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Errata: (Vol. 13 no. 4)
Page 15 (1) "It was precisely this that was in mind and
Institutes of Education were established in universities."
(2) for raison d'etre read "raison dy'tre"
VOLUME 13, NO. 4
Editorial Notes 1
THE RASTAFARI MOVEMENT IN KINGSTON, JAMAICA: PART II
Augier, Smith, Nettleford 3
THE INSTITUTE OF EDUCATION OF THE UNIVERSITY OF THE
R. N: Murray 15
POEM: Rilke (for Mardi)
Wayne Brown 23
NON-MEMBER PARTICIPATION IN THE SOUTH PACIFIC
COMMISSION AND THE CARIBBEAN ORGANISATION
Jung-Gun Kim 24
NOTES AND COMMENTARY: 31
I. West Indian Family Organisation
II. "The Rastas Speak"
Ras Dizzy I
III. "A Poem by the Poet"
Ras Dizzy I
IV. "Sold for a Song"
Rev. C. Jesse
Lindsay Barrett, Song for Mumu
Edward Baugh 53
H. Hoetink, The Two Variants in Caribbean Race Relations
Orlando Patterson 54
.. ... 50
SELECTED BOOK LIST
NOTE ON MANUSCRIPTS
MSS. and Communications should be addressed to the Editor. Unsolicited MSS.
which are not accepted for publication will be returned if accompanied by a stamped
Map of St. Lucia 1753
Copyright reserved, and reproduction without permission strictly forbidden
UNIVERSITY OF THE WEST INDIES
Editor: Director of Extra-Mural Studies, University of the West Indies,
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Single copies can be obtained in the West Indies, from booksellers
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SELECTIONS FROM PREVIOUS ISSUES
VOL 12, NO. 2
The Education of the Engineer in the
The Creation of Full Employment in
The Role of Capitalism in Jamaica's
The First English Settlement in St.
Commentary: Tree Crops in West
The Teaching of Geography in the
(1) F. J. Ajayl, Christian Missions in
(ii) Errol Hill, Man Better Man
VOL. 12, NO. 3
The Baffling Creator: A Study of the
Writing of James Baldwin
The Effects of Modern Technology on
Small Developing Countries with
Non-Standard English of Grenada
The Civil Service Strike in British
Commentary: A Conference on
Climatology and Related Fields
in the Caribbean
Margaret Nielsen, Biology and
Hygiene for Caribbean Schools
Shella Duncker, A Visual History of
the West Indies
VOL. 12 NO. 4
Sjanish-American Novel 1940-65
Spain & Dominica
Non-Standard English of Grenada
Linguistic Problems in British Hon-
Barbara Howes, "From the Green
Walter Jekyll, "Jamaican Song and
VOL 13, NO. 1
Roger Mals Design from a Legend
Commentary and Notes:
Ambitions of Jamaican Adolescents
and The School System
Education and Training of Manage-
ment in Jamaica
Edward Brathwaite, "Rights of
D. A. G. Waddell, "The West Indies
and the Guyanas"
The Jews of Jamaica: A Historical
VOL 13, NO. 2
The Influence of the Irish in
A Caribbean Plan for Primary
Patterns of Imagery In Two Novels
West Indian Literature: Some Cheap
Len Jacobs & Beth Jacobs, "The
Family and Family Planning In
Harry Bernatein, "Venezuela and
John Fagg, "Cuba, Haiti and the
K. S. Jullen
John E. Moes
Ripley P. Bullen
D. B. Murray
L. A. Eyre
K. O. Laurence
C. H. Grant
Helen S. Abriklan
G. R. Coulthard
Norman Ashcraft & Grant Jones
W. I. Carr
John C. Messenger
James A. Maraj
G. W. Roberts
Norman M. Davis
In this issue CARIBBEAN QUARTERLY reprints the second part of
the Ras Tafari Report begun in Volume 13, No. 3.
Mr. Murray, Director of the Institute of Education contributes an
article on the development of policy and the expansion of the work of the
Institute; education remains a priority question for the Caribbean territories.
Professor Jung-Gun Kim of the Department of Political Science, East
Carolina University is responsible for an informative article on "Non-
Member Participation in the South Pacific Commission and the Caribbean
Among the shorter pieces there is an article as well as a poem by
Ras Dizzy I, prominent member of the Rastafari whose intermittently
published prose pieces as well as his interest in painting have helped to
establish him as a spokesman for the movement. From St. Lucia there are
notes and commentary by the Rev. Jesse on the sale of that Island
"For a Song" a carefully documented piece of research on Caribbean
history. Notes and Commentary contains too, a reprint of a brief but
perennially informative analysis of West Indian family organization by
We are happy to include in this issue a poem by a young Trinidadian,
Wayne Vincent Brown, final year Arts student at the University, whose
talent has already begun to impress his fellow writers of the West Indies.
Two book reviews by Alumni of the University now teaching here
conclude the material for this final volume of 1967. Edward Baugh of the
Department of English, notices "Song for Mumu", a new first novel by
Jamaican, Lindsay Barrett; and Dr. Orlando Patterson, lecturer in Sociology,
comments on H. Hoetink's "Two Variants in Caribbean Race Relations"
PUBLICATIONS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF EXTRA-MURAL
ARTIST IN WEST INDIAN
2) Adams, Magnus and
3) George Cumper:
WEST INDIAN PLAYS
RADIO BROADCAST SCRIPTS
TRAINING FOR MEDICINE
IN THE WEST INDIES
A NEW DEVELOPMENT IN THE
AGRONOMY OF PIMENTO
SPANISH AMERICAN NOVEL -
M. G. Smith The life of Norman Paul
a healer, diviner and
seer in Grenada, as re-
corded by M. G. Smith
Seven lectures delivered
in a seminar held during
May and June, 1963, in
Port-of-Spain under this
A St. Lucian Journal
in Jamaica 3/- each.
Looking at Figures
Agricultural Research in
Jamaica (Five papers from Seminar in
Single plays by the following authors,
complete list on application.
scripts of broadcast programmes are avail-
able from the Radio Education Unit of
Louis S. Grant
G. P. Chapman
G. R. Coulthard
TRADE UNION AND INDUSTRIAL
RELATIONS TERMS Edited by R. Nettleford
H. R. Roberts
THE RAS TAFARI MOVEMENT
IN KINGSTON, JAMAICA
V. THE MOVEMENT'S CURRENT ORGANISATION
Our survey has revealed several lines of division among the Ras Tafari
brethren; those who belong to Locals of the Ethiopian World Federation Inc.
and those who do not; those who grow their beards and long hair, those
who also plait their locks ,and those who do neither; those who have adopted
the Niyabingi ethos and those who have not; those totally alienated from
Jamaican society, and those who are not; those with a definite Marxist
framework of ideas, and those without. There are also important divisions
between rural and urban brethren, between the young and the old, between
those who regard a firm social organisation as a necessary instrument for
the achievement of their aimss, and those who reject this idea totally;
between the unemployed and the employed bethren; between those who are
addicted to ganja and those opposed to it; between those for whom the
Emperor has special importance as a spiritual force, and those who conceive
of him in racial-political terms primarily.
A movement with this complex composition and heterogeneity of
elements cannot possibly have a simple constitution. Its sheer complexity
makes manipulation by trouble-makers exceedingly easy. Those interested in
the ganja traffic, whether at home or abroad, find a serviceable instrument in
the Ras Tafari brethren; those interested in provoking a revolution in Ja-
maica, whether on Marxist or racialist grounds, can find a serviceable instru-
ment in the Ras Tafari movement; those merely interested in defrauding
people and pursuing personal gain find a ready market in the Ras Tafari
movement. It is perfectly clear that all these four types of manipulators are
active among the brethren. Only their mutual competition has prevented a
major upheaval so far. How long this will continue remains to be seen.
It is important to recognize that probably most of the declared Ras
Tafari brethren are not affiliated to organizations of any sort. They may
collect in little informal bodies, but these lack a hierarchic structure, rules
of procedure, aims, books and the like. Generally such informal groups serve
as ganja-smoking clubs and provide their members with religious and social
companionship. Some groups of this sort observed by us have a violent
undercurrent to them, and are sited in the most abject slums. Typically, their
members are Locksmen, Niyabingi is a password, and almost all are un-
Many Locksmen live in small overcrowded shelters with their women or
kin; some, lacking women and kin, live together. Often a 'yard' containing
four or five separate structures is entirely filled by the men of Locks, or by
other Ras Tafari. However, Ras Tafari brethren seem to be just as keen as
anyone else to live separately with their own families in their own homes. It
is commonly believed that all Ras Tafari brethren live in 'camps'. We have
encountered several such camps, but doubt whether the members really live
there; Locksmen or other brethren who go to camp often have some place of
abode elsewhere. Many brethren in fact that two or more such abodes, in
one of which they conduct their business with other brethren. When in camp,
Locksmen have nothing to do with women and cook for themselves. (Levi-
ticus II). Some cliques or clusters of Locksmen give their little assemblies a
group name, others do not; and named informal groups split, disperse or
otherwise change as circumstances require.
There are many brethren living in rented quarters by themselves in dif-
ferent parts of the city. Occasionally one finds a family, some members of
which are Ras Tafari living in a concrete bungalow. More commonly when
young men show Ras Tafari behaviours, their parents react sharply and the
young man leaves home in disgrace, fulfilling the prophecy that the faithful
will suffer and thus becoming further convinced of the truth of the doctrine.
The self-fulfilling prophecies implicit in Ras Tafari behaviour are an im-
portant element validating the creed for new converts.
In the dense slum areas the prevailing doctrine and ideology is now Ras
Tafari; in the equally dense but better built lower-income residential areas
such as Jones Town, Rose Town, Admiral Town, Trench and Denham Town,
the doctrine is well represented. Many who shout racial slogans or display
racial behaviours are not Ras Tafari brethren, but have accepted important
elements of the doctrine, especially the racial protest.
The orderly and moderate segment of the Ras Tafari brethren are mainly
to be found within the local branches of the Ethiopian World Federation; how-
ever, there are certain moderate groups such as the United Ethiopian Body,
the Ethiopian Orthodox Coptic Faith, and the United Afro-West Indian
Brotherhood, which flourish in full or partial independence. Conversely, some
activist units are loosely attached through their leaders or members to the
E.W.F. Of the E.W.F. Locals in Kingston, three have bearded Presidents
but we have only met Locksmen at two. Of the eight Kingston Locals, three
are known to be dormant, and maybe defunct. The failure of the Ethiopian
World Federation in Kingston is not entirely due to a failure of leadership,
although it is quite true that the leadership has failed to grasp its opportuni-
ties to the full, is intensely suspicious of rivalry, and has a limited contract
with the mass of the people. Other factors which contribute to. the relative
failure of the E.W.F. include the deterioration in living conditions among
the urban lower class, the growth of the city, the lack of a positive social
programme within the E.W.F., and especially its peculiar dependence on the
American headquarters. In 1959 there was a Convention at Davis Lane off
Upper West Road at which representatives of different urban Locals con-
sidered their common problems for three or four daily sittings. Among these
problems were the lack of any all-island Executive Committee co-ordinating
the activities of the separate Locals, the inability of the Jamaican members
of the E.W.F. to select by their own free will delegates to represent them at
the successive annual conventions of the Federation in New York. and their
dependence for information about developments at headquarters on the three
Jamaica officials at the New York office. The dependent position of Jamaican
E.W.F. branches is aggravated by the fact that as far as we know Jamaica
may contain more E.W.F. Locals than the U.S.A. Accordingly, some members
of this 1959 meeting of the E.W.F. argued strongly in favour of moving the
headquarters of the organization from New York to this island. A report
published by the Jamaican delegation attending the 20th International
Convention, of the E.W.F in New York says:
"The second important issue was subject to complaints made to
the Executive Committee of the E.W.F. about the actions of the
Ras Tafari Cults and the self-styled African Reform Church led' by
the so-called, Rev. C. V. Henry, repairer of the breach, who has
brought the name of this Organisation and His Imperial Majesty
into disrepute. For information, the E.W.F. is a registered recog-
nised and International Organisation, is fully accepted by His Im-
perial Majesty Haile Selassie I. It has no connection whatsoever
with people who are not God-fearing, not Law-abiding, dishonest
in their intentions, and who have no regard for Ethiopia's Culture
or Tradition. The Convention named a Committee to go into
this very important matter and to see to it that the people in the
W.I., especially Jamaica, are not misled by these unscrupulous
Artless, Godless and self-styled Leaders." (The Youth, December
1959 Kingston, p. 14).
To the best of our knowledge, this Committee has not yet arrived.
Meanwhile, as the organisation established at the Emperor's direction and
authorised to mediate between Ethiopia and "the black peoples of the West",
the Ethiopian World Federation both in New York and Jamaica exercises a
monopoly of quasi-official contact with Ethiopia. The New York head office
is said to employ only three people. If the local E.W.F. is to become vital, it
needs energetic recruits with a sense of mission, and it also needs a more de-
mocratic administration. Under present arrangements, officials appear to the
Jamaican members to be irremovable, and communications of the greatest im-
portance to the enrolled brethren are not sufficiently publicised. The E.W.F.
in Jamaica could probably become more effective if it adopted a policy of
expansion. A strong Executive Committee on which all urban branches are
represented could be set up and empowered to take decisions and courses of
action on behalf of the organisation as a whole. A positive appeal could then
be made to the public by a series of lectures, street meetings, letters to the
Press, brief broadcasts and the like. As enrolment increases, so should
finance, and an effective Organising staff could be recruited to push the
campaign further afield. Representations to Government, the K.S.A.C. and
other bodies could then become effective. The organisation should have
confidence in its ability to face such challenges as those presented by the
Rev. Henry without appeals to New York.
There is evidence to suggest that a Bishop of the Ethiopian Orthodox
Church (formerly the Ethiopian Coptic Church) may visit Jamaica later this
year, or some time next year. The local heads of the E.W.F. have received
some correspondence on this matter. It is obvious that the organisation should
make the greatest possible effort to secure this visit as soon as possible, and to
set about the establishment of a branch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church
in Kingston. Trinidad, which has no Ras Tafari brethren, already has
a branch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. The Ras Tafari ideology is
inherently egalitarian; but the organisation of the E.W.F. is fairly author-
itarian and personal. Those Locals such as 7 and 37 which show the greatest
vitality have Bearded-men as Presidents, and a frankly democratic spirit.
