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Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Table of Contents
        Table of Contents
    Front Matter
        Front Matter 1
        Front Matter 2
        Front Matter 3
    Editorial notes and comments
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
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Full Text





West Indian Anthologies
Photo by Maria Layacona
Books loaned by Songster's

VOL. 13. No. 2




Editorial Notes and Comments 1

John C. Messenger 3

James A. Maraj 27

Alan Soons 33

West Indian Literature: Some Cheap Anthologies
Mervyn Morris 36
Len Jacobs & Beth Jacobs, The Family and Family
Planning in The West Indies G. W. Roberts 39
(iii) Harry Bernstein, Venezuela & Colombia
John Fagg, Cuba, Haiti and the Dominican Republic
Charles Jacobs 41
Norman M. Davis 44

BOOK LIST .... ... ... .... 45

JUNE 1967


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Editor: H. C. MILLER, Director of Extra-Mural Studies, University
of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica.

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Vol. VIII No. 4

Documents Which Have Guided Educational Pa'icy in the West
Indies: The Keenan Report, Part I The Elementary School
System in Trinidad ...... Shirley C. Gordon
A West Indian Student in England Mervyn Morris
Salt Fish and Ackee (Reprint) ..... J. H. Parry
Sociology, Social Administration and Social Work ...... ...... T. S. Simey
The Shortage of Science Teachers in Under-Developed Territories G. D. Bishop
English Literature in the Caribbean-An analysis Based on Results
of the U.W.I. Examination in English Literature, 1962. W. I. Carr and
J. E. Ingledew
Poem Peter Rudder

Book Reviews:

V. S. Naipaul, The Middle Passage
Derek Walcott, In a Green Light

John Hearne
John Figueroa

Vol. X No. 4
Documents Which Have Guided Educational Policy in the West
Indies, No. 8:
Report on the Commissioners Mayhew & Marriott on
Secondary & Primary Education in Trinidad, Bahamas,
Leeward Islands and Windward Islands, 1931-32
The Richest Trade Centre of the Indies:
A Vision of Trinidad's Future
Literature of Latin America & the Caribbean
Short-Term Improvements in Caribbean Economic Planning

Book Reviews.
(i) Douglas Hall, Ideas and Illustrations in Economic
(li) Wendell Bell, Jamaican Leaders:
Political Attitudes in a New Nation
(iii) Edwin Rosskam, The Alien

Vol. XII No. 2
The Education of the Engineer in the West Indles
The Creation of Full Employment in Jamaica
The Role of Capitalism in Jamaica's Development
The First Eng:ish Settlement in St. Lucia ......
Commentary: Tree Crops in West Indian Agriculture
The Teaching of Geography in the Caribbean
(I) F. J. Ajayl, Christian Missions in Nigeria, 1841-1891
(il) Errol Hill, Man Better Man

Shirley C. Gordon

Barbara Ifll
G. R. Coulthard
C. Y. Thomas

Havelock Brewster

A. W. Singham
Lee Robinson

K. S. Julien
John E. Moes
Ralph Thompson
Ripley P. Bu:len
D. B. Murray
L. A. Eyre
K. O. Laurence
Louis James

Vol. XII No. 3

The Baffling Creator: A Study of the Writing of James Baldwin Gregorlo Arana
The Effects of Modern Technology on Small Developing Countries
With Surplus Labour ...... ..Steve DeCastro
The Civil Service Strike in British Honduras ...... ...... C. H. Grant
Commentary: A Conference on Climatology and Related Fields
in the Caribbean Barry Floyd
Book Reviews:
Margaret Nei'sen, Biology and Hygiene for Caribbean Schools Hopeton Gordon
Sheila Duncker, A Visual History of the West Indies ...... Helen S. Abrikian

Editorial Notes and Comments

IN 1965 a grant from the Indiana University and International Pro-
gramme enabled John Messenger of the Folklore Institute of Indiana
University to undertake research in Montserrat and in Ireland on the
history of the Irish settlement in Montserrat and to assess its influence
on that Island. At the 1966 meeting of the American Anthropological
Association Mr. Messenger read a paper on this subject and subsequently
incorporated the material into the article which appears in this issue.

In October 1967 an experimental programme will get underway
for the reorganising of schools in order to improve the quality of
instruction in selected schools. The project has been made possible by
a grant to the Institute of Education at the University of the West
Indies by the Carnegie Corporation of New York. James Maragh of
the Institute of Education discusses here the plan on which the project
is based.
We are well aware of the danger of concerning ourselves too much
with matters appertaining to the English-speaking Caribbean and are
grateful to Alan Soons of the Department of Spanish for contributing
an article on novels of Curacao-Mr. Soons has selected the patterns
of imagery as used by the authors focussing attention on the des-
cendants of the "last planter families"
In cur book review section Mervyn Morris, Warden of Taylor Hall,
writes on Cheap Anthologies of West Indian Literature, G. W. Roberts,
Profe. or of Dcmography, discucses Len and Beth Jacobs' publication-
The Family and Family Planning in the West Indies; and Charles
Jacobs of the History Department comments on two books in the
Spectrum Series-Venezuela and Colombia by Harry Bornstein, and
Cuba, Haiti and The Dominican Republic by John Fagg.
We end our issue with a short poem by Norman Davis.

The Influence Of The Irish

In Montserrat

THIS ARTICLE is based on seven weeks of ethnographic field re-
search in Montserrat and three weeks of library research in Ireland
during the summer of 1965 and the winter of the following year. My
wife and I visited the island to locate a site for a research station and
to investigate, insofar as time permitted, the history of the Irish settle-
ment there and the impact of Irish culture on that of the West Indians
of today. Montserrat embraces 38 square miles of mountain terrain
and supports a population of 14,500, of whom 2,500 reside in the capital,
Plymouth, and the remainder among 41 villages. In a 1946 demographic
survey, approximately 93 percent of the islanders were designated as
'"Negro" and six percent as "Mixed or Coloured," who include the
hybridized "Black Irish," or "Montserrat Irish" as they prefer to be
called. Known as the "Emerald Isle of the Caribbean," Montserrat has
an ancient crest, displayed on tourist brochures and its six cents stamp,
picturing a cross against which leans a lady clasping an Irish harp;
and green shamrocks adorn the front gable of Government House,
the interior of St. Joseph and St. Patrick Catholic Church in Plymouth,
and the one cent stamp.

The historical data contained herein were obtained from the works
of T. Savage English and Father Aubrey Gwynn, S.J., cited in the
Bibliography, from interviews with the Catholic Bishop of Montserrat.
Father Antoine Demets, and from the ethnographic observations of
my wife and me. English was a British colonial administrator who
spent 11 years in Montserrat, and his unpublished book is in large
measure a compilation of manuscripts still surviving in the Plymouth
courthouse and secondary source materials. Many of the local docu-
ments are in fragments, eaten by insects and rotted by the soakings
from past hurricanes which destroyed most of the originals, and only
one of them is older than the 18th century-pertaining to a land sale
in 1678. The book has the following chapters: Montserrat Described,
General History, The Caribs, Early White Settlement, The Slave Trade,
Sugar and Slavery, Montserrat a French Island, Up to Emancipation,
After Emancipation, Montserratians, and an Appendix.

Gwynn is now retired at Milltown Park in Dublin, and his articles,
written between 1929 and 1932, are not known in Montserrat, where a
lively interest in the past is maintained by several local scholars, in-
cluding the Bishop; conversely, English's manuscript is virtually un-
known in Ireland. The essays by Gwynn are based on materials col-
lected from the Dublin Public Record Office, London Public Record
Office, British Museum Manuscripts, West Indian Archives, Virginia

Archives, Archivo de Indias Seville, Portuguese Archives, French
Archives, Propaganda Archives Rome, Jesuit Archives, Franciscan
Archives and other printed sources.
Barring earlier Phoenician, Etruscan, Roman, Irish (St. Brendan),
or Scandinavian discoverers, for whose presence there is no evidence,
the first Europeans to view Montserrat were Columbus and his crew in
1493. The sighting must have occurred between the third of November,
when Columbus landed in Marigalante to the south, and the 14th,
when he reached St. Croix in the Virgin Islands to the north. Because
the serrated outline of the mountains when viewed from the sea re-
minded him of the setting of the Abbey of Montserrat near Barcelona
(where Ignatius of Loyola conceived of founding the Society of Jesus),
Columbus gave the island its name. From 1493 until 1632, however,
Montserrat remained a Carib island, for although in 1520 Spain
appointed Antonio Serrano, Governor of the various islands Columbus
had discovered and his successors colonized none of them in the vicinity
of Montserrat.
At this time the Caribbean islands were occupied by three groups
of Indians: the Ciboney of western Cuba and southern Haiti; the
Arawaks of Cuba, Jamaica, Hispaniola, and Puerto Rico; and the Caribs
of the Windward Islands. The warlike, cannibalistic Caribs were in the
process of expanding northward from the mainland of South America
and were driving the peacable Arawaks before them. It is not known
whether the Caribs maintained settlements in Montserrat, as they did
in nearby Guadeloupe and Dominica, or used the island only as a
jumping-off place for attacks on the Arawaks of Puerto Rico. The
archeological record of Carib occupation of Montserrat between the
end of the 14th century, when they supplanted the Arawaks in the
region, and 1682 is described in the third chapter of English's book. He
says: "They certainly had a burial ground on the east coast
where Trant's Estate now is. The late Hon. S. W. Howes got together
a large collection there, mostly of pottery, which is now in the Heys
Museum of New York. As well as the pottery there were skulls and other
human bones which showed no signs of being relics of cannibal feasts,
(English 1930: 47). Human and animal figurines and beads also were
unearthed at this site, and in various parts of the island, usually on
the windward side near the sea, corn crushers carved from local stones
are found occasionally.
A reference to Caribs in Montserrat during 1950 is found in an
account of the missionary labours of Father John Stritch in the West
Indies, taken from a contemporary narrative quoted by Gwynn from
a re-edition of the original (my translation)
Father John Stritch, who was sent to assist them, arrived in 1650
at Saint Christopher After providing for the most urgent
needs of the Irish people settled there, he passed over to Mont-
serrat, where the Irish were formerly the masters. But the
English had ousted them from it and submitted the Irish to their

rule. The Father, who knew the English would not tolerate a
priest in their island, disguised himself as a merchant and went
there under the pretence of wanting to purchase timber. As
soon as he arrived, he made himself known to some Irish people
and through them to the rest of the community. A place was
selected in the woods, to which the missionary went each day
to read the mass and give the sacraments. The whole morning
was spent in cultivating souls, and then the people actually cut
down trees, which the Father had these good Roman Catholics
carry away, thus confirming the English in their opinion that he
had come only for this purpose. One day, when the Father was
in the woods giving the sacraments to the Catholics, two thousand
Carib savages, who had been for a long time at war against the
English, rushed into the island, where they burned a good number
of houses, massacred several people, plundered the shops, took
away cattle, carried away provisions, and placed everything in
confusion. During this emergency, there occurred an incident as
diverting as it was ridiculous. A few Caribs entered the Protestant
church to carry away from it all that suited them. One of their
leaders discovered the minister's robe, and, letting out all of the
other savages who were in the church, he put on the robe and
went out uttering dreadful screams and running toward his people
to scare them. This pretence succeeded better than he antici-
pated, for the savages were so frightened at first that they fled
without his being able to stop them; the more signs he made to
them and the faster he hurried to reach them, the harder they
ran, believing that he was the Maboia, that is, the devil, who
was after them. But, finally, after discovering that the robe was
neither devil nor priest, they retraced their steps and carried
away all of the booty that they had taken from the English in-
habitants (Gwynn 1932b: 209-210).

The last sortie of the Caribs against the colonists of Montserrat was
in 1682, when a war party "said to have come from Dominica, landed,
murdered several boys, burned a sugar factory, and got off with some
negro slaves" (English 1930: 82).

Probably the earliest description of Montserrat by an historian is
that of Bryan Edwards in 1793:

Of this little island, neither the extent nor the importance de-
mands a very copious discussion Like Nevis, it was first
planted by a small colony from St. Christopher's, detached in
1632 from the adventurers under Warner. Their separation
appears indeed to have been partly occasioned by local attach-
ments and religious dissensions; which rendered their situation
in St. Christopher's uneasy, being chiefly natives of Ireland, and
of Romish persuasion. The same causes, however, operated to
the augmentation of their numbers; for so many persons of the
same country and religion adventured thither soon after the first

settlement, as to create a white population which it has ever
since possessed; if it be true as asserted by Oldmixon, that at
the end of sixteen years there were in the island upwards of one
thousand white families, constituting a militia of three hundred
and sixty effective men. The civil history of this little island
contains nothing very remarkable Montserrat Is about three
leagues in length, and as many in breadth, and is supposed to
contain about thirty thousand acres of land of which almost two-
thirds are very mountainous, or very barren. The land in cultiva-
tion is appropriated as follows. In sugar, six thousand acres: In
cotton, provisions, and pasturage, two thousand each. None other
of the tropical staples are raised. Its average crop from 1784 to
1788, were 2,737 hogsheads of sugar of fifteen hundred weight.
1,107 puncheons of Rum, and 275 bales of cotton. The exports
are produced by the labour of one thousand three hundred writes
and about ten thousand negroes (Edwards 1801: 486-498)

The period of Irish occupation of Montserrat commenced in 1632
and ended before 1850, after which only the hybridized Black Irish re-
mained. Although movements to and from the island of Irish mer-
chants, landowners, farm tenants, voluntarily indentured servants, and
"slaves" continued steadily for two centuries, local tradition asserts that
most of the Irish came in three waves: the first from St. Kitts (the
modern rendition of St. Christopher's) in 1632, the second in 1644 from
Virginia, and the last, also from St. Kitts, in 1689.

