Front Cover
 Table of Contents
 Back Cover

Title: Jamaica journal
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00090030/00065
 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: June 1991
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: VID00065
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 01797964
lccn - 75027862
issn - 0021-4124

Table of Contents
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Full Text


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Jamaica Journal Index 1967-1989

Special Introductory Price. Jamaica $95 00 (USA $15.00: UK 9.00. Ppd)

Orders already prepaid will be processed
at no extra charge

Ihmdsomie bhndtrs tdc ICned tfor ihi/ .I \Mc. JOU.RN.tL INDE.\ andfuture Iupplements are
also on .iile Pru, e: .IJarrmaa S35 i11) .L'S 4 5 .0I.. UKL'3 0f). Ppd)
1[(.) Puhl. .,:)r. d I .1 2.. S ll,. errner' Ra. K.ngl..-.n It Tel 920 1 Fa. 926 mI<17

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Editor Leeta Heame
Assistant Editor Dahlia Fraser
Computer Operator/
Editorial Assistant Joan White
Design and Production Dennis Ranston

JAMAICA JOURNAL is published on behalf
of the Institute of Jamaica by
Institute of Jamaica Publications Limited.
Managing Director
Patricia V. Stevens

Secretarial Services Faith Myers
Sales Reps Ricardo Hcnderson, Denise Clarke
General Services Hugh Stewart
Advertising Sales Gloria Forsyth
Printers Hyde, Held and Blackburn Ltd.
All correspondence should be addressed to:
IOJ Publications Limited
2a Suthermere Road, Kingston 10, Jamaica
Telephone (809) 929-4785/6
Fax No: (809) 92-68817

Back issues: Some back issues are available. List
sent on request. Entire series available on
microfilm from:
University Microfilms,
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48106, USA.
Subscriptions:J$140 for 3 issues (in Jamaica
only); UK: Individuals: 15, Institutions: 20.
All other countries: Individuals: US$25.
Institutions: US$30.
Single copies: J$50 (in Jamaica only); UK.6;
Other countries: US$10.
All sent second class airmail.
We accept UNESCO coupons. Contact your local
UNESCO office for details.
Advertising: Rates sent on request.
Index: Articles appearing in JAMAICA JOURNAL are
abstracted and indexed in HISTORICAL ABSTRACTS,
Vol. 24 No.1. Copyright 1991 by Institute of
Jamaica Publications Ltd. Cover or contents may
not be reproduced in whole or in part without
written permission.
ISSN 0021-4124

Cover: Andreas Oberli
The Garvey shrine in National Heroes Park
houses the portrait bust of Marcus Garvey by
Alvin Marriot and also incorporates the Black
Star, an important symbol associated with Garvey
and the UNIA. Veerle Poupeye-Rammelaere's
article begins on page 9.

I .

History and Life

3 Afro-Jamaican Plantation Life: An
Archaeological Study of Drax Hall
by Douglas V Armstrong

54 The Legendary Marcus Garvey
by Beverley Hamilton

Science and Technology
49 The Star Apple: Symbol of Meanness
by John Rashford

The Arts

9 The Iconography of Marcus Garvey
by Veerle Poupeye-Rammelacre

38 New Art Galleries
by Kim Robinson

Regular Features

23 Art: On the Eve of a New Era:The
1990 Annual National Exhibition
by Anna Maria Hendricks

33 Music: Drumming in Jamaica:
Marjorie Whylie's Contribution
by Pamela O'Gorman

59 Books and Writers
Reviews: Tony Martin's Marcus Garvey:
Hero by Rupert Lewis; Velma Pollard's Crown
Point and Considering Woman by Evelyn
Poems by Velma Pollard

37 Contributors


Vol 24 No 1 June 1991

A Message from the Chairman of the Board

Dear Reader,

As you know, JAMAICA JOURNAL continues to maintain its high
standards and to achieve local and international acclaim.
However, this achievement has been very costly and the Journal
has been experiencing financial difficulties for some time, largely
due to rapidly increasing production costs.

We at IOJ Publications have tried to absorb these costs for as long as possible. Unfortunately
this has meant falling behind in our publishing schedule to the point where drastic action is
now necessary. At the same time, we have to pursue the policy of being as self-supporting as
possible. The consequences are threefold:
i) an increase in the cost of subscription.
ii) a reduction in the number of issues in each volume.
iii) the decision to have one issue only in volume 23 (23:1)

The present issue of JAMAICA JOURNAL, therefore is number 1 of volume 24. The volume will
contain three numbers and the subscription costs will be as follows:

Jamaica USA UK
J$140.00. Individual $25.00 Individual 15.00
Institution $30.00 Institution 20.00

All present subscribers will receive the full four issues of the Journal for which they
have paid at the earlier rate.

By introducing these measures we hope it will be possible for IOJ Publications to continue to
maintain the quality which our subscribers expect of JAMAICA JOURNAL. We realise that these
may be unwelcome changes but they are necessary and we look forward to your continued
support as we try to establish a financially viable base for the publication.

Yours sincerely,

Edward Baugh (j
Chairman, Board of Directors
Institute of Jamaica Publications Limited

A First- Hand Look at Life on a Jamaican Plantation

An Archaeological Study of

The Afro-Jamaican

Community at Drax Hall

by Douglas V Armstrong

m n the Caribbean and through-
out the Americas, researchers
are examining Afro-American social
and cultural systems. This research
is part of a general re-evaluation of
the past. More specifically, it is a
reflection of the growing awareness
that black history and Afro-
American heritage are an import-
ant part of the culture and history
of the Americas. The archaeological

This paper is a result of research conducted in cooperation with the Institute of
Jamaica and the Jamaica National Heritage Trust. It was presented at the
Caribbean Island Section of the February 1987 Conference on Race and Revolution:
African Americans, 1770-1830, at the Smithsonian Institution.

and historical study of Drax Hall sugar plantation on the north coast
of Jamaica explores the everyday lives of slaves as reflected by the
material remains that they left in the ground as refuse, trash, and
abandoned structures at a village occupied in the seventeenth
through nineteenth centuries.
Numerous accounts describe the institution of slavery but there is
comparatively little first-hand information on the lives of slaves. For
the most part, they did not have the opportunity to write about their
own lives and much of what is written about them is in the form of
economic records (inventories, deeds, wills, etc.) kept by the
plantation owners or managers, along with occasional mention in the
planters' journals, or brief descriptions by travellers. Although they
lack the immediate perspective of the slaves, all of these records are
useful and, if studied, can add to our understanding of their lives.

View ofDrax Hall estate and sugar plantation L. Robins 1765


Map of the slave and later tenant settlement at Drax Hall plantation

To date, only a few of the many thousands of black
settlements in the Caribbean have been excavated. In
Jamaica two major projects have been completed and a
third is under way. Research and excavation for the
Drax Hall project were completed in the mid-1980s and
are reported in a detailed account in The Old Village and
the Great House: An Archaeological and Historical Exam-
ination of Drax Hall Plantation, St Ann's Bay, Jamaica
[Armstrong 1990]. Barry Higman carried out extensive
research at New Montpelier [Higman 1975] and con-
siderable historical research, including excavation, has
been completed at Seville Plantation [Armstrong 1990].
Elsewhere in the Caribbean, archaeological studies of
plantation slavery have been carried out at the Newton
Plantation cemetery by Jerome Handler and Frederick
Lange [1978] and at Galways Plantation, Montserrat, by
Lydia Pulsipher and Conrad Goodwin [1982] and Jean
Houser [1989]. These studies represent only a few
hundred of the several million persons of African
descent who helped create the rich and diverse cultural
landscape found today in the region. Their history,
particularly in the years prior to the American
Revolution, is linked with their North American
counterparts by their common plight, African heritage,

and, indirectly, by the world markets which were
created through their labours.
The Drax Hall study focuses on a single village. It is
not suggested that the specific case of Drax Hall and
findings there can be used to reconstruct the full picture
of Jamaican slave experiences. On the other hand, the
study takes a detailed look at a slave community
through time and adds to a growing body of archaeo-
logical data on slaves in Jamaica and the British West
Drax Hall Plantation, founded by William Drax in
about 1669, was a large sugar estate on the north coast
of Jamaica, located just east of St Ann's Bay. Drax
accumulated several small tracts of land between 1669
and 1691 and they finally formed an estate of more than
three thousand acres. The property was held by the
Drax family until 1762 when it was acquired by William
Beckford (Lord Mayor of London). Between 1760 and
1821 the estate was operated in absentia by Beckford
and his son William (author of Vathek). This long period
of absentee ownership resulted in a considerable
amount of historical documentation. Maps were drawn,
formal accounts current and accounts produce were
filed, slave lists were drawn up, and records of


G 'ea, "The Old Village"
'I gnana.. a

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L, 45
2R 3

2 10 11 2, ?J3, 1

&S 5 34 1 I

expenses were maintained. All of these documents
provide a valuable data set for a combined historical
and archaeological examination. Detailed analysis of
these records and of the archaeological excavations is
presented in The Old Village and the Great House.
John Pink, a local planter, bought the estate from
the younger Beckford in 1821 and continued to live
there and operate it well beyond the end of slavery. The
estate outlasted most sugar properties, large or small,
but was finally listed among encumbered estates in
1863. William Sewell purchased the plantation and
continued to produce sugar through the 1880s before
switching over to bananas and cattle, and finally copra
and lime (soap) after 1925. Despite the shifts in
production, the estate remained in the hands of the
Sewell family for more than a century. While the social
and economic activities at the estate have changed
dramatically since the late eighteenth century, the lands
comprising the estate remain intact.
Drax Hall stretches from the fertile coastal plain to
the mountainous highlands of the parish of St Ann.
Compared with other Jamaican estates of the eighteenth
century, it was a large and successful enterprise which
used the labours of an average of three hundred and
twenty slaves to produce a highly profitable cash crop -
sugar. The population of the village began to decline in
the early nineteenth century. By 1832 the population
had dropped to two hundred and seventy-five and
immediately following Emancipation many of the
former slaves left the plantation for freeholdings in St
Ann's Bay, Steer Town, and elsewhere. Though the size
of the community decreased through the nineteenth
century, the site continued to be occupied until 1920
when the last of the tenant housing in the village was
knocked down.
With respect to the independence movement in
North America and the age of revolution, there is little
evidence from the village at Drax Hall to indicate a
direct or discrete impact. In the years prior to the
revolution in North America, British colonies in the
Caribbean had close ties and ever-increasing trade and
exchange with their northern counterparts. British
colonies in the Caribbean received a great deal of their
provisions from the northern colonies and served as the
seasoning grounds for slaves who were later brought
to continental plantations. In turn, the northern
colonies obtained plantation products such as
molasses. With the American Revolution, the strong
bonds between these regions were broken and trade
and exchange were severely limited [Brathwaite 192T.i
For the smaller islands without established local
provisioning systems this was to result in severe food
shortages for slaves. Even in Jamaica, where a local
provisioning system was established, there are reports
of slaves who perished of famine. The shortages of
imported goods brought a need to strengthen the
existing local provisioning system and increased the
role played by blacks in the production of domestic
foods and merchandise. The curtailment of exchange
with the American colonies also meant greater
dependence on manufactured goods and supplies from
England. This intensified the role of the islands both as

a source of labour to produce sugar/capital and as a
market for the expanding industries of the motherland.
The larger project from which this paper is drawn
deals with changes found in the archaeological record
spanning the late eighteenth century through the
transition to free tenant labour. The focus here is on a
single house-yard area excavated at Drax Hall
plantation. The house-area (Figure 1) is one of nine
houses excavated. It was selected because it dates to the
period of the revolution in the North American colonies
(1770-1800). The data from this house-yard area are
compared and contrasted with historic accounts of
slave housing in Jamaica. Structural remains, activity
areas within the house-yard and the artefacts found in
and around the house are all examined.
Surface traces of structural remains were faint. Yet
when excavated they revealed the spatial layout of
living and working space. This house-area is similar in
basic layout to the other houses excavated at the site. It
consisted of three rooms which were identified by the
pattern of limestone and brick foundations and flooring
(4.5 x 9.0 metres or 14.6 x 29.3 ft). Immediately behind
the house is an area that served as the kitchen.
The house was made of locally available materials:
marl, rough limestone cobbles and blocks, along with
brick of several different types, presumably taken from
other structures. Three distinct rooms were identified:
one with limestone block flooring, the middle room
with marl cobble flooring, and the third with soil only.
The locations of partition walls, probably made of
wattle and daub (twigs and mud), and interior
doorways are identifiable. The exterior walls were
probably also of wattle and daub construction on a
layer of limestone and brick.
The basic plan of construction is similar to the plan
described in several accounts of slave housing in
Jamaica. A particularly detailed account of construction
practices among 'Creolian and African Negroes' was
published anonymously in Columbian Magazine or
Monthly Miscellany in 1797 [Anon. 1797: 249-252]. The

Simplified map showing excavated House-Areas


article describes wattle and daub house construction
from initial fork and post framing to final daubing and
thatching [Armstrong 1983; Higman 1976a].
Bryan Edwards's History of Jamaica yields a similar
account. He describes huts with no flooring, made of
wattle and daub, and approximately 15 to 20 feet long
by 15 feet wide (5-7 x 5 metres). In addition, an 1831
account states that '. .. most huts were divided into two
rooms although many remained undivided and a few
were divided into three rooms' [Patterson 1973].
Since the beginning of the nineteenth century, the
patterns of construction of slave housing have been
attributed to African building practices. For example,
an 1818 article in The Jamaica Journal notes 'the ground-
work of all Negro habitations in Jamaica was, as in
Sierra Leone, the Negro huts of Africa' [Patterson
1973:54]. This view has been supported by more recent
analogy linking Afro-American housing in the
Southeast and Caribbean to African construction
patterns [Vlach 1977; Wheaton and Garrow 1985]. West
African housing patterns and construction practices
contributed to the layout and construction techniques
employed in Afro-Jamaican housing. Perhaps most
significantly, they made use of a house-yard layout of
living and activity spaces.
Like houses in Africa, the houses at Drax Hall were
made of materials available from the local environment.

Construction materials were principally wood, stone
and thatch, but the houses also incorporated a small
number of manufactured products of European design
such as nails, hinges, pintles and other building
hardware, reused brick, and, in the cooking shed,
reused slate (adopted probably to protect the house
from the fires).
Eighteenth century descriptions of house furnish-
ings suggest little in the way of manufactured furniture;
a table, a few chairs, some bedding. Not surprisingly,
the archaeological data on furnishings from Drax Hall
were sparse. This house was completely devoid of
items such as drawer pulls or brass tacks that would be
associated with Euro-Colonial furniture.
One item found in an adjacent house of the same
period provides an example of locally made implements.
When excavated it appeared at first to be merely an
amorphous, bent piece of sheet metal. As it was being
cleaned, it was spotted by Professor Emanuel Kofi
Agorsah, University of Ghana, who identified it as an
oil lamp similar to those which are still in use in Ghana.
It is bent up at each of the four corners, with one corner
folded over itself. A wick was placed in the metal fold.
The lamp could provide illumination for hours.
Two coins were found between the cracks in the
floor of the house. One is an eighteenth century coin
depicting George II, dated 1756, the other a sixteenth




SOULi, 6J3'0 0 LJL-J *'
0 3 o 0

0 Limestone Block (unfinished)
", Marl/Limestone

= Brick
< Gtinding Stone

Foundation at House-Area 1 (mean date of occupation 1787)



Foundation at House-Area 1 (mean date of occupation 1787)



rp~f 3. -.7

Excavation in progress at House-Area 1

century Spanish silver piece. The
presence of a Spanish coin of
considerable age is not surprising since
coins then remained in circulation for
many years. Their presence does serve to
indicate access to and participation in a
market economy. Writers of the period
complained that slaves were controlling
the small coinage and pulling it out of
general circulation.
Roofing was probably of thatch. The
rafters may have served as a place to
store personal items, tools, foodstuffs,
and other property of the slaves. These
houses did not have storage pits in the
ground, perhaps because of the tropical
environment or the limestone bedrock.
Considerable quantities of broken .
bottle glass and stoneware mug frag- 4 7 "-
ments were found at the outside corner Excavation oftlouse-Area 1 nearing completion
of the room with the dirt floor. This room
may have served as a place for distri-
bution of spirits, possibly a cottage
industry. Refuse was discarded through
the door or, if this room was merely a
patio, perhaps over the wall.
Sidney Mintz has reported that
houses throughout the Caribbean are set
within house-yard and garden areas
[Mintz 1974: 231]. He points out '... here
decisions are made, food is prepared and
eaten, the household group whatever its
composition sleeps and socializes,
children are conceived and born, deaths
are ceremonialized' ibidd]. James
Phillippo writing a retrospective account An African-Jamaican slave's pocket knife. Note personalized engravings (crosshatch lines in
Phillippo writing a retrospective account bone handle).


., ..

in 1843 observed: 'Each house was subdivided by a
piece of garden-ground. .' [Phillippo 1843: 217]. The
archaeological data support the proposition that the
house and associated yard formed a fairly discrete unit
in which many of the daily living activities took place.
An important interface between the house and the
yard is the kitchen area. Cooking areas were found
behind all the houses at Drax Hall. There we dis-
covered a high frequency of the utensils used in food
preparation, grinding stones, iron cooking pot
fragments and fragments of locally produced earthen-
ware yabbas. The hearth was demarcated by several
stones which, as in West African practice (Brong-
Ahafo), were placed around the fire to support the
round-bottom earthenware yabbas. Locally produced
yabbas are evidence of continuity with West African
cooking and eating practices.
Phillippo describes the presence of ... a few
wooden bowls or calabashes, a water jug, a wooden
mortar for pounding their Indian corn, and an iron pot
for boiling the farrago of vegetable ingredients which
composed their daily meal...' [Phillippo 1843: 217].
Other items used at the house areas described in his
accounts include '... mats, baskets, bark rope, yabbas,
jars, etc...' ibidd]. Prominent on this list are perishable
items such as the calabash and basketry, neither of
which survived in the archaeological record.
In the yard behind the house we found latches and
hinges which may have been used in small sheds and
animal pens. In addition, data was collected that
supports the use of the yard area as a garden plot. A
survey of remnant vegetation growing at the site
yielded one hundred and twenty-four identifiable plant
species. Over half (sixty-four) have known ethno-
botanical uses in Jamaica [Armstrong 1983]. This list

includes many plants with medicinal uses. Some
examples are: goatweed (Lantana trifolia), and susumba
(Solanun torvum), both of which were used for colds and
flus, along with fruit such as ackee (Blighia sapida)
guava (Psidium guajava), and soursop (Annona muricata).
The ackee tree, a fruit tree brought from Africa, is
among these surviving garden plants. It, along with the
breadfruit tree, was one of several food plants
purposely introduced into Jamaica at the time of the
American Revolution to provide a domestic source of
food. Ackee remains an important part of the Jamaican
diet and is incorporated into the Jamaican national dish
'ackee and saltfish'. This tree was found not only at
Drax Hall slave settlement but at all six village sites
tested during a preliminary site survey. The presence of
ackee is a strong indicator of the location of abandoned
slave village sites throughout Jamaica.
In addition to garden plots, the slaves also had
provision grounds at some distance from the village in
which they grew the major part of the food produced
for personal use and for the local market.
The archaeological data confirm the presence of
distinctive Afro-American house-yard living areas
during the period of slavery. What has been described
here is the basic structure of the house, with attached
kitchen and a yard containing garden plants and animal
pens. Furthermore, detailed analysis of the Drax Hall
data reported elsewhere, [Armstrong 1983; 1985],
including studies of artefact function, relative cost, and
diet, provide a clear picture of an emerging culture
within the slave settlement. This local expression of the
emerging Afro-Jamaican cultural system incorporates
both continuity and change. It was created by the slaves
in spite of the oppressive economic and political
institution of slavery.
Photographs by the Author

ANONYMOUS. 'Characteristics Traits of
the Creolian and African Negroes in
Jamaica, etc., etc.,' Columbian Maga-
zine or Monthly Miscellany. Kingston,
Jamaica: William Smith, Publisher,
Church Street, 1797
ARMSTRONG, Douglas V. 'The "Old
Village" at Drax Hall Plantation: An
Archaeological examination of an
Afro-Jamaican settlement'. Ph.D.
Dissertation in Anthropology, Uni-
versity of California, Los Angeles:
Ann Arbor, University Microfilms,
.'An Afro-Jamaican slave
settlement: Archaeological investi-
gations at Drax Hall'. In The
Archaeology of Slavery and Plantation
Life. Theresa A. Singleton ed. San
Diego: Academic Press, 1985.
BRATHWArTE, Edward. The Development
of Creole Society in Jamaica 1770-1820.
Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1971.
EDWARDS, Bryan. The History, Civil and
Commercial, of the British Colonies in
the West Indies,. London, 1793.

HANDLER, Jerome S. and Frederick W.
Lange. Plantation Slavery in Barbados;
An Archaeological and Historical
Investigation. Cambridge: Harvard
University Press, 1978.
HIGMAN, Barry. 'Report on Excavations
at New Montpelier, St James, Jamaica,
22-24 March and 3-18 August, 1975'.
History Department, University of
the West Indies, Mena, Jamaica.
Mimeographed manuscript, 1975.
-. (ed.) Characteristic Traits of the
Creolian and African Negroes in
Jamaica. Mona, Jamaica: Caldwell
Press, 1976 (originally published by
an anonymous author, see above).
HOUSER, Jean. Personal communications.
MATHEWSON, Duncan R.'Archaeological
analysis of material culture as a
reflection of subcultural different-
iation in 18th Jamaica'. JAMAICA
JOURNAL 7:1-2 (25-29) Kingston, 1973.
MINTZ, Sidney W. Caribbean Transforma-
tions. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins
University Press, 1974.

PATTERSON, Orlando. The Sociology of
Slavery: An Analysis of the Origins,
Development, and Structure of Negro
Slave Society in Jamaica. Kingston:
Sangster's Book Stores, 1973.
mHILLPO, James M. Jamaica its Past and
Present State. London: W. Clowes and
Sons, 1843.
PULSIPHER, Lydia M. and Conrad M.
Goodwin. 'Galways: A Caribbean
Sugar Plantation. A report on the
1981 Field Season'. Department of
Geography, University of Tennessee,
SOUTH, Stanley. Method and Theory in
Historical Archaeology. New York:
Academic Press, 1977.
VLACH, John.'Shotgun Houses', Natural
History 86:2 (51-57), 1977.
WHEATON, Thomas R. and Patrick H.
Garrow. 'Acculturation and the
Archaeological Record in the
Carolina Lowcounty.' In The
Archaeology of Slavery and Plantation
Life. Theresa A. Singleton ed. San
Diego: Academic Press, 1985.



~ ~.1


Amy Jacques Garvey with the Augusta Savage bust of Marcus Garvey

ir'll a W I IMI11



Veerle Poupeye-Rammelaere

-n a 1987 opinion poll conducted by Dr Carl
Stone, Marcus Mosiah Garvey was rated as
Jamaica's most popular National Hero [Gleaner
8.7. 871. The Marcus Garvey Centenary celebrations
probably contributed to these results, but even
without his National Hero status or the activities of
the Centenary, Garvey would undoubtedly be one of
the country's most popular and influential historical
personalities, however controversial.
Garvey's popularity and the direct and indirect
impact of his philosophy are reflected in Jamaican
art. Portraits of Garvey and Garveyite symbols form
a substantial part of the Jamaican popular and
official commemorative iconography and can be

found on city walls, on coins and postage stamps, as
well as in the paintings and sculpture of some of
Jamaica's best known artists.
Garvey has been described as an art lover and
collector and as someone who clearly understood the
importance of cultural achievement as a part of the
foundation of a people's identity. Furthermore, few
Jamaican artists will deny the fundamental
importance of the Garveyite philosophy and black
consciousness in general for the Jamaican art
movement. Several recent publications have explored
the cultural aspects of Garveyism, but none of them
has looked specifically at its influence on the
Jamaican visual arts.




The Garvey Aesthetic and the Visual Arts

Garvey himself, on many occasions,
expressed his belief in the importance
of culture, including the visual arts, and
this plays a vital role in his doctrine of
African nationalism, black pride and
self-reliance. In his address on art for
the 1934 UNIA convention, he called
art the 'highest form of human
intelligence', 'the highest form of
genius', and urged black people to
develop artistic standards of their own
[Gleaner 18.8.34].
Pride and self-esteem are largely
dependent on the perception one has of
one's history. Garvey continuously
reminded his audience and readers of
the greatness of ancient African
civilizations, including their art:
Yes, honest students of History, can
recall the day when Ethiopia and
Timbuctoo towered in their Civiliza-
tions, towered above Europe, towered
above Asia. When Europe was
inhabited by a race of cannibals, a race
of savages, naked men, heathens and
pagans, Africa was peopled with a race
of cultured black men, who were
masters in Art, Science and Literature,
men who were refined, men who, it was
said, were like the Gods [Jacques-
Garvey ed. 1986 p. 77].