All E.W.F. Locals have the following officers: President, Vice-President,
Financial Secretary, Recording Secretary, Treasurer, Sergeant-at-Arms, and
some have more. With a few other members, these officers form the Execu-
tive Committee. Meetings are held twice weekly, often on Mondays and Thurs-
day nights. Simpson's description of these meetings still holds. A local may
be registered at Headquarters in New York on payment of $10 U.S., providing
there are 25 enrolled members, each of whom pays an entrance fee of 50 cents
or 3/6 together with a weekly subscription of 9d. half of which is to be sent
to New York. Those Locals which are flourishing ignore the, latter require-
ment. They either collect levies to assist needy members as required, or if a
regular weekly collection is made, this is kept as a reserve fund for the group.
However, all locals do contribute to the travelling expenses of the Jamaican
officials who attend the annual conventions in New York. Independent groups
such as the United Ethiopian Body reject the idea of entering this Federation
on the ground that they can't pay taxes to New York, nor be subject to its
rules. Some other independent bodies of an activist type, notably the United
Rases Organ, may have failed to get recognition as E.W.F Locals. The rather
exclusive attitude of many E.W.F Leaders is not consistent with the doctrine
of black racial supremacy and mass repatriation. The E.W.F has tended to
regard itself as an elect or elite, and so has lost mass support. If it is to re-
cover this, it has to campaign vigorously for those important ideas represented
by its constitution.
Ras Tafari brethren, especially the men of locks, are surprisingly well-in-
formed about events in Jamaica and elsewhere. Almost every group keeps a
scrap-book, in which their correspondence is entered, together with a host of
newspaper clippings relevant to their interests. Many brethren listen to the
news on their own radios. All read the local newspapers with care and intel-
ligence. Little escapes their notice. In addition, they receive magazines such
as the Ethiopian Observer, a very creditable journal edited in Addis Ababa and
published in Britain, together with African Opinion ,an American Negro racist
bi-monthly to which some local brethren occasionally contribute. Marxist
journals such as the Worker's World are also available, and one brother in-
formed us casually that he received prohibited Russian and Chinese literature.
Nothing that proceeds in Cuba or Africa escapes the attention of the Ras
Tafari intelligentsia. Those who also belong to the People's Freedom Move-
ment receive its periodical newsletter interpreting local conditions. One local
unit which calls itself the United African Nationalist Movement bears the
same name as a New York Negro organisation with headquarters at the Hotel
Theresa, New York City.
Organisationally, the brethren may be subdivided into members of the
E.W.F. and others. Operationally, the distinction between Beardsmen, Clean-
faced or Baldhead men and Locksmen, few of whom have much to. do with
the E.W.F., provides a more effective basis for co-ordinating the differing ele-
ments and views within the movement at this stage. Rural units, whether
branches of the E.W.F. or unaffiliated brethren, have not formed part of this
survey. It appears that whereas the Rev. Henry's activities have had a. pro-
foundly disturbing effect on the urban Ras Tafari brethren, most of these
remained aloof, and that the African Reform Church drew the bulk of its fol-
lowing from the rural areas. At Old Harbour there is a small defiant group
known as the Blood and Thunder Ras Tafari Brethren,. from whom even the
others keep away. At Montego Bay another group of similar size is said to
workshop Ibn Saud as God, a patent heresy.
VI. WHAT RAS TAFARI BRETHREN WANT
The UCWI was invited by Ras Tafari Brethren to tell the public what the
movement stands for, how it is organised, and what the brethren want. As we
have shown, the movement is not homogenous, and most of its members recog-
nise no single leaders or group of leaders. Nevertheless, certain common
desires can be formulated.
All the brethren want to be repatriated to Ethiopia. There is no agree-
ment, however, on what should happen in the meantime. The majority recog-
nise that they have to live, and would welcome efforts to provide employment,
housing, water and other amenities. There is, however, a very vocal minority
which regards any effort to help Ras Tafari brethren in these ways as a plot
to keep them in Jamaica. They profess themselves to be violently opposed to
any measures which might have the effect of rehabilitation.
At a meeting held on July 15th between the UCWI team, the Principal
and a large number of brethren, it was agreed that the following is a fair
statement of what Ras Tafari brethren want. In commenting seriatim, we also
include our own recommendations.
1. The Ras Tafari brethren all want repatriation.
2. All the brethren want local recognition and freedom of movement
and speech, which are essential human rights.
3. All want an end of 'persecution' by Government and the police.
4. Some brethren want improved material, social and economic condi-
tions until repatriation.
5. Some brethren want educational provisions, including adult education
and technical training. Many brethren are skilled men seeking em-
6. Some brethren have suggested that a special fund be set up, to be
known as the Ras Tafari Rehabilitation Fund.
7. Others have asked for a radio programme to tell Jamaica about their
doctrine; some for Press facilities.
The goals and needs are specific and operational. There is nothing in-
herently impossible about them. The most important are also the most difficult
and the most generally wanted. Of these, repatriation, that is, return to Africa,
is undoubtedly the most passionately held and widespread demand of the Ras
We are strongly of the opinion that the Government of Jamaica should
take the initiative in arranging for the emigration to Africa and settlement
therein of Jamaicans who wish to go there. Several reasons lead to this
(1) Every citizen has a right to emigrate if he so desires, and to change
his nationality if he so desires.
(2) While many Ras Tafari brethren would stay in Jamaica if they found
work and good social conditions, a large number have strong religious and
emotional ties with Africa, which cannot be destroyed.
(3) Jamaica is over-populated, and cannot provide work for all its
citizens. Every effort should be made to facilitate emigration.
(4) Jamaica now facilitates the settlement of emigrants in England; from
a racial point of view emigration to Africa seems more appropriate.
(5) Substantial emigration to Africa will not be possible unless the
Jamaica Government takes certain initiatives.
The first step is to find out which African countries are prepared to re-
ceive Jamaicans. There is evidence that the Emperor of Ethiopia has granted a
few hundred acres of land on a trial basis for settlement of "Black People of
the West" His willingness to admit Jamaicans to Ethiopia should be formally
explored. Some Ras Tafari brethren fix their eyes exclusively on Ethiopia.
Others mean by "Ethiopia" the continent of Africa, and would be glad to
emigrate to any African country.
The first step is therefore to send an official mission to visit several coun-
tries of Africa, and seek permission for Jamaican immigration. Such a mission
should be led by a prominent Jamaican, preferably not identified with one of
the political parties. It should include civil servants, and prominent Ras Tafari
brethren. Since the movement has no universally accepted leaders, this pre-
sents rather a difficulty. The various groups will be able to nominate people to
discuss with the government the necessary preparations, and also to go on the
mission. However, if the mission fails, the brethren will probably repudiate
their representatives. Failure of the mission would not prove to the brethren
that repatriation is a mirage. This should not be used as an excuse for failing
to take the initiative. Emigration is necessary, and the government has a duty
to discoveD whether it is possible, and to exploit every possibility.
If any African Government agrees to permit immigration it will probably
impose tests on the immigrants. Possible such tests are literacy, artisan skills,
and economic viability. Many Ras Tafarians could not pass such tests without
preparation and help. They would have to use opportunities provided for
learning to read, or for acquiring technical skills.
Settlement of migrants costs a great deal of many, which is required for
opening up land, for roads, houses, water supplies, and industrial capital.
Even if a Government is willing to accept Jamaican immigrants, it may not
be willing or able to spend the large sums reqiured for settling them.
Opportunities for emigration could not be confined to Ras Tafari brethren.
Many other Jamaicans, who do not accept the divinity of the Emperor of
Ethiopia,'would gladly seize an opportunity to emigrate to Africa. Indeed,
since so many Ras Tafarians have had long spells of unemployment, Ras
Tafarians in general may find it more difficult to pass the tests which the
African Governments may impose than would other Jamaicans.
The immediate step is for the Government to invite a small group of rep-
resentatives of the movement to discuss practical moves.
The Ras Tafari cult is unique, but it is not seditious. Its adherents have,
and should continue to have freedom to preach it. Their demand for freedom
of speech and freedom of movement is wholly justifiable.
The public should cease to believe that all Ras Tafari brethren conform to
Those Ras Tafarians who advertise themselves by wearing beards or the
dreadlocks are shunned by the general public. They have difficulty obtain-
ing work. In every part of the world, including Africa, people who insist on
looking different from their fellow men tend to be persecuted by their fellow
men. This is not a justification for persecution. The public should learn to
recognize that religious people have a right to wear their hair long if they
wish to do so.
Some teachers cut the hair of Ras Tafari children, so the parents react by
keeping the children away from school. Some of these parents are asking for
special schools for their children. There is a much simpler remedy: the Minis-
ter of Education should prohibit teachers from cutting the hair of children
without their parent's permission.
The police and the Ras Tafaris are in a state of exasperation with each
other, which can lead to no good.
The police have had to cope with a violent section of the movement, and
have had to conduct security operations designed to discover the limits of
violent intention. Such operations are seldom gentle. Add to this the com-
plications of ganja hunting, plus the fact that policemen share the public's
prejudice against men who wear their hair long, and it is not surprising that
there have been many cases of arbitrary action by policemen against innocent
This had had the unfortunate result of wasting a valuable opportunity of
enlisting Ras Tafari support against violence. Many Ras Tafari brethren were
shocked by stories of stocks of arms, of foreign mercenaries, and of murder of
Ras Tafaris, and so the moderates, who are the great majority, might have
been enlisted in stamping out violence. Instead, by treating all Ras Tafari
brethren alike as outcasts, the public and the police have stimulated their
sense of common grievance, and may have strengthened rather than weakened
the ideological respect for violence.
The police have to keep in touch with potentially violent sections of the
movement. Apart from this, they should leave innocent Ras Tafari brethren
alone, stop cutting off their hair, stop moving them on, stop arresting them on
minor pretexts, and stop beating them up. Violence breeds violence.
As for ganja, all experience shows that this trade cannot be stopped by
trying to catch the individual smoker. Police efforts should concentrate on
finding out who are the big traders who are making money out of ganja. Also,
it should be fairly easy to spot the larger plots of ganja cultivation from a
Any self-respecting Jamaican who passes through such slum areas as the
Foreshore Road, Back o' Wall, Davis Lane or the like cannot but be ashamed.
Several of these slums result from squatting on private land. No water
is available. Pit latrines are illegal in Kingston; human waste is deposited be-
tween the shacks. K.S.A.C. carts will not enter upon private land to collect
rubbish, so that too is deposited between the shacks. If these people were not
squatting, the landlord would be obliged to provide water and sewage disposal.
The trouble is that squatting is tolerated, but not recognized. It is tolera-
ted because the Government is not building sufficient low-rent houses to
eliminate squatting. It is not recognized because to recognize it might involve
buying the land from landlords in areas where the market value of land is
counted in thousands of pounds per acre. And because it is not recognized,
the squatters get no amenities.
This nettle must be grasped. The building of low rent houses should be
accelerated. At the same time, there is little prospect that houses will be built
fast enough to absorb the squatters having regard to the rate at which King-
ston's population is growing. The owners should face up to the fact that they
have lost their land. Government, in turn, should pay them some compensa-
tion, based on the price paid by an unwilling buyer to an unwilling seller, and
should forthwith arrange for water, light, toilet facilities and sewage collec-
tion on these settlements.
West Kingston as a whole is sadly in need of civic centres, which could
serve several functions, such as technical classes, youth clubs, child clinics, or
book distribution points. Playing fields are also sadly needed. If such centres
are established under suitable Wardens skilled in this work, provision should
be made for Ras Tafari brethren to use these facilities to the full, along with
other citizens. Special efforts should be made to give young people of what-
ever persuasion technical skills, and to raise standards of literacy and general
education. If government provided sufficient funds, the UCWI might open a
University Settlement in West Kingston.
The Methodist Church has been active, but all the churches could usefully
do more social work in West Kingston. The Government should invite the
Ethiopian Orthodox Coptic Church to establish a branch in West Kingston.
The basic need of Ras Tafari brethren, as of most of the people of King-
ston, is regular employment. Given regular employment, the brethren could
afford better housing and other social amenities, and their feeling of alienation
would greatly diminish.
Unfortunately, the rate of capital investment in Jamaica is not adequate
to provide employment for all at the current level of wages. One must there-
fore consider how the people could help themselves by self-employment.
Some Ras Tafari brethren believe that, given financial aid, they could
establish cooperative workshops where they could produce commodities for
sale to each other, with a surplus for sale to the general public. There are
many skilled brethren who could work within this framework. The idea should
be discussed, and an initial experiment made.
Similarly, some Ras Tafari brethren are prepared to build themselves
houses, on the cooperative self-help plan, which has proved successful in
Puerto Rico, Trinidad, Surinam and elsewhere. They should be given the
chance to do so.
Some Ras Tafari brethren are seeking the opportunity to make their
opinions known to the general public by press and radio. They should be given
Reciprocally, the press and radio should address themselves to the Ras
Tafari brethren from time to time, in discussion of topics interesting to the
VII. SUMMARY OF RECOMMENDATIONS
In the preceding chapters we have made the following recommendations.
(1) The Government of Jamaica should send a mission to African coun-
tries to arrange for immigration of Jamaicans. Representatives of Ras Tafari
brethren should be included in the mission.
(2) Preparations for the mission should be discussed immediately with
representatives of the Ras Tafari brethren.
(3) The general public should recognize that the great majority of Ras
Tafari brethremare peaceful citizens, willing to do an honest day's work.
(4) The police should complete their security enquiries rapidly, and
cease to persecute peaceful Ras Tafari brethren.
(5) The building of low-rent houses should be accelerated, and provision
made for self-help cooperative building.
(6) Government should acquire the principal areas where squatting is
now taking place, and arrange for water, light, sewerage disposal and collec-
tion of rubbish.
(7) Civic centres should be built with facilities for technical classes,
youth clubs, child clinics, etc. The churches and the U.C.W.I. should col-
(8) The Ethiopian Orthodox Coptic Church should be invited to estab-
lish a branch in West Kingston.
(9) Ras Tafari brethren should be assisted to establish cooperative
(10) Press and radio facilities should be accorded to leading members
of the movement.
VIII. SOME CORRESPONDENCE
151 Lenox Avenue
New York 27, N.Y.
September 24, 1955
Local No. 31
Ethiopian World Federation, Inc.
71 North Street,
Kingston, Jamaica, B.W.I.
Dear Mr. President, Members of the Executive Committee
I was instructed by the Executive Council to forward to you, for your guidance,
the following information relative to the Land Grant in Ethiopia.
1. Five hundred acres of very fertile and rich land has been given, through
the Ethiopian World Federation, Inc., to the Black People of the West,
who aided Ethiopia during her period of distress.
2. This land is the personal property of H.I. Majesty Emperor Haile
Selassie I. The land is given on a trial basis, the way it is utilised will
be the touchstone for additional grants.
3. At present the Ethiopian Government is not prepared for mass migra-
tion, for this reason the people who are willing and able to go there to
settle on the land must be of the pioneer calibre, they must be prepared
to forego many of the things to which they are now accustomed.
