Front Cover
 Table of Contents
 Back Cover

Title: Jamaica journal
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00090030/00059
 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: February-April 1988
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: VID00059
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

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Full Text

rl -

Treasures of

Jamaican Heritage

E! dna Manley's magnificent Horse
of the Morning, considered by many to
be her masterpiece, now belongs to the
nation. It was presented to the National
Gallery on 16 December 1987 by Mr
Michael Manley, son of the artist, and
forms part of the Edna Manley Collection
established to commemorate hermemory.
To date over 30 works have been donat-
ed to the collection which eventually
will be housed in its own special gallery
within the National Gallery.
Horse of the Morning was carved in
1943 out of Guatemalan redwood. The
figure is 4/2 feet high. It is one of a set of
sculptures executed in the decade of the
forties which the artist described as the
'Dying God' series, a concept given over
to the cyclical 'birth' and 'death' of the
sun and the moon.
The curator of the National Gallery,
Dr David Boxer, describes the carving as
representing 'a specific aspect of the
sun god, namely, his sexual, libidinous
aspect. He is caught in a moment of
searing erotic intensity with carefully
articulated "ping pong ball" eyes that
read both as suns and as symbols of a
fully charged sexuality.'

Vol. 21 No. 1

Jamaica Journal is published on
behalf of the Institute of Jamaica
12-16 East Street, Kingston, Jamaica.
by Institute of Jamaica Publications
All correspondence should be
addressed to:
IOJ Publications Ltd.
2A Suthermere Road, Kingston 10,
Telephone: (809) 92-94785/6
Olive Senior
Assistant Editor
Maxine Patricia McDonnough
Diane Browne
Sales Representative
Jackie Foster

Support Services
Faith Myers Secretarial
Eton Anderson Accounting
Design and Production
Camille Parchment
Patsi Smith
Back issues: Most back issues are
available. List sent on request. Entire
series available on microfilm from
University Microfilms, Ann Arbor,
Michigan 48106, U.S.A.

Subscriptions: J$60 for 4 issues (in
Jamaica only); U.K.: Individuals 10,
Institutions 15. All other countries:
Individuals U.S.$20, Institutions U.S.
$25. Single copies J$17 (Jamaica only);
U.K. 3; Other countries U.S.$7
All sent second class airmail.
We accept UNESCO Coupons.
Advertising: Rates sent on request.
Index: Articles appearing in Jamaica
Journal are abstracted and indexed
in Historical Abstracts, America:
History, and Life, and Hispanic
American Periodicals Index (HAPI).
Vol. 21 No. 1 Copyright @ 1988
by Institute of Jamaica Publications
Limited. Cover or contents may not
be reproduced in whole or in part
without written permission.

John S. Lopez
COVER: Olive Lewin (centre) as the public knows her best leader of
The Jamaican Folk Singers. (Here she is joined by singers Hazel
McClune (right) and Joyce Meeks.) But, as our story in this issue shows,
singing represents only one segment of Olive Lewin's busy life.

February -- April 1988

History and Life

13 Amerindiap Cave Art in Jamaica: Mountain River Cave
Sby Karl Watson


39 A Sloane Sampler
by T.H. Farr

The Arts

2 Olive Lewin: A Life of Service
by Laura Tanna

23 A Sextet from the Ms. Ungod in the Light of the Red Leaf
by Anthony McNeill; Stone Poem, Shantimee by Bob Stewart;
Conversations with My Mother by Edward Anthony Watson

60 Airy Hall, First Light; Airy Hall by Fred D'Aguiar

Regular Features
28 Art: Late Blossoms, Tributaries and Monsters
by Gloria Escoffery
Channels of Communication
by David Boxer
49 Music: 'Jamaican Dance'by Oswald Russell
A Descriptive Analysis
by Pamela O'Gorman
55 Books and Writers
Reviews: 'Karen Fog Olwig's Cultural Adaptation and
Resistance on St John
by B.W. Higman
David Dabydeen's Hogarth, Walpole and
Commercial Britain
by Jonathan Dalby
Namba Roy's Black Albino
by Elaine Brooks
Prize winners
Caribbean Profiles: Fred D'Aguiar
by Edward Baugh
Briefly Noted
11 Feedback
64 Musgrave Medallists
46 Contributors



Olive Lewin (left) is caught at her happiest making music. Jamaican Folk Singer member Janice Braham is at right.

Olive Lewin

A Life of Service

By Laura Tanna

Olive Lewin, director of art and cul-
ture in the office of the prime minister,
counts her riches not in material gain,
but in the currency of community serv-
ice. She is best known for the founding
of three organizations: the Jamaican
Folk Singers; the Memory Bank to
document the country's oral traditions;
and the Jamaica Youth Orchestra to
give Jamaican children an opportunity
to learn the language of stringed instru-
ments. Yet, as her recently awarded
gold Musgrave Medal indicates, her serv-
ice has been greater even than this.
Loved by many, considered 'diffi-
cult' by others, Olive Lewin shared her
often more guarded thoughts as she
spoke during interviews in July and
August, 1987 about the influence of her
formidable father and gentle mother,
her studies here and abroad, and the pri-
vate tragedies which have contributed to
the creation of this very complex artist,
educator and community servant.

Born in Vere, Clarendon on 28 Sep-
tember 1927, the second of three
daughters of Asanath Sylvia and Rich-
ard James Mahoney Lewin, Olive Lew-
in remembers her childhood with mixed
feelings: 'There was always an under-
lying sadness about my mother .... She
was a very gentle person, very sensitive
and easily hurt. She didn't talk much. I
used to feel very privileged because
when I'd go home as a big person, she'd
come and sit in the room with me and
talk. We were very, very, very close.
'She was keen on music and poetry.
Her sister was married to Claude Mc-
Kay's brother, U. Theo, so she knew a
lot about Claude McKay's work and
would quote him all the time. She loved
poetry and biographies.'
She was from the hills of Clarendon,
the Bullhead Mountains. Olive Lewin re-
calls, 'My grandmother, I remember her
so well. Everybody up there farmed but
she was a baker. My grandfather was a
smith. They would put me on the table
to sing and my grandfather used to love
it. I don't remember him apart from
that. As a matter of fact, both grand-
mothers used to love music, because al-
though Papa's mother was deaf, she'd
always ask me to play for her and she'd
always sit right by the piano. You'd see
her rocking in time to the music.
'My sisters were very bright. I'm told
Monica could read the newspaper when
she was three. Now she's a surgeon in
the U.K. My younger sister, Jeanette,
a nurse in Canada until she recently re-

turned to Jamaica, was always very
quiet and withdrawn. I was the one who
would run hither and yon for Mama.
I so adored my mother that if she said,
"Come!" I'd drop everything. Mama
sensitized me to sounds and sights. She'd
watch out for birds migrating from
North America; we'd hear Jonkunnu
bands rehearsing for Christmas; Nine
Nights; all sorts of things like that.
'My mother had been married before
and had a son. She'd been married to an
overseer on an estate in Vere and he was
murdered by a jealous husband. I think
that that was the underlying sadness in
my mother's life .... She was a teacher,
but we knew that home came first. Mama
took us home at mid-day for lunch and
again after school. But Papa, who was
also a teacher, would get home at six
o'clock, because he was always helping
students. He never charged for private
lessons but he was always giving them.'
Her father dreamed of becoming a
doctor and had actually enrolled in the
University of Pennsylvania to study
medicine. He was born in 1888 in
Hayes, Clarendon to a master carpen-
ter who was a disciplined perfectionist.
'My brother-in-law traced one side of
Papa's family to Sierra Leone,' Miss
Lewin recalls. 'Certainly part of his
family were descendants of slaves. We
have always been proud of the fact that
it must be my great-great-grandfather
was sold in the schoolroom where I
went to school, and where my father
became headmaster and then manager

A Jamaican Folk Singers concert is full of colour, drama and movement as well as song. Here, in a
hilarious scene from an old-time 'Tea Meeting', Olive Lewin (left foreground), is greeted by the
Chairwoman, Lilieth Nelson.

and eventually sat on the parish school
board. I've always thought, "that is pro-
gress, real progress".'
Richard Lewin graduated from Mico
College, then travelled to the United
States where he worked in a white-collar
job at John Wannamaker's department
store. 'That was quite a story, because
of course in those days a person like
him would not get a clerical job, but he
did, so he was able to support himself.'
Her father left his job and medical
studies when World War I broke out,
went to London and attempted to en-
list but was rejected. He attended the
College of Preceptors, obtained his B.A.
and then became secretary of the
Young Men's Christian Association
(YMCA) and in that position travelled
to India ('He made sure to meet Gandhi.'),
Tanganyika, as it then was, and to the
Gold Coast, now Ghana.
'I don't know how long he was with
the YMCA in London but he came back
to Jamaica and started the YMCA here
before going to teach at Vere. He ap-
parently had had quite a bit of money
saved up but it was banked in the U.S.
and during the Depression he lost it all.
He had already bought his home in
Clarendon and some fourteen acres of
land which were like our back yard and
he had a car, a model T Ford, which
he gave up early in the thirties because
he suffered from night blindness -
which is, I suppose, another reason why
these modern views about cars and big
TVs mean nothing to me. These were
things that you used; they weren't
kudos or status symbols. What we had
were books, books of knowledge. Papa
would fire questions at you all the
time, I mean even at breakfast. You al-
ways had to be thinking.
'I believed our life was quite nor-
mal. It's only since I've grown up I've
had friends who say to me that they
never realized that there were people
of "worth" in the black middle-class
until. they met my father. He never
allowed anybody to talk about colour
in our presence. If you said the person
is "black" or "white", he said, "That's
not important", and if you ever used an
expression like "bad hair" or "she's
black but nice looking", you'd get two
hours of lectures.'
Miss Lewin remembers with amuse-
ment an incident in her youth. 'My
father was very keen on exposing us to
the arts of quality. In those days we
heard live performances of people like

Menuhin, and Heifetz, Moiseiwitsch and
Rubinstein at the Carib Theatre, or
Marian Anderson and Paul Robeson in
the park or at the Ward Theatre. On one
occasion we were going to a recital at
Carib. I guess we must have looked very
countrified and I suppose not many
people looking like us went to those
things, so the man at the door, in his
livery, met us on the step and said,
(pompously) "Sorry, no pictures to-
night, you know".
Teacher Lewin believed in action:
'He fought for Vere to have a technical
school there. Papa would write the
ministry of education and get no reply,
he would telegraph and get no reply so
he'd take a taxi from Hayes, on a teach-
er's salary, and he'd arrive. This used to
really upset people, even in the family.
But I always used to think he was right
and if he felt that was how he should
spend his money, that was how he
should spend it.'
Asked if she grew up in a happy
home, Miss Lewin replied: 'Yes, happy
. but more stable, even though Papa
was hardly there. He was always teach-
ing someone or conducting choir prac-
tice or 4-H or looking about a co-
operative for the district. He was a com-
munity worker and even when he was at
home there was a constant stream of
people coming in to get tickets to go to
the hospital, to have him as a Justice of
the Peace sign things. The police were
coming for him as he was on the pro-
bation council or something. So there
was a constant stream of visitors. I
never resented it, though I'm told I'm
very much like him. My mother used to
say, "You and your father are in the
same' mould". But I thought he was
right. Mark you, we didn't get on very
well, my father and I, for a long time,
and people said it was because we were
so similar.'

Teacher Lewin fought not only to
improve the quality of life for those in
his community, but to ensure that his
own family received their just due. Miss
Lewin recalls: 'In the thirties secondary
school education wasn't considered the
norm for black people. We sat a scholar-
ship exam, 300 people like me who had
been to primary schools but could not
afford the secondary school fees, and
one got the scholarship. This was the
Vere Scholarship founded by Raines
Waite. They wouldn't give it to me.
They said too many Lewins had won it,

Olive Lewin

because my older sister and two cousins
had won it. I'd got the highest marks to
date so my father went to the governor;
Papa took it right to the top and said,
"You know this is unfair". Miss Lewin
got her scholarship.
'Papa always felt that education
should be something that rounded the
individual. When he saw the prospectus
for Hampton he liked it because he
noted that at Hampton it was ninety
girls, and we had thirteen pianos, drama,
Greek dancing (laughs), a lot of games
- tennis, cricket, netball, deck tennis -
and we did drill which was very good
discipline. The school had an art studio
and a science lab, which really impres-
sed my father because in those days
girls weren't supposed to do things like
that. And we did home economics and
gardening so we learned to get proper
dirt under our nails.'
Hampton was so highly regarded
that children of oil company executives
in South America and British senior civil
servants stationed in the Caribbean
would be sent there. Millicent Knight
and the Lewin girls were among its first
black students.

'I was sort of like a mascot because I
played the piano well, and the musicians
were always part of all the school func-
tions. I played the violin, I played games
and I didn't really think that anybody
was different. I was very popular.

'There was quite a hierarchy, come
to think of it. I won't call names but
there was one family, very well-off plan-
tocracy, and they would speak to
another family, who were also well-off
plantocracy, but they wouldn't speak to
the ones two steps below and it went
like that. We were right at the very bot-
tom (laughs) but I never realized that or
I just wouldn't face it. My sister would
allow people to tell her what I thought
were very impertinent things. And these
were people who she had to help with
their work. Well I wouldn't take it. And
when they came back to me after holi-
days and said they used to call me
Baby Lew "Baby Lew, can you help
me with some math?" I'd say, "No, my
love. If you can't recognize me on King
Street, don't recognize me at school."
They'd just have to put their tails be-
tween their legs and slink off. But they'd
know that next time they must either
be polite to me, wherever they would
see me, or else. I'd probably relent, you
know, but...

'I went to Hampton when I was ten.
When I tell you I was wingi! [skinny].
They used to call me 'jigga-flea' because
I was just like a flea. I used to be al-
ways doing something, just jigging a-
round. I suppose I must have been hy-
peractive, which may have been one rea-
son why (laughs) I would take on staff.
The headmistress was very diplomatic
and very fair, so if a member of staff
was unfair to you and some of them
were, and it was usually because of my
colour I could always go to her and I
would go to her. Now my sister would
not be so quick to go to the head-
mistress. She was far more ladylike and
withdrawn, but I fought.
'At school I was constantly being ur-
ged to become a doctor. I can remember
a lady, who will be nameless but she and
her husband sat on every scholarship
committee that there was, and she told
me in no uncertain terms, "As long as
you continue this stupid idea of be-
coming a musician (and she was a musi-
cian and did a lot for music in Jamaica)
you will never get any of these scholar-
ships. You have a brain. You should be
a doctor." When I won the scholarship
to the Royal Academy of Music and
Miss Rainforth [the headmistress] gave
the school a holiday well, I mean, for
this little black girl to earn everybody a
holiday was quite a thing.
'There was one scholarship (of 100)
for the West Indies every year. I'd won
the scholarship in 1943 during the war

but couldn't leave for London until
1945, right at the end of the war when
things were very hard. It was very diffi-
cult for my parents who had to pay all
my living expenses.'

Only one thing marred her depar-
ture from Hampton. 'In the second term
before I was to have left school and
taken Higher Schools exams, we got a
new headmistress from England. I dis-
liked her intensely. I was head girl and I
thought she had no respect for Jamaican
ways. She made scathing remarks and
she called me one day and said, "I see
you have won a scholarship to the Royal
Academy of Music, but I see that you're
taking science in Higher Schools" (be-
cause I was taking maths, physics, chem-
istry and biology). She said, "This can-
not work. So I have three alternatives
for you. Either you continue sciences
and we enter you at med school, or you
take up your scholarship and take up
the arts subjects, or you pack your
boxes and go." I will never forget those
'I said, "I will pack my boxes and go."
But my sister was on the staff and told
me I should never have told the head-
mistress that. But that woman made me
change to English, French, history and
geography a term and a half before leav-
ing school, so I never took Higher
Schools. Had I not been so very serious
and prepared myself so well I wouldn't
have been able to get any post when I
went back to England to work in 1955,
because I had no academic qualifications,
except the eight music diplomas I had
obtained. People don't usually have that
number and it was fortunate I did.'
During the interim between gradu-
ation from Hampton and leaving for
London, Miss Lewin taught piano and
music at Alpha in Kingston while con-
tinuing her own piano studies with Miss
Beulah Shirley and violin with Miss
Doris Livingston.


Once in London in 1945 she set so
assiduously to work that her original
two-year scholarship was extended to
three and then four years. Instead of
one main course of study with one
secondary, she obtained permission to
do one main and two secondaries. Her
main study was piano, both for per-
forming and teaching, while her second-
ary subjects were violin for teaching,
and the harmony, counterpoint and
composition course. 'It's a diploma that

Olive Lewin with Professor James Ching after
her first Festival Hall recital in London in

A beaming young bride, Olive Lewin with her
first husband Leslie Edwards at their wedding
in London in 1957.

The Lewin family: seated are Richard and Asanath Lewin; standing
fl-r) are daughters Olive, Monica and Jeannette.







a lot of people don't even know about.
The year I took it there were three of
us. I was very conscious of having a
unique opportunity of studying music
so I wanted to do as much as I could.
'At that time music was for me school
music, choir music, church music, and
folk music was in a different category.
I loved it but I hadn't thought of it as
something you studied. It was there that
the neglect of our indigenous music first
struck me with great force. I took the
harmony, counterpoint and composi-
tion course for my general knowledge
and understanding but it has served a
great purpose for me in dealing with
arrangements of folk music. For in-
stance, in Kumina, you get a song like
"Bad Mada-in-Law" you have to deal
with it contrapuntally. If you try and
deal with it with blocks of chords,
you distort it.
'We also had to do a special study
and write a paper on it. I chose Rus-
sian music because I thought that would
give me insights into the journey from
folk music to art music, and it did.

'On graduation in 1949 I was asked if
I would be interested in staying on at
the Royal Academy of Music as a sub-
professor but I wanted to come back to
my home in Hayes. I also felt that Britain
could do without people like me and
that I probably could make a contri-
bution to education and cultural deve-
lopment in Jamaica.'

Olive Lewin taught at Hampton for a
while then resigned and went to King-
ston, this time to start her own music
studio, giving lessons to students such
as Jean Anderson who won a scholar-
ship and now herself teaches music in
Kingston. 'I had a beautiful boys'
choir at All Saints' Church and did
other community work,' she recalls.
After two years she joined the staff at
Knox College whose headmaster, Lewis
Davidson, she greatly admired for his
revolutionary attitude to education.
But then she heard Albert Ferber
play. 'He was the most sensitive pianist.
He and Menuhin are my ideal. Menuhin's
playing is not flawless but what a com-
municator, what a human being! When I
hear him or Ferber play I know I'm in
the presence of greatness. Ferber was to
me a real channel of the music he was
playing. He never got in the way. I spoke

to him after a recital and he said that he
had been trained by James Ching.
'I had been very happy with my pro-
fessor at the academy, Harry Isaacs
S. and my violin professor, Beatrix
Marr, was a beautiful person. But I
thought that Ferber played in the sort
of way that I would like to play. So I
went back to England in 1955. I didn't
even know if Ching would have me.'
After a successful audition she joined
a select group being groomed for the
concert stage and made her debut at the
Festival Hall in 1956.
Nonetheless she maintains, 'I'm not
good concert material. I'm not com-
petitive enough ... Later on Rita Coore
helped me with interpretation and fine
tuning my technique. In England I did
two recitals in the Festival Hall and one
in the Salle Erard, a private concert hall
of the Augeners Music Company. And I
was constantly playing in churches. On
principle wherever I was asked to play,
I played.'

Despite her concentration on music,
Olive Lewin once more found time for
her other love, theatre work, often with
Carmen Manley and Nadia Cattouse. It
was while doing a Trinidadian play at
the Irving Theatre on Leicester Square
that she met her first husband, a Trini-
dadian musician.

'He was the leader of a steel band
which toured. He was brilliant and his
band, "The Caribanas" was fabulous.
But what he couldn't do in two minutes
he didn't do at all so we sort of comple-
mented each other because I'm a plod-

They married in 1957 but being a
career woman and a wife proved inten-
sely painful. 'It was very difficult be-
cause he was jealous, even of my music.
As a matter of fact I postponed a recital
once because it was upsetting him. I
used to practice five hours a day, work
to pay for my lessons, and also teach far
away from home, so it was quite a lot.
Sometimes I couldn't manage to prac-
tice when my husband wasn't there and
if he saw people admiring me through
the music he'd get very upset. I told Mr
Ching and he said, "You must feel happy,
fulfilled, as a human being first, and as a
woman, before you feel fulfilled as a
musician. So cancel the recital." I went
home quite ready to cancel the recital
and closed the piano. After a few days
my husband noticed that I wasn't prac-
tising and said, "What's the matter?"
And I said, "I realized that my practi-

sing was upsetting you." He said, "But
without your music you're not the same
person." So I never .. I couldn't get it
right. I couldn't get it right.
'And then he didn't want me to have
children, didn't want to share me with
children, and that I couldn't face be-
cause between a husband and a child I
had absolutely no qualms about which
I would sacrifice. He was very unhappy
when I became pregnant and that was
when things became almost impossible
and in the end I was advised to come
home before having the child because
if I had the child there, he could keep
me there forever, because he could legal-
ly prevent me from taking the child.
And of course I wouldn't leave the
Johanna Lewin was born early in
March 1959, three months after her
mother's return to Hayes, Clarendon.
Six weeks later Olive Lewin was back at
work, this time teaching at her father's
alma mater in Kingston, Mico teachers'
training college.


Miss Lewin remembers: 'The prin-
cipal then was the Hon. Glen Owen who
had done a great service through music.
He had once been in charge of the Stony
Hill Reformatory and used music to
help boys with problems. Some of Jam-
aica's finest musicians were his pro-
'I had strong views about the mini-
stry of education's attitude to the pre-
paration of student teachers for music,
that they had only to pass a theory ex-
am.' She felt some students might never
pass the theory exam but could learn
to use music to enthuse children and
enrich a school's curriculum. 'I remem-
ber when I told Una Marson how I felt
about music, music education and per-
forming not for the sake of an indi-
vidual to say who is the best, but to en-
rich life and to release people's creative
energies. She said, "You're absolutely
right!" and gave me the courage to
withstand the buffeting I got from
people who were very rigid in their
Because Olive Lewin knew that Glen
Owen so approved and encouraged her
use of music in human and community
development, she evolved a schedule of
taking Mico students with her at least
once a week, on different days, to the
Foreshore Basic School, to Bellevue
Mental Hospital, and to Boys' Town.