A statement such as the above is
particularly revealing about Garvey's
perception of civilization and history. It
shows him as someone who was aware
of the contemporary advances such as
African historiography, as well as of
historical sources such as Julius
Caesar's De Bello Gallico, Herodotus's
historiography and, of course, the Bible.
Early in his career Garvey had shown a
keen interest in West Indian history. In
1913 he wrote an article entitled 'The
British West Indies in the Mirror of
Civilization', a sketch of the history of
the West Indies in which he made
special mention of the Jamaican heroes
Paul Bogle and George William Gor-
don who, he said, had 'sounded the call
of unmolested liberty' [Clarke 1973
pp.77-82]. He also had a keen interest
in African art history, as a collector and
connoisseur and reportedly held
discussions with scholars on African
culture [Martin 1976 pp. 86-87].
Up to Garvey's time African history

and the history of art had been studied
mostly from a European colonial
perspective. Especially popular with the
western public was Ancient Egypt.
Considerable advances were being
made in Egyptology, the most spec-
tacular being the discovery of the tomb
of Tutankhamen in 1922 by the British
archaeologist Howard Carter. The
interpretation of archeological and
historical raw material largely depends
on one's world view and ideology, and
the predominant trend among European
Egyptologists of the time was to ignore
the fact that the Ancient Egyptian
civilization was a part of the African,
hence black, heritage.
Garvey was fully aware, as were
many other black activists of the period,
of the ideological power of historical
interpretation and attempted to counter-
balance the Eurocentric bias prevailing
in African historiography by stimulat-
ing the study of Black History from an
African Nationalist perspective. Even
before Garvey's days, important steps
had been taken in this direction: several
institutions facilitating and promoting
the study of Black History had been
founded and eminent black scholars
such as Arthur Schomburg, John E
Bruce and William Ferris had emerged
from their ranks. Several of these black
scholars later became contributors to
the Negro World, where discussions of
black history were a regular feature.
Garvey's associate, Duse Mohamed Ali,
was credited with being the first Egyp-
tian to write a history of Egypt, a well-
acclaimed publication entitled In the
Land of the Pharaoh [Lewis 1987 p.
46]. The second chapter of the Uni-
versal Negro Catechism was entirely
devoted to Historical Knowledge, while
the first chapter Religious Knowledge
- concentrated on Biblical references to
Ancient Africa.
Some years later, however, it was the
same Garvey who said: 'The Negro has
not engaged himself in the building up
of a Standard Artistic Civilization. He
has had only Tribal Civilizations'
[Gleaner 18.8.34], and: 'The Art of
Sculpture has been raised by the White
man. What do you have to compare?
What expression of your art in sculp-
ture? Nothing' [Ibid.], two remarkably
Eurocentric statements, ironically in
sharp contrast with the revolutionary
impact African art was then making on
leading European artists such as
Vlaminck, Derain, Picasso, Braque and


the German Expressionists. Statements
such as this, made in his 1934 address
on art, were meant to challenge the
creative potential of his people, but they
show that Garvey, although a collector of
African art himself, was not totally devoid
of Eurocentric cultural conditioning.
Garvey was concerned not only with
the achievements of the past, but also
with the need for a stronger cultural
involvement for the future self-reali-
zation of the black race. He said:
You can still find in Egypt lasting
monuments of Negro Art. But it is not a
credit to us today. As much as we are
trying to develop ourselves in Business,
Religion, Politics and so on, we have to
build up ourselves in Art. [Ibid.]

And, as we shall see, the contribution of
Garveyism to Jamaican art is not
In his publication Literary Garvey-
ism, Tony Martin devotes an entire
chapter to what he calls 'the Garvey
Aesthetic'. Although his analysis of the
artistic policy advocated by Garvey and
the Negro World contributors applies
mainly to literature, extrapolations can
safely be made to the visual arts.
Garvey saw art not only as a source of
racial pride but also as an active
instrument in the advancement of the
black race. Controversy existed among
artists and commentators in Garveyite
circles on the issue of propaganda in art
but the consensus was to see propa-
ganda as a desirable element in black
art. The word 'propaganda' evokes
uncomfortable associations for many
modern art lovers, reminiscent of the
bombastic political propaganda art
associated with the major crises of this
century and, most of all, as a threat to
the cherished notions of artistic freedom
and 'art for art's sake'. It is too often
overlooked that most, if not all, art is
propaganda art from a certain point of
view because art is always in some way
the expression of its maker's convic-
tions and philosophy. The average
response to propaganda in art promoted
in Garveyite circles can perhaps best be
compared with the constitutional status
of Cuban art: 'Art is free as long as its
content does not come into collision
with the principles of the Revolution','
in this case, the Garveyite philosophy.
Garvey himself, though, generally
advocated a more explicit nationalistic
and idealistic kind of propaganda
through art. On several occasions

Garvey called for black history paint-
ing, with a special emphasis on black
heroes, such as Toussaint L'Ouverture,
Booker T Washington and Frederick
Douglas. He also condemned black artists
who showed the less uplifting sides of
black life [Martin 1983 a, passim].
It is also interesting to see what
major European artists Garvey referred
to, in his 1934 address, as a challenge to
modern black artists: Michelangelo,
Raphael, Rubens, Reynolds, Rosetti and
Murillo [Gleaner 18.8.34]. Although
some of the names were obviously
chosen for oratorial reasons, we do get
an idea of which European artists
Garvey was familiar with and what
artistic preferences he had. He shows no
interest in Modernist Western artists.
The only modern artist he mentions is
the Pre-Raphaelite Dante Gabriele
Rosetti, hardly an artist who revolu-
tionized art. Garvey's favourite Euro-
pean artists show him as an art lover
with, from the perspective of today, a
somewhat conservative, academistic
taste, obviously conditioned by the
rather limited popular Western art
literature of the time.
Garvey saw the need to support
black artists. Jamaica's Alvin Marriott
received very favourable mention and
was praised as the 'Michael Angelo
[sic] of not only Jamaica but of the
West Indies' [Blackman 26.9.29]. He
also spoke favourably of the turn of the
century artist Henry Ossawa Tanner
whom he called 'the great Negro
painter of America' and mentioned as
the only worthy counterpart of the
European artists he had cited [Gleaner
18.8.34]. Augusta Savage, sculptress,
portrait artist and poet of the Harlem
Renaissance, produced a portrait bust of
Marcus Garvey, in 1922 or before,
which was later reproduced in bronze in
two large editions, one identical in size
and one smaller, and advertised through
the Negro World as 'the true likeness of
the Hon. Marcus Garvey'.
Garvey believed that public educa-
tion was necessary to stimulate a
greater interest in art among black
people. His periodicals carried reviews
of exhibitions, interviews with artists
such as Augusta Savage and general
essays on art, while art was one of the
topics put up for discussion during the
1934 convention. There he deplored the
fact that black people who could afford
it showed so little interest in the
acquisition of black art:

If you were to go through the Black
homes of the Corporate Area, you
would not find a painting of any Negro
character on the walls, and for a person
of our group to invest one hundred
pounds in a painting of Toussaint
L'Ouverture, Booker T. Washington or
Frederick Douglas, that would be
considered madness' ibidd.] and: 'Some
of us have things hanging on wall, but
they are cheap reproductions of the
work of other races [ibid.].

Realizing that a thriving cultural life
cannot exist without a supporting
infrastructure for training and exposure,
Garvey revised his 1929 manifesto for
the PPP to include a call for 'a National
Opera House with an Academy of
Music and Art' and 'a Public Library in
the Capital Town of each Parish'. On
the subject of training he further said in
We want to develop a taste for Art
among our youth. The old are too far
gone already to train them now. We
must train the young Rubens, the young
Rosetti, the young Reynolds, the young
Michaelangelo of the Negro Race

Save for their Eurocentric slant, these
statements show Garvey as a prophet in
cultural matters and as a pioneer of the
modern Jamaica, which now boasts
some of the leading cultural institutions
of the Caribbean.
The UNIA's involvement in lit-
erature and the performing arts has been
highlighted in several studies but little
has been said about the organization's
involvement in the visual arts.
Augusta Savage has already been
mentioned, while the famous Harlem
photographer James Van Der Zee's
UNIA photographs have received a lot
of attention in specialized publications.
Although there is little supporting
documentation, Garvey seems to have
an exhibition of Negro accom-
plishment in all the skilled crafts, and
art work produced by exhibitors from
all the Americas and Africa, which
were revelations to Harlem of what the
Negro people were capable of
achieving. [McKay 1940 p.177]2

This exhibition, which apparently took
place in Harlem in the early 1920s,
perhaps during a convention, definitely
sounds like a landmark event.
Photographs of UNIA headquarters
suggest the presence of paintings and

sculptures as well as of decorative
pieces and ornate furniture. Testimony
to the UNIA's ownership of art is a
painting of Garvey which the Executive
of the St Andrew Division of the UNIA
presented to the Institute of Jamaica in
1957.3 Several sources also mention
paintings being carried during conven-
tion parades, representing ancient and
modem black heroes, including Garvey,
as well as black religious imagery. The
visual arts were never as prominent as
literature and the performing arts in the
UNIA's cultural programmes but they
were, nevertheless, given continuous

Garvey, the Art Lover

Several reliable sources describe
Marcus Garvey as a collector of art and
antiques. Although little is known about
the exact extent and nature of his
collection, we can safely assume that
what he collected was in keeping with
his cultural doctrine and his artistic
preferences. Reconstructing the art and
antiques collections of someone who
led such a dramatically unsettled life,
someone who endured so many legal
and financial setbacks, would be an,
almost impossible task. The fragmented
information available, however, does
allow us to get at least a general idea of
what Garvey collected and what later
happened to his collection.
Two periods in his life are of
particular interest here: the later Harlem
years (1919, when he was first married,
to 1925), and the last Kingston years
(1927-1935). They were the more
stable, settled years of Garvey's life and
although there were considerable fin-
ancial problems, the only periods when
he could afford to buy art and antiques.
The Jamaica National Heritage Trust
owns an armchair which was, according
to the previous owner, Mrs Ester Burs,
bought at an auction some time before
'the first time Garvey left Jamaica'
This was probably in 1910 when he left
for Central and South America.4 The
piece is incomplete the original
cushions are lacking and artistically
rather uninteresting but it is, if the
information is correct, the earliest
known piece of furniture in Jamaica
that can be traced back to Garvey's
ownership. More is known about what
Garvey owned after he moved in 1919
to a top floor apartment on 129th Street


in Harlem, described by Tony Martin as
'comfortable, but modest'. The same
source also tells us that the furnishings
included a collection of African art and
a large number of books [Martin 1983 b
pp.61-68]. An eye-witness account by
the anthropologist and poetess Zora
Neale Hurston, although meant to
ridicule Garvey, gives us more specific
On the walls of his living room hung a
large picture of Napoleon. On the
opposite wall hung one, still larger, of

Portraits of Napoleon were a favourite
subject of nineteenth century academic
Western painting and Garvey's painting
most likely fitted in this tradition.
Garvey also owned the original of
Augusta Savage's portrait bust of
himself, which is still a treasured
possession of the Garvey family.6
In 1927, after Garvey's deportation
from the USA, his possessions were
shipped to Kingston by his wife, Amy
Jacques Garvey. She had problems with
securing adequate packing because of
the number of fragile articles to be
shipped. She later wrote:
It was then that I realized the
immensity and costliness of the task.
Here were all the books, pictures,
ceramics and antiques of all sorts which
it was his hobby to collect. He had no
recreation, as it was too dangerous to
go to theatres, so his idea of relaxation
was to go around to antique shops and
buy these old pieces. When he brought
them home he would spend time and
patience placing them in the right
setting, color scheme and the most
effective lighting. Sometimes other
objects had to be removed and new
positions found for them. He enjoyed
sitting in an easy chair and contem-
plating the setting he had created, or the
exquisite workmanship of a Satsuma
from Japan, a Delph [sic] vase from
Holland or the delicacy of an eggshell
goblet. [Jacques-Garvey 1970 p.189]

Garvey's wife finally engaged a firm of
art packers and all the objects, were
packed and shipped to Kingston. Clear-
ly Garvey had gathered a substantial art
and antiques collection when living in
Harlem. It can therefore be assumed
that most of the furniture later found in
his Kingston home had been owned by
Garvey before he came to Jamaica. We
also see that Garvey had a special taste
for ceramics and that he indulged in
some amateur interior decorating.


In Kingston, in 1927, Garvey bought
a house on Lady Musgrave Road,
which he named Somali Court. The
house, which no longer exists, was a
typical, though fairly modest and
apparently poorly finished St Andrew
home, not a mansion as the American
press suggested. Amy Jacques Garvey
also recalls Garvey decorating the
house when the furniture arrived.
His niece, Ruth Prescott, was a
young child at that time and has some
recollections about the house before the
Garvey children were born, that is
beforel930. She told Beverly Hamilton:
There were lovely velvet cushions and
a wall to wall carpet with a border and
a pattern. There were beautiful statues
and pictures paintings, vases, Spanish
jars, some of them porcelain and some
painted [Gleaner 17.8.87].

She also recalls the many books, the
automatic piano and Garvey's interest
in his garden. The description of the
house confirms our expectations
concerning Garvey's taste for the
ornate, as well as the extent of his
collection. A piece probably in his
possession at that time, was the desk,
acquired from Dr T Hallinan by the
Jamaica National Heritage Trust in
1972. Garvey's desk is a massive,
round, heavily carved table, supported
by a central leg, decorated with four
carved lions.7 At the end of 1929, when
Garvey was in Spanish Town prison, his
wife had to mortgage the house and its
furniture [Clarke ed. 1973 p. 264].
Early in February 1930, there was a
robbery at Garvey's house. The Glea-
ner reported that 'an electrified
Egyptian statue', worth US$2,000, was
stolen from Garvey's verandah. The
same report describes Garvey as an art
collector of many years and adds that
the statue in question was acquired,
together with a Moroccan mirror, worth
US$500, from the Hattewil Collection
of Eastern Antiques[Gleaner 7.2.30]. I
was unable to identify this collection.
The fact that the value is quoted in US
dollars suggests an American origin.
Amy Jacques Garvey recounts the same
incident in Garvey and Garveyism. She
describes the piece as 'a wooden statue
of an African woman holding a light in
her upturned hand'. She adds that the
statue was later found, destroyed. The
reason for this 'kidnapping', she says,
was to break Garvey's suspected
'African power Obeah'.[Jacques-

Garvey 1970 p.210]. This again demon-
strates the suspicion and scorn that
surrounded things of African origin in
the Jamaica of the day. Garvey's mass
appeal only helped to reinforce this
kind of suspicion. Amy Jacques Garvey,
however, thought it might also have
been an orchestrated move to discredit
Garvey, rather than the result of genuine
The nature and the origin of the
statue are obscure. Tony Martin in
Race First writes, 'The 1929 [court]
reception was adorned with a statue of
the Black Queen of Beauty [possibly a
representation of Queen Candace of
Ethiopia] holding aloft her torch of
truth.'[p.43]. It is quite obvious that this
statue is the same one. The statue was
electrified, which suggests it was a
modem, Western allegorical work of a
type not uncommon around the turn of
the century, with an Egyptian-African
theme. The description is reminiscent of
the bronze Ethiopia Awakening (1914,
Collection of the Schomburg Centre for
Research in Black Culture) by Meta
Warrick Fuller, one of the earliest
documented African-American artists to
include explicit references to Africa in
his work.8
In 1935 Garvey sailed for England.
He left his wife and children in Jamaica
until 1937, because of financial
difficulties. Before leaving, he agreed to
have the furniture auctioned to satisfy
his mortgage payments. According to
Amy Jacques Garvey, everything was
sold except a bedroom suite, Garvey's
books, two large paintings and some
ceramic pieces. She also reports that the
sale left Garvey, who considered his
ideological goals more important than
material possessions, relatively un-
touched. Garvey took some of his
books with him the rest were stored at
Edelweiss Park and, after securing
housing in West Kensington, London,
he asked his wife to send him the two
large paintings. One was an oil painting
of himself, so it is possible that they
were the same as those mentioned by
Zora Neale Hurston. The shipping
charges for the paintings were to be
paid for on arrival, but four months
later Garvey had still not taken delivery
of them. His wife finally paid for
shipping and wharfage, but it is not
known what happened to the works.
When Amy Jacques Garvey returned to
Kingston with the two children in 1938,
their London house was sold to settle

the Garvey's ever accumulating debts
[Martin 1976 passim].
Because of persistent financial
problems, most of Garvey's collection
had already been dispersed before he
died. However, some pieces were still
with the family at the time of Amy
Jacques Garvey's death in 1973. These
included the Augusta Savage bust, the
Moroccan mirror, a washbasin and a
number of other ceramic pieces. Some
objects must have stayed in Kingston;
others, like the bust, were probably
shipped back from London. The bust
and the mirror, among other items, are
still in Amy Jacques Garvey's Mona
house. Other pieces now belong to the
sons, while the washbasin is owned by
Mrs Beverley Carey who lives in
Liguanea, St Andrew. She received it in
1976 from a member of the Judah family,
who told her that the piece had been given
to them by Garvey's wife. Mrs Carey
believes that this piece is of American

"Reggae Sunsplash 1987"
bumper stickers celebrating
the Garvey Centenary and
the 25th anniversary of
Jamaica's Independence

Plastic tray produced for the Garvey Centenary by Thermo-Plastics, Jamaica Ltd.

I ~.,

'-' JTE N


Garvey imagery was widespread in
Jamaica during 1987 because of the
Garvey Centenary. For Reggae
Sunsplash 1987, portraits of Garvey
were used in the logo as well as in the
concert backdrop. The same backdrop
was used for the thanksgiving service
for the slain Reggae artiste, Peter Tosh.
Posters advertising Garvey exhibitions
and events were seen everywhere and
many of Jamaica's artists produced
work inspired by the occasion. Special
Garvey mementoes small portrait
busts, buttons, flags and even plastic
tableware were produced and
distributed. All of this has somewhat
obscured the normal occurrence of
Garvey imagery in Jamaican life.
Political and historical Garvey
iconography originated in Garveyite

circles. Its widespread occurrence in
popular art, as well as its considerable
influence on the development of
Rastafarian iconography which
actually appropriates the Garveyite
iconography testify to the fundamen-
tal impact Garveyism had and still has
on Jamaican society. Rastafarian
imagery, however, is more popular. The
world-wide exposure of Rastafarianism
through Reggae music has undoubtedly
contributed to this. Rastafarian imagery
has been popularized far beyond strictly
Rastafarian circles, but this is not the
case with the original Garveyite
imagery. In its popular form, it has kept
a closer connection with Garveyism.
Even when it stimulated a greater
awareness of the relevance of Garvey-
ism to modern Jamaica, the Garvey
Centenary also led to a certain amount
of commercialization and opportunistic
use of Garveyite imagery.
In Jamaica there are three major,

though overlapping, functional groups
of Garvey imagery: popular imagery,
official commemorative imagery and
artistic imagery.
All three groups share a common,
fairly coherent iconography which can
itself be divided into three closely
related categories: Garvey portraits,
Garveyite symbols, and illustrations of
the Garvey philosophy. This last
iconographical category is less often
seen in popular and official Garvey
imagery but finds ample illustration in
Jamaican art.

Garvey Portraits and Garvey Symbols

The Iconography

First, there are the Garvey portraits. An
interesting standardization took place in
this category. Garvey was a busy man,
and only a few artists, among them


Augusta Savage, were able to have him
sit for a portrait.9 Jamaican sculptor
Alvin Marriott experienced this
problem when making his first Garvey
portrait head, possibly in 1929. Marriott
succeeded in meeting Garvey only
briefly and had to work from a profile
photograph (JAMAICA JOURNAL 20:3 p.46].
So even during Garvey's lifetime,
photographs played an important role in
Garvey portraiture. Most portraits of
Garvey we know today were made after
Garvey died, often by people who had
never seen him in real life. Their major
source of inspiration is a rather limited
repertoire of photographs, most of them
studio portraits or news photographs of
parades and functions, showing Garvey
in uniform or robes of office or
sometimes in a civilian suit. Several of
these were taken by James Van Der
Zee. They were sold through the UNIA
for instance, during the UNIA
conventions, often autographed by
Garvey himself.'0 These original
photographs cherished collectibles -
or piously executed copies in the form
of photoprints or even as simple pencil
drawings can be seen in many
Garveyite homes.
Although most of these photographs
were originally full length, the resulting
portrait iconography usually focuses on
the bust or the head only, with a strong
emphasis on motifs that have become
true Garvey emblems. These include
the academic cap and gown, the
governor's uniform and plumed hat,

us of Mrcus Garvey by Curis Johnston (1987)

B oa G e Ci------ v l by hs (1987)
BusI of Marcus Garvey by Curtis Johnston (1987)

and other significant attributes such as
an ornate chair, a book, a scroll, a
walking stick or insignia, emblems
representing intellectual and political
leadership. Garvey portraits are often
incorporated in large symbolical or
historical compositions (which will be
discussed later), but even isolated
portraits discreetly include Garveyite
symbols, such as the Garvey colours
used in the background or in Garvey's
outfit, or carry inscriptions and symbols

Section of a mural by D A McLean (c. 1970) Marcus Garvey Drive

on the frame or matting.
A remarkable 'iconization' took
place in Garvey portraiture, testifying to
Garvey's hero status and even
canonization in Garveyite and Rasta-
farian circles. The portraits represent
Garvey the leader, the prophet, the
martyr. The 'real', human Garvey is
very seldom portrayed, although a
respectful emphasis is customarily put
on realistic representation. Instead we
see a transcended Garvey, a symbol of
his own philosophy. Such Garvey
portraits enjoy an almost devotional
status. One of the most remarkable
features of this 'Garvey-icon' phenom-
enon, is that the process leading to it
started during Garvey's lifetime and
was actually promoted by the Garveyite
A second category in the Garvey
iconography consists of Garveyite
symbols and related imagery. Garvey
considered national symbols of vital
importance in fostering national iden-
tity, hence his emphasis on uniforms,
national colours and other symbols.
The most well-known symbol is, of
course, the UNIA tricolour, red, black
and green. The colours were accepted
as the colours of the black race during
the 1920 convention, as stated as Point
39 of the 'Declaration of Rights of the
Negro Peoples of the World' [Jacques-
Garvey ed. 1986 p.140]. The red stands
for the struggle, the black represents the



colour of the race, while the green
represents the natural wealth of Africa
[Martin 1976 p.44]. These colours were
abundantly used in anything relating to
UNIA activities: the flag, the uniform
and, for instance, as a backdrop for
theatrical productions.
The Rastafarians acknowledge the
influence of the Garvey colours on their
tricolour, the red, gold and green. The
same meaning is attributed to the red
and green as for the UNIA colours,
while the gold represents the mineral
wealth of Africa. The Rastafarian
tricolour is often accompanied by black
as a secondary colour. The colour
symbolism in the Jamaican flag is
similar, but applied to the Jamaican
situation, with black having a negative
meaning: 'Hardships there are, but the
Land is Green and the Sun shineth'.
Another commonly seen symbol is
the Black Star, often combined with the
image of a steamship and map of the
Africa. The graphics on the Black Star
Line documents, such as the share
certificates, have undoubtedly contri-
buted to the origin as well as the
popularity of this imagery.
A star is traditionally a symbol of
hope and guidance, often associated
with prophetic visions of travel one
need only think of the Star of Beth-
lehem. These connotations were refer-

red to by Garvey when he said 'Let
Africa be our guiding star, our STAR OF
DESTINY [Jacques-Garvey ed. 1986 p.
6]. One of the titles in the hierarchy of
UNIA orders was the 'The Star of
Africa Redemption'. The original Black
Star is five pointed, the Judaic-
Rastafarian Star of David, six pointed.
Each has a different meaning and origin
and should not be confused, although
they overlap in Rastafarian imagery.

The steamship is a historical motif,
referring to the actual Black Star Liner,
but it also connotes economic progress,
self-reliance and, most of all, African
Redemption. An interesting variation
on this symbol is intuitive Rastafarian
artist Albert Artwell's Ark of Noah/-
Black Star Liner motif which he has
used in several of his paintings.
The map of Africa speaks for itself
and has become a stock image in
African Nationalist circles. An inter-
esting development is the mystically
inspired 'Africa-head', often seen in
Rastafarian art. But even more popular
than the Black Star Line imagery, are
the Garveyite mottoes and sayings -
they are mentioned here because they
usually accompany visual symbols.
Cards with these mottoes were sold by
the UNIA. Most popular are the UNIA
motto One God, One Aim, One Destiny,
and Up You Mighty Race, You can
Accomplish What you Will, later
adopted by the Black Muslim
Each of these symbols stands for and
summarizes the essence of the
Garveyite philosophy: Black Pride,
African Nationalism and Self-Reliance.

Popular Garvey Imagery

The iconography described above is
closely followed by popular Garvey
imagery. The Garvey photographs or
copies of them, Garvey portrait busts
and other Garvey mementoes are

Garvey mural (1987) School of lope




predictable in Garveyite and Rasta-
farian homes, where they are usually
given a place of honour. But more
visible and, often more spectacular, is
the street imagery, ranging from simple
graffiti, buttons and other insignia worn
on clothing, decorations on vendors'
carts and stalls, to elaborate murals.
These types of popular expression,
especially the graffiti and the murals,
are very ephemeral, subject as they are
to the Jamaican climate and the
sometimes somewhat overzealous
activities of urban maintenance and
beautification. Because of their tem-
porary quality, they are a fairly good
gauge of the ups and downs of Garvey's
popularity.This type of street art is
usually found in traditionally Garveyite
neighborhoods but it does not really
give a reliable indication of the social
spread of Garveyism, because street art
rarely appears in middle or upper class
In this category of popular Garvey
images, isolated portraits are seldom
seen. Garvey portraits integrated into
larger composite scenes, involving
Garveyite and Rastafarian symbols,
inscriptions and sometimes historical
motifs. Garveyite symbols are also
found independent of Garvey portraits,
on their own or in combination with
Rastafarian imagery, but even then they
are easily identified and understood.
Apart from Garvey's portrait and the
Garveyite mottoes, the most popular
Garveyite symbol is undoubtedly the
UNIA colours, which are, through the
Rastafarian colours, commonplace in
Jamaica today. Sometimes, especially
where the Rastafarian colours are
concerned, the symbolism is over-
shadowed by commercialism, as can be
seen on many fashionable items
destined for the local as well as over-
seas market.