4. These people must go in groups and have the co-operative spirit of -
all for one and one for all operating in this manner they can be no
failure; this is said because of our experience with several members who
are now in Ethiopia trying to develop the land but operating on an in-
dividual basis, which is not to the satisfaction of all concerned, how-
ever as additional members go we urge a change in this individual
5. Carpenters, plumbers, masons, electricians and other skilled persons
should be among these groups, to prepare places for the people to live.
People who are going to settle on the land should have a knowledge of
farming. Doctors, Teachers, nurses and other professional people should
look into the possibilities of going to Ethiopia to help in the public
health education of our brothers and sisters there and in turn learn
from them many things which we need to know.
6. Since the Ethiopian World Federation, Inc., at the present time are not
in a position to assume the financial burdes of members who are
desirious of going to Ethiopia to settle on the Land Grant, we urge
that the local start a fund-raising campaign for the purpose of aiding
those members who meet the qualifications required.
Be assured that in the very near future a more positive programme for the
Land project will be in motion.
George A. Bryan
Robert L. Johnson
Ethiopian World Federation, Inc.
Ethiopian Orthodox Church Patriarchate
23 May, 1960.
Mr. C. Gordon E. L. Brooks,
63 Wildman Street,
Dear Mr. Gordon,
We have received your petition and the lists of persons willing to accept
the faith of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church.
The first step you have to take in this matter is to form an organisation
of the church with validly elected office-bearers to run it. After that you may
please make areportto us of your aims and objectives.
We are fully sympathetic towards the ideals and aspirations of your
people, and we may inform you that His Holiness the Patriach with the Holy
Synod will take the necessary steps in the matter of establishing the ancient
Apostolic Church there.
In the meanwhile, we shall be glad to receive more information about the
conditions and situations there.
Yours in our Lord,
Lisane Work Woubou
1 West 125th St., New York 27, N.Y.
June 13, 1960
Mr. Cecil G. Gordon,
President of the Ethiopian
World Federation, Inc. in Jamaica
6 Gurling Street. Kingston 12
Dear Mr. Gordon,
I received your letter of 7. 6. 1960 and would like to thank you very much
indeed. From the time that I got your first letter I and Fr. Meshesha have
sent a letter to Ethiopia to let us know if we can establish a branch of the
Ethiopian Orthodox Church in Jamaica and we are waiting for an answer. We
learn also from your letter that you have requested the Church in Ethiopia to
send you an Ethiopian priest to establish a branch of our Church and we are
very glad to hear that. I hope the Church will very soon send you a priest
from Ethiopia. I am planning also to visit Jamaica in September which will
be perhaps an interesting visit for myself and my friends in Jamaica.
It will be wise if you Mr. Gordon, will get many members for a new start
of the Church and School there, where we shall educate our young people of
Jamaica and send them to the University of Addis Ababa Ethiopia for a
higher special education.
Hoping and wishing you all the best I remain
Lisane Work Woubou
(REPORT SIGNED BY ROY AUGIER
M. G. SMITH
THE INSTITUTE OF EDUCATION
OF THE UNIVERSITY
OF THE WEST INDIES
Increasingly, educational thinkers as well as their colleagues in the fields
of politics and economics are becoming aware of the special role that univer-
sities must play in refining the outlook on education; in arguing for a greater
share of national incomes for education; in making educational management
more responsive to change and more effective; in interpreting the "new
technologies" and introducing them into schools; in the training of teachers,
supervisors, administrators and educational research workers, and in unifying
national educational purpose. The awareness is increasing that while the uni-
versity must retain classical functions of teaching and research along the
frontiers of knowledge and while the study of practical and immediate issues
is by no means its ultimate preoccupation, higher education cannot ignore
serious problems of social and economic development. Higher (indeed any)
education will grow away from reality if all involvement with social and
economic activities is eschewed. The people of the region are therefore look-
ing to the University to assume leadership in resolving some of these problems.
It is precisely this that was in mind when departments such as an Institute
of Social and Economic Research, departments of Education and Extra Mural
Studies, and Institutes of Education are established in universities. The
university being the "natural home of those kinds of highly trained and
specialised talent on which the larger society is heavily dependent", '
all its departments may and do intervene in current matters of public
moment but intervention is not by any means their raison d'etre. They may
"observe without having to participate, criticise without having to reform" 2
On the other hand the Institute of Education is a device for facilitating inter-
vention, an arm of the University outstretched to the community and bringing
the resources of the University to the service of educators, in particular the
In 1954 there was established under the aegis of the Department of
Education in the University of the West Indies, a Centre for the Study of
Education with funds provided by the Carnegie Corporation of New York.
It was almost a one-man affair, the person being on secondment from the
Institute of Education, Oxford, and spending a year surveying and reporting
on facilities for education throughout the West Indies. The results of this
effort were positive, and an Institute of Education, the model for which was
a recent development in the United Kingdom, was foreseen as a necessity.
The Centre continued as a sort of nucleus of the organism yet to come, and
in the late 1950's its two members of staff together with others from the
Education Department developed the activities which became the core of the
present concern of the Institute of Education.
The Institute, as it is now known, is a direct result of a Conference
called in March 1961 and attended by representatives of West Indian Govern-
ments and distinguished figures in education from Britain, Canada and the
USA. This Conference recommended that it should be set up as a separate
department of the University, and the Ford Foundation and the Governments
agreed to provide the cost of it for the first five years. With this support it
came into being in 1963.
As a department of the University in the Faculty of Education the
Institute works closely with the Department of Education and to some extent
also with the Department of Extra Mural Studies, and seeks to cultivate a
relationship of confidence and mutual help between the Ministries of Educa-
cation, the teaching profession and the University. In the same way it
stimulates growth in the quality of teaching, conducts research and gives
information, advice and assistance of the kinds and to the extent that its
resources and the talents available to it allow. As an arm of the University
outstretched to the community of educational workers, it provides a complex
of cooperative professional relationships through which the highest standards
of work may be achieved and upheld.
The field of teacher training holds immense opportunities for university
participation. An Institute of Education as conceived in the McNair Report
and discussed, for instance, at the Conference on Institutes of Education held
at Mombasa in January 1964, belongs almost entirely to teacher education,
and this within a context of university education. The West Indies Institute
of Education was foreseen from the start as mainly a university-based author-
ity for maintaining standards in the training of teachers through a concern
with syllabuses, methods and examinations. This concern is effected through
the existing colleges of teacher education and the conduct of numerous
in-service courses. Twenty-two teachers' colleges are associated with the
Institute. Some of these have been recently established and the Institute has
collaborated with them in their successful search towards acceptable stan-
dards. The manner in which these services are provided is not the same in all
the territories. In Jamaica there is an Institute Board of Teacher Training
consisting of representatives of the University, the Ministry of Education,
the training colleges, the Jamaica Teachers' Association and other indepen-
dent persons co-opted by the Board. The activities of the Institute in respect
of the eight training colleges in Jamaica are endorsed through this Board.
In Trinidad there is a Board of Teacher Training on which the Institute is
represented. In the rest of the Eastern Caribbean the coordination of the
Institute's work with the colleges is effected by means of the Standing Con-
ference on Teacher Education which meets annually to review the year's
work, to make plans for the next and to identify problems that must be given
priority as soon as resources can be found. The Institute has supplied
expertise in the conduct of the official examinations in the training colleges
of British Honduras and the Bahamas.
For reasons which cannot be entered into here, governments have
tended to assume full responsibility for the training of primary school
teachers, while the preparation, both academic and pedagogical, of so condary
teachers is, in practice if not in principle, the task of the university. This is
not a peculiarity of the West Indies 3 In a real sense, therefore, the
Institute is providing between training colleges and the University a bridge
where otherwise a gulf would remain. The structure developed in Jamaica
is in fact a significant departure which may well provide a pattern for other
Without the transfusion of resources which only the university can
supply, training colleges as at present provided simply cannot undertake the
necessary research, cannot engage sufficiently in the necessary in-service
training of teachers, cannot by internal effort alone adequately fulfil their
role in the process of modernising the practice of education.
RESEARCH AND MULTIPLYING EFFECT
In the past, the educators' guiding lights were experience, practices
hallowed by long usage, and assumptions borrowed sometimes uncritically
from Europe and America. Little effort was made to analyse the procedures.
Aims were formulated with a certain detachment from local realities. Today,
however, many outstanding problems are recognized and ways are being
sought to resolve them in a manner relevant to local life. There are pertinent
questions about the cost of education; we do not know in money terms what
we are paying to produce an "O-level" subject pass; little is documented about
child attitudes locally that may be of value to the conscientious teacher;
we still cherish obsolete concepts of the theory and the role of knowledge
in education; numerous problems about the curriculum and teaching methods
flow from this. Questions about school organisation and the use of buildings
are ripe for re-examination and there is the very big subject of West Indian
creole speech and the teaching of English. 4 There is, therefore, a long
list of problems that will engage attention in the future. They are not the
type of problems that can be solved by borrowing foreign conclusions; they
must be dealt with on the spot.
As with most underdeveloped education systems, in-put in ours is high,
waste too is high and out-put is low, to use the language of economics whose
methods of analysis are lately being increasingly applied to education.
Management is inadequate. In the top echelons we need trained administra-
tors, supervisors, research workers, statisticians, psychologists, curriculum
specialists, experts in the use of audio visual techniques, tests and measure-
ment designers and so on. Modern educational practice requires this wide
range of specialists but most of them though overlapping with the teacher,
should clearly be distinguished from him. The process of modernisation and
keeping modern cannot be done by teachers and administrators alone,
although these are almost the only professions actively employed in promoting
our instruction systems. The versatility and ingenuity of educational workers
is often stretched to the limit.
Furthermore, no large-scale activity supported from public funds can be
conducted without some sort of examination of in-put, of procedure and of
results even if the exercise is no more than a subjective one of standing well
back. Education is indeed our largest industry, one that is continuously
growing not only in absolute size but in terms of unit costs as well. Most
territories are spending large percentages of their revenue on education.
Barbados Estimates (1967--68) show 22.5% of total public expenditure ear-
marked for education; Trinidad has produced an impressive National Plan
for educational development and in 1967 had earmarked 21% of her budget
on this service. Smaller territories sometimes spend a much higher per-
centage. Jamaica's national plan is projected to 1980 and in 1966 education
was responsible for 15.9% of total government expenditure.
It would be over-optimistic not to expect that the limits will soon be
reached in some of these territories. High out-put must be looked for in
higher productivity and reduced wastage. Productivity and wastage factors
are now receiving much attention in the underdeveloped world and indeed
even in Europe 5 although perhaps more from the "educonomists" than from
educators. This whole business of servicing education is one to which
Institutes of Education are very well fitted. Their main purpose has been
to multiply effect in teacher training. In our case we have already begun to
assist governments in identifying and taking action in those parts of the
system where added expenditure will yield most.
Following logically from all this is the recognition of the place in our
programmes for surveys of educational needs, quantitative and qualitative,
and the pursuit of educational research. This research would be preponderant-
ly empirical the kind in which the tasks of the administrator and the
teacher would be examined and experimented upon, with a view to clarifying
and evaluating them and to proposing productive changes. The following
Institute studies may therefore be mentioned in this respect:
1. A study in connexion with the Team Teaching Project in Barbados
(supported by the Fund for the Advancement of Education). This
is an objective evaluation of more or less flexible patterns of
classification in primary schools emphasizing better utilization of
staff, time, and other factors of school achievement.
2.(a) A study in connexion with the Project for Early Childhood Educa-
tion supported by the Van Leer Foundation (Jamaica). This has
been a survey of teacher attitudes and ratings of teacher competence
along with an attempt to develop curricula and methods suitable
for 'culturally deprived' pupils of the age group 4 to 7.
(b) A study, recently commenced, to illuminate knowledge of early
childhood in Jamaica and to signal the differential effects of vary-
ing school conditions up to the end of the first year of primary
3. Various studies (in connexion with Caribbean Educational Publica-
tions) of the effectiveness of instructional materials specially pre-
pared for West Indian primary schools.
4. A study of problems of 'language arts' in the early grades of
selected primary schools of Jamaica with a view to improving
5. Studies of:
(a) the use of certain structural materials for teaching mathema-
tics to infants;
(b) the teaching of some of the 'new ideas' in mathematics to
children 12 to 17 years of age;
(c) the introduction of new approaches to mathematics to
6.(a) A descriptive analysis of St. Lucian creole phonology and
(b) A study of deviations from standard English in the speech of a
sample of primary school children in St. Lucia and Dominica,
begun February 1966 and completed last year. The study is an
analysis of language interference problems and is being followed
by a full-scale experiment using remedial methods designed to
overcome the specific language learning problems of those islands.
(c) A preliminary work initiated for a project on English Language
learning problems of primary school children in Trinidad and
Tobago. This project is now underway.
7. A Plan for Re-organising Instruction at Primary Level in Trinidad
and Tobago and Grenada. In 1966, a scheme for developing variant
methods of school organisation was produced by a staff member
and funds were obtained from the Carnegie Corporation to put it
into practice. The scheme includes elements of team teaching,
variable groupings and changes in the traditional time table.
Moreover, many traditional approaches to educational problems and
practices are rapidly growing obsolete. Some of the practices seem to be on
the road to becoming 'technology' and no country, least of all the under-
developed ones, can afford to ignore the new departures even after making
allowance for normal experimental strivings, theories and hypotheses. It can
hardly be doubted that a great deal of what is taking place in planning and
methods analyses, even apart from theories about teaching and learning,
For a small government to attempt to provide itself with even a fraction
of the personnel necessary to study, plan and manage innovation, it would
mean multiplying the cost of administration by a factor varying between 2
and 10. In fact, even if there were funds to do this, people of the right
experience to carry out the work would hardly be enough to go round.
The only recourse therefore is to creating a central pool of sklils from which
each territory may draw to supplement its own. The Institute tries to
provide some of these skills and to act as a base for others.
Publications and documentation, another complex of activities, is
developing in three main directions. In the first place, like any other
department of a university the Institute has responsibility to publish in
support of its aims and as part of its programme, apart from private or semi-
odficial work of individual staff members. Aside from the findings of research,
material for publication is comprised in reports of meetings and conferences,
in papers written for special purposes or on important subjects of topical
interest. There is a regular annual report of work of the successive academic
years and this includes publication lists. The second direction may be labelled
instructional materials and the Institute has collaborated with Caribbean
Educational Publications in producing the Hummingbird Books for use in
schools. It has also reproduced for circulation to secondary schools some
subject matter volumes which, though of special value to these schools, did
not excite interest among, commercial publishers. In connexion with curricu-
lum development efforts, the reproduction of experimental material being
adapted for use in West Indian schools has continued. The Institute News-
letter, recently begun, is intended to maintain contact mainly with training
college staff and Ministry personnel particularly involved in teacher training.