Gwynn and English have similar accounts of the colonizing of
Montserrat; the former writes:

The occupation of St. Christopher's by Captain Thomas Warner
threw open a new field to English (and Irish) activity. Warner
had served under Captain North in Guiana during the expedition
of 1620, but had returned to England to be free from the dis-
orders that did grow in the Amazon for want of government
amongst their Countrymen, and to be quiet amongst themselves.'
In England they 'made means to set themselves out for St.
Christopher's,' where Warner landed with fifteen men in January
1624. So we learn from Smith's True Travels. A more detailed
account by John Hilton, written in 1675 and published by Mr.
N. T. Harlow, tells us that Warner, 'having made a trading voyage
for the Amazons, at his return came by the Caribbee Islands
where he became acquainted with several Indian Kings inhabit-
ing these islands, amongst the rest with one, King Togremen,
King of St. Christoher's.' Warner viewed the island and 'thought
it would be a very convenient place for the planting of tobaccos.
which ever was a rich commodity,' And that was the origin of
the expedition of 1624. Warner returned home in 1625, and ob-
tained a charter for the 'custody' of the islands of St. Christo-
pher's, Nevis, Barbados, and Montserrat. The names of these
islands and others of the group now known as the Leeward

Islands, frequently occur in the State Papers of this period, but
they were not all settled immediately. Barbados was settled in-
dependently by John Powell in 1625, and Warner was never
actually Governor of the island. Nevis was settled in 1628, and
Montserrat (most probably) in 1634. Both were settled from St.
Christopher's, and for the next twenty years 'St. Kitts,' not Bar-
'-~os, is the most important settlement in the West Indies. Its
failure to maintain this position was due to the fact that in
1625, a year after Warner's arrival, the French effected a landing
'in the other end of the Isle,' and were not to be dislodged for
more than a century. Nevis was founded by Anthony Hilton in
1628 Five or six years later we get our glimpse of what was
to prove the most distinctively Irish settlement in the New World,
the Irish Catholic colony of Montserrat (Gwynn 1929a: 391-
Concerning the partition of St. Kitts in 1625 and other events between
that year and 1632, English says:

Nor would it have been helped by the division of St. Kitts into
English and French portions. This came about by the arrival in
1625 of a Frenchman named d'Enambuc, who seems to have been
more or less openly a pirate After an unsuccessful fight with
a Spanish galleon he had put into St. Kitts to repair damages-
just as Warner's people were turning the Caribs, to whom the
island really belonged, from their original friendliness to
open hostility. So any European help would have been most wel-
come. In the first fighting more than a hundred Caribs were
killed. But their survivors, who had been driven from the island,
came back reinforced by three or four thousand others. And
it was only after a battle in which about a hundred Europeans
were killed, mostly by poisoned arrows, while the Carib loss
amounted to some two thousand, that the Europeans were safe.
After this battle Warner and d'Enambuc, who with his men now
wanted to retire from piracy and settle, seem to have made a
friendly division of the island. In 1629 St. Kitts was taken by a
Spanish fleet of some 30 to 40 vessels under Don Frederico de
Toledo who removed most of the English settlers while the French
managed to escape by sea to the small island of St. Martin's,
and presently came back. But a sufficient number of English were
left to object, though unsuccessfully, to the return of the French
'deserters'-and three years later to make it seen advisable to
Warner to remove his Irish Catholics to Montserrat. This
was the beginning of Montserrat as a European colony-1632
(English 1930: 31-32)

In a later article, Gwynn presents evidence that the first wave of
Irish came from Virginia, colonized 26 years earlier, rather than from
St. Kitts:
The connection between Ireland and the island of St. Christo-
pher was maintained without further interruption through the

rest of the century and well into the eighteenth century as well
Irish traders and adventurers seem to have been crossing
the Atlantic on a preconceived plan. The names which have come
to us suggest that the initiative came from the Munster parts of
Kinsale, Cork, and Youghal. Surnames such as Collins, Barry,
Sullivan, Roche, Cormack, Callaghan, Driscoll, Ryan, tell a tale
that is plain to Irish readers; and it can hardly be an accident
that one of the three principal harbours on the island of Mont-
serratt, first settled by the Irish in these very years, was known
to the settlers as Kinsale After the first venture in the
company of John Hilton, our next glimpse of those Irish emigrants
comes from the diary of an English Jesuit, Father Andrew White.
Lord Baltimore had been busy organising his settlement of English
Catholics in Maryland and Father White sailed with him as
chaplain in the winter of 1633 Passing Santa Lucia and
Guadaloupe, they were at Montserrat by January 25th. Two and
a half years earlier another English adventurer, Sir Henry Colt,
had sighted the island and had noted in his diary for July 20,
1631, that the island was 'high rownd montaynous and full of
woods, with noe Inhabitants; yett weer ye footstepps seen of some
naked men.' By the time of Lord Baltimore's visit the island
had been settled, as Father White notes in his diary: 'By noone
we came before Montserrat, where is a noble plantation of Irish
Catholique, home the Virginians would not suffer to live with
them because of their religion.' A comparison of these two entries
makes it plain that these Irish settlers in Montserrat must have
reached the island some time between July, 1631 and January,
1634-that Is to say, in the summer most probably of either 1632
or 1633 (Gwynn 1932a: 219-220).

Of the 1644 immigration of Irish into Montserrat, English writes:
"Concerning Montserrat before 1660, the only records seem to be those
showing that from 1644 onwards its population was increased by Irish
settlers who were being driven out of Virginia on account of their
religion, and must have come in considerable numbers to give any justi-
fication for Oldmixon's statement of 'one thousand white families' in
Montserrat in 1648" (English 1930: 62-63). English takes issue with this
figure at another point in his work: "Oldmixon's original assertion
must surely have been 1,000 persons, not families. A thousand families.
presumably with very few, if any, old people among them would have
provided a militia of many more than 360 men" (English 1930: 37).
His criticism is substantiated by figures from a census compiled in
1678 by Sir William Stapleton, Captain General and Commander in
Chief of the Leeward Islands, and sent to the Lords of Trade in England
(English 1930: 82):

Men Women Children Total

English 346 175 240 761
Irish 769 410 690 1869
Scotch 33 6 13 52

Total 1148 591 943 2682
Slaves 500 300 292 992

The first slaves from Africa arrived in Montserrat in 1664; 14 years
later then numbered 992, as shown above, and were to reach a total
high of approximately 9,500 in 1805, at which time the white population
had dropped to 1,000.

Local tradition concerning the 1689 influx of Irish settlers finds in-
direct historical support in documents quoted by Gwynn:

In the year 1689 the Irish joined the French in a rising against
the English settlements on the Leeward Islands. Documents deal-
ing with this episode have been carefully calendared in the
volume of the Calendar of State Papers (Colonial Series), 1689-
1692. I give the following references no. 361. Carpenter and
Belchamber to Commissioners of Customs, Nevis, August 19, 1689.
Codrington's report gives some accurate figures: Antigoa has
'Irish Papists, about three hundred in all.' On Montserrat 'the
English are scarce three hundred and the Irish Papists upwards
of eight hundred, men who of late have been very turbulent and
rebellious.' Netheway's letter on June 27, states that the French
on St. Christopher's have been joined by 'an hundred and thirty
armed Irishmen.' Carpenter's letter of August 19, states that the
Irish on that island are being sent to Jamaica, 'lest they should
serve us as they did St. Christopher's.' (Gwynn 1932b: 278-279).

Although there is no direct evidence here of Irish being shipped from
St. Kitts to Montserrat, as they were from Nevis to Jamaica, neverthe-
less it seems highly feasible that such might have occurred. Historical
records may exist in St. Kitts describing the aftermath of the uprising

It is not known definitely where along the Montserrat coast Captain
Warner and his company (or the colonists from Virginia, if such were
the case) landed in 1632. From north to south on the Leeward side of
the island, landing claims are made for Carr's Bay, Woodlands' Bay,
Runaway Ghaut, Old Road Bay, and Sugar Bay fronting Kinsale. Con-
sensus of opinion among local historians rules out Woodland's Bay and
Runaway Ghaut, both located in an area where real estate is being
sold to outsiders, many of whom have romantic notions concerning the
Irish. Carr's Bay is a likely landing place for several reasons: it is a
good harbour-closest of any to St. Kitts-and is still used by fisher-
men, who moor their boats and dry their nets along its strand; the

Black Irish today live in villages within a two mile radius of the bay;
one of the oldest cemeteries of Montserrat lies within a stone's throw
of the strand; and, of course, the bay has an Irish name, although its
namesake is not revealed in legend. Old Road, three miles north of the
capitol, is a narrow flood plain where the Belham River flows into the
sea; of this area English writes:

There is a tradition that Old Road, which is mentioned in this
militia act as one of the 'more remote and not well inhabited
parts of the island' was the site of the first town in Montserrat.
But, if it was, this town must have been a very short lived one.
There appears to be no traces of 17th century buildings there
and, at least, a solidly built gaol would have been one of the
first needs of a West Indian town of those days. The gaol at
Plymouth, which is still in use, is inscribed 1664. Of course the
site of the town may now be out to sea (English 1930: 108).

In January of 1967, my wife and I discovered the existence of a map
of Montserrat drawn in 1673, now in the possession of the John Carter
Brown Library of Brown University, which shows that the Old Road
was known as Stapleton Town and was located on Briskett's Bay. The
town probably was named after Sir William, whose estate is shown
above the settlement. Both a fort and a gaol are found in the town,
and no gaol is indicated in Plymouth.

The weight of evidence and opinion, however, favour Sugar Bay as
the initial landing place. Its strand borders Kinsale (a town so promi-
ment in Irish history three decades earlier) and that part of Plymouth
south of the quay, and Kinsale jetty is only a mile and a half from St.
Patrick's Village to the south. Three 17th century cemeteries and at
least one (and possibly three) churches from the same period are located
in Plymouth and St. Patrick's, and the Catholic population have always
been centered in this part of the island. My wife and I were unable
to discover any oral traditions pertaining to the founding of com-
munities in Montserrat, although they may exist. The greatest concen-
tration of Irish place-names is found in the region south of Plymouth.

In addition to the population statistics for Montserrat in 1678
and additional references quoted earlier, other historical sources attest
to the distinctively Irish character of the island during the 17th cen-
tury. For instance, Gwynn states:

Under the Commonwealth, for example, one of the govern-
ment agents on the fleet sent out in 1655 to capture San Domingo,
but which ended by seizing Jamaica, writes home as follows: 'We
passed Montserrat, planted by English and Irish.' And Captain
Gregory Butler of the same expedition writes to the Protector
himself: 'The next (island) is Montserrat, where with all civility
we were entertained by the Governor, Osborne.' Osborne is known

from other State Papers to have been an Irishman and the
guardian of Anthony Briskett's son Finally Lord William
Willoughby reports Montserrat to be in 1668 'a fine little island,
but almost wholly possessed by Irish.' (Gwynn 1929b: 650).

Anthony Briskett was the first governor of Montserrat and a "removed"
Co. Wexford landlord in 1613. Gwynn quotes from a letter written by
his son to the king, in 1669, requesting that his lands in Montserrat
be restored: "Petitioner's father, by commission from the Earl of Carlisle,
at his own great cost gained from the Indians and planted the Island
of Montserrat." (Gwynn 1929b: 649). Thus, a third contender for the
title of colonizer of Montserrat enters the lists, although Briskett may
have led the settlers who were expelled from Virginia in 1632, as he
spent time there before that year (Gwynn 1932a: 221). The fact that
the 1673 map of Montserrat shows Stapleton Town fronting Briskett's
Bay (and a building in the settlement designated "Briskett's Folly")
lends support to the claim that Briskett was the colonizer and Stapleton
Town the first community of Montserrat. It may be that two con-
tingents of immigrants arrived in the island at about the same time-
one landing at Sugar Bay and founding Kinsale and the other at
Carr's Bay or Old Road. The map also indicates the existence of
Osborne's Fort midway between Stapleton Town and Plymouth, near
Bransby Point; the fort was built on Osborne's Bay, and a hill over-
looking the bay bears the governor's name as well.

