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Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Title Page
        Title Page 1
        Title Page 2
    Table of Contents
        Page 1
    Front Matter
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        Page 3
        Page 4
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Full Text



APRIL-MAY-JUNE, 1949_-/f' 5

57Z. eoo5


Vty//7-o~, /i;

The CARIBBEAN QUARTERLY is published four times a year by the Extra Mural
Department of the University College of the West Indies.
The CARIBBEAN QUARTERLY offers to West Indians reliable reading on their own
history and culture, and on social developments in the Caribbean. It seeks to
enable West Indians to keep in touch with significant cultural and social events
elsewhere. It aims at fostering contact between persons and institutions active in
the field of culture in the Caribbean area. It presents information concerning the
University College of the West Indies, reports on the progress of the extra mural
work of the University College and provides study-material for that work.

COVER PHOTOGRAPH. The object depicted on the cover is an Amerindian water jug, of
presumed Arawak origin. Its size may be judged by the fact that it can contain three and
one halt pints of liquid.
It was found as a mortuary offering-together with some fragments of decorated
platters-in the burial of an adult male Amerindian, closely adjacent to the shellmound at
Erin, Trinidad. By comparison of the pottery, there is no doubt that the man was an
occupant of the original village. The aga of this occupation is unknown, but there is
reason to believe that it was before the Colombian discovery-possibly several centuries
Points to be noted are the suggestion of a spiral motive in the morphology of the vessel
and contra spirals in the painted decoration. These involve the decoration of the head and
its unusual position. The conical "cap" on the head is merely the upper portion of a
stopper which closes the mouth of the vessel, but its suitability to the general design is of
We are grateful to Mr. Raymond Bastianello, United States Vice-Consul in Trinidad for
making the photograph.



Vol. 1


Reprinted from a copy in the collections of the
University of Florida Librairies

Reprinted by permission of
A Division of

Printed in Germany
Lessingdruckerei Wiesbaden




SOME ASPECTS OF BOTANY. Professor Asprey 13
J. A. Bullbrook 16
EXTRA MURAL ACTIVITIES-Resident Tutors' Notes 25
The Little Carib Dance Group, Trinidad 29
Democracy and Empire 30
New Day 31
Focus 32
Kyk-over-al 34

Poem "The Yellow Cemetery" by D. A. Walcott 35
Professor R. G. Baskett 40

Pa.rIP SeRLOCcK, University College, Jamaica, B.W.I.
ANDREW PEARSE, Gordon Street, St. Joseph. Trinidad, B.W.I.

VOL. I No.

MSS. AND COMMUNICATIONS TO THE EDITORS should be addressed to the Editor of the
Caribbean Quarterly, and not to an individual. Unsolicited MSS. which are not accepted
for publication will be returned if accompanied by a stamped addressed envelope.
Subscription rates are 3oc. or 1/3 per copy 36c. or 1/6 post free. $1 (W.I.) or
4/2 p.a. $1.20 or 5/- p.a. post free.


The journal will be available from certain booksellers at 3oc. or 1/3Y. per copy.
2. If you order the journal through the Resident Tutor in your area, and call for
it, the annual subscription is SI or 4/2, to be paid to your Resident Tutor.
3. If you wish to have the journal sent to you regularly by post, you should send
an annual subscription of $1.20 or 5/- to your local Resident Tutor, or to the
Editor in Trinidad, according to the information given below:-



British Honduras

Leeward Islands

Windward Islands

Trinidad and Tobago
British Guiana
Foreign Subscribers

Mrs. G. Cumper, Extra Mural Dept., University
College of the West Indies.
Stanley Sharp, Esq., Stuart House, Gabourel Lane,
F. W Case, Esq., Extra Mural Dept., St. John's,
B. H. Easter, Esq., 68, Micoud Street. Castries.
St. Lucia.

IA. C. Pearse, Esq.. Gordon Street, St. Joseph,
J Trinidad

THANKS. The Caribbean Quarterly wishes to express its gratitude to the Government of
Trinidad and Tobago for allowing the Government Printer to undertake the production of the
Journal at a figure which has enabled us to keep the price of the Journal low.


IT IS FARTHER from Belize to Port-of-Spain than it is from London straight
across Europe to Constantinople ; about as far from Georgetown to Kings-
ton as it is from London to Odessa on the Black Sea coast. The sea has
divided the Caribbean peoples, separated them from each other, isolated
There are other dividing forces at work in the Caribbean. Race,
colour, language, cultural tradition, systems of government, education itself
have increased isolation, hindered understanding. Even within the British
West Indies these factors have been at work, deepening and strengthening
isolation and division. Community has been separated from community,
and each community has been further divided within itself by a crazy
criss-cross of prejudice and hatred.
The sea no longer completely dominates the lives of the people of the
Caribbean. The aeroplane has brought Port-of-Spain within five hours of
Kingston, has set Georgetown within two hours of Bridgetown, has put
St. Lucia next door to Antigua. The radio has brought London and
New York into our dining rooms, and multiplied the opportunities for
understanding and for common knowledge. The whole world has con-
tracted, and in the Caribbean distance is losing its meaning.
Other powerful integrating forces are at work, making themselves
manifest in every aspect of our social life. We have become more fully
aware of each other, of common needs, desires, aspirations.
Education can be one of these strong uniting forces education not as
a ritual confined to the narrow and immature years of the school-room,
but as a process rich and deep as life itself not formal and static but
vital and dynamic.
Throughout the Caribbean there are groups of men and women who
are coming together to learn-to deepen their intellectual interests, to find
out through discussion and reading more about themselves, their history,
the lands in which they live, the world round about them. This journal
is published for these men and women not only for members of extra-
mural classes but for all men and women who seek after knowledge to be
a bond between them, and to give them information about each other.
The Caribbean Quarterly seeks to do more. It will work in co-operation
with those literary journals which have contributed to the cultural develop-
ment of the Caribbean. It will concentrate its attention on social and
educational movements that are of general significance. It will aim at
accuracy, objectivity, and clean thought, clearly expressed. Above all it
seeks to establish and strengthen the tradition of the book and of learning
in the Caribbean.
1 *

A Jamaica Slave Plantation


This article is reprinted by kind permission of THE AMERICAN HISTORICAL REVIEW-(from
Vol. XIX, No. 3). We hope to follow it in our next issue of CARIBBEAN QUARTERLY with an
article by James Wright, B.sc. of the Department of Agriculture, Jamaica, on the Lucky Hill
Community Project. These two accounts span a period of s5o years of West Indian develop-
ment and taken together show something of the startling changes in agricultural production
and in the lives of the people.-Ed.

WHEN LORD CHESTERFIELD endeavoured in 1767 to buy his son a seat in Parliament,
he learned "that there was no such thing as a borough to be had now, for that
the rich East and West Indians had secured them all at the rate of three thousand
pounds at least" The nabobs from the Antilles were rivalling those from India in
their display. The sugar islands were the most cherished of the imperial possessions,
and the sugar estates were the greatest and most famous industrial enterprises in
the world. Bulky descriptions of the West Indian regime, of an excellence never
attained by the accounts of the continental colonies, found sale in large editions,
and few were the moneyed men of England who felt no stir at the rumours of
Jamaica planters' profits. But Jamaica's heyday was already waning, for her soils
were becoming depleted and sugar prices had fallen. Of the three chief writers on
Jamaica in the later eighteenth century, Long, Edwards, and Beckford, the two
last illustrated in their own lives the extremes of planters' fortunes. Edwards was
one of the nabobs who sat in the British House of Commons, but Beckford wrote
his Descriptive Account of Jamaica in the fleet prison where he lay in 179o, an
insolvent debtor at the end of a planting career.

Rose Price, Esq., was the manager of Worthy Park plantation and its outlying
properties in St. John's Parish, Jamaica, belonging to "Robert Price of Penzance
in the Kingdom of Great Britain Esquire" and Rose Price had an eye to the
edification of posterity. Seeing that "the Books of Estates are the only Records by
which future Generations can inform themselves of the management of plantations"
he set directions in detail for the making and preservation of elaborate accounts of
current operations. The special books for the sugar mill, the rum distillery, the
commissary, and the field labour routine, which he ordered to be kept, have
apparently been lost but the "great plantation book" for the years from 1702 to
17o6 inclusive has survived and come to my hands. This comprises yearly inven-
tories, records of the increase and decrease of slaves and draught animals, vestry
returns, salary lists, vouchers, crop summaries, and accounts of the receipt and
distribution of implements, clothing food-stuffs, and other supplies.

This plantation, which in its organization and experience appears to have been
fully typical of the estates of the largest scale, lay near the centre of the island,
perhaps 20 miles from the sea, on the rugged slope of the mountain chain. One of
its dependencies was Spring Garden "cattle pen", lying higher on a near-by
mountainside and serving as a place of recuperation for slaves and cattle as well
as yielding a few oxen and some foodstuffs for the plantation. The other was
Mickleton, presumably a farmstead used as a relay station for the teams hauling
sugar and rum to Port Henderson, where they were embarked for Kingston on
the way to market at London. The plantation itself probably contained several
thousand acres, of which about 560 were in sugar-cane, several score in guinea-
grass for grazing, and a few in plantain and cocoa groves, while the rest was in
woodland with occasional clearings where the Negro families cultivated their own
food crops in their hours of release from gang labor.
A cane field was not ripe for its first harvest (the "plant cane") until the
second winter after its planting. When the stalks were then cut, new shoots
("ratoons") would spring up from the old roots and yield a diminished second
crop the next winter, and as _n for several years more, the output steadily growa-i
smaller. After the fourth crop, according to the routine on Worthy Park, the held
was planted anew. Thus in any year, while 560 acres were in constant cultivation,
about one-fifth of the fields were freshly planted and four-fifths were harvested.
The slaves on the estate at the beginning of 1792 numbered 355, of whom
150 constituted the main field gangs 34 were artificers and gang foremen 40 were
watchmen, gardeners, and cattle tenders 13 were in the hospital corps 22 were
on the domestic staff 24 girls and boys made up the "grass gang" 39 were
young children and 33 were invalids and superannuated. From the absence of
indications that any of these were freshly imported Africans it may be assumed
that all were seasoned Negroes. The draught animals comprised 80 mules and
140 oxen. The stock of slaves was not adequate for the full routine of the planta-
tion, for in this year jobbingg gangs" from the outside were employed at a cost
of [1,832. The jobbing contracts were recorded at rates from 2s. 6d. to 3s. per
laborer per day.
During the year the proprietor began to make additions to his working for(,,
with a view apparently to dispensing with the services of jobbing gangs. In Marcl
he bought ten new Africans, five men and five women and in October go mort
comprising 25 men, 27 women, 16 boys, 16 girls, and six children, all new Congoec
In 1793 he added 81 more, 51 males and 30 females, part Congoes and parr
Coromantees, and nearly all of them about 18 to 20 years old.
The advice of experienced planters was entirely opposed to such a proceeding
as this. Edward Long, for example, had written
"The introduction of too many recruits at once has sometimes proved
fatal to them. It is very evident, that a small number can be much easier
and better provided for, lodged, fed, and taken care of, than a multitude.
The planter therefore, who buys only eight or ten at a time, will in the end
derive more advantage for them, than the planter who buys 30 ; for, by the
greater leisure and attention in his power to bestow upon them, he will
greatly lessen the ordinary chances against their life, and the sooner prepare
them for an effectual course of labor. The comparison, indeed, founded

lpon fact and observation, is, that, at the end of three years, the former
may possibly have lost one-fifth, but the other will most probably have lost
one-half, of their respective numbers."
All of the island authorities who wrote on the subject endorsed these precepts,
but the Worthy Park administration was nothing daunted thereby. Thirty new
huts were built ; special cooks and nurses were detailed for the service of the new
Negroes ; and quantities of special food-stuffs were bought-yams, plantains, flour,
fresh and salt fish, and fresh beef heads, tongues, hearts and bellies ; but it is not
surprising to find that the next outlay for equipment was for a large new hospital
in 1794, costing 341 for building its brick walls alone. The emergency became
pressing. Some of the newcomers, as was common in such cases, developed yaws.
These had to be lodged in an isolation hospital tended by a special nurse and cook,
and worked, when worked at all, in a separate gang under a separate foreman.
But yaws was a trifle as compared with dysentery-the "bloody flux" as it was
then called. Pleurisy, pneumonia, fever, and dropsy had also to be reckoned with.
About 50 of the new Negroes were quartered for several years in a sort of hospital
camp at Spring Garden, where the work for even the able-bodied was much lighter
than on Worthy Park.
With the spring of 1794 the period of heavy mortality began. From the
damaged manuscript one gathers that 52 died in that year, mainly from dysentery.
But by 1795, this disease was no longer epidemic. Of the 23 who died that year,
at least five were new Negroes, two of these dying from dirt-eating, one from yaws
and two from ulcers. The three years of the seasoning period were now ended, with
about three-fourths of the number imported still alive. This loss was perhaps less
than was usual in such cases ; but it demonstrates the strength of shock involved
in the transplantation from Africa, even after the severities of the "middle passage"
had been survived, and after the most debilitated Negroes had been culled out at
the ports. In 1796 the new Negroes were no longer discriminated in the mortality
record. The outlay for jobbing gangs declined to 1,374 in 1793 and to 506
in 1794. It rose to 632 in 1795, but disappeared in the final year of the record.