'The bursar at Mico, Frank Ffrench,
and his wife, an organist, were very in-
volved with both music and the Fbre-
shore Basic School which was in an
atrocious slum and got me interested
in it. It was a lot of Rastas whose child-
ren were lockede" and couldn't go to
other schools. I loved them of course.
Some of the men used to come and
menace me: "Why yu bring all these
white people music roun here fa? Jezebel
S. ." And I'd just play deaf. The child-
ren loved their music and after some
months when my car bumped over that
beach, the schoolyard was full of Rastas.
'My first contact with Mr Seaga was
in 1959 because he was the member of
parliament, and when I wanted to take
the children out, taxis wouldn't go there.
So I'd call him and he'd always provide
his car. The people and I became great
friends. They used to talk to me and so
I got a sort of understanding of their
philosophies and problems and that was
one of the things that made it easy for
me to do the research. I even had the
children on television singing and so on.
'I tried to stop the ministry charg-
ing the children a shilling a week for

school by saying, "It cannot be right
that my child is going to Mico Practi-
sing free and these people who are fight-
ing crows for food out of garbage cans
have to pay." In the end I collected
money from my friends so the child-
ren needn't pay.'
Four years later, without warning,
the school was razed for urban develop-
ment and Miss Lewin admits that she
Another institution to which she
took her students to work was the men-
tal hospital.
'At Bellevue for the first three months
I cried every week. But it was something
I couldn't give up. What first shook me
was a girl who said, "Do you remember
me, Miss Lewin? You taught me in
secondary school." She had been a vic-
tim of incest and that girl was there for
years, and years, and years.
'Every year I have a tea party for
them in my home. And I had them in
Festival. They used to come through the
zone regions and get into the parish
finals. Nobody knew what choir it was
and some of the staff would be in it too.
It was wonderful.'

After giving music classes at Belle-
vue every Monday for twenty-one years,
the work load of her current job in the
office of the prime minister forced her
to stop.

'I also established a choir at Boys'
Town. In those days little boys could
earn ten shillings backing pop singers
with "Eh, eh. Yeh yeh" and I persuaded
their parents, "It's not worth it. Don't
do it." We had this beautiful choir which
sang at Bellevue, and at the children's
hospital and they helped other people.
Up to three weeks ago a young man
came to say hello and tell me, "I'm one
of your old Boys' Town boys." It real-
ly made me feel good.'
Despite her great admiration for
Glen Owen, Miss Lewin felt that the
ministry of education wasn't moving
fast enough to put Jamaican culture at
the base of education. 'We can't start
with Palestrina and Purcell and so on be-
cause by the time you get to Bach
you've lost them for good. We should
start with where they are. I proved this
through my work in Bellevue and Boys'
Town, because those children learned
to read music without my ever giving


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Commerce has built great cities, great countries
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great nations.
In Jamaica, commercial and industrial trading
companies such as ICD are contributing mean-
ingfully to its economic development. By pro-
viding expertise, finance and professional man.
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how and professional skills. More precisely, ICD
carries out a continuous programme of training
at all levels of staff within the group, because ICD
believes that the greatest asset of any country, is
a knowledgeable people applying their skills
towards the improvement of the whole society.

Head Office: 7-9 H.bour Steet, Kingtn.
Together we achieve

them a theory class. So after seven years
I resigned from Mico. I seem to do a lot
of resigning' But not before she had es-
tablished a core of Miconians all over
Jamaica who are today active in com-
munity development work.

I0 Ei l

It was at this point that Barry Davies,
head of the Jamaica School of Music,
offered her a job, either to work on the
protection of Jamaican music or to do
research into Jamaican music. 'Of course
he had been sent,' Miss Lewin muses.
'And many years later Barry told me,
"You know, we didn't see the point of
this part of the school curriculum and I
must tell you quite honestly, we didn't
have any intention of helping you. But
we're glad to see what has developed."
He was man enough to say that.'
Olive Lewin was appointed research
officer with the Jamaica School of
Music on 1 January 1966, a job she con-
tinued for nine not always happy years.
She recalls: 'I was told it was mandatory
that I should be in school from nine to
four every day. If not, I had to sign out.
I remember one day going to St Eliza-
beth. They used to call its roads Jam-
aica's "back bone". It was an explora-
tory trip. I travelled alone and for that
day I did over 200 miles, in and out.
And I drew peoples' tongues. I saw men
working at the roadside and I'd stop. I'd
ask them all sorts of unnecessary ques-
tions. "And is so yu work, dry? No little
singing?" They'd say, "If its singing you
want, yu have to go over there. There's
an ole lady live over there. She's always
singing." And I'd go and sit on her kit-
chen step and she'd talk and I got one
song that day, but I made a lot of very
valuable contacts. And the school said,
"This is a waste of time and resources,
to spend a whole day to get one song."
It was just that they did not under-
'Those who did understand didn't
have the clout. As a matter of fact, one
of my strengths was Ivy Baxter. She
used to give me a lot of advice. I didn't
take it because I was afraid to go against
what I was being told, but she said,
"You'll wear yourself out. You must
take time off to recoup your mental
and physical energies, and every now
and again you must go away and be
quiet." You know, if I was going to col-
lect even Tambu music in Trelawny I'd
have to start from Kingston at five o'
clock p.m., work through the night, get

back and go to work. But they didn't
'When she advised me, I said, "Ivy,
I don't like the idea of just transcrib-
ing these things and putting them on
paper. I want people to hear them." She
said, "Yes, that's what should happen."
And that's how the Folk Singers start-
ed in 1967. The original Jamaican Folk
Singers grew out of a specific singing
event organized by the then Trinidadian
High Commissioner's wife and included
Monica Whyte, Eleanor Wint and my-
self. We brought in two members of the
school staff, the registrar Hyacinth Kerr
and Yvonne Southwood-Smith and her
husband Denzil, and then Stephanie
Williams and Lloyd Boyce. It was eight
of us. But for the first year I was very
careful not to use anything from the re-
search because I felt that people did not
understand what I was trying to do and
they would see it as an attempt to ex-
ploit the folklore, so I gave it time and
used the songs we knew and little by
little people heard and said, "Come and
sing here." Then we taped something
and that led to other things. At that
point in 1968 I got the permission of
the minister in charge to include music
from the research.
'But the attitudes were atrocious. As
children we were punished for playing
Jamaican folk songs. They were seen as
things to titillate, to be used in night
clubs. People actually told me, "You're
crazy. With your education and train-
ing you've gone back down, gone back
down into folk music." Even about the
Folk Singers, they said, "You sound like
people who gargle with perfume." In
other words, people like us were not
supposed to sing folk music. So Yvonne
Foster replied, "Yes, we do, but we use
Khus Khus." They said we were middle-
aged, middle-class people trying to sing
folk songs.
'In 1970, when the outpourings of
my grief at my mother's death were put
into a folk mass, I told Brian Wright at
St Margaret's that it was dedicated to
my mother and he said he wanted me
to do it in church. Some of the congre-
gation raised Cain because we played
drums in the church. I still don't know
how some parts of it came. When I was
teaching it for the performance I saw
melodies I didn't even know were in it.
I saw the melody of one tune of one
section was the bass of one of the others.
I don't remember doing that. It took me
two weeks to compose using folk music
as the basis, the rhythms, the harmonic

styles, some of it contrapuntal, some of
it homophonic, some of it just a melo-
dic line but it was composed music and
this was something else that people
could not deal with. Anything that was
off the beaten track, and they thought
was beautiful and worthy as music, they
assumed wasn't really Jamaican.'

Nonetheless Olive Lewin's research
into Jamaica's folk music led her to
reach out to other scholars and research
institutions abroad who responded
enthusiastically to her efforts. 'I had
written to the BBC, to the Smithsonian,
to the Library of Congress. I was hunt-
ing down Jamaican material and people
became interested. They said, "Why
don't you join the International
Folk Music Council?" It later be-
came the International Council for
Traditional Music (ICTM) and I was ask-
ed to become secretary of their radio,
television, sound and film archives com-
mittee. In 1969 I was given a Carnegie
Fellowship to visit archives and centres
of learning in the United States and that
was fabulous. That was where I heard
the sounds of Kumina on tapes at
Chapel Hill, North Carolina. I went to
Howard University, and at the Univer-
sity of California-Berkeley, when I
spoke with the professor there he said,
"What about taking a seminar for me
this afternoon?" And of course I
thought, "me?". He said, "It would be
wonderful." So I did and they offered
me a job. I refused and they thought I
was very stupid. It would have been far
more lucrative but I felt it would have
been almost dishonest. And he said,
"Unless Jamaica is different from other
Third World countries, they won't appre-
ciate you unless somebody else takes
you away." I went to Harvard, North-
western University, all over the place
and met fantastic scholars. Later in Jam-
aica I tried to get a linguist and a his-
torian to go with me to places like the
Maroon towns but it was seen as an at-
tempt to build an empire.'

In addition to the ICTM, she was ask-
ed to join the Institute of International
Communications in 1975, has often
been a consultant to UNESCO and is at
present on the Cultural Council of the
Organization of American States. Of her
work with these bodies, Miss Lewin
says, 'It has not been the big organ-
izations, but it has been the personal con-
tact, going to Japan and China and Java
and Hungary and to a little village in
France and drinking coffee out of a
bowl and realizing that when it says,



Tablet erected in St Peter's Church, Vere, in memory of Raines Waite.

"Me bowl of boiling coffee in the morn-
ing", it's not just Jamaicans that have
done it, or the Caribbean peoples. Being
invited to bring Memory Bank to people
in Costa Rica and seeing Jamaicans who
have been there for sixty years who
have not renounced their Jamaican
citizenship, is very humbling. Seeing
that when I was made the vice-president
(of the ICTM) my Third World Asian
and African and Black American col-
leagues took it so personally. You
know, they were thrilled! that has
meant so much, and Jamaica's always
being mentioned for her commitment
and contribution to scholarship and re-
search in these areas.'
In 1974 Olive Lewin married again
but is reluctant even to reveal her
second husband's name. 'He was a Gren-
adian who did science at the university
and we were on the staff at Mico to-
gether. Nobody knew we were friends.
I'm very discreet with my personal life.
He too played steel band so I seem to
have something in my blood about steel
bands, but he was Roman Catholic and
his mother was a Roman Catholic con-
vert, more Roman Catholic than the
Pope. She disapproved most strongly.

'He was duty-bound to go back and
do some teaching for the Roman Cath-
olic Brothers in Trinidad. He came
back to marry me. I wouldn't marry
him before he left because I wanted him
to be sure. I knew there were going to
be problems. I could have gone but I
could not take my child because as far

as the church in Trinidad and Grenada
was concerned, she was illegitimate and
if I had joined him I would have been
living in sin since they didn't recognize
my previous marriage and divorce. He
would have come back here to work but
just then Jamaica put in place this work
permit law and as a Grenadian he was
going to have problems. He could have
worked as a teacher but in Trinidad he
was earning far more than he would ever
earn here and I wouldn't pressure him.
So it was a matter of us living in two
different islands. We corresponded but
it really tore us apart. I was at home and
I had all the things that really interested
me here. I said, "Well look, I'm going
to be your wife for four years and if it
isn't worked out by then, that's it."
And I waited four years and it wasn't
worked out, so we divorced. I don't
remember how many years we had
known each other, but many years. We
were very good friends, very good friends.
He came back once and I went once but
it couldn't work.'

0 0 ED
In the meantime Olive Lewin left the
Jamaica School of Music and joined the
Social Development Commission (SDC)
at the request of prime minister Michael
Manley and his brother Douglas Manley,
then minister in charge of the SDC. 'I
knew Douglas very well from long ago.
He's a person I've admired enormous-
ly and I know his manner. After a meet-
ing one day I said, "Douglas, I haven't
heard anything about music in develop-

ing the human being", and he said,
"Olive, that's your business". That's all.
So I decided I would tackle what seem-
ed to me the worst area and that was
'The prisoners said, "You're not
going to stay here long because any-
body that is really interested in help-
ing us, they find a way to keep them
out." And I vowed silently, nobody was
going to keep me out. Mark you, I had
the blessing of the minister, but all I
needed was for the warden at the gate
to say, "You can't come in". And for
years the men said, "You too coward"
because I kept those rules to the letter
. . Many of the in-between administra-
tors said, "Prison is not a university",
and I just had to bury my pride. Some-
times members of staff would insult me
and the men would be angry ... It was
HELL but I wasn't going to let anyone
deter me. And the prisoners were really
very protective and good.'
Commenting on why she resigned
from SDC in 1978 when she so obvious-
ly found her work there fulfilling, she
observed: 'At the start O.K. Melhado
and Scree Bertram said, "Nobody will
involve you in politics." Very often it
is not the people at the top, it's the
ones in the middle who want to be
powerful. What bothered me was when
junior staff started to instruct me to go
and give a lecture on "Music and Liber-
ation", or "Music and The Struggle". I
said, "No, that's not my role." So the
minute politics started to enter into it
I wouldn't put up with that.
'I was out of work and nobody would
take it seriously. People would laugh
and say, "You can't be out of work in
Jamaica." It was Carlton Alexander
[managing director of Grace Kennedy]
who heard and took it very seriously.
I was at Grace Kennedy for two years
and that was a fabulous opportunity.
My work was in three sections. One was
educational: children, any school or
youth group that asked me to come and
help, I did. The second one was com-
munity work, so I was able to continue
the work in prisons and Bellevue. And
third, I was working in areas where the
company had factories, like the St
Andrew Settlement.'
She also started the Grace Kennedy
Children's Club which meets every Satur-
day morning with children from all
parts of Kingston, together with child-
ren of Grace Kennedy workers. 'I have
two children here whose parents are
millionaires and others whose parents

dW'ft Aibe ab31~mau

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as-lf~ opisr to 'Ros n Us
ei4 bobb semoce to manfo A~in"4
aub C2,Ij" fo 1?t.

~noue i reb mi'b o

morb ut beifd in 411or3lar I ao Efbucdion.
e %muallgen-a rialiart~~;JiIIbt.i~
yrK Ch l prib [der !vi l 113C xmtnon Nuti4no;
"di be lodriahP orfi, lecturtrS anb fiacclnq in Anbia onb 700,4.
~f~ ~s oiz~fnb~tn lue tme bu l'O
as ode fain anz L"'nru a ppointeb ag o 11ising,
5cto to edo61 ~j~ej in. 2 lJumucd ;r 14k
bnbiuwrvop ying mn sO 1 0 appreciation a~rwW~iguth i

Detail of illuminated manuscript presented to Richard Lewin
in' the Vere Old Students Association.

that is one thing she hasn't thanked me
Has Olive Lewin any regrets at the
toll her years of community service in
Jamaica's hospitals, prisons, schools and
government organizations has taken on
her personal life? She answers simply:
'Well, I believe firmly that nothing hap-
pens by accident. I think that had I re-
mained married in either situation I
could never have done the work that
I've been doing, which has been most
satisfying to me, and I think it has been
of use to my country. I also think I have
been able to make a contribution on
behalf of I don't want to sound arro-
gant on behalf of all peoples like my-

are out of work. The Youth Orches-
tra is another place you get that kind
of interaction. It's beautiful. This is
what we need, to stop infecting child-
ren with our adult prejudices and ignor-
ance because they could solve the prob-
lems, I think, if we left it to them.
'I've been accused many times of
neglecting my own child but I hope
she doesn't think so. I think her life
was enriched by my involvement with
folklore. She has absolutely no fear of
anything Jamaican.'
The first Jamaican female to qualify
as a helicopter pilot, Johanna Lewin has
not only made a career in the Jamaica
Defence Force, but is today married to
Gerald Belnavis.
'When she was eleven she would be
at a friend's house and walk home after
dark. I'd say, "Dont do that." When we
were raising funds, she'd take raffle
tickets down Slipe Pen Road and sell
there. You see, when I was at Mico, I
would have evenings when I'd simply
drive down, take the car seat out, put
it at the back of the hall or wherever
I was and she knew that whenever she
was tired, she was to lie down and

sleep. When I was doing SDC work and
research work, she would be in the car
with me. I always used to sing and
sometimes we sang together. But she
always was conscious of having some-
one with her.
'When I was in the prisons many of
them really loved her but I had to stop
taking her because she had never learn-
ed to judge people by appearances and
related to them as fellow human beings
which sometimes went against prison

'We would sometimes go and have
lunch of crackers and ackee cooked
without salt up in the hills with my Ras-
ta friends. And I would be told, "Don't
take your child. They kill children." All
sorts of things. I would leave her with
them and go and do things and come
back, partly as a proof of my confi-
dence in them. So she learned that
somebody who has very red eyes and a
frightening manner, with locks, can be
a wonderful person and I think that this,
was excellent education. It's education
that you can't get out of books. It's
very unique education. I also sent her to
boarding school at Hampton but I think


I must congratulate you on the high quality
of the Marcus Garvey Centenary issue of the
Journal [20:3]. However, I would like to
point out an error on the back cover which
deals with the ackee.
Research by the University of the West
Indies in the 1960s and 70s has shown that the
poisonous substance in the ackee is due to a
toxic amino-acid in the aril (yellow fleshy
part) and the seeds. I am sure that details of
this new research would make an excellent
article for a future edition of the Journal.

Angella Dixon (Ms)
16 Oxford Road
Kingston 5

We wish to correct two errors which ap-
peared in the Interview with V.S. Reid by
Edward Baugh [20:41.
Re the Foster-Davis family referred to on
pp.8 9: Marjorie Foster-Davis was Ernest's
wife and a teacher, but it was Ernest's sister
Ena who taught music.
In the caption to the photograph on page
6 showing the future site of the UWI, Dr
Thomas Taylor, the first principal of the
University College of the West Indies iswrong-
ly cited as the vice-chancellor, a post which
came into existence only after UCWI be-
came independent and ceased to be a col-
lege of London University.

'k 10 rl h r iiiol .. mi 8 *
a of

Amerindian Cave Art

in Jamaica

Mountain River Cave, St Catherine

Texts and Photographs
B\ Karl Watson

One of the distinguishing features
of early modern man (Homo sap-
iens) was his deliberate creation
of recognizable images. It is hypothe-
sized that this development took place
at the same time that man's primitive
speech patterns were evolving into a lan-
guage [Marshack, 1978] Therefore, at
the same time that man learnt to com-
municate verbally, he also developed
the skills necessary to communicate
pictorially he learnt to paint and
carve. The earliest and by far the most
intensely studied evidence of this
development comes from the Eurasian
landmass, some 35000 years ago. As
modern man replaced Neanderthal man,
true carving and art appear, the realis-
tic, polychromatic paintings of the Alta-
mira cave in Spain being one example
of early man's artistic sophistication.
However, at differing times and quite
independently of each other, similar
developments occurred wherever man
settled and there is an abundance of
evidence throughout the world testi-
fying to the creativity of our early an-
cestors. In Africa, Australasia and the
Americas, preliterate man has left in-
numerable examples of what Ki-Zerbo
[1981] refers to as mankind's first his-
tory books monuments proclaim-
ing 'his desperate struggle to dominate
nature and to attain to the boundless
joy of creation'. Perhaps the finest ex-

ample of this can be found at Tassili-n-
Ajiar in southeastern Algeria with over
4000 rock paintings.
In the Americas, analysis of pre-
historic art is contributing to a better
understanding of the timing of man's
entry into the New World and his sub-
sequent dispersal patterns throughout
the hemisphere. One such project is
being carried on in northeastern Brazil
at Pedra Furada, a site which gave car-
bon-14 dates which range from 32000
to 17000 years ago [Guidon, 19871.
These dates tend to substantiate reports
from elsewhere in the Americas and
indicate that man migrated across the
Bering land bridge earlier than was pre-
viously thought and dispersed quite
rapidly throughout North and South
In the Caribbean, examples of pre-
Columbian rock art have been report-
ed for almost every island in both
forms, pictographs (painted) or petro-
glyphs (incised/sculpted in the rock). It
is the latter form, the petroglyph which
predominates, especially in the Eastern
Caribbean where good examples are to
be found on St Vincent, St Lucia, Mar-
tinique and Guadeloupe. As far as
pictographs are concerned, the island
with the largest concentration of this art
form is Hispaniola, especially the eastern
side of the island the Dominican

Republic [Morban Laucer 1970; Pagan
Perdomo 1980; Vega 1975].
Examples have also been reported
from Cuba and Puerto Rico and we are
particularly lucky to have in Jamaica,
the Mountain River Cave site which con-
tains the greatest known number of
pictographs in the island and holds one
of the largest concentrations of pre-
Coljmbian art in the Caribbean. It is
one of several sites in Jamaica report-
ed on by Duerden at the turn of the
century and though temporarily lost
was relocated in the sixties.

Finding the Site
Mountain River Cave is located near
to Cudjoe's Hill in St Catherine. It is
fairly accessible and is reached via the
St John's Road, on to Kitson Town,
where the road climbs to Cudjoe's Hill,
every curve opening up new vistas of
thick lush forest interspersed with cone
shaped hills fading to a smoky blue-
ness on the far horizon.
On reaching Cudjoe's Hill, a sign
placed by the Jamaica National Heritage
Trust indicates that Mountain River
Cave is nearby and volunteers eager to
show you and your group the trail to
the cave quickly come forward, although,
it is best to ask for the capable Mr Linton
who will ask you to register and accom-
pany you to unlock .the entrance to the
cave which has to be grilled in order to
prevent vandalism.
A brisk three-quarter hour's walk,
adventuresome but safe in sensible shoes
down a cliff face into which steps
have been cut, across a gurgling stream
with its own private pools and water-
falls, and uphill through a cocoa walk -
brings you to the entrance of the cave,
which is rather more like an overhang
than a cave proper, although there is a
promising hole at the rear which on
closer examination turned out to be a
dead end.
The cave itself while not impressive
in terms of size, measuring some one
hundred feet in length, thirty feet in
depth and with a ceiling ranging be-
tween ten to fifteen feet, is neverthe-
less located in a setting which invokes
calm, introspection and perhaps even
fear. The site is thickly wooded, ele-
vated and within sound of water cas-
cading down a rock face in the river
bed. In our days of modern transport-
ation, it is still quite a journey to reach
the site. One may well imagine there-
fore the effort.to get there on foot in

the pre-Columbian period; the closest
Amerindian settlement of any time
period or culture in Jamaica's history
that we know of, is White Marl off the
Spanish Town Highway (where the Ara-
wak Museum is now located). We can
therefore deduce that Mountain River
Cave had considerable symbolic signi-
ficance for the people who visited it
periodically. It is important to note
that no evidence of human material cul-
ture save that of the rock art has been
found in the vicinity of Mountain River
Cave not even that most indestruct-
ible of artifacts ceramic sherds. The
artists came, painted and left the area
deserted until their next visit.