Official Garvey Imagery

Official Garvey imagery promoted and
produced by Garveyite organizations
has already been discussed. Garvey
certainly did not receive much official
recognition from the governments of
his time. Official recognition, and
hence official commemorative imagery,
came only after his death, mostly from
governments and institutions which
were ready to acknowledge the
contribution Garveyism had made to

their very existence. Several newly
independent African states included
Garveyite symbols in their national
emblems. One example is the Black
Star in the flag of Ghana. In Jamaica the
first Garvey monument was a bust by
Alvin Marriott, which was unveiled in
1956 in George VI Park now National
Heroes Park in Kingston and is now
part of the Garvey shrine. It was
Marriott's second Garvey portrait bust,
dating from the late 1940s, and he
considered it far more satisfactory than
the one he had made as a beginning
artist. The work was finally acquired by
the Jamaican government but diffi-
culties in raising the necessary funds
had been so great that Sir Alexander
Bustamante decided to intervene
[JAMAICA JOURNAL 20:3 p.43]. The fund-
raising problems might be indicative of
the negative attitudes towards Garvey
still prevailing at that time .
Jamaica's official attitude changed
after Independence. In 1964 Garvey's
body was returned to the island and
Garvey became the country's first
National Hero. The Garvey shrine in
National Heroes Park houses not only
Marriott's bust, but also, in the design
of the central area, the symbol of the
Black Star. In 1962 A. D. Scott, patron
of art, initiated plans to erect an
Independence monument at the Palisa-
does roundabout. The ambitious and
soon controversial project was
commissioned from again Alvin
Marriott and is now almost complete,
except for a number of parts that still

need to be cast in aluminium. It has yet
to be assembled and mounted but,
despite the considerable funding prob-
lems, the project has not been
abandoned, as many think.When com-
pleted, the base of the monument will
have seven niches holding busts of all
the National Heroes. The Garvey bust,
Marriott's third, was also cast in bronze
for the OAS Hall of Fame in Washing-
ton, where it was unveiled in 1980. For
the Independence monument, the bust
might eventually be replaced by a
somewhat smaller one, because it is of a
different format from the other National
Hero busts."
It is, however, the full length, more
than life-size statue of Garvey, now
standing in front of the St Ann's Parish
Library, which Marriott considers to be
his most successful Garvey portrait
[ibid.]. It represents Garvey the orator,
holding a scroll in his right hand as a
symbol of his teachings. It should be
noted that as early as 1929 Garvey had
pleaded for parish libraries.Several
other monuments, mostly plaques and
signs, have been erected, to mark the
Garvey Centenary. One bust by Curtis
Johnston was placed in the garden of
the Small Business Association offices
on Trafalgar Road, Kingston, a house
Garvey once rented for his sister and
her family and his American sec-
retaries. The SBA also wanted to pay
tribute to Garvey's pioneering emphasis
on economic self-reliance.
On two occasions in Jamaica's
history stamps have been issued to


Marcus Garvey in his uniform as President-General of the UNIA during a 1922 parade in Harlem

commemorate Garvey. In 1970, a ten
cents stamp with Garvey's portrait,
appeared as one of a series of five
stamps honouring the then five National
Heroes.12 On 17 August, 1987 Garvey's
centenary birthday, two twenty-five
cents stamps were issued, one showing
a close-up view of Garvey's face, the
other a half length rendering of
Marriott's St Ann's Bay statue. The
colours of the Jamaican flag are used in
the borders. These new stamps were
designed by the Jamaican artist, Norma
Rodney Harrack.
In 1969 when the Jamaican currency
was decimalized, the design of the fifty
cents banknote issued by the Bank of
Jamaica included Garvey's portrait.This
was the result of a recommendation
made by the House of Representatives
in 1968, stating that portraits of the
Jamaican National Heroes should
replace that of the Queen on the new
notes. In 1974 it was decided to replace
the banknote with a fifty cents coin
which came into circulation in 1976
and is still used today. It is the only

Jamaican coin with a head in the design
and it is also distinguished by having no
value numeral. In 1987, the Bank of
Jamaica issued a $100 gold coin and a
$10 silver coin to commemorate the
Garvey Centenary.13
These official Garvey portraits are
marked by a careful, rather subdued
realism. Some have argued, as in the
case of the fifty cents coin, that
Garvey's features were 'Cauca-
sianized'. The imagery strictly adheres
to the established Garvey iconography,
although Garvey is represented in a
civilian suit rather than in regalia.
Garveyite symbols are only rarely and
discreetly included and, since Garvey is
represented as a Jamaican National
Hero, his official portraits often
incorporate Jamaican national symbols,
such as the Jamaican flag. This type of
official imagery serves to acknowledge
Garvey's official status and as such its
fate is often to go unnoticed until a
special event, such as National Heroes
Day or the Centenary, puts it in focus.

Garvey imagery in the Arts
Garvey imagery in works of art often
follows this standard iconography also,
although the artist will usually attempt
to add some artistic interest, through,
for instance, a painterly treatment or a
heightened psychological tension. The
most interesting works, however, are
often those that deviate from this
standard iconography. Several artists
have chosen to represent Garvey in a
more personal, innovative way, as
Everald Brown did in his The Heroes
(1971), where Garvey is represented
with an umbrella, a universal symbol of
royalty and power. Some have worked
from memory, as Carl Abrahams did for
his 1983 portrait of Garvey whom
Abrahams had seen when he was a
young man.14 Some have used their
imagination such as Osmond Watson in
his St Marcus Mosiah as a Child (1981)
and The Madonna and the child St
Marcus Mosiah (1983), poetically
acknowledging Garvey's canonized
status.15 Others did not succeed, caught
between the standard iconography and
an attempt to humanize the Garvey
image, for example Clovis Nelson in
his Up You Mighty Race (1987), com-
missioned for the Jamaica Cultural
Development Corporation Garvey
Commemorative Exhibition. 16
Several Jamaican artists particularly
Rastafarian artists employ Garveyite
symbols in their work, as can be seen in
some of the examples used here.

Illustration of Major Points in the
Garvey Philosophy

This important category of the
Garvey iconography is virtually restric-
ted to artistic imagery and consists of
illustrations of major points in the
Garveyite philosophy. The connection
with Garveyism is sometimes indirect
and can be traced back only to the
general stock of ideas that Garveyism
belongs to. The category is very wide
and for practical reasons is limited here
to seven closely related sub-categories:
black religious art, black beauty, black
womanhood, black history, African art,
African redemption and political
The UNIA never institutionalized
any specific religious denomination.
Several religions and denominations
including Islam were represented by its
members. One church, however, the


African Orthodox Church, founded in
1921 by UNIA churchmen, played a
more specific role in the organization.
This church was in keeping with the
Garveyite philosophy and so was the
religious art connected with it.
On the image of God, Garvey stated:
If the white man has the idea of a white
God, let him worship his God as he
desires. If the yellow man's God is of
his race let him worship his God as he
sees fit. We, as Negroes, have found a
new ideal. Whilst our God has no color,
yet it is human to look through one's
own spectacles, and since the white
people have seen their God through
white spectacles, we have only now
started out (late though it be) to sec our
God through our own spectacles.
[Jacques-Garvey ed.1986 p.44]

During the 1924 UNIA convention,
Jesus Christ was canonized as 'The
Black Man of Sorrows' and the Virgin
Mary, as the 'Black Madonna'[Martin
1976, p.70]. This was also the way
Christ, the Virgin and saints were
represented in the religious art of the
African Orthodox Church. Amy
Jacques Garvey recalls the parade
preceding this fourth UNIA convention:
'Paintings of the Ethiopian Christ,
Man of Sorrows and a Black Madonna
and Babe were born [sic] in the parade
by robed choristers' [Jacques-Garvey
1970 p.139]. Claude McKay writes of
'The vivid, albeit crude, paintings of
the Black Christ and the Black Virgin
of the African Orthodox Church [which
were] startling omens of the Negro
Renaissance movement of the nineteen
twenties' [Martin 1983a, p.7].
The idea of a black Christ and black
saints was not exactly new. European
missionaries had used it in Africa to
make Christianity more accessible to
the African people, while it was and
still is common among Afro-American
and Afro-Caribbean Christian denom-
inations. It is the explicit connection
with Garvey's African Nationalist
philosophy that made black Christian
imagery so revolutionary and therefore
controversial. Today in Jamaica, black
religious imagery has been largely
accepted. It is of course the general rule
in Rastafarian imagery which is
dominated by the portraits of His
Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie, but it
is also fairly common in Christian
religious art. Some artists, such as the
young Jamaican Robert Cookhorne
('African') have added humanistic

dimensions -to the 'Black Man of
Sorrows' image and turned it into a
symbol of human, particularly black
The second category illustrates the
concept of black beauty. One of the
foundations of Garvey's teachings is the
continuous emphasis on restoring black
self-confidence, not only culturally,
economically and politically, but also
physically. Hence the 'Black is
Beautiful' concept, further popularized
in the sixties. On several occasions
Garvey expressed his objections to
practices such as bleaching the skin and
straightening the hair [Jacques-Garvey
ed.1986 p.79].
In 1921, the Christmas issue of the
Negro World featured a large number of
photographs of beautiful black women
from all over the world, including Amy
Jacques soon to be Garvey's second
wife [Martin 1983a, pp.41-42]. These
photographs were meant to stimulate
the appreciation of black feminine
beauty by its own right, rather than by
Caucasian standards.
One of the main features of modern
Jamaican art is the ongoing emphasis
on the physical identity of black people

in general and of black beauty. It was
this new emphasis which made the
portraits of everyday Jamaican men and
women by pioneer artists such as Koren
der Harootian and Albert Huie so
revolutionary during the early years of
the Jamaican art movement.
Another closely connected category
concentrates on black womanhood.
Garvey, frequently adopted a surprisi-
ngly progressive, for his time, pro-
feminist stance. Women held key
positions within the UNIA, in its
administration and also in the African
Legion as drivers and nurses. Garvey
often denounced negative attitudes
towards black women, and this criti-
cism was directed not only against

white people but also black men. He
called for respect and appreciation for
the black woman, not only for her
beauty, but also for her strength and
dedication [Clarke ed. 1973 pp.307-
308]. Garvey also supported female
artists such as Augusta Savage.
Women play an important role in the
Jamaican art movement, as artists -
think of matriarch Edna Manley as
well as the subject for many artworks
that underscore the dignity of the


The Counting Lesson by Albert Huie National Gallery ofJamaica

Jamaican woman or sometimes protest
against her plight. Some of these protest
works are harsh and shocking. Garvey,
with his preference for positive, uplifting
subjects would not have ap-proved, even
though they do, in a different way, make
the same point that he did.
A fourth category is Black history.
The important role attributed to history
and historiography by Garveyism, has
already been noted, as has Garvey's
preference for idealizing historical
themes in art. A parade in 1921 in the
US Virgin Islands included banners
representing African historical figures
such as 'Zipporah, the wife of Moses,
Candace, the Queen of Ethiopia, and
Balkis, the Queen of Sheba' as well as
banners which 'commemorated Carib-
bean heroes like Toussaint L'Ouverture
of Haiti and Edward Wilmot Blyden of
St Thomas' [Martin 1983 b p.77].
Jamaican artists frequently treat
black historical subjects in their work.
Some have devoted the major part of
their oeuvre to this type of subject.
Among them is Jamaican-born Don
Miller who painted the Martin Luther
King mural for the Martin Luther King
Memorial Library in 1986. These artists
have treated the mythical as well as the
factual past, the ancient and the
modern, and have often combined
historical motifs with other subjects,
such as current political issues. Their
approach to history is one of looking
for symbols, rather than documentation
of black history, and they show a strong
preference for historical figures, past
and present, black heroes and heroines.
In the famous pamphlet African
Fundamentalism Garvey said, 'We
must canonize our own saints, create
our own martyrs and elevate to
positions of fame and honour Black
men and women who have made their
distinguished contributions to our racial
history.' [Clarke ed. 1973 pp.156-162]
This idea is embodied by Jamaica's
Order of National Hero given to Nanny,
Sam Sharpe, George William Gordon,
Paul Bogle, Marcus Garvey, Norman
Manley and Alexander Bustamante,
who take on a central position in
Jamaican historical iconography. Apart
from the monuments and official
portraits, they are also often represented
in non-official and popular art. Another
extremely popular black Jamaican hero
is Reggae superstar Bob Marley whose
many painted and sculpted effigies
could fill an entire museum. A major

Icon by Robert 'African' Cookhorne. Stained glass
controversy arose around the first Bob
Marley statue, by Christopher Gon-
zalez, in 1983. It was violently rejected
by the public because of a conflict
between the artist's personal symbolic
expressionistic vision and popular
iconographical preconceptions. The
present Bob Marley monument is a safe, if
not dull, realistic representation of Bob
Marley, the musician, by Alvin Marriott
Other black historical personalities
who occasionally appear in the Ja-
maican iconography are Biblical
personalities, such as Queen Candace of
Ethiopia and the Queen of Sheba, as
well as twentieth century black leaders
such as Martin Luther King Jr.,
Malcolm X, Nelson Mandela and
Bishop Desmond Tutu.
Another related category has to do
with African art. Garvey's interest in
African art, from an ideological point of
view, has already been discussed.
Strong African retentions can be seen in
much of Jamaican art, while many
contemporary Jamaican artists have
consciously been looking at African art
and culture, questioning the Eurocentric
artistic criteria taken for granted during the
colonial era. This Africanism is usually
seen as a stylistic and iconographic
influence so strong that it sometimes
actually becomes the theme of the work in
question. Sometimes references to African
art are used to make statements about
Africa and Jamaica.
A sixth category deals with the
concept of African Redemption.
Although very much aware of con-
temporary concerns in Africa, Garvey


continuously referred to Africa in
poetic, idealizing terms and presented
the future of Africa as a utopian vision.
Famous is the verse from the Bible
'Princes shall come out of Egypt,
Ethiopia shall stretch forth her hands
unto God', which Garvey frequently
quoted. Of this utopian Africa, he said:
'I see before me a picture of a redeemed
Africa, with her dotted cities, with her
beautiful civilization, with her millions
of happy children, going to and fro'
[Jacques-Garvey ed. 1986 p.78].
Imagery illustrating this vision of the
redeemed Africa, the ideal Zion, is
often seen in Rastafarian art, which is
most receptive to this visionary,
prophetic side of Garveyism.
A last and more disparate category
deals with political statements. Garvey,
saw art as a political instrument, as a
propaganda tool, while respecting
inherent value. Art that makes political
statements on subjects pertaining to the
black race clearly shares kinship with
the Garvey aesthetics. And all of the
iconographical categories discussed
imply political statements.
In Jamaica there is a strong current
of political art: in some works explicit
political statements are made, in many
others we find subtle political and
ideological undertones. Politics played
a major role in the origin and develop-
ment of the Jamaican art movement.
Both local and international issues are
addressed by Jamaican artists. One
subject that has received special
attention is the struggle against apar-
theid and on two occasions, in 1977 and
1986, anti-apartheid exhibitions were
staged. It should be noted that popular
expressions, such as graffiti also have
strong political overtones in Jamaica.
The Garvey iconography is a
comprehensive subject and it should be
clear how much further it could be carried.
The examples used to illustrate this brief
survey emphasize the importance of
Garveyism for the Jamaican popular,
official and artistic iconography.

This article is based on the inaugural lecture
delivered by the author in the Institute of
Jamaica series on Marcus Garvey in October
1987. The conclusion, which discusses the
importance of Garveyism in the development of
Jamaican art, will appear in JAMAICA JOURNAL


1. Quoted in: The National Museum of
Cuba-painting, by N. Leningrad, 1978, p. 21.
2. No conclusive evidence of this was
found in any of the Garvey periodicals in
the collection of the National Library of
Jamaica (Their collection is incomplete).
The Negro World of 30 September 1971
makes mention of a 'Women's industrial
exhibition' for the second UNIA
convention. This exhibition included arts
and crafts.
3. See inscription on the frame of the
work, which now hangs in the boardroom
of the Institute of Jamaica.
4. Ester Burns and Estelle Suarez to
Theresa Wilmot (1977). The chair was
presented to the Trust by Cynthia Burns in
1977. Marguerite Curtin (National Heritage
Trust) to Veerle Poupeye-Rammelaere
(VPR), letter 4 September 1987.
5. Hurston, Zora Neale, 'The Emperor
Effaces Himself', 1974 (unpublished
typescript) quoted in: Martin, Literary
Garveyism, op. ciL, pp. 75-76.
6. Rupert Lewis to VPR, 28 September
1987. Ida Jacques-Repole to VPR, 19
October 1987.
7. Marguerite Curtin (National Heritage
Trust) to VPR, letter, 4 September 1987.
8. See Gaither, Edmund Barry, 'Heritage
Reclaimed. An Historical Perspective and
Chronology', in: Black Art Ancestral
Legacy, Dallas Museum of Art, 1989,

9. Ida Repole to VPR, 20 October 1987.
10. Advertisements selling Garvey
photographs and other memorabilia
appeared regularly in Garvey periodicals
(see The Negro World, passim).
11. AD Scott to VPR, 14 October 1987.
12. Howard Ramsay, Office of the
Postmaster General to VPR, letter, 28
September 1987.
13. Jacqueline Morgan (Bank of Jamaica)
to VPR, letter, 16 September 1987.
14. Carl Abrahams to VPR, letter, 28
August 1987.
15. Osmond Watson to VPR, letter 26
August 1987.
16. The author interviewed Clovis Nelson
on 13 September 1987. The artist considers
his work successful.


BOXER, David. Jamaican Art 1922-1982.
Washington: srrEs, 1982.
BROWN, Wayne. Edna Manley: The Private
Years 1900-1938. London: Deutsch, 1975.
BRYAN, Patricia. 'Towards an African Aesthetic
in Jamaican Intuitive Art' in Arts Jamaica
3:3&4 (2-11) July 1985.
CLARKE, John Hendrik (ed.) Garvey and the
Vision ofAfrica. New York: Vintage Books,
Random House, 1973.
DUNKLEY, Cassie. Life of John Dunkley. 1948
(reprinted in John Dunkley 1891-1941).

Kingston: National Gallery of Jamaica,
Exhibition catalogue, 197?.
ESCOFFERY, Gloria. 'Garvey and the Jamaican
Art Movement' in Jamaica Journal 20:3
(44-54) August 1987.
HAMILTON, Beverly. 'Marcus Garvey: Cultural
Activist' in Jamaica Journal 20:3 (11-20)
August 1987.
-. 'Ruth Prescott Garvey's Niece
Remembers' in Flair Magazine (The Daily
Gleaner) 17. 8. 1987.
JACQUES-GARVEY, Amy. Garvey and
Garveyism. New York: London: Collier
Books, MacMillan, 1970.
-. Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus
Garvey Vol I and II. New York: Atheneum,
1986 (first published 1925).
LEWIS, Rupert. Garvey: Anticolonial
Champion. London: Karia Press, 1987.
MARTIN, Tony. Race First. Westport, Connecti-
cut: Greenwood Press, 1976
-. Literary Garveyism. Dover, Mass.:
Majority Press, 1983 (= Martin (1983 a).
-. Marcus Garvey Hero. Dover, Mass.:
Majority Press, 1983 (= Martin (1983 b).
MCKAY, Claude. Harlem: Negro Metropolis.
New York: Dutton, 1940.
The Daily and Sunday Gleaner.
The Blackman.
The Negro World.

Colour photographs by the Author.
Other photographs from the collection of the
National Library of Jamaica.


Winner ofthe 1986Brtllsh Airways Commonwealth
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The Annual National Exhibition








She 1990 Annual
National Exhibition at
the National Gallery of
Jamaica brought together just over
a hundred works by seventy-two
artists to present a fair cross-
section of work done last year by
Jamaican artists and artists from
overseas who have lived and
worked here.
Although the absence of our
major artists was regrettably
evident, the Exhibition showed
some of the extraordinary artistic
energy still surging in Jamaica.
As might be expected from

Gene Pearson Mona
Bronze. Height 15.5" (39.5 cm)


William Joseph (Woody) Andy
Cedar. Height 31" (78.75 cman)

seventy-two searching individualists, the exhibits
varied in concept, technique and style. The three main
media used Painting, Sculpture and Ceramics were
vehicles to convey social satire; penetrations into death,
despair or the subconscious; environmental protest; and
other aspects of Nature and humanity. All the works
show facets of society and its environs reflected by the
artists, but only after they have passed through the
alembic of the individual mind and have been coloured
and shaped by it.
In this assessment of some aspects of the Exhibition,
works have been grouped according to theme rather
than medium not only because most were paintings but
also because Sculpture and Ceramics were under-
represented. Works from five of these themes have been
selected for commentary: the human head; the human
figure; the dark side of the mind; and Abstraction.
Interpretations of the human head formed a strong
section of the Exhibition, ranging from in depth
psychological probes through stylized studies to
Two outstanding representational portraits in bronze
were by Valerie Bloomfield-Ambrose and Gene Pear-
son. In Portrait of Maurice Facey Bloomfield-Ambrose
achieved not only facial resemblance but characteristic
mannerisms conveying the essence of the sitter. The
impressionistic surface of the original malleable
medium enlivens the head and hair; and the features,
though more precisely modelled, maintain the
animation. Forms of the lower neck and what is shown
of the shirt were only suggested so there is tension

between these and the firmly defined collar which
separates them.
Bloomfield-Ambrose is a painter but with her firm
grasp of three-dimensional form she could venture far
in sculpture.
In contrast, Pearson's stately Mona has a smooth
surface which accentuates features infused with
emotion. Aloofness is emphasized by the downcast
eyes which seem to conceal unspeakable hurt. Ridges of
hair above the forehead and long diagonals concealing
half the neck frame the emotion of the face and give
movement to the composition.
In Mona, Pearson has broken a barrier of restraint
and thrusts his art to a high level.
Roy Reid and Osmond Watson produced
commanding stylized portraits in oil. In Reid's A Talk
with God, flattened, delineated forms and a head
disproportionately enlarged for accent (oh, that single
eye!), lend simplicity to the trusting worshipper. Hands,
cupped in awe, curve towards the upturned head,
completing a warm, heart-shaped centre of interest.
Hands are so expressive of character and mood that
it is a pity Reid cut them off abruptly in his charming
Tell me all the Lies, depicting a flirtatious girl in a dress of
glorious yellow.
Watson's Girl with Braids was a skilful exercise in
symmetry barely avoided. The forms were segmented
analytically in the Cubist manner and though
attenuated were correctly structured. This accomplished
artist shaped the eyes and nose as a child does, but in a
sophisticated way, which gives the impression that he





polychromed flames, has surface modelling of beady
eyes, button nose and mouth gaping with fear... The
Don has been undone.
Wallace's Dada Sammypsycho (man without no name)
derives from Uncle Sam. Dada Art, which erupted in
Zurich during World War I, was anti-war, anti-
establishment and anti-art, with often nonsensical
titles.'Wallace's clever three dimensional egg-head,
bristling with nails, appears to be a protest against the
USA's armed intervention in other countries.
The human figure was also treated diversely. Several
artists focused on inwardness and spirituality, or their
lack, and physical reality was modified to gain
expressive reality.
Single figures by carvers Winston Patrick and
Williams 'Woody' Joseph are, respectively, an external
image imaginatively translated and an internal image
given symbolic form.
Patrick's Seated Man is in the act of rousing himself
from deep meditation. Expressing this, the body and
upper arms merge in Oneness but the head, hands and
legs (alerted areas) emerge into multiplicity with
greater realism. The whole was tenderly portrayed.
For Joseph's Andy, a cylinder was enough to suggest
the trunk on which incised ribs give an X-ray effect. The
X-ray device has been used by North American and
other indigenous people to show the unseen that is

Laura Facey The Game of Chess
Satinwood, cedar and plexi. IIcight 16.5" (42 cm)
Collection: Sonia Jones

had to become like a little child in order to identify with
his subject and capture the child's wonder as she
crossed from innocence to experience.
Laura Facey-Cooper's The Game of Chess, is a
pharaoh-like arrangement of carved fragments set on a
black chequerboard of matt and glossy squares. A -
hollowed head with crown and receding horizontal
sheath lined with black suggest the pyramid's tomb one
enters through a long, dark passage; but viewed from
the back it is as if one were looking into the man's
mind to see, through slits of vacant eye sockets, what
little light entered there.
The Game of Chess is a highly imaginative
construction of delicacy and subtlety. Enclosed in a
transparent case, the fragments seem to be suspended
in timelessness, somewhat removed even from the
viewer and from the space the case inhabits.
My personal response to the work was that it made
life itself appear to be a chess game in which men are
played and toppled. Nothing remains but empty shells
and broken bits on Time's chequerboard.
At the opposite pole, Londale Campbell and Douglas
Wallace had created caricature heads for social ridicule.
Campbell's Don Man is a turned earthenware pot with a
twisted lip. The neck and shoulder form a plain dark
cap pulled low; the body of the pot, patterned with Michael Parchment SpirilualMan
Oil on Hardboard. 19.5" x 14" (49.5 x 35.5 cm)


B 0 R D I A R

Duppy City Oil on hardboard. 21.75" x 30" (55.25 x 76 cm)

known.2 Yet seeing the inside of an inner image was like
entering a deeper level of the Unknown.
On each side is a row of five decorative knobs
symbolizing the arm and fingers. With the two on the
breast (prominent as in a woman) they total twelve, the
mythological number of the universal mother of life.3 Is
Andy a hermaphroditic image representing the
masculine and feminine principles?
The stubby legs have unusual knees, like joints with
patellas dotted externally in another X-ray effect. Above
the trunk, a strong neck and head describe an
optimistic, dignified man Joseph's own qualities,
surely, and his general view of mankind, blended with
From what deep levels of mind has this figure
Michael Parchment and Gloria Escoffery satirized
topical events in Church or State. Parchment's painted
relief is an incisive comment on hypocrisy and
immorality in the Church. It ridicules The Spiritual Man
who doesn't mind that his right hand, bearing the
Cross, knows what his left hand is doing and proceeds
oblivious of his appalled and scattering flock a
problem spotlighted by the fall of Jimmy Swaggart.
The seemingly careless rendering suits the leader's
carelessness; behind him dark and light tones, polarized
like the forces in conflict, direct attention to him, as

does the vibrant red of passion he is clothed in.
Figures in Escoffery's gouache diptych Rootsman
Series: War Games, Cherchez the Anti-Christ are small and
busy, conflicting with the ethereal quality of the broadly
applied pastel colours which flood them. She derides
puny man's antics on the cosmic stage: the Gulf
hostilities, and the Search for the Anti-Christ by the
Laymen For Religious Liberty.
Architecture as used by Tina Matkovich-Spiro and
Allan 'Zion' Johnson awakens environmental
awareness. In Matkovich-Spiro's Beyond, perspective
heightens the realism of an interior with tiled floor. An
open central door invites one to walk through to a
luminous though hazy landscape but one stops short,
revolted by decay on the left wall and a large dark
splotch at the lower left corner not on the floor but on
the surface of the painting itself. A crow, symbol of
death, hovers over the land.
Beyond protests man's despoiling of his environment.
With all the dark patches on the sinister left of the
painting, the composition is unbalanced. If only we
could set it, and the world, right.
On the other hand, Johnson's Half Way Tree (Woman
of Culture) is a gleaming mosaic of painted 'tesserae'.
Virtually ignoring perspective, Johnson focused on the
exterior decorative elements of an old house.'Bricks,
jalousies and shingles pattern the whole.