The list of slaves made at the beginning of 1794 is the only one in which full
data are preserved as to ages, colours, health, and occupation. The ages given
were of course in many cases mere approximations. First are listed the "great
house Negroes" then the slaves of the overseer's house.2 In the nursing and

No. Work Colour Age 2 No. Work Colour Age
Housekeepers S 40 I Housekeeper M 27
Housekeeper M 19 I Housekeeper S 24
Housekeeper M 8 I Housekeeper B 60
Waiting-boy M 20 x "Simstress" M 13
Waiting-boy M 19 I "Simstress" M 14
Waiting-boy B 10 2 Washers B & M 35 & 19
Washer B 55 I Cook B
Washer S 26 i Waiting-boy B 21
Cook B 50 I Waiting-boy B 15
manumittedd) Q i Waiting-boy B 14
COLOUR S -Sambo (black and mulatto mixed) B -Black
M-Mulatto Q --Quadroon.

industrial groups all were black except one mulatto boy of ten years, a hog tender.
Will Morris, with a 6o year old midwife, two younger nurses and two older women,
an old man and "Blind Olive" to tend the new Negroes. Four old women were
in charge of children, one having charge of the suckling children of women in the
gangs. There were two cooks to the big gang (one had lost a hand) and one to the
second gang. A 35 year old with elephantiasis was groom, and two women of
6o had charge of the poultry house. A ruptured man and a distemperedd man"
along with the mulatto boy, tended the hogs, and nine others, mainly old people,
were engaged in mending pads, gathering grass and feeding the hogs.
Next are listed the watchmen, 31 in number, ranging from 27 to 75 years in
age, and all black but the mulatto foreman. Only six were described as able-bodied.
Among the disabilities mentioned were a bad sore leg, a broken back, lameness,
partial blindness, distemper, weakliness, and cocobees. The number in this night-
watch was apparently not unusual. When the cane crop was green it might be
severely damaged by the invasion of hungry cattle, and when it approached
maturity a spark might set the fields into conflagration. A law of Barbados, in
precaution against fire, prohibited the smoking of tobacco on paths bordering
A considerable number of Negroes already mentioned were in such condition
that little work could be required of them. Those completely laid off were nine
superannuated, two men and seven women ranging from 70 to 85 years old
four invalids from 14 to 35 and three women relieved from work, as by law
required, for having reared six children each.
Among the tradesmen, virtually all the blacks were stated to be fit for field
work, but the five mulattoes and the one quadroon, though mostly youthful and
healthy, were described as not fit for the field. There were ii carpenters, eight
coopers, four sawyers, two blacksmiths, three masons, and 12 cattlemen, each
squad with a foreman and there were two ratcatchers. The tradesmen were all
in early manhood or middle age except Old Quashy, the head carpenter, Old
England, a sawyer, three cattlemen between 60 and 65, and Reeves and Little Sam,
cattle boys, of 15 and 14 years. There were also two ratcatchers, who followed an
essential trade.
In the "weeding gang" a sort of industrial kindergarten in which most of the
children from five to eight years old were kept, as much for control as for achieve-
ment, there were 20 pickaninnies, all black, under Mirtilla as "driveress" who had
borne and lost seven children of her own. Thirty-nine children were too young for
the weeding gang, at least six of whom were quadroons. Two of these children,
Joanney's Henry Richards, quadroon, and Joanney's Valentina, whose colour is

I Beckford writes-The rats are very great enemies to this plant, but particularly in
proportion to its advance to ripeness. It will hardly be credited what destruction they
annually commit upon a plantation in a not less proportion do they injure the crops than a
diminution of five hogsheads of sugar in every hundred. Many and unremitting endeavours
are daily put into practice for their extirpation great numbers are taken off by poison
immediately after the crop, and when their natural food is apparently exhausted many are
killed by dogs and prodigious quantities destroyed by the negroes in the fields, when the
canes are cut and such innumerable proportions by the watchmen who are dispersed over the
different parts of the plantation, that I was informed by a man of observation and veracity.
that upon the estate of which, as overseer, he had charge, not less than thirty and nine
thousand were caught by the latter, and, if I remember right, in the short space of five or
six months.

not stated, were manumitted in 1795. Fifty-five, all new Negroes of about
20-21 years old, except Darby the foreman, and including Blossom the infant
daughter of one of the women, comprised the Spring Garden squad. Seventeen
of the number died within the year.
The "big gang" on Worthy Park numbered 137, comprising 64 men and
73 women, four of the women and nine of the men, including Quashy, 60, the
"head driver" or foreman, were past 40 years. The gang included a "head road
wainman" and ploughman of 23, a "head home wainman", head mule man,
boiler, and 2 distillers, all of 40, one distiller of 25, two sugar potters of 45,
two "sugar-guards" of 25 for the wagons carrying the crop to port. All members
of the gang were described as healthy, able-bodied, and black. It was this
battalion of the stalwart, armed with hoes and "bills" (sugar knives), whose work
would "make or break" the proprietor. A considerable number in the gang were
new Negroes, but only seven of the whole died in this year of heaviest mortality.
The "second gang" employed in a somewhat lighter routine under Sharper, 50,
as foreman, comprised 40 women, and 27 men ranging from 15 to 60 years old, all
black. While most of them were healthy, five were consumptive, four were ulcerated,
one was "inclined to be bloated", one was "very weak" and Pheba was "healthy
but worthless" Eleven of this gang died within the year.
Finally, in the third or "small gang", for yet lighter work under Baddy as
driveress with Old Robin, 60, as assistant, were listed 68 boys and girls, all black
mostly between 12 and 15 years old, but including Mutton, 18, and Cyrus, six.
Cyrus and the few others below the normal age may have been allowed to join this
gang for the companionship of brothers or sisters, or some of them may have been
among Baddy's own four children. Five of the gang died within the year.
Among the 528 slaves all told-284 males and 244 females-74, equally divided
between the sexes, were 50 years old and upwards. If the number of the new
Negroes, virtually all of whom were doubtless in early life, be subtracted from the
gross, it appears that one-fifth of the seasoned stock had reached the half-century,
and one-eighth were 60 years old and over. This is a good showing of longevity.

About 8o of the seasoned women were within the age limits of childbearing. he
births entered in the chronological record averaged nine per year for the five years
covered. Thiswas hardly half as many as might have been expected underfavourable
conditions. Rose Price entered special note in 1795 of the number of children each
woman had borne during her life, the number of these living at the time this record
was made, and the number of miscarriages each woman had had. The total of
births thus recorded was 345 of children then living 159 of miscarriages 75.
Old Quasheba and Betty Madge each had borne 15 children and 16 other women
had borne from six to ii each. On the other hand, 17 women of 30 years and
upwards had had no children and no miscarriages.
The childbearing records of the women past middle age ran higher than those
of the younger ones, to a somewhat surprising degree. Perhaps conditions on
Worthy Park had been more favourable at an earlier period, when the owner and
his family may possibly have been resident there. The fact that more than half of

the children whom these women had borne were dead at the time of the record
comports with the reputation of the sugar colonies for heavy infant mortality.
With births so infrequent and infant deaths so many, it may well appear that the
notorious failure of the island-bred stock to maintain its own numbers was not due
to the working of the slaves to death.
The poor care of the young children may be attributed largely to the absence
of a white mistress, an absence characteristic of the Jamaica plantations. The only
white woman mentioned in the parish returns to this estate was Susannah Phelps,
doubtless the wife of Edward Phelps, who drew no salary but received a yearly
food allowance "for saving deficiency", and who probably lived not on Worthy
Park but at Mickleton.

In addition to Rose Price, who was not salarised, but who may have received
a manager's commission of 60 per cent. upon gross crop sales as contemplated in
the laws of the colony, the administrative staff of white men on Worthy Park com-
prised an overseer at 200oo, later 300 a year, and four bookkeepers at 50 to 60.
There was also a white carpenter at 120, and a white ploughman at 56. The
overseer was changed three times during the time of the record, and the bookkeepers
were generally replaced annually. The bachelor staff were most probably responsible
for the mulatto and quadroon offspring and were doubtless responsible also for the
occasional manumission of women and children. In 1795 and perhaps in other years
the plantation had a contract for medical attendance by "J. Quier and G. Clark"
at the rate of 140 per year.
There is no true summer and winter in Jamaica, but a wet and dry season
instead-the former extending generally from May to November, the latter from
December to April. The sugar-cane got its growth during the rains it ripened
and was harvested during the drought. If things went well the harvest, or
"grinding" began in January. All available hands were provided with bills and
sent to the fields to cut the stalks and trim off their leaves and tops. The tainted
canes were laid aside for the distillery ; the sound ones were sent at once to the mill.
On the steepest hillsides the crop had oftentimes to be carried on the heads of the
Negroes or on the backs of mules to points which the carts could reach.
The mill consisted merely of three cylinders, two of them set against the third,
turned by wind, water, or cattle. The canes, tied into small bundles for better
compression, were given a double squeezing while passing through the mill. The
juice expressed found its way through a trough into the "boiling house" while the
"mill trash" or "megass" was carted off to sheds and left to dry for later use as
fuel under the coppers and stills.
In the boiling house the cane-juice flowed into a large receptacle, the clarifier,
where by treatment with lime and moderate heat it was separated from its grosser
impurities. The juice then passed into the first copper, where evaporation by boiling
began. This vessel on Worthy Park was of such a size that in 1795 one of the
Negroes fell in while it was full of boiling liquor and died ten days after his
scalding. After further evaporation in smaller coppers the juice, now reduced to a
syrup, was ladled into a final copper, the teacher, for a last boiling and concentra-
tion and when the product of the teacher was ready for crystallization it was carried
to the "curing house".

The mill, unless it were a most exceptional one for the time, expressed barely
two-thirds of the juice from the caries ; the clarifier was not supplemented by
filters the coppers were wasteful of labor and fuel. But if the apparatus and
processes thus far were crude by comparison with modern standards, the curing
process was primitive by any standard whatever. The curing house was merely a
roof above, a timber framework on the main level, and a great shallow sloping
vat at the bottom. The syrup from the teacher was potted directly into hogsheads
resting on the timbers, and was allowed to cool with too great rapidity and with
occasional stirring which are said by modem critics to have hindered more than
they helped the crystallization. Most of the sugar stayed in the hogsheads, while
the mother liquor, molasses, still carrying some of the sugar, trickled through
perforations in the hogshead bottoms into the vat below. When the hogsheads
were full of the crudely cured, moist, and impure "muscovado" sugar they were
headed up and sent to port. The molasses was carried to vats in the distillery where
with yeast and water added it fermented and when passed twice through the distilling
process yielded rum.
The grinding season, extending from January to spring or summer according
to the speed of harvesting, was the time of heaviest labor on the plantations. If
the rains came before the reaping was ended the work became increasingly severe,
particularly for the draught animals, which must haul their loads over the muddy
fields and roads. On Worthy Park the grinding was ended in May in some years
in others it extended to July.
As soon as the harvest was ended preparations were begun for replanting the
fields from which the crop of third ratoons had just been taken. The chief operation
in this was the opening of broad furrows or "cane holes" about six feet apart.
Five ploughs were mentioned in the Worthy Park inventories, but only three
ploughmen were listed, one hired white and two Negro slaves. Some of the hillside
fields were doubtless too rough for convenient ploughing, and the heat of the climate
prevented the use of teams for such heavy work more than a few hours daily but
the lack of thrift and enterprise was doubtless more influential. The smallness of
the area planted each year demonstrates that the hoe was by far the main reliance.
After the cane holes were made and manure spread, four canes were laid side by
side continuously in each furrow, and a shallow covering of earth was drawn over
them. This completed the planting process.
The holing and the planting occupied the major part of the "big gang" for
most of the summer and fall. Meanwhile the wagons were hauling the sugar and
rum to port, and the second and third gangs, with occasional assistance from the
first, were cleaning the grass and weeds from the fields of growing cane and stripping
the dry leaves from the stalks and drawing earth to the roots. With the return of
the dry season cordwood must be cut in the mountains and brought to the boiling
house to supplement the megass, and the roads and the works must be put in
order for the stress of the coming harvest. Then came Christmas when oxen were
slaughtered for the Negroes and a feast was made and rules relaxed for a week of
celebration by Christians and pagans alike.

Rewards for zeal in service were given chiefly to the "drivers" or gang foremen.
Each of these had for example a "doubled milled cloth coloured great coat" costing

us. 6d. and a "fine bound hat with girdle and buckle" costing los. 6d. As a more
direct and frequent stimulus a quart of rum was served weekly to each of three
drivers, three carpenters, four boilers, two head cattlemen, two head mulemen, the
"stoke-hole boatswain", and the black doctor, and to the foremen respectively of
the sawyers, coopers, blacksmiths, watchmen, and road wainmen, and a pint weekly
to the head home wainman, the potter, the midwife, and the young children's field
nurse. These allowances totalled about 300 gallons yearly. But a considerably
greater quantity than this was distributed, mostly at Christmas perhaps, for in 1796
tor example 922 gallons were recorded of "rum used for the Negroes on the estate"
Upon the birth of each child the mother was given a Scotch rug and a silver dollar.
No records of whippings appear to have been kept, nor of crimes or mis-
demeanors except absconding. In the list of deaths for 1793, however, it was noted
that Roman was shot and killed by a watchman on the neighboring estate while
stealing provisions from the Negro grounds. The account gives a quarterly list of
runaway slaves, with a few listed at each quarter, most of the fugitives appearing
to return of their own free will. Obviously the impulse to run away was not confined
to either sex nor to any age or class. The fugitives were utterly miscellaneous and
their flights were apparently not organised but sporadic.

These conclusions seem to be borne out by an analysis of the notices of runaway
slaves published by the workhouse in the newspapers. Throughout the year 1803,
for which I have procured these statistics from a file of the Royal Gazette of
Kingston, the number of runaways taken into custody each week was fairly
constant and no group of slaves appears over-represented. Of the grand total
of 1,721 runaways advertised as in custody, 187 were merely stated to be Negroes
without further classification, 426 were creoless" i.e., native Jamaicans and the
neighboring islands had scattering representations. Sixty per cent. (1,046) were
of African birth. Of these 1oI were Mandingoes from Senegambia and the upper
Niger 60 were Chambas from the region since known as Liberia ; 70 were
Coromantees from the Gold Coast 33 were Nagoes and 24 Pawpaws from the
Slave Coast (Dahomey) and 185 were Eboes and 97 Mocoes from the Bight of
Benin. All of the foregoing were from regions North of the equator. From the
Southern tropic there were 185 Congoes, 165 Mungolas, and 94 Angolas. The
remaining 30 were mostly from places which I have not been able to identify in
maps old or new. Only one, a Gaza, was positively from the East coast of Africa.
The Congoes and Coromantees, the tribal stocks with which Worthy Park was
chiefly concerned, were as wide apart in their characteristics as Negro nature
permitted. The former were noted for lightness of heart, mildness of temper, and
dullness of intellect. Of the latter Christopher Codrington, Governor of the Leeward
Islands, wrote in 1701 to the British Board of Trade
The Coromantees, are not only the best and most faithful of our
slaves, but are really all born Heroes. There never was a raskal or
coward of that nation, intrepid to the last degree, not a man of them but
will stand to be cut to pieces without a sigh or groan, grateful and obedient
to a kind master, but implacably revengeful when ill-treated. My father,
who had studied the genius and temper of all kinds of negroes 45 years with
a very nice observation, would say, Noe man deserved a Corramante that
would not treat him like a Friend rather than a Slave.