The Significance of Caves
A legitimate question to ask is,
what precisely was the function of
Mountain River Cave? The answer must
perforce be based on a series of educat-
ed guesses. A good starting point is to
consider the attitude exhibited towards
caves by early peoples. Most of the
world's mythologies show that early
man had an ambivalent attitude to
caves. They sometimes provided shelter
but on the other hand, they were the
abode of underearth creatures and evil
spirits. Caves, or rather, the things that
lived in caves or used them as portals
from the bowels of the earth had the
capacity to harm man. From earliest
times, therefore, caves assumed an im-
portant role in man's magico-religious
systems. Man had deep-seated fears of
the unknown, to which he often assign-
ed supernatural explanations. Good and
evil were real forces in his lexicon, of-
ten merely being two sides of the same
coin. Caves therefore provided man with
the opportunity to communicate with
forces which impinged on his daily
life, often threatening his very exist-
ence. He placated and supplicated, thus
ensuring continuity for him and his
group from the gods and spirits who
were ever present. As Rafael Delgado
shows in his work on Venezuelan petro-
glyphs [1976], even in modern Vene-
zuela, Indians have a healthy respect for
caves based on the fear of evil spirits.
Thus cave art gives-us some idea of the
world view-of the Indians, that is their
perception of the real and supernatural
worlds, the forces associated with them
and the human relationship to those

The Mountain River Pictographs
If we now examine in detail the
pictographs on the ceiling of Mountain

River Cave this might help us to deter-
mine their function and shed some light
on Amerindian cultural practices in
Jamaica and pinpoint linkages with
other cultures within the Caribbean
There are a total of 148 identifiable
pictographs in the cave, although the
total number may exceed 200, and four
or five petroglyphs. Some of the picto-
graphs, particularly those towards the
entrance, have faded and are almost
obliterated. Vandals some time ago
chiseled at the petroglyphs and have de-
faced some. Duerden mentions the
existence of a rock lying nearby with
petroglyphs incised on it, but this I have
never seen. The following table shows
the variety of figures at present discern-
ible at Mountain River, albeit with some
degree of subjective evaluation.

Iguanas (4)
Scorpion (1)
Turtle and egg (1)
Butterfly (1)
Tree frogs (4)
Flamingoes (6)
Herons (12)
Long beaked birds (15)
Birds facing each other (4)
Birds held in hand (4)
Animal/manatee? (1)
Vulture/John Crow (2)
Crab (1)
Monkeys (3)

Squatting figures (20)
Dancing figures (52)
Standing figures with
weapon in one hand (10)
Man with ceremonial
costume and headgear (2)

Fishing net (2)
Circle around hole (1)
Close examination of the paintings
showsthemto be slightly raised from the
surface of the rock, and as is the case of
the drawings in the Borbon Cave in the
Dominican Republic, the ink or colour-
ing substance used is black there is
no evidence of any attempt at poly-
chromatic work. Without chemical
analysis of the substances used to paint
with, one can only guess at their actual
composition, though it would appear
as if some bituminous compound was
used. If this was the case, then this
material was imported from elsewhere.


.. .and
all the way.

Berrnardo Vega [1975] states that in the
Dominican Republic, cave drawings
were made using guinep juice, mangrove
extract, animal grease, bat guano and
coal, and it is possible that similar sub-
stances may have been used here in Jam-
The roof of the cave is fairly well
covered with paintings, although the
centre and rear of the cave ceiling have
the greatest amount. This was un-
doubtedly where the painters concen-
trated their attention, though one must
remember that considerable deteriora-
tion has taken place on the periphery
and resulted in the loss of some picto-
graphs. There are no specific sequences;
the paintings in their totality do not tell
a story. It is quite clear that no attempt
was made to create a mural. Yet among
the mass of juxtaposed figures, it is pos-
sible to identify groups which seem
to have been placed together deliberate-
ly a group of tree frogs, several series
of squatting figures, birds together, li-
zards lying in close proximity and bird
men facing each other.
Under the broad headings used in the
table, let us look at specific examples,
at the same time drawing on reported
pictographs for other sites in order to
have a basis for comparison.
Some 41 per cent of the Mountain
River drawings can be classified as zoo-
morphic, 57 per cent as anthropomor-
phic and 2 per cent as abstract (several
remnants have been omitted because
it is impossible to categorize them).
When compared with the Dominican
Republic, the reverse tends to be true,
especially in the inland sites where
zoomorphic figures predominate.

Animal Forms
Mountain River Cave has a greater
variety of animals depicted than else-
where in the Caribbean. Birds are parti-
cularly well represented, as they are at
the Cueva del Borbon in the Dominican
Republic, and it is possible to distin-
guish several species, including vultures,
flamingoes, herons, stilts and other long-
legged wading birds. (Fig. la, b). There
seems to have been a decided preference
among Amerindian artists on the various
islands for the depiction of herons and
wading birds, often shown in the act of
stabbing crabs with their long beaks.
The Spanish priest and chronicler
Ramon Pane writing in the sixteenth
century recounts the myth prevalent
among the Indians of Hispaniola, that at
a point in time all the women of the is-


Note that the heavy dark line that appears in some of the photographs reveals the presence
of termites ('duck ants').

land left and were replaced by androgy-
nous humanoid forms. In order to cor-
rect this situation, the men tied long-
beaked 'Aves Pico' birds to these forms
in order to have them pick out their sex-
ual organs so that the men would once
again have women.
Iguanas, which were a source of food,
are shown, and a very long reptile which
I have identified as a crocodile is also
depicted. (Fig. 2). There is a cluster of
tree frogs drawn near the outer edge of
the cave's roof. They are easily identifi-
able as tree frogs because the artist was
careful to show the extended toe pads
used to grip surfaces. (Fig. 3). Through-
out the Americas, frogs were associated
with good luck and fertility and were
often selected as motifs by artists. In
the famous Museo del Oro in Bogota,
Colombia, there is a superb necklace Fig. 3
exhibited with fifteen gold frogs strung
on gold wire. In addition, tree frogs are
associated with rain, so necessary to
man's survival.
Other important pictographs show
monkeys which presumably would have
been brought to the island astrade items
or pets a feature still common among
the forest Indians of Guyana, Venezuela
and Brazil today, for they often capture
and tame wild animals for their personal
pleasure. Pictographs of monkeys are
also found in the Dominican Republic.
Another pictograph shows a sea tur-
tle and what appears to be an egg in
close association with it. (Fig. 4). Ange-
lina Polak-Eltz of Venezuela [1975]
suggests that a turtle in association with
a round object or solar symbol may
'represent themyth of the Warrau Indians Fig. 4
telling of the sun that sat on a turtle in
order to move slowly across the firma-
ment and illuminate the earth for a
longer period of time'. On the other
hand, the turtle may have been painted
simply because it constituted an import-
ant item in the Indians' diet.
Also of considerable importance is
the depiction of a medium-sized dog in
conjunction with other subjects.(Fig. 5).
For some time it had been believed that
the only dogs in the Caribbean were
small, of the edible variety found in
Central America. However, excavations ,-
on a prehistoric site in Antigua have
produced half of a canine mandible and
two ceramic lugs/handles decorated
with dogs of a medium size. Therefore,
this pictograph in Jamaica confirms the ..
existence of domesticated dogs in the
Caribbean. Of some historical interest,
but on a more tragic note, the first Fig. 5

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recorded use of a dog/mastiff in war-
fare in the New World took place in
Jamaica, when on 5 May 1494, some of
Columbus' men terrorized the Indians
of Puerto Bueno, who were 'pursued by
a great dog that bit them and did them
much harm; for one dog against the In-
dians was worth ten men'. [Varner
Also worthy of mention are depic-
tions of birds in flight which appear to
be vultures. (Fig. 6). The artist has suc-
ceeded in capturing the essence of a large
bird, wings outstretched, floating on in-
visible thermal currents suspended in
motionless serenity for an eternity. With-
out doubt, it is in the representation of
animal forms that the artists of Moun-
tain River Cave excelled. Their work
conveys a pleasing quality of unself-con-
scious freeness and demonstrates the
empathy and understanding which the
Amerindians had with their natural sur-

Human Figures
The anthropomorphic section also
contains some outstanding pictographs.
Among these are two figures, dressed in
ceremonial costume and wearing head-
dresses. The larger one has both arms
extended, from which hang long fringes.
The smaller, more complete figure is
wearing an elaborate headdress. (Fig. 7).
and is gesturing as though making a
speech. Though not as clearly defined as
'sun ray' headdresses seen elsewhere in
the Caribbean and in Venezuela, it is
quite likely that this figure has some
solar association, invoking the power of
the sun to conquer the evil forces eman-
ating from the darkness of the cave.
There is an abundance of squatting
figures associated with shamans and
the cohoba ceremony during which
hallucinogenic drugs were consumed to
facilitate communication between the
shaman and spirit forces. Many dancing
figures are also found, a motif common
in the Dominican Republic, Cuba and

Also outstanding are pictographs of
birdbeaked humanoid figures facing
each other with spears or throwing sticks.
(Fig. 8a, b). It is probably simplistic to
assume that this represents a hunting
scene. The birdbeaked humanoid motif
appears elsewhere in the Caribbean and
is, I believe, connected with Amerindian
religious beliefs, which in their wider ex-
tension are of course related to the
wants and needs of the people who for-

mulated these beliefs in the first in-
stance. These wants and needs being
both spiritual security from the
threats preferred by the unknown,
especially the supernatural, and ma-
terial access to food, health and success
in combat. Significant by their absence
are two major symbols which frequent-
ly occur elsewhere in the Caribbean.
These are the so-called 'swaddled baby'
motif with its distinctive cross hatching
pattern and the squatting, pregnant
woman motif generally accepted as a
representation of the goddess Atabeira.

Abstract Drawings
The abstract drawings in Mountain
River Cave are few there are two long
fretted drawings which almost certain-
ly represent fishing nets and an interest-
ing circle with an extended appendage
or tail. This circle is drawn around a
natural depression or hole in the rock.
In Cuba there is a weeping face drawn
on a rock which also uses natural de-
pressions to create the effect of sunken
eyes. At the risk of sounding unscienti-
fic, the only symbol I know of which
matches this Mountain River one is
the Egyptian ankh, widely used by the
flower children of the sixties as a good
luck symbol. However, these coinci-
dences are purely fortuitous, as my last
example demonstrates. Absent from
Mountain River is the fret or seal de-
sign which is common throughout the
region (Fig. 9). This design closely re-
sembles those used by Celtic peoples in
pre-Roman Britain, and provides another
of the many examples of independent

Fig. 8b

Fig. 6

SFig. 7


Fig. 8a

developments in disparate cultures over
time and space.

As indicated previously, dating poses
a problem for Mountain River Cave.
There are no datable artifacts in asso-
ciation with the cave. This problem is
not common to Jamaica. There seems
to be two schools of thought regarding
dating. Raggi [1973] says'today almost
all investigators are certain that they
(pictographs) are associated with the
oldest culture which populated the An-
tilles', that is, the earlier non-ceramic
peoples. However, Vega [1975] argues
that for the Dominican Republic, evi-
dence has surfaced in the form of datable
ash in one of their caves, which has
given a radiocarbon dating after A.D.
1000. If this holds true for elsewhere in
the Dominican Republic then one can
conclude that the pictographs were
drawn by people of the Chicoid cul-
ture and by extension, the same con-
clusion may be drawn for Jamaica,
given the startling similarity between
the pictographs of the Dominican Re-
public and those of Jamaica.
While, therefore, we cannot assign a
specific chronological date for the paint-
ings in Mountain River Cave, we can on
the basis of the findings in the Domini-
can Republic offer a relative date of
AD 1000 to AD 1450. Some time
during these 450 years, Mountain

River Cave served as a magico-religious
centre and was visited periodically by
the powerful members of the Chicoid
culture the caciques and shamans who
conducted their secret rituals to guaran-
tee the survival of their fellow tribesmen.
Today, we the observers and students
can sit in the dim light of the cave and
ponder the dark forces which impelled
those long dead peoples to leave the pic-
torial record which we can only partial-
ly hope to understand.

Fig. 9

DELGADO, Rafael, Los Petroglifos Venezo-
lanos, Monte Avila Editores CA 1976:
GUIDON, Niede, "The First Americans:
Cliff Notes", Natural History, Vol. 96
No. 8 August 1987.
KI-ZERBO, J., "African Prehistoric Art",
UNESCO General History of Africa,
Vol. 1. UNESCO, 1981.
MALLERY, Garrick, Picture Writing of the
American Indians; Dover Publications,
MARSHACK, Alexander, Ice Age Art, Ameri-
can Museum of Natural History, 1978.
MORBAN LAUCER, Fernando, Pintura ru-
pestre y petroglifosen en Santo Domin-
go, Santo Domingo, 1970.
PAGAN PERDOMO, Dato, "Aspectos Zoo-
arqueologicos y Geograficas en el Arte
Rupestre de Santo Domingo" in Pro-
ceedings of the Eighth International
Congress for the Study of the Pre-
Columbian Cultures of the Lesser
Antilles, 1980.
POLLAK-ELTZ, Angelina, Venezuelan Petro-
glyphs A Survey, Sixth International
Congress, 1975.
RAGGI, Carlos M., "Los Indios Lucahios en
Las Antilles Menores", Fifth Inter-
national Congress, 1973.
VARNER, John Grier and Jeannette Johnson
Varner, Dogs of the Conquest,
University of Oklahoma Press, 1983.
VEGA, Bernardo, "Comparison of Newly
Found Cave Drawings in Santo Domin-
go with Petroglyphs and Pictographs
in the Caribbean Region", Proceed-
ings of the Sixth International Con-
gress for the Study of Pre-Columbian
Cultures of the Lesser Antilles, 1975.

y ..


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a sextet from the ms:
Ungod in the Light of the Red Leaf

ungod in the dawn of the glass heart
for my son

as this world is made I might
live forever W.S. Merwin

Ungod absent flowers
The Glass-Heart
Tony a failed
West Indian poet
his once-bright
star overcast
imagines them moving
even his own
soft soft
impossibly loving
This comforts somewhat
for Tony is lost
drift and Hell-fearing
Guilty for wrong,
vast, flashed on so many
firstly his son
Patrice Dustin Pharoah,
a black moon
Tony thinks of him now
mouth magic eyes
his mother's and perfect
And when he steps forth
an air-walk Patrice once
not long ago
asked him to pray
him past iron nightmare
This is his prayer,
for whom poemsong' s
the one faith,
from the red stone
He sings of the time
his son declared Daddy
Know I won't die
can't imagine
not living
Dreads and dawn poets
flash the same thing

If this age is a winter, it's also a spring

Anthony McNeill

Un God's Sunset Bird
for the poet Lee Vassel

-Silent Poem from Credences at
The Altar of Cloud, Anthony McNeill

Mother by all rivers dusky at twilight
- Lee Vassel

Un God a white egret
Stands in the field
with silence about him
The cows as implied have
gone home,
the rest of the flock
his brothers and sisters;
I imagine them statues
in the full tree
beside the gold river,
Which makes me think
of Lee Vassel
who sang of it o
a shadow-rich lyric
I have no doubt
that some of his work
will be
read to the finish
But, snowy Ann
I see no future for mine
except for those hymns
comprised of a colon
or some other track

bird and woman bring wit so black

Ungod on The Morning of Swan

Ungod I'd prefer
any season to this
of anger, hurt, mourning
I wish to resummon
good angels
but none will appear for me
wicked and
Guess 'll go out
kicking and screaming
as said in the programs
AA and NA
which William has checked
and rechecked
over the seasons
In the meantime I play
the sorrowtree's music
little boy black
in love with
American tulips
American poems
American Autumn
American Anne
You brought a rose morning

Take my dead swan

Anthony McNeill

Ungod's Secret Flower
for the late American poet
James Wright

Ungod secret flowers
start from my wrist
I sit at my desk
or stare into mirrors
The rest of the time's
a desolate pacing
Recalling James Wright's
"I have wasted my life"
I flash to compassion
am one with that poet
oh the lost man
If dream and fancy
can ricochet so
better to be
a banker or someone
safe as a wall

I always knew
the flower would fall

Ungod as the Wilderness Listens

Ann when I sigh
the wilderness listens
Wren come to my hand
I say I am mourning
yes the night-wind
Poem I shape
only for her
candid and soft
sad as this willow
her forgiveness
to her heart
This Thursday
or my thick
god will yet dance

on my tomb

ungod in the church of the white death
for the American artist

Ungod junky William
came on unlife
in the dawn
tree at my window
is opposite solid and instinct-set
Frost's paradigm lyrics
mythicised such
Snow west-running brook
the forest the clearing
American forbears
of this still tree
and helps to unlock it
for me
Despite recent study
I think my good birch
both sane and untroubled
Reverse: the I mad
from speed
and then after noon
the white death
A nn when the dove sang
I wrote down soft visions
led by Earth's forms or signs from the planets
indica divine!
Soon after this shift
the wraith set
some will not perish
At least that's my wish
Before that two books
dazzled by iron
Whatever his fate
Leafed or forgotten

junky William sang good for a wraith


Bob Stewart

Stone Poem

On the road outside Buff Bay
where once I was driven
by a stranger to find
hospital in the night
after the accident,
I years later drove in the light
and stopped at an epiphany
of stones by the sea.

Years: and the blood has dried
chances died
choices hardened
like the stones by the sea.

I stopped, backed by mountains
absorbed in their green storm,
and picked stones
carefully as they were formed
by deliberate centuries,
released a few from time and tide
to bring them into
a life that wanted
to be as hard
as smooth
as finished.

Later still, quarter of the earth away,
with my stones islanded in a basket,
/ look at them and see the lie.
Cracks, chaotic lines, nameless shapes -
perfection nowhere but in my jaded eye.

I will take them back
I will go back
I will take back the basket of stones,
give them back to the tide
lay them at the hem of the island
that took my life
and gave it back again.


Can you remember how ft was,
how it must be still?
The pat, pat of the morning's rain
still leaks through A vocat roofs
when from the tops of the hills
the sage light spills
starching the day
to its evening routine.
Miss McLean catches the moment
to air her sheets,
Mother Christy shakes her flour

to see if it still dry
or turn half to dumpling dough already,
and the Lafitte boys
run across the bridge to fetch
two piece of jackass corn from the shop
and have to turn back
because tap, tap,
down the shoot of the valley
pours the grain of the next storm,
drum hailing, thickening, thickening.
Other sounds drown -
tree frog's chirp, woodpecker's tattoo,
boys' laughter, all done,
except the Shantimee's roar,
pounding, plunging, rolling rocks along
grinding janga, mullet, and eel,
making the river maid groan.

I know you remember
how all the day's light
seems to burn after the adamant dawn
just long enough to launder
your week worn trousers and two khaki
shirts and yourself under the falls
three or four chains up from the bridge,
long enough for old Mas' Harold
to stir and fetch
a pint ofjohncrow batty rum
from the shop at Silver Hill,
long enough for Brownman
to squat and crack more rockstone
to pave a road that could lead
nowhere but to heaven.
You did lay your youth
with your drying clothes
on the biggest rock
to catch the sun
and breathe the cedar air.
You remember how you have to run
as the hills turn quickly to cloud
and the first rain pierces the morning
and the Shantimee leaps
to reap otahiti and rose apple
from low hanging branches
of trees that drink bravely
at its banks.

Remember how the man named Shine
would stand on the bridge
and stare skyward in the night
awaiting a reprieve of stars
and never say a word of greeting
till him see one,
and how we could never see

if him feet quite touch the ground
on those darkest nights
and how you did swear
that the light of his kerosene bottle
did split one time
into the fiery eyes of the diabolic calf.
We did flee the sight
and climbed the night
to the safety of the chapel on A vocat hill
but did stop dead when we hear
the pale priest from Kingston
cry out from the sanctuary,
"Nil violentum durablee"
For him did hear before we
in the hush of him prayers
the down, down thunder
pressing out the molasses storm,
thickening, thickening,
as the Shantimee rolls
tossing stones, oppressing sleep,
pounding, rocking, plundering.

Yes, memory like the Shantimee
in the dry season
seems to stop dead
until I sit down with you
and in our minds the lightning cracks
the wind blows back
and the tongue rolls with names
like rocks torn loose in the riverbed -
Dimples, Uton, John the Nyahman,
Santa, Goldie, and Bonny ].
You wonder if the bamboo church
downstream at Mullet Hall
still dances with defiant spirits
and I dream that the chalkboard
in the schoolroom at A vocat
still sings with Brother Mais' summons
to come back to the hills.
But is no wonder and is no dream
that down with the dark
this very night
still pours a Portland storm
like the sea claiming the hills back
and Shantimee uncoils, quickens,

Edward Anthony Watson


I Memory's Fine Emblazon'd Place

They travelled by carriage then;
and after the long day's journey
from Kingston, my mother slept
in a Great House, she recalls, In Lluldas Vale,
panic-stricken that the road back was lost
to an unusually wet Spring.
She remembers now Hardwar Gap, and the slow
distant rise to the Blue Mountains; the mist,
that Spring, when the soft earth nurtured flowers,
her first love, flourishing at altitudes
in careless gardens, and how the slow set
of the sun measured a weather-vane's crest,
white, in the soft fold of the blue-grey dream.
And she was young In the remembering
the things we never knew, and were destined,
'til now, never to know, 'til even now.
But history whispers through our mother's eyes
now, when the sun sets evenly upon
this house, and our days seem so short in these
timeless hills,
now memory's fine emblazoned place.

II In the Midst of the Twilight
Where You Live (1985)

Whether you come or whether you go,
It makes no difference. Your form Is Indistinct,
and your smile does not lighten the deep-down
fear in me.
I wave good-bye, knowing that you did not
see me, did not hear me, though we talked
for hours about your love for us, and the
ferns which flourished on your green verandah,
when you were both mother and father
to every young man who visited our
jazzical house, when you told us, even then,
that Eckstine's mooning over love was unnatural,
coy. Yet, you loved Bud*, even then,
his little madness and his honest search
for a doorway through which only the blessed
were allowed to pass.

"And what of Bud, then?" you ask, your certain
clarity rekindling my past.
"Bud?" and I think for a second or two;
"Bud lives, mother, in Celia's polka-dots,
In the midst of the twilight where you live."

*Earl "Bud Powell, American jazz pianist who composed "Celia".

III Alzheimer's Alphabet

In a syntax and a vocabulary
shredded by Time and punctuated
by capital ellipses,
we had come to "P"
in our alphabet of remembrances.
She smiled, chucked me playfully,
and said:
"Patsy. 'P' Is for Patsy, your cousin.
Remember? You loved her."

As equal, playfully, I whispered,
" 'P' s for the Psalms, equally playful,
my mind on pater noster.
"No, my son; do not contradict your mother.
'P' is for poinciana, for poinsettia
and the poul. Remember?"
"Yes, mother. 'P' Is for all the parts
you played when I learned my alphabet
for pen and pain and psalter."
"Maybe," she said, now in a fluid distance,
deep In a Poet's muse:
" 'P'is for the sons I bore, the moon
and the star; 'P' Is for the setting sun
and season's end."

IV Where, Though the Light Fails,
Rivers Still Run (1987)
You touch me and my heart warms to your
loose benediction.
There are few words that I dare utter, for
your ears are closed to the soundings of my
Your eyes are filmed by the dark only you
have captured
And you speak only to the Images
of yesterday's fluidity.
"Sense after sense decay."
But I still see that special photograph
(which I have kept for all these years)
where you are lovelier than Myrna Loy
and Irene Dunne
And the splintered light which carved your features
In the artificial sun
Speaks my daughter's name and the source of her
river's run.




