sheer despair.

    In the four year interval between the
    death of Villalobos and the coming of
    Balbuena, things went from bad to worse.
    Balbuena, like his energetic predecessor,
    set about at once to try and mend matters.
    He and the Governor, he tells us, 'went
    from door to door to beg for such an
    urgent need' but that 'it had not been
    possible to get anything worthwhile' As
    the people of the island 'were incapable of
    repairing it with their alms'he himself had
    tried to improve the Church as best as he
    could 'making among other things a neat
    frontal.. Unlike Villalobos, Balbuena
    did not find the Baptismal Book with
    'leaves torn out' but he found all other
    Church matters 'confused and out of
    order' He undertook at once his visita-
    tion and inspection of the Abbacy and its
    Church. At the time of writing the letter
    he was in the process of holding a synod
    which, it seemed to him, did not appear
    to have ever been held before. All in all,
    he writes, he is busy attending to the
    necessities of the Church, spending his
    own money with 'what my necessities
    could afford'.
    We know earlier on from Villalobos,
    that the tithes which supported the Church
    were not much, amounting only to 600
    ducats a year. Balbuena develops this
    theme. It was the practice for the collec-
    tion of tithes to be leased out to one
    individual who paid an estimated lump
    sum and then collected it back
    with some profit to himself. Balbuena
    points out that only some 710 pesos27
    had been paid for the year and a half
    after Villalobos' death 1606-1607. For
    1609-1610, Balbuena insists that the
    amount has been less. This means that
    with the share of the tithes that fell to
    the Abbot, he did not have much money
    to play around with to repair the Church
    and even to repay his expenses. With
    acumen he now suggests two ways in
    which the Church can be repaired and
    properly kept up.
    27 Treasure from America was expressed in
    pesos which means 450 maravedis worth of
    gold and silver. It was equal to 1.2 ducats.

    The more routine suggestion for the
    benefit of the Church had to do with the
    fact that Villalobos on arriving in Jamaica,
    had collected all the tithes that had
    accrued, during the interim vacancy and
    at his death, had ordered this sum 1,100
    pesos to be restored to the Church, or
    to the 'person to whom they might be-
    long' For five years now this money had
    been lodged with a private person. Bal-
    buena asked that the matter might be
    examined and, if just, that the money
    'Might be applied to assisting the neces-
    sities of the Church which are so great."
    His second suggestion gives an interesting
    insight into the way the country was run
    or rather, misrun, in the interests of the
    Columbus family by Governors who only
    came out to the island to make a quick
    killing before they sighed with relief and
    left it.
    WITH AN 'S'
    The island was the private fief of the
    Dukes of Veragua and the Marquises of
    Jamaica. In fact, as far as Spanish law is
    concerned it has never ceased being so.
    Morales Padron, the historian of Spanish
    Jamaica, comments with a certain grim

    "The Marquisate of Jamaica, existed
    and still exists, nominally, in the person
    of Don Cristobal Colon de Carvajal y

    As such it existed only to contribute to
    the upkeep of the feudal and aristocratic
    splendour of a Spanish noble house. The
    Governors, and the Abbots, appointed by
    the Columbus family acted in fact as
    major-domos, or stewards for the absentee
    owner. Like the later attorneys of Eng-
    lish Jamaica, they enriched themselves as
    quickly as possible at the expense of the
    the citizens; and of the owners. One of
    the ways in which the fleecing of the
    citizens was done, is exposed by the Abbot
    Marquez de Villalobos, in an angry letter
    to the King. As a King's Abbot he had
    been appointed by the conscientious Phil-
    lip II of Spain-Villalobos clashed fiercely
    with the Columbus faction. They were not
    accustomed to Abbots gainsaying their
    will; but this time they had met their
    match in the intelligent wellborn prelate
    who took his duty seriously.

    In urging the King to take over the
    island he revealed that a Governor sent
    out by the Columbus heir, a certain Lucas
    del Valle28, had, after clearing out all
    the money that he could from taxes etc.,
    left Jamaica, leaving in charge a Creole-
    Jamaican settler, one Pedro Lopez,
    who had paid the Governor a sum of
    money for leaving him to act in his place 29.
    Pedro Lopez had at once set out to make
    his authority work for him. Soon he had

    28 Lucas del Valle Alvarado, appointed as
    Governor in 1583.
    29 Villalobos' opinion of Pedro Lopez was low.
    By appointing him to act as Governor he
    charged that the real Governor had made the
    'feet become the head'.

    a very good piece of speculation going. He
    brought in from Santo Domingo the
    centre of Spanish Government in the
    Caribbean, some 500 pesos worth of cop-
    per coins called quartos. Each peso was
    the equivalent more or less of 13 silver
    reales. In 1582 when Villabos was
    writing, each silver real was worth in
    Santo Domingo, and could be bought there
    for, twenty-five quartos. Pedro Lopez had
    all the quartos brought from Santo Dom-
    ingo marked with an "S". He then used
    his authority to legally decree that the
    silver real in Jamaica could be bought for
    only eleven stamped quartos. He and his
    cronies, then bought up all the silver
    reales in Jamaica, sent them to Santo
    Domingo, changed them into quartos, had
    them stamped and repeated the process all
    over again. It meant that Pedro Lopez
    had bought a position which was in effect
    a license for making money at the expense
    of the citizens who had to sell their pro-
    ducts for the devalued real, or for quartos
    which only had value inside the island. By
    the time Balbuena arrived, the situation
    was such that he complains in his letter to
    the King that:

    'What little silver it has had the foreign
    merchants have been bleeding it off little
    by little, so that now there is not a real in
    it". 30

    By the time he came to the island too,
    the position had become legitimized, in
    that, the quartos are now brought to the
    island through the special permission of
    the Royal Audiencia in Santo Domingo,
    and are still stamped in Jamaica. But by
    now the discrepancy has widened. The
    silver real which in Santo Domingo, is
    bought for fifty-one quartos, is now bought
    in Jamaica for only seven-31 Whereas
    Villalobos had clashed openly with the
    Columbus faction over the issue to the
    point where he had even threatened ex-
    communication, only to be told by the
    authorities that his appointment by the
    King was not valid, since he had not
    brought his Bulls of confirmation by the
    Pope, or to see the priests insulted by
    Pedro Lopez, a creole of Villa de la Vega,
    and a 'choleric man, Balbuena's ap-
    proach is much more subtle and effective.
    Balbuena does not confront openly either
    the speculators or speculation. Instead he
    suggests that the speculation should be
    used for the good of the Church and the
    island in general; rather than for the ad-
    vantage of the unscrupulous and ruthless
    few. Speculation could be made to im-

    30 The draining away of the silver reales re-
    mained a constant feature until the capture of
    the island in 1655. Clinton Black, in his histori-
    cal guide to Spanish Town, quotes Edward Long
    in his 'History of Jamaica' (1774) "... large
    quantities of (copper coins) have been dug up
    in Spanish Town, the hills adjacent to it and
    other parts; but no gold or silver coin was ever
    found, that I have heard of."
    31 There seems to be a discrepancy in Bal-
    buena's letter: earlier on in the letter he seems
    to suggest that the real is worth thirteen quartos.
    This is from the translation made by Pietersz
    ahd Cundall, the translation used throughout
    this article.

    prove -the general well-being, spiritual and
    material, rather than creating a paradise
    for profiteers.

    He approaches the matter in a crab-
    wise manner. Insisting on the ruined con-
    dition of the Church, he tells the King

    'I am grieved to see the so noticeable
    need of this Church, and I have no
    money, or strength to remedy it. I am so
    anxious about it and my soul is so full of
    these cares, that a means had occurred to

    This means, he explains to the King, it
    would not cost the Royal Treasury a
    single quarto. All he asks is that the King
    should give to the Church the license to
    bring from Santo Domingo a thousand
    ducats worth of quartos. Whatever profit
    was made from the deal would then be
    used for the repair and adornment of the
    Church, 'which the heretics (i.e. pirates
    and 'gentlemen-adventurers) had left so
    ruined' The majordomo of the Church
    would handle and account for the money.
    The speculation would benefit the country
    too, seeing that 'the chief cause of its
    poverty is lack of money, and a way of
    bringing it in' He goes on to explain
    that the island does its main trade in pro-
    ducts with the Mainland and with Spain,
    but the products of the island are paid for
    in merchandise and not in money. Silver
    reales have disappeared. The introduction
    of a substantial amount of new quartos,
    stamped and therefore usable only in the
    island would 'help to open up the trade of
    the country' It seems clear from what
    Balbuena says, that the so-called idleness
    of the people had much to do with the
    fact that with the scarcity of money, the
    economy was mainly a barter one, where
    people were adjusted to little more than a
    mere sufficiency of their basic needs. 32

    Balbuena knew that such a licence
    granted to the Church, would outlaw the
    speculation of the Marquis' henchmen,
    who shared the profits with the Marquis
    himself. He hints delicately, begging the
    King to grant the license to the Church
    seeing that, although the island,

    'is the territory of a private owner, in
    the end Your Majesty is the sovereign
    prince on whom it is more fully incum-
    bent to see to the welfare and conserva-
    tion of your subjects".

    But it was not to be as simple as all that.
    The Marquis had powerful strings to pull
    at Court, to block any suggestions that
    might cut against his interests. One year
    and a half after he had written, the Abbot
    had still not received a reply to his letter

    32 The fact that ships of the Flota, the regular
    Spanish fleet, did not call regularly meant that
    there was no established traffic. Trade was
    carried on with the Spanish Mainland territories,
    occasionally with Seville and very often with
    foreign contraband traders. But the lack of any
    set trading arrangements had something to do
    with the backwardness of the island.

    and to his suggestions. In December,
    1612, he wrote off to Spain again, asking
    this time that the Church be granted the
    license to import 2,000 ducats' worth of

    From a document that Van Home has
    found in the Spanish Archives, he suggests
    that the petition was either granted, or
    was on the verge of being granted, when it
    seems to have been stopped by representa-
    tives of the Marquis. Balbuena was never
    allowed to put his scheme into operation.
    It is rare in the history of Jamaica that
    the private interests of the greedy few
    have been subordinated to the interests of
    the needy many.