Concerning the movement of Irish into the Leeward Islands during
the 17th century, Gwynn says:
Among the papers of Irish interest in the Archives of Propa-
ganda is a Memorial which must have been drafted in the clos-
ing weeks of 1637. According to this Memorial, English, Scotch, and
Irish settlers have been crossing the Atlantic in large numbers.
and have succeeded in establishing a regular trade route
between Ireland and the West Indies. The Irish settlers are very
numerous and include both men and women. As a result of
this new movement the Archbishop of Tuam (Malachy O'Queely...),
has become concerned for the spiritual welfare of these Irish
emigrants. In the West Indies they are living mixed among
English and Scotch heretics, and are daily exposed to the danger
of perversion. Moved by pity for their plight, the Archbishop has
sent two priests of great zeal and piety, who have just sailed
with a party of emigrants Nothing is heard of this West
Indian mission for the next eighteen months, and then a third
Memorial (dated December, 1639) tells us the story of what hap-
pened in the interval. The two priests have arrived in the
West Indies, to the great joy of the Irish settlers. Their first re-
port states that three thousand Irish are at present living on
St. Christopher's and the neighboring islands; until the arrival
of these two priests they have been without any of the consola-

tions of their religion, whilst the English and Scotch settlers had
brought their ministers with them (Gwynn 1932a: 221-224).

I will return to this mission again presently. The rapid increase in
the number of Irish settlers during the next several years is revealed
in the following letter:

Among the most treasured documents in the archives of the
Irish Jesuits is a letter from Father Mathew O'Hartegan, S.P.,
written from Paris to the General of the Society and bearing
date March 30, 1643. I give a translation of that part of the
letter which concerns our subject 'On the 25th of this
month Father Jourdain Forestier, procurator of the French pro-
vinces at the court, presented me with a petition from twenty
thousand Irishmen, who have been compelled by persecution and
hardship to go into exile and to establish themselves in the island
of St. Christopher and neighboring localities. M. dePoonry, the
commander of the French fleet in those regions, brought this
petition, and added his own request that two or more Irishmen
of our Society should be appointed to go thither And I myself
beseech Your Paternity to consent to send me thither .I am
more than usually well acquainted with three languages, French,
English, and Irish, all of which are used freely in that part of
the world .' (Gwynn 1929: 653-654).

It is interesting to note from Fr. O'Hartegan's letter that Irish Gaelic
was "used freely" in the West Indies during the 17th century; I have
been unable to locate any references to its use after that.

A consideration of the classes of emigrants and the causes of
emigration from Ireland to the West Indies is beyond the scope of this
essay; readers interested in these matters should consult Gwynn 1929b:
658-663; 1930b; 1932a: 215, 221-222, or standard works on Irish and
West Indian history. Once arrived, the settlers made up four groups,
described by Gwynn 1929a: 386 and 1930a: landowners, tenants, volun-
tarily indentured servants, and slaves. Among the slaves were com-
pulsorily indentured servants, exiled political agitators and priests (after
1655), and prison inmates, vagrants, and beggars from both Ireland and
England. Neither legendary nor historical sources reveal the conditions
or servitude experienced by Irish slaves in Montserrat before 1664 and
their position vis-a-vis African slaves thereafter until freed.

My wife and I were unable, in the brief time at our disposal, to
learn much about the Irish, English, and Scottish landowners and the
disposition of property in the island during the 17th century. Most of
the estates whose names still exist or are embedded in tradition or
shown on early maps were formed in the next century, when sugar
supplanted tobacco as the major export commodity, and African slaves
were imported in ever increasing numbers to work the holdings. The

Blake Family Records, extracts from which are quoted by Gwynn, re-
veal that one of the prominent landowning families of Montserrat,
from 1668 until 1692, was the Blakes of Galway. Of this Gwynn writes:

The following extracts throw a vivid light on the struggle
of an old Galway family to better its fortunes after the bad
years of Commonwealth rule John Blake was transplanted
from his ancestral estate to Mullaghmore, Co. Galway in 1656,
and died there in 1680-81. He was succeeded by his eldest son,
Thomas. His second son, Henry, and his third son, John,
emigrated to the West Indies about the year 1668. The two brothers
purchased an estate in Montserrat; but John settled in Barbados
as a merchant, whilst Henry lived in Montserrat. In 1676 Henry
sold his share in Montserrat to John, and returned to Galway,
where he purchased the Renvyle estate in 1678. John moved soon
afterwards from Barbados to Montserrat, and died there in 1692.
The letters mention several other members of the family and
friends who were trading in the West Indies during these years
(Gwynn 1932b: 273).

Further research may bring to light other such communications, which
will enable us to learn of property and many other matters from this
early period. Blake's Estate is located a mile and a half south-east of
Carr's Bay and still bears that name, although owned by the Lees.

Montserrat twice was in French hands for brief spells: for six
months in 1667 and from 20 months during 1782 and the following year.
Also, the island suffered severely from French raiders in 1665 and
again in 1712, and from French buccaneers in 1707 (English 1930: 34-35,
138-139). The only physical evidence today of the French and English
wars and the harassment of the island by pirates are the remains of
a fort with ancient cannons and magazine atop 1,100 feet high St.
George's Hill overlooking Plymouth, and a circular battery near the
end of Bransby Point midway between Old Road and the capital. "Near
this battery there is said to have been a military graveyard, but some
forty odd years ago the marble gravestones are said to have been
taken away to be burnt into lime" (English 1930: 19). At least two
other cemeteries suffered the same fate-the one at Carr's Bay, in
which only a few gravestones remain, and the other near the Catholic
church in Plymouth, which was demolished to make way for a school.
Less than two miles south of Carr's Bay near the sea is the oldest
tombstone in Montserrat, dated 1686; it is in what was once a private
burial ground, below the Anglican St. Peter's Church, and marks the
grave of one John Davies, who probably was an Irishman.

I have mentioned already the alliance between the French and
Irish to fight the English in St. Kitts in 1689 and the "turbulent and
rebellious" behaviour of the Irish in Montserrat at the same time.
Twenty-three years earlier the same thing had happened: "In the
summer of the year 1666, when war was declared between France and

England, the Irish on St. Christopher's rose against the English planters
and joined the French Montserrat rose against the English in
January 1667, but was retaken in June of the same year" (Gwynn 1932b:
243). Writing from Nevis in 1668 and describing events in St. Kitts,
Francis Sampson says: "The Irish in the Rear (always a bloody and
perfidious people to the English Protestant Interest) with Command
near 100 deep fired Volleys into the front and killed more (than
the Enemy) of our own forces" (Gwynn 1932b: 244). Another letter,
written by Lord Willoughby in 1668 from Montserrat, expresses a like

That Wee wth all other of his Mats. Loyall subjects of this
Island have so much above any other of or. neighbours been de-
vastated wasted and destroyed in the late unhappy Warr, not
only by or. Ennymes in the tyme of their short staye wth. us,
but have likewise than as many tymes since in a most barbarous
manner been Robbed, Plundred Stripped & almost utterly Con-
sumed of all that wee had in ye. world by a Pty of Rebellious &
wicked people of the Irish nation or. neighbours & Inhabitants
in such sort, as it is almost Impossible either for man or penn
to utter or describe (Gwynn 1932b: 244).

Between Kinsale and St. Patrick's Villages on the 1673 map, on what
is now German's Bay, "the place where the French landed" is marKed;
it is obvious that the invaders of 1667 knew well the ethnic and religious
boundaries of Montserrat.

Two other letters quoted by Gwynn reveal that a half-century later
the antagonism between the Irish and the English had subsided con-
siderably: "I hope that your Lordships will believe I have been wanting
in nothing that may contribute to the safety of this Isiand. It s possible
the enemy may flatter themselves that this will be but an ease con-
quest, derived from some confidence that the Irish here are in their
interest, but I promise myself herein they will be deceived, having
made it good part of my care, soe to temper the minds of those people
as to remain under a great deal of assurance of their being nrme to
the Queen's interest." and "The Assembly of Montserrat are the Rvers
of their Neighbours, and though they have many inhabitants of the
Romish Religion, yet their behaviour is very well towards the Govern-
ment." (Gwynn 1932b: 279, 281). Apparently the Irish did not rise
against the English planters in Montserrat during 1782 and 1783 as
they had in 1667 and 1689.

An abridgment of the Acts of Montserrat from 1668 to 1740 (dated
1790) is still in existence and English comments on the acts at great
length in his book. No. 11, entitled "Opprobrious Language," has some-
thing amusing to say about the relations between the Irish and their
British fellows at this time:

Sect. 2 sets forth several odious distinctions used by the
English, Scotch, and Irish reflecting on each other ('English Dog,
Scots Dog, Tory, Irish Dog, Cavalier, Roundhead, and many other
opprobrious, scandalous, and disgraceful terms'), and therefore
ordains that if any such or the like reflections are used in the
island by any person, stranger, or foreigner, the offenders shall
be prosecuted as breakers of the public peace, and shall abide
such fines or punishments as shall be imposed on them by the
Governor and Council; and if any murders, riots, or unlawful
assemblies should arise upon such words, the offender shall suffer
as a mutineer and disturber of the public peace (English
1930: 74).

We have seen that the first Negro slaves were imported into Mont-
serrat in 1664, when "Royal Authority definitely superseded proprietary"
following the Restoration (English 1930: 33). It is not known how
great their number became during the 18th century, but in 1805 the
population of the island, according to a census "said to have been
taken," was composed of "Whites. 1000; People of Colour. 250; Slaves.
9500" (English 1930: 271). The slave trade was declared illegal for
British subjects two years later, and between 1807 and 1834, when
slavery was abolished officially, a general exodus of whites from Mont-
serrat took place. "On the 8th of February, 1843, there was a disastrous
earthquake which was worse in Guadaloupe where 3,000 people are
said to have been killed, though both Antigua and Montserrat suffered
severely. This seems to have been the 'last straw' for most of the
planters of Montserrat" (English 1930: 42-43). Thus, the island became
almost totally Negroid in population, although the Irish and other
Europeans left an indelible genetic and cultural imprint on their former

It is a widely held view in Montserrat that Irish landowners treated
their slaves with more care and kindness than did their English and
Scottish counterparts; they also were more prone to have their slaves
baptized and to free them, especially after 1807. Nevertheless, at least
one slave revolt against Irish masters is recorded, planned with a
knowledge of Irish custom:

In 1768 there was a negro conspiracy, given away, as almost
always seems to have happened in such cases anywhere in the
West Indies, by too much talking on the part of the con-
spirators. The story goes, that "the plot was discovered by a
woman who heard two of the leaders disputing about the dis-
position of their arms. The plan was to have been carried into
execution on St. Patrick's Day, which the inhabitants usually
assembled to commemorate. The slaves within Government House
were to have secured the swords of the gentlemen, and those
without to have fired into the house." (English 1930: 229).

A song still popular in Montserrat, which invariably induces merri-
ment among listeners, commemorates emancipation on August 1, 1834:

The first of August is here again,
Hurrah for Nincom Riley.
If Buckra kick, ah kick agin,
Hurrah for Nincom Riley.

My wife and I became very excited on hearing the song for the first
time, because of the juxtaposition of "Riley" and "Buckra." Riley is.
of course, an Irish surname, and we know several persons of this name
in Ireland, Montserrat, and the United States; while Buckra is a com-
mon New World Negro term for "white man," and is derived from the
Ibibio language of south-eastern Nigeria (where it means "he who
conquers") spoken by the Anang people whom we studied during 1951
and 1952. None of our informants knew of the circumstances surround-
ing the composition of the song, nor the meaning of "Nincom," but the
audience reaction probably stems from the thought of the newly-freed
black with Irish surname replying in kind for some physical abuse
of him by his former master, to which a short time before he would
have succumbed in silence. Another coincidence of a different order
was our learning that Archbishop O'Queely sent the first priests to
the Leeward Islands; he also made a survey of the three Aran Islands
of Galway Bay, describing their churches, shortly before his execution
in 1645, and we utilized his materials in our study of the Aran folk
between 1958 and 1967.

There appears to be no tradition of African tribal origins of slaves
other than a report that a particular region of Montserrat once was
called Congo, and that the slaves of the estates there were mostly of
Congo origin, who were prone to resist their condition by practicing
sabotage, working less hard, and organizing unsuccessful slave revolts.
According to legend, most of them eventually returned to the Congo
during a nativistic ceremony, when one-by-one they jumped into a
huge pot and were transported magically across the sea. "You Congo
Nigra" is still a term of denigration among the West Indians in the
island, because these slaves were pugnacious toward those of other
tribal origins.

The history of the Catholic Church in Montserrat is recorded in
a work bearing that name, written by Father Moris, and a soon-to-be-
published treatise by Bishop Demets. I was unable to consult the former,
as it recently had been sent to the University of the West Indies for
perusal, but English draws from it in his volume. The bishop is Belgian-
born and came to the West Indies in 1934 and to Montserrat two de-
cades later. He is a man of extreme dedication, charm, and learning
and was most kind and helpful to us.