Thirdly, the recently established documentation unit may be mentioned.
An Institute documentalist is required to have knowledge of educational
theory and practice and to keep in touch with, training colleges in particular
with a view to anticipating their reading needs in education. She acquaints
herself with material coming into the Library and diffuses information about
what is relevant. In this way she helps her readers keep abreast of their
subject. Another function of the documentation unit is to promote the develop-
ment of school libraries and librarianship, again, mainly through consultative
contact with the training colleges.
Institute staff are not employed expressly to teach but the ideal staff
member has the qualities of an exceptionally good teacher, and has specialized
in some field of "applied education" beyond ordinary postgraduate level; he
is research-minded and has good personal relationships.
Although staff conduct numerous in-service courses for teachers none
of these, courses at present culminates in certification by this or any other
university. The scheme of examination for the certification of certain
categories of Jamaican teachers is administered by the Institute Board of
Teacher Education, not by the Institute qua department of the university.
The work of the Department of Education which concentrates almost
exclusively on postgraduate teaching within the university and so far only
at the Mona campus, is often, thought to overlap with the Institute's. Some
overlap there may be, and can be a good thing. While however there is overlap
in the qualifications of staff, functions are clearly differentiated. Both staffs
are necessary where they are. The Institute of Education is essentially extra-
mural and action-oriented, but as a department of the university it may call
upon the services of Education and other departments for occasional assist-
ance in the field, and as far as the other departments have field interests
that are allied to its own, they may also call upon it.
A major though inconspicuous part of the Institute's work is responding
to the many requests for advice and assistance that come in from governments,
schools, teachers' associations and other public or private institutions and
individuals in such matters as educational planning, school inspection (secon-
dary schools included), educational statistics, curriculum development and
Obviously, with a stable staff, so far, of thirteen or fourteen, the quantum
of what can be done must be limited, and this fact emphasises the pre-
dominantly qualitative role. Experience will show over what range of subjects
the Institute can usefully continue to extend itself with any given level of
But it would be wrong to give the impression that the Institute is by
constitution concerned with primary education only. Compartmentalization
of this kind would be untenable in view of the very nature of the subject of
education and of the wide ranging problems connected with it. Some of the
in-service courses dispensed by the Institute have been used by secondary
teachers; its work in school reorganization is relevant even if the schools
may not yet be ready to make use of it; and Institute staff have carried out
assessment of secondary schools in some areas. Furthermore, the Institute
of Education can assist in meeting new challenges in the field of secondary
teacher training that may require a combination of resources of the Faculty
With its special interest in development the Institute forms a convenient
umbrella for ad hoc external aid to the University that is earmarked for
certain operational or research projects in education. Such aid may be
administered on a regional or territorial basis and could come from a govern-
ment, a private foundation or an international organization. The Institute
may play the role of agent or co-agent, or evaluator or consultant. The pro-
jects mentioned below illustrate the idea.
The Institute is closely associated with the Project in, Early Childhood
Education of the Van Leer Foundation in Jamaica mentioned above. It
directs a Schools' Reorganization Project in Trinidad and Tobago and Grenada
funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the project's aim being
to demonstrate how teaching power may be made more productive through
the imaginative deployment of staff, time and other resources and through
the use of variable groupings instead of the familiar rigid class by class
arrangement. As has been noted, in the Barbados Team Teaching Project the
Institute's principal role has been to evaluate methods and practices, with
an eye to adaptations. Wherever projects of these kinds may be based the
lessons learnt from them may have relevance for the region as a whole. In
August-September 1967 the Institute on behalf of the University was res-
ponsible for conducting a Caribbean Seminar on Curriculum Development
and Teacher Training sponsored by Unesco and Unicef.
The enlightened support it receives from the communities it serves, as
well as the interest shown in it by universities and aid organizations overseas,
including the great international agencies, if proof, if proof were wanted,
of the existence of wide sympathy towards sound educational development
even if funds available for this are never enough. An immediate problem is
of finding sufficient resources for extending use of the Institute as a
regional instrument to meet new and growing demands. Shared, use of this
instrument by the territories does not mean a uniform pattern of use. It
implies flexibility and adaptability to fresh challenges.
Fourteen governments at present subscribe to the University of the
West Indies and while there can be no doubt about the underlying similarity
in the history and general condition of the various communities, it would
be foolish to ignore their diversity in levels of educational development or
in the essential rhythm of their development priorities or in the relative
amounts of money and qualified workers available to them. There are,
moreover, variations in political status. The Institute must be sensitive to
these differences and, where uniformity is unnecessary or clearly undesirable,
within the limits of its resources, serve each according to its needs.
Education is in the midst of a revolution which everyone is viewing with
expectation. The revolution will be successful only when a breakthrough has
taken place in greater management efficiency, more teachers who are
dedicated, better teaching all round, and the introduction of effective
innovations. In social and economic affairs as in education, Caribbean man
is deluded if he cannot perceive that his own progress will not be secured
through changes engineered outside the Caribbean. Equally, educational
self-determination will remain a flimsy plant if it is not nourished in the local
soil. Serious investigation into the problems as a field of university engage
ment is called for. In many countries university commitment of resources to
education as a discipline is increasing towards the scale deserved by the
social and economic potential of the subject. If aid 6 can be secured for the
purpose the University of the West Indies, utilizing the Institute as a founda-
tion, should take the lead in establishing a Caribbean Centre for the Study
of Local Educational Problems. The principal locus of activity would be
the English-speaking territories, and links would be established with kindred
efforts in Latin America; but the Centre would have special relevance too
for those African territories whose educational systems are of the same
derivation as ours and whose problems are not unlike our own.
R. N. MURRAY
(1) The University at the Service of Society -
The Carnegie Foundation.
(2) Sir Eric Ashby: Article in Minerva,
(3) See Brochure Teacher Supply & Utilization by Freeman Butts prepared
for the International Conference on the World Crisis in Education,
4 These two subjects are among those being currently studied by the
5 The activities of OECD in education are an example.
6 The big, general problems are best dealt with on an international basis
(see pp 145-149, Problems of Aid to Education in Developing Countries,
L. Cerych, Atlantic Institute. Praeger 1965). The developing English-
speaking communities of the Caribbean are not too advantageously grouped
by Unesco and the UN within the Latin America geographical area. A
Regional Centre, such as is suggested, should be established to serve their
RILKE (for Mardl)
"All that was a trust.
But were you equal to it? Were you not always
distracted by expectation, as though all this
were announcing someone to love?"
The First Elegy.
For seven years, eyesockets like caves,
He watched in the mountains over the city
For the coming of the printless beast. But
In his mind's known home, continued usual,
Order undisturbed, the cushioned cat,
The twitching dog asleep on the mat,
And his fed fire, private, stern,
Keeping its anguished dialogue of coals:
Small poems in the lessening light.
Now past his prime, he watched at night
The logbook thicken with his soul's
Entries, the low controlled fire turn
Strange shapes off its silent walls.
He could discern nothing. The flagged hall
Echoes, vacant, gaunt. Outside, wind leapt
Howling in the leaves; an evil mist crept
Inwards. He rose and dragged the wooden chair
As close to the fire as he'd dare.
From here there was nowhere to go.
Would the animal never rise?
The poems, he knew now, were lies,
Bright hot-pawed skittery cats
Cuffing, triumphant, out of old corners
Dead roaches into the light. Yet, on nights
When the moon like water rose to his eyes
And the fire grew silent and dark, some ghost -
Dog's howl, old as the hills, would sink
Inward on ribbons of wind, and, shaken, he
Would think: "Time for another log". Might not
A little fire, small poem, save him?
Somewhere, someone was lying still. So,
For seven years he stayed, immortal as mist,
But mesmerised, dulled by that same fire's glare
That kept the animal out. But one night,
Exhausted, slept on his chest, coals
Tiny as stars, and the animal entered.
All night in nightmare he dreamt of the wail
Of the wind taking new shapes, twisting within him
Like flames and next day, was sure he'd glimpsed
(Too briefly for charting; it left no trail)
The shadow of a great unkempt beast
Bounding through billowing veils of mist,
The Poem tied like a kite to its tail
Crying in the teeth of the wind.
NON-MEMBER PARTICIPATION IN
THE SOUTH PACIFIC COMMISSION
AND THE CARIBBEAN ORGANIZATION
The movement toward varying degrees of international integration
buttressed by the principle of collective security, in which men and states
can exist in peace, have constituted a significant development of international
relations in the twentieth century. The establishment of the League of
Nations, the United Nations, and a host of other important multipartite public
international communities tend to evidence this fact.
Inevitably, however, international organizations, thus created, are sub-
ject to the prevailing international political climate. Current experience in
international relations reveals not only the quantitative mushrooming of
international organizations but also proportionately greater numbers of the
problems associated with them. One of these problems is the ascertainment
of the legal status and the assessment of the nature and significance of non-
As long as there are international organizations which embrace less
than a universal membership, there exist non-members; and the problem
of non-members becomes particularly acute when it involves one or more of
the "great powers." Absence of the United States from the League of Nations
is a case in point; even in the United Nations, certain countries do not hold
regular membership, including Communist China and the divided nations of
Germany, Korea, and Vietnam, among others.
Although political discussions for and against the admission of continental
China, West Germany, and others, have been vigorously exchanged in a
variety of communication media, little attention has been paid to an examina-
tion of the actual practices of international organizations regarding overall
policy concerning non-members, as set down in their legal documents, or to
a review of the procedures, patterns, the methods of participation, and other
There appears to exist, in short, a one-sided concern with the problems
of formal membership, almost completely neglecting the matter of non-
membership as that status relates to the practices and operations of interna-
tional organizations. This paper, therefore, focuses on the problem of
non-membership, not on general and/or political international organizations,
but on the specific cases of the two international organizations which are
founded upon the principle of economic and technical cooperation, which,
after all, is the essential precondition for international peace. The principal
aim has been to extract both the legal provisions and procedural stipulations
governing non-member participation, and to determine the general scope
and the significance of such participation.
II. SOUTH PACIFIC COMMISSION
The South Pacific Commission is established by an Agreement signed at
Canberra, Australia, on February 6, 1947, among the governments which
administered territories in the southern Pacific area. Its membership includes
Australia, France, the Netherlands (which terminated its membership on
December 31, 1962), New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United
The South Pacific region or what is often called the "Commission
Area" includes nearly all the Pacific Islands from Papau and New Guinea
eastward to French Polynesia and from the Trust Territory of the Pacific
Islands southward to Norfolk Island. The area covers about twelve million
square miles, of which only three per cent is land. Some three million people
live on this area. Independent Western Samoa and the Kingdom of Tonga
lie within the area but are not included among the "non-self-governing
With headquarters originally in Sydney, Australia later moved to
permanent headquarters in Noumea, New Caledonia the Commission is
composed of a "Commission" and the South Pacific Conference.
Essentially, the South Pacific Commission is designed to "encourage and
strengthen international cooperation in promoting the economic and social
welfare and advancement of the non-self-governing territories in the South
Pacific region" administered by them. In pursuance of this objective, the
"Commission" acts both as executive and as secretariat the chief officer
of the Commission being the Secretary-General of the Organization.
The "Commission" consists of a maximum of ten commissioners, each of
the five participating governments being entitled to appoint two (one of
whom is designated Senior Commissioner). The Senior Commissioner presides
over sessions of the "Commission" in rotation according to the English
alphabetical order of the participating governments. The "Commission" is,
in turn, assisted by two auxiliary bodies: the South Pacific Conference and a
The South Pacific Conference, an advisory body, is convened by the
"Commission" at an interval of not more than three years, and is participated in
by representatives of the inhabitants of all territories within the Commission's
area, plus a few others, in accordance with their respective constitutive
prescriptions. The following table indicates the manner of their participation:
TERRITORY No. of
No. of Alternates
Delegates & Advisers
Papau 2 4
New Guinea (Australian Trust Territory) 2 4
Nauru 1 2
New Caledonia and Dependencies 2 2
French Polynesia 2 2
Netherlands New Guinea 2 4
Western Samoa 2 2
Tokelau Islands 1 -
TERRITORY No. of
No. of Alternates
Delegates & Advisers
Cook Islands 2 2
Niue 1 1
Fiji 3 2
British Solomon Islands Protectorate 2 2
Gilbert Islands 2 2
Ellice Islands 2 2
American Samoa 2 2
Guam 2 2
Trust Terr. of Pacific Islands
(Under U.S. Administration) 2 2
New Hebrides (Condominum) 2
* Source: Rules of Procedure of the South Pacific Conference. See under
"Designation of Territories" (Article Number not given).
The Research Council is responsible for maintaining continuous overall
survey of research activities of the Commission as well as carrying out the
specific research projects itself when approved by the Secretary-General.
The annual budget of the Commission is financed by grants made by
each of the member governments in agreed proportions, and, in addition,
the organization sometimes receives grants from foundations and from United
Nations specialized agencies, as well as from territorial administration.
The policy of the South Pacific Commission regarding non-member
participation appears to be quite liberal. In the first instance, the Organiza-
tion maintains a close liaison and cooperation with numerous public and
private organizations. The United Nations, through its Technical Assistance
Board and the Specialized Agencies (particularly the Food and Agricultural
Organization, the World Health Organization, and UNESCO), has assisted
the South Pacific Commission in various projects either financially or by
In addition, numerous private institutions such as the Australian Na-
tional University, the Institute Francais de'Oceanie, the University of Hawaii,
and others, similarly assisted the Organization.
In the specific case of the South Pacific Conference, the following
categories of non-members participate (but without the right to vote):'
1. Such other officers of the Commission as are nominated by the
Secretary-General with permission of the chairman
2. The Secretary-General and the full-time members of the Research
Council attend the Conference and may take part in the proceedings,
with permission of the chairman.
3. Commissioners and observers appointed by participating governments
may attend the Conference with the permission of the chairman.
4. Part-time members of the Research Council may attend the Con-
ference as observers and (may) take part in the proceedings with
permission of the chairman.
5. The Secretary-General, after consultation with Commissioners in
cases where he deems it advisable, may admit observers, being re-
presentatives of official or non-official institutions directly concerned
with the territories, to sessions of the Conference, provided that
such observers shall not be entitled, except on invitation of the
Conference, to take part in its proceedings.
The fifth of these categories thus is allowed much less privilege of participa-
tion than the other four, in that participation in the proceedings of the
Conference is permitted only by specific invitation. Participation of the
other four categories is limited only as far as the voting rights are concerned.