    It was not only the civil authorities
    who saw the island, primarily as a place
    for making a quick profit with little
    effort. Nor was it only the Governors
    who represented the Marquis. Two of the
    most energetic and intelligent Governors
    appointed by the Crown Melgarejo de
    Cordoba and Alonso de Miranda also,
    whilst doing some good for the island did
    even more for themselves. But in an age
    in which salaries were paid irregularly,
    and in which gifts and perquisites were an
    accepted form of rewarding the new
    bureaucracy called into being by the
    sudden extension of the Spanish Empire,
    these attitudes, and a certain amount of
    chicanery, was understandable. Especially
    when they were accompanied by a mea-
    sure of competence on the part of the
    Governor and his officials. This was
    rarely the case. All too often, the ability
    to be corrupt was the only criterion of
    office. All too often the Governorship of
    the island was seen as a pair of shears with
    which to shear the island sheep. Nor was
    this attitude restricted to the State bureau-
    crats. From the earliest days, the bureau-
    cracy of the Church too, had tended to
    regard the Abbacy of Jamaica as a finan-
    cial perquisite rather than a religious


    t ,,, ... ..

    ',-.' ,,. ,i

    Portrait of Balbuenanow in the Bishop's
    Palace,San Juan,Puerto Rico
    F-- ,;

    To be continued

    Jamaica's Sugar Industry

    by Carol Reckord

    To people who live outside of the sugar
    industry, there is very little either of gla-
    mour or of beauty in the growing and
    processing of sugar cane. These people
    see little more than monotonously green
    cane fields and factories which are gener-
    ally huddles of ugly buildings. Indeed to
    many people who have sharp memories of
    ancient wrongs, the sugar industry repre-
    sents a history of the degrading of thou-
    sands of human beings and the enrichment
    of foreigners who used the profits from
    the industry to build mansions in England
    while neglecting their duty as landowners
    in these countries of the Caribbean.

    To the cane farmer and the sugar
    manufacturer, sugar is a favourite crop -
    one with few pests and fewer diseases,
    with the ability to recover quickly from
    hurricanes, droughts or periods of neglect,
    a crop that is a valuable item of interna-
    tional commerce.

    The sugar cane plant provides from an
    acre of land three to five tons of high-
    energy food; this food material is easily-
    stored and easily transported in bulk; as
    nations and people grow wealthier and

    more sophisticated, they use more of this
    food. Sugar cane is easy to grow under a
    wide range of soil and climatic conditions.
    These are some of the facts that make
    sugar a subject of much international bar-
    gaining and the source of great wealth.

    When the October rains have passed
    and waving 'arrows' in the cane fields mark
    the coming of cool weather and the ap-
    proaching cane crop, farmers start seeing
    to their property roads, repairing damage
    done by the rains. Also they see to their
    trucks, tractors and trailer-carts those
    who own such equipment and those
    who don't own transport, begin to con-
    tact truck owners; all need cane cutters
    and loaders for the coming harvest. A
    considerable amount of the cane farmer's
    time is taken up with the business of get-
    ting the cane from his field to the factory;
    this is unlike many crops where the head-
    ache lies in persuading the seed to grow
    and in nursing the growing plant through
    the hazards of insect pests and fungus
    diseases and in worrying about surplusses
    and haggling over prices. Another feature
    that distinguishes the cane crop is the fact
    that seed time and harvest occupy the
    same season; as fast as a field that is to be
    renewed is reaped, preparations begin for
    its re-planting. This is so because the
    planting materials for the next crop are
    the tops cut from the cane stalks of this
    year's reaping. On many estates, there
    are fields that are replanted during the
    autumn of the year many months after
    the crop has ended; these fields are plant-
    ed with material grown in nurseries for the
    Generally, the fields that are re-planted
    - whether during the crop or in the
    autumn are fields that have grown four
    or five or more successive crops from a
    planting done many years before. This
    system of growing several crops from one
    planting is shared by many crops grown
    in tropical countries; in cane it is called
    'ratooning' the first crop reaped after
    the planting is known as 'plant cane' and
    its successor crops are the first ratoon,

    A Mill Yard

    second ratoon, and so on. Here and
    there where soils are particularly good -
    and notably in Cuba there are fields
    which have never been replanted in twenty
    years and which still yield a high enough
    tonnage of cane each year to make re-
    planting unnecessary. As a rule, after four
    or five ratoons, yields are so low and the
    stand of cane plants in the field so thin
    that replanting is advisable. Yields tend
    to go down somewhat after the second
    and each succeeding ratoon crop.

    Sugar cane is grown on just about every
    soil type in Jamaica although very
    light sandy soils make for poor yields
    because they cannot hold moisture long
    and they are generally poor in plant nutri-
    ents; on the other hand extremely heavy
    clays often present physical problems that
    lead to root decay and also they may bog
    down vehicles that have to go into fields
    to remove the crop. Another factor that
    helps decide where cane may be grown is
    naturally the nearness of a sugar factory;
    as a rule it is uneconomical to transport
    sugar cane more than twelve to fifteen
    miles from field to factory.

    But the chief factor deciding where
    cane can be grown and how much it will
    yield is rainfall or the availability of water
    for irrigation. Under most conditions of
    soil and climate, cane requires for best
    performance about sixty-five to seventy-
    five inches of rain per year or its equi-
    valent in rainfall plus irrigation. Ideally,
    this should begin with just enough water
    to make the cane-tops sprout and grow
    during the spring and after that increasing
    as the summer warmth fills out the tissues
    of the growing plant. Too much rain in
    late summer and autumn will reduce the
    sucrose content of the cane and with it
    the unit price which the factory pays for
    the farmer's cane.

    Yields of cane in Jamaica range from
    fifty or even sixty tons to the acre in
    exceptionally good years on the best soils
    under expert management down to eight
    or ten tons on many peasant holdings on
    poor land, without fertilizer and with less
    than adequate rainfall. Average yields are
    said to be about twenty-four tons per

    With a price of J$6 to $6.50 a ton for
    cane delivered to the factory, the crop
    represents a gross revenue of J$75 (for an
    average farm) to $150 (on a first-class
    crop) per acre under cane. A farmer who
    grows ten acres of cane on good land (and
    this is twice as much as the average acreage
    grown by the 27,000 cane farmers in
    Jamaica) might with a little luck sell his
    crop for J$ 1,000. Out of this he probably
    pays one-third for cutting, loading and
    hauling his cane. to the factory. Only a
    small percentage of our cane farmers are
    young enough to do their own cutting and
    loading and most of the elderly farmers
    complain that they cannot offer their
    children any inducement which will lead


    i MK^,,

    Cutting the Sugar Cane
    them to help with the cane harvesting.
    Their other expenses are for weeding and
    cultivating the crop and for fertilizer. Not
    many farmers are prepared to invest more
    than J$6 to J$10 an acre for fertilizer -
    although fields show profitable returns on
    much larger applications of chemicals.
    Sugar cane, like all grasses, shows response
    to applications of nitrogen, and farmers
    are finding that potash applications are
    helping to increase yields on sucrose con-

    Weed control has always been a major
    operation in sugar cane farming. Many
    members of the droves of slaves, who
    were the work force of seventeenth and
    eighteenth century West Indies farms,
    were occupied in weeding with hoes be-
    tween the rows of cane to keep down the
    grasses and broad-leaved plants which
    threatened to rob the crop of water and
    nutrients in the soil. In those days, of
    course, the regular introduction of pen
    manure into the fields served to renew the
    supply of weed-seeds. Nowadays, where-
    ever farms are on level or gently sloping
    land, tractor-mounted implements are used
    for cultivating the cane field. Chemical
    weed-killers are being more widely used-
    and are contributing to offset the in-
    creasing cost of manual labour in the

    The out-of-crop maintenance of the
    cane farm occupies few people compared
    to the numbers required for the cane har-
    vest. On most farms the out-of-crop force
    comprises a few women spreading fertili-
    ser and two or three men weeding fields.
    In the early days and, for that matter,
    up to three or four years ago the ap-
    proach of harvest was a signal for many
    thousands of small hill-farmers and their
    sons and younger brothers to leave home
    just after Christmas for the sugar estates;
    with their drays and mules, others with

    their cane 'bills' or cutlasses, to spend
    several weeks cutting and loading cane un-
    til it was time to leave again for home.
    This would be very often before the Easter
    holidays ana the season for spring plant-
    ing of their yams and other food crops.
    Today the estates find it impossible to
    persuade these men to spend the whole of
    six or seven months at the cane harvest.
    No wonder the men are away from their
    homes and women-folk and children! No
    sugar belt has been able to provide any-
    thing like adequate accommodation for
    thousands of workers during crop time.
    Maybe most important of all, absence from
    home during the spring and early summer
    would mean no crop grown on the home
    farm. And somehow the promise of a
    good take-home income from the cane
    crop has never been able to seduce the
    hill-man into spending six whole months
    in the cane field.
    The problem is more acute as the years
    go by. There are many country districts
    with no greater population today than
    they had thirty years ago; migration to
    the United Kingdom, the United States
    and Canada has taken many thousands,
    the bauxite industry and the tourist in-
    dustry have taken some and growth of
    some country towns has taken others. Of
    course there are the thousands that have
    swarmed into Kingston, Montego Bay and
    Spanish Town, some to well-paid jobs and
    others to study or look for work. This
    movement from agricultural occupation
    has meant that farmer-parents left back
    home do not have to depend as much as
    they used to on cane and other farm crops;
    many families now have a significant in-
    come from non-agricultural sources; and
    men who in a former generation would
    have to follow the cane crop, can now af-
    ford to stay at home without loss.
    Meanwhile, sugar estates are anxiously
    awaiting the development of mechanical
    harvesters while they try to persuade work-
    ers to stay with the crop. They seem to

    be fighting a losing battle. During the past
    two or three years Barnett, Caymanas and
    Richmond-Landovery estates have had to
    close their factories in each case short-
    age of field workers was at some stage re-
    sponsible for the closure. The island of
    Puerto Rico, which used to grow cane for
    a million tons of sugar, has not been able
    to maintain anything near this production
    even after introducing mechanical harvest-
    ers and other mechanical devices in their
    sugar industry. Although here in Jamaica
    many estates offer good pay for field work-
    ers and although working conditions have
    improved during the past few years, there
    are indications that the Jamaican worker
    has rejected the sugar industry and will
    only contribute to its support to the ex-
    tent that it suits his convenience.