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Late Blossoms, Tributaries and Monsters

By Gloria Escoffery

he 1977-8 annual national exhi-

bition is the fifth to have been
mounted since I started writing
this column and the fourth I have tried
conscientiously to 'cover'. This year my
editor has relieved me of the responsi-
bility of yet another marathon critique.
The director/curator of the National
Gallery is providing an alternative per-
spective. I am therefore free to jog along
at my own erratic pace, ignoring sculp-
ture, ceramics and textiles and select-
ing a relatively few paintings or mixed
media works which for one reason or
another interest and/or impress me. Out-
standing pace-setters like Milton George,
Dawn Scott, Eric Cadien, Tina Matkovic-
Spiro and Robert Cookhorne 'African',
to call a few names at random, tend to
steal the limelight. It is difficult to avoid
writing about them, but after all there
are many others who deserve attention,
so I shall try. Were this the only review
it would be unnatural to ignore also the
more conventional, regular contributors
like Barry Watson, Samere Tansley,
David Pottinger and Alexander Cooper,
without whom the show would lose its
characteristic structure. But this is my
chance to follow my inclination, so here
Regular readers will be aware that I
am an intuitives buff. However, in the
interest of fair distribution of attention
I shall try to bypass those fortunate
fifteen selected for the second intuitives
show [See JAMAICA JOURNAL 20: 4]
It must be said, however, that the op-
portunity of seeing their work objective-
ly in retrospect and in good company >
must have provided a stimulus to these
artists. Scattered amongst the multitude,
their paintings exude a self-confidence
and elan which make many of their
mainstream associates seem .vapid by
comparison. Veterans Mallica Reynolds CarlAbrahams. Christ and the Fishermen.
'Kapo', and Everald Brown seem to have Acrylic on canvas. 24 x 18'"
taken a new lease of life, producing two The N'Toutoume-Obame Collection.
new works (titled, respectively, Heaven
and Earth and Evercoming King, that

took this viewer's breath away because
of the evident rekindling of the mystic-
al fire which characterized the work of
these artists in an earlier phase. Fantast
Errol McKenzie has branched out from
pure sculpture to a hybrid genre in
which he folksily grafts oil paintings on
canvas on to sections of tree trunk. This
would be a grotesque venture into kitsch
were it not for the serious motivating
concept which seems to be a portrayal
of the inner spirit, or anguish, of the in-
dividual tree as the titles The Tears
(mounted on fig wood) and The Heart
of the Vine (on macca wood) indicate.

According to the catalogue notes,
Wilfred Francis, born in 1924, has been
exhibiting since the sixties. I have seen
his works elsewhere, but as far as I
know he has never received any critical
notice. Here we see the blossoming of a
naive and minor but genuine talent in
full maturity. In a picture titled Unity,
even the conventional calligraphic john
crows seem to flap their wings with joy.
Using the simplest of media, felt pens,
and within the scope of the primary col-
ours, he embroiders his fields with as-
sorted tropical plants, among which
one can recognize the allamanda and the
poinsettia and even achieves a sense
of recession, though this is somewhat
mitigated by the outsized children and
baldpate (?) who join in a ball game for
the benefit of spectators. The Elysian
effect is reinforced by stripes and flor-
als which adorn the garments of the ac-
tors in this scene and the cloth which
covers the table spread for a vegetarian
love feast. On one side a lion and a
lamb politely ignore each other. The
human grown-ups on the other side
take their ease, while a celestial waiter
hovering at the very edge of the pic-
ture finishes setting the table.

It is fun to describe such works,
because with the naive vision itemi-
zing is the very name of the game. It
is another matter to order these items

Eric Cadien. A Sign of Peace.
Acrylic on canvas. 39% x 25"


in a tight knit composition, as Paul
Perkins, intuitive find of the year,
does in his portraits of Marcus Garvey
and Mike McCallum. Quite in the tradi-
tion of the early North American lim-
ners, he provides, when possible, an
appropriate setting. Marcus Garvey,
however, occupies the space like a
monumental pot; this analogy oc-
curred to me when, leafing through the
catalogue, I came upon a reproduction
of the painting on the same page as
Gene Pearson's ceramic vessel titled
Sculptured and instantly noted the
similarity. In the portrait of Mike
McCallum, Perkins's genius for inte-
grated design in a style not unlike
Douglas Wallace's, comes into its own.
Every detail the Jamaican flag, the
ropes of the boxing ring, even the let-
ters of the boxer's name contri-
butes to the effect of focusing atten-
tion on the central motif of the cham-
pion's belt.
Garvey is, of course, represented in
multifarious ways in tribute to his
centennial year. Respect is due to the
set of linocut prints by Judith Salm-
on which carried off one of the prizes
in the celebratory competition. Care-
fully researched and exceptionally liter-
al for this artist, it fulfils admirably its
illustrative function. However, my heart
went out more spontaneously to Rafiki
Kariuki's mixed media portrait, which
epitomizes the spirit of the hero as a
fighter for human rights and deserves
its given title Monumental Force.
It becomes harder every year to
draw a line dividing 'intuitive' from
'mainstream'. Where does one place
stylistically sophisticated but 'untaught'
Nelson Cooper, so patently a member of
the expressionist group led by Milton
George? Nelson Cooper's New Breed
man, which will I am sure evoke a shud-
der from many a viewer, may owe some-
thing to Roy Reid's archetypal 'Rat-
man', but it is no mere pastiche. Like
many horrid things, the vicious, mind-
less monster that stalks our society now-
adays has inspired a work of art.

Expressionism incorporates a variety
of styles. In Jamaica there is usually an
element of symbolism. Stafford Schlie-
fer's expressionist/symbolist Man in
Flag, whatever it symbolizes, fairly ex-
plodes with kinetic energy. One may
find relief in Godfrey Lutalo Makon-
zi's organic Star City or in Irise's more
lyrical Living all as One.

It is evident that, regardless of nation-

al origins, the artists who settle down
with us for any length of time join with
the natives, naive and trained, in one liv-
ing stream in which several tributaries
are for ever flowing apart or mingling.
Makonzi hails from Uganda, Irise from
Canada. They are a bit difficult to place
in the Jamaican context, true, but just
give them time. Englishman Andrew
Jefferson, perceptive reporter on the
lives behind street lives, makes a per-
tinent statement about the Jamaican
persona in his three heads with real
sunglasses titled Shades. Irish artist June
Bellew, well known here for her sensi-
tive line drawings of trees, now seems to
be moving into the orbit of the local
group primarily concerned with ren-
dering textures. Her mixed media
study of Moths perhaps because of
the monster scale of the creatures,
conveys a sense of mystery which lifts
it out of the world of observed fact into
a goyaesque area of darkness and
Meanwhile Hope Brooks, who as a
teacher started off a generation of Jam-
aicans, including Laura Facey, on an ex-
ploration of matter, not only as an in-
teresting theme, but as the very stuff of
which experimental art is made, now
seems to be moving into a new derivative
of impressionism in which pastel colours
suggest the flickering light on leaves
rather than the bark of trees. By choos-
ing the unusual medium of gouache
paste in her Garden Sentinel- she still
insists, however, on the significance of
the modulations of a surface across
the frontal plane. This is an abstract ex-
pressionist approach to nature at the op-
posite pole to Errol McKenzie's.
Are there more landscapes than usual
or is it that the variety of gambits not
all of them successful draws attention
to a widespread groping towards new
insights in this genre? The attempt to
render atmosphere by aerial perspective
and the intellectualization of landscape
are demonstrated by two works cleverly
mounted side by side so that the stylis-
tic antithesis may be observed. Maxine
Gibson's record of mist-engulfed moun-
tains, titled Wet, and Tina Matkovic's
panorama of rainbow visited Hermitage,
with its architectural clouds massed in
middle distance, provide an interesting

The problem of middle distance can
be a thorn in the flesh of a gifted graphic
designer like Karl 'Jerry' Craig. Using a
textured surface which derives, I sup-
pose, from his printing and mixed media

experiments, in his Growth Caribbean
Series he does not, to my mind, satis-
factorily bridge the gap between the
foreground line of sensitively particular-
ized foliage and bare tree and the un-
realized backdrop of mountains. Judy
MacMillan, going through a bad patch
as most artists do at times, struggles in
her panoramic landscape titled Veran-
dah to transcend her usual literal mode
of seeing and comes a cropper. Eve
Foster, on the other hand, takes no
chances and explores no new paths. Her
Copse Morning is charming and success-
ful within its genre of romantic land-
My personal choice among the land-
scapes would be either of Sharon Chac-
ko's two batiks depicting rural life.
Content recalls thetranquility of Tabois's
pastorals, without his strong contrasts
and quirky humor. Last Stop Shop is a
masterpiece of intelligent control over
observation in the interest of picture-
making within a medium adapted to
flat rather than chiaoroscuro effects.

The transition from the works refer-
red to above to David Boxer's two as-
semblages requires a giant step in terms
of the viewer's willingness to cooperate
with the artist. In his process of sur-
realist free association to some ex-
tent described in the Marcus Garvey
influenced interview with the artist,
[see JAMAICA JOURNAL 20:3] Boxer
brings into play a mind which com-
mands a storehouse of cultural bric-a-
brac literary, artistic, musical, his-
torical that is not readily accessible
to the average viewer. It may be help-
ful for me to attempt to provide a key
to the more complex of his assemblages,
St George and the Dragon, subtitled
The Dragon Known as Ignauseous
Wrecker alias Can't Draw Hopeless.
Those in the know will immediately
recognize this work as a topical satire
in mock fairytale vein, a modern alle-
gory with Freudian overtones, the im-
mediate object of satire being the in-
tellectual dishonesty of art criticism
motivated by malice. Truth, beauty,
purity, are represented by the central
image of Botticelli's Venus recreated
in the round as sculpture, and shown
here in thrall to the dragon, whose cave
is situated beneath her domain. Faced
with an array of over thirty pictorial
images and a number of 'boxes' with
theatrically arranged personae in the

guise of innumerable objects natural
and man-made, the viewer may well
scratch his head in perplexity, conced-
ing, nevertheless, that the display as a
whole is impressive, and the individual
items not only extraordinary but beau-
tiful. The total effect would be chaotic
were it not for the formal layout, which
makes it possible to see every partici-
pant in the drama as the occupant of
a clearly defined zone of interest. The
box containing reliquaries of St George,
for instance, balances the tomb of the
dragon. On the wall behind, the two
dimensional images, whether oil paint-
ings or worked over transformations
of works of art, are arranged in series or
pairs in order to make their point. These
include a sequence which shows the
emergence of a specific area of conflict,
discovered through a process of soul
searching; and a pair of portraits of the
heroic saint in youth and old age.
In this modern morality play, crystal-
lized in a static but evanescent art form,
there is no absolute virtue, no perma-
nent victory over evil. St George's sword

emerges unsmirched, but his crystal
chalice of youthful idealism is in shards.
In this particular locale the dragon, cum
iguana, has become extinct; autopsy re-
veals that dragon seed lives on to pro-
duce mutations in the breed. Ironically,
the most aesthetically. pleasing of the
'pictures' is the one depicting the breath
of the dragon. The wonder is that our
present crisis in criticism could have
provided the raison d'etre for so com-
plex a structure of ideas. The assemblage
will be disassembled, but ideas are in-
destructible; their transmission through
time from mind to mind isquite invisible,
and not subject to measurement.

Finally, a short tribute to old master
Carl Abrahams who, like 'Brother'
Brown and Kapo, has stoked up the
fires of early inspiration. His painting of
Christ and the Fishermen, epitomizing a
relationship rather than illustrating a
particular episode, is a tour de force
that up-and-coming artists should study

diligently. For this is not only a tautly
constructed composition but an exem-
plary visualization of psychological in-
tensity. Such works are achieved only
through a combination of intuition,
traditionalism and artistry. Note the
dramatic antithesis of the spiritual and
the earthbound, as epitomized by the
stooping posture of the fisherman on
one side and the uprightness of Christ
on the other; the analogy between the
scaly torso of the other fisherman and
the catch in the basket, which repre-
sents his livelihood; the panache with
which our one time cartoonist carries
off calligraphic liberties with human
anatomy such as the centre fisherman's
collarbone. Here we see the art that con-
ceals art. Carl Abrahams, you is Pappy
Anansi self, yahl

Gloria Escoffery, O.D., artist, poet,
journalist, teacher, Is our regular art

Channels of Communication

By David Boxer

rotocol would normally preclude
the essential 'curator' of an ex-
hibition from writing a review of
that exhibition. .However, I am so moved
by the current national exhibition, by
the richness and the vitality which it
exudes that I am compelled to offer
a few thoughts about its strengths
and its weaknesses. I am compelled, too,
by the fact which is echoed by so many
of the individuals that I have spoken
to about this exhibition that Gloria
Escoffery's contribution this year is
particularly strong.

Indeed, were we to ape the French
and award a Grand Prix she would
have my vote As JAMAICA JOURNAL's
regular reviewer, Gloria will undoubt-
edly gloss over her own input. I hope
this contribution will make amends
and place her offerings in proper per-

This year, seventy-six artists are
taking part: forty-one were selected by
a panel of five selectors, while thirty-
five artists from our special list of forty

invited artists responded. The media
range is extensive: painting, drawings,
collages, sculptures, ceramics, assem-
blages and fibre arts. The consensus is
that this is the best national exhibition
in years perhaps, ever. I hesitate,
haunted as I am by the memory of the
extraordinary wall of the 1986 exhi-
bition with Edna Manley's last works,
Worship and Birth, along with her
bronze Tomorrow. Still, there is such a
feeling of great confidence here and the
impression that so many of our major
artists are so clearly at the top of their
form, that I feel that this year's show
has the edge. There is less here than ever
before that I would rather not have seen
in a national exhibition (thanks to a par-
ticularly diligent panel of selectors:
Shirley Maynier-Burke, Winston Patrick,
Hope Brooks, Veerle Poupeye-Rammel-
aere, along with myself). Also, more
than ever before is the feeling that most
of our major artists are responding to
this Jamaica Grand National, as Gloria
Escoffery has christened it, and are
either saving major works, or are crea-
ting special works for it.


By our definition, the national
exhibition should be encyclopedic,
and I feel that despite the absence of
veteran painters Osmond Watson, Albert
Huie and George Rodney, in all areas
except sculpture and ceramics we have
as fair a representation of current trends
as could be expected. Not enough of
our younger sculptors and ceramists
have chosen to submit works, and Gon-
zalez our most important imagistic
sculptor despite heroic attempts to
complete a new major sculpture, was
only able to submit a relatively minor

Some of our regular viewers, especial-
ly among that large number of Jamaicans
living abroad who return home each
Christmas, have complained about the
relatively small input by our intuitives.
I believe they have been partially de-
ceived because of our abandoning the
usual practice of hanging the intuitives
en bloc. While we have kept the major-
ity of the more 'naive' intuitives togeth-

Gloria Escoffery. Mirage.
Oil on hardboard.
Five panels,
each 48 x 32':

Milton George.
The Art of Being Polite on a Red Background.
Oil on canvas: 64 x 70".

Dawn Scott.
Diptych: The Yambearer, The Dream.
Batik (on cotton). Each 48% x 23%".


er, a trio of religious works has been
isolated, and the robust 'expressionist'
works of Ras Dizzy, William Joseph,
Roy Reid, Errol McKenzie and Leonard
Daley have been integrated, I believe
quite successfully, with the avant-
garde expressionist works of Zimmer-
man, Cadien, et al.
Some twenty-nine works by six-
teen intuitives are included a fair
representation, considering that the
National Gallery had only in Novem-
ber closed the monumental and high-
ly acclaimed "Fifteen Intuitives" which
featured 161 works [JAMAICA JOUR-
NAL 20: 4]. The current offering con-
tains some quite extraordinary works in
this genre: the Leonard Daleys are as
energetic and compelling as anything of
his in "Fifteen Intuitives"; the four Ras
Dizzys reveal, as did his showing in the
earlier show, that this veteran is now
producing the best work of his career
- he has lost none of his spontaneity
and the works have gained in psycho-
logical insight; McKenzie's painted con-
structions show another dimension of
this compulsive artist, the extraordinary
discovery of "Fifteen Intuitives". But it
is the veteran painters, Everald Brown
and 'Kapo' who have produced the two
most remarkable works of the genre:
Brother Brown's Evercoming King, with
its ravishing procession of torch-bearing
celebrants, is the best of his series of
dreaming prophets begun in 1982,
while Kapo's Heaven and Earth is an
ecstatic visionary work, that recaptures
that direct profession of faith that spills
from the early religious masterpieces
like Be Still and Revivalist Going to
As I have intimated, the star of the
show for me is Gloria Escoffery. This is
especially pleasing as in the past few
years, she has been going through a
highly experimental period where the
geometric and figurative elements in her
combine-paintings have not altogether
been successfully integrated. In all three
works in this show (two oils and a large
study in gouache for a triptych), there is
a new found harmony between 'realistic'
image and abstract border/intrusion. All
three works must rank as among the
finest of her career, yet all three are
very different in construction: each
poses a different set of organizational
'problems' which have been successful-
ly 'solved'; and in content: the subject
of each touches on a totally different
area of interest for this most intellectual
of painters in our midst.
Gloria Escoffery is essentially a

designer of paintings in the tradition of
Poussin and before him, of Michelangelo,
and in what I believe is her first five
panelled polyptych, she has 'designed'
what must rank as her finest painting to
date: Mirage. Old Testament figures and
motifs occupy an essentially desert-like
environment constructed out of chro-
matic bands of subtle colours, activat-
ed by repeated stencilled shapes (the
basic shape is related to the shofar or
ram's horn) used singly or in combin-
ation, reversed, used horizontally or ver-
tically in every possible configura-
tion). All are contained within complex
borders, which seem totally at one with
the rest of the painting. The inner
(second and fourth) panels are domin-
ated by the Pillar of Cloud by Day and
the Pillar of Fire by Night realized
through reversed stencils and ravish-
ing juxtaposition of colours. The tiny
figures, the sacrificial lamb, the exiled
Ishmael, the Jews crossing the Red Sea,
give a dramatic sense of scale in the
outer panels which is interrupted by
the visionary central panel with its
ecstatically painted Jacob's ladder reach-
ing up to the Heavens. Symbolic allu-
sions to more current events the
swastika attempting its obliteration of
the star of David, for instance, suggest
that the painting may in fact be an elabo-
rate allegory on the contemporary
Middle East situation why for in-
stance, is the Islamic crescent almost
Escoffery's approach is clearly me-
tonymical, and there are those who will
wish to 'break the code', so to speak, of
her motifs and symbols (which are prob-
ably in themselves multi-significant). I
for one hesitate to go much further,
believing that the essential mystery of a
poetic associative assemblage like Mirage
can only be harmed by over-analysis.
Rockstone, Escoffery's other oil is a
major recapitulatory work, a triptych in
which assorted figures from recent paint-
ings combine now in a montage of fig-
ural motifs activated by cutstone-like
geometric intrusions which give the
work its underpinning. Warm earth
tones dominate and the effect isdecid-
edly pastoral despite the very modern
looking youth in a bright blue windbreak-
er. He assuredly yearns for the city
life and stares directly at us, an image
of discontent. Behind him is the wreck
of his dreams, the upturned rusting car-
cass of the fast-car. We recognize in
mother and child, then stages of youth
and adulthood to old contemplative
man, one of Art's most pervasive

themes the very Cycle of Life.
Eden and After is a powerful collage-
like study, again in triptych form, its
collection of discrete images presented
in separately framed compositions all
united by zany Memphis-like borders.
The left hand panel shows Adam and
Eve in a primeval Eden dominated by
reptiles. The right hand panel is less
easily understood an 'I-am-the-Alba-
tross' proclaiming bird, the Leonardo
image of perfect ideal man quoted and
contrasted with a monkey, a modern
Jamaican youth dreaming surely of
Eden-Africa, Black Star and Lion at his
And in the centre panel a single
image the reality of the Dread dooms-
day man, torn and tattered, mushy
greys, browns, striding toward us, his
enclosing frame violent with its jag-
ged forms. In the beginning . and at
the end...
Escoffery, with these three major
works, has confirmed once and for all a
position of eminence among Jamaican
painters. Her refusal to be pigeonholed
and to cast herself in an 'established',
'expected' mould, her willingness to ex-
tend through constant experimentation,
the boundaries of her art have paid off
handsomely. Her current style clearly
Rockstone is closer to the 'old' Escof-
fery, After Eden and Mirage closer to the
'new' mediates between the two most
influential, but essentially opposed
camps in our mainstream: the realists
and the neo-expressionists. It is my
belief that it is her intense investigation,
in particular, her study of our intuitives
and our avant-garde artists like Milton
George and Robert Cookhorne 'Afri-
can', that have opened up new ways of
seeing and expressing the world for her.

D l ]l

Yes, there is, in Jamaica today, a dis-
tinct avant-garde, a group of artists
headed by Milton George who have
clearly defined for themselves a Jam-
aican niche in the New Imagist/Neo-Ex-
pressionist global movement that has
dominated the international art of the
eighties. George, since he started paint-
ing in the sixties, has been essentially
an expressionist, so there is no question
here of his having jumped on an inter-
national bandwagon, as one primitive
critic suggested. Rather, his heightened
awareness of contemporary aesthetic
concerns through frequent visits to New
York, combined with a more inwardly

probing brush have given his work a
heightened sense of 'angst'. His extra-
ordinarily rich palette and an uner-
ring certainty in his use of distortion and
characterization mark him out as very
much the painter of the eighties.
His Art of Being Polite on a Red
Background is a stunning, vibrant paint-
ing, throbbing with the most intense
cadmium reds, a follow up to the P.M.
Speaks at 8 P.M. from the 1986 annual
show. It is, in fact, thinly disguised
political satire: a political leader at odds
with the political mood of the country
has become 'very quiet, very subtle,
very still'. He has in fact been tamed by
the 'mood of the red'. George is less suc-
cessful in his other oil, Chicago which
recounts the artist's uncomfortable feel-
ings, his alienation on visiting Chicago
on a cold inhospitable day. His coloured
drawing, At the Concert, is a complex
stream-of-consciousness tracing of irre-
verent associative images that humorous-
ly infringe on the central motif of the
opera singer and her accompanist.