Inasmuch as the South Pacific Conference is an advisory body, it seems
somewhat difficult to understand the reasons for the further classification
among observers, but it may be that the Conference is intended to reflect
the genuine sentiment of the local peoples with a minimum, of interjection
of ideas or influence by outsiders, and that in the Conference some types
of non-member participation are more valuable than others.
The Research Council may also invite observers to attend either the
meetings of its committees or any other meetings sponsored by it. The only
requirement in this connection, is that such invitation must be approved
by the Commission. If, however, prior approval on the problem of inviting
non-members is impossible, the Secretary-General in consultation with the
Deputy Chairman and executive officers (of the Commission) may similarly
invite non-member observers to the meetings of the Council.
Additionally, meetings of the Council may also include the participation
of "consultants." This is to enable specialist advice on particular Commission
activities. Significantly, however, consultants are permitted not only to engage
in the proceedings of the Council but also to vote on all issues before it. 2
From the foregoing, it is apparent that the South Pacific Commission
allows non-member participation whenever it feels that such participation
would contribute to the functions and activities of the Commission. Finally,
an observation might be made here that whereas the expenses of non-
members participating in the various organs of the Commission are paid
for by sending agencies, the expenses incidental to the participation by
consultants are assumed completely by the Commission since they are hired
by the Organization.
It appears, further, that the working relationship between the South
Pacific Commission and other agencies, public or private, seem to be based
on ad hoc working arrangement of a temporary nature, rather than one
based on specific, permanent agreement.
III. THE CARIBBEAN ORGANIZATION
As a successor to the Caribbean Commission, the Caribbean Organization
was created by an agreement signed in 1960 among the gove'.iments of
France, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States, for
the promotion of social, cultural and economic development of the area.
The initial membership of the Organization included France (for the
Department of French Guiana, Guadeloupe and Martinique), the Netherlands
Antilles, Surinam, British Guiana, the West Indies, Commonwealth of Puerto
Rico, and the Virgin Islands of the United States. However, following the
decision to dissolve itself, the West Indies Federation withdrew from
the Organization on December 31, 1962, while the British Virgin Islands
joined on May 31 of the same year. Therefore, the Organization is composed
of seven members.
The governing body of the Organization is the Caribbean Council which
is composed of one delegate and an undefined number of advisers from
each member. Each member has one vote, except for the Republic of France,
which is entitled to cast three votes. 3 The Council meets at least once a
year, and between its sessions, its functions are discharged by its Standing
A Central Secretariat also is maintained with headquarters in Puerto
Rico headed by a Secretary-General who possesses the usual administra-
tive responsibilities. One of the major functions of the Secretariat concerns
what is known as the, "Caribbean Plan." According to an official publication
of the Organization, the Plan was described in the following language: 4
The Plan is based on the concept that cooperation among govern-
ments of the countries served by the Organization can secure for
each country needed services which would not otherwise be available
except at considerable cost to the individual country. The Plan may
be defined as the programme of work of the Caribbean Organiza-
tion, based on individual development plans or programmes of
the countries involved, and aimed at accelerating the pace of
development in those countries by every possible means. It will
seek to provide services of research, study, and development, which
can more economically and more efficiently be provided on the
basis of intra-Caribbean cooperation than on the basis of unsupported
individual country effort. It will mobilize the expert knowledge
available in the area to serve Caribbean as well as local country
interests, and will promote the achievement of a greater measure
of economic mobility of these countries.
The plan is administered by a Standing Committee under whose executive
supervision numerous functional endeavours such as food and nutrition,
fisheries, grassland and livestock improvement are undertaken.
As in the South Pacific Commission, the general policy of. the Caribbean
Organization on the matter of non-member participation appears to be quite
liberal. The Rules of Procedure of the Caribbean Council explicitly' provide
for the following non-member participation: 5
(1) The Parties to the Agreement (of course);
(2) Any Prospective Member;
(3) Other countries having an interest in the Caribbean area;
(4) International and national organizations, universities, foundations
and similar institutions having common interests in the Caribbean
Non-Members under the first two categories that is, under the
provisions of Rules 19 and 20 may participate in the proceedings of the
Council without specific invitation from the chairman, whereas participation
of the type coming under the latter two categories that is, under Rules
21 and 22 must receive the chairman's invitation before they may
participate in the proceedings. Absence of right to vote is uniform for all
of the categories except the Parties to the Agreement.
Moreover, a significant peculiarity may be noted: although Rule 20
provides observership participation for "Any Prospective Members", this
provision fails to define how and by what standard the "Prospective
Members" are to be defined. Additionally, while the Agreement speaks
of the "Prospective Members" and "Other States", it does not define the
difference between these two designations. Strictly speaking, "Prospective
Members" are able to send observers as a matter of right, whereas "Other
States" must receive the unanimous vote of the Council before they can be
invited to send observers.
The Standing Committee's Rules contain no provision which explicitly
provides for non-member participation, other than to mention that the
Committee may "regulate its own procedure", in accordance with general
instructions of the Council. The same generally may be said of other organs
of the Organization.
In general, therefore, the following generalizations may be made govern-
ing non-member participation in the Caribbean Organization:
Invitation to meetings may be issued by the Secretary-General as follows:
(1) To be represented by not more than two delegates who have the
right to speak and vote:
(a) All members of the Organization with as many advisers
and observers as they may desire;
(2) To be represented by observers who shall have the right to speak
but not to vote:
(a) The Parties to the Agreement establishing the Caribbean
(b) Prospective members of the Caribbean Organization;
(3) To be represented by observers who may be invited by the chairman
of the meeting to speak but who may not vote:
(a) Such other countries, organizations, universities, founda-
tions, and similar institutions, referred to in Article XII (3)
and (4) of the Statute, and any eminent authority on the
subject of the meeting, whose participation is likely to
make a major contribution to the success of the meeting.
According to current practice, 0 the Organization has three regular
observers, a few entities participating as "Prospective Members", and
Special Observers, in to observe from international and national organiza-
tions. The three regular observers are representatives of the United States,
tht Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. In addition, the Bahamas and
British Honduras have participated as "Prospective Members" The status
of the Special Observer is accorded to those component parts of the now
dissolved Federation of West Indies which expressed the wish to become
members of the Organization in their own right.
Additionally, experts from the Food and Agriculture Organization and
the World Health Organization have worked closely with the Caribbean
Organization. However, this type of participation seems to be based on an
ad hoc arrangement usually confined to a particular meeting or activity
- under Rule 22 of the Rules of Procedure of the Council.
The two international organizations examined in this paper are technical,
in that their jurisdictions are clearly defined and distinctly narrow in
scope. And both are regional organizations though not related to any general
regional organizations, such as the Organization of American States, and
deal with non-political (or less political) matters which are less sensitive
but more promotional in nature.
In both instances, attitudes regarding non-membership is less legalistic,
more pragmatic, and generally more cooperative in nature. This may be
due largely to the fact that the political manoeuvring in these organizations,
by necessity, is reduced to a minimum because of their technical and limited
1. Rules of Procedure, South Pacific Conference, Articles 6 10.
2. Rules of Procedure, Research Council, Article 23 (2a,d,).
3. Agreement for the Establishment of the Caribbean Organization,
4. Official Caribbean Organization publication entitled "The Caribbean
Organization" (1962) without further identification number.
5. Rules of Procedure, the Council of the Caribbean Organization, Articles
6. Personal correspondence with Mr. A. J. Seymour, Development Officer
of the Secretariat, dated April 8, 1964 (Correspondence No. 568/1337).
NOTES AND COMMENTARY
I. WEST INDIAN FAMILY ORGANISATION
WEST INDIAN NEGRO SOCIETY is bounded by poverty and colour
frustration. The island of Jamaica is taken as typical of society in the Carib-
bean. The family or domestic group in this society can be regarded as a
phenomenon sui generis. Four types can be distinguished: Christian family,
faithful concubinage, maternal or grandmother family, and keeper family.
These familiar forms exhibit a marked degree of stability. But they can
be regarded as indicative of the disequilibrium inherent in the society The
contemporary family structure of the Negro in the New World is the result
of plantation slavery rather than of a West African tradition.
When discovered by Columbus in 1492, the West Indies were inhabited
by Tanala, Arawak, and Carib Indian tribes. In a comparatively short time
through the rigours of enslavement these tribes became, in most areas,
almost entirely extinct. As the Europeon powers turned from the vain
search for gold to tobacco and sugar-planting, the demand for a labour force
began to grow. At first the experiment with European indentured labour
was tried under conditions very like actual slavery. The experiment was a
failure, and the Europeans were soon replaced by African slave labour.
The Negro slaves in the New World were drawn from a great area of
Africa stretching from northern Nigeria to south of the Congo. It was not
only the coastal regions which were involved for there are references in the
literature to Negroes from eastern and central Africa brought across the
continent by coffle to slave ports on the western coast. There are even some
references to slaves from Madagascar. Some of the designations utilized in
old Caribbean slave lists, too, may give an indication of the variety of tribal
groupings concerned: Fan, Whydah, Mocoe, Fanti, Nago ,Yoruba, Coromantyn
(Ashanti), Egba, Ibo,. Ewe, and Madagass.
Crossing the Atlantic meant for the Negro a complete break with his
traditional type of society. Customs, social sentiments, and patterns of
behaviour could survive only as ideas and oral traditions, for there were
no special mechanisms in the new society by which they could be perpetuated.
The society into which the Negro was inducted was radically different
from any type cf African society. Plantation slavery in the West Indies
involved a constant supply of Negroes, who constituted the actual labour
force both irn the fields and in the homes, the supply being maintained both
by frequent importations and by local breeding, chiefly the former. Slaves
were forced to live in barracks or in huts. As the slave might be sold at any
time to another local owner or into the American colonies, there was no
real security. Obviously this affected his domestic behaviour, since any
union he might contract with a woman was liable to be broken up. Again
the owner would often encourage his female slaves to breed from a number
of men, even offering prizes for this purpose, in the mistaken belief that
intercourse with a number of men increased fecundity. In other words.
slaves were not permitted to form permanent unions on either an African
or a European model. Family life under these conditions was impermanent.
Thus the emphasis in the contemporary slave family was upon the mother-
It was the common practice among the owners and European plantation
employees to take concubines from among the better-looking of the female
slaves. Two patterns can be discerned here. One was the setting up of an
independent household for the concubine and her children, both being
well cared for by her master-protector. The other was for the concubine to
be temporarily lodged in the plantation house. But, after she had out-grown
her use, she was returned with her children to the barrack or hut. The female
children of such unions quite often became in their turn the mistresses of
Europeans. To the female slave concubinage offered an avenue of escape,
even though temporary, from oppressive field labour.
These practices were to have a profound effect not only on the forms
of the family but on the whole class-colour hierarchy of the society. It can
be said that concubinage was the foundation of the present colour-class
grading system in the West Indies. Christianity with its advocacy of mono-
gamous marriage was unable to make much headway in these conditions.
The planters as a group were opposed to the conversion of their slaves
lest it increased slave rebellions.
The radical changes introduced by emancipation in 1834 profoundly
modified this system. The chief reaction of many of the freed slaves was to
get away as far as possible from the plantation and its associations. To begin
with, there was great enthusiasm in favour of the orthodox Christian churches,
many of which had been in the forefront in the fight for abolition. But this
enthusiasm quickly waned, and local "native" churches began to develop.
Although the freed Negro could remove himself from the plantation
in a physical sense, he was unable to destroy the patterns of behaviour
evolved under the system of plantation slavery. This is strikingly seen in
the contemporary family structure.
Professor Herskovits' view is that the original West African forms of
the family survived in the Caribbean and in the New World generally My
own contention is that the forms of the family in the West Indies are sui
generis. They are in fact a product of the peculiar conditions of slavery.
To some extent these forms may have been influence by the fact that slaves
were largely drawn from polygamous groups, but the dominant influence
has undoubtedly been that of slavery.
To substantiate the contrary view that West African forms have
survived into the contemporary scene it would be necessary to show that
patrilineal influence, for example, in Haiti, had produced a different type
of family from that existing in Jamaica, where the predominant influence
appears to have been matrilineal. Professor Herskovits' own field material
on Haiti shows that this is not the case.
Again Leyburn has pointed out that Haitian slaves were drawn from at
least thirty-eight African groups, and Freyre has produced similar evidence
for Brazil. Since the slaves in' the New World were drawn from a great area
of Africa, it would have been impossible for any one culture to survive as
a whole. In other words, the throwing-together of the matrilineal and
patrilineal groups in a particular area would have prevented the develop-
meni of a society of one specific type or the other.
What in fact occurred was that these diverse groups were subjected to
the uniformity of slavery. The manifestations' of slavery in the New World
were very similar. Localized, differences illustrated by religious cult groups
have persisted through verbal traditions. There are obvious differences be-
tween the Yoruba cults in Trinidad and Brazil and similar cults in Jamaica.
But in the sphere which was controlled by the master, family life, the slave
was forced into a new mould. That mould was the same in its major aspects
all over the New World. The pattern of European-African concubinage and
the impermanence of slave sexual relationship is repeated from Brazil to
the United States.
Pattern of family life could not survive as a verbal tradition. Whereas
the slave could, and did, practice his magic and divination in secret, he could
not perpetuate his ancestral family forms in secret. The pattern of his
family life was governed by the will of his master. With the exception of the
"bush Negro" of Dutch Guiana who has, through isolation, evolved a
matrilineal famliy pattern which owes little to slavey, the contemporary
family structure among the New World Negoes can be distinguished as a
phenomenon due mainly to the influence of slavery.
Illegitimacy figures for the territories in the Caribbean area fall be-
tween 50 and 70 per cent of the total of live births. Thus, the so-called
'deviation" from the norm of Christian monogamous marriage is fairly
uniform over the whole area, and a similar type of family organization exists
throughout the region. A discussion of family life in Jamaica supports my
contention that the Negro family in the New World is sui generis.
The class structure in Jamaica can be seen as a division into three
classes: lower (85 per cent of the population), middle, and upper. These
classes are determined by a variety of factors, including colour, income
The primary group is the elementary biological family, consisting of a
man, a woman, and their children, real and socially ascribed. There has
been a tendency to equate family and marriage, but, as Linton points out,
"the personnel and function of this (conjugal) group may coincide with
those of the authentic family in certain societies but they do not do so for
human societies as a whole. Marriage and the family are really separate
institutions and must be considered separately" The tendency to equate
marriage and the family is due to the fact that in western Europe this
coincidence often takes place, and it is difficult for Europeans to dissociate
them dealing with other societies.
Domestic groupings can be divided into those with a conjugal and those
with a consanguineous basis; that is, into groupings which stress the husband-
wife relationship and those which stress the blood relationships of either
the father or the mother. Western Europe exemplifies the former while
parts of Africa exemplify the latter.