    Meanwhile, at the level of the technical,
    professional and clerical worker, the sugar
    industry complains that it is unable to
    match the salaries offered by the growing
    bauxite industry, and that in consequence,
    sugar factories are short-staffed.

    The cane cutter is not the only one
    who tries to manipulate the crop to suit
    his own purposes. The cane farmer knows
    that when he begins to cut cane too early
    in the year his cane is yielding a low per-
    centage of sucrose the sugar that is in
    the cane and as a result his ton of cane
    earns him less than it would later in the
    crop. The same thing happens in reverse
    toward the end of the crop. So everybody
    who grows cane would like to concentrate
    his reaping during a few short months -
    say February, March and April. But this
    means that the island would need twice
    the factory capacity to take of the crop.
    So the factory has to apportion its own
    production and the production of its
    farmer-suppliers to spread the crop as
    evenly as possible over the six or seven
    months during which it works to take off
    the crop. Under good conditions a ton of
    sugar will be produced by eight tons of

    cane; when things go awry as they did in
    June of this year (1969) when heavy rains
    fell all over the island, some cane needed
    as many as sixteen tons to make a ton of
    sugar. And, of course, this cane costs no
    less to grow and transport than any other;
    the factories pay for the farmers' cane on
    the basis of the conversation ratio (tons of
    cane to tons of sugar). This is one reason
    why factory owners always grow large
    acreages of sugar on their own land sur-
    rounding the factory; when farmers' canes
    are slow in coming in the factory has its
    own cane to keep its mills working.

    There are about 27,000 farmers in
    Jamaica who supplied two million tons of
    cane to sixteen factories for the 1969
    crop. A grower is registered as a supplier
    to a named factory and the factory is
    obliged by law to take all the cane that
    the grower sends to the factory during the
    period of the crop. In the case of the big
    farmer, the factory makes calculations of
    the sucrose content of his sugar by testing
    sample loads of the farmers own cane; it
    is not possible to test small farmers' cane
    on an individual basis. However, large and
    small farmers alike have a representative at
    the factory a chemist who keeps a check
    on the tests which the estate makes on
    farmers' cane. This chemist is an employee
    of the All-Island Cane Farmers' Association,
    which represents the cane farmers in their
    dealings with the factory managers, the
    Government and the public. The Associa-
    tion helps the farmer in other ways it
    negotiates for the purchase of fertilizer
    in bulk and arranges the distribution of
    this fertilizer among the twenty or so local
    associations which make up the central
    organisation. The Association also has
    advisory officers who help small farmers
    in particular by advising them on ferti-
    liser treatment, cane varieties and farm
    management methods. The Central Assoc-
    iation is maintained by a cess which is col-
    lected by law on each ton of cane supplied
    by farmers. At time of writing (1969) the

    cess is seven cents per ton.

    The Association is certainly one of the
    better organised and more effective farm-
    ers' commodity groups in Jamaica. It has
    done a great deal since the days when the
    factory operators and a handful of large-
    acreage cane farmers dominated the in-
    dustry leaving the thousands of smaller
    farmers no choice but to accept the
    prices and conditions which the factory
    owners dictated. In a much more real
    sense the cane farmers are part of the in-
    dustry and their collective voice is heard
    and respected in the country.

    There are areas of weakness where no
    one has been able to help the thousands
    of small cane farmers. .No serious pro-
    gramme has been set up to merge small
    cane farms so that some of the subsistence
    scale farmers might graduate to a higher
    economic level; this is certainly a major
    need of the industry. But not even the
    cane farmers' leaders will come forward
    to advocate such a course because that
    would mean a substantial reduction of the
    numbers of people in the industry and
    even in these times numbers are an impor-
    tant political weapon.

    Cane farmers themselves claim that
    their major problems are unavailability of
    long-term credit and the difficulty of
    securing regular and reliable transport for
    their canes at crop time. But both these
    difficulties are associated with the small
    size of the typical cane farmers' holding,
    his lack of skill as a manager and his con-
    sequently weak economic position.

    Of cultivation problems the cane far-
    mer has not very many. In a few districts
    in Jamaica cane-fly has been a problem
    but standard insecticides have maintained
    control. Thanks to research programmes,
    to the long history of cane farming which
    has made most growers and workers
    familiar with the basic devices of cane
    growing, to the research into cane varieties,
    irrigation methods, crop management and
    crop science which the Sugar Manufac-
    turers' research department carries out
    and publicizes and thanks to nature which
    made the Jamaican climate almost ideal
    for cane growing, the industry has served
    very well the purposes of cane farming
    Jamaicans during more than three hundred
    years. And although its ups and downs
    have tossed it from the position when
    Jamaica was world leader in sugar pro-
    duction in 1805 with 100,000 tons manu-
    factured to the low year 1913 when total
    Island production was less than 5,000 tons
    sugar has always been a favourite crop
    with the Jamaican farmer.

    During the past few years it has be-
    come the custom in irrigated sugar areas
    for farmers to burn each field the night
    before it is reaped. This removes quan-
    tities of leaves and trash and makes it
    easier for the cutters and loaders. The
    practice is not recommended for farms

    Holeing a Cane Piece

    Appleton Factory
    St. Elizabeth

    Loading Crane

    A 7n^i L.

    Interior of Sugar Plant

    S.M.A. Research Dept.

    Interior of Plant


    Planting of Sugar Cane

    where there is no irrigation because it is
    necessary for a burnt field to have water
    on the roots immediately after the cane is
    removed. Burning is always done over a
    restricted area and with precautions taken
    against spread of the fire.

    There is another kind of cane fire -
    and this is one of the most serious threats
    to the progress of the industry. The cane
    field fire which is set by 'person or per-
    sons unknown' cause severe dislocations
    everywhere in the industry. When a large
    area of cane is burnt by arsonists, the
    whole scheduling of harvesting has to be
    re-arranged, so that the burnt cane can be
    brought to the mills without delay. This
    means that other farmers' canes have to be
    left back until the emergency is cleared.
    In many recent years where cane fires have
    followed one another in close sequence,
    there has been a resultant loss of cane
    running into hundreds of thousands of
    tons, As a consequence insurance rates in
    the industry have increased steeply and the
    general uncertainty has driven a number
    of farmers out of cane farming.

    Although the sucrose loss in burnt
    cane increases dramatically with every day
    of delay between cutting and milling, this
    loss occurs in all other cane to a greater or
    lesser degree, too. Indeed, the industry
    calculates that a ton of cane left in the
    field for four days after being cut, fetches
    the farmer about a dollar less than if
    it were delivered on the day of cutting.
    There are many thousands of tons of
    cane in Jamaica that reach the factory
    four, five and even eight days after cutting.

    Under most conditions cane is ready
    for harvest a year after it is planted. It
    is taken to the mills and there it enters a
    manufacturing process that is surely one
    of the oldest known to man. Even today
    here in Jamaica there are in the hills of

    many parishes mills of the simplest types-
    three vertical iron rollers geared together
    and mounted on a central post with a
    twenty-foot sweep turning the axle of one
    roller. At the end of this sweep a mule or
    steer is harnessed and the animal goes
    round and round to extract a few barrels
    of cane juice a day. This 'liquor' is carried
    by an underground pipe into the 'boiling-
    house' where it is heated in a series of
    'coppers' concentrating it by evaporating
    the water in the liquor to the point where
    it crystallizes as 'new sugar'.

    The 'muscovado' sugar which was pro-
    duced by our sugar industry up to less
    than a hundred years ago was similar to
    the 'new sugar' produced by the process I
    have described; the main difference is that
    the old factories used to drain a lot of the
    molasses out of the sugar while it was cool-
    ing after the boiling process.

    During the nineteenth century econo-

    mic forces and the development of the
    steam engine contributed to the reduction
    of the number of sugar estates in Jamaica
    and bigger factories led to improvement
    of the process. Nowadays there are fifteen
    operating factories with a production
    capacity of more than half a million tons
    of raw sugar per crop.

    At the factory steam is generated in
    boilers heated by bagasse the residue
    left afterjuice is squeezed out of the cane.
    The steam serves to drive the mill rollers
    and to heat the various vessels in which
    the juice is concentrated and crystallized.
    These vessels are first the juice heaters
    from which the juice passes to evaporators
    and then to the 'vacuum pans' where the
    juice is boiled at low temperature under
    vacuum to prevent burning. From the
    vacuum pans the thick syrup goes into the
    crystallizers; here the solid crystals of
    sugar are formed. The sugar is separated
    from the molasses in centrifugals cylin-
    drical vessels with perforated walls. The
    centrifugals spin at more than a thousand
    revolutions per minute and this movement
    drives the molasses through the tiny per-
    forations in the centrifugal walls, leaving
    a mass of sugar crystals to be scraped from
    the walls of the vessel for drying and

    A big sugar factory may employ a hun-
    dred men in each of three shifts a day
    during the crop and may process more
    than 5,000 tons of cane a day. Consider-
    able quantities of water are used in the
    process as well as many thousands of
    units of electric power.

    While development and research have
    brought the sugar industry a long way over
    the centuries, the successes have been
    mainly in the direction of using improved
    cane varieties for higher yields, better use
    of land, water and fertilizer, more efficient
    use of machinery in field and factory. The
    commercial products of the industry are

    1 .

    1. iU

    Interior of a Boiling House

    much the same as they were in the begin-
    ning raw sugar, rum and other spirits,

    Attempts to make the industry less
    dependent on large numbers of workers
    have not been popular with governments
    and labour unions, indeed success along
    this line would remove from the industry
    one of its main distinctions in the indus-
    trial sector, namely that of being the
    largest employer of labour in the island.

    Where the industry has succeeded to a
    very limited degree is in extracting from
    its basic raw material any number of valu-
    able industrial products in the way that,
    say, the petroleum industry has done.
    Building-board from bagasse is an example.

    As countries such as Jamaica move
    further into a more industrialized concept
    of nationhood, sugar and similar agricul-
    tural products produced for export tend to
    become a less profitable and less promising
    way of employing resources. It has been
    argued that the decline in production
    since 1965 was due to drought; the next
    few years will probably show that the de-
    cline is a sign of the times.