The new enfant terrible, 'African'
grows from strength to strength. The

triptych, Three Black Heads (for Marcus
Garvey), which copped one of the Mar-
cus Garvey Purchase awards, achieves
an extraordinary sophistication in a
young man not yet thirty! In this work,
colour is subdued to monochromatic
greys and blacks allowing the rich variety
of emotive surfaces where paper is cut,
torn, pitted, silvered, spattered, and
gauzed to speak directly. Conducting,
.... a savage parodying of the western
classical music tradition, has little of the
wit of George's similar lampooning of
opera singers but is supremely elegant
in its faultless structuring and subtle
silver-grey harmonies.
In the new imagist camp, too, is
young Paul Smith, whose talent sur-
faced earlier in the year in a one-man
show at the Makonde-at-the-Wyndham.
He is clearly an ideas man. His is a sort
of new-pop sensibility with a 'here-it-is'
practicality about form and colour. It
all comes across as clean, but too often
clean translates into sterile. His Sphinx
on Hellshire, with its twin relief heads
set in a monochromatic off-white crack-
ed field is one of his best works to date,
although the work cries out for a more

carefully considered textural treatment.
Douglas Wallace tries too hard for
'aesthetic' effects in his two heads. Far
more successful are his two bold paint-
ings, poster-like in their clarity. Signs,
symbols, formulae parody the computer
language common not only among the
warmongers of the Moscow/Washington
interchange, but among our children
who now happily play war games on the
family T.V., moving into overkill with
exuberant launches of MX's, Surface to
Airs, Heat Sensitives and God knows
what else ....
Rafiki Kariuki with his Recon-
struction Series clearly steps over into
the new imagist group. His Head cer-
tainly has great textural interest and a
sophistication of colour that could be
instructive to young Smith. But the im-
age itself lacks conviction, being too
heavily dependent on a carefully delin-
eated and inexpressive outline. The
complex cultural cross-references that in-
form Tukula Ntama's Untitled Man can
only be gleaned by a careful study of its
deliberately dishevelled and defocussed
composition. Essentially, this spool and
buckle, seedpod and calabash, torn-cloth

O ur headquarters building stands as a symbol of our connnulng
commitment to the people ol Jamaica To the world outside. our
building says. Jamaica is a good place to do business'
Over suxy-ihve years ago ,hen the frst commercial sea plane landed
at Rockfon, Shell ,was there to retuel the craft
Taking account of the aspirations of the society. Shell has assisted
with Education. Sports. Health and the Arts
Shell has taken a leadership posinon in urging saiery at the work
place, in the home and on the road Shell uses many opportunities
to speak of the continuing need to conserve enegry and to protect
the natural environment
Shell is among the elder statesmen of industry in Jamatca. but is still
a pioneer Shell remains committed to participating in Jamaica's


Shell Chemicals Jamaica Limited

Stafford Schliefer. Man in Flag (for Marcus Garvey).
Oil on Canvas. 40x 50".

diagram of a man is assembled from the
detritus of our civilization. We know the
essential method from classics such as
Picasso's Goat, but this has more the
feeling of certain African fetishes and,
of course, our own Pitchy-Patchy por-
trayed in some of the photographs
incorporated into the work.
I very much liked the ideas behind
Stafford Schliefer's two paintings of
figures wrapped in flags. They had for
me tremendous impact when I first saw
them; however, living with them has
been less than rewarding. The Baconian
blurring of the moving figure seems too
facile the paint itself does not carry
that sense of drama which should com-
mand closer involvement. Schliefer was
to be seen to better advantage in the an-
niversary show of the Contemporary
Art Centre where some works from the
seventies were shown they had more
conviction and far greater textural in-
Eric Cadien is another robust expres-
sionist whose large paintings command
respect. They are intelligently composed,

well painted and with their high inten-
sity colours (as close to 'pure' colour in
the Hoffmanesque sense as we get in
Jamaican painting) can be counted on
to excite the eye. Rarely, however, does
my heart trip over them, rather it is to
the more intimate smaller works on
paper, which are more spontaneous and
closer to subconscious stirring that I
am drawn. His Two Couples is a particu-
larly exciting treatment of his peren-
nial subject the erotic embrace.
Hope Brooks is one of the quieter ex-
pressionists in our midst. Influenced by
the matter painters like Dubuffet and
Fautrier, she has abandoned their figur-
ative content and focused instead on
quieter, often inert elements of our en-
vironment. Her new series is based on
views of her back garden. Garden Senti-
nel is strangely illustrationall' for an
artist who has been uncompromising in
her modernist approach to composition
- and looks rather like an impressionist
painting with an 'updated' texture!
More characteristic is the magnificent
group of twelve studies of foliage ar-

ranged in a three by four grid. The ex-
posed white edge of each canvas em-
phasizes the grid and adds dramatically
to the composition as a whole the
highly controlled, yet autonomous
brushstrokes, the gentle textures and
the subtle colouristic shifts all add up to
a work of great sensitivity.
Rex Dixon's equally abstract Burning
Cage is spun off of a far more tempera-
mental psyche. Here the baroque drama
of incandescent colour brushed/stained
Frankenthaler-like against an almost
black ground activates the rigid white
geometric structures the Cage House
and the Ladder, symbols of entrapment
and of dreams and escape. In Karl
'Jerry' Craig's Void No. 1 similar
opposites operate: the elemental man-
dala planet and the man-made, geomet-
ric structure confront each other in an
infinite space. The painting has a decid-
edly futuristic look about it, remini-
scent of Jimmy Ernst's paintings of the
early sputnik days, and not unrelated to
Lutalo Makonzi's Star City in the cur-
rent show.


"No 1W
I 0A*Ai

0r'' N



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Meaning in the sense of iconological
statements in all these near-abstract
works is almost inconsequential. Their
impact is derived almost exclusively
from their esthetic qualities, principal-
ly, colour and texture in Brooks, colour
and form in Dixon, colour, texture and
form in Craig. Their effect varies; Hope
Brooks, for instance demands quiet, al-
most meditative contemplation, while
Dixon urges, with its control/release dia-
lectic, the imagination to energetic
flights of fancy.
Among our sculptors abstraction is
rare and is normally restricted to reduc-
tionist works like Fitz Harrack's Dan-
cers. Rachel Fearing's elegant totem of
personal symbols enters a more truly ab-
stract realm as does Winston Patrick's
brilliantly hued metal construction. This
latter's underlying sexual imagery is
masked by a stringently classical archi-

It has often been remarked that I am
biased against 'realist', art. Nothing
could be farther from the truth. Ver-
meer and Chardin remain in their per-
fection and quiet poetry, supremely
great painters for me, and among artists
of our own age, I seek out everything
that Balthus, Lopez Garcia, and Lucien
Freud have painted, while one of the
highlights of my life was the quiet
moments I spent with Andrew Wyeth
looking at and discussing his Helga paint-
ings. These last are realists who speak
for me in an essential twentieth century

My quarrel is with those of our 'real-
ists' who are too dependent on outworn
nineteenth century (and earlier) aca-
demic modes. Among our essential real-
ists therefore it is to those works like
Tina Matkovic-Spiro's epic Hermitage, a
drama of clouds, mountains, and rain-
bow with its floating-woman-like central
cloud, June Bellew's over-scaled Moths
with its almost super-realistically real-
ized textures (actually collaged in part),
and Dawn Scott's batik diptych Yam
Bearer and Dream that I keep returning
perhaps, because in all these the sur-
face of reality is being gently pierced and
an underlying surreality is partially ex-
posed. Paradoxically, the more deliber-
ate surrealism of Garland's Departure
Point offers no real mysteries, perhaps
because its realism has been too relaxed.
Perhaps, too, the over-exposure of Bot-
ero and his derivatives has simply killed

for me the whole concept of amplified
form. The more abstract Trio, on the
other hand, I find an exciting new 'de-
parture' for Garland.
Barrington's Fisherman is totally of
this world, a new grandiose treatment of
a favourite subject (the frieze-like suc-
cession of backs is, however, a far more
interesting composition than the cli6hed
set composition of the version exhibited
in the 1981 national exhibition.) An
academic exercise such as this, however,
demands a more challenging array of
Judy MacMillan's impressively scaled
Verandah has aroused a lot of comment:
many finding its stylistic shifts disturb-
ing. It is clearly an exploratory work
and I must confess to a fascination with
'problematic' pictures in which experi-
ments and changes of direction can be
observed. For me, they open up chan-
nels of communication with the artist's
creative process that stimulate the mind
far more than the pat formulae, tried,
tested, and now sterile, on which so
many of our artists depend.

David Boxer is the director/curator of
the National Gallery.

Museum Gift Shop
InstituteofJamaica, Natural History Division
(Tower Street foyer)

Original designs incorporating Jamaica's
fauna and flora on notelets, note pads,
T-shirts and tote-bags.

Also available: Colouring books, journals,
shell and glass ornaments, wooden earrings,
pins and jigsaw puzzles all with a Jamaican

'ome 0andaidu4 M"n
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Friday 10 am-3pm

Jamaica's national cultural institution was
founded ,r, 1879 Is rroan f,.,n;.ons are to
foster ard encourage ihe de.elopmern of
culture science and h.sior, .n ihe national
interest' 11 operates as a3 siauiorv body un-
der the Insilure Ol Jarnaca Ac, 1978 and
falls under r rhe pDrrtaol-, Ct he Prime
The r,sl,,.Te crer iral decs,.n. rnakn,~ body
is the Cur,.:, Ahich a:pp,,.rTed by the
Minister. The Council consists of individuals
involved in various aspects of Jamaica's
cultural life appointed in their own right,
and representatives of major cultural
organizations and institutions.
The Institute of Jamaica consists of a central
administration and a number of divisions
and associate bodies operating with varying
degrees of autonomy.
Chairman: Hon. Hector Wyntar, O.J.
Executive Director Beverley alI-Alleyne
Deputy Director: Dexter Manning
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School of Drama
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Tel: 92-94785/94786/68817

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Port Royal
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and Technology
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A Sloane Sampler

Three hundred years ago, Sir Hans Sloane came to Jamaica
and began a collection of botanical and zoological specimens
which provided the basis of what would become the British
Museum of Natural History. Entomologist T.H. Farr takes a
second look at the three books which Sloane wrote about
his Jamaican sojourn and provides us with some choice
samples from them.

On 19 December 1687, the frig-
ate Assistance, a yacht, and three
merchant vessels sailed into Port
Royal after a three-month voyage from
Portsmouth, England. Aboard theAssist-
ance were Christopher Monk (or Monck),
the second Duke of Albemarle, lately
appointed Governor of Jamaica, his
wife, Elizabeth, his personal physician,
Dr Hans Sloane and others of his offi-
cial party. The yacht had conveyed
many of the duke's servants of which he
was allowed a hundred. The duke, who
was in poor health at the time he left
England, died in the early autumn of
1688 at the age of thirty-five. Dr Sloane,
later Sir Hans, who was in his twenty-
eighth year at the time of his arrival here,

returned to England and was for five
years household physician to the widow-
ed duchess.
Sloane prospered in London as a
highly regarded physician and his busi-
ness acumen was such that by the time
he reached middle age he was already
very wealthy. The story of his life has
been told in numerous articles and lec-
tures. The Dictionary of National
Biography gives a good account of it
and E. St John Brooks's biography,
Sir Hans Sloane the Great Collector
and His Circle [1954] provides us with
many interesting details. Perhaps Sloane's
greatest claim to fame is that his col-
lections provided the bulk of the speci-
mens deposited in the British Museum

By T.H. Farr

in January 1759, six years after his
death in his ninety-third year.
In his youth, Sloane had been much
interested in natural history, particularly
in botany, but as he grew older and
wealthier the variety of items in his
collection was greatly increased. Much
of what he obtained he had purchased
and he had a reputation for paying fair
prices. As time went by he acquired ob-
jects of considerable monetary value.
Amongst the 2,256 'precious stones and
fine marbles' was an amethyst said to be
the finest in the British Museum col-
There were 23,000 coins and medals,
'ancient and modern'. There were 1,242
'vessels and ladles' and cameos made of
agate, cornelian and crystal. Sloane
valued his collection at 50,000 but in
his will offered to sell it in its entirety
for 20,000 (the money to go to his
family) to the king or the Royal Society
(of which he had been president from
1727 to 1741) or to certain other foreign
academies which he designated. If none
took up the offer, the collection was to
be sold at auction which meant that it
would be broken up. The House of
Commons acted promptly and favour-
ably to the offer. In June 1753, an Act
was passed establishing a lottery for
100,000 and 95,000 was actually
obtained. With this money, the Sloane
Collections were purchased as was the
Harleian collection of manuscripts. With
it also. Montagu House (sometimes spelt
Montague) was bought and refurbished
to contain the Sloane Collections, the
Harleian, the King's Library, the Cot-
tor Library and a collection of books
and manuscripts donated by Mr Arthur
Edwards. There was 29,000 left to pur-
chase government stock, the interest of
which was to be used in paying for the
maintenance of the museum.
Many of the zoological and botanical
specimens included, Sloane had brought
back with him from Jamaica. They
aroused great interest both in England
and on the Continent and thus it was
that Jamaican specimens came into the
hands of early workers using the Lin-
naean system of classification of plants
and animals.

Sloane spent about fifteen months
in Jamaica. living most of the time at
Spanish Town, then still being called
Santiago de la Vega.

Sloane wrote two large volumes about
his stay in Jamaica and also published
a much smaller work in 1695, a list of

the plants he found here, Catalogus
Plantarum Quae in Insula Jamaica
Sponte Proveniunt. The larger volumes,
the second a continuation of the first,
were published in 1707 (the year of
Linnaeus' birth) and 1725. They are
usually called the Natural History of
Jamaica but they have a much longer
title which is almost a table of con-
tents: A Voyage to the Islands Madera,
Barbados, Nieves, S. Christophers and
Jamaica with the Natural History of the
Herbs and Trees, Four-Footed Beasts,
Fishes, Birds, Insects, Reptiles &c; of
the last of those Islands; To which is
prefix'd An Introduction, wherein an
Account of the Inhabitants, Air, Water,
Diseases, Trade &c of that Place, with
some relations concerning the Neigh-
bouring Continent, and the Islands of
The Natural History Division of
the Institute of Jamaica and the National
Library of Jamaica have copies of the
Natural History and Catalogus Plantar-
One of the sets of the Natural
History in the National Library has
tinted or coloured plates and while
the colours are still bright and lovely
they do not accurately depict the
colour of many of the subjects.

In Volume I, Sloane presents a
rather detailed account of the physi-
cal features of the island and there is
much about the climate, the people,
their food, plus remarks about the eco-
nomy of the colony. There are quite
a few stories on a wide variety of topics,
not all of these about Jamaica, or even
about the West Indies. There are fifty-
five pages recounting the medical prob-
lems he dealt with, and from his pre-
scriptions one can tell that Sloane was
little if any more enlightened than other
practitioners of his day. He seems to
have thought highly of live millipedes
taken internally as the proper remedy
for certain ailments, viz. Dr Rook's
wife, age thirty-five who had an eye
complaint. Amongst other things he re-
commended her 'to take Millipedes
alive, to one hundred in the morning
rising to that number in degrees on the
days she took nothing else'. She re-
covered and 'could at last read Bibles
of the smallest print'. One can't help
but wonder if Mrs Rook actually gulp-
ed down a hundred millipedes. Sloane
often resorted to bleeding, blistering
(clystering) or purging his patients. Yet
he was a staunch advocate of inoculation

against smallpox and was known to ad-
vise a sensible diet, exercise and the
moderate use of alcohol as essential
to maintaining good health.
All the material mentioned thus far
is included in the 159 page introduction.
Next follows a forty-seven page ac-
count of his voyage to Jamaica dur-
ing which he collected at some of the
islands mentioned in the lengthy title.
This section is paginated with Arabic
numerals, the introduction in Roman
The Natural History of Jamaica starts
on page forty-nine (page forty-eight
being blank) and ends at page 264.
The text is devoted entirely to plants
(except where Sloane includes sponges
and corals in with seaweeds) and he
comments on the uses of many. Most of
the 159 plates are of plants but there
are thirteen with animals, local musical
instruments (this plate in both volumes)
and Arawak potsherds. The eight plates
of corals and sponges were included in
Volume I because Sloane, like many
others of his time, thought corals and
sponges were plants. In 1755, two years
after Sloane's death, an amateur and ap-
parently brilliant naturalist, John Ellis,
demonstrated conclusively that coral
polyps are actually animals.
It is a large book, the pages being a
little over thirteen inches long and eight-
and-a-half inches wide. Not counting the
covers, it is nearly two-and-a-half inches
thick. The paper of copies that I have
seen is in remarkably good condition
after 280 years.
In the introduction to the second
volume, Sloane apologises for the 18-
year lapse between its appearance and
that of the first volume. He tells us that
the delay was caused 'chiefly by a multi-
plicity of Business in the Practice of
Physick, which I esteem one of my first
Cares, and must be minded, if the lives
of Persons be regarded, with due Atten-
tion to the several Symptoms and
Changes of their Diseases'. Also putting
in order and cataloguing his collections
had been quite a task. The introduction
consists of 18 pages and the body of
this volume including the index amounts
to 499 pages.
Volume II contains an account of the
Trees of Jamaica (187 pages) Insects
and Spiders (37 pages), Land and Marine
Molluscs (39 pages), Sea Urchins (2
pages), Star Fish, Jelly Fish and Crabs
(6 pages), Fish (16 pages), Birds (32
pages). Frogs, Reptiles and Mammals (9

pages), Rocks, Minerals, Earths and
Sand (3 pages).
The rest of Volume II contains an ac-
count of the return journey to England,
additions to the first volume, lists of
contents of both volumes and an index
to both volumes.
Sloane gives a brief description in
Latin with further comments in English
about the species he dealt with. Many of
these would have been new, i.e., pre-
viously undescribed species, at the time
he was working and considering the ori-
gin of his specimens. Had he been using
the Linnaean system of naming plants
and animals, his name would have been
appended to many Jamaican species of
plants and animals. However, Sloane
had finished his Natural History of Jam-
aica before 'official' naming of plants
and animals began. For animals it dates
from the 10th edition of Linnaeus'
System Naturae published in 1758.
For plants his Species Plantarum, 1753,
Genera Plantarum, 5th edition, 1754
and 6th edition, 1764 are accepted as
starting years for the naming of plants.
Sloane's sentences are often too
long, awkward in construction and he
uses a plethora of commas. Yet his style
is not unusual for his times. He is in-
consistent in some of his spelling. Ex-
amples: 'Disert' and 'Dessert', 'Shores'
and 'Shoars' the second example oc-
curs with both spellings on the same

page. Perhaps he couldn't make up his
mind which was the correct spelling -
Dr Samuel Johnson's Dictionary, which
did much to help standardize the spel-
ling of English words did not appear
until 1755.
There are a total of 277 plates, 159
in Volume I and 118 in Volume II,
many of them having more than one
figure. There is also a map of the is-
land. Of the plates, 53 are of animals
or depict animals and other subjects on
the same plate. The text and figures,
then, are devoted mostly to botany and
this is understandable. Sloane was inter-
ested in botany for itself and he also
seems to have had some appreciation
of plants for their ornamental value.
Most of all, though, he was interested
in them for their potential medicinal
value and this is a field in which there is
much research even today. It should be
mentioned, also, that Sloane invested in
and profited from the sale of Peru-
vian or Jesuit Bark (Cinchona), the
source of quinine.
Two artists, Michael Van Der Gucht
and John Savage, are known to have
done most of the drawings, while those



of a third, Garrett Moore, may have
been used in the original or copied and
then engraved. Van Der Gucht, who was
born in Antwerp, was a recognized illus-
trator in his day and the Dictionary of
National Biography tells us that he used
a burin. John Savage, also a professional,
seems to have been lesser known but he
did illustrate Dr Plunkenet's Phyto-
graphia [1696]. Dr Plunkenet, incident-
ally, was not on very good terms with
Sloane. Moore was a cleric who worked
with crayons and apparently did some
paintings also. He was in Jamaica at
the time Sloane was here and is known
to have done some drawings for him.
In assessing the illustrations, we must
remember that these men were not
working with the array of magnifiers,
lights, inks and pens that scientific
illustrators now have at their disposal.
Generally speaking, the drawings of ani-
mals that were done from skins or speci-
mens preserved in alcohol are not good.
These include fish, reptiles and birds.
However, animals with a hard outer
covering or chitinous exoskeleton such
as insects and crabs are generally bet-
ter represented. This is true also of cor-
als, sea urchins and molluscs so that one
surmises that when the artists were
drawing from specimens in a good state
of preservation they could do a good
job. A

The drawings vary considerably in
quality, those of the plants being rated
quite good on the whole. Many of these
illustrations are signed by Van Der
Gucht. Some of the animals are well
done. For example the Fiddler Beetle
(Exophthalmus vittatus) is easily recog-
nizable and this is a species that was
later described by Linnaeus.
The publication of the first volume
brought Sloane international fame more
than fifty years before the British
Museum came into existence and he was
elected fellow or honorary member of
Academies at Paris, Berlin, Madrid,
St Petersburg and Gottingen.
As a scientist, Sloane does not rank
with such contemporaries as Karl von
Linne (Linnaeus), Anton Leeuwenhoek,
Jan Swammerdam or his good friend
John Ray. He had his detractors and
was even ridiculed by some for his
rather compulsive collecting. Yet, as an
enthusiastic collector and observer, part
of whose wealth was used to subsidize
others in the field, he deserves much

credit. He inspired and encouraged
many and so contributed to the flower-
ing of natural history in the late seven-
teenth and eighteenth centuries.
Following is a selection of some of
Sloane's comments about plants, animals
and the general environment of Jamaica.
The quotations are in italics, spelling,
punctuation and use of capitals for
many of the nouns that he employed
are maintained.
Sloane anticipated some unfavourable
criticism, 'Censure of several sorts of
Men, as the Envious and Malitious' but
he was ready to deal with them. 'And
considering that these sorts of Men,
have been all ages ready to do the like,
not only to ordinary Persons, and their
Equals, but even to abuse their Princes,
and blaspheme their Maker; I shall, as
I have ever since I seriously considr'd
this Matter, think and treat them with
the greatest Contempt.

AIR. I, Introduction, ix.
The Air here, notwithstanding the heat,
is very healthy, I have known Blacks
one hundred and twenty years of Age,
and one hundred years old is very com-
mon amongst Temperate Livers.

AN EARTHQUAKE. I, Introduction,xliv
One happened on Sunday the 19 of
February, 1688, about eight in the
morning. I found in a Chamber one
Story high the Cabinets, and several
other Moveables on the Floor to reel,
as if People had rased the Founda-
tions of the House. I looked out at a
Window to see what was the matter,
and found that Pigeons and other
Birds in an Aviary hard by were on the
Wing in great Astonishment, keeping
themselves in that Posture, not know-
ing where to alight.

FORESTS. I, Introduction, xiv.
All the high Land is covered with
Woods, which are great high Trees,
some of them very good Timber; they
are very tall, slender, straight, and one
would wonder how such Trees could
grow in such barren Soil, so thick to-
gether, among the rocks.

HONEY COMB ROCK. II, 337. Plate,
241, figs. 22, 23.
The natural Surface of it has many
Holes in it, like those of a Honey-
Comb, whence its name, which are
probably the Holes or Cavities wherein
lay the Pholas described above.., when
these Rocks were under the Sea Water.
[Earlier in this passage, Sloane tells us
that the 'greatest part, of all the Rocks
I have seen in this Island are of this
Stone' He suspected, it seems, that Jam-
aica had once been beneath the sea.]
WATER, I, Introduction, x.
Pond-water or River-water here, is most
pure and not so much infested with
Weeds as in England, because of the
swiftness of the Currents, or great Inun-
dations, destroying the Water-Herbs at
certain Seasons of the year.