Everald Brown

The Bridg
H-nry Lowe

Ss f fha Actor)
Milton G=90


Kingston: 10 Tangerine Place Kgn. 10 Ocho Rios: Shop 9, Island Plaza
Phone: 926-4644 926-6873 Phone: 974-2374

Allan Johnson (Zion) Half Way Tree (Woman of Culture)
Enamel on Hardboard 24" x 24" (61 x 61 cm)

The dual stairway, reduced to an oval, flows upwards
to the portico and downwards to the curved garden
kerbs, linking the house to its setting. Two African
goddesses, one at each lower corner, like caryatids
support the composition by filling the space left by the
receding sides of the building. Laden fruit trees
patterning the distance tell of a fruitful land.
Here Johnson saw only the beauty of his
surroundings: order and neatness prevail. Fantastic,
magical, with bright primary colours, green, black and
white, this painting is a song of praise to our
The dark side of the mind is a hidden habitat of
horrors few attempt to peer into, but some artists
ventured to probe it using animals, people or spirits to
gain entrance. Their works are certainly the most
disturbing and among the most moving in the show.
Margaret Chen's triptych Shadow I, II & III reveals our
planet's tragedy through ambiguous shapes of dying
creatures in the outer panels and the horned head of a
dead ox in the central panel, the ox being an ancient
symbol for the Creative Force.4
In this web of chiaroscuro, dark red shapes warn of
death by pollution or spilled blood. In Panel II, a
prominent crimson circle flows into a shape like Africa,
adding historical dimensions to the work.
Here Death remains an enigma and murder, direct or
indirect, a crime against Life which the artist's search
brings to our attention.
Robert Cookhorne's diptych Two Horses, black-
shouldered and red-faced, reared from another dark
terrain: untameable primitive drives5 buried deep
within us in what Jung called 'original mind', and barely
held in check by religion, custom and law.
The two almost identical dark horses differ in


Marguerite Stanigar Black and White Spiral
Terracotta Height 4.75" (12 cm)


expression: in one, eyes are askance, the
mouth sulky; in the other, the eyes challenge
the viewer's and the mouth is cunning.
They come from the same corral as the
white horse in Fuseli's The Nightmare but
Cookhorne's are grotes-que and strike
immediately at a deep level, stirring a
dormant part of the psyche.
When Prudence Lovell was in Jamaica
S in the early eighties she painted deftly
patterned landscapes in watercolour. It was
astonishing to see her two large charcoal
drawings Red Street III and Interval. P.D.
Ouspensky taught that each of us has a
number of I's within which self-mastery
unites in the single I.6 In these drawings it is
as if one of Lovell's slumbering I's were
roused and given rein.
Related to Grosz's prisoners in The
Robbers from his New Objectivity phase,
Lovell's lifesize, stolid figures, vacant of will,
are disturbingly real. Use of charcoal
emphasizes their colourless existence. The
subject is prostitution: degraded womanhood
in a man's sterile world.
Lovell, looking at life with new eyes,
has become a powerful social commentator.
Seen at a distance, Everald Brown's Duppy City is a
fragile, green-webbed landscape but things are not what
they seem. This is a mysterious world of transformation
filled with double images: foliage becomes crowds of
spirit beings; cultivated hills, shaped like the M of
spiritual waters,7 metamorphose into two amphibians, a
crocodile and a frog-crocodile; and in the sky cloud-
heads of a dark man and a pale woman float.
The land and waters of being have been integrated.
A horizontal light passage at the lower right
silhouettes small figures like souls entering an
underworld. This balance a central dark vertical cave at
the entrance to which stands the eerie guardian of
Duppy City. What does that dark conceal?
The frame of a picture is usually regarded as its
boundary in space setting it off from its surroundings,

but Brown has painted his with an intricate
pattern of leaves so that it is an integral part of
the painting. In Duppy City Brown's fertile
mind has unveiled amphibious Reality.
Two examples of Abstraction, both visually
stimulating, convey different moods and can
also be enjoyed as compositions. They show
the value of this art form, an understanding of
which allows greater appreciation of artistic
diversity as well as of more realistic work
which cannot be successful unless supported
by an abstract structure.
Marguerite Stanigar's matt-finish terracotta
Black and White Spiral consists of a shallow
bowl with a wide rim inverted and set on
another, rim to rim. On the lower cone,
horizontal stripes of wide black and narrow
white are static but on the upper cone black
and white spirals graduated towards the apex
are dynamic.
Literally, the form resembles a spinning top.
Symbolically, it may be interpreted in several
ways: for example, day and night alternating
perpetually; positive and negative forces balanced
However, Stanigar has used the spiral in her
paintings. For her it expresses the creative process
growth, not only physical growth in nature but al
unfoldment from within the artist through her we
Black and White Spiral exemplifies the power of
abstract symbols to evoke associated ideas. In boti
and ornament this elegant 'top' was skilfully mad
Amy Laskin's two-dimensional mixed media p
There's Fifty Ways... Make a New Plan Stan is a bus
composition, a riot of small shapes similar in size
varying in tone, colour and pattern. Some are teas
familiar: hats, umbrellas, a nuclear bomb beside a
mushroom, and overturned chequerboards. The g
up, we infer.
Dark shapes set off a light central area. These a
striped forms direct the eye round and round. Ou
jumble a mounted jockey appears at the right, a cl
hat covering his head. The jockey represents hum
and he can't see. A pointed finger pokes him and
pokes fun at humanity. He rides a hobby-horse or
unicorn, not a real thoroughbred. We discern we'i
the wrong track and need a New Plan for life on I
The jumble seems like the blur seen when look
or from a whirling roundabout... only when it st(
one see clearly.
Her method suits the merry madness, but her
message makes one stop and think and, perhaps,
There were many other works of great merit ar
interest in the Exhibition, but there was much mis
One question haunts me; Where has all the coloui
Only five colourful areas caught the eye, flood
sense and lodged in the memory; the unforgettab
yellow on Reid's flirtatious girl, the wondrous pal
tints of Escoffery's diptych, the brilliant primaries
Johnson's 'tesserae' and the impassioned reds of

Amy Laskin There's Fifty Ways... Make a New Plan Stan
Mixed media on paper 22" x 29.5" (56 x 75 cmn)
Parchment and Cookhorne.
One does not want to see gaudy, raw colour
everywhere (though as sheer compensation some would
have been welcome, as would have been a few
of Rodneys). There is a tendency to explore tone at the
so expense of colour rather than in conjunction with it.
irk.8 Colour can powerfully affect the emotions and the art of
painting depends primarily on form. Therefore an
h form overall impression of over-modified colour in so many
e. works suggests something amiss. Is the cost of living
picture getting us down?
y Each year one might expect to see some change in an
but artist's approach, for change reflects development as a
ingly result of effort, of increased knowledge, experience and
;ame's Some artists enter more directly into the flux and flow
around them and might express external changes or
nd their impact on their consciousness more readily; others
t of the are more concerned with their inner realities visions,
own's dreams, the dark side of the psyche and external
anity, events might affect their work minimally or to the extent
so that their inner selves have been affected.
a However, when viewing work done in the first year
*e on of the final decade of this millennium one looks for
Earth's another dimension to change, one that reflects the
artists's response, consciously or unconsciously, to the
ing at astonishing currents of human thought sweeping away
ops can rigid traditions and outworn ideas as mankind swings
into a new era made possible by advanced technology,
and the desire for freedom. There was nothing in the
see show to indicate this.
Another deficiency lay in the lack of variety of media:
id original printmaking including batik, jewellery, fibre
;sing. arts, photography all of which the Gallery has
Gone? exhibited previously were also noticeably and
ed the regrettably absent.
le On the eve of a new age there should be a wealth of
stel experimentation with new methods and new media. Art
of students need to be exposed to new discoveries and
materials which could be incorporated in their works to


trigger dramatic breakthroughs to new visions and new
fields. Using the known and proven and diverging
adventurously can help; but clinging to a narrow tradi-
tional track will encourage myopia.
Backed by sound knowledge, flexibility and daring,
the will to innovate would allow us not only to keep
pace with the new era but perhaps and it is not too
much to hope for artistically from this extraordinary
little country even to lead the way.
Photographs by Dennis Valentine

1. Peter and Linda Murray, A Dictionary of Art and Artists.
Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1966, p. 77.
2. Leonard Adam, Primitive Art, Harmondsworth:
Penguin, 1949, pp. 38, 65.
3. Robert Lawlor, Sacred Geometry; Philosophy and Practice.
London: Thames & Hudson, 1982, p.5.
4. Harold Bayley, The Lost Language of Symbolism. New
York: Barnes & Noble, 1957, vol. 1, 308.
5. Carl G. Jung, Man and His Symbols. New York:
Doubleday, 1979, p. 174.
6. P. D. Ouspensky, The Fourth Way. New York: Vintage,
1971, pp. 3, 16.
7. Bayley, vol.1, 238-9.
8. From conversation with the artist.

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A anyone under the age of
twenty-five who believes
that the drum has always been
part of our cultural milieu
would find it difficult to imag-
ine a Jamaica in which drums
were absent from our schools,
our concert platforms and our
churches. They have epitomized
the Jamaicanization of our arts
and entertainment and have
become an all-pervading symbol
of the dominant African element
in our culture; but their voices
have been audible to public ears
only in the recent past.

There is a mere handful of people to
thank for this: Ivy Baxter, Rex
Nettleford and the National Dance
Theatre Company drummers, the
Mystic Revelations of Rastafari, the
Jamaican Folk Singers and particular-
ly Marjorie Whylie who, as Head of the
Folk Music Research Department of the
Jamaica School of Music, influenced
scores of musicians and music teachers
who have taken the drumming skills
they acquired from her and passed them
on to others all over the island. Hers
was a pivotal position at the JSM and
the influence she has exerted has been
In 1974, when the Jamaica School of
Music began to transform itself into an
identifiably Jamaican institution, the
first person to be engaged as a new full-
time member of staff was Marjorie
Whylie. She brought with her a unique
combination of musical talent, training
and education. A graduate of the
University of the West Indies (Special
Honours in Spanish), a classroom

teacher at Kingston College, a trained
classical pianist who had also mastered
a wide range of popular styles and one
of the principal drummers with the
NDTC, she was already teaching part-
time classes in drumming at the
Creative Arts Centre and was much in
demand on the music scene as a
She was the first person to set about
teaching the drum systematically as a
serious instrument in musical educa-
tion, having been invited by Lloyd Hall,
who was then Music Education officer
at the Ministry of Education, to run
workshops for teachers in summer
schools and other short courses even
before she worked with the UWI Music
Unit. Within a few years of starting
work at the School of Music, she was to
see the conga drum fully accepted as a
legitimate, respectable instrument
which took its place in the School
alongside the piano, the clarinet, the
guitar and the other instruments that
had long been taught exclusively in
schools and studios to aspiring young
Jamaican musicians.
As Head of the Folk Music Research
Department, she was responsible for
teaching compulsory courses in
Jamaican Folk Music throughout the
school. In addition she was required to
teach conga drumming to all students as
a compulsory part of their training, in
much the same way as European insti-
tutions insist on compulsory choir or
keyboard proficiency not to produce
advanced practitioners, but to give
'hands on' experience of the musical
behaviours that are integral to the cul-
ture. (Jamaican music is essentially
percussive and rhythmical, just as
European music is predominantly
melodic and vocal). As a result, the
drumming component became the iden-
tifying mark of the whole institution,
underpinning the work of every depart-
ment and ensuring that every student

Marjorie Whylie's contribution

to the development of




who passed through the school had had
actual experience of performing their
own music.
In taking on this institutional task,
Marjorie Whylie's main challenge was
to devise a systematic method of teach-
ing drum technique and also a form of
notation that would allow students in a
musically literate environment to use
drum scores.
The techniques which apply to most
instruments depend on the use of the
fingers as separate units. In drumming,
the whole hand is employed, using it in
different positions with varying intens-
ity of contact with the drumhead. The
teaching method also had to develop
flexibility of the wrists and awareness
of the importance of stance.
The conga drum was chosen as the
most accessible instrument for teaching
and learning, since it is easier to buy
than, say, a Rasta drum and also
because it is the most versatile in repro-
ducing the majority of traditional
Jamaican rhythms. But this nevertheless
entailed a good deal of experimentation
in learning to approximate the sounds
of other drums such as Rasta, Revival,
Jonkonnu, Gumbay and so on. Marjorie
Whylie's early notes on Haitian drum-
ming give a clear description of the
basic technique that she taught in her
classes: '

Bass notes are produced in the centre
of the drum and are obtained by cup-
ping the hand slightly, and beating
firmly. When the hand contacts the
drum, there must be no air spaces
between the hand and the skin.
Tone beats are obtained by beating
with the fingers relaxed, in the area
near the edge of the drum. The wrist
must be flexible at all times. The idea
is always to 'pull the sound' out of the
drum rather than to beat it in. The
action then must have a slight bounce
to it.
Closed tone beats are obtained by
cupping the hand over the tone area
and gripping the skin when beating.
The sound is duller than the open tone.
Beats on the tip may be open or closed
To slap, one stops the drum by hold-
ing the skin with one hand and with
the 'heel' of the hand nearest the
drum, giving a sharp slap. The hand
must bounce off.
The ciy6 is very important to Haitian
drumming. This is the singing note.
This requires a great deal of practice.


1. 4




H G44


~~K~rE~0 I

Example 1

34 IAuAcAIouRNwn

0 o0 [ f I l e\
S> a 4 7 ?g I 2 3 t r 6 7

uL A rr f

Place the thumb firmly against the first
joint of the second finger. Then slide
the head of the finger lightly across
the skin. The skin must not be
depressed at all. If the finger vibrates,
you are pressing too hard. If the action
is done against the grain of the skin so
that there is some resistance, the ciy6
should be more easily achieved.

In addition to this basic technique,
she found it necessary to explore all
possibilities of achieving the sound she
wanted by dividing the head of the
drum into six areas, finding appropriate
hand positions and working on varying
the column of air vibrating within the
drum by putting it in various positions.



A .a J. & ,4,4 i .t It .a&J a ,

Any notation she had found had
proved unsatisfactory because, unless
there was some accompanying aural
material, it was left to chance whether
the drummer actually reproduced the
original. All drums are tuned differently
and a system of notation had to present
a way of approximating pitch relation-
ships on the drum head. Out of these
problems a quest for notation began.
Example 1 is an illustration of
Marjorie Whylie's various attempts to
find a satisfactory way of notating drum
rhythms, using traditional notation, dia-
grams and utterance patterns, catering
to both the literate and the non-literate
The utterance patterns provide a fas-
cinating onomatopoeic language of var-
iously pitched sounds which are trans-
lated into drum strokes:

gun, go do
pc, te
pa, ta
pi, ti

= bass
= closed tone
= open tone
= tip
= ciye
= stopped bass

Thus pete gun pete is a combination of
closed tone and bass sounds; pa tipa
tipa a combination of open tones and
Eventually she settled on a form of
notation, using note heads on the five
lines of the stave to indicate the various
basic tones obtainable on the conga,
(see below). Example 22 shows its
application to (a) Mento and (b) Ettu.

Work at the Jamaica School of Music

Her work at the School of Music,
apart from bringing her in contact with

every student in the school, led to a
number of important developments in
music training in Jamaica. Drum
ensemble playing became an ongoing
instrumental activity in which all stu-
dents participated at one time or anoth-
er, playing not only drums but other tra-
ditional instruments as well. In these
ensembles everybody's participation
was assured as all parts were adapted to
the individual ability of each student.
The work she did in the Music
Education Division has had far-reach-
ing effects on the inclusion of Jamaican
music in school curricula and on the
inclusion of the drum as an accompany-
ing instrument for school choirs and
ensembles. She mentions particularly
the work of graduates such as Mrs
Gloria Walker, who is now Lecturer in
Music at Passley Gardens Teachers'
College. Before she came to JSM,



Pas7Grrwac~s DAIu,




Example 2



I v v0

I V V L-1

Gloria Walker's work in Festival was
known islandwide, particularly as a
choir director and one of the leading
exponents of choral arrangements of
Jamaican folksong. Under the tutelage
of Marjorie Whylie she became the first
student to offer a double instrumental
combination conga drum and piano -
for the Diploma course.
Another student was Marcia
Lumsden, now Head of the Music
Education Department of the School,
who has used her knowledge to develop
ensemble work with children in special
arrangements of reggae, dub and tradi-
tional music, using tuned percussion
and voice.
Whenever there is a JSM graduate -
and there are many, in primary and sec-
ondary schools and in training colleges
both in Jamaica and abroad there is
someone whose training has ensured an
engagement with drumming.
Even in the Junior School of the
JSM, drumming became an important
part of the instrumental curriculum and
of the annual in-house Festival in which
children were given the opportunity to
present their acquired skills in public,
for assessment by external adjudicators.
This led to the formulation of a whole
set of criteria for judging drum perfor-
mance, including the assessment of
stance, the student's ability to maintain
a steady rhythm, to change smoothly
from one rhythm pattern to another and,
in ensembles, to perform an important
function as the member of a group.
Four 'grades' evolved in the Junior
drumming classes, with students work-
ing from Level I through to Level IV,
at which stage they applied their skills
to accompanying classes in the School
of Dance, following a process which
their teacher had found so important in
her own development.
Drumming drew on a host of skills,
including improvisation, that developed
co-ordination, discipline, memory, con-
centration and stage presentation. It
soon became apparent that the conga
drum could be used in schools as an
important educational as well as musi-
cal resource.
Today Marjorie looks back with
pride on drummers whom she started as
'babies' or nurtured through their for-
mative years particularly those such
as 'Junior' Wedderburn and Antonio
Henry (now resident abroad) who have
since become professional musicians;
yet she confesses to a sense of regret
that the work that has been passed on is

not being used and developed more.
Although the National Festival is the
only vehicle for exhibiting what is
being done in the classroom, she is
amazed that there are no entries for
drumming classes in the Annual
Festival. And although many schools
have drums, they are not being used
either as solo instruments, or, more cre-
atively, to explore sound and to experi-
ment. Most drumming these days is
confined to mere accompaniment. As a
consultant to the Jamaica Cultural
Development Commission, she has
ensured that this year's syllabus has
been extended to include creative
music-making that she hopes will
attract ensembles and combinations that
will use the drums more imaginatively.
She has written a large body of
church music that incorporates the use
of drums and guitar and would like to
see the use of the drum filtering into
regular worship and not just appearing
in concert pieces at special church
events. As a member of the Provincial
Liturgical Council of the Anglican
Church she is hopeful that at some time
in the future the Council will seriously
consider the use of the drum in worship.
In 1986 Marjorie Whylie left full-
time teaching to satisfy a lifelong call to
follow a career as a freelance performer.
Her development as a successful jazz
musician and singer, as a composer and
arranger and as leader of a new group
'Whylie Wrhythms' would provide
material for a whole study in itself.
But it can safely be said that her
whole life as a musician has been
shaped by the drum. This is borne out

Photographs by Maria LaYacona


by a one-man show she has recently
devised and has performed already in
Germany and Trinidad in which she
presents aspects of Jamaican life from
birth to death using traditional music.
In the video I saw of the perfor-
mance in Germany, she held her audi-
ence captivated for over an hour. She
sang, she danced, she told stories and
painted verbal pictures of Jamaica, she
induced her audience to participate in
Jamaican songs all to the accompani-
ment of the conga. In the second half
she played her own piano compositions
which are so utterly Caribbean in their
musical style yet so utterly Whylie in
their harmonic language, their transpar-
ent textures and above all the riveting
cross-rhythms which owe so much to
the vitality of the bass line. It brings
together everything that has gone to
shape this prodigiously talented musi-
cian whose work has had such a far-
reaching effect on the development of
our culture over the past two decades.

1. From 'Notes on the Techniques of Haitian
Drumming' by Marjorie Whylie. Unpub-
lished. Undated.
2. From 'Notation for Conga Rhythms and
Basic Patterns of Jamaican Traditional
Rhythms' by Marjoie Whylie. Unpub-
lished, 1984.

Pamela O'Gorman, our regular music columnist,
is a former Director of the Jamaica School of


Looking back, Marjorie Whylie realizes that she
was exposed as a child to Jonkonnu and Revival
in St Catherine and had heard some Kumina in St
Thomas without knowing what it was. Having
always had the ability to play by ear, she now
realizes that she had always been interested in the
rhythmic aspect of music, gravitating towards the
bass line and the use of chords in rhythm patterns.
Of course the National Dance Theatre
Company had a profound influence on her as a
drummer. Her first public appearance was playing
a 'donno' (talking drum) belonging to Rex
Nettleford in the dance 'African Scenario' in the
Roots and Rhythms show which was presented for the
Independence celebrations in 1962 and out of which grew the
Subsequently the donno fell apart and she started playing the
conga drum under the tutelage of Ronan Critchlow. Carl
Messado also helped extend her drumming vocabulary and her
discipline in playing for dance classes.
She continued to play for NDTC classes and, looking back
on those days, realizes the considerable influence playing for
dance had upon her own development as a drummer. It pulled
on her creativity and imagination in having to play rhythms to
match the steps of the dancers.
Rex Nettleford was also a seminal influence. According to
Marjorie, he was a master at devising neo-African utterances to
articulate drum rhythms and the result is a vocabulary that was
spawned in the NDTC, handed on from one drummer to another
and disseminated further through those drummers joining other
groups. (She mentions Billy Lawrence, who worked with Jimmy
Cliff, 'Carrot' Jarrett of Third World and Larry MacDonald who
used to play with Sun Ra, all of whom have come through the
NDTC and have in common the methods that originated with
Critchlow, Messado and Nettleford. And she herself used to
train the drummers of the Jamaican Folk Singers, as well as
appearing on their shows in the early days)
Haitian drumming has also been a strong influence, coming
both from Lavinia Williams and Ronan Critchlow who had pre-
viously worked with Haitian drummers and many of whose
rhythmic patters were approximations or developments of pat-
terns learned from that tradition.
Marjorie vividly recalls Lavinia Williams's Summer Course

in Dance which was held at the UWI in 1963.
Here she worked with Lavinia's daughter 'Ti
Williams-Yarborough, who played for classes
and taught traditional Haitian rhythms using
imitation and utterance patterns.
As far as Jamaican rhythm is concerned, she
readily acknowledges the influence of the
Festival Movement. It was in Festival that she
was given the opportunity of hearing rhythms
that might have taken months or even years to
access had it not been for those vibrant years of
the late sixties and early seventies when a con-
centration of traditional dance and music was
displayed in one day, offering to audiences the
kind of overview that would otherwise have
been impossible. She had become an adjudicator in 1968 and
this not only exposed her to a wide variety of traditional dance
and music but also helped her to establish contacts that stood her
in good stead when she later became Head of Folk Music
Research at JSM.
And then there was Louise Bennett.
The name of Louise came up in the context of my own
observation on the generosity with which Marjorie has always
handed on her knowledge to others. Ex-students, colleagues and
researchers from abroad have commented on the readiness with
which she has shared her knowledge and the patience with
which she has introduced neophyte drummers to, what is for
them, unknown territory.
Marjorie's response is that she considers herself 'a conduit'.
Having learned so much from so many people, she passes it on
in as many ways as possible. Then she immediately mentions
Louise Bennett ('the most generous soul I know') who was
always so ready to assist with material or contacts or pointing
you in a direction for tracing further material. Marjorie refers to
the number of times when a casual social visit to Louise would
become 'a four-hour seminar on life, attitudes and the meat of
what would make a good anthropological study'. According to
Marjorie, 'all of us are inheritors of the groundwork Louise did
when she was with Social Welfare. Folk music only gained
respectability after Louise came back from London and sang
'Rookumbine' on RJR...'
And finally, speaking of influences, she says with barely-
concealed pride that she has lived to see the day when her
mother was one of her most important informants.