    Shipping Sugar

    Four thousand farmers left the industry
    during the past four years and although
    sugar production will certainly be with us
    for a long time to come, the indications

    are that fields of waving cane and sugar
    factory chimneys are losing their place as
    the dominant features of the Jamaican

    Manufacture of Sugar

    That Spring of 1656, the year after the
    Conquest, the corn tassels came shrunken
    and the cocoa failed again. The English
    soldier-planters swore their uneasy oaths
    and the land swore back sleepily, fallow,
    ripe and unyielding.

    Antonio and Morales, those two beau-
    tiful black scouts (see How A Thousand
    Irish Lassies Obfuscate Today's Census
    Takers, June 1968) ceased their wenching
    in the mountains above Guanaboa Vale
    long enough to cast their bleary weary
    eyes on the encampment below. They saw
    the shrunken tassels and the drooping
    cocoa plants and smirked their satisfaction.

    "By the Virgin of St. Jago de La Vega,
    the lousy English are getting it in the
    seeds," Antonio said in Spanish. "We
    should go down and assist them to get it
    in the seeds more pronto."

    (For you will recall that those two
    doughty scouts were dedicated fellows
    with a single bent: to eject the English
    Invaders from Jamaica. They planned to
    later do the same to their present Spanish

    Antonio and Morales
    by Vic Reid
    Illustrated by Anne Wienholt

    - -. -

    i c a6
    V-~i..I !~i !F:


    1 4.-

    -- I*Z~~

    Morales frowned and shaded his tired
    eyes to pick up the tiny figures in the Vale.
    He was enervated. The week's furlough
    they had earned for wiping out a platoon
    of Yorkshire pikemen had deprived them
    of vigour. They had altogether made too
    merry with the cane liquor and the truly
    delicious mountain maidens.

    "Antonio, comparee" Morales said,
    turning to warm in the sun,"we could not
    give battle to a washerwoman detail today.

    Our celebrated excesses of the past week
    have taken a toll of us."

    Antonio stretched, lean, catlike, lusty,
    dreaming of the fine furlough.

    "Morales, amigo, you are right. We
    need another week of rest before we can
    be doughty scouts again."

    They turned once more to the sun,
    sighing for the munificence of the life

    they lived as beautiful black scouts against
    lousy English, for the Spanish pigs. Sud-
    denly, they shot upright. A brief, bright
    glance and the steel touched their'souls.

    "Hombre, the furlough is over. It is
    our duty to harry the English," Antonio
    said coldly.

    "Si, Antonio," Morales said, a chilling
    anger in his eyes. "But we are so very

    ~' ~ ,,c~*
    i: rqb'
    -.r ` t I
    ,~; I~



    * 4$ .



    .i -


    have been blessed by a priest."



    "If we cannot fight with our arms, we
    must fight with our heads," Antonio

    Captain Fallon of the English Army of
    Occupation had a hang-up. He believed in
    facts. He did not know that it was wrong
    to believe in facts in the face of the
    evidence. He muttered a swear word and
    his Jamaican hoe-man said something to
    his companion in Spanish.

    Fallon turned sharply. "What did you
    Essay "

    Antonio, for it was that sonofabitch,
    spread his hands. He rattled off something
    in Spanish.

    "Speak English!" Fallon said.

    Antonio shrugged again. "No spika de
    English ver' well," he said.

    Fallon looked bleakly at him. "I don't
    believe you. I think that in the year since
    we captured the island from your Spanish
    friends, you black fellows have come to
    understand English but you prefer that
    benighted Popish tongue."

    Fallon plucked a cocoa-pod and sque-

    ezed it between his fingers. It was dead.
    Nothing. This was the evidence. But
    against this, the facts were plain. There
    had been plenty of rains and good sun-
    light and the crop should have been
    bountiful. Not this, this graveyard.

    A bugle blew up the Vale. Cattle
    lowed, knee-deep in the high grass, guarded
    by a line of musketeers. You never knew
    where or when those black mountain
    hostiles would turn up. Fallon could
    hear the clank of the mule-drawn mill
    crushing the sugar cane for his regiment.

    "What's your name, fellah?"

    "Antonio, senor," Antonio said. "And
    this is my brother, Juan. We worked wit'
    the English senors in St. Jago de la Vega."

    "I don't care where you worked."
    Fallon said irritably. "Just tell me, why
    has the cocoa crop failed?"

    Antonio showed his pure white teeth.
    He was glad he had listened hard when he
    scouted close to the English camp. He
    had picked up considerable scholarship.

    "Because of that Senor Oliver Crom-
    well. He's a heretic. The crops should


    "Don't give me that balderdash!"
    snarled Fallon.

    Morales cast his eyes down. He rested
    on his hoe, head bowed. Fallon looked
    curiously at him.

    "What is your name, you?" Fallon

    "Juan, senor," Morales said softly.

    "Speak up, man!" snapped Fallon.

    "For a favour, senor, he's a quiet man,"
    Antonio said quickly.

    "Quiet Juan, do you believe all this
    manure about blessing the crop?" Fallon

    Juan, who was Morales, seemed to
    shudder. Unlike the half naked Antonio,
    he wore a voluminous old brown shirt
    drawn about his ears and a wide straw hat.
    His hands looked Yoruba, ebony black
    with long fine bones.

    "Believe, senor? One does not believe
    in the use of the eye. It is either so, or not
    so," Morales said softly.

    Fallon groaned. Another Spanish

    "What about your murderous brothers
    up in the mountains? The Maroons? Do
    they bless their crops, too?"

    "There are no reports of their hunger,
    senor," Antonio said.

    Fallon growled warningly. He had
    detected the laughter in Antonio. It was
    true the English army was going increas-
    ingly hungry. The soldiers were afraid to
    go hunting, or even to graze their stock
    far afield. The Maroons slaughtered them
    with grinning ease, especially since this
    ragtag army was not strong on guts. They
    had been thoroughly whopped in His-
    paniola and had only taken Jamaica be-
    cause of a weak garrison. Right now,
    they were close to mutiny. They were
    hungry. They must have food. Fallon

    "Tell me how the crops were blessed
    in the Popish days," he said.

    Antonio cleared his throat. Morales
    slipped a sly look at him. The heathen
    bastard is going to enjoy it, Morales
    thought. He hoped his friend and camp
    brother would not be struck dead under
    heaven for what he was about to do.

    Antonio made a couple of swift ges-
    tures as if he drew a frame for Fallon.
    Fascinated, Fallon felt himself inside the

    "By the grace of God," Antonio said,
    peering through his framed fingers at Fal-

    Ion, "it has been a good year. We have
    lived to see the Easter and it is now plant-
    ing time. The Lord's dew is on the land
    and His lillies are on His altar."

    "The Host is on the altar, my son,"
    Morales said in soft reproof.

    Fallon could almost smell the candles
    burning and hear the Latin intoned.
    Antonio drew a breath and half closed his
    eyes. Morales thought him remarkable, a
    credit to his people.

    "We are in the fields," Antonio said
    quietly. "It is morning. We are dressed in
    our best. Good Spanish cloth to take the
    wear of our work. We have dug the holes
    for the cocoa seeds and we stand in lines
    along the rows. The sun is just broaching
    the mountains, senor. A light wind plays
    in the tall trees by the river.

    "You hear the birds singing.

    "And then the voices of men, singing.

    "And then the voices of men and boys

    "And presently, from among the trees,
    comes the Cross."

    Morales quickly genuflected and cros-
    sed himself. Fallon the Puritan caught

    himself in time.

    "Get on with it," he growled angrily.

    Antonio is very good. Morales thought;
    he held the hoe like a thurible. One must
    thoroughly back up one's compatriot.

    "There," Antonio said, pointing, "at
    the edge of the trees, comes the Crucifix
    and the acolytes. Black and white boys,
    their faces young in the sunlight, bearing
    the incense and the holy water before the

    "Who bears the Host!" cried Morales
    in a strained voice.

    Antonio turned quickly to Fallon.
    "My friend is overcome. It goes close to

    "Carry on," Fallon said, looking at
    Juan who was Morales.

    "Now they are between the rows. The
    priest' prays. The candles burn. The
    incense is dispensed. The holy water is
    sprinkled on the field. So are the crops
    blessed, Englishman. Sugar cane, corn,
    cocoa which will not yield for you. They
    come up in vast quantities, Senor English."

    Fallon looked up to find Antonio's
    eyes on him. He shook his head angrily.

    "And this Popish nonsense worked?"

    "We were never hungry, senor," An-
    tonio said, spreading his hands.

    Fallen wiped his wet face and longed
    for an English spring. But now his men
    were hungry. They were edgy and dan-
    gerous. Trouble could explode anytime.

    Fallon thought he needed just a little
    outside help. Just now.

    After the Conquest of the country was
    well and truly established, he would
    introduce these fields to some honest
    English protestant ploughing and see
    whether he couldn't take the curse from

    But, meanwhile.

    Well. Just supposin'.

    He moved closer to Antonio. "Could
    you find me a priest?"

    Antonio started. His brow worked

    "Find you a priest, Englishman? Haven't
    you driven them all to the hills? And
    driven them across the ocean to Cuba?
    Didn't you bum their Cathedral in St.
    Jago de la Vega? The curse of Mother

    -, 2rJ .-I -~33L
    - 3 j jj1

    J' "I $ 4-4 '



    .- ~:.* *

    a A
    .4 .

    Church is on you, Senor English!"

    But Morales had moved in closer.

    "Gently, gently, my son," Morales
    said, his fine boned hand up. "You must
    forgive, my son."

    Forgive, Father?" Antonio cried. "Af-
    ter what they did to you? Forgive, Father

    Fallen started. Father Juan. He

    looked closer at Juan. Morales kept his
    head down, hands clasped together. He
    answered Fallon's unspoken question.

    "Yes, my son," Morales said. "I will
    do it. Fetch your soldiers. Be here in the
    morning. But bear no arms, you under-
    stand, son?"

    Fallon nodded. It came out with

    Antonio hardly heard. He was thinking
    of where to place the ambush.

    Note: During the Spanish Occupation, blessing
    of the fields was a normal Catholic rite. The
    English lost several crops during their early
    occupation largely perhaps because of the
    dearth of plantation knowledge among their
    London-bred (and other cities in England)

    "Yes, Fa-Father," he managed.