Byran Edwards endorsed the staunchness and industry of the Coromantees, but
attributed to them the plotting of the serious Jamaica revolt of 1760.
A large proportion of the fugitive slaves in custody were described as bearing
brands on their breasts or shoulders. It is not surprising to find in a Worthy Park
inventory "I silver mark LP for negroes" Edwards wrote that a friend of his
who had bought a parcel of young Ebo and Coromantee boys told him that at
the branding,
when the first boy, who happened to be one of the Eboes, and the stoutest
of the whole, was led forward to receive the mark, he screamed dreadfully,
while his companions of the same nation manifested strong emotions of
sympathetic terror. The gentleman stopped his hand but the Koromantyn
boys, laughing aloud, and, immediately coming forward of their own accord,
offered their bosoms undauntedly to the brand, and receiving its impression
without flinching in the least, snapt their fingers in exultation over the
poor Eboes.

Worthy Park bought nearly all of its hardware, dry goods, drugs and sundries
in London, and its herrings for the Negroes and salt pork and beef for the white
staff in Cork. Staves and heading were procured locally, but hoops were imported.
Corn was cultivated between the rows in some of the cane fields on the plantation,
and some guinea-corn was bought from neighbours. The Negroes raised their own
yams and other vegetables, and doubtless pigs and poultry as well. Plantains were
likely to be plentiful, and the island abounded in edible land crabs.
Every October cloth was issued, at the rate of seven yards of osnaburgs, three
of checks, and three of baize for each adult, and proportionally for children. The
first was to be made into coats, trousers, and frocks, the second into shirts and
waists, the third into bedclothes. The cutting and sewing were done in the cabins.
A hat and a cap were also issued to each slave old enough to go to the field, and
a clasp-knife to each one above the age of the third gang. The slaves' feet were
not pinched by shoes.
The Irish provisions cost annually about 3oo, and the English supplies about
I,ooo, not including such extra outlays as that of 1,355 in 1793 for new stills,
worms and coppers. Local expenditures were probably reckoned in currency.
Converted into sterling, the salary list amounted to about 500, and the local
outlay for medical services, wharfage, and petty supplies came to a like amount.
Taxes, manager's commissions, and the depreciation of apparatus must have
amounted collectively to 8oo. The net death-loss of slaves, not including that irom
the breaking-in of new Negroes, averaged about two and a quarter per cent. that
of the mules and oxen ten per cent. When reckoned upon the numbers on hand
in 1796 when the plantation, with 470 slaves, was operating with no outside help,
these losses, which must be replaced by new purchases if the scale of output was
to be maintained, amounted to about 9oo. Thus a total of 3,000 sterling is
reached as the average current expense in years when no mishaps occurred.
The crops during the years of the record averaged 311 hogsheads of sugar,
16 cwt. each, worth in the island about 15 sterling per hogshead, and
133 puncheons of rum, no gallons each, about 6,000, and the net earnings of the
establishment not above 3,ooo000. The investment in slaves, mules, and oxen was

about 28,000, and that in land, buildings, and equipment, according to the general
reckoning of the island authorities, reached a similar sum. The net earnings in
good years were thus barely more than five per cent, on the investment ; but the
liability to hurricanes, earthquakes, fires, epidemics, and mutinies would lead
conservative investors to reckon the safe expectations considerably lower. A mere
pestilence which carried off about 60 mules and 200 oxen on Worthy Park in
1793-1794 wiped out more than a year's earnings.
Byran Edwards gave statistics showing that between 1772 and 1791 more than
one-third of the 767 sugar plantations in Jamaica had gone through bankruptcy,
55 had been abandoned, and 47 new ones established. It was generally agreed
that, within the limits of efficient operation, the larger a plantation was, the better
its prospects for net earnings. But though Worthy Park had more than twice the
number of slaves that the average plantation employed, it was barely paying
its way.

Some Aspects of Botany

University College of the West Indies

Botany is the science that deals with plants and plant life. This brief article is intended
to give the reader an example of the kind of work which botanists do.

PEOPLE WHO ARE INTERESTED in growing plants, whether as gardeners or farmers,
know that to obtain the best results one must supply the plant with nutriment. The
fact has indeed been known from the earliest times and it has long been the practice
to apply animal manure to the soil. But there is not an unlimited supply of natural
manures and nearly 200 years ago it was stated that in less than Ioo years from that
time the human race would cease to multiply because it would be impossible to grow
enough food to support any further increase in population. This prophecy has not
yet materialised, thanks largely to increased crop production brought about by the
use of artificial fertilisers.
What does the growing plant need for its nourishment ? Scientists asked them-
selves this question many years ago, and the story of the search for an answer is a
long and interesting one.

Let us imagine ourselves in the laboratory of the famous German botanist Sachs
about go years ago. He was deeply interested in this question. The problem was
far from clear at that time but he knew certain facts. He was certainly aware of
a significant experiment that had been performed by a Dutch chemist named
Van Helmont, over 200 years earlier. Van Helmont planted a willow twig, weighing
5 lb., in a pot containing 300 lb. of dry soil. The pot was covered and the plant
was given nothing but water. At the end of five years the willow had grown to a
small tree weighing 164 lb. and the soil weighed only 2 oz. less than at the start.
Van Helmont somewhat naturally concluded that the tree had made all its growth
from the water taken in. It was a wrong conclusion, as Sachs would know, but a
very sound experiment. It was the first indication that green plants do not absorb
their nutriment as animals do from complex organic compounds. It thus exploded
a view which had been held from the time of Aristotle.
In considering this experiment Sachs would have a great advantage over
Van Helmont. As a result of the work of others in this .branch of botany it had
become evident that a plant would not grow in pure water, that the minerals
absorbed from the soil were of supreme importance to plant growth, and that the
bulk of the dried plant body is made up of compounds of the element carbon.
Furthermore it was known to Sachs that the carbon was taken into the plant from
the atmosphere. He thus knew the true explanation of the experiment. The 2 oz.
loss from the soil represented the intake of mineral elements by the plant and the
increase in dry weight, i.e. the growth of the plant, was in the main due to absorp-
tion of carbon dioxide from the air by the green leaves in the presence of sunlight.
But the problem still remained as to what the plant actually required from the
soil. Plants had been analysed chemically and a fair idea of their mineral compo-
nents obtained. Attempts had been made to find out if all these chemical elements
were essential for their healthy growth. This had been done by growing plants in
sand and watering them with solutions containing various chemicals. A great deal
of useful information had been found but there was still grave doubt about the
necessity for certain elements,
Sachs knew all this. One can imagine him turning the problem over in his
mind and deciding that in such experiments it was never certain that the sand
was chemically pure or even that the pots themselves did not liberate something
into the solution. He decided to do without a solid rooting medium altogether, and
grow the plants with their roots dipping into water to which was added small
quantities of the mineral elements.
He therefore took glass cylinders capable of holding about two pints of liquid
and filled them with a weak solution containing compounds of those elements found
in plants by the analysts of his day. He selected seedlings of bean and maize and,
loosely supporting them, inserted their roots into the solution. More solution was
added as it was absorbed by the plants. The plants throve. He therefore repeated
the experiments many times with great care, leaving out one or other mineral
element each time, and he noted the results on plant growth. When the plants
failed to grow he concluded that he had left out an essential mineral element.
This painstaking work took a number of years to complete but at last Sachs
was able to say that in all the many cases he had tried, successful growth could be
produced in a solution containing a trace of iron and the following salts in a
concentration of I part in 2,000 ; potassium nitrate, calcium phosphate, magnesium

sulphate, and calcium sulphate. It would seem that the following substances are
necessary for plant growth potassium, nitrogen, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium,
sulphur, and iron. In addition to these of course one must add hydrogen which is
obtained from water, oxygen, also a constituent of water and available from the air,
and carbon, from the carbon dioxide of the atmosphere.
The other major elements found in plants, such as chlorine, sodium and silicon
are not essential.
At last there was some precise information as to the essential elements taken
in by the roots of plants. But this was not all ; here was the foundation of a
technique which in various modified forms is being used by plant physiologists all
over the world today. It is interesting to note that the soilless growth of plants
has been developed as a commercial proposition during the last 20 years especially
in the cultivation of certain horticultural crops, and masquerades under the name
of hydroponics.
Even before the time of Sachs agriculturists knew that a limiting factor in crop
production was the supply of natural manure. Could the natural product be supple-
mented or even supplanted by other methods ? It was a problem in which the
co-operation of the agriculturist working in the field was necessary. The first field
experiments on the use of artificial fertilisers were initiated by the great chemist
Liebig early in the last century. The experiments failed because at that time not
enough was known about the plants' requirements. The minerals were presented
in an insoluble form and were therefore unavailable to the plant, moreover no
source of combined nitrogen was supplied. However the search went on and
pioneered by Boussingault'in France and by Lawes and Gilbert in England (at the
now famous Rothamstead Experimental Station), there was laid down the founda-
tion of field and plot technique for the testing of artificial fertilisers. Indeed Lawes
himself patented the first process for the production of an artificial fertilizer in 1843,
a compound of calcium and phosphorus which we now call "super-phosphate"
It must be noted that of the essential elements widely different quantities are
required by the plant for healthy growth. Iron is needed in a very small amount
and is, of course, normally found in adequate supply in most soils. The practical
man is interested in those elements likely to be in short supply in the soil and in
big demand by the plant. Laboratory and field technique coped with both these
aspects and as a result of a vast amount of work the following facts became
established :-
1. That most soils are deficient in nitrogen salts and that these are in big
demand by the plant.
2. That other common deficiencies are phosphates, potash and calcium.
3. That the kind of chemical fertilisers used, and the amounts applied depend
on the crop and on the climate and must be carefully worked out.
For most agricultural and horticultural crops this information is today common
knowledge and is accepted without realizing the amount of work that has been
involved in its determination.
For artificial fertilisers to be of use, they must be both cheap and available in
large quantity. The history of their development is closely linked with the utilisation
of the waste products of industry and the development of economic methods of
manufacturing nitrogen salts from the nitrogen present in the air. Thus we now
find nitrogen supplied as ammonium sulphate, a bye-product of the gas works,

and calcium phosphate supplied as basic slag, a former waste product of the iron
and steel industry, and so on. Potash salts occur as natural mineral deposits.
But to return to the field of pure as distinct from applied science from the
modern technique for the refinement and purification of chemicals, and the methods
based fundamentally on Sachs' technique of water culture, it has been found that
there are other elements essential to plant growth. They are necessary only in
exceedingly minute amounts and are normally present in soils and, unless special
precautions are taken, are present as impurities in ordinary chemicals. They are
hence often referred to as trace elements or minor elements. Copper, zinc, boron,
cobalt, molybdenum, manganese all come into this category and the list is still
growing. Their absence may not only produce profound and undesirable changes
in plant growth but in some cases may have bad effects on the animals that feed on
such deficient plants.
The history of the development of artificial fertilisers is typical of many practices
that today are commonplace. First comes the pure scientist or academic research
worker, interested in a particular problem for itself alone. He may not be concerned
with the possible practical application of his discoveries. This is followed by a phase
in which the knowledge gained is used by others as a basis for research on some
practical problem. When their work is completed, the practical details are made
known to the public, and become embodied in that vast accumulation of skills and
techniques wherewith men seek to control and exploit their natural environment.

The Aboriginal Remains of Trinidad

and the West Indies


This commentary on the pre-European cultures of Trinidandand the neighboring West Indies
was first written for an exhibition organised by the Archaeological Section of the Historical
Society of Trinidad and Tobago. It has now been revised and brought up to date, and we
reprint it with kind permission of the Historical Souiety.-Ed.