Controversy surrounds the denomination and location of the first
church in Montserrat. Gwynn writes of Governor Briskett: "Since his
father was certainly a Protestant, we may assume that the son also
had conformed to the Established Church, as is indeed implied in his
own statement that at the time of his petition (apparently in the year
1636) he is 'erecting a Church of Stone and Bricke, for the Glory of
God and your Majesty's honour.'" (Gwynn 1932a: 221). The building
referred to may have been the forerunner of the contemporary Anglican
St. Anthony's Church in Plymouth, several times rebuilt and enlarged,
which local tradition holds is the oldest church in Montserrat. But
Gwynn refers to another Protestant church in a statement which also
provides insight into early Catholic-Protestant relations:

In his report to the Lord of Trades (Nov. 22, 1676) Stapleton
says: 'In Montserrat most part are Roman Catholics, it being
first settled by those of that persuasion, yet they give no scandal
to the Protestant church, which is the prevalent persuasion.' (in
the Leeward Islands). In Montserrat, he adds, there are 'six
Catholics to one Protestant, and no Quaker, for they won't let
any live among them.' The last detail is soon explained. The
Quakers, on principle, refused to fight the Indians and the
Indians were cannibals. Another detail in Stapleton's report
throws light on the early days. Only two (Protestant) churches
had ever been built in the Island. One of those was presumably
the church mentioned in the petition of 1636. Both had been
demolished by the French during their occupation of the island,
but had been rebuilt by order of the Governor (Lord Willoughby)
on his arrival in 1668. But on Christmas Day, 1672, they had been
levelled with the ground by a terrible earthquake, 'and had the
people been in the afternoon at church, they had been knocked
in the head.' (Gwynn 1929b: 649-650).

The bishop claims that St. Anthony's was originally a Catholic
church, which during the 17th century had a contiguous monastery
attended by two Dominicans and two Franciscans. He believes that
the name of the church, the nature of its original construction, and
the fact that the graveyard first surrounded the building all attest to
its non-Protestant character. Two other extant structures may also
have been 17th century Catholic churches, according to the bishop:
a foundation located on the premises of a Plymouth garage, and a
well-preserved building converted into a sugar mill, now forest and
vine enclosed, on Galway's Estate a mile about St. Patrick's Village.
As regards the latter structure, a Montserrat reader of this essay in-
formed me by letter that she had seen, six years ago, "'St. Augustine's
Church' and a date incised on a wall stone at the left side of the door-
way as you enter."

It seems likely, however, that the first Catholic church (or churches)
was not erected until 1638 or in the 1650's, and possibly not until 1667
during the French occupation or as late as 1771 when the first perma-

nent priest arrived in the island. The two clerics sent to St. Kitts by
Archbishop O'Queely arrived with 600 Irish emigrants in 1638. Both
diocesans of Tuam, they were listed in a second Memorial, dated April
20, 1638, as Ferdinandus Fareissius and David Onellus-Ferdorcha, or
Fergananym, McFarssey and David O'Neill, most likely (Gwynn 1932a:
223)-but they both died "owing to the severity of the climate" the
following year, as recorded in a letter written by Father O'Queely in
December of 1639 ((Gwynn 1932a: 224). In 1643 another plea went
out from St. Kitts for priests (including Irish speakers, as we have
noted), but it was not until 1650 that Father Stritch arrived in the
Leeward Islands to commence his mission. Although Father Stritch
visited Montserrat at least once, disguised as a merchant as we have
seen, it is not known whether Fathers McFarssey and O'Neill did earlier;
maybe they built the first Catholic church in the Island, or Father
Stritch did before he returned to Ireland in 1660.

From 1660 until 1771, priests from Guadaloupe, Martinique, and
the French portion of St. Kitts visited Montserrat to provide spiritual
ministration, openly when it was possible and disguised as merchants
or fishermen at other times. Despite the fact that persecution of
Catholics was relaxed in the closing decades of the 18th century, the
"Act for the Relief of His Majesty's Roman Catholic Subjects in This
Island" was not passed until December of 1831; the act is given in
its entirety by English (English 1930: 283-286).

The first permanent cleric in Montserrat was Father O'Brien, who
remained there for 30 years and kept a diary, now in the possession
of Bishop Demets, which contains valuable historical data. Over 1,200
islanders, many of whom were slaves, were baptized covertly by French
priests who visited Montserrat just prior to 1771, according to the
bishop, and much of Father O'Brien's diary is devoted to listings of
the newly baptized during his long tenure. Fathers O'Flanagan and
O'Hannan followed Father O'Brien, and of the latter Englsh says:
"The earliest record of any extensive baptism of slaves appears to be
a Catholic one, when Father O'Hannan who was in the Island from
1824 to 1828 baptized all the slaves belonging to the Kirwan, Canonier,
Semper, and Hamilton families. At about the same time the Wesleyans
were getting a footing in the island" (English 1930: 22). The staunchest
supporters of the Catholic Church during the century prior to emanci-
pation were the Kirwans, Hamiltons, Burkes, and Powers. Few slaves
were baptized during the two centuries that Africans were imported
into Montserrat, for the planters feared that Christian doctrines might
create restiveness among converted blacks and lead to subversion of the

Father O'Hannan also commenced the construction of what was
to become St. Joseph and St. Patrick Church in Plymouth, which is
now served by the bishop (along with the other Catholic church-Our

Ladv ot Montserrat-in St. Patrick's Village). The island contains three
Anclican parishes and the Catholic parish of St. Patrick. Because
Montserrat was considered the "most Catholic" of the islands of the
Lesser Antilles, it was argued, albeit unsuccessfully, in 1850 that the
seat of the newly-formed diocese be in Plymouth.

The bishop and other local historians claim that following emanci-
pation almost the entire slave population were baptized Catholic, orim-
arily because most of the landowners belonged to the Church of
England and the Negroes had been better treated by Irish Catholic
masters. Without a doubt, the most intriguing of the many mysteries
of Montserrat history is why in the course of the last 130 years the
number of Catholics has become reduced to 1,000, while the Anglican,
Methodist, and Seventh Day Adventist bodies combined have grown
to 10,000-the number once claimed by the Catholics. Some historians
assert that the Black Irish migrated from the Kinsale area to the
northern part of the island after 1834 in search of more fertile and
available land, and there apostatized as the result of a shortage of
Catholic priests coupled with a vigorous proselytizing effort on the part
of Protestant missionaries. However, other historians, supported by
legend, claim that the Black Irish have always dwelt in the north, and
that Irish priests (influenced by puritanical Jansenism, then so per-
vasive in Ireland), who numbered as many as seven at one time, fled
from the north when confronted with widespread sexual liaisons
between whites and blacks, manufacture of "mountain dew," smuggling
of liquor from nearby islands, alcoholism, violence, and factionalism.

Scattered among 13 villages, the Black Irish are members of several
closely-related families-in particular, the Sweeneys, Gibbonses, and
Allens-who trace descent from Irish who settled in the north and
took Negro spouses. Families bearing Black Irish surnames are numer-
ous and inbred and are proud of their Irish ancestry; they intermarry
out of a sense of tradition and to preserve their light skin colour, which
is a status symbol in Montserrat as elsewhere in the West Indies. There
is much phenotypic evidence of extensive Negroid-Caucasoid hybridiza-
tion in the total Montserrat population, but the Black Irish possess
the most Caucasoid appearance and are the only descendants of legal
unions between members of the two races in the past. I believe that
a migration of Black Irish never occurred; the view originated to
account for the fact that the Catholic population is centered in the
south, but the Black Irish, who are Protestant for the most part, are
found in the north. Marriage not migration is the key.

It is apparent to anyone well acquainted with both Irish and
African cultural milieus that most of Montserrat culture today is a
composite of African retentions, European and regional borrowings, and
internal innovations, of which Irish retentions and reinterpretations
with African forms make up but a limited portion. The Irish heritage
is manifested in the phenotypes of most islanders and in the English,

and possibly In the creole, that they speak; in place-names and sur-
names which still are employed; and in certain customs characteristic
of the Black Irish, but not limited to them. Irish "cultural imponder-
ables" revealed in motor habits, linguistic patterns, musical style,
systems of values, and codes of etiquette- are as prevalent as African
ones among the Black Irish; they are difficult to describe and can be
appreciated fully only by researchers who have dwelt for long periods
in both Ireland and Africa. I will now consider the more obvious Irish
contributions to Montserrat culture, and end the article by discussing
past and present Irish traits as conceived by Montserratians them-

After leaving the island last summer, I was able to show coloured
slides and motion pictures and to play tapes of speech and music in
Montserrat to several social scientists in Dublin. They expressed amaze-
ment at the Irish appearance of the many Black Irish and their English
speech which, among some of them, so resembles that of Irish peasants.
One viewer said that the pictures might have been taken of farmers
in Co. Galway at the end of a hot, dry summer. Distinctively Irish
motor habits are revealed in motion pictures of several Black Irish,
but a detailed description of these and other cultural imponderables
and of Irish phenotypic traits would require too much space.
There is no evidence that Gaelic was spoken in Montserrat, or any-
where else in the West Indies, after the 17th century, but I was told
by several persons in Ireland that early in this century Irish tourists
visiting Jamaica reported hearing Gaelic spoken by West Indians there.
A joke of racist nature occasionally heard in Ireland tells of an Irish
tourist who, from the deck of a passenger ship, asked a Gaelic-speaking
Kingston stevedore (from a nearby island who had come to Jamaica
only a short time before, unknown to the Irishman) how long he had
lived there; when told "three months," the tourist insisted on leaving
the West Indies immediately before he too "turned black from the
pitiless sun." The creole speech of Montserratians is mainly a syn-
cretism of English and African elements, although French, locally-in-
vented, and maybe Irish words are incorporated into the vocabulary.
The most Irish of the many English speech mannerisms is the com-
mon practice of ending sentences with the intensifying prepositional
phrase "at all" or "at all at all:" using the present durative coupled
with the auxiliary verb "to do" (as in "Do be closing the door."); and
employing responders rather than "yes" or "no" when answering

Among the place-names found on the government map of Mont-
serrat issued in 1962, 44 are of possible Irish derivation, according to
Edward MacLysaght's A Guide to Irish Surnames. Eighteen of 48 estates
formed since the 18th century possess Irish names; in addition, 14 of
41 villages do, as well as five heights, five shoreline locations, one valley
("ghaut") and one fumarole ("soufriere") 1. An examination of tomb-

stones in the many cemeteries and of a variety of written sources in
Montserrat and Ireland revealed 169 Irish surnames during the past
250 years, over 90 percent of which still are carried by West Indians.
With the exception of the Black Irish, who obtained their surnames by
marriage, the islanders acquired their surnames at the time of emanci-
pation. The slaves were known only by Christian names, African names,
or nicknames, and they took the surnames of Montserrat whites, sur-
names suggested to them by whites, or those that they fancied from
whatever source. As for Christian names, obviously Irish ones-such
as Sean, Eamon, Dermot, and Seamus-were found in the 17th century,
as revealed in historical records, but are absent now. Five other sur-
names must be mentioned, borne by many families, which suggest Irish
influence: Irish, Dublin, Cork, Kinsale, and Boston. When my wife
and I first came to Montserrat and asked an informant to bring
together a "group of Irish Islanders," he took us to a gathering of six
family heads all bearing the name Irish!

Retentions and reinterpretations of Irish traits in contemporary
Montserrat culture are most pronounced in the spheres of music, song,
and dance and the supernatural. But when one tries to label elements
in these spheres as uniquely Irish, an insoluble problem arises: because
of the paucity and untrustworthiness of historical materials, it is im-
possible to know whether esthetic forms are of Irish, English, Scottish,
or Continental origin and religious ones of Irish or African derivation.
For peoples throughout the British Isles and in western Europe shared
many patterns of music, song, and dance during the 17th and 18th
centuries, and the pagan beliefs of the Irish of that period, which were
carried to the West Indies along with Christianity, had striking African
parallels (in mermaids, fairies, ghosts, witches, and omens, among many
others). Was the song, "If I Were A Blackbird," that I recorded from
an old woman, who had learned it from her grandmother, introduced
by the Irish or by their British neighbours who also claim it as their
own; and, were particular omens (concerning death, good fortune, and
weather-to-be), that I collected in Nigeria in 1952, then again in Aran
in 1960, and for the third time in Montserrat, brought across the Atlantic
by Irish adventurers or by African slaves?

The youth of the island today dance and sing to Afro-Caribbean
style music, but their elders cling to a rapidly disappearing indigenous
style which is a startling amalgam of Irish and African forms. Irish
songs and airs are still heard, but only a single "fiddler" remains who
can play the tunes in an unmistakably Irish fashion. The music of the
several orchestras still in existence is produced by various combinations
of instruments, which may include the fiddle, concertina, accordion.
and flute (known as a "fife"), but always includes a large and small
tambourine and a metal triangle. The large tambourine is called a
jumbie drum" and the small one a "babala" (an African word); both
closely resemble the Irish bodhran, still played in Co. Kerry, and are

struck in the Irish manner with the back of the hand mostly rather
than with the palm and front of the fingers as in Africa (where the
flat drum is not found). But the music produced by these ensembles,
although played with instruments not known in Africa three centuries
ago, is of marked African character.

Traditional dancing somewhat in the Irish step dance mold is still
done by single or paired dancers to the music of fiddle or fife, but the
most popular dance is the seven part set dance, performed by four
couples to orchestra music, which is called the "country dance." The
parts are named after the partly creolized, risque songs accompanying
each, and dancers rest in place between the parts as in the Clare set
of western Ireland. Each of the seven dance patterns has an Irish
counterpart (one of which is still danced in Aran), but above the hips
the dancers move their bodies to the dynamic rhythms as do Africans.
It is claimed that the set dance was learned before emancipation, when
the slaves watched their masters and guests at dancing parties through
the windows of the "big houses."