    Rum Lullaby

    Anthony McNeill

    The voice clangs eight. Her half-shut eyes
    Which have wrestled with sleep since six
    Unzip like a Jack-in-the-box
    Revealing pupils flecked by mistrust.

    She sits upright, stoops to regain
    The toy that acts as sister and son,
    Slowly crosses the room to land
    A good-night kiss which burns like a brand.

    Then she is off, up the dark stairs
    And into a room where fear's curtains
    Are tightly drawn, where right on time
    The sandman scratches the blinds at nine;

    Away from the tinkle of ice
    Conversation foreign but warm
    Adults who hinge on swizzle sticks
    And stir in numbness with rum and cokes.

    ;t:i i~ d4 ~
    ~n~t~paLF~ ''i 'r~t~B ~t~C~





    f (


    f ,3

    A. -


    ** *


    s n

    To An Expatriate Friend
    by Mervyn Morris

    Colour meant nothing. Anyone
    who wanted help, had humour or was kind
    was brother to you; categories of skin
    were foreign; you were colour-blind.

    And then the revolution. Black
    and loud the horns of anger blew
    against the long oppression; sufferers
    cast off the precious values of the few.

    New powers re-enslaved us all;
    each person manacled in skin, in race.
    You could not wear your paid-up dues;
    the keen discriminators typed your face.

    The future darkening, you thought it time
    to say good-bye. It may be you were right.
    It hurt to see you go; but, more,
    it hurt to see you slowly going white.




    by Mervyn Morris

    (for Roger Mais, 1905-55)

    The grey beast, smiling welcome,
    stretched a claw
    to draw the artist in;
    red with rage
    the artist turned and spat.

    "I cannot stand
    the grey beast
    with its bland
    black tie. Leave me
    to rear my roses, hold
    opinions, suffer books,
    paint pictures, love
    the people, choose
    true friends."

    The grey beast, placid, smiled

    The gentle artist, red
    with rage, sped
    sharp arrows at the
    huge grey gut.

    The grey beast, mocking, smiled.

    At long last, in a rose-red dawn,
    the artist whispered "Help!"
    The grey beast muttered sadly:
    "You despise me. Be yourself "

    The grey beast nibbled on his toast,
    Blandly scratched his crusted head;
    Casual, as statement (not as boast)
    He grunted, reading:
    "Artist-fellow, Mais, is dead."


    by Anthony McNeill


    The wind is crisp and carries
    a tang of the sea. The flowers
    bur richly against the grass.
    The grass itself shines and is precious.


    Ahead, the sky and the ocean
    merge in a stain of blue. On the beach
    yesterday lolloping tourists
    were posting umbrellas like crosses.


    This morning I chose to stay home,
    to watch the cats and think of
    Columbus. And the grass is precious
    merely because it belongs to us.

    The Sunday Coronation "KING"

    by Dennis Scott

    ". .. and I find that my stuff is getting so
    plain that I am scared. You know, it
    simply becomes like a vase, or a glass of
    water, or something... "
    Derek Walcott

    Queen in the house of my shadow,
    ruler over areas bounded by my hands
    outstretched, measures me drink. The tap glows
    brass and tender, my child sleeps. Toast. Room
    chair-straight and cool; no place
    here, no time. Sunday reconciles
    the bruised week, all the bare
    bright skirmishes in the flag of your scarf,
    and the kitchen-clock tick -
    because of your apron's fold
    because of your feet without shoes -
    muffles all morning, contains
    this unofficial kingdom steady, slow.

    My clinked knife breaks me wedges of content,
    crumbs roll as bright as a silence
    you shape round me, gold crumbs. No one
    brings me water that leaps as slow
    round in the wet glass, gathers light
    from all covers of the young and yellow
    Sunday like you, sovereign, sweet like water.
    Now birds outside wheel quietly, sipping peace
    from the still air in my house, your
    man served kindly; comfort now
    over me, you bring simply
    water, tasting of always.

    Morning paper comes.
    I wrap my calm in its crinkled news-smell
    (water turning clears room clean) I attend
    the court bf your solstice. Queen of my heart
    there are jewels of clear, wet loving
    on your fingers, the sun
    in the lensed glass circles us, joining.


    Drawings by Joan Lobban



    It would be almost as difficult as answering the question
    WHO IS MAN, to define ART.
    And to answer why man has a need in the seemingly use-
    less field of art, would be no easier a task than to explain how a
    relatively old woman, Helen, the wife of Menelaus, caused
    Paris to carry her across the seas and thus start the war that we
    call the Trojan. Man's quest beyond the satisfaction of his
    physical needs: food, shelter, clothing and the propogation of
    the species, has always been difficult to explain. Some, like
    Marx, Engels and the originator of the interpretation of dreams,
    Sigmund Freud, maintain that the economic and the sexual
    needs of man were the sole sources motivating art. In fact the
    Marxian sentence that "art reflects the means of production of
    a given era "remains largely a question begging statement. How
    true wold it be if a housewife would say that her dinners
    reflect the purse and the generosity of her husband. Both the
    Marxian analysis and my facetious question have a basis in
    truth; man cannot build a temple to tower over his mud huts
    unless he has stored some surplus in his granaries. The house
    wife cannot offer prime beef unless her husband is well paid
    and not a skin-flint; but why the Maya in Yutacan built
    pyramids about one thousand A.D. and then stopped, and why
    the Egyptians did the same in about two thousand B.C. cannot
    be explained in terms of pure economics and technology.
    Similarly when Freud said that the artist sublimates his sexual
    urges in his art, one can well understand why the Frenchmen
    Maillol, in his sculpture and the painter, Renoir, in his paintings
    were able to capture the luscious female body that did excite
    them; but it would be wrong to say that Maillol and Renoir

    Helen of Troy

    Maya Pyramid

    were frustrated bachelors masturbating mentally, as it were.
    Even if we go so far as to admit that energy can be channelled
    and this, the Hindus have always maintained, into various out-
    lets as Freud pointed out, the spinster not fulfilling her own
    motherhood but vacariously doing so in teaching or nursing or
    the soldier wasting his surplus energy in killing rather than
    begetting, it still does not add up to my mind, to a satisfactory
    theory of the origin of art.
    It is clear, however, that man is a most complex, in fact the
    most complex entity on the face of the earth. His needs are
    very various. Food, initially supporting life becomes the
    gourmet's sumptuous dinner at Maxime's. The folded branches
    that provide shelter from rain and sun become the glorious
    edifices of Karnak in Egypt and the golden palaces of Cuzco.
    And the animal urge to beget children can find refinement in
    the sexual act as displayed in the erotic temple sculptures of
    ancient India as well as in the elaborate fertility dances of the
    Gio in Africa; but this is not enough; the craving for an after-
    life has always found expression in the search for a hereafter.
    Be these Gods that lead man to eternity conceived in the ways
    of Hindu, Moslem, Animist, Jew or Christian. The craving for
    immortality is, I think, linked with the religious or eternal
    longings of mankind as much as with the desire of man to live
    in pleasing and pleasant circumstances.
    To express his longings for eternal form, man has always
    used two modes of expression the stone age murals of
    Altamira in Spain as well as the Skythian brooches of the
    South Russian steppes represent the earliest known duality of

    'Torso' Aristide Maillol

    by Alex Gradussov M



    4 Egyptian temple at Karnak
    ca. 2000 B.C.

    S Palace wall at Cuzco,
    Peru ca 1400

    6 Indian erotic temple
    sculpture ca 1000

    7 Masai Dance (East Africa)

    8 Mosque Jama Masjit, India

    9 African sculpture,
    Baluba, Congo


    Richard and Jane Pusey
    with their servant
    by Philip Wickstead 1775

    Seaside Fish Cook
    by Stafford Schliefer. 1969.

    12 13

    10 Bisons, cave painting at Altamira, Spain ca.10,000 B.C.)

    11 Scythian brooch (gold), Southern Russia ca. 7/6 Century B.C.

    12 Burial urn (excavated Roumania) ca 3000 B.C.

    13 Burial urn, Congo

    22 Vincent Van Gogh "Landscape in the Provence" (1888)


    14 Medieval Psalter illumination (ca 1200)

    18 John Constable 'Cloudscape'(1822)



    16 Sir Joshua Reynolds 'Lord Heathfield'(1 787)

    17 Manet "Nana" (1858)

    19 J.M. W. Turner 'Peace, burial of Wilkie at sea'

    20 "Delacrdix" head of lion (1860)

    21 Gauguin "South sea Islanders, Tahiti" (1900)


    23 Vlamminck "Harbour Scene" (1906)
    24 Picasso "Three Musicians" (1921)

    25 Mondrian "Broadway Boogie Woogie" (1941-42)




    26 Klee "Conspicious Might" (1924)

    S 27 Modigliani "Nude on cushion"

    28 Chagall "Maternity" (1913)

    29 Miro "Maternity" (1924)

    30 Oceanic, New Zealand 'Tikki' Pendant
    Jade & Mother of Pearl early 19th C.
    31 The Guggenheim Museum, New York City

    32 Pop Art (ca 1962)

    this artistic desire. It is almost like a cycle: first there is a
    desire to depict reality as closely as possible the bison of
    Altamira is as vivid today as he was ten thousand years ago, or
    there is the desire to simplify the complex world to symbols -
    and here the Skythian brooch as well as the geometric patterns
    adorning burial urns as far apart as Southern Sweden and the
    Congo basin, lend support to the need for abstract or abstract-
    ing art. Just at the moment we are in an abstracting phase of
    human culture.

    The medieval illuminations of the psalters gave way to the
    Renaissance frescos, academic painting has been displaced by
    'Modern Art'.