THE object of the work being done by the Archaeological Section of the Historical
Society of Trinidad and Tobago is to supplement the very meagre accounts which
have come down to us from the Spanish chroniclers concerning the first inhabitants
of this island. This is being done by excavation of. the many remains which these
early people left behind them, and, although the remains are usually only their rub-
bish heaps, they were also their burial grounds, and are so rich in material that they

will, in time, afford us valuable evidence not only as to the habits of the aborigines
but also concerning their racial and cultural affinities.
There are at least 30 similar sites in Trinidad, in various states of preservation,
already known to the Society, and unquestionably others will be discovered. In fact
nine of the present total have been found as the result of the Society's efforts. In
view of what the Society is able to show as the result of four months excavation on
a small scale on one site only it is obvious that there is a large field of research
waiting. We speak of the one site, because that has been the most extensively
studied by the Society and has afforded the richest rewards in material, both
numerically and in variety of objects, but other sites have been investigated in so
far as our funds would permit and none has failed to enlarge our knowledge. We
have also made comparative study of material in other parts of the West Indies.
When Cristobal Colon discovered the Caribbean islands, he found most, though
not all, inhabited. He was not a great navigator, like Magellan or Drake, though
he does seem to have realized that the world is round. His voyages were entirely
utilitarian. He was seeking a western and-as he believed-a shorter route to India
and possibly the East Indies. The purpose was for trade, especially in sugar and
spices-both luxuries in those days. He never realized that he had not reached his
goal, and neither did the rest of the world for some time. Hence the islands were
named the West Indies, and their inhabitants West Indians. From this arose the
term Red Indian, for almost all the aboriginal inhabitants of the American continent.
These terms are most unfortunate and are a nuisance to archaeologists and anthro-
pologists. The best compromise we have been able to effect is to mass all the
aboriginal inhabitants of the American continent and islands under the term
Amerindians. Actually, these are of many different stocks, though there seems to
be no question that, with the possible exception of the Esquimaux, they were all
derived from Asia in the very distant past. This essay, however, must not attempt
to detail the origin of all the aborigines of America. Actually this has not yet been
done and probably very many years will pass before the problem is solved.
As regards Trinidad, the near mainland, and the West Indian islands, we are
on safer ground. By the method of physical anthropology we know that the
aborigines of Central America, Northern South America and the West Indies were,
for the most part at least, of Mongoloid stock, which is to say that, at some time
or other, their ancestors had migrated from Eastern Asia-by what route we do
not know.
The skeleton of one of these Trinidad aborigines is to be seen in the Museum of
the Royal Victoria Institute, lying flexed in earth matrix with mortuary offerings.
The Spanish discoverers and early colonisers left us very few records concerning
the people they first met in Trinidad, and even those are not always reliable. On the
other hand they have given us much more detail concerning the people they met in
the other islands, particularly in the Greater Antilles. It is mainly from ihesc
records, and from the continuity of a similar early culture, from Trinidad. up
through the Lesser Antilles to Puerto Rico and Hispaniola, that we are able to be
reasonably definite as to the affinities, cultural and racial, of those aborigines who
left the dominant remains in this island. This race was known then, and ic still
known in the Guavanas, as the Arawak. It still exists but not in Trinidad. They
were apparently a short, muscular, but mild and inoffensive people, quite unlike
the restive and warlike Caribs, as are their descendants cn the mainl-nd today

There was a race of earlier "aborigines" (the word is beginning to lose its meaning)
in the Greater Antilles which was termed the Cibonez. These were apparently in a
far lower stage of development than the Arawaks who followed them and were in
an early phase of stone-age culture, having no pottery, and their stone implements
were, for the most part, merely roughly flaked. Whether their people even inhabited
Trinidad is still uncertain, but recent research indicates the probability that they
did so. This is a major problem for future research. The Caribs came after them
and wiped them out of many islands, but apparently never succeeded in doing so
here, though in Tobago they became dominant. In the light of present knowledge
it is doubtful whether true Caribs ever settled in Trinidad, or sought to do so-
unless brought as allies by the Spaniards. We know that that happened in other
islands, but there seems to be scant record of it in Trinidad. However, there is one
direct contemporary Spanish account, which seems reliable and denotes beyond
question that the inhabitants of Trinidad first met by the Spanish explorers were
very different from the warlike Caribs. It is impossible to quote this account in
this short essay. The interested reader is referred to publication No. 556 of the
Historical Society of Trinidad and Tobago, concerning one Juan Bono, a slave
trader in Trinidad in 151o. The account was written by a bishop of San Domingo
(Hispaniola) in 1552, in which island some of the slaves from Trinidad were sold.
It follows that the people of Trinidad, of so-called "Carib" descent are miscalled.

These people lived in small communities, which we may term villages, but
bearing in mind that 50 families or so probably constituted the largest,
while most were almost certainly smaller, for economic reasons connected with food
supply. These villages were of course within the forest and usually had a small
clearance around them devoted to kitchen gardens. The earliest Spanish records
mention such "gardens" They could never have been very large and must have
resembled those seen in the Guayanas by the writer where less than an acre per
family is "cleared" by the community. The "clearing" consists of felling the trees
by fire and allowing them to lie and burn if and when they will. Nothing else is
done, save to plant the crops between the fallen trunks.
The houses were well constructed, roughly circular huts, built, briefly, as
follows strong posts were driven into the earth four or five yards apart. Between
these, canes were lashed with lines. Transverse beams across the tops of the posts
supported poles inclining together to form a high conical roof. These were slatted
with cane and thatched with palm leaves. The huts were rain and draught proof,
earthen floored and each housed a family who slept and usually died in
hammocks. The people seem to have had rudimentary knowledge of hygiene,
for as the Spaniards record and we have been able to confirm their villages
were invariably built in places exposed to the wind, and if possible on high ground.
The Spaniards assert that this was done to avoid mosquitoes and sandflies. The
villages were also usually very near the sea, though a few are known several
miles inland. These latter are invariably on high grond--compared with the
surrounding terrain.
These people had another hygienic habit, which is province invaluable to the
archaeologist. They did not throw their domestic rubbish into the village street,

or just into their own or neighbour's back yard. They had a communal dump
outside the village and this was usually either to leeward of or down slope from
the houses, or both. Into this dump the people threw everything unwanted, from
food remains to broken pots and tools. These communal rubbish dumps are termed
"middens" or "kitchen-middens", from a Danish word denoting exactly the same
type of rubbish heaps found around the shores of Denmark, which were the first of
their kind to be described. It is a curious fact, however, that-exactly as in
Denmark-we often find in the West Indian middens articles not broken (or at
least not contemporaneously so) and which we certainly should not consider
unwanted. This will be discussed later, when we come to deal with the fact that
the middens were not merely rubbish heaps, but were also burial grounds.
Other factors in the living conditions of these people are better mentioned in
the summary of what we have learned about them from their remains, which the
Society has now commenced properly to examine.

Although, as indicated above, the aborigines probably cultivated a few crops,
they were essentially flesh eaters. It is this fact which has led to the discovery of
most of the middens. Their staple diet was shell fish (mollusca), but in addition
they ate fish in abundance, together with reptiles, birds and mammals. The order
of importance seems to be shell fish ; fish ; mammals ; reptiles ; birds.
Of these, shell fish predominate in enormous proportion thousands to one.
There are literally thousands of millions of molluscan shells in most of the middens.
In "rich" middens, such as those of Palo Seco and Erin, we find as many as
8,ooo individual shell fish per cubic foot. In animals like "chip-chip"', this would
of course mean 16,ooo shells. This is not an estimate, but actual count. It is not
therefore surprising, that since shells form such a colossal proportion of the
middens, these are usually discovered by a collection of shells, preponderantly of
only one or two species, in situations where they would not be expected or could
not have been accumulated by natural agencies. In addition to this unusual assem-
blage, the soil matrix in which it is to be seen is most often so dark as to deserve
the term black when at all wet. This is due to a chemical reaction between the
calcium carbonate of the shells and the organic matter in the soil, which cannot
be discussed in a short essay. It is for these reasons that the Society is asking
every reader of this essay to report to its secretary or president any assemblage
of sea shells or black soil, or both, which appears to be unusual in position or
The predominant shells seen in most of the shell middens are either "chip-chip"
or "wacoo"2, but this is not a universal rule, though it does seem to be so in those
middens nearest to the sea. In the inland middens larger shells tend to predominate,
such as oysters, or even conchs.
Even at the same site, however, the dominant shell fish and, still more, the
actual numbers of total shell fish may vary enormously in different portions of
the midden. This may indicate one or both of two things. Either two different
occupations of the same site, with a time interval between, or fluctuations in food
provenance in the same area. At the Palo Seco midden, the author has shown that
the former was the case ; at the Erin midden, the former is certainly possible, but
the writer does not consider it proved. We hope that further excavation will settle

the point. It is not unimportant in regard to the former and even present -
ecology of the coastal fauna of the island. Altogether there are known 26 species
of local shell fish and land snails used for food.
Next in importance among the food remains are the bones of vertebrate animals.
The proportion of these to the shells is extremely small. Nevertheless, the actual
number found is very large and must represent a considerable consumption per
capital, even allowing for the length of time involved in accumulation. We cannot
here detail species, but there are a few factors of interest which should be mentioned.
By far the greatest proportion of vertebrates represented are fishes, including those
of the deep sea. Next in proportion are mammals, which far outnumber reptiles and
birds-which occur in that order. Bird bones are in fact very scarce. These propor-
tions are of great interest and may have many important implications, which,
however, cannot be considered here. They are interesting also in relation to the
pottery figurines found in the middens where the proportions are of the same general
order, but birds and reptiles tend to be reversed, while recognisable fishes are
scarcely ever found.
Perhaps the most important fact which has arisen from our analysis of these
bones is the discovery of a deer, obviously eaten by the aborigines at Erin, which
is not only extinct, but hitherto entirely unknown in Trinidad, even as a fossil.
Such discoveries justify work.
As regards plant foods we are on far less sure ground, for the obvious reason
that no remains of such could possibly survive in the middens. Apart from the
Spanish accounts, our evidence concerning this is, therefore, entirely inferential.
Again, space is too short for detail. Many of the shapes of the pottery vessels found
indicate the use of vegetable food, but they afford only a vague inference. Since
1919, at least, we have been seeking something among the pottery remains which
could give more tangible evidence. At last we have found it. In the Erin midden,
we have found certain sherds sufficiently large and in sufficient quantity to show
that they could have been nothing else but griddles. Their importance will be
seen shortly.
We know enough of the cultivated food plants of Trinidad to be fairly
certain that, with the exception of the two varieties of cassava, none of them is
indigenous. The same applies to the cultivated fruits-not even cacao belongs to
Trinidad. With the exception, therefore, of the not too palatable wild fruits of the
forest, the aboriginal Trinidadian was confined to the cassavas for his vegetable
food. This still applies to the interior parts of Northern South America. In South
Venezuela, the writer has had to live for months on nothing but cassava and sun-
dried flesh. Cassava is of two kinds, the "sweet" and the poisonous. Of these the
poisonous is certainly far the more common, except in specialised cultivation. In
the interior Guayanas it is still the staple food. The reason for this is that
(freed from poison) it affords a nourishing, though tasteless bread, while the
expressed poisonous juice, after fermentation, becomes non-poisonous and affords
a flavouring 'preservative agent to the "pepper-pot" This pepper pot, of which
most Trinidadians have heard, if not tasted, is nothing but the method devised by
the aboriginal South American Indians to conserve the food they have got by
hunting or fishing for future use, since it must so often happen that the bag of the
hunter or the creel of the fisher contains far more than he and his family can use
at once, while at other times both may be empty. The pepper-pot is one of the

world's most ingenious food storage methods and could only have been devised as
it was by a people whose plant food was scarce and animal food erratic. For it are
needed large and deep earthenware vessels. Into these is put all the animal food
of whatever kind, trom chip-chip to monkey, covered with water and brought to
the boil. To this is added pepper (capsicum) and cassareep to taste. Cassarcep is
really the expressed poisonous juice of the cassava, after it has been boiled and
allowed to ferment in the sun, by which process all poison is eliminated. It is
obtained as follows the raw cassava is rubbed on a grater and so converted into
a coarse flour, which is collected in a vessel below. This flour is then placed in a
tube of basket woik, which can be greatly constricted by extending its length.
This is usually done by hanging it to a roof beam while two or more persons sit
on a rod placed through a loop at its lower extremity. The flour remaining in the
basket is non-poisonous. It has, however, one peculiarity. It cannot be made
into loaves. It can only be made eatable by baking on a griddle in thin
"pan-cakes" and this is its entire method of use throughout the Guayanas and
West Indies. Hence we return to the importance of finding such griddles in the
middens. It is probable then, on all counts, that the aborigines did cultivate, but
only cultivated cassava, and of course pepper, for food purposes.
Before we leave the food question, there is one point of more than usual
interest to be mentioned Rickets and dental decay were almost unknown among
the West Indian and American aborigines, so that it is obvious that they must have
had ample supply of the bone-forming vitamin. This strongly suggests that they
ate at least some proportion of their food raw-probably some internal parts of
the fish. It is known, for example, that even lions most frequently eat the liver
of their prey first. That this immunity among the Amerindians is not a matter of
heredity was proved to the writer, when he lived in an Indian reservation in
British Guayana, in which scarcely an Indian had two sound teeth. They were
eating "modern" food.

"Chip-chip" is Donax (usually striatus).
"Wacoo" is Trigona Sp.
[To be runrludedt in (ur next iHsue]

Social Science Research

Director, Social and Economic Research Institute,
University College of the West Indies

the range of studies appropriate to the Colonial Universities, states that history,
geography, and the social sciences had special appropriateness in colonial regions,
as forming an essential background to much of the work that the students would
be undertaking in after life, and an essential part of the educational framework
(Cmd. 6647, pages 16 and 17). The Commission, however, pointed out that much

research and publication would still be necessary before adequate literature on local
aspects of history, geography, and social science would be available for under-
graduate training. 'They therefore regarded as most important the establishment of
an institution mainly devoted to research in these fields, linked with a university
in which there was no inappropriate distinction between teachers and research
workers but sufficiently staffed to ensure that the proper claim of teaching would
not impede investigation.
The West Indies Committee of the Commission (Ref. Cmd. 6654, para. 136-8)
emphasised the importance of research in the social sciences, stating their belief that
"the West Indies provide abundant opportunity for economic historical and socio-
logical research in the widest sense. The territories show great variety in their
political and racial situations and histories, while they sometimes present the same
general problems with interesting local differences" They found it "difficult to
resist the temptation to enlarge upon the intellectual adventures that are waiting in
this field"
Following on the recommendations of the Higher Education Commission and its
committee, plans were worked out by the Colonial Social Science Research Council
and the result is that the Institute of Social and Economic Research of the West
Indies University College has been brought into being. The British Government
has agreed to finance, by a grant for five years in the first instance, the establishment
of the Institute as an integral part of the University College of the West Indies.
A quite considerable sum is involved and the Caribbean has cause to be appreciative,
but it is probable that the form of appreciation most acceptable to the United
Kingdom Government is that the grant proves in time to be an investment. If the
Institute by its endeavours contributes to the social and economic betterment of the
community, a contribution will be made to the achievement of a higher standard of
life. Raised standards in one group of territories in particular cannot but affect the
standards in the Commonwealth in general. Such inter-relationships give to social
and economic research, with the possible effects on education and planning, its
The function of the Institute, primarily, is to endeavour by its efforts to
integrate research in the social sciences in the Caribbean. To perform this service
effectively, the Institute has to beware of planning its programme in an ivory
tower, and it would be unfortunate if the programme adopted did not attempt to
make a realistic blending of academic considerations with the practicalities of the
problems pressing for answer in the Caribbean.
While the headquarters of the Research Institute will be with the University
College in Jamaica, where we hope the building will be erected shortly, the staff
will be decentralised. We intend that research activities in different projects will
be undertaken in as many of the colonies as funds and such considerations will
permit, and we hope that work will at all times be planned with the counsel of the
Governments of the several colonies. The Institute will undertake ad hoc investiga-
tions into certain day to day problems. But unlike a Government economics
department, which has constantly to search for answers to topical problems, the
Institute must undertake long range and fundamental research if it is to make a
full contribution to the reputation and standing of the University. A proper balance
between these two types of research will be based on certain general directions, and
will call for nice decisions.