FT(r thle Record

The credit line was omitted from this photograph
of Josie Wales which accompanied Carolyn
Cooper's article, "Slackness Hiding from Culture",
in JAMAICA JOURNAL 23:1. Our apologies are due to
Michael Conally who took the picture.


Douglas Armstrong, Assistant
Professor of Anthropology at
Syracuse University, brings his
students on annual archaeological
expeditions to Jamaica. He is
preparing two books on the exca-
vations at Seville.

Veerle Poupeye-Rammelaere is
Assistant curator at the National
Gallery of Jamaica and teacher of
Art History and Research
Methods at the Edna Manley
School for the Visual Arts.

John Rashford is an authority on
Jamaican flora. He is Assistant
Professor in the Department of

Sociology and Anthropology at
the College of Charleston, South
Carolina, USA. His most recent
contribution, on Barringtonia,

Kim Robinson, editor and urban
planner, works with the Kingston
Restoration Company and has
extensive experience in publishing

Anna Maria Hendriks has exhib-
ited her work in numerous art
exhibitions in Jamaica and over-
seas. She is also well-known as a
teacher of art and has long been
writing on the subject.


New Art Galleries byKim Robinson

The Kingston art scene has been enlivened in the
past two years or so by an unexpected develop-
ment: the opening of eight new galleries. The first
in 1989 was Babylon Gallery, followed by the
gallery extension at Patoo, Gallery Pegasus, the
Palette, Chelsea Galleries and the Art Gallery.

Affinity by Janette Eyles Chelsea Galleries

The addition of Four Corners Gallery
and Gallery Petite, has effectively dou-
bled the number of show rooms for
artists' work in the city.
What has spurred this sudden
Recent trends in the art scene, and
the Jamaican society at large, would
tempt an immediate answer. Undoubt-

edly, with the help of inflation, art
prices have soared tremendously in the
last few years, revealing the benefits of
art as an investment and thus creating a
new group of art collectors. Is this sim-
ply a response to, an attempt to cash in
on, this trend? Or is it, to some extent,
a response to fundamental deficiencies
in the older galleries?

Babylon and Chelsea
Colin F Christ, managing director of
what was Babylon Jamaica Limited at
the time of our interview and now Colin
F. Art Works, would affirm the latter.
One of our more avant-garde young
artists, Colin says he was dissatisfied
with his treatment by the established gal-
leries. In his opinion, they had a limited
appreciation of fine art and were unsure
of work that departed from the tradition-
al. Frustrated by what he saw as their nar-
row vision and their inability to make
independent assessments, Colin decided
to create a space in which he could
show his own work and that of other
similarly frustrated artists.
The gallery occupies a room on the
ground floor of a delightful old house
on West King's House Road in a com-
pound in which Colin and a number of
other young people reside. In this some-
what bohemian setting, the gallery has
held some ten exhibitions, showing
such artists as Beti Campbell, Petrona
Morrison, Mike Stanley and Giselle
Valdez, as well as Colin himself.
Exhibitions alternate with a stock
show; and in one corner of the room
Colin sells his very popular tee-shirts as
well as jewellery and ceramics. The
gallery has also held one exhibition of
Haitian art and one photography show -
the latter attesting to Colin's assertion
that the quick sale is low on his list of
criteria for exhibitions.
'The work must appeal to me. What
I'm most interested in is new ideas,
individual statements, work that con-
tains some commentary whether or
not it's intentional... I'm concerned
about opening up people's minds, pro-
moting freedom of thought. Narrow-
mindedness disturbs me.'
Such priorities are already evident in
Babylon. Exhibitions have tended to the
avant-garde and the gallery's style is
clearly defined. These same priorities,
on the other hand, don't pay bills. But
Colin is quite matter-of-fact about this,


stating that the gallery is something he
does for love. 'I'm not involved in the
investor business,' he says, 'pushing
sales. We're not a hard-sell gallery. ..'
Babylon's prices have remained rea-
sonable 'Our artists are some of the
few who haven't been dazzled by
devaluation' and content, if some-
times tending to theatrical, has been
faithful to the gallery's theme. The
space is too small for large works, but it
holds its own. Ideally, Colin would like
to mount seven to eight shows a year
but only if they can be strong enough.
He has his doubts. 'Art activity is not
very vibrant now. I'm disappointed to
find that it comes down to survival a lot
of artists seem to think it's more impor-
tant to make a living by mass produc-
tion. .. Art has become a commodity.'
After an exciting first year only two
shows, including one which featured
Colin F. and his then partner Nayr, were
held in 1990. Is Babylon dying? Colin
seems unperturbed. 'We've been taking
things easy recently...but I'm in no
hurry. We're here to stay.'
A conversation with the owner of
Chelsea Galleries, Tina Matkovic-
Spiro, suggests, albeit indirectly, that
she too was not altogether happy with
the operation of the older established
galleries. 'We plan to be specialized -
not in terms of style, but high quality...
Quality seems to be there only intermit-
tently with many of the other galleries.
We would rather have no show at all
than lapse into mediocrity.'
The gallery, notably small, occupies
part of a converted house on Chelsea
Avenue (her husband's architectural
firm takes up the rest). Despite this
acknowledged space limitation, Tina
affirms, 'We have our commitment.'
She adds very definitely, 'We won't be
mixing the art business with any other
business. There will be no knick-
knacks. Little objets d'art, maybe, but
strictly fine art.'
Tina also seems to be unhappy with
some of the older galleries' treatment of
artists: 'We have a commitment to our
artists. We want to see this gallery run
the way I myself would like to have
been treated. . building the artist's
reputation, not just hanging and selling;
becoming personally involved in help-
ing them develop their careers and rep-
utation; marketing their work abroad...
trying to look out for them financially. '
Chelsea Galleries also has a strong
commitment to its clientele, offering a

personalized service. 'We want to offer
the best quality work that can be had at
the best possible price. . We don't
believe in the hard sell, the hasty
approach. Selling is like adoption you
try to match the buyer with the piece. In
placing it, let there be communication
between those who made it and those
who bought it... In the end the artist is
happy that his work is appreciated...'
An estimated one-third of the gal-
lery's time now goes to corporate
clients. 'Serious corporate investors will
find that they have gaps in their collec-
tion for example, one artist, or one
artist's work of a particular period.
They're inclined to a speciality and
we're very happy to fulfil those special
The Chelsea is interested in new art-
ists. Some of the exhibitions that the
gallery has mounted to date have been
noteworthy in their combination of new
and old names the women's exhibi-
tion held early in 1990, for example.
'This one was very well received it's
been our most successful exhibition to
date. It was also the most carefully
Tina wants to launch several differ-
ent types of shows. The first in a series
of exhibitions entitled 'Next Wave',
featuring 'the young Jamaican avant-
garde', was held in July a solo exhibi-
tion of works by twenty-three year old
Anna Ruth Henriques. 'The Corporate
Image' is another series, featuring
mainly large-scale, investment quality
works of art particularly chosen to suit
board rooms, offices and public spaces.
Launched in August, this six-week
rotating exhibition presented works by
artists such as Alexander Cooper, Cecil
Cooper, Rachel Fearing, Sherida Levy,
George Rodney and Patrick Waldemar.
A third series is 'Jamaica Abstract',
featuring the works of pioneer Eugene
Hyde, as well as David Boxer, Hope
Brooks and other artists who have had a
long-term commitment to abstraction.
'We want to do things that are not
just sales opportunities but historical
What about cataloguing? 'That will
come in time. It needs hefty financial
sponsorship, and at the moment it's low
on the list of corporate sponsors. So for
now that will have to be left to the
National Gallery and large foreign
A few of the Chelsea's shows to date
have not been remarkable in terms of

quality but generally speaking, Chelsea
Galleries and its owner give an impres-
sion of serious commitment. 'We're
taking the long view,' Tina says, 'the art
historical approach, not the hasty

Pegasus and Palette

Gallery Pegasus housed in the lobby
area of the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel does
not have such aspirations. Pat Ramsay,
the gallery's consultant curator, origi-
nally conceived of this gallery as 'not
putting an emphasis on exhibitions.
We're talking about a different audience
here a captive audience of tourists.
It's less a gallery than a salon aiming
at outreach exposure of our art'.
Indeed, only one exhibition other
than the opening show was held in the
gallery's first fifteen months: 'Choices',
featuring the works of eight young
Jamaican artists including Robert
Cookhorne ('African'), Stanford
Watson, Valentine Fairclough and
Rafiki Karuki. The exhibition received
good reviews and was, according to Pat,
exciting to curate because of the high
quality of work.
However, the hotel wanted more
exhibitions, and October-December,
1990 saw three shows mounted back-to-
back: 'We Three' featuring Ray Jack-
son, Beti Campbell and Michael Layne,
then Brian McFarlane followed by
Francis Henriques. According to gallery
manager Vera Ennis, the gallery has no
particular leaning towards any one
style, except that 'the work must be
good. We're trying to promote new Ja-
maican artists who are doing profes-
sional work.'
Interestingly, Pat says that because
of its location (it's right outside the
entrance to the coffee shop), the gallery
has attracted a steady flow of Jamaicans
who would otherwise never set foot in
such a place, being too intimidated by
an impression of elitism.
The stock on view at the gallery
seems to reflect this attempt at a wider
appeal, with a pot-pourri of styles and
standards which attest to its original
role as salon. But it is evident that in
recent months some effort has been
made to improve the quality and pre-
sentation of the works an important
development if the Gallery Pegasus is
to continue in its evolution into a proper
No such uncertainty is evident in


Together by Phillip Supersad

Michelle Clarke, owner of the Palette
Gallery on Haining Road in New
Kingston. For Michelle, the role of the
Palette is to give exposure to young
artists. In her opinion, the older gal-
leries were, except for one or two
'young generation' shows every year,
paying little attention to this group of
artists, while lining up for the more
established ones. 'The young artists
need exposure, and they need guid-
ance,' Michelle says.
Twenty-nine year old Michelle has
no illusions about being an art expert.
'I've always been interested in art, but
my training is in sales.' The idea of
opening a gallery was born when she
saw the difficulties experienced by her
artist brother-in-law, Ray Jackson,
when he was trying to sell his work.
She decided to use her expertise in an
area where it was needed.
The Palette, which (again) occupies
a section of a converted old house, has
a small exhibition space, with an even
smaller stock area, and an adjoining gift
shop which carries pieces by
unknowns as well as by more familiar
names. Michelle views the small exhi-
bition space as an asset 'It allows a
decent show with impact.'And, in fair-
ness, shows hung recently have suc-
cessfully handled such constraints.
The thrust of the gallery has been
group shows, including what will become
an annual showing of 'the best graduates
of the School of Art'. More recently a
number of more established artists, such

Jamaican art to a new market. 'As a
starting point we may deal with people
who don't have any appreciation of art,
but want to invest, or want to decorate...
We encourage all sorts. We encourage
secretaries to buy a ceramic piece from
Sthe gift shop instead of a pair of shoes,
h. to buy an original to hang in their
child's room instead of a print, to buy
Jamaican. These people will grow
m financially and eventually try to acquire
o tthe Rodneys, the Huies, etcetera... Art
belongs to the people, so it doesn't
matter which sector of society you
come from. . Kids should grow up
used to seeing art on the wall, so they're
stimulated early. .' And Michelle
stresses that she does not use the hard-
sell approach. 'Most people who buy do
it because they love a piece. That's how
art is.'
Much energy is being put into creat-
ThePate ing a setting for artists and others to
'hang out'. On occasional Friday after-
as Trevor Figueroa, Phillip Supersad and noons, young musicians have per-
David Dunn, have been featured in solo formed in the garden. A vegetarian deli-
exhibitions. Possibly because of the target catessen was recently opened. Michelle
market, works at the Palette have tended envisages creating a meeting-place
to the realist. Notwithstanding any where artists will be stimulated by

have been consistently well presented. It is difficult not to become infected
Artists' input is encouraged in planning, by the enthusiasm of the Palette's young
hanging and promoting a show. director. Problems are there, the question
Catalogues are rarely produced however, of quality being one which needs to be
'because of the cost'. resolved; but the overriding drive to
Shows are held once a month. Each introduce art to new markets would seem
group show has its own theme, for to promise moregoodthan harm.
example, miniatures, drawings, ceram-
ics. Michelle's stated objective here is
two-fold. Firstly, to allow artists to -
exhibit three to five times a year; sec-
ondly, to prevent the viewer from get- '
ting bored. F
This translates to increasing sales.
One may tend to become sceptical.
Three to five exhibitions a year may be
good for the artist in terms of income,
but at what cost to quality?
Yet such scepticism is tempered by
the energy and enthusiasm of Mich-
elle's marketing thrust. She says that .
she actively seeks sales from the market
of young entrepreneurs and profession-
als, enticing them with the moderate
prices of newly-launched artists,
encouraging them to buy art as an
investment, an asset that is guaranteed
to appreciate though she is quick to
say that this is not the main thrust of
her sales pitch.
What does come across as the main
thrust is an aggressive drive to sell Portrait ofNicola Crosswell-Mahfood by Basha

Kacmarowska Hamilton The Art Gallery


Four Corners and The Art Gallery

A similar level of enthusiasm is evi-
dent in another unlikely gallery owner:
Theresa Stewart, managing director of
Four Corners Gallery. Theresa is an
accountant by profession who imports
children's cribs. She recently expanded
her import business to include crayons,
which led her to promote primary
school-level art competitions, and
through this unlikely route came upon
the idea of opening her own art gallery.
'I always liked art, always wanted to be
an artist.' But accounting was the safer
route, so she channelled her artistic
interest into the career of her artist
brother Louis Ruddock. Through his
experiences she 'became aware of a
shortage of exhibition space... So it's a
family commitment, and a personal
Another unlikely element in the sto-
ry of this gallery is its location: West
Arcadia Avenue off the beaten track,
and barely passing the above-Cross
Roads test. This old residential area still
maintains a certain serenity. The space
inside is fairly pleasant, though the
rooms are small, and some works are
hung in dubious nooks and crannies.
Theresa says that she hopes to double
the gallery space by the end of this year.
'Space is very important. Art should be
enjoyed and relaxed. There should be a
no-rush environment you come in for
relaxation, to view the artwork, not nec-
essarily to buy but to enjoy.'
Why the name Four Corners? 'It's
the four corners of the earth,' Theresa
explains animatedly. She wants to bring
in objets d'art and paintings from all
over the world. Her emphasis, however,
is on local artists. She says that she
wants to give equal opportunity to
younger and more experienced artists -
a claim supported by the fact that
two of the artists shown in 1990
were Valentine Fairclough and Carl
The Carl Abrahams exhibition was
certainly a coup for Four Corers. In
persuading this often underrated master
to exhibit, and in mounting his works
so tastefully, the gallery proved its
right to be taken seriously. Abraham's
amusing, often seemingly irrelevant
and always intriguing comments on
his works were displayed with obvi-
ous affection. The inclusion of
Abraham's three friends, Sylvia-Joy

Queen of Hearts by Carl Abrahams
Four Comers Gallery
Scott, Nora Strudwick and Marguerite
Curtin, was perhaps unfortunate, surely
from the point of view of showing the
works of three amateurs to disadvantage
- and yet the lingering feeling was of
warmth. Abrahams wanted to share this
opportunity with his three friends.
Theresa plans to mount a maximum of
four shows a year 'For effectiveness. I
want them to be special.' She feels
strongly that mounting shows back-to-
back helps neither gallery nor artist.
'An artist should work on a show for
two to five years. A period of concen-
tration, working towards a major event,
aiming towards greatness. . mean-
while selling individual pieces one-one
to keep going. A show should be stud-
ies, reflections, future projections.' She
feels that very few artists think that way
today. 'Too many are rushing to pro-
duce enough material to meet a deadline
for a show in six months.' The result
is that originality and depth are lack-
ing. How does she feel about there
being so many galleries? Competition,
she says, will produce better planned
exhibitions and more discrimination in
selection of exhibits. 'We need choices
for the artist, choices for the public...
The more sophisticated the society the
more interest there is in art. And there's
so much diversity in our art world.'
Confidence is what Theresa exudes.
'I think we have a fair share of the mar-
ket. And I'm not putting pressure on my
gallery. I'll allow it time to grow... I'm

investing in my artists, ensuring quality
by investing in a certain amount of
stock, to allow a steady inflow of high-
quality work.'
Is such confidence warranted? A
recent look at the gallery's stock show
found a number of works that were
decidedly weak. Yet Theresa Stewart
injects a dose of energy and innovation
into a traditionally genteel domain.
The Art Gallery is another one that
has recently been opened by a young
businesswoman. Nicola Crosswell-
Mahfood describes herself as a busi-
woman who is a patron of the arts. She
owns a group of companies and says
that the gallery is 'like a baby'.
'One doesn't just open a gallery
without careful thinking and planning,'
she says. 'The location and setting were
chosen very carefully.' The setting is a
converted old house with walled front
garden, and the location, on Garelli
Avenue, is close to corporate headquar-
ters convenient since the intention is
to build a strong corporate client base
'through a careful marketing and PR
programme'. For instance, 'the
Financial Gleaner is the right type of
publication.., to give the gallery the
right credibility.' Because she wants to
build this base gradually, and develop a
strong reputation among art collectors,
the gallery was given a deliberately
'soft' opening in December 1989 with
an exhibition by Louis Chuck a young
artist who 'simply idolizes Huie,'
Nicola says. And certainly his style is a
smooth imitation of that of his idol.
The Chuck exhibition is the type that
Nicola says the Art Gallery will focus on:
'We intend to freshen up themarket-place
by bringing attention and focus to newer
artists, such as recent graduates of the
School of Art. .. Fresh volumes of work
will be available to our clients.' The cura-
tor is Joan Prendergast, a soft-spoken,
retiring woman who previously taught art
and worked in the framing business.
Nicola says that they aim to have a maxi-
mum of four exhibitions per year 'with
careful planning and selection'.
Will the Art Gallery not overlap with
other galleries? No, Nicola assures us.
'We won't be carrying what other
people carry. Our works will be
unique special to the Art Gallery.'
She qualifies this, however: 'To some
extent we will have to carry some
artists that others carry there's a
demand for the old masters, so we will
carry these Abrahams, Boxer, Rodney


- but we will also introduce younger
artists.' The Gallery, Nicola says, is
interested in the welfare of young
artists. For example: 'We bought the
Chuck exhibition outright. It guaran-
tees sales to the artist.'
The main thrust of the gallery, how-
ever, seems to be its client-service ori-
entation. 'We offer services such as
delivery and picking up of works at any
time. . And we monitor the corporate
collections of our clients we know
what they have, what they need, search
for pieces for them. . evaluate their
inventory annually, and update it for
investment or insurance purposes. .'
Nicola also wants to offer her Jamaican
clientele the opportunity to purchase
foreign works Haitian, American,
Brazilian. She is particularly proud of
the fact that the gallery represents por-
trait artist Basha Kaczmarowska Hamil-
ton. 'We have a mix of styles to satis-
fy,' she says. 'But the emphasis is on
Quality may be questionable in
Basha's works; but it is certainly evi-
dent in most of the Jamaican pieces,
many by masters, on show. Prices seem
rather high. This is a curious room,
chock-a-block with paintings clustered
on the walls, and an assortment of
Jamaican and foreign antiques, folk art
pieces, curios and bibelots. At the back
of the room is a counter where a fram-
ing service is offered. According to
Nicola, they wanted to create a combi-
nation art and antiques gallery, with an
emphasis on collectibility and rarity.
And rarity is there but the lingering
impression is, unfortunately, more of a
room cluttered with cute knick-knacks.
This needs to be addressed if the gallery
is to be taken seriously.

Petite and Patoo
Gallery Petite in Devon House is by
no means as ambitious in terms of its
profile. Run by Things Jamaican and
curated by Devon House Complex
Manager Sandra Aris, this literally
petite and unassuming gallery, tucked
away in a corner of a shop in the Devon
House complex, is in its own way
deserving of attention. The gallery
highlights quality craft of all types, as
well as some art. It opened with an
exhibition of paintings by Vivienne
Burnett. More recent shows include
batiks by the Jamaica Council for the
Handicapped and ceramics by Jean

Taylor Bushay; both quietly but tasteful-
ly displayed. As a project of Things
Jamaican, the gallery is not preoccupied
with commercial concerns. This gallery,
then, may well prove to be a useful outlet
for the young, unknown artist.
Patoo at Manor Park has a similar
low-keyed, understated feel to it. As a
craft shop, it has been operating since
1986 and owner Susan Ward has put
together an obviously careful selection
of Jamaican craft items. The display is
tasteful and pleasing, attesting to her
own artistic leanings. Annexed to the
shop is a narrow gallery space, which
was created a year ago. Susan's com-
ments suggest that her gallery was
opened purely for love. 'And the space
was there.' Nor does she expect to
make much money out of it. 'We'd
have to be serious like Mutual Life with
back-to-back shows to do that.' The
craft shop is the money generator, as
well as a wholesale tee-shirt business.
Susan feels strongly that each show
should be carefully thought out: 'I want
to have interesting shows.' she says.
'Unusual, high-quality.' With the
amount of planning that is necessary for
a show to be handled properly invita-
tions, catalogues, press releases,
refreshments, poetry readings, follow-
up she feels that she would be 'doing
myself and the artists an injustice to
have more than four shows a year...'
She insists on a thorough approach.
'Give the artist a good show, good
PR... and don't pressure the artist [to
produce for the show].., throwing
things together. .' She was disappoint-
ed with some of the artists who exhibit-
ed in a recent group show. Despite
months of advance notice, they were
saying at the last minute, 'Let me see
what I can rush up for you.' She
believes that artists should not show
more frequently than every three years,
'so they can exhibit growth'.
Susan's emphasis is on quality, not
on sales: 'Things that may not sell well
are included.' This emphasis has been
evident in the shows mounted to date.
Two of her four shows in 1989 featured
photographs including 'Early Jamai-
can Photographs', which launched her
gallery and is therefore very significant
as an indicator of Patoo's overall thrust.
And two exhibitions held last year the
works of Laura Facey and photographer
Cecil Ward, and the intriguing 'Masks
and Masquerade' showing pieces by
Margaret Robson and Mbala featured

the type of work that, as Susan is very
much aware, 'a lot of galleries wouldn't
touch.' In fact, 'some of the collectors
didn't look at 'Masks and Masquerade.'
Susan has not noticed any significant
growth in the number of art collectors
in the last few years. 'The older estab-
lished collectors go directly to the artist
or to other collectors they know what
they want. The collectors with new
money, those who will buy whatever
you have, are a small group. Generally
people are more careful about buying
Such constraints apparently leave
her undaunted. The show at the end of
1990 was 'Old Time Jamaica' a group
show centred around a project by Jutta
Levasseur: thirty-six hand-painted eggs
with old-time Jamaican scenes. Other
artists featured included George Rodney,
Susan Shirley and Margaret McGhie.
What is noticeable here is that while
Susan's stated approach sounds similar
to most of the other new gallery own-
ers, she seems to consistently practise
what she preaches. She is reluctant to
comment on the approach of the others
or their likelihood of survival: 'I would
never criticize the others,' she says
gently. But,'It must be doneproperly...'