Jamaican family structure does not fall clearly into either category but
appears to combine qualities of both. There is however, a tendency in
certain types of family groupings to stress the husband-wife relationship.
But there is not the same recognition of the monogamous conjugal union
as the licit and morally approved means of satisfying sexual needs as there
is in western Europe. If this deviation is recognized, the best method of
classifying family groupings appears to be the adoption of the term 'domestic
group' as the unit of family structure in the island.
In Jamaica the domestic group is the residential unit which constitutes
a household. This group may, but this is not, always the case, consist of the
elementary biological family, that is, of a man, a woman and their real and
socially ascribed children. It exists to satisfy the needs of sexual gratifica-
tion and parent-child relationships (i.e., procreation and child-rearing),
common housekeeping and other domestic needs associated with social
standing in the community. A domestic group may serve all these needs or
only some of them, according to its actual constitution.
Four types of such groups can be distinguished: (a) Christian family,
(b) faithful concubinage, (c) maternal or grandmother family and, (d)
The classification is not rigid, since a domestic group can in its history
experience all these forms. Also, there are groups which exhibit features
of more than one group. But for the purposes of analysis it is necessary
to make a broad classification.
Marriage is the cohabitation of a man and woman with the legal and
social sanction of a particular society. Type A is the only form of family
group which is based on marriage; the others have apparent community
tolerance but no legal sanction. Jamaica is thus a society in which there is
a contradiction, as regards conjugal unions between what is legally accepted
as the norm for the whole society and what is actually socially accepted.
This contradiction or opposition between legal and social acceptance applies
to other situations, beside the family.
Cohabitation is the mark of the domestic group of Types A, B, and D,
but it is not apparent in the case of Type C. A domestic group does not
depend on cohabitation, for cohabitation helps to determine the type of
family but not the existence of the family.
It must be emphasized that the classification of family groups is not of
such fundamental importance as an understanding of the functions of such
groups in the society.
Stability and continuity in the family are more assured where there is a
greater emphasis on the consanguineous as opposed to the husband-wife
relationship. That stability is exhibited to a marked degree by the society
The total number of mothers in Jamaica in 1942 was 258,842. Ap-
proximately 34 per cent were listed as married, 54 per cent as unmarried,
and 12 per cent as widowed or divorced.
The attitude toward legal marriage is ambivalent. Unmarried mothers
questioned will express a desire to be married, but frequently the same
persons will say that they are not sure of the man and wish to wait until
they are or until the 'right' man comes along. Although no social stigma
attaches to the unmarried state, and 'living in sin' is not a term of reproach,
marriage is regarded often as an ideal not within the woman's reach. Marriage
to the lower-class woman, means a better home and, above all, a servant.
Many Christian households were found in which a servant was kept. In other
words, the economic condition is of some importance in determining legal
marriage. The majority of cases of monogamy was found among the better-off
members of the lower class. A typical case is that of a man who combined
peasant proprietorship with work as a carpenter or factory hand. Since the
Jamaican insists on a 'show' for his wedding, another obstacle is the actual
cost of the ceremony. People must be entertained with music, rum, and food;
if this cannot be done, it would not be a' 'proper' wedding.
Another fear expressed by unmarried mothers is that marriage will lead
to undue domination of her by the man. This may be a very real fear, as
there is no doubt that the monogamous union is a family strictly ruled by
the husband-father, whereas in Types B, C, and D tne woman is quite often
the dominant member of the family. In practice the unmarried union leads
to equality between the sexes.
Colour does not enter much into the situation. The majority of the
lower class is black, as is the majority of the better-off section of this class.
Colour only operates in the usual way in governing the choice of a mate;
an attempt is always made to secure a woman lighter in complexion and
with 'better' features and hair.
The typical monogamous family lives in a three-room wooden house with
a corrugated iron roof. One room will be a living room, the others bedrooms.
There may be more than one bed for the children, and this is of great
importance, since it affects their early sexual habits. The fact that children
do not sleep in the same room with their parents is of equal importance.
The family gathers in the evenings on the verandah, and friends are enter-
tained there. If in a town, the house has electric light. In physical layout
the home will correspond with a simplified version of the middle-class home
The father will have a regular job and a small cultivation either adjacent
to the house or up in the 'bush'. He will be the sole wage-earner unless sons
are of sufficient age to be working (about fourteen). He will give his wife
money for household expenses, but there is no question of his turning over
his weekly earnings to her. He is the final authority in all disputes in the
home. The children attend school regularly and have more or less adequate
clothing to do so. The whole family will be assiduous in its church-going.
Diet will be sufficient if not sufficiently nutritious. Such a household may
consist of the man and his' wife, from two to eight children of the couple,
the man's mother, rarely with wife's mother, the father's sister and her
children, and the servants.
In all small matters the mother is the authority, that is to say, in the
daily running of the house. She gives the servant orders, goes to market,
etc., but anything requiring a more-than-routine decision is referred to the
father. In disputes between the husband and wife, the grandmother often
sides with the wife although normally she does not interfere. The wife
does not attend to the cultivation unless she wishes to, and she is not forced
to do so by the husband. He works the cultivation much as the English
allotment holder, that is, in his spare time and at week ends. The wife may
sell the produce in the market or get a friend to do so, but she has to
account to the husband for the money.
Disputes are frequent in the family during the adolescence of the chil-
dren. They may come about through the choice of work for the sons or at
the girls' running wild with boys. In some cases the children will leave home
either to get a job in the capital or to live with some other family. From an
early age children are subjected to physical punishment, the father often
enforcing his authority with a belt or strap. Meals are taken in common,
and this acts as a binding force for the whole family.
The picture which emerges is reminiscent of the respectable Victorian
working-class family in which the husband was a sober and steady person
in regular employment. The atmosphere is markedly religious, and the
patriarchal position of the father is reinforced by frequent reading of the
The maintenance of this type of family is governed by the regularity
in the man's employment, which gives to it economic stability. His sexual
needs are satisfied within marriage. If he does feel the temptation to go
outside, religion and respectability are liable to prevent him: to do so
would be to betray the group and place him with the undesirable elements
of his class. This feeling is very strong.
Increased income is a contributory factor of monogamy. There are many
instances of better-off couples in the lower class classified under Type A
who have preserved some of the tradition of peasant people who after
emancipation were extremely religious, any many authorities testify. Such
families will be proud of their church connection which dates back two gen-
erations or more. It is, however, impossible to say precisely what the motives
are which cause one section of the lower class to adopt the manners and
morals of the middle class as opposed to the majority of their own class
The line of demarcation between Type B, the faithful concubinage;
Type C, the grandmother or maternal family; and Type D, the keeper family
is not so clearly defined as between these forms and Type A, the monogamous
union. There is a tendency for Types B, C, and D, to coalesce; that is, a given
family unit in its lifetime may experience all three forms.
Type B can be described as the kind of family in which the mania lives
with the woman as1 if he were married to her and performs all the functions
of a legal husband. There is, of course, the most profound psychological
difference between such a household and that described above. A much
greater sense of equality exists between the couple. Many women will say
that they dislike the idea of marriage since it means being under rule of
the man. Such expressions are more common among couples who have been
together only a few years, and they tend to disappear as the household
The grandmother family (Type C) is so called because the grandmother
or some female relative, perhaps a sister, usurps the function of the father
and, at time, the function of the mother. Such a family many originate
through a girl's becoming pregnant while still living at home. The girl's
father may not be living at home. The household will possibly consist of her
mother, her mother's sister, and the girl's siblings. The girl may continue
at home and look after her child, but in case she leaves, the child is reared
by its grandmother, being treated in the same way as the other children in the
household. If the girl's father lives in the house, he will act toward his
grandchild as if it were his child. There are thus two types to be distinguished
in Type C: one in which there is no male head of the family and the grand-
mother or other female relative fulfils the function of both father and
mother; another in which the grandmother may stand in the place of the
mother, but a mart is normally the head of the household.
Pressure may be brought to bear by the girl's family ori the father of
the child to make him contribute to her and the child's support. She may even
have him brought before the court and seek a bastardy order. But neither
remedy is effective if the man's whereabouts are unknown. Additional
income may be brought into the family. In many instances the girl may move
away and send money to her mother and, in other cases, when she has settled
down with a man, send for her child.
In the case of Type D, the keeper family, the man and woman live
together in a temporary union. He will contribute to the woman's support,
but she may continue to work, depending upon how much money he brings
home. If the union persists over a period of years, it will come under the
heading of a settled concubinage. The arrival of children does not affect
the continuance of the union; in, fact, the presence of several children tends
to drive the man away, as it makes greater demands on his income.
It can be seen from the description of Types B, C, and D that the
psychological and domestic atmosphere of these households differs radically
from that of the monogamous union. In Type C the child grows up with no
knowledge of its father. The same can be said of Type D, since, by the time
the child is of an age to notice its parents, the father may have left the
home. It is only in the case of faithful concubinage that conditions do
approximate to that of the monogamous union. The female partner in the
keeper family is constantly aware of the insecurity of her position, which
is the price she pays for her freedom from any restrictions. Although the
latter union is on a basis of equality, either partner is likely, if the union
is broken up against one or the other'd will, to resort to obeah or violence.
This may occur in all four types of family, with the lowest incidence for
It is difficult to make any accurate estimate of the incidence of the
different types of families, since the Jamaica census has no classification.
'A rough estimate from observations in the field would be that, of all house-
holds, 25 per cent. would come under the heading 'monogamou- unions' and
25 per cent under 'faithful concubinage' with the remaining 50 per cent
being divided in unknown proportions between Types C and D. Types C and
I) tend to occur more in the younger age groups in the period of sexual
experimentation, although they are by no means confined to such groups.
The incidence for town and country does not seem to vary in any marked
way. The latter statement is of great importance, since it illustrates the fact
that the Jamaican family structure is not due to the degeneration of a rural
culture by corrupting urban or industrial influences, as was the case of the
southern Negro migrating to the northern cities in the United States, but
that it is a natural development of Jamaican society. Actual living conditions,
therefore, are of vital importance not in determining the type of family but
in affecting the norms of behaviour inside a particular type.
It is not suggested that the four types of family are fixed categories but
that there is an essential unity of them all, in part provided by colour, and
in part by poverty. Again, the rigidity of these divisions is softened by the
numerous examples of domestic groups which pass through these forms.
That is not to say that there is little form or order in these groups; the
contrary,is the case. A typical example from any one of the categories will
exhibit a definite type of behaviour which justifies its inclusion in its
Colour provides a general uniformity, as the majority of the lower class
is black. Again, poverty is the essential background of all lower-class
families. If a scale of poverty be made on the level of income, the majority
of families will decrease from Type A to Type D. That is to say, those
families coming in the category of the Christian family would form the
better-off group in the lower class. Those in the keeper family would be
nearest to the extreme poverty line. There are, of course, exceptions -
examples of Christian families, and the reverse, households in the latter
category which enjoy the same level of income as many Christian families.
But poverty exists in all groups; it is merely a question of degree.
Low income as opposed to high income will produce poor living condi-
tions, and the actual housing of the lower class is sufficient proof of that.
Outbreaks of violence and brutality are due to the cheek-by-jowl existence
in overcrowded houses. Bad housing may affect children's attendance at
school. With poor sanitary conditions the disease rate is greater; it undoubted-
ly creates anxiety about the future and may prevent the development of an
active desire for change. In fact, poverty pervades the entire structure of
the Jamaican lower-class family. But what it does not do is to create the
forms of that structure. In that context economic insecurity merely becomes
one of several conditions.
The problem confronting the Jamaican peasantry and proletariat is that
which is presented to all societies: how to satisfy the needs of sex, procreation,
domesticity, prestige, etc. The solution of the problem is determined by the
society's past and by its contemporary environment. In the case of Jamaica
the freed slave inherited a tradition of slavery. Emancipation meant, for the
vast bulk of the slaves, translation to a new world. It meant that after
generation of dependence they could now choose they way they would live.
That transition from dependence to freedom was, and still is, of supreme
psychological importance to the Jamaican.
It cannot be stressed too often that the slave could not marry. The
example of his masters was indeed one of marriage, but it was of marriage
in conjunction with concubinage. The West African heritage of the ideal
polygamy and the dissolubility of marriage may have persisted in a verbal
tradition and may have been reinforced by the semblance of polygamy in
the slave forms of mating.
The psychological atmosphere of freedom found expression in the almost
complete revulsion of the Negro from the estate labour. Similarly there
existed the active desire to carry freedom into all forms of life. If this be
granted against the background of the factors mentioned, the development
of the present family structure can be seen.
The Jamaican lower-class woman both in social and in family affairs has
a prominence which is absent in the equivalent European society. Often in
a mixed society group, whether a party or a trade union, it, is a woman who
is the leader, openly or convertly. In the maternal family no male is in
authority over the grandmother. In the keeper family there is generally an
equality on status and authority between the man and the woman. In any
group where the woman is the chief wage-earner she tends to be the final
authority and the administrator of the family.
One of the distinctive features of Jamaican lower-class family life is the
strong sense of kin beyond that of the immediate family. In any domestic
group taken at random there are likely to be adopted children, an aunt,
some distant made relative, or perhaps someone who cannot claim any blood
relationship whatsoever. All children in the household are treated by the
biological siblings as their brothers and sisters. The mother and father make
no distinction between the adopted and real children. Those members of the
group who do not possess a clearly defined position, as for example, that of
an uncle, are addressed as "Coz" or "Cousin" To the child difference is due
to all those older than himself, as to his parents. Such persons will, if able,
contribute to the upkeep of the household. They are treated as full members
in every sense of the word.
Collateral relatives in a domestic group are more often those of the
mother than the father. Thus in the maternal family, with the grandmother
as its head, there will be a number of her relatives of both sexes. In this type
of family the sense of kin is stronger than in other types. In all matters
connected with the family in Jamaica, except in the upper class, these appears
to be both an unconscious bias toward the maternal.
In Jamaica lower-class society, because of the general social and economic
insecurity, which is reflected in the lower forms of the family, there is a
tendency to stress relationships between individuals. As the insecurity
diminishes the tendency diminishes. In the upper class there ig less of kin
feeling, though it is much greater than in the equivalent class in England.
This economic interpretation of kinship does not ignore the historical factor,
but what may have had historical causation is now supported and controlled
by the economic fabric of the society.
The lower-class domestic family satisfies the needs of sex, domesticity,
prestige, etc., but it also subserves another important function. Jamaican
society is in an acute state of disequilibrium. A vast lower-class population
lives barely above the subsistence level. This class is opposed to a small
upper class, which, comparatively speaking is extremely wealthy. The
contrast between the two modes of living presented to the submerged group
result in feelings of envy and frustration. There are no means whereby
equality of status can be achieved, for on either hand are the barriers of
colour and the lack of economic opportunity. This has led to an intensification
of family relationships as a substitute for the individual's social and economic
advancement. In English society where such barriers do not exist except
in fragmentary form there has been a steady decline in the emphasis on
family as opportunities for advancement and social security increase.