Ihe recently published advertisements for Research Fellows and Research Assis
tants invited applications from persons with good honours qualifications in
economics, sociology or other allied social science and with some experience in
research. those who are appointed to these posts will storm the nucleus or central
core of the Institute's research staft. In addition to this central group of workers.
the Institute hopes to have a broadening and deepening influence on research in the
area by enlisting the collaboration of those workers in Government services and
other in titutions in the Caribbean who aie already occupied in the social sciences.
We hope also to secure collaboration from research workers financed from indepen-
dent sources, and thus to overcome some ol the dilliculties created by the dollar
shortage and to secure the association of United States workers in the Institute's
programme, whose contribution to our work will be very desirable.
the Institute may be said to have been brought into existence formally in
September, 1948, and I was appointed director in the middle of that month, and
was asked to proceed at once to the United Kingdom for consultations with the
Colonial Social Science Research Council, one of those anonymous organizations
performing constructively a volume of work that is recognized by few apart from
those who know the inner workings. My visit 'became as effectively useful to me
as it did mainly through the attitude of members of this Council. Discussions took
place with representatives at the Colonial Office, the Economic Research Committee,
with workers in the social sciences at London University and in several other
research organizations. From London 1 went on a tour of research institutions which
included universities at Cambridge, Oxford, Manchester, Liverpool, St. Andrews,
Edinburgh and 1 took the opportunity to become acquainted with the work in
Birmingham. I also visited the Indisch Instituut in Holland to see something of
the research organizations set up by the Netherlands Government to deal with social
problems in overseas territories.
The Colonial Office agreed that I should return to Jamaica via Canada and
the United States. The mission was undertaken, because the contribution of the
new Institute will be conditioned largely by the relationships which can be estab-
lished with workers and administrators in the older organizations on both sides of
the Atlantic. As before, my assignment was to visit universities and foundations
likely to be interested in research, to learn from them by discussion, and also to
make the point that the University College of the West Indies would be able to offer
to organizations abroad, with an interest in research, facilities for collaboration
which did not exist before.
In Canada, McGill University was my headquarters. In the New York area
the Carnegie Corporation kindly placed a room at my disposal where meetings and
introductions could be arranged. Apart from foundations and similar organizations,
I went to the Universities of Columbia, Harvard, and Cornell. In Washington, the
Colonial Attach6 at the British Embassy arranged, among other things, a group
discussion with officers from the State Department concerned in research. While
there I visited Howard University. From Washington, I went to Chicago and
Evanston, where I met some of that well-known group of workers at the University
of Chicago and at Northwestern University. From Chicago I went South, stopping
off at Baton Rouge and meeting persons from Louisiana State University and from
Southern University. From New Orleans, I left for Jamaica in January and arrived
in time to report to the Principal and the Council just before its deliberations ended.

Ihis progress report of the relatively short life of the Research Institute has
included little reference to definite lines of study. Relatively full and comprehensive
lists of problems which should receive priority for investigation have been drawn
up by individuals and organizations in the Caribbean, one of the best known
enumerations being that made at the second session of the West Indian Conference
held in St. Thomas in 1946. It may, therefore, 'be well for me to conclude with an
extract from a broadcast which I made shortly after returning to Jamaica. "It may
be said that the chief purpose of the Institute is to undertake studies which can in
general be of service in relation to the area's social and economic problems and
which can, in particular, help to provide literature 'adequate in quantity and amount
for undergraduate training' Let me be a little more specific in regard to types of
projects which may perhaps be considered to have a priority for our attention.
Recently when in England this kind of thing was suggested to me. It was said
You in the Caribbean have a population increasing, increasing as it is especially in
many comparable areas of the world. You have had, recently, dramatic control of
malaria by the use of insecticides on the vector mosquito. Surely the control of
malaria by the use of these insecticides must be significant. In the past malaria
infected your children, your children became unhealthy and a relatively large
number died. Malaria infected your mothers and therefore the mothers gave birth
to perhaps not quite so healthy children. Now if you put a check on malaria, there
may well be a bearing on your population growth. What will be the implications
of such potential increase of your population ? It is a matter for study by your
medical men but it is also a matter for study by the sociologist and by the economist.
This is the kind of problem that affects us and which teams of workers with differing
approaches and backgrounds can tackle and in which the Research Institute can
play a part.
Population is one of our urgent problems in the Caribbean. The population,
in most units, is pressing on the land. What can we do about it ? One of the
things which we can suggest is that some of our people migrate, and here we shall
not tackle the difficult question of destination of our emigrants. Puerto Rico has
had some experience with the migration of its population. Some of its emigrants
have gone to the United States, and the Governor of the island in a recent address
pointed out that although migration had occurred, and though it was a very
desirable thing in itself, the lines along which migration had taken place were in
many ways most undesirable from the point of view of the Puerto Rican and his
relationship with his new surroundings. The emigrants had gone to the United
States, found themselves massed and crowded together under circumstances in
which the community effect on themselves and on the people among whom they
now lived was not good. Similar problems are of concern to other parts of the
West Indies. For instance Jamaica, Barbados are on the look-out for migration
opportunities the lines along which it should take place is a matter for study.
Let us agree, therefore, that one course open is migration. If that can be secured,
it is good. As a complementary aid we have to consider secondary industries.
These provide another means of absorbing some of our excess population. How
will more industries come into being in the Caribbean How will they be
established ? What planning will we do for them ? Clearly your research worker
in the social sciences-who has given study to the history mnd evolution of the
growth of industries, to the factors found to encourage and the factors found to

obstruct their expansion-joining forces with those other people like the engineer
and the chemist who are already giving thought to the subject, can, and I believe
will, make a contribution to our life in the community"

Extra Mural Activities


The Department of Extra Mural Studies is in its infancy. Only in Jamaica has any substantial
development taken place so far, and for that reason, Mrs. Cumper's account of the past
year's work there is given prominence. For the rest, the Resident Tutors' notes show that
something is beginning to stir elsewhere.-Ed.

IT is stimulating to be doing educational
work in Jamaica in these days, particularly
when it is of the type of adult education
which is undertaken by the Extra Mural
Department of the University College of the
West Indies. To work daily with groups of
adults who come together voluntarily to
find out about things which interest them
is to get caught up in an unexpectedly
strong wave of enthusiasm for knowledge,
an enthusiasm which does not need the
stimulus of diplomas and certificates. Many
things account for this widespread spirit
of enquiry. Over the past 12 years, labour
disputes, riots, the focus of attention on
the unhealthy state of the country, political
ambitions, and lastly, the establishment of
the University College of the West Indies
in our midst, have all had their effect.
The first indication of the strength of
this enthusiasm came with the experimental
classes organised in September, 1917, by
Mr. P. M. Sherlock, Director of Extra
Mural Studies in the University College of
the West Indies. Classes were set up in
three areas of Jamaica Kingston, Spanish
Town and Port Antonio. In each of these,
interest in adult education had already led
groups of people to organise lectures and
other educational activities. Response to the
invitation to join the classes was imme-
diate, and in some cases overwhelming.
A Psychology Class in Kingston enrolled
300 students, a Spanish class over ioo.
The success of these classes awakened

interest on all sides in this new educational
venture. By the middle of August, 1948;
requests were coming in from all over
the island, from interested societies and
individuals, who wished to share in the
programme of work which was to begin in
September. The Y W.C.A. the Jamaica
Agricultural Society, branches of the
Jamaica Union of Teachers and of the
Co-operative Society, schools and welfare
organizations were among those who asked
for classes to be formed or offered accom-
modation for them. Classes were arranged
with these groups and members of the
public were invited to attend.
Throughout the organisation of the work,
stress has been laid on the community
nature of the undertaking. All literate per-
sons who are interested are invited to join
the classes, and the class, when formed,
is encouraged to look after its local organi-
sation and publicity, and to take some
responsibility for helping to keep interest
alive. In a few areas, like Montego Bay,
an active, helpful group of people have
taken on responsibility in these directions,
and have immeasurably helped to lessen the
organisational work of the department In
other areas response to this side of the work
is slower in coming, especially where a
community feeling is noticeably lacking.
Continued encouragement, how-sver, may
result in the discovery of sonm energetic
leaders. Some of the apathy which held
Jamaica in its grip for so long is manifested
still in the reluctance of many able per-

sons to undertake this kind of active
Twenty-six classes were started in
September, 1948: 17 in Kingston and
St. Andrew, and nine in other parts of the
country. Most of the teaching work was
done by class tutors, generally secondary
school teachers and civil servants, who
were aware of the demand, recognized the
need for instruction, and were willing to
give their services in return for inadequate
compensation, or sometimes freely.
As indicated above, the subjects for study
were discussed with groups. The most
popular subjects were Spanish, Caribbean
History, Economics and Psychology. The
shift from a preoccupation with Britain
and Europe in general, which for long filled
the horizon of most of the middle classes,
to an interest in and awareness of the
West Indies as an entity with a separate
existence and destiny, was most marked in
the discussions which always prefaced the
choice of subject. The war had helped
businessmen and holiday makers to realise
that we have near and influential neigh-
bours in the Spanish-speaking countries
around us, and they were anxious to be
able to make full use of the amenities
they offered. That the future of Jamaica
was involved in the future of the Caribbean
was generally assumed, and many agreed
that we had failed to learn of or recognize
our opportunities in the past largely
because local education had failed to
acquaint Jamaicans sufficiently with their
environment, and because there was no
channel through which accurate unbiased
information on a variety of subjects of
interest could be made widely known.
The interest in Economics is readily
understood when it is realized that the
imminent bankruptcy of the country is a
daily topic in the newspapers, and the
rising cost of living coupled with a grave
problem of unemployment causes general
The current interest in Psychology is
very strong but only two classes in this
subject were begun. The difficulties of
teaching it were complicated by the lack
of really relevant books and information.
Biology was included in the list of sub-
jects on our programme. A special demand
for this subject arose from those elementary
school teachers who are now required to
teach the subject but have themselves
never been adequately taught it. We plan

to overcome the difficulty created by the
lack of equipment by supplementing extra
mural classes with summer schools at the
University College.
Jamaica is still primarily an agricultural
country, oppressed by a land settlement
scheme which is costly and inefficient, and
beset by problems of soil erosion, irrigation
and plant disease. Ignorance is the greatest
enemy to progress, and much useful educa-
tional work on the practical problems of
farming has been done by the Jamaica
Agricultural Society. But this alone is not
sufficient: a major change in approach is
necessary if disaster is to be avoided, and
for this there must be in existence a body
of public opinion, well-informed of the
problems and possibilities of agriculture,
and able to see them in the framework
of the whole life of the island. It was with
this in mind that a course in Agricultural
Economics was arranged with the Jamaica
Association of Professional Agriculturists.
It attracted great attention in a semi-
agricultural suburb of Kingston, and many
requests for a similar course have been
received from various parts of the island.
This seems to be a subject to the study of
which we could make a valuable contribu-
tion by collecting, printing and distributing
study material.
The collection of material is one of the
most important parts of our work at
present. If our teaching is to have point,
it must relate to the knowledge and
experience of the students, and they must
be helped to obtain relevant, accurate and
unbiased information. In the study of the
social sciences we have found that books
written in and for the American or
European environment have proved useful,
but not really valuable. It will be neces-
sary to obtain and make available accurate
and relevant information to supplement
these texts until some really suitable books
can be obtained. Material to fill this need
is already in course of preparation, and the
first pamphlet will soon be off the press.
This objective approach to information
seems to me the most valuable contribution
to adult education which can be made
through the Extra Mural Department of a
University. Therefore much emphasis has
been placed on the training of tutors, as
few have had experience of teaching
adults, and we must be sure that a high
standard of objectivity in teaching is main-
tained. Also, with this end in view we had

hoped to organise the classes as tutorials
with the emphasis on class participation
and discussion, but in many cases too
many students enrolled to make this a
feasible way of dealing with the class.
The 26 classes attracted a total registra-
tion of about 1,200- persons from many
walks of life and age groups. These figures
by no means indicate the surprising extent
of the demand reaching us from all sections
of the community. Perhaps some of the
manifest enthusiasm is due to novelty. At
all events, we are restricted by the number
of capable tutors available. A further year
will enable us to improve the supply of
tutors and test the seriousness of this
Resident Tutor, Jamaica

Mr. B. H. Easter, formerly Director of
Education in Jamaica, writes that he
arrived in Castries, St. Lucia, two days
before Christmas, 1948, to take up work as
Resident Tutor for the Windward Islands,
just 25 years after the first time he landed
in the island. St. Lucia is to be his pro-
visional headquarters, with Dominica lying
to the North, and St. Vincent, Grenada,
and the Grenadines to the South. Com-
munications are difficult, but will improve
when the projected air services come
into operation. Amongst other difficulties,
Castries was almost entirely destroyed by
fire last year, and the whole Carnegie
Library lost. The department has so far
succeeded in collecting a nucleus library of
its own, of 400 books.
A provisional advisory committee was
set up, and on 22nd February an
enthusiastic meeting was held, with the
Administrator in the chair, at which the
work of the Extra Mural Department was
fully explained.
It has been decided to begin with some
short introductory courses during the first
session-April to July. Ten courses have
been offered and students have already
begun to enrol. The subjects include-
English (spoken and written), English and
French drama, social history, economics,
art, musical appreciation, building con-
struction, current affairs and government.
The Resident Tutor was able to spend a

week in St. Vincent in January, travelling
by schooner with an inter-island football
team. He contacted possible members of
an advisory committee, potential tutors
and students, held a meeting at the Public
Library at which the acting Administrator
presided. In March he plans to spend a
week or so in Grenada where a training
course for tutors has already been held
and where a good deal of interest has been
shown. He is to go to Dominica as soon
as the Administrator has returned from
England. Professor Peers, Director of Adult
Education at Nottingham University is to
pay short visits to Grenada and St. Lucia
in March.
Mr. Easter writes that while, in the West
Indies, initial enthusiasm is no sure guide
to a sustained interest, the keenness so far
manifest gives reasonable assurance of
worthwhile work being done in the Wind-
ward Islands.