CLOTHING. I, Introduction, xlvii.
Clothing of the Island is much as in
England, especially of the better sort,
that of the Indians and Negros is a little
Canvass Jacket and Breeches, given
them at Christmas. It seems to me the
Europeans do not well, who coming

from a cold Country, continue here to
Cloth themselves after the same man-
ner as in England, whereas all Inhabitants
between the Tropics go even almost
naked, and Negros and Indians live al-
most so here, their Cloths serving them
but a very small part of the year. When
they sleep they unty their Breeches, and
loosen th(e)ir Girdles, finding, by ex-
perience this Custom healthy, and there
is good reason for it, for by that means
the Circulation of the blood is not inter-
rupted, and so consequently humors are
not deposited in several parts of the
Body, which ever follows such inter-


AVOCADO. II, 133. Plate 222, fig. 2.
This is accounted one of the whole-
somest Fruits of these Countries, not
only by way of Disert, being eaten with
Juice of Lemons and Sugar to give it a
Piquancy, but likewise for supporting
Life it self. It is useful not only on these
Accounts to Men, but likewise to all
manner of Beasts. It is reckon'd a great
Incentive to Venery [i.e. aphrodisiac]
and so says Scaliger.

THE STAR APPLE. II, 170 171. Plate
It is used by Way of Dessert as other
Fruits, is not very unpleasant, and is
thought from some Signatures, and
Similitudes to be very provoking to

APPLE TREE" (Sapindus saponaria).
II, 132.

The outward Skin or Pulp of the Berries
washes Linen as Sope, but burns it in
some Time. The Stone is made use of
for Buttons, and therefore the Berries
are gathered and the Stones sent into
Europe in great Quantities.
CASSAVA. I. Introduction, xix.
People who live altogether on this, live
as long, and in as good Health as they
who feed on any other sort of Bread.
COCONUTS. 11, 8.
The Nut must be good and wholesome
Nourishment, the Inhabitants of sever-
al Isles living on Nothing else.

WILD CANE. I, 109.
The Cane, split, is made use of for Laths,
and to make up the walls or sides of
Houses with Mortar.
The tender tops of these Canes are cut
into transverse slices pickled, and made
use of as other Pickles, as the Bambo's
in East India are with assa foetida, Salt,
Vinegar and Garlick Pickle.
GINGER. I, 164.
It gently loosens and heats, strengthen-
ing the Stomach. Candied it provokes to
Venery. It is good against darkness of
sight, and for everything as Pepper. Ger.
[Here Sloane quotes from another

LIGNUM VITAE. II, 134. Plate 222,
figs. 4, 5, 6.
These Trees afford not good Fire-
wood, and are so hard as to break the
Iron Tools used in felling them, and
therefore are generally left standing
when other Trees are fell'd.

BEAD VINE (Abrusprecatorius). 1, 180,
Plate 112.
The whole Plant is sweetish to the tast,
and therefore called Wild Liquorish. It is
commended for a remedy against Belly-
ach if the leaves be boil'd in Broth and
the Decotion given the Sick.
These Beans are frequently gathered on

the shores of the North-West parts, and
Islands of Scotland, with other seeds
which are before and will be hereafter

EAL. 11, 3, 4. Plate 159.

It is in all its parts extremely full of a very
firey and hot Milk in great Abundance.

Mr Mohun told me he knew a fellow
eat four of them (the fruits) and yet was
not much hurt by them.

II, 150.
The Fruit is very cooling, if eaten with
the Seeds it is adstringent and not un-
pleasant to the Taste, but if more than
one or two be eaten at a Time, they
stop up the Belly. They are much covet-
ed by Hunters when they stand in Need
of Water, to moisten their Mouths and
quench their Thirsts.

*ALL SPICE TREE. II, 76. Plate 191.
It grows on the hilly Parts of this Island,
but chiefly in the Northside thereof,
and now is left standing, when other
Trees are fell'd, and planted in several
Plantations, because of the Profit from
the cured Fruit sent in great Quantities
yearly in Europe.

This Fruit is planted and us'd by way of
desert, (having a very fine flavour and
tast) and all over the hot West-Indies,
either raw, or when not yet ripe, can-
died, and is accounted the most delicious
Fruit these places, or the World affords,
having the flavour of Rasberries, Straw-
berries &c. but they seem to me not to
be so extremely pleasant, but too sower,
setting the Teeth on edge very speedily.

WILD PEPPERGRASS (Lepidium virgin-
icum) I, 195. Plate 123.
The first Leaves being of a pleasing bit-
ing tast, supply the Place of all the
Cresses in Salleting. [In the seventeenth
century, 'salad' was also spelt 'Sallet'
Perhaps, Sloane uses 'salleting' to mean
'preparing a salad' ].

TOBACCO. I, 149.
Upon the whole matter 'tis most cer-
tain, not only by the Eye Witnesses
above mentioned, but by many others,
that Tobacco is a Plant of very extra-
ordinary Vertues, not only for ill natur'd
Ulcers, but even Poyson'd Wounds. That
chawed, snuff'd or smoak'd, 'tis good
for Catarrhs, Headaches, Rheums,
Defluxions, the Gout, Asthma, &c.

TOMATO (Lycopersicon esculentum) I,
236-237, Plate 146, fig. 1.

They are eaten by some here, are thought
very naughty, and yielding little Nourish-
ment, though they are eaten either
boil'd or in Sauce by the Spaniards.

BORER. (Euchroma gigantea). II, 210.
Plate 236.

Ear-rings or Ornaments are made of the
Elytra or Sheaths of the Wings of this
[The illustration of this species is quite
good and Sloane wrote, 'I had it from

Jamaica'. It is certainly not uncommon
in the Kingston area and along the south
side of the island eastward into St.
Thomas and westward into Clarendon.
Its larvae or grubs live in Silk Cotton
Trees (Ceiba pentandra). It is strange
that from Sloane's time until the early
1940s no other specimens of this species
are known to have been collected in
"THE COCKROCHE" (Several species).
II, 203. Plate 237, figs. 9-12, 25, 26.
They leave a very unsavoury smell be-
hind them.
LAND CRAB (Gecarcinus ruricola). I,
269. Plate II in Introduction.
They are eaten by the Inhabitants, and
are much beyond any Crustaceous Ani-
mal I ever eat, in Delicacy of Taste.
(Heteropoda venatoria). II, 185. Page
misnumbered, should be 195. Plate
235, figs 1 and 2.
They are not venemous, nor do they do
any Hurt, but hunt and kill Cockroches,
and therefore are carefully defended
from Injuries by House-keepers.

MOSQUITOES (Species ?). II, 225.
The Merrywing, or common Mosquito.
They are everywhere after Rain, in a
Day, or two's Time, and are bred from
such a frisking small Worm hatch'd in
Water as Swammerdam figures in his
Book of The Generation of Insects. It is
a very troublesome Insect, especially
towards and in the Nights, as much by
its Wings, making a singing Noise, as by
its Biting, upon which the Places swell
into a very hard Bump.

QUEEN CONCH (Strombus gigas). II,
The inside is extremely well polished
and of a fine scarlet Colour, and is made
into Buttons being set in Gold or Silver.

FISH. II, 275.
I know not, neither have I heard of any
Place where there are greater plenty of
fresh Water and Sea Fishes, than in the
Island and on the Coast of Jamaica ...

BARRACUDA. II, 285. Plate 247.
According to its feeding on venomous or
not venemous Food, 'tis wholesome or
poysonous to those who eat it, 'tis also
noxious in some Seasons of the Year,
and in some Places, and innocent in
others, I suppose according to its Nour-
ishment, by which now and then, it
acquires so much poison as to kill im-

ostomus monticola?). II, 288-289.
They are very good and delicious food,
being extremely fat and savory, which
may come from the Rivers not being
here foul'd with ecrementitious Matters
so much as those in Europe.

CROCODILE (Crocodylus acutus). II,
They are very common on the Coasts
and deep Rivers of Jamaica, one of nine-
teen Feet in Length, I was told was
taken by a Dog, which was made use of
as a Bait, with a piece of Wood ty'd to a
Cord, the farther End of which was
fastened to a Bed Post. The Crocodile
coming round as usual every Night, seiz'd
the Dog, was taken by the Piece of
Wood made fast to the Cord, drew the
Bed to the Window and wak'd the
People, who killed the Allagator which
had done them much Mischief.
[Note the spelling of alligator and that
Sloane uses the word crocodile and al-
lagator for the same reptile.]
IGUANA (Cyclura collei). II, 333.
They are very common in Jamaica, and
are eaten there, and were of great Use
when the English first took this Island,
being as I was assured by the first Set-
tlers, commonly sold for Half a Crown
a Piece in the Publick Markets.

'Tis common in the Woods between
Guanaboa and Town everywhere.
[This is a puzzling comment. Land tor-
toises are presently unknown from Jam-
aica and we know of no previous rec-
ords except for Sloane's observation.
Species of South American and African
land tortoise were introduced into the
Eastern Caribbean, so it is possible that
a land tortoise was introduced here and
was thriving in the late seventeenth
century. There is a species of pond tur-
tle here, Chrysemys terrapen, which
spends most of its time in ponds and
rivers but may have made overland jour-
neys and was fairly common in the
more extensive woodlands of Sloane's

THE YELLOW SNAKE (Epicrates sub-
flavus). 11, 335. Plate 274.
This in Length about seven to eight
feet . . Many of them have been
kill'd with Thirteen or Fourteen Rats
in their Bellies.

BIRDS. II, 293.
It is a common Opinion, that the hot
Parts of the World abound most with
Birds of fine colour'd Feather, and that
they want those who sing: The first of
which is true and the latter false, for

there are many sweet singing Birds to be
found here, and those of as pleasant
Notes as any in Europe.

(Cathartes aura). II, 294. Plate 254.
At the first Landing of the English on
Jamaica, by the Bareness and Colour of
the Skin on the Head, they took this
Bird to be a Turkey, and killed several
of them in several Places for such, but
soon found themselves deceiv'd with
their stinking and lean Bodies, which
they almost always have.

arborea). II, 324. Plate 272.
It was about twenty Inches long from
the Bills end to that of the Tail, and of
the Magnitude of the Figure which is
as big as the Life, it made a whistling
Noise, from whence it had its Name and
very usually perched in Trees. It is com-
mon in the Island.

LOGGERHEAD (Tyrranus caudifascia-
tus). II, 300. Plate 259, fig. 1.
They are common in the Savannas among
the Bushes, and let Men come so near
them that they knock them down with
Sticks, whence they have the name of

SA 1 /


probably the YELLOW BILLED PAR-
ROT. (Amazonia collaria). II, 297.
S. has a reddish colour'd Neck being
every where else of a green Colour, it
has a short broad Tail and speaks very
articulately. They are eaten bak'd in
Pyes and taste as Pigeons.

They are in Jamaica.

GOATS. II, 328.
I saw some Guiney Goats in Jamaica,
they are like ours in every thing only

HORSES. II, 327.
These of the Spanish Kind are very com-
monly bred here, and are small, swift,
and well turned. They are so wild as to
be often taken in Toils.

This is sometimes taken in the quieter
Bays of this Island, tho' rarely now a
Days; They have formerly been fre-
quent, but are by the multitude of
People and Hunters catching them

The Racoons are commonly here in the
Mountains, and live in hollow fiddle-
wood Trees, from whence they make
Paths to go seek Sugar Canes, which is
their chief, if not only Sustenance.
[Here, Sloane must be referring to
the Jamaican Coney, Geocapromys
brownei . . There are, according to
some authorities, seven species of rac-
coons Procyon, none of which occurs in
the Greater Antilles. However, a species
is known from the Bahamas. Perhaps, in
Sloane's time, the Coney was a pest in
cane fields.].

RATS. II, Introduction xx.

Rats are likewise sold by the dozen,
and when they have been bred amongst
the Sugar-Canes, are thought by some
discerning people very delicious Victuals.
(These are probably the Jamaican nat-
ive rat, Oryzomys antillarum, which be-
came extinct following the introduction
of the mongoose.)


Laura Tanna is the author of Jamaican
Folk Tales and Oral Histories and
Baugh: Jamaica's Master Potter. Dr
Tanna writes frequently on art and
culture for several publications in-
cluding Jamaica Journal. She also as-
sists with the government's oral his-
tory documentation programme, the
Memory Bank.

Karl Watson is a lecturer in the De-
partment of History, University of
the West Indies, Mona. He has pub-
lished several articles on West Indian
history and is the author of The Civil-
ized Island: Barbados. A Social
History 1750-1816 (1979). His
special areas of interest are West
Indian and Latin American history.

Anthony McNeill has published three
collections of poetry: Hello Ungod
(1971), Reel From "The Life Movie"
(1975) and Credences at the Altar of
Cloud (1979). His work has been
widely published in anthologies in
Jamaica and abroad.

Bob Stewart, an American poet, lived
in Jamaica for many years and gained
his Ph.D. from the University of the
West Indies. He now teaches in New

Edward Anthony Watson is a profes-
sor in the Department of English at
the University of Windsor, Ontario,
Canada. A Jamaican, he has had his
poems published in Bim, Focus, and
The Washington Review. His first
collection, Out of the Silent Stone,
was published in 1976. Wreath in the
Rain, a narrative of Jamaica, is forth-

Thomas H. Farr, the entomologist
attached to the Natural History
Division, Institute of Jamaica, is a
regular contributor to Jamaica Journ-
al. He has published a number of
monographs and articles, particular-
ly on insects. Dr Farr was awarded
the Institute's silver Musgrave Medal
in 1984 for his work in the field of



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"Jamaican Dance" By Oswald Russell
A Descriptive Analysis

By Pamela O'Gorman

Oswald Russell is one of that special

breed of Jamaican musicians who
successfully inhabit two musical
worlds: classical and jazz.
Born in Kingston in 1933, he studied
piano with Ena Helps before taking up a
scholarship to the Royal Academy of
Music (RAM) in London in 1951 where
he remained until 1956, studying piano
with Eric Grant and composition with
Lennox Berkeley. The Tobias Matthay
scholarship of the RAM took him to
Paris, where he studied under Jacques
Fevrier at the Ecole Marguerite Long
1956-58. In 1958 he was a finalist in the
Naples international piano competition
and later played at the Salle Gaveau in
Paris. In 1959 he won a scholarship to
the Juilliard School of Music in New
York and, while there, made his Ameri-
can debut in the New York Town Hall.
He remained at Juilliard until 1961.
His activities as a concert pianist have
taken him to many countries in Europe
and to the United States both as a re-
citalist and as contestant in some of
Europe's most prestigious international
piano competitions. He was the first
black pianist ever to perform in the
Queen Elizabeth of Belgium piano com-
petition (1964). In that year he also en-
tered the Geneva international piano
competition and was awarded a scholar-
ship to study at the Geneva Conserva-
tory. He has remained a resident of that
city ever since.
In 1967 he won first prizes in both
the classical and jazz classes in the first
international competition for improvi-
sation held in Lyons, France and in the
following year was placed second in the
BBC Mozart competition.
He is now visiting professor to the
Conservatory of Kinshasa (Republic of
the Congo) where he visits each year to
give concerts and examine piano pupils.
He also teaches improvisation courses
at the Popular Conservatory of Geneva.

Oswald Russell

As a composer, Oswald Russell wrote
Legend of Lover's Leap for the Jamaica
National Dance Theatre Company's pre-
sentation of Roots and Rhythms in the
Independence celebrations of 1962. In
1968 he was invited to write the music
for the Swiss film Les Vieilles Lunes
(The Old Moons) and received acclaim
when the film was shown at the Cannes
Festival. He has also composed music
for the Jacques Dalcroze Institute in
Geneva. He is a member of the Swiss
Composers' Society.
His relationship with Africa has been
close and seminal. After his first visit to
the Congo he said, 'The visit .... was a
very moving experience for me. I felt I
had in some way returned to my roots.'

The Compositions

The three dances contained in the
publication entitled Jamaican Dance by
Oswald Russell, published by Editions
Henn (Geneva) in 1976, are the only ex-
amples of art music by a contemporary
Jamaican composer published by an
international publishing house.

The significance of this is that, unlike
those compositions which are published
privately, (and there are some in Jam-
aica) these are subjected before public-
ation to the scrutiny of professional
readers, who judge submitted composi-
tions on what they consider their in-
trinsic merit and their potential sale-
ability. It is a credit to Editions Henn
that they were able to perceive the po-
tential demand for a type of music that,
in the context of the European tradi-
tion would be adjudged 'ethnic'.
As far as 'ethnicity' is concerned,
the three dances combine Jamaican
folk idioms with European 'classical'
technique. While there are any num-
ber of such compositions that are es-
sentially nothing more than clever ar-
rangements of folk songs, these are in a
superior category in that, in two at least,
they can be addressed in purely musi-
cal terms, and can therefore appeal to
the knowledgeable and discerning lis-
The subject of internationalism and
ethnicity demands some examination,
for while the work is composed in a
European tradition, its rhythmic char-
acter, particularly, is wholly Jamaican.
A failure on the part of either inter-
preter or listener to understand this
bi-culturalism can result in an impaired
understanding of the true ethos of the
music. For example, if the pianist
counts four beats to the bar, and syn-
copates round them, the Jamaican
rhythmic concept will be distorted.2
The Western European post-Ren-
aissance tradition which constitutes one
aspect of their ethnicity depends mainly
on melody, harmony and tonality for
its syntactical meaning.
The Jamaican element which is in-
corporated into this is mainly rhyth-
mic, having its roots in the way African
rhythmic values were accommodated to
Western music in the New World. It
manifests itself in two basic rhythmic
patterns found in countless examples
of Jamaican music (examples 1 and 2).

Example 1

(a), r

The first pattern is really an African
approach towards the arrangement of
the eighth-note beats in one bar (or
measure) of four-four time (the time
used in European marches and many
European dances and hymns).
This consists of four groups of two
eighth-notes ortwo groups of foureighth-
notes (see 2 (a) and 2 (b) below). They
are conceived as sub-divisions of the
main beat.
It is now widely believed that, lack-
ing a hierarchical approach to the re-
lative strength of beats, Africans in the
New World played the eighth-note pul-
ses in an additive pattern of 3+3+2 (ex-
amples 2c and 2d) instead of sub-
dividing the four main beats into 2+2+
2+2 [Schuller 1968].

Example 2

r f r r

(a) (2+2+2+2)

(b) Lf L lf (4+4)

(c) CtL Lr (3+3+2)

(d)r r r


This 3+3+2 pattern is the predomi-
nant rhythmic pattern in Jamaican
music. (Arthur Benjamin certainly grasp-
ed it very quickly when he 'composed'
Jamaican Rhumba!). It is forever pre-
sent, either stated explicitly, or implied.
A survey of current 'dance hall' rhythms
will show how strongly example 2 (d)
persists in contemporary popular music.
Thanks to the ubiquity of radios and
sound systems, Jamaica literally throbs
to this rhythm, day and night.3
The other rhythmic element is the
second figure in example 1 which John
Storm Roberts [1972] has identified as
being a characteristic pattern found

throughout Black America (North and
South) and the Caribbean. A syncopa-
ted grouping that places emphasis on a
normally weak accent, it is found some-
times lasting for a beat (example 1 b (ii),
sometimes spread over a whole bar (or
measure) (example 1 b (i)).
Those two rhythmic patterns are to
be found throughout the three dances
that comprise this collection.

"Jamaican Dance No. 1"

The first dance opens with a two-bar
introduction based on the 3+3+2 rhy-
thm, using the notes B and D only. Al-
though the key-signature is that of one
sharp, implying G major, these opening
notes make for a tonal ambiguity. B and
D are the first and third notes of B
minor and they strongly suggest that
key, rather than G major, of which they
are third and fifth notes.
The theme which follows, which we
could designate Theme I, is nervous,
jumpy, fidgety and at the beginning
does nothing to correct the tonal ambig-
uity. It still sounds as if it is in B minor.
Any suggestion of stability is further
undermined by the rhythmic conflict
between the theme and the accompany-
ing pattern which formed the intro-
duction. Where the latter is in a 3+3+2
grouping, the former is in 3+2+3 (ex-
ample 3):

Example 3

F21 1 3

L-3"- 'Lii

This theme lasts for four bars (and
one beat) and it is not until the last
bar that the tonality of G major even-
tually emerges, on a syncopated pat-
tern (example 1 (b) ) lasting four beats.
It gives an effect almost of relief: the
theme has at last found its 'roots'.
Immediately, however, there appears
the other, main protagonist in the dra-
ma a short peremptory, bossy figure,

(it could hardly be designated a theme)
lasting no more than a bar of 3+3+2
rhythm in length, in the distant key
of E flat. Its gestures are always down-
wards, its voice is always forceful and
its relationship to the theme is always
one of domination. At its first appear-
ance, it jumps on top of Theme 1, just
as the little fellow has found his identity,
and displaces him rhythmically for his
second appearance, by robbing him of a
whole eighth-note which, however, he
makes up very quickly, almost without
anyone noticing. This second appear-
ance of the first theme is a reversion to
its former ambiguous tonal identity. Its
voice is even softer; but it gradually
gains confidence until it reaches where
it was before, at the G major cadence
- only to be stamped on again in ex-
actly the same way!
This time Theme 1 gives way to a
new theme Theme 2 which is far
removed from Theme 1 in character.
Relaxed, clothed in the soft but very
definite tonality of D flat major (as far
away from G or B minor as it is possible
to get), comfortably settled into the 3+
3+2 rhythm along with the accompani-
ment which keeps emphasizing the Db
tonality as well, it is a happy, smiling
melody, the kind you might want to
whistle out of sheer happiness and
contentment (example 4).
Alas, it is not to last. After five bars

I 3 r-21 2 ^ "3

'3 J 2

the peremptory voice breaks in loudly
in mid-phrase, urgent, contracted to
just two notes in length and cancel-
ling out all the soft flats of D flat major
by appearing in the much harder tonal-
ity of C major.
Immediately we witness a reversion
to the nervous ambiguity of Theme 1,
this time in the key stated by the 'boss'.
This lasts only for one bar before the

(b) (i) r r

or (ii) r

.........."V P

i 1 7 -. I ii -~ 1 1 L- L- I



S -1
A H i .-J-


Example 4:

0--=____ ___ I I M -


dominant voice breaks in, as loud as
ever, this time in a key a semitone high-
er; so the theme obediently moves it-.
self a semitone higher. By now it is in
F sharp major and for three bars gives
every appearance of remaining there
when, at the fourth bar, it suddenly,
almost imperceptibly, slips sideways
and, lingering over the cadence, goes
right back into G major and Theme No.
All is well. Theme 2 is back. It is in
the home key and for the first time we
hear it stated fully until it reaches its
conclusion all nine bars of it. The
piece ends very softly and lightly, on a
figure based upon a whole tone scale
(the epitome of tonal ambiguity, which
can provoke nobody) until it finally set-
tles on the home chord of G major
(which is reinforced a bar later by the
last stroke three G's played one oc-
tave apart, very forcefully as if to say,
'So there!'). The little fellow has won
the day.
"Dance No. 1" can be interpreted in
purely abstract musical terms which de-
note the idea of conflict between weak
and strong forces, expressed through
themes, key colour and rhythm. There
is a strong temptation, however, to see
this conflict concretised into actual
personalities based on the everyday
experience of living in a society riddled
by class conflict and the survival of the
weak in the face of the strong. Jam-

aican folklore is full of such stories.
Anancy is a character not unlike the
main protagonist. Whether Oswald Rus-
sell had in mind an actual situation or
not, does not matter. The emotions his
dance engenders are very, very familiar
in a post-colonial society.
And let us not forget that the title of
the piece is "Jamaican Dance No. 1."
Its themes lend themselves to interpre-
tation in theatrical terms.