Orchestras perform a religious as well as a recreational function in
Montserrat, for their music can induce possession and allows those in
trance to become cured of illness or to prognosticate. Possession is in-
duced by the soul of a dead person, or "jumble," entering the body of
the dancer and commanding him, and the jumbie drum is believed to
summon the "good ghost" when rubbed with the moistened forefinger
so as to produce a moaning sound. This cultural configuration is of
African derivation and is found in some form in most New World Negro
communities. The Anang become possessed by both ancestors and
deity; souls of the deceased are recalled from the underworld with
drum music and possess in a violent manner masked members of the
ancestral cult, while a milder form of possession by the deity gives
workers of magic and diviners their power to heal and to foretell the
future (Messenger 1960: 272). Although my wife and I were able to
view set dancing on several occasions, we had to be content with a
verbal description and demonstration of possession by a willing in-
formant. The dancing which accompanies possession is solo rather
than group, and is wholly African both as to dance patterns and bodily
movements. We engaged a dance ensemble in St. Patrick's Village to
perform sets for our cameras to record, and brought with us tapes of
a local orchestra rather than the musicians themselves; villagers who
obviously came to be healed rather than to perform or observe were un-
certain about the efficacy of the recorded in calling jumbies and finally
refused to dance.

The most prominent retention of Irish pagan belief is the "Chance
Pond mermaid," a white-skinned maiden who is thought to reside in
a shallow lake atop 3,000 feet high Chance's Mountain. She has as a
companion a "diamond snake," and she sits from time to time on a
rock beside the pool combing her long hair. If a person can seize her

comb and run down the slope and wash it in the sea before being caught
by the pursuing serpent, the mermaid's buried treasure becomes his.
Every Easter at midnight a pilgrimage which attracts hundreds of
islanders climbs the mountain by torchlight to arrive before dawn and
surprise the mermaid. While discussing this "Irish immigrant" with
informants in St. Patrick's Village, I was told that she also had been
sighted at a nearby spring in 1964 and at the seashore below only two
days before my visit. It was Chance's Mountain that an Antigua-bound
Pan American jetliner crashed into in 1965 killing 30 persons aboard,
and it may be that a future legend will attribute the accident to the
power of the mermaid-turned-Lorelei.
The belief in fairies seems not to have penetrated or persisted in
Montserrat, which is surprising in light of the fact that the "little
people" figure so importantly in Irish and African lore. But the "good
jumbles" of the island are treated very much like the "good people"
of Ireland: for instance, it is said, "They won't hurt you unless you
say evil against them." and, "Treat them kindly and they will repay
you with kindness"; when a bottle of rum is opened, a few drops are
spilled in a corner of the room, and any dregs or drippings are left for
the ghosts to imbibe; before water is thrown out of the house at night,
"Pardon me.", or, "Will you please move?", is directed to any jumbies
who by chance might be passing; and, food is sometimes put out at
night for ghosts and a table set on Christmas eve for them to eat while
the family is attending mass.

My wife and I searched in vain for changelings and the banshee,
but we did discover witchcraft in the form of the evil eye and at
least one pookah. We heard a man in the north of Montserrat accused
of having the "witching eye," because an acquaintance had not followed
his advice to sell a goat the following day and had died in his sleep
as a result. Such a witch, however, gains his power from an "evil
jumbie" whom he has sought out in a graveyard; the Irish witch of
this genre can do harm by an independent psychic act and does so by
complimenting rather than directing his victim. Malevolent ghosts also
are used by Montserrat sorcerers to perpetrate their "tricks." The name
for a worker of magic in Montserrat and in other islands of the Carib-
bean, whether he be a sorcerer or a dispenser of good, is "obeah," which
is an Ibibio word used by the Anang meaning "practitioner of;" the
abia ibok is the worker of magic and the abia idiong the diviner among
Ibibio-speaking peoples (Messenger 1962: 283). The pookah that we
discovered is seen occasionally on moonlight nights on the road in
front of the Catholic church in St. Patrick's Village. It is a huge dog
with a bushy tail, which can alter its size at will and appears and dis-
appears instantaneously. This demon does no harm other than frighten
people by its sudden materialization, thus resembling the pookah of
Aran, called the "dog of the tumulus" (Messenger 1964: 210-212), which
inhabits a Bronze Age burial mound.

The verbal art tradition of Montserrat is a rich one, comprising
most importantly prose narratives, proverbs, riddles, and song texts
Certain islanders excel at storytelling, just as do the seanchai of peasant
Ireland and the skilled narrator of Africa, and the most popular type
of prose form is the "Nancy story," or animal trickster folktale from
Africa (anansi, the spider hero and trickster). It is extremely difficult
to separate African and European narratives, as the two areas share
so many tale-types and motifs. Proverbs are used commonly in casual
speech; riddles are told mostly by children; and the skilful use of verbal
art is a mark of erudition and of elegance of speech, as in the Qaeltacht
of Ireland and in Africa.

When asked to enumerate Irish traditions of the past, those few
Montserratians who are knowledgable about the matter are able to cite
only the making and smuggling of liquor, alcoholism, violence, faction-
alism, coffee drinking, well digging, and an Irish recipe for stew. Rum
still is manufactured and liquor smuggled in the north, it is said, and
the locally-distilled product is known as "mountain dew." A frequently
heard topic of conversation is how government officials were outwitted
by distillers and smugglers, just as poteenn" makers in Ireland still boast
of thwarting the "guards." The Irish also are remembered for their
heavy intake of rum and other liquors and for the bellicosity that it
commonly engendered, as well as for interpersonal and family feuds of
a violent nature whose causes, more often than not, were no longer re-
membered by the parties involved. Whereas spirits aroused the pas-
sions, coffee subdued them, and a pot of strong coffee always was kept
simmering on the stove in an Irish household; Irish hospitality, still
recalled and extolled, invariably included offering a visitor a cup of
coffee on his arrival. Irish landowners habitually dug large "ponds"
to serve as wells, and strips of land between road and fence through-
out Montserrat are known as "long acres," a term derived from land-
less Irish who grazed their cattle free of charge along the roadside. The
most tasty delicacy in the diet of the islanders is "goat water," an
Irish type stew made with goat meat which is believed to have been
introduced by Irish settlers. An identical recipe, learned in her youth
when goat often was eaten, was given to my wife by the aged snouse of
a Connemara farmer the week after we left Montserrat in 1965.

West Indians and Europeans who know Ireland well and who have
lived elsewhere in the Caribbean are able to discern other strands of
the Irish heritage in Montserrat culture. In closing, I will mention
several of these, but with trepidation; for the four persons from whom
I obtained my information are not trained observers; they possess cer-
tain biases which may have distorted their interpretations; and my
wife and I have not done research in other West Indian islands and
therefore cannot check their conclusions. They believe that Montser-
ratians are governed more by conscience than by external sanctions
and thus are more receptive to Christian teachings than are other West
Indians;2 in their casual speech the islanders frequently resort to cajolery

(termed "blarney" by one of my informants) and to talk of their health
and the weather at the slightest provocation; they are strongly opinion-
ated, cling tenaciously to their views even when confronted with con-
trary evidence, and maintain their first impression of others no matter
what the course of future social interaction; they are either apathetic
or antagonistic toward the government; and, finally, dogs are kept
by men here more than elsewhere in the Caribbean-to chase sheep
and goats, to act as watchdogs, and to provide companionship.
Folklore Institute,
University of Indiana.


1. The estates with Irish names are: Blake's, Brade's, Broderick's, Farrell's, Fergus Mountain; Furlong's,
Galway's, Lee's, Mulcaro's, O'Garra's, Parsons', Reid's Hill, Riley's, Roche's, Sweeney's,
Trant's, Tuit's, and While's. Among the 41 villages are: Baker, Banks, Cork Hill, Drumm-
ond's, Dyer's, Fogharly, Frith, Harris, Kinsale, Lee's, Molyneux, Morris, St. Patrick's, and
Tuilt's. The Irish-named heights are: Joe Morgan Hill, Cork Hill, Fogharty Hill, Harris Lookout,
and Fergus Mountain; the shoreline locations, Trant's Bay, Rocho's Bluff, Sweeney's Wall,
Fox's Bay, and Carr's Bay; and the valley and fumarole, respectively: Aymer's Ghaut and
Balway's Soufriere. The Irish surnames of Montserrat are: Allen, Arthurton, Aymer, Baker,
Banks, Bohan, Bishop, Blake, Boyce, Brode, Bradshaw, Broderick, Browne, Burns, Butler,
Cabey, (Coby), Cadogan (Codogan), Carey, Carr, Carty, Cassell (Cassel), Cochrane, Collins;
Corbett (Corbette), Daley (Daly), Daniel, Dardis, Davis, Day, Donohue, Doway (Dauway;
Daway), Dowdye (Dowdy), Drummond, Dyer, Edwards, Fagan (Faghan), Farley, Farrel
(Farrell), Fenton, Fergus, Ferrence, Flemming; Fogharty, (Fogarthy), Fox, Furlong (Furlonge),
Frith, Galway, Galloway (Gallaway), Greer, Griffin, Griffith, Gorman, Hanna, Harcun, Harney,
Harris, Higgins, Hogan, Howe (Howes), Huseey, Jacobs, Jameison, Johnson, Jones, Joyce,
Kelly, Kiernan, (Kornan, Kirnon), Lafloon; Lawton, Layne, Lee, Lindsay (Lindsey, Lindzie,
Linzie), Lowan, Lynch, Maginly, Mahcn, Mahoney, Malone, Matthew, McCalister, McCall;
McClean, Mead, Mercer, Mitchell, Molyneux, Moore, Morgan, Morris, Mulcare, Murrain;
(Murraine), Myers (Meyer, Meyers), Neale (Niel), O'Brien (O'Brion), O'Flannagan, O'Garra
(O'Garro), O'Hannan, Palmer, Payne, Piper; Pryce, Queely, Reid (Reide), Riley (Reilly),
Reynolds, Roche (Roach, Roachor), Roberls, Ryan, Shoy, Sullivan, Sutton, Sweeney, Taylor,
Thompson, Tracey, Trent, Tuilt, Wcde, Waldron, Walker, Wall, West, White; and Wilkin.
2. See Messenger 1959: 97-98 for a discussion of conscience vs. external sanc-
lions, tradition- vs. inter-direction, and suppression vs. repression among the Anang.


Edwards, Bryan, The History, Civil and Commercial, of the British Colonies in the
West Indies, London, John Stockdale 1801, Vol. I.

English, T. Savage, Records of Montserrat (unpublished manuscript) 1940.

Gwynn, Aubrey, East Irish Emigration to the West Indies, 1612-1643. Studies,
September 1929a, pp. 377-93

Ibid Pt. II December 1929 b. pp. 648-63.

Indentured Servants and Negro Slaves in Barbados 1612-1650 Studies, December
1930. pp. 279-294.

Cromwell's Policy of Transportation Pt. II Studies June 1931, pp. 291-305.

The First Irish Priests in the New World Studies, June 1932a, pp. 213-228.

Cromwell's Policy of Transportation, Studi December, 1930b, pp. 607-623.

Cromwell's Policy of Transportation, Pt. II, Studies, June 1931, pp. 291-305.

The First Irish Priests in the New World, Studies, June 1932a, pp. 213-228.

Documents Relating to the Irish in the West Indies, Analecta Hibernica, October
1,32b, pp. 139-286.

MacLysaght, Edward, A Guide to Irish Surnames, Baltimore: Genealogical Book
Company 1964.

Messenger, John C., The Christian Concept of Forgiveness and Anang Morality,
Practical Anthropology, Vol. 6 No. 3, 1959, pp. 97-103.

Reinterpretations of Christian and Indigenous Belief in a Nigerian Nativist Church.
American Anthropologist, Vol. 62 No. 2, 1960, pp. 268-278.

Religious Acculturation Among the Anang Ibibio. In Bascom, William R. and
Melville J. Herskovits (eds.) Continuity and Change in African Cultures. Chicago:
Phoenix Books, 1962, pp. 279-307.

O'Donnell, Joe, Seanchai of Aran. Journal of the Folklore Institute, Vol. 1 No.
1964, pp. 197-213.