Mr. F. W. Case set up his office in
St. John's, Antigua, on ist January this
year, and has been concentrating his
attention on that island to date. Four
experimental courses have been arranged,
two in choral music, one in economics, and
one in psychology, and a special two-week
training course for tutors was held at the
end of January. This course met in the
evenings, and consisted of discussions intro-
duced by the Resident Tutor on the
problems of adult education, practice talks
by each of the members of the course in
turn, and two "specialist" talks, one on
"Visual Aids" and one on "Libraries and
other facilities" The courses ended with
an Open Forum, at which its value was
discussed by all who had taken part.
Writing about this course, the Resident
Tutor speaks highly of the enthusiasm of
the potential tutors present, but draws
attention to their apparent unwillingness
to make effective criticisms of one another's
The Resident Tutor insisted very
strongly that tutors conducting classes in
the name of the University College should
endeavour to approach their subject with
as little bias and as much objectivity as
possible, and that they should preserve a
high degree of moral and intellectual
integrity throughout.

Mr. Case also reports that the "official"
members of his Advisory Committee have
already met.

No appointment has yet been announced
for Barbados. However, a course for tutors
was run by Mrs. Barber there during the
summer, and a considerable number of
people are eagerly awaiting the arrival of
a Resident Tutor.
A Resident Tutor with many years
experience of adult education has been
seconded from service with the Cambridge
University Board of Extra Mural Studies
for a period of one year. He is
Mr. Douglas Smith, graduate of Emmanuel
College Cambridge, and holds an Honours
Degree in History and English. He is
expected in Barbados shortly.

Shortly after the arrival of the Resident
Tutor in mid-February the University
College and the British Council in concert
sent out Professor Peers, O.B.E., to conduct
a week of publicity for the Extra Mural
Department. There was little enough time
for preparation but nevertheless much
interest friendly and otherwise was
aroused. A full programme included a
public lecture on adult education, a radio
talk on the work of the University College,
a talk on books in the Belize Library and
a specimen Extra Mural Class. A con-
siderable number of personal contacts were
also made, the influence of which may not
be apparent for some time.
As yet the work is confined to Belize
lack of roads and other transport facilities
puts difficulties in the way of further expan-
sion. But there is a strong possibility that
scope will present itself for occasional pro-
jects in the districts in a few months' time.
Classes in Belize are to begin very soon
(nearly too applications have been received)
and it seems that English language will be
most popular. An art exhibition has been
held in the library and others are pro-
jected ; the Resident Tutor is writing book

reviews for the local press, and intends to
assist the Director of Education with a
teachers' summer school later in the year.
Relations with the Education Department
are cordial and it is anticipated that this
association will prove fruitful for the future
of adult education in the Colony.

Dr. J. A. Waites arrived in British Guiana
at the end of November, 1948, and has
been much handicapped by sickness since
then. He has already broadcast on the
work of the University there, and arranged
two public lectures, one by Dr. J. A. Venn,
Principal of Queen's College, Cambridge,
on "Economics and Science in Agricul-
ture" and one by Mr. Richard Sudell,
member of the Sugar Commission and a
Sub-Editor of the Daily Herald, on "Modern
Journalism" Arrangements are being made
for a short training course for Class Tutors
here in June or July, to be taken by
Mrs. R. V Coleman, staff tutor from
Oxford University Extra Mural Delegacy.

Mr. A. C. Pearse arrived in Trinidad just
before Christmas, 1918. After spending
several weeks in Port-of-Spain, San Fer-
nando and Tobago, he set up office in
his house at St. Joseph. tHe has been
spending much of his time reporting on
the progress of the University College to
interested groups, and explaining the facili-
ties which the Extra Mural Department
proposes to ofer. A training course for
tutors was held in Port-of-Spain last
August by Mrs. Barbara Barber, and
Mr. Pearse has arranged further courses
to be held in April and May in Tobago and
San Fernando. HIe has also given a series
of three broadcast talks over Radio
Trinidad on the "University College and
the Extra Mural Department" Between
now and September a number of experi-
mental classes are to be held. The
interest shown in the University College
hi. been very remarkable, and the press
lOust helpful.


We West Indians, facing the task of
building a nation, must now set about
excavating, sifting, refining, taking stock,
developing and expanding our cultural
heritage. Beryl McBurnie and her Little
Carib dance group are already doing
this. The Little Carib is an unpretentious
building squeezed into a backyard in
suburban Port-of-Spain. It has a stage
wedge-wise in one corner and seating
accommodation, when there are seats, for
about 250 persons. The Little Carib is
Beryl McBurnie's concrete expression of her
belief in an indigenous West Indian culture.
Trinidad had nearly 50 cinemas but no
theatre miscellaneous meeting halls for
periodical art shows, exhibitions, concerts,
etc. but no cultural institute-apart from
the headquarters of the British Council.
To meet a cultural need and to present the
dance and its attendant music based on
West Indian and Latin American traditions
and folklore, which she has made the sub-
jects of special study. Beryl McBurnie, with
the help of a few well wishers and with
great enthusiasm and perseverance on her
own part, built the Little Carib.
I still have a vivid -impression of the
first dance recital "A Trip through the
Tropics" Beryl McBurnie presented in
Port-of-Spain in 190o soon after her return
from the Unit d States where she had
already earned a name for herself as a
dancer. The programme was a composite
one ranging from classical items such as
an abstract fantasy to music by Wagner,
Beethoven, Bach, and Mendelssohn through
"Impressions of New York" to creative
dances of the West Indies featuring a
shango, Cubap conga, Haitian drama,

Brazilian bambu bambu and island fancies
of Dominica, Martinique and Guadeloupe.
The dancers, who were all amateurs except
Beryl McBurnie, were not completely at
home in some of the classical numbers,
..g., the "Potter's Dream" to Tchaikovski's
Andante Cantabile in semi-ballet style, but
the other items were danced with an ease,
spontaneity and freshness which amply
reflected the artistry and creativeness of
Beryl McBurnie and the colour and atmos-
phere of the West Indian scene. Watching
the simple patterning and now elemental,
now delicate limb movements in some of
the dances to swaying and pulsating
Afro-Latin American rhythms one felt
that here was someone who had succeeded
in clothing the West Indian scene in an
art form in keeping with the spirit of the
place, and the result was both pleasing and
hopeful for the future.
One item, "From Minuet to Swing",
summarised Beryl McBurnie's sense of
history and consciousness of cultural tra-
ditions, features of her work which
were to be reflected in later recitals.
Miss McBurnie went to the United States
soon afterwards to pursue further training
at Colombia University and studied under
Martha Graham and Elsa Findlay. Then
in 1946 in a search for fresh material she
visited Brazil, British Guiana, Cayenne and
Surinam and filled a sketch book with
dance forms, costumes, songs, folk tales,
music, &c., of those regions. The Little
Carib became an idea. During the carnival
of that year a show was presented in the
barest of structures on the present site and
in November, 1948, the Little Carib was
formally opened by Paul Robeson, who
was in Trinidad at the time, with
"Talking Drums". Introducing the pro-

gramme with a lecture on the influences
of Trinidad's various cultural strains on
rhythm and typical West Indian move-
ments and highlighting certain items with
an accompanying "voice" one enjoyed the
haunting Brazilian "Terra Seca", delightful
market scene "Ah Passin", witty aged
East Indian's dream of young love
"Massala" Paul Robeson was impressed
and the audience was enthusiastic. For the
1949 carnival "Jour Ouvert" the audience
was introduced to dances based on scenes
from carnival in Spain, New Orleans,
Martinique, Brazil, Cuba and Trinidad's
own steel band.
I have said that the audiences of the
Little Carib have been enthusiastic. This
is true. It has many well-wishers. Others
have described the Little Carib as an
accomplishment ; as a symbol of self
discovery and of the creative ferment
stirring among West Indians; as a
movement in the direction of a truly indi-
genous West Indian culture. I hope it is
all these things. Much of its future,
however, will depend on the growth of a
West Indian culture generally in art forms,
and on the support of a public, consciously
fostering such a culture.-E.M.

CARIBBEAN By Paul Blanshard.
(The Macmillan Company, New York,
Occasional errors of fact in the most
authoritative of books are to be readily
forgiven. Errors of judgment, hasty con-
clusions from selected premises, arguments
from the particular to the general; these
make harder calls upon our charity.
Thus, in Paul Blanshard's Democracy
and Empire in the Caribbean, we can
brush aside the geographical slip that places
Georgetown in Grenada (p. 157), or the
historical inaccuracy that gives Barbados
to the French in some dim and mythical
past (p. 245). But the over-simplification
of the colonial problem into a question of
racial discrimination and wicked imperial
exploitation is an error of judgment. The
refusal to acknowledge the aspects of
paternalism, however few, in any but
American overlordship is to ignore patent
economic factors which might upset pre-

conceived conclusions. The rapid proofs of
sweeping theorems from slender data are
illogical and always suspicious.
Mr. Blanshard is particularly unfortunate
in the opening sentence of his first chapter.
"There is some irony" he writes, "in the
fact that the United States sent millions
of troops to distant parts of the world
to fight for freedom in two wars while
nearly 6,000oooo000 people were living in
America's Caribbean backyard without self-
government" There is even greater irony,
(he reader will immediately reflect, that
there should have been equally politically
repressed millions camping uncomfortably
on America's front porch-the one with the
Southern exposure.
Mr. Blanshard's greatest error lies in
his presentation of the Caribbean problem
almost entirely as a clash of colours.
Undoubtedly, colour prejudice is an evil
from which these islands regrettably suffer.
But it is not the root of all evil, although
there are many of my friends who will see
it his way. I tell him, as I am forever
telling them, this contention stems from
argument from secondary rather than from
primary causes. It results in a form of
inverse colour-blindness.
At the time of the emancipation, practi-
cally all the land of the West Indies was in
the hands of the whites. This remains the
case, for land is, perhaps, the most difficult
form of wealth to redistribute. It is not
surprising that the white and rich, white
and landlord, white and oppressor, became
synonymous. Conversely, black and poor,
black and labourer, black and uneducated,
became interchangeable in the minds of
ignorant whites.
This, then, is a primary cause of dis-
content in these islands: that there has
been insufficient opportunity for the emanci-
pated slaves or their descendants to become
land owners. There has been no real land
resettlement in practically any of the
British territories. Economic equality
achieved, colour differentiations quickly
disappear, giving way to the more accep-
table social distinctions of economic status,
education and culture. My guinea pig in
this connection is Grenada, which, of all
islands, seems to have evolved best.
Even worse, of course, is the fact that
so much of the land is not owned in the
West Indies at all. This has meant that
the handsome profits of the good years
have gone into the pockets of English

shareholders, to be invested elsewhere and
to be forever outside the reach of Caribbean
income taxes and death duties. And, in
the lean times, none of these profits are
ploughed back in to buffer the shock,
which is met by a policy of expenditure
cuts and labour lay-offs. This, I think,
more than anything else, explains the
reasonably stable economy of potentially
poor Barbados, with its less than five per
cent. absentee ownership, as against the
unbelievably pauperised condition of islands
like St. Kitts, where all the sugar profits
go to shareholders in England.
Mr. Blanshard would have served us
better had he included in his Propositions
one recommending that the example of the
Land Authority in Puerto Rico be followed
elsewhere. Such a concrete proposal would
commend itself far more readily to patriotic
West Indians than do the nine platitudinous
generalities with which he ends his book,
and to one of which, at least, a far better
man than I has given the answer. His
Proposition Six states: "The Caribbean
Colonies and all colonies should be in-
cluded within the scope of the Trusteeship
Council of the United Nations, and this
Council should have complete power to
investigate thoroughly and to report upon
all aspects of colonial administration" For
reply refer: Grantley Adams.
In conclusion, West Indians will fully
endorse his closing "conditional prophecy-
The Caribbean peoples will remain loyal to
'the Western democracies" and reply to
his "unequivocal special pleading- the
Western democracies must be worthy of
their allegiance" that these metropolitan
powers have not done as badly as he
seeks to make out.-E.L.C.