"Jamaican Dance No. 2"

The "Jamaican Dance No. 2" is based
on the work song "Sammy Dead Oh", a
narrative song about a successful young
farmer who was 'obeah'd' by jealous
neighbours (example 5).
In Jamaican work songs, the part
sung by the leader is called the 'bomma',
that by the chorus, the 'bobbin'. (This
song is best known by the words of its
second verse and these will be referred
to in the subsequent analysis).

Bomma (call)

2. Sammy plant piece-a
An i' bear till i' kill

Sammy dead, Sammy
dead oh
Sammy dead, Sammy
dead oh

corn dung a
(M m)
poor Sammy
(M m)
dead, Sammy
(M m)
dead, Sammy
(M m)

it is interesting to note that the en-
tire song is built on one rhythmic mo-
tive (M1 marked on example 5) and that
in the first bomma melody, the motive
rises, in the second it falls.
The only other rhythmicfigure found
in the song is that of Figure 1 (b) (i)
which is heard between the bomma and
the bobbin on 'dead oh, Mm' which
could also be interpreted as a variant of
3+3+2 as follows:
Example 6

rn n-r i r

Dead oh (M m) Sammy

Russell bases his composition on
two rhythmic motives. (example 7).

Example 7

[I r

The latter permeates the whole piece.
It appears at the beginning very softly
as a bell-like figure, incessantly tolling,
denoting in its right hand articulation
the ictus of the bell sound and its sub-
sequent reverberation.

Example 5


-AV Us
SA no Sihif mek aeF~lk vn ki / ;nl (44i M) buta
no lie Sam-m3 Uiemk im deadoh ok m 'ut a

~1 .1

5rardge- Ful

den grudyt-faI
uu rU

kill Sam- y ("M
.i U V




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Example 8

(One cannot help but be reminded of
"Le Gibet" in Ravel's Gaspard de la
Nuit). Against this tolling bell figure,
and before the main theme of the mel-
ody enters, there is a seven-bar intro-
duction, almost a peroration, based on
the 'Sammy plant' motive, periodical-
ly punctuated by a short, low B-a single,
solemn drum-beat.

The harmonization of the theme
when it appears, softly and almost im-
perceptibly, conveys a mildly dissonant
bitter-sweetness, permeated by the
never-ceasing rhythm of the 'bell' figure.
The texture is transparent and the song
is stated in full. At no time, in this first
part, does the dynamic level rise above a
mezzoforte. (It is in the second state-
ment of the song that the composer's
full personal involvement will be felt).

The introduction now reappears as
an Interlude, this time shortened to five
bars by leaving out one of the repeti-
tions of the beginning and thus giving a
slightly greater sense of urgency. On this
occasion, when the melody reappears, it
is marked forte (loud) and largamente
(broadly) and, in the accompaniment,
the left hand is required to accent the
motive (example 9).

Example 9

At the end of the first line it re-
places the bobbin (M m) as if it can
no longer tolerate mere repetition or re-
inforcement; after the second state-
ment it does likewise, appearing one oc-
tave higher, in the treble but this time
with the second interval expanded from
a fourth to a fifth (example 10).

Example 10


The effect is that of a cry wrench-
ed from the heart.
At the second bomma (Sammy
dead) the statement of the bobbin
(M m) is replaced by the first three
notes of the opening melody 'Sammy
plant' and this emerges, in fact, as a
statement (in the tenor voice line) of
the whole melody in counterpoint
against the 'Sammy dead' theme which
is heard in the top (example 11).
With the addition of the accompany-
ing 'bell' motive and the harmony
it becomes the climactic statement of
the whole piece, the effect being to re-
create the familiar experience, at the
death of someone we know, of simul-
taneous recollection of the friend in
life and the realization that that person
is no more; to intensify our awareness
of the nature of life and the nature of
The piece ends with a short Post-
lude: the reiterated bell motive at first
played very softly, a suggestion of the
Introduction, the deep drum bass B
played once on the beat with a dead-
ening finality, sustained until it dies at
the very last, and the bell motive gradu-
ally fading into the distance, its inces-
sant repetition punctuated by longer
silences until it disappears into nothing-
Russell has based his piece entirely
on the original melody of the folk song
without resorting to any of the devices
commonly used by composers who re-
work folk material. There is no play-
ing about with tonality, no variation.
The harmonies retain the essential
simplicity of the original with the addi-
tion of a mere frisson of dissonance, the
texture is of the utmost transparency.
Yet how tellingly he conveys the emo-
tion of the work! It stands not only as a
testimonial to his craftsmanship and
the mastery of his materials, but also to
his deep insight into the essential genius
of his folk heritage.

"Jamaican Dance No. 3"
This dance is based on the folk song
'Rookumbine' (example 12).

Like so many Jamaican songs, the
song is bi-partite, consisting of two con-
trasting sections (Section A and Sec-
tion B).
Of the three Dances of the set, this
one approaches most nearly that of a
composerly arrangement of a folk song,
obtaining variety by using different
harmonizations, different distribution
of the hands, the presentation of the
melody in different keys. (As far as
the latter is concerned, Russell uses
his favourite device of moving side-
ways a tone or a semitone. In this case,
he begins in F sharp major, moves to
G major, then to A flat major and neat-
ly slips back to F sharp in mid-phrase -
a humorous touch which is character-
istic of him).
Before the theme of the melody is
stated, there is an Introduction, based
on tonic and dominant harmonies over
a tonic pedal, which firmly establishes
the key of F sharp and at the same time
uses the rhythmic figure 3+3+2 in the
right hand, 3+5 in the left hand (a fig-
ure that will be used frequently as the
left hand accompaniment pattern, being
as much a melodic device for high-
lighting an inner melodic line on the
thumb, as a rhythmic one).
The statement of the first section of
the melody is straightforward (note
the frequent appearance of the Figure
2 rhythm) and it is accompanied through-
out by the rhythmic figure (3+5)
first stated in the Introduction.
The melody of the B section is then
taken over by the left hand, while the
right hand provides accompanying triads
on tonic and dominant harmony.
After a three-bar interlude, a kind of
bagpipe drone, on a 3+5 rhythm, there
is a three-note lead into the restate-
ment of the theme still in F sharp
major, the melody of the B section
again being stated by the left hand,
while the right hand provides some
slightly more spicy harmonies by vir-
tue of some Added Sixths and Domi-
nant Ninths.
Again, the 'drone' interlude inter-
venes, this time leading into a state-


I _J

Example 11

0, mml'

.,:)Sam W dea) Samm o
S'ammy ea i d& S Y\ dea 0oh
'I1n r 1

I p

T W W f*'* i\J f *r B IF'^
)1 pr o -

T Samm3 pat a o>te

ILh i'r hr i 99f LT if i

Example 12

Rook urn -bne ec-na.

ment of the theme in G major by means
of a right hand glissando over a Domi-
nant Seventh chord in the bass (why is
it that so many Jamaican folk songs
seem to breathe more freely the moment
they are stated in G major? Certainly
this is the effect here, as it was in Dance
No. 1). This time there is a 3+3+2 con-
trapuntal melody added in the left hand
and when the B section is stated (again
in the left hand, still G major) the right
hand is given a .quirky chromatic me-
lody which adds spice to the harmony
and another touch of lighthearted ban-
There is no interlude to precede the
final statement of the song, which be-
gins in A flat, having arrived there by
means of a pedal point on G and the
introduction of an E flat which acts as
the dominant of the new key. Th6 key
of A flat is heard for three bars at the
beginning of the melody, when sudden-
ly we find ourselves in F sharp major
at the fourth bar, where we remain
for the rest of the piece (another of the
humorous touches which Russell likes
to share with alert listeners).4 A coda
based on the interlude figure winds
down the piece to a slower tempo and
a soft ending. The final chord, built on
an interval of a tenth in each hand and
played forzato (forced) is a kind of
harmonic 'raspberry' acidified by a clash

Sao- a Fe Aook-um-bine ee- na San- a

between G double sharp and A sharp.
An apt summing up for a piece which
shows Russell in light-hearted mood, rev-
elling in unpredictability and 'cocking
a snook' at convention.

1. The term 'ethnicity' which the Concise
Oxford Dictionary defines as 'pertaining
to race' is used here in its exact sense and
not in the sense of non-European as dis-
tinct from European, as it isinvariably used
by our northern neighbours. As far as we
are concerned, all music which is identi-
fiably linked to a race is 'ethnic'. Per-
haps it would be more accurate to say
that these dances have a double ethni-
city in that they relate both to Europe
and the Caribbean.
2. Up to now, I have tried not to become
too technical in this column and have
avoided musical examples. Alas, this
month, I must succumb to necessity, while
at the same time apologizing to readers
who cannot read music. I hope that such
readers will, nevertheless, be able to make
sense of the topic.
3. In European music education, the first
rhythmic pattern that is learnt is usually
r r r In other words, Europeans
learn to subdivide the beat. I have always
maintained that a Jamaican approach to
teaching rhythm in schools should begin
with an additive approach, especially 3+3+
2. The exuberance of rr r' is far more
natural to a Jamaican than the rather staid

r rr

Fe oh Kook-um- bine

4. The use of tonal or key colour in Euro-
pean music is one of its most expressive
elements, keys are regarded as being 're-
lated' or 'unrelated' and keys that lie ad-
jacent to one another (especially a tone
or a semitone apart) are, strangely enough,
far removed from one another in key
'colour'. Thus, when a tune is first stat-
ed in A flat major and then slips down,
before the phrase is finished, into the ad-
jacent key of G major colouristically, it is
akin to painting a figure first in red and
then suddenly slipping into say -
yellow. It thus constitutes an element of
humour.This is exactly what happens here.
In "Dance No. 1" when the 'hero' slips
sideways from F sharp major into the
home key of G major, thus asserting his
true identity, the effect is not only humor-
ous; it also carries a deeper psychological

ROBERTS, John Storm, Black Music of Two
Worlds, Allen Lane, 1972.
SCHULLER, Gunther, Early Jazz: Its Roots
and Musical Development, Oxford Uni-
versity Press, 1968.

Musical notation for examples 3, 4,8,9,10 are
from Jamaican Dance by Oswald Russell pub-
lished by Editions Henn, Geneva, Switzerland,
1976. The other notations are by Alaine Grant.

Pamela O'Gorman is director of the
Jamaica School of Music and our regular
music columnist.



By B.W. Higman

Cultural Adaptation and Resistance on St John: Three Cen-
turies of Afro-Caribbean Life
Karen Fog Olwig
Gainesville: University of Florida Press, 1985 xii, 226 pp., US$15.00

I n recent years the study of Caribbean cultural history
has been greatly enriched by the contributions of an-
thropologists. For Jamaica, the work of Sidney Mintz
on free villages and (with Douglas Hall) the origins of the in-
ternal marketing system immediately come to mind. Mintz
has also published on the culture history of Puerto Rican
sugar plantations and his most recent book (1985) is Sweet-
ness and Power: The Place of Sugar in Modern History. Rich-
ard Price, another anthropologist, has produced a large body
of work on Maroon societies in the region, both contempor-
ary and historical. Jerome Handler has concentrated his ef-
forts almost entirely on the period of slavery in Barbados,
studying such things as slave mortuary practices and the
physical anthropology of the population. To this group of
anthropologists concerned' with the history of the Carib-
bean we must now add the name of Karen Fog Olwig, a
Danish scholar whose work has to do with the former Danish
colonies in the West Indies, the territories which became the
United States Virgin Islands in 1917.
Reasons for the emergence of what Olwig and others label
'historical anthropology' are several, but to a large extent it
is a product of changes internal to the discipline of anthro-
pology. Until recent times, anthropologists were concerned
chiefly with the lives of 'primitive' and/or 'traditional' cul-
tures. The world is now structured differently, so that the
subjects have become increasingly elusive, and anthropologists
have at the same time come to recognize that there are no
'people without history'. The emphasis has shifted to pro-
cesses of cultural development over time and there has been a
rapprochement with the materials and methods of the his-
torian. On the other side, historians have become increasing-
ly aware of the value of introducing the anthropological ap-
proach to their work.
Olwig's book finds its focus in the series of abrupt cultural
transformations which have occurred on the island of St
John over the past 300 years. St John covers less than twenty
square miles, significantly less than St Croix or St Thomas, the
other major islands of the group. It is mountainous. When
colonized by the Danes in 1718, there Was an attempt to im-
pose a plantation economy, but only in a few valleys were
there patches of land sufficiently level and fertile to support
intensive sugar cultivation. In 1733 the Danes purchased St
Croix from the French in order to expand their capacity for
plantation production. A large scale slave rebellion occurred
on St John in the same year. The result was a slackening of
the planters'- hold on the system and the emergence of an

economy in which the slaves of St John had a greater degree
of leverage than in the typical Caribbean plantation society.
The slaves had extensive provision grounds and engaged in
fishing and hunting, exchanging goods through the local
markets and within their own community. This was a small
society, the locus of plantation slavery having moved to St
Croix. In 1733 the slave population of St John numbered
little more than 1,000 growing to 2,500 by 1800.
When emancipation came to the Danish West Indies in
1848 the plantation economy of St John rapidly collapsed.
The planters did initially attempt to tie labourers to the plan-
tations by means of contracts and manipulation of the mar-
riage bond, but by the 1860s the old planter families were
selling out and soon left the island. Former plantation land
was converted to pasture for livestock raising, an enterprise
requiring only intermittent labour. Concentration of land-
ownership continued, but the ex-slaves built on their ex-
perience to establish a peasant economy alongside the es-
tates. Olwig argues that the peasantry of St John should be
called, in Mintz's terms, a 'reconstituted peasantry' with its
roots in the period of slavery. 'The St John peasantry' she
writes, 'did not originate as a means of survival after the col-
lapse of the plantation society; its social forms had long been
the basis of the Afro-Caribbean community' (p.103). In
spite of the development of smallholding, many people left
the island and its population fell from 2,450 in 1846 to a
mere 1,054 in 1870. An interesting aspect of this process,
which contrasts with that in Jamaica, is that in the later
nineteenth century the landowners of St John actively en-
couraged squatting on their properties, since they saw it as
the only way to command the irregular but dependent labour
force they desired.
Today, St John is a 'tourism society'. The first hotel was
established on the island in the 1940s, but major develop-
ment did not begin until the later 1950s, following the crea-
tion of the Virgin Islands National Park by act of Congress in
1956. The intent of this act was to create an area of natural
wilderness for the delectation of American tourists, and its
effect was to remove the resource base of the peasantry.
Land prices became so high that few, even the owners of
'family land', could withstand the temptation to sell. The
labour force in the tourism sector came to be dominated by
alien British West Indians and a colony of resident United
States continentalss' developed. The native population is
now a distinct minority, numbering barely 1,000 and de-
pendent on government employment for its income.

Olwig provides a clear description of these transform-
ations in the society of St John, structuring her discussion
in terms of the changing balance of adaptation and resist-
ance but seeing also a fundamental continuity in the pat-
tern of development. Her material is derived from a variety
of sources, ranging from manuscripts in the Danish archives
to fieldwork. The Danish archival sources are especially rich.
The local government officer, the landfoged, served as judge,

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bailiff, policemaster, notary public, administrator of auctions
and the probate court, postmaster, and customs officer. Very
often he recorded the testimony of slaves, providing rare in-
sights into their attitudes to plantation authority. For ex-
ample, Olwig writes that (p.40):

In the latter days of slavery, the knowledge that the landfoged
would help them and the realization that many overseers were
ignorant newcomers emboldened the slaves; some openly show-
ed their spite for the overseers. In an encounter with the assist-
ant manager on Carolina Plantation, a slave exclaimed: 'Mass'
John, why are you picking at me in this way, and what can you
do me? You may lick me and lock me up, that's all but you
can't shoot me or kill me.' In another instance a slave display-
ed his contempt for the low position of overseers in the white
planter class, shouting to the overseer on the neighboring
estate: 'Do you know whom I belong to? I belong to Judge
Berg, you are a come-and-go, my master is head-judge. You,
pshawl You a shitting ass blanco' (English in the original).

Production and reproduction are central to Olwig's
thesis. She is concerned with the relationship of the eco-
nomy and the reproduction of the labour force, and with the
social reproduction of forms of resistance and accom-
modation. Slaves, peasants and workers responded different-
ly to their particular situations, but Olwig identifies an
underlying continuity based on a highly developed system of
exchange relationships and kinship networks. Her emphasis is
on the networks rather than the household unit, and she
takes to task those historians who have focused on the nu-
clear family household rather than the more dynamic pat-
terns. This admonition is salutary, and advances our under-
standing of Caribbean family organization. Whether Olwig's
interpretation can be extended to the whole Afro-Caribbean
or Afro-American world, as she contends, is a matter for de-
bate. St John appears too unique an example to bear the
weight of the argument, and Olwig herself refers to signifi-
cant differences even within the Virgin Islands, contrasting
the proletarianized population of plantation St Croix with
the St John community. Comparison with Jamaica suggests a
range of similarities and differences. Whatever the outcome
of this debate, however, Olwig has been highly successful in
opening new vistas on the Caribbean region in all its diversity
and on the fruitful marriage of anthropology and history.

B.W. Higman is Professor of History at the University of the
West Indies, Mona, Jamaica.

By Jonathan Dalby

Hogarth, Walpole and Commercial Britain
David Dabydean
London: Hansib Publishing, 1987
167 pp, 53 black and white illustrations; UK price 15.95, hardback.

half-century before the beginning of the Industrial
Revolution, England was already a highly developed
trading nation. To a much greater extent than in other
European countries, commercial interests determined national
policy: a substantial proportion of government revenue came
from duties levied on imports and exports; the great wars of
the eighteenth century with France and Spain were fought
for primarily commercial ends and for control over colonial
trade; and these wars were paid for out of loans raised largely
through the bankers and merchants of the City of London.
In the City itself, three great joint-stock enterprises had be-
come dominant by the early eighteenth century; the East

India Company (founded in 1600), the Bank of England
(1694) and the recently chartered South Sea Company,
were granted monopoly rights of trade in the South Seas in re-
turn for taking over part of the national debt. It was a wave
of unprecedented speculation in South Sea stock and the es-
tablishment of several bogus companies associated with the
scheme that provoked the so-called South Sea Bubble of
1720. As it became apparent that the whole South Sea
scheme rested on very shaky foundations, the value of stocks
fell rapidly and thousands of investors lost their savings. But
the South Sea Bubble represented far more than a simple fi-
nancial crisis for subsequent investigations revealed that
prominent politicians of both parties and even members of
the royal family were closely implicated.
It is against this background of financial scandal, political
corruption and the aftermath of popular demands for retri-
bution, that William Hogarth produced some of his most
interesting work, which is studied by David Dabydeen in his
second book on Hogarth Hogarth, Walpole and Com-
mercial Britain.1 Beginning with a detailed examination of
The South Sea Scheme of 1721, Dabydeen traces the develop-
ment of Hogarth's art in The Lottery (1721), Masquerades
and Operas (1723-24), Royalty, Episcopacy and the Law
(1724), The Mystery of Masonry (1724), Cunicularii (1726)
and ends with a long analysis of the six prints comprising A
Harlot's Progress of 1732. As the author points out in his
preface, the consensus of critical opinion, stressing the moral
satire of Hogarth's early work, has either underestimated or
wholly ignored its political content an element critics have
hitherto associated only with his later career. 'In proposing a
political reading of A Harlot's Progress, and to a lesser ex-
tent, A Rake's Progress', Dabydeen continues, 'my argu-
ment is not only that they have been profoundly misunder-
stood but that the consistency and continuity of Hogarth's
early work have not been properly recognized.' (p.11).
It is his emphasis on the elements of political satire in
Hogarth's work of the 1720s and 1730s, therefore, which
constitutes Dabydeen's main thesis in this book. And for the
most part it is a convincing thesis. The South Sea Scheme,
which by its very title could hardly have been claimed as
apolitical in content, is subjected to a rigorous analysis, and
the various themes of religious and sexual corruption, social
disorder and the economic exploitation of the poor by the
rich (this being perhaps the most consistent theme through-
out Hogarth's work), are highlighted and explained. Daby-
deen, pointing out along the way the patriotic but mildly
zenophobic sentiments of the artist, then demonstrates how
the South Sea Bubble continues to preoccupy Hogarth in
subsequent engravings of the 1720s and 1730s.

When turning to A Harlot's Progress, however, the author's
argument that the six prints should be interpreted on one
level at least as anti-Walpole satire,2 is intriguing but less con-
vincing. What is clear is that most of Hogarth's works are open
to several different simultaneous interpretations the more
subtle and obscure evident only to the educated and political
classes (among whom Hogarth sought his patrons), the more
obvious clear for all to see. Dabydeen freely admits that his
own subjective interpretation is heavily reliant on guesswork
and speculation (p.13), but in identifying specific political
figures of the day (Colonel Charteris, Bishop Gibson, Thomas
Woolston, Sir John Gonson) amongst the fascinating de-
tail of the series of engravings, and then associating these in-
dividuals with Walpole himself, the author appears to be al-

together too reliant for the historian, at least on specu-
lation. 'One of the ways of attacking Walpole,' says Daby-
deen, 'and (hopefully) circumventing the libel laws was by
satirizing a villain, mythical or historical, ancient or modern,
whose immorality was made to serve as an analogue to Wal-
pole's.' (p.91). But was not Hogarth, little more sympathetic
to the Opposition than to Walpole, merely satirizing poli-
ticians and the ruling class in general, rather than Walpole in
particular? If Walpole one of Hogarth's major patrons,
after all failed to take him to court or to employ one of the
many means of censorship against him (including withdraw-
ing his patronage), it is surely because the artist demonstra-
ted no particular hostility towards him. However ingeniously
disguised Hogarth's anti-Walpole feelings may have been, it is
unlikely that the most skilful and durable politician of his
age would have been taken in.
This book started life, as the author informs us (p.12), as
a doctoral dissertation, and for the non-specialist it reads too
much like one. If it is intended, as its format appears to indi-
cate, partly for the general reading public, then a more sub-
stantial discussion of the South Sea Bubble and of the nature
of early eighteenth century English politics and society is re-
quired. This should not be asking too much in a book of 160-
odd pages, half of which are taken up with illustrations, foot-
notes, bibliography and index. Moreover, though this can
hardly be taken as a criticism of the author, it is at times
difficult to follow Dabydeen's observations regarding the de-
tails of particular prints, due to the necessarily much-reduced
size of the illustrations. To fully appreciate the skilful com-
position and allegorical complexity of Hogarth's work and
his importance as a source of eighteenth century social his-
tory, the prints need to be seen in their original size. In this
context, Dabydeen's book whets the appetite and must rep-
resent a thought-provoking contribution to the study of
Hogarth's art for the specialist.
Finally, the theme of corruption in high places which Ho-
garth so often returns to is of refreshing topicality in the de-
cade of Irangate, insider-trading scandals and the biggest
single-day fall on the New York Stock Market since 1929.
The international stockbrokers and commodity dealers of
the 1980s have their ancestors in the 'Stock-Jobbers' of the
City of London of the early eighteenth century those vil-
lainous and shady figures who manipulated the market so
that 'the Price shall dance attendance on their designs, and
rise and fall as they please, without any regard to the intrin-
sick worth of the Stock'.3


1. See the review of Dabydeen's first book Hogarth's Blacks, in
Jamaica Journal 20: 1.
2. Robert Walpole, Prime Minister in the 1720s and 1730s.
3. Quoted by Dabydeen, p 13, from a work entitled The Villany of
Stock-Jobbers Detected, attributed to Daniel Defoe.