A Caribbean Plan For

Primary Education

IN THE effort to improve the quality of education at the primary
level, educationists have turned their thoughts in many directions.
This has led to the appearance on the educational scene of a vast
array of "innovations"-all of which are aimed at making the teaching-
learning process more effective.
New subjects have been added to the curriculum and new ways of
teaching the traditional subjects are being developed. We hear of
changes in the pattern of attendance, changes in the preparation of
teachers and changes in class-room practices. Increasing use is being
made of the new technologies-television, radio and language labora-
tories. Programmed instruction and teaching machines are also being
recommended and new organisational patterns such as non-grading,
dual progress and team teaching are being advocated. New text books
and equipment are also being made available. On all sides education
is being inundated with "newness" with innovation, with change. And
while it can hardly be doubted that these developments are all in the
right direction and are aimed at improving the quality of instruction,
it would appear that because of our conception of teaching and because
of the conditions which obtain in many of our schools, the beneficial
results that should accrue from these changes (taken either individually
or collectively) do not show themselves in the system. In the West Indies,
as in many other parts of the world we are constantly plagued by large
classes, overcrowding, lack of adequately trained teachers, insufficient
materials etc. These negative conditions seriously militate against the
successful operation of many of the innovations referred to earlier and
if we are realistic we will agree that many of these depressantss"
will continue to be with us for some length of time.
In our desperation to improve our lot, the tendency is to embrace
every new idea and we regard each hopefully as a panacea for our
multifarious problems. Invariably each new scheme while plugging one
hole, destroys the fabric in other places and shows up more vividly
the flaws of the present structure. We reach out eagerly to modern
aids, to television and radio, to programmed learning, to staggered
attendance, to shift systems, to internship schemes; but we continue
to think of teaching in a rigid and stereotyped way. It has often been
remarked that education is ultra-conservative. There must be a teacher
in front of a class of fifty or sixty pupils (not to mention those of over
100 which are not uncommon). Every child must sit quietly "at the
* Primary here is taken to mean all age, but exclusive of Infants. The plan can also be
operated in the Junior School proper (7-11/12).

feet of the master" (increasingly it seems at the feet of the mistress!)
and "take in" all he can. This conception of teaching is in urgent
need of a re-look. Perhaps a hard, searching stare! We must, if we
are to improve, try new patterns of teacher-pupil interaction. We must
re-structure the situation of the teacher vis-a-vis the learned. Our
conception of teaching at primary level must be re-examined and we
must do so immediately-if not sooner! It is true that we have streamed
and grouped and brought in project methods and centres of interest
and play way approaches. There can be no doubt that we have done
a lot that is pedagogically sound but beneath it all we still conceive
of the teaching situation at the primary level as one in which a teacher
takes charge of a class of fifty or sixty pupils from 8.30 to 3.00 p.m. He
is expected to cover all subject areas whether he knows them or not,
whether he likes them or not. And all of his pupils proceed on a com-
mon front through these several curricular areas at the pace of the
mythical "average" child. The more able children get frustrated, the
the less able lost and an almost impossible situation develops for all con-
In this paper, the writer recognizes that many of the educational
innovations which developing nations are "taking over" from developed
countries are very worthwhile, and should lead to an improvement in
the quality of instruction. While we are always conscious of the superior
facilities and amenities in other countries, it is not often that we give
thought to the differences in the teacher's role or to the kinds of
relationships which exist between teacher and pupil in their "teaching
situation" We do not stop to consider that "teaching" for them, might
mean something very different from what we conceive it to be.
It appears, that if these worthwhile innovations are to be allowed
"to get to work" there is need for some kind of re-organisation in the
instructional pattern, and while mere re-organisation will not neces-
sarily improve the quality of teaching and of learning, it can hardly
be doubted that some organisational patterns do make it more possible
than others for more effective teaching and learning to take place.

It was with this in mind that the present plan was evolved. The
plan borrows from various schemes of cooperative teaching and semi-
specialisation. It garners and refashions such essential attributes as
seem practicable and worthwhile in the Caribbean area and in similar
developing countries. It takes cognisance of the difficult conditions
which affect teachers and pupils in our primary schools today, and as
it does not involve severe alterations or prohibitive costs, it should be
feasible. The plan is no more than an attempt to develop a rational
organisational framework within which progressive ideas in education
can get a chance to show their effects and it more realistically provides
for the achievement of such educational objectives as catering for in-
dividual differences, individualising instruction, developing special
abilities and providing fundamental training.

Essentially, the school day is divided into two parts. In the morning
session, pupils remain in the charge of their regular teachers who deal
with language arts, mathematics and social studies. It is suggested here
that these core subjects form the most important basis which every
child must go through steadily and progressively. In many ways these
are "imperatives" of our society. Later learning is often dependent on
these and it is also believed that, in themselves, they constitute the
minimum which any individual should know. The modification recom-
mended here is that in teaching these subjects it should be possible
to provide for some basis of cooperative planning whereby the less
experienced teachers could get some help and direction in the prepara-
tion and conduct of lessons. Suppose in Junior I, there is a trained
teacher but in Junior II and in Junior III the teachers are unqualified.
Through weekly planning sessions, it should be possible for the trained
person to guide the efforts of his co-workers and indirectly to influence
the quality of instruction in their classes. This spreading of "compe-
tence" without resorting to full scale team teaching procedures, could
be implemented with a minimum of inconvenience or disruption. At
the present time, there is considerable "isolationism" and many teachers,
deprived of this kind of assistance, flounder along while their charges

Because of our large classes and the wide range of abilities to be
found in any of them, it is very difficult for more than lip service to
be paid to individualised instruction. Pupils who are less able continue
to fall behind and there is an obvious and crying need for remedial
work. This is particularly so in the areas of language arts and
mathematics. Most teachers agree that, in the present situation, they
cannot make any worthwhile attempt at this type of work, although
they recognize the need for same.
It is suggested, therefore, that at some convenient time during the
afternoon session, remedial teaching should be done for those who are
in greatest need of help. The most "able" teacher within a division
or section of the school can take from a few classes those who need
special help and give them the benefit of his experience and expertise.
The rest of the groups could follow self-instructional programmes or
enrichment activities during this time. Even if the retarded pupils
are kept by their own teacher for concentrated individual attention,
while the remainder of the class embarks on "enrichment activities",
it is likely that much more will be accomplished than seems to be
in the present set-up. The use of something akin to "listening centres",
whereby teachers rely on tape-recorders to be "in two places at the
same time" is worthy of consideration here. So too are the various
techniques which come under the general head of "setting"
During the remaining periods in the afternoon session, subjects
like Art and Craft, Music and Drama, Physical Education, General
Science etc. can be handled across grades. It is debatable whether grade
by grade progression is necessary in most of these subjects and it is
generally agreed that children with special abilities in these fields are

not being allowed to push ahead. A look at the syllabuses in these
aesthetic/practical subjects will reveal the great lengths to which
teachers have gone in order to delineate what should be covered
in Junior I, Junior II etc. It seems reasonable to ensure that we are
not hindering the development of such special abilities as may be
possessed by our pupils simply by keeping them grade bound.

The plan affords a considerable amount of flexibility. Even among
the core subjects some degree of specialisation could be advantageous
Some people are wary of departmentalisation at the primary level and
concern has been expressed on this score. While this must be watched,
it is clear that in persisting with the conventional general practitioner
approach we are spreading so thinly as to be both ineffectual and
ineffective. The view has also been expressed that children at primary
level need greater "stability" and that this comes from the one teacher
to one class approach. As far as the writer knows this belief is as yet
untested, but in any case, pupils will remain in the charge of their
regular teachers for half of the day (at least) and this should provide
the "belongingness" which is felt to be needed.

The advantages appear to be many. Teachers of a particular grade
will be able to take their specialismss" to a higher level and will have
the opportunity of teaching such subjects to several grades, ma'ntain--
ing contact with many different classes and sharing much more in
the life of the whole school. This may lead to increased job satisfaction
and improved morale. Pupils who are better able in certain fields would
have a chance of having these abilities recognized. In the conventional
classroom, the tendency is to commend effort and achievement in the
core subjects mainly and to play down creative pursuits.

Towards the top of the school more ard more self-instr-ctional
approaches can be adopted. The skills so acquired will be invaluable
at secondary and further education stages and this is all to the good.

The new technologies undoubtedly have an enormous contribution
to make in our efforts to cope with the massive job of primary
education. The way is left open for their introduction and expansion.
At the same time, it is not necessary to wait until they are available
on a large scale. It is important that any new system of school
organisation should be sufficiently flexible to accommodate, at any
stage, these technological advances which are already upon us--if not
with us.

There is considerable concern in many quarters today at the
workload in Training Colleges, of students who are preparing to teach
In primary schools. They have always been viewed as general prac-
titioners who ought to be able to deal with a very wide subject matter.
It is emphasised that they must follow courses in several academic sub-
jects, in teaching methods relevant to these and also in general prin-
ciples of education and child psychology. With the desperate shortage

of teachers being experienced all over, it has become necessary to
admit to teachers' colleges many people of low academic standing and
Indications are that in many places this trend will continue. Training
College staffs complain with some justification, that the students simply
cannot be expected to cope with the content and method in each of
these "subjects" (sometimes as many as 16) plus the necessary peda-
gogical training in philosophy, principles and psychology of education.
It has always been contended that Teachers' Colleges should take
greater note, in the preparation of the teacher, of the job which he
will have to do. If the present "expectations on the job" are beyond the
capabilities of persons leaving college-despite the yeoman efforts of
Training College staffs, it seems sensible to alter these expectations.
If the primary school is re-organised along the lines suggested, the
teacher will be expected to acquire competence in language arts,
mathematics and social studies (which he will teach to one class level)
and in two practical or aesthetic subjects which he will teach across
grades. In addition he will study diagnostic and remedial techniques
intensively. It is foreseen that with such an arrangement, the training
of primary school teachers will be a more manageable proposition, and
will be more directly relevant to work in the schools.

In putting this plan forward, nothing radical is being done to upset
the social expectations of the schools or to alter their purposes. Its
implementation should not necessitate additional workloads to teachers
or prohibitive costs to governments. Certainly, preparations will have
to be made, but these should not be beyond the scope and resources of
those whose business it is to run efficient schools.

A series of in-service courses to upgrade the "specialist side" of
the work and to acquaint teachers with remedial techniques in the
core subjects would be necessary and as a first step an inventory of
the abilities and interests of existing staff would have to be made.
Merely re-grouping the pupils or shuffling them from place to place
will not produce the desired results and clear bases for classification
will have to be developed and administered. For too long have we paid
insufficient attention to valid criteria for grading and classifying pupils.

It should not be felt that there is anything sacred in the proposed
plan. In any community, or even at certain levels, the "imperatives"
may alter. Some school administrators may consider Science as a
"must" Others may want to Introduce a foreign language in the upper
classes etc. The plan is sufficiently open for such modifications to be
made though it is hoped that the underlying rationale would be

It would be too pretentious to claim that this scheme Is "the
answer" to primary school organisation and utterly naive to suggest
that there would be no problems or difficulties in its implementation.
But It is a genuine attempt to find a way in which organisational prac-
tces can be so structured as to give the many innovations which are

with us a fair chance of furthering the improvement of instruction in
our schools.

It would also be foolhardy to think of any single innovation as
"revolutionizing" education. We must press on with experimentation in
the new media, in school designs, in testing and the many other
aspects of education which are engaging the attention of educationists
but we must also prepare the ground-so that instead of falling by
the wayside they may flourish and produce abundant harvest.

A Probable Time-Table for one Class Using this Plan

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday

9.00 Assembly, Roll Call, Prayers, Religion.


10.30 B R E A K


17.30 Remedial Instruction in Language Arts and Maths
1.15 OR Enrichment Activities

1.15 Science Art Science Art Music

2.00 B R E A K

2.15 Music Craft Phy. Ed. Craft Phy. Ed.

Notes: (1) The periods used are 45 mins. each. These may be shortened to accommo-
date a wider variety of subjects in the afternoon sessions. The core subjects
should, however, be allotted more time and a 45 min. period per day
is suggested.
(2) Art and Craft by following each other remove the need for cleavage and
facilitate inter-relation.
(3) Health Education is embodied in Science.

Institute of Education
University of the West Indies.

Patterns Of Imagery In Two

Novels Of Curacao

FICTION from Curagao may still be unique in that it can reflect
the experience of the mnnabitants of the first island in the Caribbean
to have begun a thorough industrialisation, to the virtual abandon-
ment of agriculture. In its new shape, Curaqao might easily be an
object of envy by those who live on other islands with their still agrarian
basis of society.

Two novelists, Tip Marugg in Weekend pilgrimage (English trans-
lation by Roy Edwards, London 19C0 as Weekend Pilgrimage) and Borli
van Leeuwen in De rots der struikeling (Spanish translation by L.
Espinal de Hoetink, Mexico 1964 as La piedra del tropiezo) pronounce
a sort of admonition to those who might feel such envy, writing
strangely similar books and each creating a protagonist as representa-
tive of a group not usually articulate in recent West Indian fiction: the
white descendants of the "last planter-families", superfluous men, whose
search for evasion forms the substance of each novel. In each case the
evasion is in the direction of spleen, alcoholism, aggressiveness and an
agrarian nostalgia for the past of Curacao, its great houses and its folk-
lore. Motives of a sort do present themselves to the two men: to Lejeune,
the character created by Van Leeuwen, an ill-directed religiosity, and
to Marugg's unnamed young man, emigration to Canada, though it is
thought of as a kind of suicide.

The sentiments of these two "morituri in an isle of the sea" 1 are not
noticeably illiberal or unenlightened; here there is no reactionary senti-
ment beyond a disillusioned political indifferentism. So that Lejeune
neither approves nor disapproves of an older islander's cynicism:

"(Politiek) ta un baina. Ta pueblo ta manda, ma ta ken ta
manda pueblo manda?. Si bo no ta politico no metebu den
politiek. Corda cu cada cada cacho ta lembe su mes webu."2

nor does he rage at the century's social promotions. Marugg's first-
person narrator clearly concedes that Curagao is a "Negro island", not so
much ethnically but almost metaphysically so: its wind can only be des-
cribed as a "Negro wind", its clouds are "Negro", its cacti also. And
it has a "Negro coastline", rocky, spiky, treacherous, the more so now
that the white sand has all long since been carted away3. As Lejeune
in his turn puts it, the island "has a clear outline, but its structure
is hard to verify" For this reason both melancholy young men resort
to a complex of imagery to speak of their homeland and its destinies.