NEWV DAY, A Novel of Jamaica. By
V S. Reid. (Knopf, New York, $3.oo).
Reading Vic Reid's novel for the first time
was a memorable experience. The past,
our past, came to life and the dead
hundreds were beside me on my face
the breath of those who have passed;
and my eyes made fours with the eyes of
those men and women who yesterday were
warm flesh and blood.
Through the evening darkness came the
voices of the singing folk, of the folk

singing "Onward Christian Soldiers" It
was 1944 and the new constitution would
bring in a new day. But tonight, old
John Campbell listens and the years melt
away and these are Deacon Bogle's men
singing "Break down the walls o' Jericho"
So with the boy John Campbell we live
through the Morant Bay rising of 1865
know Davie and Naomie and the father
John Campbell as if we had been with
them in the flesh ; see Lucille Dubois and
Custos at the door of the parish church
hear Pastor Humphrey preach in the
crowded church while Bogle's men at the
window groan their disapproval. These
things I lived through. I was a part of the
mob which faced the custos, and heard the
cowhorns talk of wartime and the hunt.
"Lived through" those are the right
words, for Victor Reid has brought the
past to life and made us brethren with
John Campbell and the others. These
people are alive, full of the hopes and
frustrations that we know, people whose
courage helped to make the new day.
Their story is told with conviction and
compelling power.
And Victor Reid has done more, much
more. The Morant Bay rising was a local
incident. It has meaning for us who belong
to the West Indies, but it remains local,
small in scale, limited in scope. The story
of this rising might easily have been
limited in appeal and parochial in spirit.
Not so with New Day. This local incident
has universal validity and meaning, because
the forces that meet in conflict are universal
forces, and because the qualities revealed
in that conflict are not those of a class or
of a race but of humanity.
Yet there is no sacrifice of the local or
individual. These peasant people seeking
justice are at one and the same time typical
people of their parish and representative of
man's age-long protest against oppression.
The landscape is that of Jamaica. At the
very beginning of the story the scents that
come to us are those of the shrubs on the
mountains: "cerosee, mint, mountain jas-
mine, ma raqui, there are peahba and sweet
cedars" There are the occupations of daily
life, the making of starch from the cassava,
and a boy eating number eleven mangoes in
the way they should be eaten. Description
and narrative run together, and the writer
finds his imagery in the sights and sounds
of the Jamaican landscape: the singing
"all around me", beating up under my

nostrils, a-push against my breast, like the
morning swell in Morant Bay and white
water foaming "round my ears" And
there is Deacon Bogie, "a John Crow
a-hover over Cuna Cuna Pass" and
Pastor Humphrey's long neck shooting out
and then drawing back into his cassock
'like iguana in stonehole" The book
abounds in these quick vivid pictures, in
rich imagery, and in the treatment of the
tropical landscape with a natural, loving
and effective particularity.
But how are these country folk to be
presented so that they will be natural and
yet intelligible to those who do -not know
their dialect ? Here was a technical prob-
lem of the first importance. Davie, John,
Tamah, and the others would seem stiff
and unreal were they to speak standard
English; yet if they spoke Jamaican how
few would understand I Victor Reid has
found a solution which may have been
inspired by books like How Green was My
Valley but which is none the less original,
and which is in itself a magnificent achieve-
ment. He has created a form of speech
which is natural to the characters, which
is easily understood, and which has extra-
ordinary beauty. Reid has actually created
a form of language which enables him to
rise naturally above the limitations of
Throughout the book the level of writing
is high. Words and phrases are used with
economy and precision, and there are moving
and memorable passages like that of the
Bullhorn, or the description of the shells
blowing: "Hear the shells how they blow !
First a-moan with sadness and loneliness,
of earth heavy with sorrow then there
is the swift ascension and no longer near
the earth but is leaping tree-top to tree-
top, a-leap to the wild stones high on one
another, and your head is twisting all
about, sending your eyes up after the sound
of it
This imagery, this way of writing, is born
of intense feeling. The author writes with
emotion, but not in agitation. The imagery
is that of one who sees and loves the
countryside the characters take part in
a struggle which moves his imagination.
The rhythm and lyrical quality of the
language are natural because they spring
from emotion and through them we are
moved and our own imagination stirred.
The feeling which moves Victor Reid is
love of country. He sees the past with its

bitterness and courage, as in Davie's speech
before the Commissioners, "Man was no
built for slavery, Your Honours. In him
are the image and Likeness, and it is no'
of the skin. Inside of him there is the
dignity of God and the words of
Garth are full of this message too. This
feeling of a new day lifts the last third of
the book above the level of the merely
topical. Garth, Fernandes, are political
figures. Garfield the reactionary planter is
in conflict with unionism. The riots of
1938 are described. But the political
leaders of today and the contemporary
events are shown against the background
of a country slowly finding itself ; slowly
leaving behind it the darkness of 1865 for
the New Day.
And this led me to meditation on this
question. Have subject peoples ever
created anything artistic except by way
of protest or of escape ? This book itself
may have been the result of creative forces
generated by a new feeling of dignity and
of responsibility instead of frustration
satisfaction ; instead of deep-buried resent-
ments an open assumption of responsibility
and a frank acceptance of the past as a
preparation for the tasks of the present.
So, to those who want an exciting and
well-told story I commend New Day I
Those who wish to understand the West
Indies and West Indians can do no better
than turn to Victor Reid's fine novel,
New Day. Those who, like myself, are West
Indians and who believe in the New Day
will find in this novel beauty and inspira-
tion. Thank you, Victor Reid.-P.M.S.

FOCUS (1948-Edited by Edna Manley,
Poetry with its swell and stab and thunder
is for me the most sensitive indicator of a
person's and a community's development
and while reading the 1948 Focus poetry
collection. I pulled Focus I down from the
shelves to see what the intervening five
years had meant to the writers whose work
appears in both issues.
It occurred to me that there had been
both a quickening and a strengthening, and
although it defies the metaphor I would

even call it a mellowing of poetic tensions
in M. G. Smith and George Campbell, and
in Sherlock, Carberry, and Ingram. One
has to recognize the fact that Edna Manley
was assisted by a selection committee in her
editing of Focus II and that their influence,
together with the island's political advance,
might easily result in a bias towards more
direct expression of community restlessness
and a more vigorous statement of aims.
But bearing in mind that mysterious dia-
lectic that exists between poets and their
societies, I would venture the opinion that
Jamaica bears her poets along on the crest
of her advancing wave and that they speak
words for her people which tomorrow they
will find lodged in their hearts.
M. G. Smith takes pride of place in this
1948 collection and he is much more urgent
now. In the '43 issue he was a priest,
celebrant of the quiet and the set apart in
nature and life, and he found a vocabulary
that expressed peaceful trees and "deep
longing for peace in the green hills" ; the
wind breathed a mellow oboe in his ear
and the sea's half-breath, half-moan swept
in fugues through his being. But here in
1948, music is "fuller than the sea is
full" and whereas once the wind was a
flute in the lime trees, water rushes through
the land and the tameless horse appears as
a symbol. In "Jamaica" "This Land"
and "Home" M. G. Smith sees the hills
flaming upward and one can easily strike
off line after line that express urgency and
gathered vitality. In the short-line poems.
the sculpture is bare and almost like cactus
on the landscape and in "Brother what are
you building" the social criticism is mature.
George Campbell's book First Poems,
which reprinted many of his r943 Focus
contributions, established him as one of the
most important poets in the Caribbean,
and curiously I turned to the five poems
against his name in this Focus II to see if
living in New York had affected him in any
way. Of course, five poems are not an
adequate base for judging trend. but was
it my imagination or was he achieving
effects with a sense of form not fully
apparent before ? The poem, "The Sun",
is not as lyrical as his 1943 "Litany" and
in the poem beginning "0 Heart wert love,
were love all, love's heart" Campbell
wears the habit of the metaphysical poet.
Donne himself might have written the
words "lovers are passionate jailers of their
own hearts in a strange world" and des-

cribed love as "refugee of the ages and
peripatetic in a boundless kingdom" The
poem to Odilla is itself a tortured flute
pipe for the woman the spirit has placed
out of reach.
But I want to lay my bouquet of tribute
before Campbell's fine, elegiac "Worker"
which called Markham to mind and puts
the seal of creative achievement on the
labour movements in the Caribbean. A
poem of the quality of "Worker" emerges
like a crown over the Caribbean Labour
Congress (as simply as leaves put out from
a tree), only because the complex of
thought and tradition in a community that
we call its culture is now expressing itself
on all levels.
"He wears the silken day, the veils
of night
His hands that hungered at your
heart a time
Are now the trees and paths, his
Philip Sherlock maintains in his single
contribution the religious strain that his
poetry expressed best perhaps in "A Beauty
too of Twisted Trees" in 1943. But he
exchanges the image of the broken body
on the twisted tree, which mingles in the
mind memories of Jesus and Judas and any
Negro lynching, for a passionately rhythmic
vision of apocalypse where a sword of flame
reminds that Eden stands by Gordon Town.
And Carberry and Ingram ? For them
too, the tempo is faster, the poetry is
strong and direct. It is to me typical of
these changes that Ingram has put away
his earlier manner which described quietly
the sheep God made in the early morning
and the little yellow cups of witchery
known as Okra flowers, and that he puts
in their place wonder at the way the lizard
lives both in the gloom-world of shade and
the quivering flaming light, and also his
awareness that within the domestic bundle
of the cat lies the wildest forest jungle.
I have not touched on the strength of
Basil McFarlane's work McFarlane can
"To know birth and to know death
In one emotion
This is the final Man ," -
nor on Robert Verity's very fine "The
Land the City Wounded" where he re-
enacts on Jamaica's mountains the debate
on the Mount of the Transfiguration, nor
Virtue's "Magdalen", but then one must
discern trends.

There were some 75 pages of poetry in
this 28o-page Focus and the other selections
were plays, stories and legends. All three
of the legends I enjoyed. M. G. Smith
and Campbell displayed their poetic power
in the "Dream of Lilith" ano "The Sun
Road" respectively and they both achieved
here effects that no poem could hope for.
On the other hand Margery Foster-Davis
relied more on narrative in her "Legend
of the Lignum Vital Tree"
The plays included in this issue are
Cicely Howland's "Storm Signal" and
Campbell's "Play without Scenery", both
of which have been already performed, and
1 make no attempt to criticise them nor
the stories; the story-lover can range at
will from Vera Bell to Claude Thompson
and Victor Reid and Roger Mais. But I
can say that the stories and vignettes in
Focus II are Jamaica's story with their
frank portrayal of conditions and their
direct social criticism. A people describes
itself here, but perhaps I can take a few
lines from Basil McFarlane and cap the
impression I got
"I am Jamaica
And I have seen my children grow
Out of their separate truths"
Edna Manley and her selection com-
mittee should be very proud of this
co-operatively published collection that

illustrates what Sherlock recently called
"the new wind blowing through the
Caribbean".-A. J. SEYMOUR.

KYK-OVER-AL, Vol. 2, No. 7. (Edited by
A. J. Seymour and published by B.G.
Writers' Association) Price Is.
Kyk-over-al, December, 1948, contains an
excellent article on "Education" by Lilian
Dewar, and a short note on "The Economic
Basis of Culture" by C. H. B. Williams,
both of which are evidence of deep and
serious thought on some cultural prob-
lem. Westmaas's "On Writing Creolese",
Cameron's "Cultural Life in Jamaica",
and Seymour's analysis of the reactions of
his friends to Hopkins' poem "Golden-
grove" are all of more value to both writer
and reader than the poetry reviews of
Margaret Lee, Cleveland Hamilton, and
Wilson Harris. The review of A. J.
Seymour's "Guiana Book" by the latter
suffers acutely from the writer's isolation
in a wordy metaphysical world of his own
This journal deserves to be read through-
out the Caribbean area, and we hope that
this brief review will encourage readers to
whom Kyk-over-al was hitherto unknown,
to become regular subscribers.-A.C.P.

Literary Contributions

The Editors of the CARIBBEAN QUARTERLY intend to print original literary work or works of
special merit or interest by West Indians every quarter. Whilst we shall be glad to receive
manuscripts, we shall often reprint what has already appeared locally, thus giving the best
a wider circulation, and at the same time avoiding competition with local journals.
In this number we reprint "The Yellow Cemetery", a poem by the young St. Lucian
Derek Walcott, which appeared recently in a limited edition under the title 25 POEMS.



"They are alive and well somewhere,
The smallest sprout shows there is really no death,
And if ever there was it led forward life, and does not wait
at the end to arrest it."
Walt Whitman


All grains are the ash to ashes drowsing in the morning,
Wearing white stone. I passed them, not thankfuller to be
Their living witness, not noisy in salt like the near sea,
Because they are spaded to the dirt, our drowning.
As lovely as the living, and safer, to the bay's green mourners 5
They will unkeening bones, and they are happy.
Lost the candle and censer mysterytale, the swung smoke of adorners-
Of dying. Could they speak more than bramble, they'd be
One in the language of the sun and the bibleling froth.
Their now bread is broken stone, their wine the absent blood o1
They gave to days of nails.

It is enough
And greater is no grace, no surplice more serviceable than the lap and hood
Of the seasons that grew them, and now mother them to sleep.
And you alive, speak not of the unlucky dead, the sunless eyes rotten 15
Under downs and saddles in a kingdom of worms.
Speak of the luckless living, that are gnawed by a misbegotten
Moon and memory
It is a blessing past bounds, to miss the dooms
Of the vertical fathom, at each suncrow 20
To know no anguish, cool in clothstones that flow,
The sleep in the bone, all weathers.
But we, each
Flapping boast of the crowing sun, turn in our linen graves,
Face stale mornings, old faces, but these dead on the beach, 25
Are joyed at the dawn's blood skyed on their \dearth of days.
We cocky populations fouling the fallow plans of heaven,
Shall find perfection in a cemetery under a hill.
For we have suffered so long, that death shall make all even,
There shall the love grow again that once we would kill. 30
This is no place for the eater of herbs and honey, for beads,
Here are water, crops, seabirds, and yet here do not be brave,
Seek no fames, and do not too often pray to keep alive,
Against the brittle wick of wishes the wind in the clock strives
And wins. Was not your father such ? 35
Gay in the burning faith of himself, but melted to forgetting ?
Thank time for joys, but be not thankful overmuch,
The sun, a clot of the wounded sky, is setting.
Delve no heart in the sound of your soul, a man's speech burns
And is over the tears melt, colden, and stales the tallow. 40
And the story of your ash to ashes breath that the wind learns,
The bushes from your eyes will tell in a deeper yellow.