The Older Galleries
Despite the obvious differences
between these eight new galleries, some
interesting similarities emerge. Almost
without exception, their owners or cura-
tors have stressed that their emphasis is
on quality. Most of them claim to have
been established principally, if not sole-
ly, to provide an outlet for younger,
unknown artists. And there is an almost
unified voice attesting to having the
interest of the artist, and the client, at
heart: soft-sell, not hard-sell. More
often than not, the implication has been
that these galleries are trying to make
up for what was missing before...
What we see here is, of course, not
necessarily what we get; but how do the
older galleries measure up to such indi-
rect criticism?
To answer that question we need to
remind ourselves about the older gal-
lery scene. Two which are of essential
importance to that scene are not dis-
cussed here since they are basically
non-commercial: the Olympia Inter-
national Art Centre and the National
Gallery. However, their contribution to
the Jamaican art world cannot be


ignored. Opened by A D Scott in 1964,
Olympia is -the oldest of them all and
houses one of the finest collections of
art from the dynamic period of the
1960s. Scott was one of the first real
patrons of the fine arts in Jamaica and
was instrumental in establishing the
career of many of our 'master' artists.
His vision of how a gallery should
function established a precedent that
has rarely been followed since. The
National Gallery, our only public
gallery, now sets the standards of pre-
sentation, cataloguing, and general
curatorship to which the other galleries
should aspire. Also to be remembered is
HiQo which has been excluded because
it does not hold exhibitions. However,
this gallery is noteworthy for its
dependability as a source of high-quali-
ty art for some twenty-five years.
Of the seven other private galleries
in Kingston, it is interesting to note that
all, except the Bolivar which opened in
1965, date from the 1980s. The Frame
Centre, Upstairs Downstairs Gallery
and Mutual Life Gallery opened in
1980: the Contemporary Art Centre
and the Makonde Gallery in 1985
though each had existed before in
another form the CAC evolved from
the Gallery Barrington and the Mak-
onde arrived in Kingston four years
after its inception in Montego Bay. The
Artisan opened in 1987.
It is also interesting that four of these
galleries were started with the exposure of
young, new talents as a main focus. Since
this is the stated thrust of most of the
recently opened galleries, the question is
therefore whether the older galleries have
been fulfilling their function.
The Upstairs Downstairs Gallery
housed in a beautiful, spacious converted
furniture warehouse constructed by
Neville Alexander's great-grandfather in
1907 after the earthquake, offers 7,200
square feet of space. It could well be the
largest privately owned gallery in the
Caribbean. With high ceilings and a
large open space upstairs, the gallery
begs to be properly utilized.
Neville Alexander, does not hesitate to
admit that his gallery is 'on hold'. 'I've
been going downtown for forty-three years
and I'm tired,' he says. 'I want to retire. I'm
tired of the nincompoopery of the art
world.' When asked to elaborate he
says, 'The art scene is too political.
Lots of backbiting, insincere people. ..'
Nevertheless, there were five exhibi-
tions in 1990: Eddy Thomas, Neville

Steps by Cecil Ward

Patoo Gallery

Black, Margaret Chen, Leopold Barnes
and Susan Alexander. And Neville
Alexander is quick to point out that in
the ten years of its life the gallery has
achieved a lot. 'Our function over the
years has been to promote young artists
and we've exposed some excellent tal-
ents like young Leopold Barnes, who
has not been properly recognized... At
the same time we've shown all the top
Traditionally, the gallery has held
six exhibitions a year and has also per-
formed a number of other important
functions. It has been used to hold all of
the JCDC's exhibitions as well as a
series of Heritage exhibitions which
received no government backing.
Despite the exhibitions, the 'on hold'
feeling lingers. Neville readily accepts
tha publicity and promotion, for ex-
ample, have been very poor ('my energy
is missing); lighting could be improved
('the lighting is there but we can't
afford to put it on to full capacity
except at openings'); and people have
observed that the gallery is not always
open when it should be and that infor-
mation is often lacking.
Neville is looking for the right buy-
er for his gallery. Let us hope that any
new buyer will retain the gallery and
develop its full potential.
Mutual Life Gallery, on the other hand,
is in anything but decline. This small
space on the mezzanine level of the
Mutual Life Building has the reputation

of holding the greatest number of exhibi-
tions a year usually two a month, back-
to-back with a long waiting list of impa-
tient artists. 'Ideally we shouldn't have
more than one show a month to give each
artist proper attention,' says director Pat
Ramsay, 'but the pressure from artists is
incredible.' The gallery is booked solid
until December 1992.
Pat Ramsay runs the gallery for the
Jamaican Artists and Craftsmen's
Guild, a non-profit organization with
the purpose of providing young artists
with an educational focus and helping
to encourage them in steady, profes-
sional growth. It is because of this that
she is reluctant to turn down the many
requests for shows. 'I feel some sort of
obligation. . but at the same time I
don't want to get caught up in today's
hustling. You know, a lot of artists
nowadays are wanting more than one
show a year. . it's sell-sell. . they're
not leaving you to deal with art the way
you really want to. It needs to be han-
dled with more integrity, professional-
ism, graciousness...'
At the same time Pat; is very proud
of what she has achieved. The Mutual
Life Gallery's exhibitions have included
many famous artists and, since 1985 two
significant exhibitions have been held
annually: 'The Forerunners', showing
the works of Jamaican masters, and
'The Jamaican Artists and Craftsmen's
Guild Show' an exhibition of works
by young artists.


Pat says she is 'excited about discov-
ering talent, going with your gut feeling,
investing in it, seeing how the artist
evolves... It's important to be able to dis-
tance oneself, see what is happening,
watch young artists and guide them.' She
is proud that the Guild has been able to
start two scholarship programmes for art
students as a result of the significant prof-
its that the gallery has been able to gen-
erate. 'Now what we need is more space,'
Pat says. The stock display has taken over
the landing area outside the official gallery
rooms, with paintings literally crammed
onto every available bit of wall without
any possibility of aesthetically pleasing
Certainly Pat has successfully intro-
duced hard-nosed marketing into the tradi-
tionally soft-sell world of art. Among art-
ists, the gallery has become known as 'the
place to go if you want to make a sale'.
Perhaps this very success is one reason
why, in spite of the gallery's declared pur-
pose, many younger artists seem to feel
that it is somewhat inaccessible to them.
In fact, some claim not to know anything
about the Guild itself. Pat maintains that it
is the artists themselves who, being too
busy hustling, have consistently declined
to support the Guild despite numerous
invitations to participate. Whatever the
reason, some doubt arises as to how
far this commercially successful gallery
is fulfilling its original objective.
This is also the case with the
Makonde Gallery, as director/curator
Yvonne McLymont readily acknow-
ledges. 'We used to concentrate on
introducing new artists, but recently
we've veered away to the more estab-
lished mainstream ones.' Because of
the money? 'That's one reason... also
diversifying interests,' Yvonne says,
somewhat vaguely. 'But we still show
new artists once in a while.' In the early
days, Makonde received a lot of support
from younger artists, some of whom
have since become established. The
gallery then had an interest in promot-
ing pan-Africanism. It has no single
focus now. 'Everything is very compet-
itive, so there's a need to be creative, to
do something different.' Has this com-
petition had a negative effect on the
Makonde? 'It hasn't to date I'm just
doing my thing...'
If there is a new focus it is on taking
Jamaican artists abroad. Yvonne is cut-
ting down on her exhibitions 'there
are too many taking place nowadays.'
There were five in 1990 including

Richard Hall, Christopher Gonzales and
Livingston Lewin. She intends to hold
as few in 1991, 'so I can concentrate on
making them special.'
Despite any vagueness, Yvonne
comes across as being quietly confident
about where the Makonde is heading,
and about the future of the Jamaican art
scene generally. She feels that competi-
tion between galleries should cause
everyone 'to make decisions to push
things forward. Galleries must find
new ideas it will be beneficial and
profitable for all of us.'
Tony Barton, co-director of the
Artisan (with Cecile Escoffery) is not as
optimistic. 'With the recent spate of
galleries, a lot of young artists are going
to as many as possible it's a financial
thing. . Their work is everywhere, so
there are problems with quality and
uniqueness. There's nothing to look
forward to if you miss a show, no
problem, you'll catch them next week.
. A lot of new galleries just slap paint
on a wall and they're galleries. The
artists should have ethics and be dis-
criminating but they're mainly inter-
ested in selling.'
The Artisan was originally meant to
be a retail space-cum-display area for
the works of Barton and Escoffery.
However, they perceived a shortage of
gallery space in Kingston and so decid-
ed to give younger artists working in
various media an opportunity to exhibit.
'A lot of young artists were not really
ready for exhibitions at the established
galleries, so it was a nice stepping-
stone. We were not out to compete with
the big galleries... We set a high stan-
dard quality displays, putting shows
together properly, good PR, [working
on] how the space looked...'
The Artisan started out with four to
five exhibitions a year, but now Tony
seems demotivated. 'We don't pursue
artists,' he says firmly. 'We're still will-
ing to have exhibitions. . but we'll be
concentrating more on our own work
since the uniqueness has gone out of
what's out there.'
The Bolivar Gallery, now 25 years old,
has also, in recent years, been giving
some the impression that it is slowing
down, or perhaps diverting energies to
its other activities: the bookstore, pic-
ture framing, antiques and oriental art.
'We used to give one exhibition each
month but in the last few years it has
become irregular,' says assistant man-
ager Birgit Clarke. 'But,' she adds

The Red Church by Milton George

firmly, gallery owner Hugh Dunphy
'has no intention of stopping.'
The Bolivar has a significant inven-
tory of early Jamaican material. Its
slant, according to Birgit, is towards
serious established artists. 'We haven't
shown too many young up-and-coming
unknowns. ..We strive for excellence.'
There is little dynamism in the feel of
this gallery at present; but the impres-
sion is one of solidity, high standards
and a clear unequivocal vision of where
it intends to go.
High standards are also evident in
the Frame Centre. Owner Guy Mc-
Intosh is reluctant to discuss his gallery
but other gallery owners describe it as
being serious and maintaining high
standards. The gallery evolved from
Guy's original (and still flourishing)
picture framing business. It has made a
name for itself specializing in the works
of specific established artists includ-
ing George Rodney, Osmond Watson,
Nelson Cooper, Kofi Kayiga and Milton
George. It also shows the works of
some young artists 'but we won't
carry young artists who over-price',
Guy's wife and co-owner, Charmaine,
says very firmly. Guy has also estab-
lished himself as a gallery owner who
maintains an impressive inventory.
'The inventory of a gallery establishes
its thrust and importance,' says National
Gallery director/curator David Boxer.
'Guy runs his on a personal sort of basis -
for instance, he has a major inventory of
Milton George's work. Most galleries
have works on consignment very few
purchase outright.' The Frame Centre's


emphasis on quality is evident in its
stock show, displayed in a room which
is crowded but carefully hung. It is also
evident in the few comments that Guy
does make. He says that he will not
show artists whose main reason for
wanting to exhibit is to sell. On the
other hand, he will readily exhibit
paintings which he knows won't sell.
'Kofi and Milton didn't compromise
their styles for sales. They were just
painting. Let people eventually come to
appreciate what you do.'
It is easy to see why the word 'seri-
ous' appears frequently in the com-
ments of others about this gallery. A
seriousness summed up in one simple
statement by its owner: 'I couldn't live
without the art.'
The other gallery which has demanded
respect for its seriousness and high stan-
dards, notwithstanding accusations by
some of super-conservatism and ostenta-
tiousness, is the Contemporary Art Centre.
This gallery which operated for many
years as Gallery Barrington, concentrating
on the works of owner Barrington Watson,
opened a new and expanded gallery space
with a new namein 1985. The aims and
objectives of the CAC have been clearly
stated. They include establishing standards
and quality of work comparable to inter-
national levels, creating healthy competi-
tion among local artists and holding art
exhibitions of a high professional level.
A major aim is to promote a public edu-
cational programme on the importance,
the value and the necessity of art.
Managing Director Dian Watson,
revealed that this area of activity
absorbs a lot of the gallery's energy.
'We offer this service to schools, which
is very important. . We have an exten-
sive library, an art information centre...
an educational programme with lec-
tures, seminars, films. . There's a
steady flow of students doing research
for CXC, young kids. . viewing
works, discussing paintings.'
Because of this educational thrust,
Dian says, the gallery shows mostly
established artists. It started with a core
group including Susan Alexander,
Ralph Campbell, Ernest Critchlow,
Stafford Schlieffer, Vernon Tong and
Aubrey Williams, and has since invited
other people to exhibit. Many of these
artists visit the Centre in the evening.
'One of our functions is to provide a
meeting place for artists.'
The gallery holds only three exhibi-
tions a year: its anniversary show held

every September, and two others. Local
as well as international artists are
shown. 'We have three special exhibi-
tions,' Dian says. 'Planning a show is
hard work, time-consuming... Hanging
is an art in itself. . there's a lot of
detailed work to get everything right.'
It is, perhaps, because of such atten-
tion to detail that Dian is concerned
about some other galleries. 'I've
noticed some of our artists doing things
like mixing materials without under-
standing basics like chemical reactions,
what will cause what to flake... Do
some of our gallery operators under-
stand these things? The operator has a
responsibility to the public as well as to
the artist. It's the artist's responsibility
too but the buck stops with the gallery.'
Some of Dian's other concerns are
familiar: 'The gallery operator must
exercise discrimination in whom a
painting is sold to. Provide the right
atmosphere for the client to look and
decide; inspire respect for the artist's
work; help the client to make the right
decision. It's a big investment, so he
must be happy. . If (gallery operators)
are thinking about these things, then,
fine.' And the artist too has a responsi-
bility 'not to churn out. . mass-pro-
duce. If the artist grows, then, fine.'
The CAC's demonstrated respect for
both artist and client is also evident in
some of the other older galleries.
Overall, however and bearing in mind
the number that have slowed down their
operations, it would seem that deficien-
cies among them notably their relative
inaccessibility to younger artists are
significant enough to explain the many
new initiatives.
Is this enough, though? Aims and
objectives are one matter. But to what
extent are previously unfulfilled needs
really being satisfied by the new gal-
leries? To what extent is the public
merely being given more of the same?
Much overlapping is evident with
many of Kingston's galleries, particularly
in terms of artists being exhibited. For
instance, some established names could
probably be found in group or one-man
exhibitions of at least ten galleries. Among
these are new galleries which claim to
focus on younger artists but often appear
to be lining up for the older ones.
Which is understandable: better-known
names produce sales. The dangers of this,
though, are mass-production by the artist,
boredom for the viewer and disincentives
for the buyer. No matter how well

planned an exhibition may be, an invita-
tion featuring too-familiar names
inevitably produces a yawn. 'We're see-
ing the same people, the same works,
over and over,' says disgruntled collector
Wallace Campbell. 'Anybody, everybody
in group shows. Galleries should be pro-
moting new people, new works. Instead
they're killing the same artists for work
because there's so much competition.
Everybody's pushing, pushing, pushing
sales. Few are interested in value for
'All the galleries are beginning to
look the same,' concurs David Boxer.
'The same artists everywhere so it
encourages shopping around.' He
points out that this shopping around
means a reduction in sales, a fact that
gallery operators seem to be missing.
'A properly run gallery with special-
ized programmes, with artists that it
goes out of the way to support, would
be a worthwhile investment. ..
Nowadays our serious collectors are
looking for specific artists so this mar-
ket is not being satisfied. . There's no
seriousness about the business,' he adds.
This shortsightedness extends to
other areas: 'Everyone is calling
themselves a curator, but curating
means more than collecting work and
pricing it. . Exhibitions must be well
mounted and aesthetically pleasing...
You don't have weak and powerful
pieces hanging side by side... You must
be able to look at paintings individually,
you must have a catalogue to accompany
you most galleries are refusing to do
this, but that's the least they could do
for the artist, plus it will help them to
sell more.'
David Boxer's principal concern,
however, is in another direction: 'I'm
all for as many different types of gal-
leries as possible, but what we need the
most we don't have. For instance, a
gallery for intuitive art... and, most of
all, a gallery with ample space for prop-
er presentation. What I really want to
see is a really well run, large gallery,
one that specializes, builds up an inven-
tory, shows stock in an imaginative way
- not like supermarket merchandise.'
And so say all of us. The question
remains, however: Is there a demand
for all the galleries that now exist? Can
they stay alive? And: should they stay
alive? That there is a demand is evident.
The vibrancy of Kingston's art scene,
from the point of view of collecting, is
attested to not only by the number of


The Mutual Life Centre
Gallery offers a wide selection
of paintings, ceramics and
sculpture by professional

We specialize in the monthly
presentation of solo and group
exhibitions and provide a con-
sultation service to assist our
clients in purchasing works of

Also available by special

Valuation Services
Advice on Framing
Educational Information

The Mutual Life Centre Gallery,
Mezzanine Floor, Mutual Life Centre,
2 Oxford Road, Kingston 5.




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galleries, but also the number of art
shops and frame shops, and the number
of art auctions that have been taking
place recently.
Most gallery owners appear to be
happy about sales, and general public
support. 'With our country's economy
and size it's amazing how art has flour-
ished,' Pat Ramsay says. Yvonne
McLymont reinforces this: 'It's amaz-
ing how sophisticated the art scene here
is, for such a small country. It's much
more than I've seen in other third world
countries.' Dian agrees. 'Jamaican
clients give excellent support to our
artists. It doesn't happen that way in
other countries for example, the
Canada Council subsidizes established
artists . In the USA, foundations give
grants... Here the population supports
the artists.'
Gallery owners appear to be happy
with the type of buyer too. 'You'll get
some hardcore collectors the new
breed,' says Colin F., 'you know. ."I'11
have ten of these. ." Drugs, stock mar-
ket, free market economy successes. .
art is a status thing: "I have arrived". .
but mostly they're people who are mak-
ing a big financial sacrifice, new to the
art game, showing a genuine interest.'
'Even among the corporate clien-
tele,' observes Tina Matkovic-Spiro,
'we're dealing more and more with up-
and-coming professionals. The younger
people have an understanding of what
they're buying... They show an exposure
to art. If the work is good it's gone in a
flash it doesn't matter who did it. If it's
mediocre it will sit and stay with you.'
'It's a new set of young people who
are interested in collecting,' says Dian
Watson. 'Young professionals with
taste. People who have never bought
before. That is satisfying.'
Many artists also appear to be satis-
fied. 'The more galleries, the more
paintings will sell,' says Phillip Camp-
bell. 'There's room for all of us it
depends on how you handle it.' How-
ever, the alleged hustling and mass pro-
duction by artists as complained about
by some gallery owners and collectors
suggests that some artists are handling
it indiscriminately.
Younger artists are also tending to
price their work very high too high,
some might say. These prices ignore a
lack of experience, an absence of years
of struggle and development. Dian Wat-
son marvels that artists are demanding
high prices for substandard art yet

Self-portrait by Barrington Watson
Contemporary Art Centre

they sell. David Boxer finds that 'the
younger artists' prices are outrageous.'
One might add that most prices
appear outrageous. David Boxer ob-
serves that they are starting to even out;
but certainly prices are very high in
relation to salaries, and the cost of liv-
ing. Yet they are accepted, art is selling
which must undoubtedly make the
galleries and artists happy.
This may be good for individuals,
but it must be bad for the art itself. Easy
money encourages mediocrity, surely -
on the part of both artist and gallery.
The issue of mediocrity is a large
one in Jamaica and not only with regard
to the art scene. The words, 'excel-
lence', 'high quality', and 'high stan-
dards' are bandied about casually, only
too often when they do not apply.
Unfortunately, these ideals as expressed
by gallery owners both old and new are
often contradicted by what is hung on
the gallery walls, and this is disturbing.
'Art is subjective,' as Theresa Stewart
said. To some extent, yes; but only to
some extent. And credibility is
stretched when a gallery which claims
to aspire to high standards has a stock
show which has nonsense mixed with
serious art, or holds even one exhibition
of mediocre works. 'Some of these peo-
ple aren't qualified,' says Wallace
Campbell. 'They have no discrimina-
tion. . Their displays aren't proper,
their spaces aren't comfortable. ..
they're cramped up, awful.'
Fortunately we have seen few blatant
examples of Tony Barton's 'paint


slapped on the wall' type of approach.
And certainly some of the galleries,
new and old, stand apart from the rest.
The Palette, for instance, for its energy,
Patoo for its tastefulness and courage,
Babylon for its strident individuality;
The Contemporary Art Centre, Bolivar
Gallery and The Frame Centre for their
commitment. In fact, every one of
these galleries has a definite character,
and no single one can be wholly con-
But mediocrity is there. Will the situ-
ation improve with time? 'I don't know,
but let it run as long as it can,' says
Dian Watson. 'It depends on the
younger generation.' The consensus
among gallery owners and artists seems
to be that time will tell.
In the meantime, the more the mer-
rier, one supposes. Let market forces
prevail. We can hope that these forces
will eventually reveal to those yet un-
aware the importance of space, lighting,
hanging, carefully curated exhibitions,
discrimination, specialization, long as
opposed to short term investment. ..
And of nurturing artists, and demon-
strating to them the importance of
growth, careful development of a
vision. ..
'It's amazing that so many galleries
seem to be doing well,' artist Albert
Huie marvels. 'A few years ago for
even one to exist was a struggle. . It's
a good sign. . But it's bad for some
artists, the young impressionable ones.
They're influenced by the galleries to
sell, sell, sell. First of all one should get
satisfaction from a work. They don't
have time for that now.'

Postscript: Kingston's art scene continues
to be dynamic. At the time of going to
press, another gallery Galerie 14 on
Belmont Road has just opened; Upstairs
Downstairs has closed down and the build-
ing has been sold; Four Corners has
reduced its activity in Kingston but has
opened up two branches in Ocho Rios; the
Bay Gallery, though based in Montego Bay,
has made an impact on Kingston with its
previews; and Colin F and the Artisan have
started to mount regular shows again.



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Star Apple Tree

The wind
turns back

its leaves
I see


and know

other faces
Pamela C. Mordecai

Above: Star Apple leaves. The golden
underside is seen at left.
Below: Cross-section of Star Apple fruit
showing characteristic seed pattern

The Star Apple

by John Rashford

The star apple tree (Chrysophyllum cainito) has long been a symbol of deceit in
Jamaica. This belief is expressed in proverbs and at least three variations have
been reported: Woman deceitful like star apple leaf [Rampini 1873, 145; Cundall
and Anderson 1972, 118], Woman two-face like a star apple leaf [Beckwithl 970,
124], and Man two-face like star apple [Cundall and Anderson 118].


For those who want
in an instant, a cup of coffee
of the highest quality


' '.<. ,.?

jBb~tr "4' .rfi

To any Jamaican, the reason for the tree's associa-
tion with deceit is obvious. Star apple leaves are of
two colours glossy green on top and gold under-
neath. When people are compared to them, the
suggestion is that they are not as they seem; they
differ on the inside from their outward appearance.
The star apple is also a symbol of meanness, and
this too is expressed in proverbial form: Man
cubbitch like star apple [Cundall and Anderson 81]
and Cubbitch no star apple [Beckwith 124]. To be
cubbitch, as Jekyll noted, is to be stingy, close fisted,
niggardly or miserly. Cubbitch developed from the
word covetous [Cassidy 1971,174], and although
covetous carries the general implication of'a selfish
desire to have something for one's own possession
and enjoyment that is rightfully another's', in the
Jamaican context it conveys the more specific
meaning of a lack of generosity an 'unwillingness to
share one's goods with others, or to give to another a
part of one's possessions' [WNDS 1968]. This raises
the following question: Why is the star apple a
symbol of meanness in Jamaica? The answer is not
as simple as the association between the star apple
and deceit.
The star apple tree is a native of the Caribbean
and Central America but has now spread through
incidental human dispersal and cultivation to other
parts of the tropics [Sampson 1936, 43, Adams 1972,
572, Morton 1981, 657]. It is in the family Sapotaceae
the sapodilla family which includes some one
hundred and fifty species of trees distributed
throughout the tropical and subtropical regions of the
world. The tree, which is prized in Jamaica for its
edible fruit, striking beauty and welcome shade, is
common in many parts of the island from sea level to
1400 feet. It is frequently encountered along
roadsides, and in yards, fields and pastures [Lunan
1814, 202, Hawkes 1969, Adams 572]. Its widespread
distribution around the island is due in part to
Government efforts. It was one of the trees the
Botanic Gardens offered for sale in the nineteenth
century, and it was advertised in the Bulletin of the
Botanical Department (as, for example, in 1887 and
A mature star apple tree grows to about fifty feet
in height with a trunk some two feet or more in
diameter. The reddish brown wood is hard, heavy
and durable. Harris [1909a, 9] described it as
'suitable for all purposes, especially for exposed
situations'. The trunk supports long, spreading
branches that are slender and flexible and generally
hang downward, creating a relatively dense, slightly
drooping crown. Its evergreen, elliptic, slightly
leathery leaves, are 3 to 5 inches long and 11/2 to 21/4
inches wide. They are striking in appearance dark
glossy green on top with numerous silky hairs
underneath that have been variously described as
gold, yellow, copper, bronze or reddish-brown in
colour. In fact, Chrysophyllum, the scientific name of
the genus, comes from the Greek chrysos, gold, and
phyllon, a leaf. These 'two-face' leaves are the star
apple's most distinguishing feature; when stirred by

Star Apple tree
the wind, they give the tree a shimmering appear-
ance, making it a conspicuous feature of the land-
scape. Morton says the leaves are used medicinally in
the neotropics, but this has not been reported for
The star apple produces small, scented, tubular
flowers from August through September. These are
clustered at the base of the leaves on slender hairy
stalks approximately a quarter of an inch in length.
They have been described as light yellow, greenish-
yellow, purplish, or purplish-white in colour. From
these flowers develop round, succulent fruits that are
very sweet. They are about three to four inches in
diameter with a thick, smooth, glossy, leathery rind
that is either light green or deep purple in colour.
The purple fruit also has purple flesh, but the flesh of
the green variety is white.
The tree was named star apple from the nature of
its fruit, and the name entered the English language
from Jamaica [Cassidy 355]. When the fruit is cut
horizontally, the arrangement of the translucent
edible pulp surrounding each of the three to eight
flattened, shiny, dark brown seeds creates a star-
shaped pattern at the centre. In Jamaica, the star
apple is primarily eaten as a fresh fruit. It is also
used to make fruit salads, preserves [Watkins
1952,100-102], combination drinks, and a dessert
which in the past was called 'strawberries and cream'


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[Harris 1909b, 179], and today is called 'matrimony'
[Senior 1983, 153]. The recipe calls for the gelatinous
pulp surrounding the seed to be mixed with orange
juice, sweetened with sugar, spiced with nutmeg and,
as Harris says, brought to perfection 'with a spoonful
of sherry all mixed together'. There are many
variations on the matrimony theme, as Nunes [1986]
makes clear. Matrimony, she tells us, is 'star apples
and oranges, "married" with a few bits of naseberry,
with sugar and evaporated milk, or just condensed
milk poured over...'
It is generally believed that the star apple tree is
associated with meanness because its delicious fruit
stays on the tree after it ripens, becoming dry, hard,
and black in colour. As a cultural symbol, this wasted
fruit represents, as previously noted, people who are
stingy, close-fisted, niggardly or miserly. This much
has been reported by Cundall and Anderson,
Beckwith, Cassidy, Cassidy and LePage, and Senior.
Cassidy notes, for example, that 'in the proverbial
expression Cubbitch no star apple, the allusion is to
the star apple tree, which holds on to its fruits and
never lets them fall'. According to Cundall and
Anderson, 'However ripe, [the fruit]... never drops off
the tree.' 'Cubbitch no tar-apple', writes Beckwith, is
the same as 'Stingy as a star apple' it refers to the
fruit 'which clings to the stem instead of picking
easily when ripe'. This line of argument is the most
obvious explanation for the star apple's association
with meanness, and it is the only explanation offered
in the literature. But there is more to a full account
than is readily apparent.
In discussing this question with Jamaicans, I found
they added an element that has not been reported.
Not only is the star apple mean because it 'never lets

its ripe fruit fall' [Cassidy and LePage 134], it also
has a reputation for being a difficult and dangerous
tree to climb because it is relatively tall with slender,
flexible drooping branches. The added explanation
makes sense but it is still not all; there is one more
crucial factor.
What really makes the tree a symbol of meanness
is the fact that its prized fruit, which is difficult to
harvest, ripens during 'hard times' a period of the
annual cycle associated with seasonal scarcity. That
the fruit does not fall from the tree is highlighted at
this particular time of the year when it would be
especially appreciated. The winter through the spring
(and sometimes into the early summer) is tradition-
ally regarded as the least productive time of the year
in many parts of the tropics [Rashford 1987, 61-62].
In Jamaica, this period is marked by the ripening
fruits of the tamarind tree which, as a traditional
symbolic seasonal marker, has always served to
identify the period of the annual cycle associated with
'hard times' [Cassidy and LePage 437; Robertson 10;
Senior 160]. This is precisely the time the star apple
is at its best. It is in full season in the late winter and
early spring, even though ripe fruits can be had in the
late fall and early winter, and fruiting can drag on
into the early summer [Potts 1986, 13-15; Harris
1909b, 179; Little and Wadsworth 1964, 438; Adams
572; Everett 1981, 759].
The meanness attributed to the star apple tree,
then, is related to the seasonal context in which this
familiar dooryard tree produces its much sought-
after fruit that stays on the tree a difficult and
dangerous tree to climb beyond the point of being


ADAMS, Dennis C. Flowering Plants of
Jamaica. Jamaica: University of the West
Indies, 1972.
BECKWrrH, Martha. Jamaica Proverbs. New
York: Negro University Press, 1970.
Bulletin of the Botanical Department (BBD)
No. 3. Kingston, Jamaica: Government
Printing Office, 1987.
-BBD (No. 5). Kingston, Jamaica:
Government Printing Office, 1988.
CASSIDY, F. G. Jamaica Talk: Three Hundred
Years of the English Language in
Jamaica. London: MacMillan, 1971.
Dictionary of Jamaican English.
Cambridge: University Press, 1980.
CUNDALL, Frank and ANDERSON, Izett.
Jamaican Proverbs. Shannon, Ireland:
Irish University Press, 1972.
EVERETr, Thomas H. The New York
Botanical Garden Illustrated Encyclo-
pedia of Horticulture. New York &
London: Garland Publishing, Inc., 1981.
HARRIS, W. 'The Timbers of Jamaica'. In
Bulletin of the Department ofAgri-
culture, 1(1) 10-26, 1909.