From the passage noticed earlier it is obvious that a powerful set of
images will relate, notably in Weekend Pilgrimage, to the principles of
darkness and clarity. Here it is noticeable that everything vexatious
and incomprehensible will be transposed psychologically into something
black. Conversely there appears an array of images of whiteness, but
these connote not hope or gaiety, the possibilities rather of an uncertain
future. At the beginning of the "weekend pilgrimage"-as it happens,
around the bars and lounges of Curacao-driving rain baffles the prota-
gonist like a bullfighter's cape,4 a dog obstructing the route is inevitably
a "black brute"s, a pen writing bad news is in the same manner a
black pen. More strikingly sustained is a childhood reminiscence of
blackness: the Negro wind of Curacao bursts into the boy's bedroom
later to transform itself strangely into the solid person of the black
housemaid. There is an odour of rum and a sensation of cactus as
she seems to invade the bed, and the boy cannot decide whether this
is sleeping or waking, though recollection of lightning that night later
terrifies him. The next morning he hardly notices that the maid calls
him "sir" for the first time, and that outside his window cracks have
sprung in the white walls of the goat-stalls.6

Another cluster of images relates to hair, vegetation and what
nourishes the vegetation: the wells of Curacao. Industry has sucked
away all the water in the ground, and all that is left are black pits
empty to the wind. With the felling of ancient trees the island is less
and less recognisable as a homeland, and in the rainstorm which be-
gins the story Marugg's hero sees from his car a tree-branch behaving
in the wind like an alcoholic, as though needing pity. New realities are
denuding the island's surface, and the only plentiful vegetation, aloes,
are, significantly, an abortifacient.7 The hero's head has a bare patch
upon it, the result of a fight long ago with a Negro boy at school a and
he also muses9 on the impression that it was only in the distant past
that girls had beautiful hair. The island's wells were to be thought
of as its eyes, and compared with woman's "most authentic feature",
her eyes 10 Van Leeuwen ends his book in his turn with a devastating
image of bareness, when Lejeune see his dying mother lying with hair
shorn, without teeth, "her flesh dried up." 11

Although cleansing showers of rain bring out white butterflies, 12 and
although "big white letters write the future" 13 the imagery of brilliance
makes the young men different, as the lights of the refinery-La Isla-
act like a hypnosis on the people, a vortex of incessant light which
has swallowed up all other livelihoods in Curaqao. 14 The dama di anochi,
the white flower of the island at its most typical is now comparable
only to a prostitute. 15 All that Marugg's young hero can think of now,
his mind obsessed by the phrase "a sombre song of sombre death", is
to be buried under the white oleander. 17 The pale bula dove of the island
has, he notices, a black ring round its neck.

As for many other West Indian writers, for these two storytellers
their island is a symbol, a "mythic coffer", to be imagined tentatively

through parallels in the protagonists' lives, rather than topographically.
Since they are born of Curagao parents, their homeland is in a sense
their collective parent. And the parents too, as characters in the books,
can represent the island in their turn. Lejeune's father is hopelessly
diseased, his mother sits demented among pictures of the Dutch prin-
cess. A rare moment of intimacy between Lejeune and his father is
broken by the mother, who recalls him to attend to the wilting plants.
Their decline parallels the island's reeling into barrenness, aridity and
heartless industrialisation. To Marugg's hero Curacao is the "symbol
of still unexplored landscapes in the soul"; to Van Leeuwmen's the
Biblical "stumbling-block" of the prophecies. This forms a neat parallel
to the respective evasions attempted by the two disoriented young men.
Other random comparisons occur: Curacao lies discarded in the sea
like a toasted peanut shell.

Now it may well be that all these images are not the result of cal-
culation by the two authors, of these singularly plotless and formless
work of fiction, but fall into a psychological pattern. The traumatic
change in the homeland's economy, the dispersal of a whole group.
whites and "whites honors causa", 18 in the direction of inauthentic ex-
periences is aptly caught by this particular pattern, and this gives a
poetic dimension to what Marugg's character calls "Negro Curagao"
thc'aht of as "ikv" and minatory The reference does not convey
concrete ethnic hostility sensed-in fact this hero in his aseptic indus-
trial surroundings feels reasured by the very smells of the island in
their last haunt, the interiors of Negro huts, and Lejeune classifies
with passionate interest the types of the rural Negro-but an appre-
hension of a certain void, an otherness which conquers the familiar as
remorselessly as the bright lamps of the refinery, "like the torches of
a parade of revolutionaries."

Department of Spanish,
University of the West Indies.


Weekend Pelgrimage p. 5. La Piedra del Troplezo p. 5.
2. La Piedra del Tropiezo p. 5. 12. Weekend Pelgrimage p. 15.
3. Weekend Pelgrimage p. 5. 13. Ibid p. 17.
4. Ibid p. 1. 14. Ibid p. 23.
5. Ibid p. 7. 15. Ibid p. 11.
6. Ibid p. 10. 16. Ibid p. 9.
7 Ibid p. 11. Ibi 10.
B. Ibid p. 11. 18. La Piedra del Tropiezo p. 5.
9. Ibld p. 5. 19. Weekend Pelgrimoge p. 4.
10. Ibid p. 3.

Book Reviews

West Indian Literature: Some Cheap Anthologies
Caribbean Literature selected and edited by G. R. Coulthard
(University of London Press, 1966) 12/6
Caribbean Voices (Volume 1) selected by John Figueroa
(Evans, 1966) 8/6
Caribbean Verse edited and introduced by O. R. Dathorne
(Heinemann Educational, 1967) 11/11
Caribbean Narrative edited and introduced by O. R. Dathorne
(Heinemann Educational, 1966) 10/8
West Indian Narrative compiled by Kenneth Ramchand
(Nelson, 1966) 14/7
Caribbean Prose edited by Andrew Salkey
(Evans, 1967) 9/5

NOW THAT West Indian schools are beginning to examine West
Indian writing, cheap anthologies directed primarily at schools (but
always, also, at "the general reader") are beginning to appear.
Caribbean Literature is edited by G. R. Coulthard. Like Barbarn
Howes' more expensive, From The Green Antilles, Professor Coulthard's
anthology offers, in addition to pieces by English-speaking
authors, translations from other languages French, Spanish,
though not (in this case) Dutch. On this small selection--127 pages-
there seems little point in accepting an invitation to draw conclusions
about "whether or not there exists common Caribbean sensibility."
The level of achievement varies greatly; well-known stories such as
John Hearne'" "The Wind in Thi Corner", and Samuel Selvon's
"Calypsonian" are included; but. so, too, a ry bad story by Ernest
Carr about a fatuous colour-sncb. It is a pleasure to read the trans-
lated short stories of Enriquc S2rpa and Ren6 MarquBs; but the
translated poetry, except .or Nicholas Guil la's, seems dull.
The editing is unfortunate. In the introductions which precede
each author's work, there is no clear pattern of information or of critical
approach: sometimes a critical appraisal Is offered, sometimes not; and
the biographical and bibliographic information is unreliable. Is there
som.e point in omitting The Autumn Equinox from Hearne's "main
works"? Can Eric Roach really be "the leading poet in Trinidad and
Tobago" when Walcott is, and has long been, a permanent resident
there? Selvon's first three novels having been dated, we are told that
'He recently published a successful anthology of West Indian short
stories" which seems to iefer to Ways of Sunlight, a book cf Selvon
short stories which appeared way back in 1958. John Hearne (born
1926 in Canada) is given as born in Jamaica in 1925. Lamming's essays.
The Pleasures of Exile, are named as a novel. Editorial inadequacies

seem to extend even to the text: the opening of Lamming's first novel,
In the Castle of my Skin, is presented as a short story, and in a version
different from and distinctly less musical than the Michael Joseph text.
(Compare the first paragraphs.)

Editorial defects do matter. These anthologies are likely to be
bought mostly by students. An important factor in the assessment of
these anthologies must be the nature and quality of editorial guidance.

Volume 1 of Piofessor Figueroa's verse anthology, Caribbean Voices,
is a more reliable tool. Although the literary quality varies even more
conspicuously than in the Coulthard book, defences are more readily
available. Preaching himself, and through Dr. Philip Sherlock who
contributes a Foreword the admirable pedagogic doctrine of relevance,
Professor Figueroa presents these poems "primarily .for use in the
f.rst four forms of secondary schools." (Volume 2 will be "for the
secondary school generally, for the general public and for University
students who are doing survey courses in West Indian civilisation and
culture.") It can reasonably be argued that the less competent poems
are, because of their subject matter, well suited to classwork with West
Indian children; that it is for teachers to train children to distinguish
between the tawdry and the worthwhile and to lead them from the
insignificant to the more meaningful (within and without this book).
For each section, Professor Figueroa suggests poems for reference and
possible comparison; the enterprising teacher will have further ideas
of his own. Professor Figueroa's "Suggestions For Further Reading"
might usefully have recommended cheaper, more accessible, books to
recommend: for example, W H. Gardner's Penguin Hopkins instead of
the Oxford University Press Hopkins edited by the same man; and
cheap collections of lieht verse such as Silcock's Verse and Worse or
J M. Cohen's excellent Penguin series, Comic and Curious Verse -
rather than Holbrook Jackson's Complete Nonsense of Edward Lear

The other verse anthology Caribbean Verse. edited by O. R.
Dathorne contains nothing so bad as some of the Figueroa exhibits.
Its method is different. By presenting his book in sections ("People,"
"Nature," "Art" and so on), Professor Figueroa suggests possible com-
parisons within the book. Mr. Dathorne does this explicitly in notes;
for in his book, which seems to aim at an older age group, authors
appear in alphabetical order. With an arrangement that is not
thematic, there is less excuse for including inferior stuff. By way of
introduction, Mr. Dathorne does an historical survey of West Indian
verse. At the back of the book are "critical notes" which, the editor
pleads. "are intended only as guide. They represent one person's
approach towards the understanding of these poems and must not be
taken as the 'right' answers." Taken in that spirit, the notes are help-
ful; critically they do not go far. Difficulties are removed and a
general interpretation is suggested; occasionally an inadequacy is men-
tioned. But the emphasis is so much more on information than on
personal assessment that one does tend to wonder, uncomfortably,
whether the editor thinks Robert's "Villanelle of the Living Pan" as

worthy of our attention as Ian McDonald's "Jaffo the Calypsonian."
Yet, a more personal anthology might, by excluding more, have been
academically less valuable.

Mr. Dathorne's introduction to Caribbean Narrative is cool and
scholarly in manner; but critically it is not exciting. It is, after all,
general, a pitfall which Dr. Ramchand in West Indian Narrative care-
fully avoids. Mr. Dathorne's prose selection is, like Dr. Ramchand's, an
attractive one; the two books could well be used to complement each
other. If they are seen as alternatives, Mr. Dathorne's may win fewer
readers than it deserves.

Like a scholarly team selector, Mr. Dathorne has aimed at being
representative: two extracts each from Jan Carew, John Hearne, George
Lamming, Roger Mais, Edgar Mittelholzer, V S. Naipaul, Vic Reid, Sam
Selvon who "are among our best writers and stand in the forefront of
West Indian writing, in all cases because they are the earliest among
our recent writers, and in some cases by the volume of their output."
Excercising his editorial right to be more personal than that, he goes
on: .it seemed to me that an exciting, albeit difficult, novelist like
Wilson Harris, ought to be fully represented as well. The others in-
cluded are Dawes, deLisser, Salkey, Denis Williams (one extract each)
The passages are, as the editor intended, self-explanatory; and all are
worth looking at closely. Used in school or in the first year of Uni-
versity, this could be a most acceptable text.
However, it is Dr. Ramchand's book which proves the best value so
far. The selection is interesting; but the real excellence is in the
editorial approach. Passages are arranged to suggest comparisons and
historical development. We begin with short extracts from four non-
West Indian writers who spent time in the West Indies; "the four books
help to tell the story of the West Indies at a time when there were no
West Indians able to tell it." Then on to deLisser (1929), McKay (1933)
and C. L. R. James (1928), some early West Indian writing. Finally,
extracts from books published after 1950, "passages .chosen to illus-
trate a variety of styles and a variety of themes." There is a photo-
graph of each author; there is a succinct introduction to each passage,
setting it in context and offering critical commentary which is always
sensitive and often stimulating; and the selection from each author is
followed by uniform biographical and bibliographical information.
Immediate difficulties are tackled in notes on the same page and there
is a further glossary at the back. Also at the back are suggestions for
class discussion: the intelligent teaching-questions "suggest ways of
looking at and thinking about texts which might help to sharpen the
response of the reader or help him to talk about his responses." It
would be difficult to praise this book too highly. "In this anthology,"
writes Dr. Ramchand, "literature is being presented as something to
which we respond, not something which we learn." Consequently,
unlike Mr. Dathorne's notes in Caribbean Verse, Dr. Ramchand's com-

ments and suggestions are firmly (though courteously) evaluative. On
a passage To Sir With Love: "In this incident, Mr. Braithwaite
appears in a more favourable light than Mr. Bell. One of the criticisms
levelled against this book is that the writer tends to belittle the efforts
of his fellow teachers while he shows himself as a superior kind of
person. This may be partly the result of the fact that Mr. Braithwaite
is not only the author, but he is presented as the main figure in the
book. You should think about this criticism as you read." Dr.
Ramchand frequently challenges the reader to think more critically and
more deeply "[Naipaul's] Migvel Street is not just a funny 'book about
odd people: it is a moving picture of frustrated lives and wasted abilities
in a limiting society." West Indian Narrative is more than an excellent
"introductory anthology": it is a book which offers much to those who
no longer need an introduction.