Jonathan Dalby is a lecturer in the History Department,
U.W.I., Mona. He is a graduate of the universities of St
Andrew and Manchester.

By Elaine Brooks

Black Albino
Namba Roy
Longman Caribbean Writers Series, 1986, pp.206

Namba Roy was a Jamaican Maroon who migrated to
England, saw active service during world war II and
remained there until his death in 1961 [see JAMAICA
JOURNAL 16: 3, 17: 1]. He married an Englishwoman who
has been outstandingly sympathetic to his work. Long be-
fore it became fashionable among black 'progressives' to
adopt an African name, Roy Atkins changed his to Namba
Roy, thus underlining his commitment to and empathy with
his African roots. It is very likely that he himself experienced
some prejudice during his self-imposed exile; nevertheless,
one can detect no personal bitterness or racism in his novel.
Instead, the West African tradition of storytelling which
came to the Caribbean with the slaves and which he had in-
herited from his ancestors, is wonderfully expressed in Black
This book was Namba Roy's only published novel. How-
ever, he had gained a reputation as a sculptor while trying to
write. This skill had been passed from father to son in his
family for more than two centuries. The cover of this edition
carries a photograph of two of his works carved in ivory.
It should be noted that the same spare lines that inform these
pieces are reflected in his writing.
Also on the cover of the book is a quotation from Doris
Lessing, the well known South African-born novelist. She
describes Black Albino as 'an exciting, romantic, historical
novel', but its focus on one of the most cruel, painful and
destructive of human traits prejudice, forces us to come to
terms with our own feelings in that regard. One of the basic
reasons for prejudice is that man shuns and fears what he
does not understand and he tends to react with extreme in-
tolerance to anyone or anything that is 'different'. As a re-
sult, there is more often than not, no rational basis for it and
therefore little one can do to combat it.
In the 1967 edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica,
Walter Knox tells us that albinism involving the whole body
'occurs in all races in about one in 20,000 persons'. It is a
condition that is transmitted recessively so that albinos are
often born to parents who bear all the normal characteristics
of their race. Black albinos are at a particular disadvantage
in their appearance in that their extremely white skins are in
contrast to their negroid features. The popular Jamaican dee-
jay Yellowman is an unusual example of one who has trium-
phed over, and indeed capitalized upon, the 'difference'
that sets him apart from his contemporaries. Perhaps the rea-
son for this is that among modern pop musicians the unusual
is frequently the norm.

At the beginning of the novel, Tomaso, chief of the run-
away group of Maroons, and Kisanka are childless and are
taunted by Lago, Tomaso's 'blood brother', who, despite
the bond, becomes the couple's implacable enemy. 'Can one
be a warrior when one cannot bring a seed from his loins?'
he asks, underlining that the stigma of barrenness that still
exists among many Jamaicans has a considerable historical
However, soon after, Kisanka's pregnancy is announced
amidst great celebration. Imagine the shock and hostile

curiosity aroused when the long awaited 'manchild' is like
no other! Kisanka is the protective mother who shares the
pain of rejection which the growing child feels, while
Tomaso, consistent with his own personal character, is loyal
and loving to his little family. This is in contrast to the hated,
despised Lago who hides his own daughter Manda because
she has been born blind another irony which adds to the
tale. She is considered an 'imperfect child' who will 'em-
barass' her father.
The twists and turns of the plot are almost predictable
but nevertheless entertaining. Tragic events occur which
cause Tomaso to give up his position as chief and leave the
village. Later, his child Tamba becomes an object of fear and
ridicule and is ostracized by the villagers. The only human
companion of his age that the lonely little boy has, is blind
Manda both outcasts because they are 'different'. Through
her we are able to 'see' Tamba for his character rather than
his appearance.
The book rises to a peak with a surprise attack by British
troops. During the battle the children in the village become
separated from the adults and wander into the countryside.
Tamba and Manda, who are also in the same position, come
across this frightened, bedraggled group. As time passes, the
group following from afar, accepts Tamba's leadership be-
cause of the bush lore he demonstrates.
One does not want to reveal the essentials of the plot,
so suffice it to say that the children finally take a major step
to show that they have come to accept Tamba totally and
without reservations.
The strength of the story is in its telling. Namba Roy en-
tertains and holds one's interest while on another plane he
gives us to understand that, ultimately, beauty is indeed only
skin deep.

Elaine Brooks is administrative assistant in the Faculty of
Arts and General Studies, UWI, Mona.

West Indian writers figured outstandingly in the com-
petitions for the new Commonwealth Writers Prize
and the British Airways Commonwealth Poetry
Prize for 1987. Edward Kamau Brathwaite's X/Self (OUP,
1987) won the Poetry Prize for the Americas region. In a re-
cent interview in Artrage (Autumn 1987), Gordon Rohlehr
describes X/Self as Brathwaite's 'intellectual autobiography'.
In November Brathwaite, who is professor of social and cul-
tural history at the Mona campus of the UWI, also had the
title Companion of Honour conferred on him by his native
Barbados, on the occasion of that country's 21st anniver-
sary of independence. Novelist George Lamming was similar-
ly honoured.
The Commonwealth Writers Prize (for drama and prose
fiction) was won by Olive Senior of Jamaica for her very first
book of fiction, Summer Lightning (Longman Caribbean,
1986), a collection of short stories. In the same year, 1986,
she had also published her first book of poems, Talking of
Another Jamaican, James Berry, won Britain's richest
prize for children's books, the Smarties Prize for 1987 for his

short story collection A Thief in the Village (Hamish Hamil-
ton 1987). Berry has been long resident in Britain where
several collections of his poetry have been published.
The Guyana Prize for literature was also awarded for the
first time in December 1987. These handsome awards repre-
sent an unusually courageous gesture on behalf of literature
by an Anglophone Caribbean government. The competition,
open to books of poetry and fiction published by Guyanese
writers between 1985 and 1987, attracted more than a hand-
ful of very good entries. At the awards ceremony, held in
Georgetown on 8 December, Professor Gordon Rohlehr of
the Department of English, UWI, St Augustine, was guest
speaker. Wilson Harris, whose Carnival (Faber, 1985) won the
fiction prize, and Janice Shinebourne, whose Time-Piece
(Peepal Tree Press, 1986) won the prize for a first book of
fiction, replied on behalf of the prize winners. The Guyana
Prize for poetry went to Fred D'Aguiar's Mama Dot (Chatto
and Windus, 1.985) and the prize for a first book of poems to
Guyana, My Altar (Karnak House, 1987) by Marc Matthews.
In addition, a special Judges' Prize for exceptional promise
was awarded to Rooplall Monar for Backdam People (short
stories) and Koker (poems), both pLblished by Peepal Tree
Press, in 1985 and 1987 respectively. E.B.

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By Edward Baugh

Fred D'Aguiar

he youngest contributor to the Penguin Book of Carib-
bean Verse in English (ed. Paula Burnett, 1986) is
Frederick D'Aguiar, whose first book of poems, Mama
Dot (Chatto and Windus, 1985), marked him as a bright new
hope of Caribbean poetry. That collection was a Poetry Book
Society recommendation for 1985 and has also more recent-
ly won the Guyana Prize for poetry (1987). Mama Dot, the
shrewd, strong, resourceful grandmother of the sequence
which most distinguishes the collection, is ensured of a place
in the gallery of memorable literary characters.
Fred D'Aguiar was born in London of Guyanese parents.
At the age of two he was taken to Guyana and raised there
until he returned to London in 1972 when he was twelve.
Talking about the poems that recall the Guyana of his child-
hood, he says:
I've come to see that a place never is what people say it is, and
so you almost have an imaginative licence to define it, either
for yourself or for a generation . .. I set out to be loyal to a
memory, but not to be seen to be looking back, to be seen to be
imagining really.
While doing his A-levels he attended a writers' workshop
run by Blake Morrison at Goldsmiths College. At that time
he felt himself to be 'very much at the centre of British
poetry, but never West Indian', until he discovered Edward
Brathwaite's Rights of Passage and the poetry of Derek
Walcott. He took a first degree in African and Caribbean stu-
dies at the University of Kent and is now doing research for a
Ph.D. thesis on Wilson Harris for the University of Warwick.
In connection with that research, he spent a few weeks in
Jamaica in the summer of 1987. He was particularly struck
by what little he saw of Jamaican landscape:
I've been hit in the eyes and in the heart by the geography,
the hills and so on. I've had quite a few walks around; only
locally . but it's enough to convince me that there's a spirit
here, that goes back to the Maroons, to convince me that there
are natural shrines here.
Fred D'Aguiar is joint editor of Artrage, the magazine
published in London by the Minorities Arts Advisory Service.
Race Today Ltd is soon to publish in pamphlet form a poem
by him called "Explainer", which he says is based on Derek
Walcott's "The Spoiler's Return". He is also working on a
new collection to be published in 1989. The title sequence of
that book, "Airy Hall", is named after a place where he lived
as a boy, a village outside Mahaicony, about forty miles from
Georgetown. He says that in this sequence, a kind of contin-
uation from Mama Dot, he is 'writing about something that's
really built imaginatively, but which has all the trappings of a
presumably historical and sociological place'.
When asked how he would define his cultural identity, he
explains that in terms of his geographical location he is 'a
British black, which is someone who has had years of soak-
ing up British racism, but who also has a perspective as a
black person and might say something differently, or express
an experience differently from an indigenous white person.'
However, the term 'black British' covers a plurality of ex-
periences and identities and makes any one who assumes it a

'moving target, a target that's actually multiple', which he
finds an exciting position to occupy.
Edward Baugh is Professor of English at the University of the
West Indies, Mona, Jamaica.


When asleep, my back turned
On Airy Hall's first light,
Every corner faced takes
A mirror's silvered edge
Flashed and flashed at me.

When I fasten my lids,
A thick dark is punctured
By stars; when I surrender
The stars become flowers;
When the flowers are thrown

They sprout doves,
Doves that arc fluently
Back to my clasp:
Star, flower and dove,
Bring me the light I love.

Fred D'Aguiar

The red sand road, the houses set well back,
The trees there to collect dust
Whipped by traffic and flung at them,
The log bridge I am forever crossing
For a sound logs make as they shuffle
Underfoot, the lop-sided main gate
That has to be lifted into place,
The palings you can swing-up and duck
Sideways through if loose and if known to you,
The tse-tse fly stickled on their spikes
We take all afternoon approaching
Just to pincer the papery tail
Between the thumb and index fingers:
How many pushed off those tips
Leaving us mannered and lost in thin air,
As I am left now, now and always.
Fred D'Aguiar




.. B S .i

8:1 MARCH 1974 Bustamante's Letters 0
Marcus Garvey in Harlem Cadastral
Survey Artist Albert Huie Prose Style
of Roger Mais.
J$5 or U.S.2.00 ppd.

84 DEC.EMB( 1974Tanzanian Carvings
Energy Resources A Jamaican Street
Preacher Missionary in Malawi Seaford
Town Settlement, Part I.
JSS or U.S.$2.00 ppd.


911 MARCH 197 Seaford Town Settlement,
Part 2 Mexican Art and Craft Cuban Art
Exhibition Literature in Revolutionary
Cuba Jamaican Cultural Identity 0
Jamaic6n Music in Established Churches.
J$5 or U.2.00 ppd.

9z2 & 3 JUNE SUPTEMmBR 1W The Arrivals of
Black Women 17th 18th century
settlement of Port Royal Introduction of
Printing into Jamaica Cecil Baugh:
Master Potter Prose Fiction of Claude
McKay Electronic Media in Teaching
JS5 or U.S.(2.00 ppd.

3r.? m ~c

. 0 .

Bock Issues are available from our office
Also in stock:
Volume 2:4; 4:3 & 4; 5:1-4; 6:1-4
7:1-3; No. 46;
all at J$5 or U.S$2.00 ppd.

16:2-4 J$8 or U.S.$3.00 ppd.
17:1-4 J$8 or U.S.$3.00 ppd.
18:1-4 J$8 or U.S.$3.00 ppd.
19:1-4 J$8 or U.S.$3.00 ppd.
20:1-4 J$15 or U.S.$5.00 ppd.


914DECEMR 1975 Voodoo in Haiti Haitian
Art Jamaican Philharmonic Orchestra *
History of Portland Geology in Jamaica.
J$S or U.S.$2.00 ppd.

101l MARCH 1976 Jamaican Folk and
Traditional Music (the 33/2 rpm disc that
goes with this issue no longer available) *
Short essays on Tambu, Mento, Cimballing
(Revival), Maroon Drumming, Ettu.
JS or U.S.$2.00 ppd.

No. 44 (19s0) Jamaican Dance Heritage s
David Boxer on Intuitive Art Peat as Fuel
* History of the Coconut Jamaicans and
the Panama Railway Jamaica and the
Cuban Ten Years War The Dallas Family
and Jamaica.
J$5 or U.S.$2.00 ppd.

No. 4 (1i1) Charles Hyatt and the
Jamaican Language Archaic Jamaican
Speech Lorna Goodison's Tamarind
Season Comments Errol Lloyd *
Walcott and Painting Energy *
Technology Transfer.
J5or U.S.2.00 ppd.

These brief notes on books
received do not preclude a
longer review.



Dub Poetry: 19 poets from
England and Jamaica
Christian Habekost
West Germany: Michael Schwinn
1986, 235 pp.
Collection is dedicated to the
late Michael Smith, Jamaican
dub poet, and includes selec-
tions from his works along
with that of other well-
known dub poets such as
Mutabaruka, Oku Onuora,
Linton Kwesi Johnson and
Poets in Unity. An extensive
introduction describes the
emergence and growth of dub
poetry as a literary form. Illus-
trated with photographs of
the poets.

Gammon and the Woman's Tongue
Diane Browne
Kingston: Diane Browne
1987, 24 pp.
Life changes dramatically for
Gammon, an average goat,
when he attains a golden
coat. Illustrations by Pat-
rick Foster may be coloured
by the young readers for
whom the book is intended.

Coalitions of the Oppressed
Edwin Jones
Kingston: Institute of Social and
Economic Research,
University of the West Indies
1987, 201 pp.
Study focuses on the role
of the oppressed classes in
Jamaica during the political
struggles of the colonial period
1935-45. Jones identifies
many of the dilemmas, con-
tradictions as well as the
weaknesses and strengths,
that arise from the marriage
of democratic political forms
to a society still sharply divi-
ded by race and class .

Little People
Pat Persaud
Kingston: The Children's Writers
1984, 1987,72 pp.
A collection of seven short
stories for children set mainly
against the background of the
Jamaican countryside. Rela-
tionships between family
members, friendship, jealousy,
loyalty and greed are among
the themes. Includes illustra-
tions by Cathi Levy.

The Selling of Fidel Castro
William E. Ratcliff (ed.)
New Brunswick (USA); Oxford:
Transaction Books
1987, 197 pp.
Six articles by William Rat-
cliff, Kevin Greene, Carlos
Ripoll, Vivian Dudro, John P.
Wallach and Daniel Johnson
examine the role that the

media played in the Cuban re-
volution, its impact on the
development of U.S. foreign
policy and in the formation
of western public opinion to-
wards Cuba.

A Hamper of Recipes from Jamaica
Jill Roberts
Kingston; Heinemann
Educational Books Caribbean Ltd.
1987, 96 pp.
More than 150 recipes in ten
categories: appetizers, soups,
main course dishes, desserts,
quick breads, cakes, pastries,
candies and drinks. Illustrated
by Joanne Sibley.

Manny and the Mermaid
Cherrell Shelley Robinson
Kingston: The Children's
Writers Circle 1987, 30 pp.
Manny, a Jamaican country
boy, achieves a once in a life-
time experience when he finds
the comb of a mermaid.






History and Culture
Corimt Forunm Anthology of 20
Caribben Volae Idlted and with an Intro-
ductoln by John Hearne
Produced for Carifesta '76
in Jamaica, this unique collection of
essays aimed to define 'the present
state of culture in the Caribbean'
through the consciousness of 20
formidable minds. Contributors from
the English, Spanish, French and Dutch
Caribbean and circum-Caribbean
include C.L.R. James, V.S. Naipaul
and Gordon Rohlehr (Trinidad); Aime
Cesaire (Martinique); Nicolas Guillen,
Roberto Retamar (Cuba); Octavia Paz,
Carlos Fuentes (Mexico); Rene
Depestre (Haiti); Jan Carew, Wilson
Harris, DenisWilliams (Guyana);
George Lamming, Edward Kamau
Brathwaite (Barbados); Derek Walcott
(St. Lucia); Sylvia Wynter, John
Hearne, Rex Nettleford (Jamaica);
Robin Dobru (Surinam); Rene Marques
(Puerto Rico); Gabriel Garcia Marquez
PI 524 pp (1976) JS 10 or U.S4.50 ppd.
U.K. L 3.50

The Rebel Women In the Iritlsh Wet Indies
During Slavery by Lucille Mthurfn
"... women, who are often regarded
as the submissive sex ... took an im-
portant part in forms of protest against
slavery. Female slaves adopted some
of the same techniques as men to defy
the system". Many of these techniques
as well as those peculiar to women are
described in this booklet. "The Rebel
Woman" is placed in a historical
context starting with women's roles in
the West Africa kingdoms from which
they came to the New World to their
most powerful manifestation in
Jamaica Nahny, leader of the
Maroons. This interesting and simply
written approach to one aspect of our
history is a perfect gift for students
and adults.
PB40ppllustrated(L97S)J$5or U.S.3.25ppd.
U.K. 2.50



First published in the 1970s, these
are still stimulating accounts of
"Jamaicans of Distinction". Lively
reading for young and old.

George 'Atles' Headley by Noel White and
George Headley The inspiring story of
one of the world's greatest cricketers,
written mainly with the young in mind,
but also of interest to adults. George
Headley collaborated with White to
produce an intimate portrait. Appendix
includes statistics relating to Headley's
Pi 161 pp. Illustrated (1974) JS6 or U.S.S3.M0
ppd. (But see special offer below) U.K. 1.25

Herb McKenleyl Olympic Star by Errol
Townsend, Jams Carnegie nd Herb McKnley
Story of the Jamaican athlete
who achieved world fame, touted as
'the greatest quartermiler of all time'
and 'the greatest allround sprinter'.
Extensive appendix on McKenley's
performance and performances of
Jamaica's athletes in international
meets compiled by Richard
PB 97pp. Illutrated (I74) J6 or U.S.$.50
ppd. (But see special offer below) U.K. E 1.25

The Uf and Times of Willie Henry by Clyde
Hoyt Story of a remarkable Jamaican
who was an outstanding agricultural
leader. His life story from 1899 is
placed against the backdrop of
Jamaica's early 20th century history.
P 74pp. Illustrated (1975) J6 or U.S.3.50
ppd. (But e special offer below)

Special Offer to JAMAICA JOURNAL
Order all three "Outstanding
Jamaicans" books for half-price.
Pay only J$9 or U.S.$5 ppd.
Offer Available Only Through Our Office.
U.K. Orders to:
Third World Publications Ltd.
151 Stratford Rd.. Birminqham
Bl11 Rd
Tl: (0211 773 6572

Institute of Jamaica Publications Limited

2A Suthermere Road. Kingston 10. Jamaica, Telephone: 92-94785/6



National Dance Theatre Company


Milton George Dorothy Henriques-Wells
Art Art

Leonie Forbes-Harvey Drama
David Pottinger Art
Willard White Music

Jack Tyndale-Biscoe

Joe Williams


Carl Abrahams

Olive Lewin


Eric Donaldson

Erica Allen
Millicent Clare
Lorna Goodison
Dennis Hall
Adina Henry
Roy Reid
Cecil Ward
Neville Willoughby
Pearl Wright

Honor Ford- Smith

Library Development
Oral Narrative
Floral Art

0 MgraveMeaL 0ue
Musgrave Medals for1987 were awarded on 21 October 1987 at the Institute of Jamaica. The
Musgrave Medal was introduced in1889 in memory of Sir Anthony Musgrave, founder of
the Institute and is awarded in recognition of outstanding contributions to
Literature, Science and the Arts.

St Andrew's Scots Kirk

Nestled among law offices, banks and
other commercial buildings on Duke
Street, Kingston, is St Andrew's Scots
Kirk, the principal Presbyterian church
in Jamaica which this year celebrates the
175th anniversary of its founding in
November 1812. (In 1965 the Presbyter-
ian church merged with the Congrega-
tionalist to form the United Church of
Jamaica and Grand Cayman).
The octagonal structure of brick and
stone was designed by James Delaney.
Building did not actually start until 1819
as it took almost seven years to raise the
total of 21,000 needed to cover land
and construction costs. In 1833 it was
described as 'the handsomest building in
Kingston' by James Hakewill, a promi-
nent British artist visiting the island.
The interior of the church is imbued
with an air of dignity created in part by
its high ceiling and the tall, stately pillars
of mahogany which support the gallery
and roof. The double row of pillars placed
directly on top of each other gives the
impression of a single set of a dozen very
tall columns. The lower pillars are of
Ionic design and the upper row Corin-
thian. The gallery practically circles the
building, breaking only to accommodate
the entrance and the stained glass windows
above the altar.
The exterior originally boasted four
stately porticos. However, extensive
damage in 1907 by the earthquake
which devastated the city required major
repairs to be carried out on the facade
and roof and the four porticos were re-
placed by three which still stand today.
Refurbishing and rebuilding have taken
place over the years but always with a
view to maintaining the original design as
far as possible.
Scots Kirk was among the churches
singled out in 1987 for special recog-
nition in the Jamaican Heritage in Archi-
tecture Awards sponsored by Berger
Paints Jamaica Ltd. in association with
the Jamaica National Heritage Trust. The
1987 awards focused on churches over
100 years old which have been 'main-
tained in a manner which preserved the
original architecture and "feel" of the

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