    Modern Art primarily was a desire to represent reality in a
    more compressed and symbolic form. But the immediate
    change from the academic school, painters who had restricted
    their palate to a medium brown a degeneration of the
    Baroque and Rococo vigour and vitality which dispensed to a
    certain extent with vivid colour, substituting energy and move-
    ment as well as a decorative element was disgusting to men
    like Manet and Monet. It is true that the Englishmen, Con-
    stable and Turner, and the Frenchmen Delacroix and Millet had
    already broken to a certain extent with the prevailing tradition.
    Particularly Turner's palette had the glowing intensity that was
    to characterise the whole Impressionist school. But these were
    individual geniuses who transcended the narrow confines of the
    contemporary Academic School. It was not a concerted on-
    slaught that was to lead from the Impressionist, to the Expres-
    sionist, and thence to Abstract Art, Cubism, and in a manner of
    revolt, to Dadaism and Surrealism. Somewhat confusing the
    picture are the so called "Primitives" Rousseau, theDouanier
    (custom official), and our own Kapo are good examples of that
    approach to painting.
    The Impressionists, Manet, Monet, Sisley, Pissaro and Renoir
    to mention only a few, were fired by the impulse to capture
    the real light of a scene. The intensity of their colours and the
    fluidity of their composition, expressed in far less precise brush
    strokes than was customary, managed to capture something of
    nature that had with the exception of perhaps Turner always
    escaped the painter's eye and the painter's canvass. It is only
    necessary to place a landscape in the Impressionist manner -
    and Albert Huie in Jamaica has followed to a certain extent
    that pattern alongside a painting by one of the classical
    painters, Reynolds or Ingre and one can see the tremendous
    difference in shade, hue and intensity of colour. Indigo, canary
    yellow, purple, scarlet and sometimes even black create an
    entirely new view of the surrounding world. The brown, ochre,
    muddy dull pallette has disappeared and has, I don't doubt it,
    no chance of resurrection.

    But the revolution of colour was to be replaced by the
    revolution of form. The Impressionists essentially wanted to
    improve the verisimility of the picture they painted, but the
    impulse that was to govern the successor generation, was
    simplification. An impetus, no doubt, came from photographic
    competition even though colour photography was not even
    thought possible (nonetheless in our own day, it is the supreme
    rival to any attempted "copying" of nature). Therefore, the
    Post-Expressionists had to reduce reality to the bare minimum;
    to make it a symbol or sign-post rather than a likeness of the
    object depicted.

    The Southsea Islanders of Gaugin and the landscapes at Arle
    of Van Gogh were the hallmarks of this new approach, but the
    master revolutionary of art was Cezanne: his landscapes were
    patterns and plans of the surrounding nature. And thus when
    the Fauve School of Painting, Vlammick and Matisse, came to
    the fore, their violent brush strokes, executed in primary col-
    ours, horrified the contemporaries and delight us. The dis-
    satisfaction with the inability of transforming the world as given,
    led to Picasso's Cubism, where Cezanne's pattern making came
    to its logical conclusion. In Mondrian it found another outlet.
    But for some, even that was not enough. Klee and Kadinsky
    created new forms and Chagall turned the world up-side-down.
    Pari-pasu with the abstract art went further experimentation

    in semi-representational art. Modigliani and Stanley Spencer
    are as modern as Miro and Rothko.

    The European Expressionists often guided or inspired by
    the primitive traditional art of other peoples, particularly
    African sculpture and Oceanic art, found satisfaction in the
    divorce of their art from the narrow confines of literalism. Not
    having to paint things as they appear to be, but as they either
    ought to be or might be. (In Jamaica, Parboosingh, within
    the context of his own interpretation, is an Expressionist) They
    gave art a completely new direction. Picasso's genius is evident
    in his ability to follow, or usually lead, the varying ways of
    modern art. As a classical painter, as a rebel and founder of
    Cubism, in his 'blue' period or as a passionate advocate of the
    essential purity of African art, Picasso constantly followed his
    impulse of re-creation and re-discovery of reality.
    But, after Picasso, it is hard to see an overall leader of
    modern art. The very fragmentation of life, the over-speciali-
    zation of learning and the emphasis on money-making as the
    yardstick of success in modern civilization have robbed the
    artist of an audience that is comprehending and appreciative of
    the values that the artist is trying to create. If in the past the
    patronage of the Church and of the wealthy patrons was in-
    adequate, there is no parallel institution to foster and nurture
    art in the modern world. The American Foundations that
    support art are often doing valuable work for art as a whole,
    but their influence is small compared with the aid dispensed by
    the Medieval Church or the Renaissance Prince Patron.
    Moreover society has become cynical about art and that, I feel,
    is at the bottom of the tremendous change in attitudes towards
    art that has taken place over the last hundred years. Banks may
    have pictures in their lobbies for prestige, the wealthy in the
    wealthy countries of the world still buy pictures, but the mass
    of educated and uneducated people that were in the mainstream
    of appreciation in by-gone ages, have become utterly divorced
    from any feeling or love for the visual arts. Advertising, the
    modern substitute, has so debased any genuine response to
    visual values that derisive laughter and jeers are the most com-
    mon response to any modern painting. But the people or the
    advertisers, or the businessmen of little taste even if of much
    wealth-.are not the only ones to blame. The very artists have

    The gimmick 'pop-art' or automatic painting or other
    such pretentious and inadequate cloaks hide usually the man
    who is out for a 'fast buck'. His aids, the modern art dealers,
    rarely have an aesthetic value system or even try to acquire one.
    Their aim is to make their discovery sell, and any means to that
    end, is fair game in the play for the market. Many talented
    young artists, particularly in the New World and in the under-
    developed countries, grasp eagerly for guidelines and embrace
    new creeds and new schools too quickly and too unthinkingly.
    The traditions of their homeland are cast aside, and metro-
    politan idols are put into the center of their market place. But
    the ultimate losers are all of us. Life is more hackneyed, more
    banal, less exciting, less satisfying; the senses of sight and touch
    have been lost. The world has become either garish and vulgar,
    or drab and conformist. The root cause of the decay, is the root
    malaise of our civilization an almost complete lack of direc-
    tion. Standards are neither set nor sought. Catch as catch can
    is the prime guide line. But the losers complain in the wrong
    terms, too. They feel that they have been left out, forgetting
    that often they have opted out. The whole breakdown is a
    reciprocal one. Artists forget that they must have and must
    help to create, an audience, and an understanding one atthat-
    and the Mecenases of society be they state or private must
    learn not to substitute size and artificial novelty, for feeling for
    form and depth of thought. The new art has to be born. Art
    as it has existed is on the decline. The best of it is worthy of
    our attention, and one can only hope that the young painters
    of Jamaica, people like Milton Harley, Howard Parchment and
    Osmond Watson, will continue searching for a style adequate to
    the Jamaican and the modern situation.

    Art is, and must be, at the heart of a people to make its
    culture survive.

    by Kenneth Ramchand

    "It's all so blasted silly and compli-
    cated. After all I've earned a right here as
    well, I'm a native as they ain't I? A little
    better educated maybe whatever in hell
    that means."

    (Palace of the Peacocks p.58)
    At the beginning of The History of the
    Caribby Islands (1666), translated from
    the French by John Davies, the author
    writes: "In the first place we shall speak
    of the inhabitants thereof who are stran-
    gers ... which having dispatched we shall
    descend to a more large and particular con-
    sideration of the Indians (the Amerindians)
    the natural and originary inhabitants of
    the country". With the European dis-
    coveries "the natural and originary inhabi-
    tants" of the West Indies were virtually
    eliminated; the small communities which
    survive in Dominica and Guyana today are
    regarded as marginal to the society. This
    would seem to account for the fact that
    the aboriginal Indian seldom appears, and
    is not a centre of social or political interest
    either in verse, in drama, or in fiction by
    writers from the West Indies, indeed, the
    1. As there is no danger of confusion with
    Indians from India in this article, the word
    'Indian' will be used in free variation with
    'Amerindian' to include the different tribes in
    Guyana, and the Caribs and Arawaks who
    dominated the islands.

    Their Role In

    West Indian


    fiction in which the contemporary Indians
    do appear2 either registers them as de-
    tribalised individuals in the towns("Bucks")
    or portrays them as exotic groups in the
    interior. Two historical novels3 in which
    they are prominent seek to picture a
    primitive already degenerate people living
    in a remote time, there being no evidence
    in these works of felt continuities between
    the present generation of West Indians
    and their ancestors on the land.
    In Palace of the Peacock (1960) and
    Heartland (1964), on the other hand,
    Wilson Harris discovers relevance in the
    Indians, involving them in three of the
    basic themes in his fiction: the unity of all
    men, the theme of re-birth, and the search
    for ancestral roots. At the same time, the
    author from Guyana makes the 'historical'

    2. See especially Christopher Nicole, Sha-
    dows in the Jungle (1961).
    3. H.G. deLisser, The Arawak Girl (1958)
    and Edgar Mittleholzer.

    Indian come alive' in a way that no other
    West Indian novelist or historian has been
    bold enough to imagine.

    The historical action lying behind
    Palace of the Peacock the European-
    pursuit of gold and the Indians in the
    sixteenth century is never far from our
    consciousness as we read the novel. Harris
    evokes the emotions roused by the coming
    of the invaders to the aboriginal village
    with great vividness, suggesting both In-
    dian excitement and European misgiving:
    "Our arrival at the Mission was a day
    of curious consternation and belief for the
    colony. The news flew like lightning
    across the river and into the bush. It
    seemed to fall from the sky through the
    cloudy trees that arched high in the air
    and barely touched, leaving the narrowest
    ribbon of space. The stream that reflected
    the news was inexpressibly smooth and
    true, and the leaves that sprinkled the
    news from the heavens of the forest stood
    on a shell of expectant water as if they
    floated half on the air, half on a stone.

    We drove at a walking pace through
    the brooding reflecting carpet unable to
    make up our minds where we actually
    stood. We had hardly turned into the
    bank when a fleet of canoes devoured us.
    Faces pressed upon us from land and

    water. The news was confirmed like wild-
    fire. We were the news.
    (Palace of the Peacock p.37)

    Harris's presentation of the meeting
    between invader and invaded does not
    allow us to make a stock response either
    to the historical conflict or to the peoples
    involved. A passage from H. G. deLisser's
    The Arawak Girl may help to show the

    significance of this. As the invaders'
    caravels approach, the Arawaks come to
    meet them with spears and shouts. Colum-
    bus wishes to be moderate:

    We must pacify, not antagonise, these
    savages; by pacific methods we shall bring
    them to do whatever we wish.'

    'But if they attack us Admiral?' de-
    manded one fellow, glancing from the
    deck of the Nina down to where the
    Indians in the canoes were brandishing
    their spears.