Although the society is in a state of disequilibrium, this does not mean
that the family groupings described are themselves disorganized, as some
writers have suggested. In fact, they have exhibited a high degree of
stability over a long period. This criticism is due to the error of regarding
the family structure of the Jamaican lower-class as a deviant from the West
European ideal, evidence of which are the strictures on the so-called illegiti-
macy rate of 71 per cent. This attitude negates any attempt at a proper
analysis of the family structure.
A comparable society in a state of disequilibrium would be that of an
occupied European country during the war. The members of the Jewish
community, for example, in Holland, although oppressed and persecuted,
established a definite behaviour pattern which exhibited stability, yet its
existence was a symptom of the disequilibrium inherent in Dutch society
at that time.
This article has attempted to show that the Jamaican family structure
illustrates the thesis that the forms of the family among the New World
Negroes is sui generis a phenomenon which owes its character to the historic
condition of slavery.
II. THE RASTAS SPEAK
Well, the Rastas have at last gained the victory of their fight. Today is
now Thursday, April 21st. Thousands have stood to see the appearance of
His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie I. It is the spirit of what I can only term
to be the Great Day. The King of Kings arrived at the Palisadoes Airport
at about ten minutes past one in the afternoon. Many thousands of well-
wishers shouted in honour of His Imperial Majesty and his family. It might
here be mentioned that the black multitude of Israel went to receive the
visit of their King and the white folks went to look into the Negus' face and
then to decide which God they will serve. The Rastas of all persons had gone
there to meet and receive their God. A vast crowd over-packed the airport
which led to great vision which had been inspired by the Churchical
Rastafarians and on that day when the King of Kings visited Jamaica the
result carried its own interpretation of such a vision. The Rastas filled all
the covered ground at the airport as the ancient drums of the Niah Bingy
order beat fast tempo to the spirit and order of the Church. A light of the
valley of Helhiad appeared and the action of an emotional display has over-
shadowed the Palisadoes compound. The Rastafarians had paved the complete
airport with the Rainbow flags so as to place back the knowledge of the
people and their symbolic connections with Africa.
As soon as the Negus had entered the airport then, my God His Majesty
wept. Thp King wept after seeing the thousands of Rastafarians and the
accompanying multitude of black people who had come to give voice to the
slogans for repatriation back to Ethiopia. Not many people had expected the
spirit of what had taken place at the airport. It was a sudden light of God -
the revelation and history which made it a victory for the Rastas and their
Israel relationship. When the King's plane hit the runway, then, there were
several Rastas awaiting the arrival of His Imperial Majesty to welcome him.
There was however a rumour that the Rastas were showing bad principles
but let us all judge for ourselves. How is if your parents mother and father
- had disappeared from you for years and you were expecting them to
come, how very much grateful and excited you would be much more the
Rastas who have been awaiting the Royal King of Ethiopia not only as
Majesty but as well as the one and only true Negus.
It is all well and good for Government to say that the Rastafarians
created a bad impression by being at the ramp but I ask one question -
did they do any harm or cause any trouble on the compound? No. Therefore
I am afraid they will have to find another red herring. The collapse of any
part of the ramp was due to its not being strong enough.
Now however, it is understood that His Imperial Majesty, Haile Selassie
will be placing an Ethiopian Ambassador in Jamaica. The authorities of the
Jamaican Government must now protect the Rastafarians because the Em-
peror has granted his Constitution to the Heads of the Jamaican Government
the uses of which are well-known to the Acting Prime Minister, Mr. Sangster.
The whole community should very well be ashamed to see the treatment that
is being meted out to the Rastas by the Heads of Government who can see
today that the said People's God and King of Rastafari whom the Rastas
doctrine honours with dignity and who has established His fame has gone
through the lands. They had been cast into prison by many Governmental
tricks and psychology and have been treated like pariahs rather than like
There were quite a few unusual manifestations from the Lion of Judah,
and one was at the Sheraton Hotel Ballroom when the Negus had spiritually
and scientifically turned his eyes over towards where a group of dreadlockk"
Rastafarians were standing and staring at the King, His Majesty. His Majesty
then called an officer and asked him to find out why the Rastas keep the
locks. The Rasta replied by quoting Numbers 6 and another Bible significance
because it is done by some religious sects in Africa. The King then smiled
delightfully and bowed his head, saying "Oh, Oh," to the answers. But why is it
the King did not ask his interpreter to ask the Brethren? Ho wanted to show
that the "Dreadlock" is right. The King picked a Police Officer to ask the
Rastas about his Locks because it's the police that always carry out the
shooting raid and hostility to Rastas. Even if it is the bigger folk that gives
the order, the King knows that it is the Police that carry it out. The question
was a psychological one, because the King knows that the "Dreadlock" know
what they are doing.
Now that the King of Ethiopia has come here he has accepted both Dread
and combed shaved and unshaved as a matter of fact, all the black
people, and even some of the whites too, as this was demonstrated in his talk
with some of them at the Sheraton. There is wisdom and dignity in his teach-
ing that the power and dignity of the African people are gathering the
nationals together. Let us hope that the spirit and trip of Haile Selassie will
long be remembered as a great time. We as black men should build on the
lesson of his great teachings.
Many people in society said that Haile Selassie is not God but there were
none to ask His Highness if he was God.
We appreciate greatly the visit of His Imperial Majesty here and wish
to say that never before in Jamaica's history has the Rastafarians and other
black people been treated as we have by His Majesty. The Negus' while here
gave gold medals to the Brethren. He gave to both combed and Dread. The
King's Head is on the medal.
Let us also remember at Sheraton too, that while there was bickering
about the Emperor who He was, that he spoke through his interpreter and
said, "Holy Priests, and Warriors are the Dreadlock Rastafarians and I am lie."
Long live the "King of Kings" and the Conquering Lion of Judah, whose
country was the first symbol of a small nation's resistance to aggression
by West European imperialism.
RAS DIZZY I.
III. "A POEM BY THE POET"
I Wants No Part With You
It happens here it goes on there
Yes all over the world is Law.
Do take your stand ye humans Black and White.
Now I can see you bringing in your fruits.
A few is good but most of them is bad.
Let I out of here please.
O, I wants no part of you.
For I say unto you this day o men of secret and big past in evil -
Your society is corruption and your promise to your gunners and frustrated
Ias turned into rulers of force and hater of one who true.
Sorry tall fellow, you may rule as you wishes
But God wants no part of you.
For the dictators is known by their dictatorship and the Prophet for his
The rich folks is known by their riches and the wiseman is known by his
Now God watch between I and you
Am I your friend, your citizen, your enemy, or your brother?
Then read I a sheet of your laws and I will read you three verses from
Gods Bible and the poet's book.
Oh rulers your feet is in your wrong shoes and some silver is blinding
Do start all over again
The world is large but the streets are small.
Do find love with Gods bible you must take another look.
RAS DIZZY I.
IV. SOLD FOR A SONG
Du Parquet Buys St. Lucia, Together with Martinique, Grenada,
the Grenadines, In A.D. 1650, for 1,660 Sterling.
IN THE YEAR 1625, a French adventurer named d'Enambuc, after
being attacked by a Spanish galleon on the seas of the New World, took
refuge in the island of St. Kitts then known to the French as St. Christophe.
There he came across Thomas Warner, an English adventurer who, like
himself, had recently suffered at the hands of the Spaniards, and had likewise
taken refuge in that island. For a short time, both these sea-captains and
their companies managed to live in peace with the Caribs who then
inhabited St. Kitts. Soon, however, to prevent being masacred in a Carib
plot, as they said, they fell upon the Caribs there. They also fell upon the
Caribs who soon after arrived from the neighboring islands to attack them.
After deciding to divide St. Kitts between, d'Enambuc and Warner
left for Europe, to get the approval and help of their respective Crowns for
the establishment of colonies in that fruitful Antillean island. As a matter of
fact, St. Kitts was to become the cradle of the settlements that the French
and the English were to make in the West Indies.
To speak of the French only for the time being, d'Enambuc arrived
in France, and eventually put his project before Louis the Thirteenth's
great Minister, Cardinal de Richelieu. The Cardinal was so impressed by the
adventurer's description of St. Kitts, and by the supposed advantages for
France which a colony in the Antilles could procure, that he put the matter
before the King. The outcome of it all was the formation of a company for
the colonization of the island. It was duly launched in October, 1626, and
was known as "La Compaignie des Isles de 1' Amerique" Company of the
Islands of America. At first, it would seem to have been popularly known in
French as "The St. Christopher Company" However, the Cardinal was at its
head; d'Enambuc and a friend of his named du Rossey, were appointed as
its agents in the Antilles. It was a public but not a national enterprise. The
commission of the agents authorised the establishment of settlements in St.
Kitts, Barbados, and other islands situated, as the document quaintly put it,
at the entry to Peru "les Isles de Saint-Christophe et la Barbade et
autres scituees a l'entree du Perou". Which broad terms, no doubt, in the
mind of the French, comprised St. Lucia and its neighbours. However, the
Company was to consider itself for all practical purposes, as the owners of
the islands which would be colonized. That, of course, did not prevent its
members and agents from owing allegiance to the King of France.
In 1647 the "Compagnie des Isles de I'Amerique" decided to sell the
islands belonging to it in the Antilles to private parties on account, ap-
parently, of the difficulties which the Governors there were creating for
them. They sold St. Kitts, they sold Guadeloupe, and they sold St. Lucia -
together with Martinique, Grenada and the Grenadines. In the last case,
the buyer was Governor du Parquet of Martinique.
Jacques d'Iel, Ecuyer, Sieur du Parquet, Senechal & Gouverneur pour
Sa Majeste, was a nephew of the old pioneer d'Enambuc. His uncle, before
dying, had sent him to take charge of the French settlement in Martinique
that he, d'Enambuc, had started in 1635. From 1637 he had been at the
head of the Company's installation in Martinique, and he had proved, to be
an exceptionally capable administrator. Ine June, 1650, du Parquet went to
Grenada with a band of French settlers, and started a new colony there.
That same year, before leaving for France to negotiate with the Company
the sale of Martinique and Grenada, du Parquet decided to take .possession
of St. Lucia presumably with the intention of purchasing it as well. His
pretext' for occupying Saincte Alouzie, as the French then called it, was that
the English had abandoned the island since 1640 when the Caribs had
driven out the colony that they had started there eighteen months before.
du Parquet sent thirty-five to forty men to St. Lucia in 1650, under the
direction of an officer named de Rousselan, and a serious attempt at a settle-
ment was made. This, apparently, was in the first nine months of the. year.
On the 27th September 1650, du Parquet definitely bought St. Lucia,
together with Martinique, Grenada and the Grenadines from the Company.
He had already appointed Monsieur Charles de la Forge, of Plaineseve, near
Dieppe, France, to act for himself in the deal: the procuration had been
drawn up before a Notary Royal in Martinique on the 18th May,, 1650. The
following year, in August, royal ratification was given to the contract. Here
are the texts of the Contract and the Ratification. The quaint, hyper-legalistic
documents are reproduced from a publication entitled: "MEMOIRES DES
COMMISSAIRES DU ROI ET DE CEUX DE SA MAJESTE BRITANNIQUE
", printed at the Royal Printing Press, Paris, in 1755. A copy of the
volume containing the texts was kindly put at the writer's disposal by
Mr. Leonard DeVaux, of Vigie, St. Lucia.
The contract was drawn up, then, before Notaries Royal at Paris, on the
27th September 1650. Representing the Company were Monsieur Jacques
Berruyer, a Member of the King's Privy Council, etc.; and Monsieur Julien de
Loynes, a Councillor and Secretary of the King. These gentlemen recognized
and admitted before the Notaries that, with due authorisation, they thereby,
then and for ever, sold, ceded, abandoned, transferred and renounced, in
favour of Monsieur Charles de la Forge, acting on behalf of Monsieur du
Parquet, the property of the islands of Martinique, Grenada, the Grenadines
and St. Lucia, in their actual state and condition. Monsieur du Parquet was
thereby authorized to "enjoy" the said islands and to dispose of them as
seemed good to him. Recalling the concession of the islands that had been
made over to them by the late King in his edict of March, 1642, as their
authority for making the sale, the delegated members of the Company made
one stipulation. It was to the effect that Monsieur du Parquet had to accept
the "charges and conditions" which the Company had accepted inr regard to
the King, in the edict of 1642.
The contract adds that the sale is effected for the sum of "quarante-un
mille cinq cens livres tournois" 41,500 old French "pounds", the equivalent
of the old 1,660 sterling a mere song. However, as a token of payment
du Parquet's representative, Monsieur de la Forge, deposits with Messrs.
Berruyer and de Loynes, the sum of 4,000 "livres" not in cash, but in a
bill of exchange, in the name of a certain Matthieu de la Mare, a Dieppe
merchant. The contract then specifies that the remainder of the 41,500
"livres" is to be paid in instalments by the 30th November, 1653. This stipula-
tion is followed by a declaration to the effect that the Company, through
Messrs. Berruyer and de Loynes, transfers to Monsieur de Parquet all its
rights and belongings in the above said and above sold islands. The contract
is drawn up and duly signed at the Paris house of Monsieur Berruyer.
A difficulty may here present itself. The old Handbook of St. Lucia
and the generally accepted version have it that a certain Monsieur Houel
purchased the islands together with Monsieur du Parquet in September 1650.
However, the name of Monsieur Houel definitely does not figure in that
contract, nor in the ratification of August, 1651. It is on record that Governor
Houel of Guadeloupe, through his brother-in-law, Monsieur de Boisseret,
negotiated the purchase of Guadeloupe and the small adjacent islands from
the Company in the year 1649. One may suppose that the compilers of the
Handbook made the mistake of putting down Houel as co-buyer of St. Lucia,
etc., through some confusion or other of the old French texts- and that
those who followed the Handbook fell into the same error.
The ratification might well be called a masterpiece of ancient legalistic
literature. It begins by recapitulating the privileges which Louis XIII had
conceded the Company in March, 1642, and the obligations which he had
then laid upon it, in ratifying the contracts drawn up between Cardinal de
Richelieu and Monsieur Berruyer in February, 1635, and January, 1642. The
document goes on to say that, after he has had the contract of the 27th
September, 1650, examined by his Council, and after taking the advice of his
mother, the Queen Regent, the King hereby ratifies, confirms and pronounces
valid the agreement drawn up between the Company and du Parqut's
representative. Henceforward, then, du Parquet, his heirs and successors
and lawful representatives, shall enjoy full and peaceful possession of the
said islands of Martinique, Grenada, the Grenadines and St. Lucia, as before-
hand has done the said Company according, of course, to the edict and
letters patent of March, 1642. The King orders that his Councillors and other
Officers concerned shall cause to be read, published, registered and put into
execution, the said contract and the present letters of ratification. It is the
Royal Pleasure, he says, that Monsieur du Parquet shall fully and peacefully
enjoy and make use of the said contract and the said edict of March, 1642.