-'Notes on Fruits of Jamaica.' In Bulletin
of the Department ofAgriculture, 2(6)
159-180, 1912.
HAWKES, Alex D. 'Star-Apple and Angel's
Trumpet'. Kingston, Jamaica: The Daily
Gleaner, 1969.
Flower Gardener. Kingston, Jamaica:
JAS, 1964.
JEKYLL, Walter. Jamaican Song and Story.
New York: Dover Publications, Inc.,
LnTLE, Elbert L. and Frank Wadsworth.
Common Trees in Puerto Rico and the
Virgin Islands. Washington, D. C; U.S.
Department of Agriculture, 1964.
LUNAN, John. Hortus Jamaicensis. Jamaica:
Office of the St. Jago de la Vega Gazette,
Vol. II, 1814.
MORTON, Julia F. Atlas of Medicinal Plants
of Middle America. Library of Congress,
NUNES, Christine. 'The Fruits of Summer.'
Kingston, Jamaica: The Daily Gleaner,

POrrS, John. 'A Jamaican Almanac 100
19:1 13-21, 1986.
RAMPINI, Charles. Letters from Jamaica.
Edinburgh: Edmonston and Douglas,
RASHFORD, John. 'The Baobab Tree and
Seasonal Hunger in Africa: The Case of
the San'. Botswana Notes and Records,
19:57-68, 1987.
ROBERTSON, Diane. Jamaican Herbs
Nutritional and Medicinal Values.
Jamaica: Jamaican Herbs Ltd., 1982.
SAMPSON, H.C. Cultivated Crop Plants of
the British Empire and the Anglo-
Egyptian Sudan (Tropical and
Subtropical). London: HMSO, 1936.
SENIOR, Olive. A-Z of Jamaican Heritage.
New Hampshire: Heinemann Educa-
tional Books, (Caribbean Ltd.), 1983.
WATKINS, John V. Gardens of the Antilles.
Gainesville: University of Florida Press,
(WNDS) Webster New Dictionary of
Synonyms. Springfield: G&C Merriam
Company, 1968.



The Rt. Excellent Marcus Mosiah Garvey Leonard Morris 1971

The Legendary

T he death of Marcus
Garvey in London
_T fifty years ago was
greeted with great suspicion and
widespread disbelief by many of
his followers in Jamaica. The
reaction was not the result of
the usual shock of hearing of the
passing of a loved one but
mainly because Garvey in his
fifty-three years had managed to
assume mythical, almost divine,
qualities in the eyes of many.
And divine personages do not
die. One year later one of the
officers of Garvey's organization,



by Beverly Hamilton

the Universal Negro Improvement
Association (UNIA), felt compelled to
write .. in spite of all the evidence...
Negroes still believe that Garvey is not
dead. What is wrong? Was he mortal?
Was he not human and subjected to
sickness and death like the rest of us?'
This question was raised in response
to a phenomenon associated with the
Garvey movement in Jamaica, that of a
belief system which saw him as a
prophet imbued with almost divine
qualities who could foretell events,
sometimes change the course of nature,
and who could put a curse on his
enemies. And so a body of stories grew
up around this figure the legendary
Marcus Garvey. These myths and leg-
ends have sometimes been forceful
enough to intrude into public affairs and


arouse a response from the state; they
have helped to keep the memory of
Garvey alive in the folk consciousness
of the people even while a Burning
Spear can complain, 'No one remem-
bers old Marcus Garvey!'; and they
have provided inspiration for some of
our reggae singers, visual artists and
communal storytellers. To a large
extent, the myths about Garvey belong
to the oral literature of Jamaica.
Sociologists, social psychologists
and anthropologists have testified over
the years to the importance of myth-
making to national consciousness. The
Garvey myths fall within a tradition of
myth-making especially relating to our
African heritage which existed before
Garvey appeared. Nanny was already a
legendary figure to many at the time of
her elevation to the status of National
Hero and the noted historian Edward
Kamau Braithwaite was commissioned
in 1976 to write a simple but factual
account of her life. The Ethiopianist
movement which arose during the
eighteenth and nineteenth centuries
portrayed Africa in a mythical sense as
the land of milk and honey where the
freedom and justice denied diasporan
Africans could be found. The Bedward
movement also had its own myths,
some incorporating Biblical figures in
contemporary situations. The Garvey
myths came out of such a tradition, one
which reversed the role or status
assigned to things African. In social
reality, things African in the Jamaica of
the 1920s and 1930s were consigned to
the lowest end of the social order. In the
myths, however, the reverse took place
- things African received an elevated
status, particularly the liberators.
Marcus Garvey talked about, preached
about, prophesied and worked for the
liberation of Africa. That Garvey, the
Africanist, took on a role of liberator,
often in the prophetic Biblical sense,
should be no surprise.
The Garvey myths can be divided
into categories: the prophecies that he
made which many say have been ful-
filled; those which were seen as being
fulfilled in the 1970s and 1980s; those
referring to special powers which he
had over nature and over people. Some
myths could be described as oral ren-
ditions of events which took place but
which were not recorded scribally.

By far the largest number of myths
which I have collected over a period of

ten years, mainly from old Garveyites,
fall into the category of prophecies. In
the interviews, I would ask:'Did you
hear Garvey make any prophecy?' and
leave it to the informants to select
sayings which they regarded as
prophecies. After that I would ask about
specific stories which I had heard and
ask for verification. Most of the persons
interviewed were actual members of
Garvey's organization. All knew Gar-
vey personally although not all held
extensive conversations with him. What
stood out is that while there were those
who dismissed some of the myths, I met
no one who dismissed all of the stories.
Quite a few verified hearing personally
certain predictions.
The prophecies of Garvey are varied.
Some have to do with nation-building,
pointing out what needs to be done by
the race as a whole in order to attain
true progress. Some refer specifically to
Africa and African liberation.
The day shall come when the Negro
shall rise to power and the white
nations shall fall. In those days you
shall see black kings sitting on the
throne representing themselves and the
white shall go to perdition thus
fulfilling Isaiah, Chapter 43 the
redemption of Israel and the destruc-
tion of Babylon.
This was told to me as one of
Garvey's prophecies by one of the
earliest members of the Rastafari
movement who started out as a member
of the juvenile division of the UNIA.
He gave another: 'Africa shall be free
from the hands of white imperialists
and monopolists.' What is self-evident
in these two sayings is that there is a
reversal of status of the races and
nations. It is Africa which will be
redeemed while the white nations will
be destroyed. What is also clear is that
so firm was the European colonial grip
over Africa that political statements
with clear political objectives or any
suggestion that the scheme of things
could be changed were relegated to the
arena of prophecy.
Some prophecies referred more
especially to Jamaica. One was 'The
day will come when your backs will be
against the wall. Then the Negro will
start to think for himself and the
movement for international rights.'
Another version of this prophecy was
related to me by Nurse Grant, a former
member of the Black Cross Nurses and
at one time Garvey's personal nurse.
She said that Garvey was being ridic-
uled by a crowd when he made the

prediction: 'When yu back stick to the
wall like Andy Moore on the railway
track, then you will unite.' In both
versions, hardship is seen as having the
positive effect of helping black people
to know themselves and thereafter to
unite to overcome their difficulties.
In the 1970s another version of this
prophecy was widely circulated in
Jamaica with interesting consequences.
One version claimed that Garvey said
that there would be severe hardships,
doom and destruction when 'the two
sevens meet'. Another was that Garvey
said that if black people could pass
through the seventies, they could pass
through anything. A third claimed that
Garvey said that the black man would
rise up when the two sevens met. This
prophecy received official sanction
when Mr Edward Seaga, the then
Leader of the Opposition and a noted
sociologist, referred to it in his New
Year's message. The idea gained further
currency through the music of some
reggae artists, especially Culture, who
had a song with that title.
In 1977 I interviewed two Garvey
elders about the prophecy. Z Monroe
Scarlett, said quite clearly that he had
never heard Garvey make any specific
statement about two sevens. What he
remembered him saying was that if
black people could pass through the
seventies they could overcome all major
difficulties. The other, Van Riel, a BITU
veteran, explained: 'Him (Garvey) say
1977 will be a hard year. Yu see
already. The Prime Minister say draw
yu belt tight.' This referred to a major
speech by Prime Minister Michael
Manley on the economic state of
Jamaica. Two months later, Jamaica
went to the International Monetary
Fund for assistance.
This prophecy is one example of a
Garvey prophecy inviting a response
from the state. One must remember that
this period followed the 1976 elections,
the most violent in Jamaica up to that
time. As 1977 progressed, different
versions were added to the prophecy.
First it was the year that was supposed
to be one of doom; then the special
month was named, the seventh month -
July; and finally it was a special day -
July 7, 1977, the day when the 'four
sevens' met. One even heard that blood
was going to flow and that Manley's
head would roll. A report in the Daily
Gleaner of July 7, 1977 gives an idea
of the atmosphere:
The Combined Security Forces have
been placed on full alert so as to be


Come to the launching or

Thursday, July at 7 p.m.
the start of two years of discussion of the
Jamaica Constitution in which you will hove
the opportunity to say what kind of Constitution
you want to serve your Interests -


prepared to 'control fully any situation
that arises today', July 7, on orders
issued yesterday by the Minister of
National Security ...
'With "loud rumours" going around of
possible trouble when the four 7s meet
today (the 7th of the seventh month of
'77), we are taking no chances and
naturally the Security Forces have
taken the necessary steps to have law
and order prevail,' Minister Munn told
the Gleaner yesterday in answer to the
question as to why the Security Forces
had been placed on full alert...
The order came into effect at 6
o'clock yesterday and under it the
Security Forces are confined to
barracks and stations across the island
until further orders...
Regarding reports of a run on
machetes, Mr Munn said that he had
heard the rumour for days. He under-
stood that the purchases were being
made by farmers. 'We do not believe
that they will be used for any other
purpose,' he said as he expressed the
belief that today would pass peacefully.
[Daily Gleaner, 7 July 1977]

There was a further official response.
That day was used to launch a constitu-
tional reform programme from the
statue of National Hero Paul Bogle with
the Prime Minister scheduled to speak
at 7 p.m. when the 'five sevens' met.
All this in response to a prophecy sup-
posedly made by Garvey decades before.

Survival Myths

Among the most persistent myths is a
set which has to do with Garvey's death

and the associated idea of his reincar-
nation. Garvey, it is said, prophesied
that he would be reported dead three
times; the first two reports would be
false but the third would be true. Events
in Garvey's life were to give some
amount of credence to this saying.
In January 1940, Marcus Garvey
suffered a stroke which left him
partially paralyzed. He recovered some-
what and was able to resume some of
his official duties. However, in May,
while he was recuperating, a report of
his death went out over the wire
services, and was carried in the
Gleaner, stating that Garvey was dead.
The story had to be retracted, thus
fulfilling a part of the prophecy. So
when it was reported a few weeks later
that he had passed away on the morning
of 10 June 1940, there were many dis-
believers. So strong was this disbelief
that a cable was sent from Jamaica to
Garvey's private secretary in London.
He wired back confirmation of Gar-
vey's death. But still the widespread
disbelief continued. The following year,
one newspaper went so far as to publish
a picture of Garvey in the coffin but
many were still not convinced. A
newspaper report of Garvey Birthday
celebrations in 1941 shows the mood:
Mrs Garvey after her long silence
excelled herself; a flash of the 'old fire'
seemed to have returned to her
especially for the occasion. She gave a
true exposition on the matter of Mr.
Garvey's death in London. She said that
he was certainly dead and those who
felt like doubting were at liberty to
continue doing so.
Furthermore, she had in her
possession a picture of Mr Garvey's
body (which has been embalmed) as it
lay in the vault at Kensal Green,
London. She had shown it to some
friends here who could testify as to the
truth of her statement that her late
husband was really dead.
[National Negro Voice quoted by
Vivian Durham].

Variants of this belief have continued
over the years. The event in recent
times which resurrected this myth to the
fullest was the return of Garvey's body
to Jamaica in 1964 for reinterment in
National Heroes Park. Once again a
Garvey myth had the potential to
interrupt the affairs of state. The
government planned a number of
solemn activities. When the body was
returned to Jamaica, it was taken in
procession to the Holy Trinity Cathe-
dral where, under normal circum-
stances, it would have lain in state.


However, at the request of Garvey's
family, it was not open for public
viewing at first. This, of course, only
served to fuel the belief that the body
in the coffin was not that of Garvey and
that in truth he was not dead. Eminent
journalist Frank Hill, then chairman of
the National Trust Commission, the
agency responsible for historic preser-
vations, described what happened:

The whisper buzzed through the city.
Garvey had never died, he still lived in
London; the body that was supposed to
be in the casket was a log in the coffin.
Seaga rapped out directives to squelch
the ugly rumour. The press and TV
cameras milled around the raised coffin
in the Cathedral aisle. I supervised the
opening of the coffin. I already
recognized the Garvey I'd last seen in
Cross Roads in 1934 beautifully
preserved in the calm dignity of death.
[Daily Gleaner, 16 August 1978]

Associated with the belief that Garvey
is not dead is the belief that he is
reincarnated either in the elements or in a
specific person. Garvey's words in the first
speech he gave from Atlanta prison have
been used as the basis of this prophecy:
If death has power, then count on me in
death to be the real Marcus Garvey I
would like to be. If I may come in an
earthquake, or cyclone, or plague or
pestilence, or as God would have me,
then be assured that I shall never desert
you and make your enemies triumph
over you. .. Look for me in the whirl-
wind or in the storm, look for me all
around you for, with God's grace, I
shall come and bring with me countless
millions of black slaves who have died
in America and the West Indies and the
millions in Africa to aid you in the fight
for Liberty, Freedom and Life.
[Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus

In 1951 a hurricane struck Jamaica
on 17 August, the birthday of Marcus
Garvey. This was interpreted as a
fulfilment of his prophecy. In 1976
when a torrent of rain accompanied the
function to erect a life-size statue of
Garvey in St Ann's Bay, it was also
seen as Garvey's spirit at work.
Others looked for Garvey to be
reincarnated in a physical person. In
1954 President Tubman of Liberia paid
an official visit to Jamaica, the first by
an African head of state. The visit
caused great excitement for this reason
and also because of the central role
which Liberia played in UNIA
activities. But there was another reason.

Tubman was seen as the reincarnation
of Marcus Garvey. One story I was told
was that when the official car with
Tubman drove up Mountain View
Avenue on its way from the airport, he
got up and looked over towards Jacques
Road where Mrs Garvey was living at
the time as soon as he reached the
vicinity. Tubman's physique, short and
squat, just like Garvey's, was also used
as a reference point for an interpre-
tation of the reincarnation.
As late as 1978 I was to come across
this belief personally. At that time the
liberation struggle in Zimbabwe was at
its height. In Jamaica, Africa Liberation
Day was celebrated by a diverse group
of organizations which invited a
representative of one of the Zimbabwe
liberation movements as guest speaker.
The person who came was Enos
Chikowore, the ZANU representative in
London. A luncheon was given in his
honour at a restaurant on Hagley Park
Road and just before Mr Chikowore
went in, he was approached by a little
boy, not more than ten years old, who
began spinning a tale about a father and
son with transferred features because of
a curse which Garvey was supposed to
have put on them. Then came the
important question to the ZANU
representative, 'Are you Marcus
Garvey returned in the flesh?' Mr Chik-
owore quickly denied any such affinity
and went on to report that it was not the
first time he had been asked that
question during his visit to Jamaica.

National Concerns

Other Garvey prophecies are about
Jamaica and even some of the more
general ones show national concern. As
one example, Garvey is credited with
predicting the twinning of Spanish
Town, the capital of St Catherine, with
Kingston, the present capital of
Jamaica. In the late sixties and early
seventies a massive housing devel-
opment scheme know as Portmore was
carried out in southern St Catherine. A
causeway was built across Kingston
Harbour to link this development with
Kingston, thus fulfilling Garvey's
Another prophecy was that Race
Course, now National Heroes Park,
would become a cemetery. My infor-
mant claims that this prophecy came in
a speech to the Kingston and St Andrew
Corporation after a resolution Garvey
had tabled for its use for social

Marcus Garvey's funeral procession Daily Gleaner 16 November 1964

purposes had been rejected as being too
costly. He was told that it would
bankrupt the government. Garvey is
said to have exclaimed: 'Bankrupt the
government! By the Lord God of Israel
it shall become a cemetery!'
My informant then listed the prom-
inent persons who were commemorated
there. First there was the Cenotaph to
the memory of the dead of World Wars
I and II, then a bust of Antonio Maceo,
the Cuban nationalist and a monument
to Paul Bogle and George William
Gordon. Garvey himself was buried
there, followed by Norman Manley and
Sir Alexander Bustamante.
Norman Manley was an eminent
barrister in Jamaica during Garvey's
public life. On more than one occasion
lie had represented persons who brought
cases against Garvey. Stories have been
told of Garvey making prophecies about
Manley. The most persistent is that
Garvey predicted that Manley would
eventually enter politics but that he
would be ten years too late. Again this
is a myth which has different versions.
According to one informant Garvey
said, 'You will have to roll up your
sleeve and fight for Jamaica but you
will be ten years too late'. Another
person reported: 'Garvey said Manley
was the type of man who should lead
and fight for the black man. Garvey
said, "A day will come when you will
roll up your sleeves to fight a battle for
the Negro but you will be ten years too
late." When Manley realize the word of

Garvey he couldn't do otherwise and
cast in his lot.' This one added a new
feature that Garvey was responsible
for Manley going into politics. Still
another version goes: 'He said Manley
would come up to recognize the black
man and to want their appreciation and
love, but he would be ten years too
late.' It seems that Garvey could very
well have said something similar to this
since a number of informants refer to it.
In any case, Manley, the educated
black, was the kind of person who
Garvey thought should offer leadership
to his people. Years later, ten years if
you wish, Manley did enter politics
after widespread labour disturbances in
So persistent were these stories that
one informant reported that Manley
himself had once asked him whether he
(my informant) had heard Garvey
putting any curse on him. According to
Vic Reid, author, journalist and
biographer of Norman Manley, he was
still reacting to these myths twenty-nine
years after Garvey had died.
The stories of Manley's tilts with
Garvey were amplified by his political
opponents in later years. Vic Reid
records Manley's reaction in Horses of
the Morning: 'Any suggestion that I had
anything else to do with Marcus Garvey
is totally untrue,' he wrote vigorously
in 1969 in a last effort to lay the ghost
with which his opponents had sought to
embarrass him over many years.
The reggae group Mighty Diamonds


published an album in the early 1970s,
The Right Time, which contained a
number of songs documenting Garvey
prophecies. In the lead song is the
prediction: 'Swallowfield shall be the
battlefield'. Several of my informants
testified to hearing Garvey make that
statement but they gave different
'The whole circumference of the
Corporate Area is known as Swallow-
field. When he use the name Swallow-
field it is a national name him use
whether from north, east, south or west.
It mean blood going flow in the valley
of Jesophat, Malachi, Chapter 4', is
how one Rastafari member interpreted
that prophecy. Another person simply
said it has not been fulfilled. Some said
the 1976 state of emergency was the
fulfilment because the army and the
police, traditional rivals, were put
together at Up Park Camp near
Swallowfield Road.

Occult Powers

Garvey was also supposed to have
the power of putting a curse on people,
whether overtly or covertly. One
informant reported that Garvey was
believed to be a 'scientist'. He was seen
to have supernatural powers and to be
able to alter the laws of nature. It was
also said that those who fought against
Garvey often came to no good end.
There are stories to illustrate this point.
A wandering street character with a
bag over his shoulders used to walk the
streets of Kingston some decades ago.
He was known as 'Bag o' Wire', by
school children who would sometimes
stone him as a Judas, a figure who had
betrayed Marcus Garvey. The story is
that he was once Garvey's chauffeur but
played him foul hence his condem-
nation to a life of begging.
Men like Bag o' Wire
Shall be cast in fire,
The betrayer of Marcus Garvey
sang the Mighty Diamonds in the
1970s, thus perpetuating this myth.
There is a dramatic story which was
told to me by a former mail clerk at
Edelweiss Park to illustrate Garvey's
power over his enemies.