    'That is another matter, then indeed
    we shall have to teach them a lesson they
    will not speedily forget. But remember,
    we are Christians, and we are here, among
    other things, to spread the doctrine of
    Holy Church. We must forgive our
    enemies.' At the moment it did not occur
    to Don Christopher that he and his were
    really the enemy and that the people of
    the island could have no need of forgive-
    ness from them. But then the Admiral
    already looked upon the Indians as his
    King's subjects and therefore necessarily
    obedient to the governance of himself as
    His Majesty's Viceroy in these parts.
    (The Arawak Girl, p. 16)

    The authorial intrusions and the heavy-
    handed irony in the dialogue are part of
    an attempt to turn the reader against the
    invading Spaniards. Historical novels
    which re-create conflict situations from
    the past run the risk of persuading us to
    take sides, thus perpetuating those con-
    flicts. But although historical novels raise
    this problem in an acute form, it exists for
    most writers of fiction.

    'For while particular novelists may
    manage to make us identify with some of
    their personages without blocking our
    sympathy for the others, it is one of the
    limiting qualities of conventional novels
    dealing with characters in a social context
    (involving manners, morals, politics etc.)
    that they can force us to take sides so
    exclusively, it sometimes becomes tempt-
    ing to describe this kind of fiction as
    'divisive'. In The Arawak Girl, cited less
    as an easy target than as a convenient
    illustration, deLisser portrays the girl
    Anacanoa both as a fierce nationalist
    heroine against the Spaniards persuad-
    ing us to share her hostile attitudes to
    "these brutal pale-faced men . of an-
    other breed altogether'" and as a beautiful
    and exceptional Indian set apart from a
    decadent race so that we approve of her
    and despise her people in the mass.

    Wilson Harris's novels deliberately steer
    away from such divisive possibilities. The
    Amerindian woman captured by the in-
    vading crew in Palace of the Peacock is
    not cast as a heroine. She is un-named
    and aged; forced to accompany the crew
    in pursuit of the flying folk she shows no
    antagonism to the foreigners:

    We had in our midst a new member
    sitting crumpled looking like a curious
    ball, old and wrinkled. Her long black
    hair with the faintest glimmer of silvery
    grey hung in two plaits down to her
    waist. She sat still as a bowing statue, the
    stillness and surrender of the American
    Indian of Guyana in reflective pose. Her
    small eyes winked and blinked a little. It
    was an emotionless face. The stiff brood-
    ing materiality and expression of youth
    had vanished, and now in old age -
    there remained no sign of former feeling.
    There was almost an air of crumpled
    pointlessness in her expression, the. air of
    wisdom that a millennium was past, a long
    timeless journey was finished without
    appearing to have begun, and no show of
    malice, enmity and overt desire to over-

    come oppression and evil mattered any
    (Palace of the Peacock p. 71)

    But the reader's fear that Harris might
    be about to foist an equally hackneyed
    contrast between European materialism,
    and greed on the one hand, and native
    spirituality on the other is quickly dis-

    As the vessel enters a particularly dan-
    gerous section of the river, casually named
    in the novel "the straits of memory'" the
    use of the initially visual "tiny embroider-
    ies" as a metaphor for the disturbed sur-
    face of the river is the means by which
    Harris leads the reader through further
    sense impressions to blur the distinction
    between the passive wrinkled woman and
    the possessive river, and to receive a more
    dynamic relationship between them:

    "Tiny embroideries resembling the
    handiwork on the Arawak woman's ker-
    chief and the wrinkles on her brow,
    turned to incredible and fast soundless
    breakers and foam. Her crumpled bosom
    and river grew agitated with desire bottling
    and shaking every fear and inhibition and
    outcry. The ruffles in the water were her
    dress rolling and rising to embrace the

    Harris depends upon the reader's capa-
    city to feel the connection visually and in
    terms of energy, between the woman's
    long,flowing hair and the lively stream for
    a reinforcement of this identification:

    "This sudden insolence of soul rose
    and caught them from the powder of her
    eyes and the age of her smile and the dust
    in her hair all flowing back upon them
    with silent streaming majesty and abnor-
    mal youth and in a wave of freedom and
    (Palace of the Peacock p.73)

    At this point the reader is aware that
    the Amerindian woman wishes to possess
    the crew just as much as the crew wish to
    possess the tribe they are risking death to
    pursue. But another process begins in the
    sentence. The boat is in "the straits of
    memory" and it is about to crash, so it is
    not difficult for us to accept that at this
    psychological moment the woman should
    return to "an earlier dream of distant cen-
    turies . the Siberian unconscious pil-


    grimage" (p.72), from which it follows
    that she should become young and majes-
    tic again. This process seems to insinuate
    that in spite of the apparent differences in
    time and person and place, the present
    crew's quest is in the same spirit as that of
    the pre-Columban Amerindians.

    Meanwhile, the literal fact that both
    the crew and the old woman are in the
    grip of the death-dealing river precipitates
    the crew's and the reader's recognition of
    an ultimate unity existing at the heart of
    the most bitter historical opposition:

    "The crew were transformed by the
    awesome spectacle of a voiceless sound-
    less motion, the purest appearance of
    vision in the chaos of emotional sense.
    Earthquake and volcanic water appeared
    to seize them and stop their ears dashing
    the scales only from their eyes. They saw
    the naked unequivocal flowing peril and
    beauty and soul of the pursuer and the
    pursued all together.
    (Palace of the Peacock p. 73)
    Harris's imaginative use of the name-
    less Amerindian woman in one of his
    major themes the unity of man is
    remarkable enough, considering contem-
    porary West Indian attitudes to the Amer-
    indians. Yet it is worth noting as well that
    far from purchasing his effects by ignoring
    historical accounts of the aboriginal In-
    dians, Harris faithfully uses these as step-
    ping stones. Because of this it is quite
    easy to extract an accurate historical pic-
    true of the relationship between Amer-
    indians and Europeans from Palace of the
    Peacock, but the author makes us aware
    that to do so is to promote only one of
    the many possibilities latent in any histori-
    cal situation. His handling of Petra the
    pregnant woman in Heartland is equally
    uninhibited and equally faithful to the
    familiar facts.
    Like Mittelholzer's Kaywana, Petra is
    only part Indian. The other side of her
    ancestry is given uncertainly as "Portu-
    guese or Spanish". Her tribe, however,
    accept her fully. "repressing the fact of
    her mixed racial itock". But when it is
    discovered that she is with child "no one
    knew for certain for whom", she is cast

    out and begins a long flight which brings
    her to steal daSilva's rations, and with an
    imaginary pursuer on her trail to seek rest
    at Kaiser's shack. Here her labour begins.
    Stevenson, the novel's central conscious-
    ness, discovers her at this stage and helps
    in the birth. But as soon as he leaves the
    house to search for food for her, Petra
    collects her moveable belongings and her
    child and resumes flight.
    To extract Petra's story in this way is
    to show how much Harris the novelist is
    willing to forego (there is no story of
    Petra as such in the novel), and the extent
    to which the fiction is grounded upon what
    is easily credible and literal. But when
    Stevenson comes upon Petra he is suffering
    from the shock of a mistress's betrayal
    and flight, a father's death, and a con-
    sciousness growing in the jungle of unde-
    veloped capacities and possibilities in his
    own life as if he is himself pregnant with
    an uncertain unborn self. On the simplest
    level therefore, the confrontation with
    Petra, and Stevenson's participation in the
    ritual of birth images forth the introspec-
    tive process in which Stevenson has been
    involved: it is after the meeting with the
    Amerindian woman that Stevenson's new
    self is released. It is not difficult for the
    reader to grasp further that the image is
    not static, for we are made to feel that
    while Stevenson is literally assisting Petra
    in he4 labour, she is, in a less describable
    but none the less intimate way, being in-
    strumental in his birth.
    Yet while the work seems to give
    ancestral status to the Amerindians we
    must be careful to notice that Harris is
    not advancingthe sentimental proposition
    that the Amerindians are our true ancestors
    and once we make contact with them we
    will discover ourselves. For it follows
    from the author's conviction of the unity
    of all men that the ancestors may be dis-
    covered in any race, and that to restrict
    them to any one race, as is fashionable in
    some West Indian writing, is to reduce
    man's complex heritage. The most straight-
    forward expression of this view takes
    place in The Far Journey ofOudin where
    Hassan's hankering for India is ridiculed
    by his brother Kaiser, the latter seeing him
    as being able to pass more easily for a

    Hassan had just got the obstinate idea
    in his burning head that he wanted to
    return to India to circulate his ashes on
    mother soil.

    Kaiser protested. If he returned he
    would be looked upon as an outcast and
    an untouchable ghost. What language had
    he save the darkest and frailest outline of
    an ancient style and tongue? Not a
    blasted thing more. Remember too how
    much he had forgotten, Kaiser scolded
    him. The ceremonies and sacraments he
    fitfully observed were not a patch on the
    real thing. It was a dim hope, dimmer than
    their father's childhood and innocence.