In leaner times, one might have been able to recommend Andrew
Salkey's Caribbean Prose. This is not a representative selection no
Naipaul, no Mais, an uncharacteristic Selvon, no Harris but it is
varied and interesting. Mr. Salkey gives brief evaluations before each
piece and biographical notes at the back. The general reader should
find this book worth buying; but no responsible teacher could order
stocks for a class that did not already own both the Dathorne (prose)
and that exemplary Ramchand.


Len Jacobs & Beth Jacobs The Family and Family Planning in the
West Indies, George Allen and Unwin, 1967

INTEREST in population growth is responsible for an Increasing
number of books on the several aspects of this topic, so fundamental
to developing societies. These vary as much in degree of sophistication
as in the type of audience to which they are directed. Indeed In many
cases the reader finds it difficult to discern the audience for which
the work is intended. The book under review, by well known pioneers
of family planning, Len Jacobs and Beth Jacobs, is expressly written
for a West Indian audience, particularly Its youth, and focuses attention
on some critical issues facing the West Indies and similarly placed
countries in the world today.

In the opening Chapter, entitled "Family and Society in the West
Indies", certain aspects of social change are taken up briefly. The
authors rightly argue that "the greatest hypocrisy and confused think-
ing surround the problem of illegitimacy", but it may be questioned
whether the birth of a child to an unmarried woman leads to "a slow.
slippery descent on an emotional ladder" Much of the conditions which

the authors depict would in any event prevail irrespective of the marital
status of the woman, if she and her partner have to live in poverty.
Nevertheless out of the picture painted they are able to demonstrate
the relevance of family limitation to Caribbean societies.

Accounts of the various methods of fertility control form the subject
of the second Chapter. These are adequately described and the limita-
tions of each indicated. Withdrawal, the condom, the diaphragm, the
cervical cap, spermicidal creams and jellies, the oral pills, IUD and the
rhythm methods are considered, briefly and objectively. The IUD is
strongly advocated, "The investment in a coil programme can only do
good to a country" At the same time the advantage which scientific
perfection of the rhythm method would mean for those reluctant to
use any but a "natural" method is fully acknowledged. Sterilisation
and immunization are also briefly commented on, while in a concluding
section abortion is rejected as a satisfactory approach to the problem.

Sex education is the subject of the next Chapter. This is com-
petently done, but the basis for the division into numbered sections is
not apparent. Thus under section 5 (Menstruation) subsections such
as Nocturnal Emissions, Fertilization, Rape, Abortion and Venereal
Disease are entered, although each would in its own right justify separ-
ate treatment. In a well argued section of the book a strong case is
made for sex education of youth, in school preferably, since this in
many cases is not made available by parents. Here the vexed question
as to whether and to what extent information on contraception should
be passed on to school children is also touched on. At the same time
it is not evident why the person responsible for sex education in the
class room should be called the Foster-Parent. In the next section of
this Chapter general questions on sex are discussed. These range from
"Why do children wet their beds?" to "What causes so much bastardy?"
For the most part these are effectively and frankly treated, but at some
points, notably in dealing with what the authors call "bastardy", ob-
jectivity and clarity seem sacrificed for a moralistic position.

A few general points concerning the book seem in order here. It
seems that the authors ascribe all the problems of the region to its
rapid population growth, but the social and economic problems associ-
ated with rapid population expansion can be quite adequately demon-
strated without advancing such a proposition. Again, despite their wel-
come frankness at many stages, they appear to view births to unmarried
women as evidence of "irresponsible parenthood" Although it is not
definitely stated, one is left to infer that such women are held to be
responsible for prevailing high levels of population growth-a contention
vhich is not at all tenable. It is disappointing that the immunization
trials conducted are so briefly touched on. Admittedly this is not a
technical work, and therefore a lengthy analysis of these trials may
be out of place. Still a brief outline of the factors surrounding this

method and what influence its failure had on the women who used
it would have added much human interest and general information to
a theme on which very little is to be gleaned outside of the technical
literature. Improvements in arrangement could have been made at
some points. For instance, the insertion of a list of family planning
clinics in the West Indies at the end of Chapter I seems out of place;
these properly belong to an Appendix. Also why are the diagrams
showing various appliances in use placed so far from the text to which
they refer?

On the positive side the book has the merit of being brief, (86 pp.)
simply written and free from technical jargon. Further, it deals with a
satisfactory range of problems in a manner which, if at times somewhat
moralistic in tone, will certainly provide a basis for fruitful discussions.
Many books now appearing on population questions are too technical to
appeal to the vast majority of the populations of developing societies.
To the extent that populations with very high fertility levels are
illiterate this does not seem to constitute any basic disadvantage. But
where, as in the case of the West Indies, we are dealing with a popula-
tion of sufficient literacy, attention should be given to the provision
of suitable literature on problems centring around population. Indeed
if the written word is to be exploited as an agent in promoting family
planning in these countries, an entirely new range of literature seems
to be needed. This will have to be simply written and oriented towards
specific problems and institutions of these populations. The early
creation of such literature is an urgent matter for countries with serious
programmes for population control. Many aspects of the work under
review make it welcome from this standpoint. It helps in no small
measure to meet the marked shortage of literature suitable to West
Indian populations. From this standpoint and from more general con-
siderations it can be recommended as a reliable and welcome guide
to family planning.


Harry Benstein Venezuela and Colombia, Prentice Hall.
John Fagg Cuba, Haiti and the Dominican Republic, Prentice Hall,
$1.95 U.S.

THE TWO books under review are recent Latin American titles in
Prentice Hall's Spectrum series, which is aimed principally at the
undergraduate and general reader. Harry Bernstein has largely re-
produced portions of his general textbook Modern and Contemporary
Latin America in his new work. John Edwin Fagg, previously known
for a general textbook on Latin America, attempts in his book to give

an outline of the history of the three island republics. Although it is
evident that the book is based on secondary sources rather than original
research and in consequence is strongest where there are good mono-
graphs to draw upon, it is nevertheless of considerable interest. The
largest portion of the book-one hundred and two pages out of one
hundred and sixty-five, is devoted to Cuba.

Harry Bernstein in what is otherwise a well-balanced account of
Venezuela gives a prime example of American hysteria when on the
first page of the text he mentions Jagan's Guiana and Castro's Cuba
in the same breath as the major external threats to democracy in
Venezuela. It is a pity that Bernstein was not able to use Robert L.
Gilmore's Caudillism and Militarism in Venezuela which does much
to explain the shapeless politics of Nineteenth Century Venezuela in
which personality and force were more important than political Ideals.

Venezuelan historians have scarcely ventured beyond the heroic
age of the Venezuelan Independence Movement, and there is clearly
ample scope for studies based solidly on local archives showing the
power bases of the Venezuelan Caudillos.

In his account of Colombian political history Bernstein falls back
on the traditional interpretation which sees it as a struggle between
"liberals" and "conservatives" Whether the use of these terms, cer-
tainly in the early period, is valid, is open to doubt. A situation in which
those who were formerly called "liberals" start calling themselves "con-
servatives" (p. 105) would appear to raise problems of definition. In
general one would like to know far more about the social origins of
the members of the respective factions-whether they were members of
the elite using political labels as a blanket for their personal power
struggles, or whether there were real differences between planters and
townsmen, between free-traders and protectionists. Colombian history
has certain similarities to Mexican history; but instead of developing
in a positive direction Colombia still seems left with a powerful church,
and with parties which do not think sufficiently in social and economic
terms. The rotation agreement of 1957 reminds one of Spain in the 1880's,
and one hopes will not lead to the same result-civil war.

Fagg has managed to obtain what is regarded as the "plum"
amongst the crisis school of historians of Latin America-Cuba and
to a lesser extent the Dominican Republic. Like the historians of so
many short general histories he does a judicious fade-out just when
he comes to something interesting and controversial. For example
President Johnson's very crude military intervention in the Dominican
Republic is skated over in five lines. (pp. 164-165).

This treatment of the Ten Years' War, 1868-1878 is very thin. The
outbreak of the insurrection is vaguely attributed to the spectacular
economic growth of Oriente province, the principal seat of the rebellion
(p. 38); but this is far from the case. Oriente was relatively un-
developed except in the coastal areas, which remained loyal to Spain.

In consequence there was a relatively low proportion of slaves to free-
men, and the slaves tended to be concentrated in the coastal plantation
areas. The rank and file of the patriots tended to be drawn from the
white and free coloured peasantry led by the local gentry. The wealthy
planters of the west were distinctly tepid towards the revolt, and either
co-operated with the Spanish authorities, or as a contemporary ex-
pressed it, preferred to join their brigades in New York, and fight their
battles through the consulate of their adopted country. 1 The statement
(p. 39) that the Negro element lost sympathy for the rebel cause after
the passage of the Moret Law in 1870 freeing slave children born after
the passage of the act. and all slaves over sixty is pure myth. The law
was not put into operation for over two years by the simple device of
not issuing any regulations for the enforcement of the acts. In view
of this evasion, and the fact that its provisions did not effect the
majority, it seems naive to believe that this ineffective measure made
the Negroes into Spanish loyalists. Negro allegiance would seem to
have been determined by de facto control of territory-where the
Spanish controlled the country the slaves were held down, and where
there was considerable rebel activity they joined the rebels. With regard
to the diplomacy of the Ten Years War Fagg like so many American
historians likes to eat his cake and have it, that is, to say the United
States was sympathetic to the Cuban cause and at the same time pur-
sued a policy of "legality" Secretary of State Hamilton Fish persuaded
President Grant to pursue a policy of neutrality so as not to prejudice
American claims against Great Britain arising out of the American
civil war, and thereby deprived the Cubans of the moral and material
support which was vital to their success. Fish obtained his award, and
served his country's interests; but to argue that his inglorious diplomacy
aided the Cubans is to overstate the case.
Fagg's account of the Spanish American War and period of quasi-
independence is on the whole clear and sound. However when he
comes to the Batista regime he protests too much. He argues that
American investment in Cuba had declined since 1929, and that in
particular the Cuban share in the sugar industry had increased. Both
facts are true, but the implication that American control of the Cuban
economy had declined is not correct. In 1929 United States direct in-
vestments in Cuba were $919 million, whereas in 1956 they were $774
million but the 1929 figure is before the great depression had taken
full effect. The Cuban share of ownership of the sugar industry had
increased before the Castro Revolution; but this was due largely to
the buying out of English anad Spanish interests rather than American
sugar interests. Whereas in 1929 American investment had been heavily
concentrated in the sugar industry and public utilities, in 1956 although
still heavily represented in those two categories American investment
had moved strongly into manufacturing, oil refining and retailing. If

1. James W. Steele: Cuban sketches, New York 1881.-Steele was a United Stats Consu In Cuba
during the Ten Years' War.

anything, American control of the economy had increased, and insofar
as the stagnant Cuban economy was responsible for the revolution must
bear a share of the blame.

However, whatever the faults discernable to specialists both books
should be useful to students as there has been a need for general up-to-
date histories of these countries. Both are equipped with useful biblio-



Tear loose
The life
Where shell-
Fish breed;

Flap high
With food
To fill
Your need.

The life
To fall
Through shock,

Then dive
To feed
Where death
Is rock.

Norman M. Davis
4915 Chevy Chase Boulevard
Chevy Chase. Maryland 20015


Wilfred Cartey:

F G. Cassidy &
R. B. LePage:

0. R. Dathorne:

Wilson Harris:

H. Hoetink:

Rex Nettleford:

Dexter Perkins:

D. A. G. Waddell:

The West Indies, Islands in the Sun
Nelson-National, N.J., U.S.A., 1967 $3.50 (U.S.)

Dictionary of Jamaican English
Cambridge University Press,
London, 1967 5 5 0

Caribbean Verse
Helnemann Educational Books Ltd. 9/6d

The Waiting Room
Faber & Faber, 1967 18/-

The Two Variants in Caribbean
Race Relations
Oxford University Press for the
Institute of Race Relations, 1967 35/-

Trade Union and Industrial Relations Terms
T.U.E.I. University of the West Indies,
Jamaica, 1967 3/6d

The United States and the Caribbean
(2nd ed.)
Harvard University Press
London: Oxford University Press 1967 38/-

The West Indies and the Guianas
Prentice-Hall Inc. N.Y., U.S.A.,
1967 $1.95 (U.S.)