And there at sea, under the wave,
The sea-dead, the legendary brave,
Under the windmaned horses of the sea 45
Float the bulged trampled dead, nudged by whales
Their wicks windkilled too, by salty gales,
And they were so braver, less alarmed than we.
For we want to run, who do not want to drown where
There is no angel or angelus or another's helphand ; 50

But they too ride easy, and the nunnery of brown hair
Of the white girl of walls, shall be no more in the pardoner sand
Black man's denial. Heart, let us love all, the weeds
That feed the seaherds, miracler than man's tallest deeds,
For here the living are blinder than the dead, ah 55
Look a rainbow sevencoloured wakes glory through the clouds, and
Breasts sea and hill and cemetery in warning,
And the chained horses thunder white, no more adorning
The harbour that grows truculent at the sevenhued sky,
A canoe scuds home quickly, and indigo reigns. 6o

Praise these but ask no more the meaning of mourning,
Than you ask a moral from the seven glory of the clouds, and
Go slowly to the hill as the gale breaks, crazy on the loud sand.
Do not talk of dying, you say, but all men are dead or sick,
In the brain and rib-hollow rooms 65
The candles of the eye burn and shorten, and how quick
The fine girl sleeps in her grave of hair, the grasshair tombs.
O look at the sane low populations of the democratic dead,
How all are doomed to a dome of mud, all brought to book,
Believing in a world for the perverse saint and the holy crook. 70

Love children now, for the sun will batter their thinklessness away,
For there, if place, He walks, who was a lifelong child,
And when the sun is spearing them in growth, pray,
There is the kingdom of haven in the tears of a child.
The trees, alive in a wind of generations, spin a terror of grains 75
In the air, in the blue and froth of the weather, the branch rains
Yellow on the graves.
We, the raisers of a God against the hand,
Wonder who is made or maker, for the God our ancestors learned,
Moses of terror, burns in no bushes, 80
We pray only when seas are turned
Angry, and the wild wind rushes,
And love and death we cannot understand.

The signatures of a lost Heaven remain,
The beauty of the arch, the nature not sun not rain 85
We want our God to be. And yet, were He scanned
We the long builders of beyond this flying breath would look
Beyond the written Heavens, the wideopen sea, the land like a green book,
Would find the Author and the Author's purpose.

A swallow falls, and perhaps the sole spoken prayer 90
Is the hand of a leaf crossing the cold curled claws.
Where is the God of the swallows, is He where
Lives the One whom you flew young from, who all life was yours ?

And yet for all these gifts, the gift that I can pray,
The mountain music, the pylon words, the painting, they are 95
Enough, and may be all, for they add grace by day
And night give tears as harshly as a telling star.
Were there nothing, and this the only
Life, a man has still to save the cliche of his soul, to live
With, I will say it, grace, to atone for the ioo
Sins that all the worlds awoke before he ailed alive,
Climb there, go to the hill while another sun is warning
That the wicks weaken, and in the halls of the heartsun, love,
For love is the stone speech that outlasts our ash and mourning.


READERS who are unfamiliar with some of the more recent developments in English
verse may find this poem difficult. Several careful readings are needed for the full
richness of its meaning to become apparent. And some at least of these readings
should be aloud.
"The Yellow Cemetery" embodies the reflections of the poet on human life
and death, set off by the appearance of a cemetery by the beach, and the sea and
earth and sky about it, in the Island of St. Lucia. These reflections are presented

to the reader in language which powerful though controlled emotion has wrought
into a poem. The meaning lies partly m the sense of the words, but is chiefly
experienced' by the reader as he or she responds to the suggestions, colours and
many associations ot the words and the rhythm within which they are flexed. The
rhythm is not in the firm structure of traditional verse form, but moves and changes
with the mood of the thought. Thus a strong simple rhythm is established (1. 43),
carrying on through the next line in such a way that "sea-dead" is made pon-
derously slow but alter these three short lines the rhythm is extinguished in the
tongue-twisting consonants of "the bulged trampled dead, nudged by whales"
(1. 40), returns again (1. 48), only to peter out in the chattering anxiety ot little
words in line 49. Lines 53-6o build up a set rhythm again. 'the reader is bound to
respond to the changing rhythm, and where this rhythm falls short of what the
poet wishes to express, the reaction of the reader will be a negative one. A study
of the use of rhythm, internal rhyme and half-rhyme, assonance, and alliteration
in lines 12 to 22 is worth while.
In this poem images play a most significant part as carriers of meaning. The
image of the cock crowing at sunrise is introduced at line 20, recurring in lines 24
and 27, and, though "clock" is not named we receive a very clear impression of the
poet's rejection of optimistic daily affirmation of the will to live. A lighted candle
(I. 7, 34-40, 47, 66, 103), is full of implications as an image for life. In passing
we note that the candle is passive, indefensible, easily blown out, &c. ; similarly
a whole series of images illuminate the conception of life springing out of death,
starting with the initial quotation from Whitman, asserted in line I and emerging
from time to time all through the poem. Cradle and grave are identified (1. 13-14)
and bushes spring yellow like the candle from the grave (1. 41, 1. 42). In the
background stands a symbol of the Crucifixion and Resurrection developed by
implications from line 8 to line 12. Note also stone, sea, &c.
The critical reader will not be finished until he has investigated the significance
of deliberate ambiguities (e.g. 1. 70, 75) and unintentional obscurities (26, 78-83),
weighed the propriety of grammatical distortions, puzzled whether lines 59-60
suggest (consciously or urfconsciously) a political solution of the racial antagonism
to which lines 51-53 refer, and wondered at the magnificent transition from the
yellow of the candle to the yellower bushes growing in the cemetery (40-42). And
having judged the effectiveness of the means of expression, he will be able to
consider the value of the thing said, the experience which the poet has transmitted
to him. Perhaps he will then ask himself why should a young and highly
intelligent schoolmaster seem to be so in love with death, so full of a sense of the
vanity of human struggle ? Why does he pick his way so mournfully around the
borders of faith, preaching a gospel of love ? The answer may lie in part in an
understanding of the man himself, in part in the knowledge of his island-society's
present conditions and past history.
If the reader has read the poem and apprehended it, whether he accepts or
rejects the attitude of mind which it expresses, his sympathy will have been
engaged, his knowledge of human nature deepened, he will feel in touch with
another West Indian of the highest integrity and sensibility, who, though his
message may be different from the positive and patriotic affirmation of the
Jamaican Vic Reid's New Day, nevertheless promises to give richly to the growing
literature of the West Indies.-A.C.P.

Agricultural Education in Northern Ireland


NORTHERN IRELAND is a small country with a population of about a million and
a quarter people, nearly half a million of whom live in the industrial town and
important port of Belfast. Nevertheless, about half the population of the whole
country is engaged in farming or in business directly concerned with agriculture.
The farms are small, about three quarters of them being under 30 acres, but each
farmer owns his own land and has paid or is paying an annuity to the Govern-
ment under one or other of the Land Purchase Acts of the latter end of last century
or the beginning of the present century. The country has a cool temperature climate
with an average rainfall of about 35 inches, which is fairly evenly distributed
throughout the year. Cereal crops are not easily harvested because of the damp
climate, but grass, root crops and flax can be grown very satisfactorily. Thus
farming in Northern Ireland is concerned not so much with cereal crops, such as
wheat and barley, as with the production of milk, eggs, bacon and beef, together
with oats for feeding to livestock and potatoes both for seed and consumption by
human beings, cattle and pigs.
In Northern Ireland the organisation and provision of agricultural education
up to the University stage is the responsibility of the Ministry of Agriculture.
Some years ago a man wrote that if he had to choose only one form of Government
assistance for agriculture he would name education, since he felt that agricultural
improvement was rather a hopeless venture without an effective agricultural
educational policy. No matter how many schemes for improved production are
launched, it is the farmer who is concerned with the actual production and, if he
is to do this efficiently, he must not only display skill in the day to day operations
on the farm, but must take advantage of the many aids which the results of
scientific research have brought to the business of farming.

The agricultural educational policy of the Ministry of Agriculture is based on
six main activities :-
(1) The provision of classes for farmers' sons and others during the winter
(2) The operation of three farm schools, two for women and one for men.
(3) The award of scholarships to enable students to study at the University
for an agricultural degree.
(4) The provision of a farm advisory service throughout the province.
(5) The carrying out of demonstrations connected with both crop and live-
stock production.
(6) Preparation of educational exhibits at the various agricultural shows,
and providing lecturers to give talks on technical subjects to meetings of
farmers and Young Farmers' Clubs.

There is no rural bias in the primary or secondary schools in Northern Ireland,
and farmers' sons and others who wish to have some formal vocational training in
agriculture can attend a winter class. There are usually four held in each of the
six counties every year. The classes take place on two afternoons each week from
November to March, and are conducted by one of the Ministry's county agricultural
staff. The curriculum covers the basic principles of husbandry and deals with such
subjects as the manuring of various crops, the feeding of livestock, field drainage,
seeds mixtures and an explanation of the various marketing schemes. Very often
formal instruction gives way to informal discussion on farming problems, and
sometimes the class is taken on a visit to see some demonstration or to a farm where
something of particular interest is taking place. The contacts which are made
between student and teacher are very valuable and are often maintained after the
winter course has been completed, since it is often on the farms of past students
that the agricultural officer lays down his farm demonstrations which form part of
the educational programme of the Ministry.

The introduction to vocational training gained at the winter class sometimes
leads a student to a desire for more advanced training. This he can achieve by
attending Greenmount Agricultural College. The college is residential and offers
a ten months' course of instruction, during which students have the opportunity of
studying the elementary aspects of the agricultural sciences and of taking part in
the day to day work on a well equipped and up to date farm. During the course
visits are arranged to farms of special interest, to agricultural shows, central
abattoirs and marketing centres, and an opportunity is made for students to see
the work of the research divisions of the Ministry of Agriculture.
Entrance to the college is by competitive examination and interview and, while
no specific scholastic standard is required for entry, students are expected to have
sufficient basic education to profit from the course at the college. Lack of means
does not act as a deterrent to prospective students, since the Ministry offers
generous scholarships to all students who need them. In brief, the college provides
a course in agriculture which aims at equipping a young man to undertake practical
farming and fitting him either to farm on his own or to act as manager on a farm

belonging to someone else. It also serves as an excellent preliminary year for
students who have already passed their University entrance examination but who
need practical experience in agriculture before going up to the University to study
for a degree in agriculture. Quite apart from formal study, the college offers
opportunities for making friendships and breeds that tolerance which comes from
living and working in a community where all have the same interests at heart.
There are two agricultural schools for girls in Northern Ireland. One, the
North West School, is situated at Strabane, and the other, the Ulster Dairy School,
at Cookstown. Both these schools are residential and have farms attached to them.
The North West School holds about 25 students and the course extends over
ten weeks, during which the girls receive lectures and do practical work in poultry
keeping, dairying and housewifery. The work is essentially practical in character
and students are given an opportunity of becoming proficient in all the tasks which
fall to the lot of women on the farm. Here again, scholarships, which cover
maintenance and tuition, are available to all students who need them. The Ulster
Dairy School gives two courses, one which lasts for a year and covers the same
subjects as those in the course at the North West School but in greater detail and
the other is for senior students who stay on for a further year and specialize in
poultry and dairy husbandry. Students taking the first course usually go back to
the farm, but those who take the senior course do so with the idea of becoming
either poultry or dairy instructresses in the Ministry's advisory service or of
managing the poultry flock or dairy on large farms.
An interesting experiment is shortly to be made at the Ulster Dairy School by
introducing a series of lectures on general agriculture into the course. The object
behind this experiment arises from the fact that poultry keeping is almost universal
on the farms in Northern Ireland and this is true to a somewhat lesser degree in
regard to milk production. There are few specialist poultry farms and the reduction
in imported feeding stuffs, on the supply of which the economy of such farms is
based, will not encourage any expansion in this direction. Thus poultry husbandry
and the handling of milk form an integral part of the farm activities, and it is felt
that girls who are going back to the farm should have the opportunity of realising
how their own particular work fits in with the general pattern of the farm
economy, and this can best be done by a series of lectures on general agriculture,
which will dwell particularly on the relationship of poultry husbandry and dairy
husbandry to crop production and other activities on the farm.

There is a very close link between the Ministry of Agriculture and the Oueen's
University of Belfast in that many members of the research staff of the Ministry
are also professors or lecturers in the Faculty of Agriculture. This somewhat unique
arrangement has worked very satisfactorily for the past 25 years and has the
advantage of bringing education, research and specialist advisory work together
in a closely knit organisation. Two courses leading to an agricultural degree are
offered by the University, both of which occupy four years. The first, the general
degree, aims at training a man for posts in a state agricultural service or to farm
on his own account. The second is a specialist degree in which the first three years
of the course are spent in the pure science departments of the University and the
last studying crop and animal husbandry and the particular agricultural science in

which the student aims to specialize. Many graduates are now holding posts in the
state agricultural services both in Northern Ireland and Great Britain, some are
employed as agricultural specialists in commercial firms, while others are employed
in the Colonial Agricultural Service.
Both the University and the Ministry of Agriculture offer under-graduate
scholarships which may be held in the Faculty of Agriculture, and the University
also awards post graduate research scholarships to suitably qualified graduates of
the University.
An agricultural department has to try as far as possible to help each individual
farmer with his specific problem. Much can be done by the distribution of leaflets
which have been written on special subjects, but one of the best methods is by
discussion on the farm where the problem has arisen. In each district in the
-ix counties of Northern Ireland there is an agricultural officer who is on the
advisory staff of the Ministry. It is his job to visit farmers in his area and do his
best to solve any problem and give advice generally. Perhaps the difficulty is one
which he has not met before, in which case he can refer it to a more senior officer,
who perhaps, in turn, may seek the help of one of the specialist research staff. This
method of approach is useful to all concerned, since the farmer can rely on getting
the best available advice, and at the same time the research worker may encounter
a problem which requires serious investigation, of which he might otherwise have
been unaware.
Education is a slow process and any system must be devised to meet a special
set of circumstances. Better results will accrue from one which is, so to speak,
indigenous to a particular territory than by the adoption of a system which has
worked well elsewhere but may not be flexible enough for application in another
country. The aim, however it may be achieved, is to build up an enlightened
farming community which is ready at all times to meet changing circumstances
and reap the benefit from the results of the extensive research work in agriculture
which is going on all over the world.

Designed and printed at the Government Printing Office, Trinidad, B.W.I.