    No, Kaiser said, I shall become a
    richer man then you. I am giving up rice
    and sugar for gold and diamonds. I can
    pass as a negro pork-knocker and I shall
    take a passage to the goldfields of Cuyuni
    and Mazaruni I shall steal into Venezuela
    and swim across oil.
    (The Far Journey of Oudin pp. 72-73)

    In The Secret Ladder (1963) on the
    other hand, so scrupulous is Harris's
    approach to truth, he allows the surveyor
    Russell Fenwick to distrust the way in
    which his mixed ancestry seems to be a
    mechanical and therefore parodic form of
    a desirable integration of races:
    He had never known his father who
    had been in his middle fifties (his mother
    being at the time in her late thirties) when
    he was born. Soon after, his father died
    suddenly. His mother possessed a very
    good snapshot: it acquired a sub-aqueous
    background look over the years but still
    revealed a dark big man of vital African
    descent. His mother on the other hand,
    was a delicate almost aerial figure of a
    woman, half French, half English. Her
    skin was like a fair East Indian's shadowed
    by night-black wings of hair. It was
    rumoured that along with her European
    stock she possessed a fraction of Amer-
    indian blood as well, and that her grand-
    mother was as Arawak as her husband's
    grandfather had been uncompromisingly
    Fenwick smiled. He had grown to dis-
    cern a curious narcissistic humour and
    evasive reality in the family myth. He was
    not ashamed of the unique vagaries and
    fictions of the ancestral past. Far from it,
    he was proud. . There was something
    guilty and concrete he had to learn to
    face, after all. Possibly it was all coming
    to a head and he would have no way of
    escaping in the end. Still he longed for an
    easy way out.
    (The Secret Ladder, pp. 36-37)
    But it is in the relationship between
    Fenwick and the aged African Poseidon
    that Harris's critical approach to the
    question of ancestral roots emerges most
    tough-mindedly. The surveyor and his
    men find their preliminary work on an
    irrigation project obstructed by the run-
    away slave villagers who resent these
    agents of technology and government as

    the latest threat to the freedom they
    have fled into the bush to preserve. It is
    within this frame that Harris explores
    the dilemma of Fenwick, the middle
    class West Indian with the refined up-
    bringing. The first meeting with Posei-
    don, the leader of the free villagers, is
    described as a confrontation with some-
    thing from a deliberately forgotten prim-
    eval world:4

    At first Fenwick saw nothing. But
    as he peered closely into the barely per-
    ceptible door of vegetation he discerned
    Poseidon's small upturned boat or corial
    buried in the grass. It could have been
    the black startling back of a boa-con-
    strictor, many of which often lay like
    this in the swamps and then vanished.
    There was the faint hoarse sound of an
    approaching body swimming in the un-
    dergrowth. Fenwick adjusted his eyes.
    He could no longer evade a reality that
    had always escaped him. The strangest
    figure he had ever seen had appeared in
    the opening of the bush, dressed in a
    flannel vest, flapping ragged fins of
    trousers on his legs. Fenwick could not
    help fastening his eyes greedily upon him
    as if he saw down a bottomless gauge and
    river of reflection. He wanted to laugh
    at the weird sensation but was unable to
    do so. The old man's hair was white as
    wool and his cheeks covered with wild
    curling rings looked like an unkempt
    sheep's back. The black wooden snake
    of skin peeping through its animal blan-
    ket and wrinkled and stitched together
    (The Secret Ladder, p. 23)

    Writing melodramatically to his moth-
    er, Fenwick tries to grapple with this
    ancestral skeleton:

    What will you say when I tell you I
    have come across the Grand Old Man of
    our history, my father's history in parti-
    cular? He has a Greek name Posei-
    don... I wish I could truly grasp the
    importance of this meeting. Ifl do not
    if my generation do not Leviathan
    will swallow us all. It isn't a question of
    fear it's a question ofgoing in unashamed
    to come out' of the womb again.'
    (The Secret Ladder, p. 38)

    Fenwick must accept and come to
    terms with a debased African heritage,
    but Harris shows the character as equally
    aware of the necessity to avoid setting up
    this heritage as a fetish. In the critical
    handling of Bryant who worships Posei-
    don unreservedly, Harris issued a politic
    warning against being carried too far by
    emotion ("To misconceive 5 the African,
    I believe, ifI may use such an expression

    4. Pancho, the half-Amerindian in Jan
    Carew's Balck Midas (1958) tells the hero of the
    novel: "Me mama was an Indian woman and
    gold-fire never light in she eye nor in she people
    eye. If it wasn't for you skipper, me would have
    lef' the gold just where it born in the earth
    5. Author's italics.

    as misconceive, at this stage, is to mis-
    understand and exploit him mercilessly
    and oneself as well"). Simultaneously,
    the tension that exists between Bryant
    and Fenwick is an externalisation of the
    very real conflict in Fenwick's mind.
    The surveyor's impulse to worship the
    old man is balanced by his realisation
    that although Poseidon and his fellows
    have avoided enslavement in their
    maroon settlement, nothing new has
    come of their escape; their static free-
    dom "has turned cruel, abortive, evasive,
    wooly and wild everywhere almost"
    (p.39). The maroon villagers6 are in
    fact enslaved again, frozen in their pos-
    ture of freedom. Poseidon himself, as
    the humane Fenwick frustratedly de-
    clares, remains incapable of responsive-
    ness to anything external to himself:
    ' "I can see in your eyes you don't care
    about anything I have said. Why don't
    you?" '(p. 52).

    As The Secret Ladder develops, Fen-
    wick and the reader come to see that
    Poseidon is important ultimately as a
    symbol of man's frail endurance and as
    testament to the need for a better
    humanity partly dependent upon "the
    digging up and exposure of the buried
    community he represented."

    "I confess I am appalled at his con-
    dition'; Fenwick spoke inwardly to him-
    self. The sound of his voice had been
    buried in the spirit of his avowal, so
    abstract and farfetched it seemed, it
    vanquished the pride of speech. "Yes, I
    confess I owe allegiance to him because
    of his condition, allegiance of an impor-
    tant kind, that of conscience, of the re-
    birth of humanity. And this is the high-
    est form of allegiance of all. It is the
    kind a man gives to a god. But surely
    this does not mean I must reduce my-
    self to his trapped condition, become
    even less human than he, a mere symbol
    and nothing more, in order to worship
    him! I would be mad'. He smiled
    woodenly at last like someone who
    had been humouring a hidden intractable
    child and began to speak openly

    Plain unwholesome understanding of
    history and facts and possibilities is
    important, Bryant. Take the unadorned
    facts of science, the plain economic
    structure of society shorn of worshipful
    emotion, shorn of this fiction offreedom
    you claim Poseidon alone possesses. I
    am glad we can see him as he is so that
    we can know what this life is, the hard
    business of this life, here and now (do
    you follow.me?) and indeed we can see -
    beyond a shadow of doubt the neces-
    sity for human freedom.' Fenwick
    stopped abruptly, trying to dam the
    flood of expression. He was filled with
    mounting uncertainty and an excess of
    (The Secret Ladder p.51)
    Harris's refusal to see the discovery of
    the African heritage as the solution to

    West Indian problems arises in part from
    his conviction of the unity of all men, and
    in part out of his habitually critical atti-
    tude to over-simplifications of experience.
    Because he is that phenomenon in con-
    temporary writing, the author with an
    individual vision not needing to be prop-
    ped up by the more obvious social and
    political themes, he is able to use as
    symbols not only the topical African pre-
    sence but the socially 'irrelevant' Indians.
    Returning to Petra in Heartland it should
    now be possible to see how her ambiguous
    parentage stands for ignorance of real
    origins and for the difficulty of coming to
    terms with national or racial heritage.
    Similarly, her uncertainty about the
    fathering of her child means that she
    does not know what she will give birth to,
    or by what midwife's agency. In this
    sense, Petra's history is that of man over
    the centuries and of the modern West
    Indian in particular searching for the true

    At the time when her expulsion from
    the body of the tribe occurred, it left her
    dazed and beaten, immersed in the heart
    of a painful brooding insensibility, like
    one beginning to learn to live on technical
    scraps of stunned memory in a way she
    had only glimmeringly perceived before in
    a series of losses, raids and deprivations.
    (Heartland, p68)
    For Harris, as for Walcott there can be
    no easy answers, and no premature cele-
    No temples, yet the fruits of intel-
    No roots, yet the flowers of identity,
    No cities, but white seas in sunlight,
    Laughter and doves, like young Italy.
    Yet to find the true self is still arduous,
    And for us, especially, the elation can
    be useless and empty
    And this pale, blue ewer of the sky,
    Loveliest in drought. 7
    I A e-.._ t

    6. It is instructive to compare Harris's
    treatment of the maroons with Namba Roy's
    idealising reconstruction in Black Albino (1961).
    7. Dereck Walcott 'Allegre' in In a Green
    Night (1962).


    Photography '9
    by John S. Lopez, Vice President, Professional Photographers Association of Jamaica

    The Professional Photographers Asso-
    ciation of Jamaica was founded in 1953
    by Mr. Walter G. Morals, M.R.P.S., J.P.

    Mr. D. K. Corinaldi and Mr. L.
    Cruchley joined Mr. Morals in his pro-
    ject and together these three men be-
    came the motivating forces in building
    the association membership to approxi-
    mately sixty photographers then work-
    ing throughout Jamaica.
    The aims of the Association were to
    establish and maintain high standards
    in photography at the professional level.
    It was also felt that such an organisation
    could project a better professional image
    and create interest in the work of the
    commercial photographer through pub-

    lic exhibits and competitions.

    The first exhibition was held at the
    Crafts Market. There have been sub-
    sequent exhibitions at the Institute of
    Jamaica. However, the most recent
    display was held at the Tom Redcam
    Library from December 1-13, 1969.

    Some of the outstanding members
    of the early days of the Association
    were Mr. S. W. Harris, Mr. Stoodby
    Whyte, Mr. Eric Dawson and the late
    Mr. Wally Allen.

    Mr. Morais is currently the President
    of the Association, and has been pres-
    ident for twelve of its sixteen years of

    Some of the
    1969 Exhibition Award Winners

    A. Portrait (Black & White)
    Maria Layacona Silver Award

    B. Commercial (Black & White)
    William Van De Poll Silver Award

    C. Portrait (Colour)
    John S. Lopez Silver Award

    D. Architecture and Industrial
    (Black and White)
    James Chong- Blue Ribbon Award

    E. General (Colour) Silver Award
    Maria Layacona
    F. General (Black & White) Silver Award
    James Chong
    G. Architecture and Industrial (Black and White)
    Neville Hylton -- Silver Award
    H. J.I.D.C. Industrial Award (Black and White) -
    John S. Lopez
    I. Commercial (Colour) Silver Award
    John S. Lopez

    Tenk you for d(

    ...t^,,-- ~ .-^ m-q

    e Chrismus

    damacican iksow

    Lt1M ewa_ Y
    i &V Let ,u '

    n -
    sm w- o-tw var Po-t twir bM "ordbe r k Pa-Irba

    birldogads bam-bo walk


    eCxy~ y e C'",fmmus

    Tm i New Yw 7venkkou 6 caab iiean,


    \ ---Z--~

  • University of Florida Home Page
    © 2004 - 2010 University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries.
    All rights reserved.

    Acceptable Use, Copyright, and Disclaimer Statement
    Last updated October 10, 2010 - - mvs