One night his (Garvey's) office was
broken into and certain files stolen
relating to a case that he had. The files
reached the possession of Cargill (a
lawyer) who represented his opponent.
It was found out that this chap's mother

was the office maid at Cargill's office.
So Garvey was one day relating the
incident at the office to us. And he said:
'A traitor to his friend is bad enough, a
traitor to his king is very bad, but a
traitor to four hundred million Negroes
is as bad as death. And the thief who
has betrayed his nation shall suffer by
crawling on his belly before he dies.'
He didn't name the thief but we all got
to know that it was this fellow Sidney
West; he was a drummer... About two
or three years after, he became
paralyzed and died. I heard that one
myself. Whether it was coincidence or
not I do not know. [Personal interview
with Roy Carson, 1984]
According to another story, while
Garvey was in Spanish Town prison a
poisoned bath was set for him; but
through his superior powers he was able
to see through the plan and refused that
bath. One of my informants said: 'One
day they poisoned the water. He sent for
Dr Anderson from Slipe Road. He put a
silver spoon in the water. It bubbled and
turned black then silver. Garvey
wouldn't bathe in it.'
Another version is reported in Laura
Tanna's Jamaican Folk Tales by her
informant, Bongo:
Dey cas im into Spanish Town prison -
which I an I myself was cas in dere, to
see some judgements and de super
would tek I an show I de work dat
Marcus Garvey had done in dere. Dey
show yu bath which he was sent to
poison im one morning. Dey poison
de bat wid powda and cell im out of his
cell to bathe in de morning an when he
came, he look on de bat and he said:
'Warden, dat wata's poison. Garvey
will not bathe in it.' Dey rebuke im dat
he's very presumptuous an facety to tell
officers dat dey wata is poison when
dey are protectorate of people for false.
Dey say dey will sen for de island
chemist in de Hope Garden to certify
such matter. He tole dem in de prison
yard dat if dey sen foe de islan chemist
who give dem de bat to set for de
islan chemist who set up de job he
says he shall be a dead man on his way
coming. Well dey did proceed an sen
for im, An wen he reach to de Ferry
Police Station dere dat's where de
island chemist end up in death. Couldn't
go no furda for Marcus Garvey's a
prophet from de living God.
[Laura Tanna: Jamaican Folk Tales ]

Another prophecy relating to
Garvey's stay in Spanish Town prison is
that he is supposed to have put a seal on
the prison door through which he left.
Many claim that this door has been
fastened to this day. Prisoners in the


Spanish Town Penitentiary still tell of
being shown the gate on which Garvey
was supposed to have put this curse.
It is significant that myths exist
about a man whom several people knew
personally and whose wife was alive
until the early 70s. The persistence of
the myths shows that Garvey had been
made a folk hero long before official-
dom declared him so in 1964; and it
also explains why Garvey has been the
most popular of the National Heroes.
The myths also tell us something about
ourselves as a people, about the strong
need for liberation. It is my view that
the extent to which important facets of
national aspiration have not been
fulfilled for the majority of the
Jamaican people reflects the extent to
which these myths will continue to

Theophilus Brandford formerly general
secretary to Robert Hinds, one of the first Ras-
tafari members. He was a member of the ju-
venile division of the UNIA in Garvey's time.
Roy Carson (1911-1988) former mail clerk at
Edelweiss Park. He also performed weekly
duties at Garvey's home and held extensive
conversations with him.
Nurse Sarah Grant (1887- ) was a member
of the Black Cross Nurses. She did personal
services for Marcus Garvey.
Daisy Greenidge secretary at Edelweiss Park
and later manager at the Blackman printer,
she was active in elocution and singing.
Van Riel. Port worker. He became an early
member of the BITU.
Monroe Scarlett (1902-1984]. Vice-president
of the Kingston Division of the UNIA and
executive secretary of the Whitfield Division
which he founded. Active in trade unionism,
journalism, and other African movements. He
founded the Afro-West Indian Welfare League
and was part of the Mission to Africa in 1960.
Cyril Stewart (1916- )A member of the
juvenile division attached to Liberty Hall in
Kingston. He became a full fledged member
of the UNIA and was active in the trade union
movement after Garvey left Jamaica.

GARVEY, Amy Jacques. Philosophy and
Opinions of Marcus Garvey. New York:
Atheneum 237 Vol I. 1925.
DURHAM, Vivian. Marcus Garvey: Plights and
Exploits. Kingston: Vivian Durham. 198-.
REID, Victor. Horses of the Morning.
Kingston: Caribbean Authors Publishing Co.
Ltd, 1985.
TANNA, Laura. Jamaican Folk Tales and
Oral Histories. Kingston: Institute of
Jamaica Publications Ltd. 1984.

Book Reviews

REVIEW OF Marcus Garvey, Hero

A First Biography by Tony Martin

The New Marcus Garvey Library, No. 3. The
Majority Press, 1983. pp. 179

by Rupert Lewis

specially since Garvey's centenary
year in 1987, there has been
discussion about the teaching of his
life and work in schools. Some have
argued that while there are academically
researched books on Garvey and the
Universal Negro Improvement Associa-
tion for mature readers there is a dearth of
materials for young readers. This is not so.
Tony Martin's book is one of several titles
on Marcus Garvey for young readers
published in the 1980s. Among these
Marcus Garvey titles were Mary Law-
ler's Marcus Garvey, Black Nationalist
Leader published by Chelsea House
Publishers in 1988, in the series Black
Americans of Achievement. It included
an introductory essay by Coretta Scott
King, widow of the late Dr Martin
Luther King. Then there were two
publications which came out in London.
These were Tony Sewell's excellent
volume Garvey's Children: The Leg-
acy of Marcus Garvey, published by
Voice Communications Limited in 1987
and Eric Huntley's Marcus Garvey,
published by Friends of Bogle in 1988.
Adolph Edwards's Marcus Garvey
which was first published by New
Beacon Books in 1967 still remains a
fine introduction to Garvey's life.
Tony Martin's book is very well
researched. It offers a straightforward
narrative of Garvey's life from 1887 to
1940 and also documents the scope of
the movement he led. Chapters 6, 7 and
8 portray the movement in the Carib-
bean, Latin America, Africa, North
America, Europe and Australia.
Who were the people who support-
ed the UNIA? They were born in the
late nineteenth century, many were
migrants, some had experienced slav-
ery, especially those born in Cuba and
Brazil. They were drawn from a variety
of social and class backgrounds but
shared the common fate of racial

discrimination. But most importantly
they were determined to reshape their
lives and to control their destinies. The
type of programme and range of activi-
ties undertaken by these people were
varied and were shaped by the particu-
lar country in which they lived and the
social composition of the UNIA. These
people were the great-grandparents and
grand-parents of Africans and peoples
of African descent born in Africa and
the Americas in the latter half of the
twentieth century.
The UNIA was very strong in the
Caribbean. There were fifty-two branches
in Cuba, thirty branches in Trinidad and
Tobago and eleven branches in Jamaica.
The Kingston division ran a laundry and a
People's Cooperative Bank. In chapter 10
Martin discusses Garvey's work in
Jamaica from 1927 to 1935. There were
branches in Guyana, the Dominican
Republic, the Virgin Islands, Puerto
Rico, Belize, the Leeward and Wind-
ward Islands, and other Caribbean
territories. Bishop Reginald Barrow,
father of the late Barbadian Prime
Minister, Errol Barrow, was closely
associated with the UNIA. Martin also
documents the movement in South
Africa, Namibia, Nigeria and other
parts of Africa. But there is no doubt
that the strength of the movement lay in
the United States with its 700-odd
branches. Internationally the UNIA had
over one thousand branches.
Among the difficulties Martin must
have had in writing and publishing this
text was how to portray the man behind
the hero. What was Garvey like as a
person? And what were his relations
with his closest associates? Martin
comes closest to dealing with this prob-
lem when he comments on Garvey's
two marriages to Amy Ashwood and
Amy Jacques, both extraordinarily
talented women with different per-

sonalities who made outstanding con-
tributions to the movement. Garvey also
had weaknesses which need to be
mentioned and discussed in order to
evaluate his personality and for us to
develop a sense of realism about him.
In such a book the question is raised
as to what is to be included and the kind
of visual, graphic, literary and linguistic
devices used. These depend on the age-
group that the book is directed at,
whether it will be a book for instruction
or both instruction and general reading.
Then there is the question as to whether
it is geared for the Caribbean reader and
whether the target audience is Trinida-
dian, Barbadian or Jamaican. Then
there are problems of composition.
How do you capture both the individual
leader, such as Garvey, and the social
movement he led in the 1920s and
1930s? That post-World War I era was
very different from the one we now live
in and that has to be communicated to
the reader. Such a text would have to
delve deeply into social history of the
kind that has been done in theUnited
States by many scholars and in Jamaica
by Erna Brodber.
Books can also be derived from
workshop discussions with teachers and
students. The latter may be the more
realistic course in approaching the
matter of providing materials for the
teaching of Garvey in schools.
From a visual point of view, this
edition of Marcus Garvey, Hero is not
effective and is inferior to the texts by
Lawler and Sewell. The cover is un-
attractive, the pictures inside are of poor
quality and the choice lacks imagin-
ation. However, the second edition
[1990] is much better produced. It has
an excellent cover and includes
interesting photographs. Martin is an
outstanding Garvey researcher, and he
has written a very informative text.


Although a 1988 Carl Stone poll in
Jamaica indicated that eighty-eight per
cent of those polled agreed that
Garvey's life and work should be taught
in our schools, the political directorates
of both parties and our teachers have
either opposed or ignored this demand.
The reason for this is that Garvey's
ideas and the question of race, our
African heritage and relationship to
Africa, are still being neglected in the
educational system at the end of the
twentieth century.
The fiftieth anniversary of Marcus

Garvey's death was on 10 June 1990.
Jamaican political and educational
decision-makers do the country a gross
disservice by continuing the pedagogic
marginalization of a seminal twentieth
century thinker in a world that is
becoming more Eurocentric. There is
much in Garvey's life and work that
could enhance the self-image of our
youth and help us to understand our
possibilities in the modem world.
We ought to study the lives of all our
national heroes and heroines but the


By Evelyn O'Callaghan

leading through these two
collections by Velma Pollard is
to encounter an acutely sensitive
consciousness grappling, even in
apparently lighter moments, with the
complexity of experience. Very much
the 'considering woman'. Crown Point
(and other places which evoke poems
of reflection and memory) tackles
history and politics, race, urban
alienation, death, the relationship
between individual and composite
group and this only scratches the
surface! If all this suggests a serious
tone, it is intentional. There are lyrical
moments of celebration: Hope, Bird
Kiss, From Senior's at Gordon Town,
Deja Vue, Ernie. Yet in the pleasure of
epiphany is awareness of its inevitable
passing (Bud/Unbudded).
There are also occasions of humour,
residing chiefly in Pollard's casual
manipulation of language registers:

how ABLE y
Anansa weaves
the only web she knows

Anyone familiar with the author's
scholarly work on Rastafarian creole
wil recognize the semantic significance,
the duality of the above extract, as well
as lines such as : 'the geolog unstraps
his EYE and clicks' (Belize Suite III);
or 'Peace be unto you/my friend and
brother/for I-ver' (Two for Neville).
The topography of Crown Point
moves from the rural childhood eden of
Rainthoughts to the 'tractless city/
withering the young/old people

and other Poems
by Velma Pollard
Peepal Tree Press, 1988, pp.82

festering in the slums' (Kingston) to the
North American metropolis where
word-pictures of innocence corrupted,
life meaningless and alone and afraid
(Remembering Washington DC, Los
Angeles) complement similar prose
evocations (My Sisters, My Mother) in
Considering Woman. Other foreign
landscapes Belize Suite, Impressions
- Havana 1979, or the telling incom-
plete Bimsh (for 'Bimshire', Barbados's
familiar name) call on the poet to
articulate their uniqueness and, through
personal response, their similarities ('in
old Havana/little blacks/our old men
toothless/smiling solidarity. .Verdad')
and unsettling differences from home
('shocked to silence by the stillness
here. .' Belize Suite). Sensuous
appreciation moves fluidly through
emotional and, finally, into intellectual
Pollard's pervasive thoughtfulness
informs the poetry, and refuses easy
conclusions. 'Why,' asks the persona in
Foreign, 'am I scared by screens/not
moved/like everybody clapping?' at
public displays of solidarity. Because,

by Velma Pollard
Women's Press, 1989, pp.77

she reasons, 'these screens are children/
... the screen is children nowhere is a
child' emotional reaction is interro-
gated; dangerous logic (lumping
individuals into 'Composites') is
exposed. In BM Revisited, distress at
viewing museum statuary with 'their
erstwhile heads/displaced where the
imperial/master minds insist' becomes
an effective conceit for empire's
fragments ('in marble as in men') as
one foundation of creole cultures.
Sometimes, the 'considering' leads
to ambivalence, even contradiction: in
Sunday Thoughts, the poet yearns for
apocalyptic purgation, hoping that
'destruction with its blessed cleansing/
will call our country/ to a baptism'; yet
witnessing hurricane-ravaged Dominica
in Roseau, August '79 she 'rejoice[s] in
my city' with all its 'dirt and sin'.
Equally, the poetic voice switches
moods and modes: strident demand for
an end to political genocide (National
Heroes 1980); riddling parables like
(my favourite) Fly; deeply felt elegy, as
in Remembering, Two for Neville and
Our Mother:


fact of the matter is that in terms of
ideas, philosophy and personal example,
Garvey is exceptional and has made a
distinctive national, regional and global
contribution. In revising our curricula
for the twenty-first century, Garvey's
work and the contribution of the post-
World War I generation must be taken
into account.

Rupert Lewis is head of the Department of
Government, UWI, Mona. He has published
several works on the life of Marcus Garvey.

Orange and red for our mother
who sang us bright songs ...
jiggling from side to side pointing
her index fingers
doing the Bustamante
the K-walk ('Cake' they correct me
and tuned (perhaps an octave high)
that 'you can't hinder me
from loving you...'

Crown Point opens and closes with
memories of Gran, who reappears in
the collection of stories. The grand-
mother in the title poem, Crown Point,
is associated with 'the round green
world of penny-royal smells/. . And
Khus-Khus from the cupboard', with an
ordered, peaceful past which now 'the
clutter of my life/obscures'. Unable to
face the loss of her world, the poet in
To Gran.. .and no Farewell puts off the
ritual graveside adieu too long; when at
last the visit is made, 'some well
intentioned/madman with his spade' has
levelled Gran's headstone, with the
others, into 'one vast sepulchraic mass'.
So Gran (the final story in Consid-
ering Woman) is resurrected in memory
so that the art can stand as a lasting
memorial. Nostalgic reminiscence
('when we were little, remember, the
world was full of pastures') cuts to
jarring realization of loss: all that is left
of Gran's home is the old oven-house
occupied by vacuous old beggar-
women living with filth and flies.
Significantly, the pain of the contrast -
decay and dirt where memory had
known 'lush landscape, healthy fruit
and Gran in all different faces' forces
the realization that the past 'would
wear a halo now' in comparison with
'those old women and their vomit-
pulling filth'. Almost incidentally, the
question is posed of how to see the past
'with any honesty or truth'. Despite the
immediacy of the emotion, the com-
plexities of consciousness provide a
crucial subtext in the story.
The main part of Gran is divided
into sections prefaced by and, in content
and mood, corresponding to snatches of
a Jamaican call and response game
('Children, children/ Yes, Mummah').
For the privileged grandchildren who
spend time with her in the country,
Gran is ageless, soft, smelling of good
things to eat ('What did she give
you?/Bread and pear'). Like Olive
Senior's matriarchs in Summer
Lightning, Gran is also on intimate
terms with God ('Where is my share?/

Up in the air')! and enforces an
unbending morality. Also similar to
Senior's tales is the contrast between
Gran's church, the black Baptist
congregation singing lustily with their
'sunshine of good-will', and the 'soft'
Anglican church with its quiet ritual
and white 'Father', associated with
parents and home. In the child/
narrator's 'scheme of things, the Baptist
mode definitely had the edge.'
As Gran ages, however, the balance
of dependency and power shifts. Now it
is she who engages in childlike ploys
for attention from those beloved grand-
children, who are torn between sadness,
guilt, pity, irritation, duty and self-
interest This is one of the most honest
and moving accounts of growing old
that I have encountered most readers
will share the narrator's mixed
emotions. It is also an account of how
Gran's community for the story intro-
duces a whole cast of characters has
changed: 'The mill-yard had bustled
with people, had bustled with business
once, but that, too, had sunk, like Gran,
into a deep and endless coma.' With
Gran's death, a way of life ceases to
exist outside memory's 'stretch'.
The collection of stories 'considers'
woman's lot with the same 'merciless
eye' of honest insight. Two wonderfully
dry, witty and ironic poems serve as
epigraphs and point up the obstacles a
woman (writer) faces from the 'little
man' in her life. Here is Women Poets
(with your permission):

the little man
too early home today
surprised me scribbling
while the washer turned
ahaa... I see you
take your little write
well let me see your book ...
mhmm ... mhmm ... not bad not bad
a little comma here
a period there that sentence can
make sense...
your friend there scribbling too
and Genie down the road
well well how nice
how triply nice
not mad not mad...

Two impulses the male's mag-
nanimity in giving his stamp of
approval ('how nice') to female
appropriation of her 'little write'/right
to write, and her almost guilty secreting
of this 'write' inform the second

poem, appropriately entitled Version ...
Worth noting is the seamless fusion of
(parodied) Biblical idiom and Jamaican
creole, effecting delicious puns as in
'no Adam nothing, nothing Man.'
However much the woman (writer)
pleads to be 'free/and gender-/less' the
appeal to male authority underscores
her alterity. It is this trap that becomes
the focus of the stories which follow.
In a series of three 'Parables' which
utilize a relaxed creole vernacular
narrative and appeal directly to the
reader 'You know that I can't swim' -
Pollard deals with the cages in which
women find themselves. The poem Fly
in Crown Point utilizes the same
surreal strategy to evoke the same type
of situation. Parable I leads to a
tongue-in-cheek conclusion as I read
it (for the beauty of the form is its open-
endedness) that women who insist,
after all this time of being 'sat upon', on
getting up and moving in their own
directions, can only be blamed for the
violence of male reaction: witness the
man's reproach to his wife's severed
head, tucked under his arm, 'Look what
you mek me do!' Parable II suggests
the maddening contradictions of the
maternal role, particularly in the case of
the boy-child who must be carefully
protected and then let go absolutely.
Parable III, more obscure in its blend-
ing of the realistic and the bizarre,
appears to endorse a philosophical
attitude to female lack of power: 'For if
the hand come, it gwine catch you no
matter what you do. And if it don't then
you don't have no worries.' These
metaphorical pieces are most striking in
the novelty of form and the disturbing
insights provoked. One hopes for more
in this vein.
Other 'Cages' follow in the next
section and we are on the familiar
territory of After Cages and Hindsight
II in Crown Point: women's lack of
power and 'space enough' in their
relationships with men. Narrative here
is more mannered, carefully high-
lighting the (middle-class?) double
standards that reduce Joan/Jean/Joy to
flies in the web of patriarchal arrange-
ments. The gulfs between individuals
caught in a marriage (Cages I ) or an
'outside' liaison (Cages III ) are com-
municated through stilted dialogue, the
most notable feature of which is the
failure to communicate.
For the woman, the nuclear house-
hold is a platonic cave with only


reflected light from outside illuminating
the 'married loneliness' of 'the children
and the washing and the cooking'; for
the man, it is a suffocating trap which
he escapes through work and 'screwing
around'. Joan accepts; Jean leaves ('she
founds another man!'); Joy keeps the
cage door open even as she settles in.
As in the epigraphic poems, the women
accommodate their male partners out of
insecurity and dependence, at the same
time coming to the conclusion, with the
reader, that 'this generation of men and
women can't make it.' There is little joy
in these short, tight scenes from a
'Tales of Mothering' which follow,
treat of mother/child relations, some of
which go badly wrong as women seek
to escape their cages. The surrogate
mother in Sister II silently asks 'what
parents, religious custom, what harsh
rule could tie a young girl to an

educated stud' in a loveless marriage.
As she commiserates with the angry
husband, she internally applauds the
young wife's escape from a sterile
union. Sister I moves from a horrifying
vignette 'Swift through the air, cutting
the nothing like white light a flash of
packaged debris ... one, two, three...
in arcs from a balcony on the high
apartment building': a woman and her
two young daughters 'broken on the
pavement' to the reactions of her
'sisters', who knew her married
loneliness ('The husband is a dresser...
Dress sharp every morning and gone,')
but cared too late to help.
The cold city of Sister I is also the
setting for part of the superbly crafted
story, My Mother. Here, among uncar-
ing crowds, a West Indian mother
works to send money and barrels of
second-hand clothes home to her
daughter. The child cannot comprehend
the sacrifice, even when her mother's

body is brought home for burial (and
the graveside commentary is absolutely
authentic, by the way). Only later, a
grown woman distressed by 'the
frightened faces' of black women in
New York as they hurry to work -
recalling, in details, Bitterland from
Crown Point does the narrator weep
for her mother, 'for the peace at Anne's
Ridge that she never came back to, after
the constant madness.' Now the
daughter gratefully pays tribute. As do
these stories a bittersweet tribute to
Caribbean women, then and now, from
one of their own. It has become a cliche
to welcome another distinctive voice to
the 'canon' of West Indian women's
literature; for Velma Pollard, however,
the welcome is sincere.

Evelyn O'Callaghan teaches in the English
Department at the Cave Hill campus of the
University of the West Indies.


After Heartease New England
(for Lorna)

It's not no bird
trapped underneath no bridge
it is a soul bird
wheeling towards a spring

Lord teach wings how
in the stark silence of these evenings
in the fine chiselled rock spaces
to fold and nest

'use me oh Lord
use even me. .'

for I have heard
so faintly given
the soft/loud cry
for small/large ease

the blue note given
the bird
with swollen throat
receives and gives
the perfect yellow note


My daughter resembles
Harry Belafonte's daughter

Upstate New York
morning and March
fog filtering through
leafless trees
delicate like lace
and I see Montreal
and all that snow on the ground
young fresh snow
soon to age
down-trodden under wheel and foot
and leafless branches
hung heavy with ice

But it is Upstate New York
and no more Montreal
than my daughter is Harry Belafonte's daughter
only the stereotype caucasians see
of a young woman
confident with low cut negro hair
like the stereotype I see
of fog and French lace
formed in winter trees


a kind of dying

My father
as his muscles fell away
might well have chuckled
with the wry humour
we had come to know
'this is the best
that I can manage for you'

no fuss
no call the doctor
needless needles
and endless waiting
round the saddened sheets

it has to be one day
he used to say

dramatic to the last
here, draw the curtain now
he said
for I must be alone
to play the end

he had known suffering ever-
lasting pain
never so bad to die from
never so good to feel
the luxury of ease

for me
it is enough to know he had

one golden morning without pain
one little heaven then
before he closed his eyes

I choose cremation
I like the certainty
of such a modern certain means
in such uncertain situations

years after my mother
I would see her
suddenly sit bolt upright
and say
with undisguised surprise
'my gospel they have left me'
forcing the lid from off her coffin
watching the ceiling of the close
clay house they gave her for bone-keeping

somewhere perhaps
I had read of skeletons
men buried prone
found fleshless
and poised foetal

So let my ashes
be to ashes
mingling with the earth
as nicely as my rotting flesh
with other choice
in time would mingle with it


was founded in 1879. Its main functions are to
foster and encourage the development of
culture, science and history, in the national
It operates as a statutory body under the
Institute of Jamaica Act 1978 and falls under
the portfolio of the Minister of Culture. The
Institute's central decision-making body is the
Council which is appointed by the Minister.
The Institute of Jamaica consists of a central
administration and a number of divisions and
associate bodies operating with varying
degrees of autonomy.
Chairman: Sonia Jones
Executive Director: Beverley Hall-Alleyne
Deputy Director: Dexter Manning
Central Administration
12-16 East St, Kingston. Tel: 922-20620

African Caribbean Institute (ACIJ)
Roy West Building, 12 Ocean Boulevard
Kingston Mall. Tel: 922-4793.

Cultural 'raining Centre (CTC)
1 Arthur Wint Drive, Kgn. 5 Tel: 929-2350/3
Edna Manley School for the Visual Arts
(formerly Jamaica School of Art)
Jamaica School of Dance
Jamaica School of Drama
Jamaica School of Music

Institute of Jamaica Publications Ltd.
2a Suthermere Rd., Kingston 10
Tel: 929-4785 / 6 926-8817

Junior Centre
19 East St, Kingston. Tel: 922-0620

Head Office: 12-16 East St, Kingston
Tel: 922-0620

National Museum of Historical
Archaeology, Port Royal. Tel: 924-8871
Fort Charles Maritime Museum, Port
Arawak Museum, White Marl
Military Museum,
Up Park Camp, 3rd GR Compound.
Jamaica People's Museum of Craft and
Spanish Town Square Tel: 984-2452
Old King's House Archaeological
Museum, Spanish Town Square Tel: 984-

National Gallery of Jamaica
Roy West Building, Ocean Boulevard,
Kingston MalL Tel: 922-1561/4
National Library of Jamaica
12-16 East St., Kingston. Tel: 922-0620
Natural History Library and Museum
12-16 East St., Kgn. Tel: 922-0620


1.6 million pounds of beef,
4.6 million quarts of milk, 49,000pounds of
fruit, vegetables, food crops and livestock
from 2,863 tenant farmers.

We call this a

balanced meal
Through Alcan Jamaica Company's agricultural operations, wholesome nutritious foods are produced for tables
across the nation. This means that thousands of acres of bauxite lands not yet mined; as well as restored,
mined-out lands have been put to maximum productivity for the benefit of us all.
Alcan's Agricultural Division today operates the single largest private herd of beef
cattle in Jamaica, and is the island's largest milk prodiJcer. For thousands of
small farmers, Alcan's Tenant Farmer Programme makes land, loans, credit,
training, tillage co-ordination and marketing assistance available.
And Alcan is an important producer of ornamental
foliage plants for export. A 1h.

Alcan Jamaica Company
A Division of Alcan Aluminium Limited (Inc. in Canada)
QuietlyAchieving Important Goals
A member of the Private Sector Organization of Jamaica


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Glimpses of Jamaica's Natural History


B lakea trinervia (Family Melastomataceae), commonly known as 'Cup

and Saucer', 'Jamaican Rose' or 'Wild Rose', is a scrambling shrub bear-
ing bright pink flowers with unusual yellow anthers. The plant is also called
'Sorrel Rose' by some because the petals have an agreeable acid taste.
It is an endemic plant, common and widely distributed on wooded rocky hill-
sides and in montane forests. The shrub, which is usually seen climbing on
trees, flowers throughout the year.
The genus Blakea was named after the late Martin Blake of Antigua by Dr
Patrick Browne in appreciation of Mr Blake's assistance and encouragement in
the writing of his book The Natural History of Jamaica.
There are only two species of this genus in Jamaica. The other species
Blakea urbaniana is also endemic. It has white flowers, is rare, and is said to
grow only in Hanover and Westmoreland.
The thirty-eight species of this genus (Blakea) are natives of the West
Indies, Venezuela Colombia and Peru.

Printed In Jamaica by Hyde, Held & Blackburn Ltd.

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