And all this, notwithstanding any and every edict, ordinance, declaration, etc.,
to the contrary. In addition, authenticated copies of the present letters
patent must be given the same credence as that given to the original document.
To make the ratification firm and stable, the King declares that he has had
his seal attached to the present letters patent.
On the 22nd October, 1651, the King appointed Monsieur du Parquet as
Governor and Lieutenant Governor over the islands which he had recently
purchased. He carried out his task to the satisfaction both of his royal
master, and of the well-disposed colonists. In 1657, apparently, he sold the
islands of Grenada and the Grenadines to Monsieur le Comte de Cerillac.
The following year, on the 3rd January, 1658, he died in Martinique. His heirs,
according to the royal ratification of August, 1651, succeeded to the property
of Martinique and St. Lucia. His eldest son, Monsieur d'Enambuc, was appoint-
ed Governor and Lieutenant General of Martinique and St. Lucia by the
King on the 15th September, 1658, but until he reached the age of 20, his
uncle, Monsieur de Vanderoque, was to act in his place. It would appear that,
in August, 1660, an attempt was made to sell St. Lucia to the French Minister,
Foucquet, but the contract was officially annulled the following year. In 1663,
Monsieur de Vanderoque was no longer of this world, and the King appointed
another member of the du Parquet family to replace him.
That same year, 1663, the "Conseil Superieur" in Martinique took drastic
measures to preserve for du Parquet's heirs the property of St. Lucia: having
learnt that the colonists of Barbados were planning to establish a settlement
in St. Lucia, they decided to send proof of the du Parquet claims to the
island, and also to set up a fort in the Choc area to prevent any possible
invasion by the Barbadians. In spite of which, the Governor of Barbados,
Francis, Lord Willoughby, managed to engineer a "sale" of St. Lucia by a
group of Caribs, one of whom was "Indian Warner", that same year. But
that "sale" and its consequences is another story.
Something else extraordinary happened for du Parquet's heirs the follow-
ing year. On the 17th April, 1664, the King of France revoked and, cancelled
all grants to the "Compagnie des Isles de l'Amerique", and all sales and
transfers made by it to private parties. On May 28th that year a new company
was established by royal decree "La Compagnie des Indes Occidentales".
All that meant that du Parquet's heirs had to produce their title-deeds,
contracts of purchase, etc., in regard to St. Lucia and Martinique. It meant
also that du Parquet's heirs eventually had to sell St. Lucia, as well as
Martinique, to the new Company. This further sale of the two islands took
place at Paris on the 14th August, 1665. The heirs of du Parquet, still minors,
were represented by a cousin, the son of their principal guardian. As St.
Lucia was then occupied by the English, of which the new contract takes
note, insistence is laid in the document on Martinique. But "Sainte-Alouzie"
forms part of the bargain: it belongs, says the contract, to the said minors,
and it is sold together with Martinique to the new Company. The price of the
two islands this time is 240,000 "livres tournois" rather more than the
price for which the old company sold the two islands and Grenada and the
and the Grenadines as well in 1650!
"La Compagnie des Indes Occidentales" eventually suffered as had done
its predecessor in December, 1674, it was dissolved by edict of the King
of France. St. Lucia, after being sold, and sold, and sold again, was re-annexed
to the domain of the Crown of France, and made a dependency of Martinique.
"MEMOIRES DES COMMISSAIRES DU ROI ET DE CEUX DE SA MAJESTE
BRITANNIQUE Tome Troisieme Paris, 1775.
DU TERTRE: "HISTOIRE GENERAL DE L'ESTABLISSEMENT DES
COLONIES FRANC,AISES DANS LES ANT-ISLES DE L'AMERIQUE"
Premiere Partie Paris, 1667.
"SAINT LUCIA HANDBOOK Part II Castries, St. Lucia,
CONTRACT OF SEPTEMBER 27, 1650
MEMOIRES DES COMMISSAIRES DU ROI ET DE CEUX DE SA MAJESTE
BRITANNIQUE, Sur les possessions & les droits respectifs des deux
Couronnes en Ameirique; Avec les Actes publics & Pieces justificatives
Contenant les Pieces justificatives concernant la proprie'te de l'isle de Sainte
DE L'IMPRIMERIE ROYALE. M. DCCLV.
CONTRAT de vente faite par MM. de la Compagnie, a" M.le Ge'neral du
Parquet, des isles de la Martinique, Grenade, Grenadine, Sainte-Alouzie: du
27 septembre 1650.
Tire' du de'pot des affaires e'ntrangeres.
PAR DEVANT les Notares Garde-notes du Roi notre Sire en son Chatelet
de Paris, soussingnes, furent presents Messire Jacques Berruyer, Conseiller
du Roi en ses Conseills d'etat & prive' & Noble homme Julien de Loynes,
Conseiller et secretacre du Roi, Maison, Couronne de France & de ses
finances, demeurans a Paris, ledit sieur Berruyer, rue Montmartre, paroisse
Saint Eustache, & ledit sieur de Loynes, rue Traversante, paroisse Saint
Roch; lesquels, suivant le pouvoir t'eux donne'par la Compagnie des isles de
l'Ame'rique, par leur deliberation du vingt-deuxieime jour de septembre
mil six cent cinquante, presents mois & an, don't est apparu auxdits Notaires
soussignes, ce fait, rendue auxdits sieurs, ont reconnu & confess' avoir
vendu, cede', quite' transport & delaisse par ces pre'sentes, des maintenant
& a toujours, & promettent esdits noms, chacun pour leurs parts & portions,
garantir de tous troubles & emp&chemens provenans de leur fait, aS Charles
de la Forge sieur de la Forge, Marechal des-logis ordinaire de Monsieur le
Prince, demeurant aSPlaineseve press de Dieppe, e'tant de present a' Paris,
loge' rue de Harlay, isle du Palais, a l'enseigne des trois Roses
rouges, paroisse Saint Barthelemi, a- ce present & acceptant,
acheteur & acquereur pour Jacques d'Iel Ecuyer, sieur du Parquet,
Sene'chal & Gouverneur Vente de Sainte-Lucie a M. du Parquet, 1650,
pour Sa Majeste' & lesdits sieurs es isles de 1'Amerique, ses hoirs & ayans
cause, comme son Procureur fonde de sa procuration, passee par-devant
Antoine Montillet Notaire, commis & elabli pour le Roi en l'isle de la
Martinique, le dix-huitie'me jour de mai dernier passed special pour l'effet
des presentes, ainsi qu'il est apparu auxdits Notaires soussignes, par l'original
d'icelle, demeure' annexe' a la minute des pre'sentes, pour y avoir recours
apres qu'il a e'te' paraphe' par ledit sieur de la Forge, & lesdits sieurs
Berruyer & de Loynes esdits noms, & sur leur requisitoire par lesdits Notaires
soussigne's, ne varietur; c'est a' savior le fonds, propriele' des isles de la
Martinique, la Grenade, Grenadine & de Sainte-Alouzie, situe'es dans
l'Amerique, ainsi qu'elles se consistent; pour en jouir dorenavant, & en
disposer ainsi que bon sembla audit sieur du Parquet, & ainsi que lesdits
Seigneurs pouvoient faire, en vertu de la concession qui leur en a e'te faite
par le feu Roi, par son edit du mois de nars 1642, Verifie' an Grand
Conseil le vingt-huitienme jour de mai en suivant; & a cette fin lesdits sieurs,
audit nom, ont subrogeCledit sieur du Parquet en leur lieu, pour en disposer
ainsi que bon lui semblera, comme dit est; a' le charge d'entretenir, pour
ce qui regarded le fonds de ladite isle, les charges & conditions auquelles par
ledit edit ladite Compagnie se trouve obligee envers le Roi; cette vente,
cession, transport ainsi faits auxdites charges, & outre moyennant la some
de quarante-un mille cinq cens livres tournois, sur laquelle lesdits sieurs
Burruyer & de Loynes, audit nom, ont reju dudit de la Forge, qui leur a
baille' & paye' pre'sentement, & en la presence desdits Notaires soussigne's,
la some de quatre mille livres tournois en une lettre de change, tiree par
ledit sieur de la Forge, sur le sieur Matthieu de la Mare, marchand, demeurant
audit Dieppe, payable audit sieur de Loynes a usance; & le surplus montant
trente-sept mille cinq cens livres tournois, ledit sieur de la Forge a promise,
sera tenu, promet & s'oblige les bailler & payer audit sieur de Loynes en
cette ville de Paris, ou au porteur, savoir mille cinq cens livres tournois dans
six mois d'huy, seize mille livres tournois dans le dernier jour de novembre
1651, dix mille livres tournois au dernier jour de novembre 1652, & pareilles
dix mille livres qui font le reste de ladite some de quarante-un mille cinq
cens livres tournois, a' pareil jour dernier novembre de l'anne'e que l'on
comptera 1653: le tout prochain vanant; transportant par ledits sieurs
Berruyer & de Loynes audit nom, tous droits, noms, raisons & actions, &
autres choses genehralement quelconques, qui leur peuvent duire & appartenir
esdites isles sus vendues, desquelles ils se sont dessaisis & de'vitus en faveur
dudit sieur du Parquet, voulant Procureur & porteur, donnant pouvoir; &
pour l'exe'cution des pre'entes & de'pendances, ledit sieur de la Forge audit
nom, a ell & e'lit son domicile irrevocable en cette ville de Paris, en la
maison du sieur Persepied marchand epicier, demeurant rue de l'hOtel de
Conde' au fauxbourg Saint-Germain; & lesdits sieurs, audit nom, ont pareille-
ment el6 leur domicile en la maison dudit sieur Berruyer, auxquels lieux,
& nonobstant, promettant, s'obligeant, chacum en droit foi, audit nom, &
renonyant. FAIT & passe'en la maison dudit sieur Berruyer, l'an mil six cent
cinquante, le vingt-septie'me jour de septembre avant midi, & ont signed la
minute des presents, demeuree vers Leroux, l'un desdits Notaires soussignes;
ensuit la teneur de ladite procuration.
Collationne' sur I'original qui est au depOt des affaires estrangeres. A
Paris, le vingt-un mars mil sept cent cinquante-un.
Signe P. LEDRAN, premier Commis du dejpOt.
TEXT OF RATIFICATION, AUGUST, 1651
LETTRES du Roi, portant ratification de la vente faite par la Compagnie
des isles de l'Ame'rique, au sieur du Parquet, des isles de la Martinique,
Grenade, Grenadine & Sainte-Alouzie. Aout 1651.
Tire' du depot des affaires estrange'res.
LOUIS, par la grace de Dieu, & c. SALUT. Le feu Roi Louis le Juste,
notre tre's-honoreC Seigneur & Pe're, que Dieu absolve, a par ses lettres
patentes en forme d'e'dit, du mois de mars 1642, ratified confirmed & valid
les contracts des 12 fevrier 1635 & 29 janvier 1642, faits par delunt notre
tre's-cher & bien ame& cousin le Cardinal Duc de Richelieu, Grand-Maitre,
Chef & Surintendant general de la navigation & commerce de France, avec
le sieur Berruyer, pour les associes en la Compagnie des isles de l'Amerique;
voulu qu'ils sortent leur plein & entier effet, & que les associes en ladite
Compagnie, leurs hoirs, successeurs & ayans cause, jouissent du contenu en
iceux; & conformenment auxdits contracts, ordonne'que les associes de ladite
Compagnie continueront a travailler a` l'establissement des colonies"es isles
de 1'Amerique, situees depuis le dixieihe degree' jusqu'au trentielme degree
inclusivement au-dea' de la ligne erquinoctiale, come il est contenu auxdites
lettres; leur ayant Sa Majeste'par icelles accorde'a'perpetuite' & a leurs hoirs,
successeurs & ayans cause, la propriety desdites isles, situees depuis le
dixiefie jusqu'au trentiefne degree' inclusivement au des" de la ligne
equinoctiale es cotes de 1'Amerique, en toute justice & seigneurie, les terres,
forts, rivie'res, ports, havres, fleuves, etangs, & memement les mines &
minieres, pour jouir desdites mines conformemient aux ordonnances; de
toutes lesquelles choses Sa Majeste" s'est reserve' seulement le resort & la
foi & hommage qui lui sera fait & X ses successeurs Rois de France, par
'un desdits associes au nom de tous, a 'chaque muttion de Roi, & la provision
des Officiers de la justice souveraine qui lui seront nommes & presented par
lesdits associes lorsqu'il sera besoin d'y en elablir, avec pouvoir auxdits
associe's de faire fortifier des places, & construire des forts aux lieux qu'ils
jugeront les plus commodes pour la conservation des colonies & surete du
commerce, leur elant permis par icelles, d'y faire fondre boulets & canons,
forger toutes sortes d'armes offensives & defensives, faire poudre canon
& toutes autres munitions; de mettre, par lesdits associe's, tels Capitaines &
gens de guerre que bon leur semblera dans lesdites isles, & sur les vaisseaux
qu'ils y envorront; se reservant ne'anmoins Sa Majester de pourvoir d'un
Gouverneur general sur toutes lesdites isles, lequel ne pourra en fagon
quelconque s'entremettre du commerce, distribution des terres, ni de
l'exercice de justice: que lesdits associes disposeront desdites choses a" eux
accordels, de telle facon qu'ils aviseront pour le mieux, distribueront les
terres entire eux, & a ceux qui s'habitueront sur les lieux, avec reserve de
tels droits & devoirs, & a telles charges & conditions qu'ils jugeront plus i
propos, meme en fiefs, avec haute, moyenne & basse justice: que pendant
vingt anne'es, a" commencer de la date desdites lettres, aucun de nos sujets
ne pourra aller trafiquer auxdites isles, ports, havres & rivieres d'icelles,
que du consentement par ecrit desdits associes, & sur les conges qui leur
seront accorded sur ledit consentement; le tout a peine de confiscation des
vaisseaux & marchandises de ceux qui iront sans ledit consentement, applicable
au profit de ladite Compagnie; & pour cet effet, ne pourront etre delivres
aucuns conges pour aller auxdites isles, par le Surintendant general de la
navigation & commerce de France & ses successeurs en ladite charge, que
sur le consentement desdits associes. Par lesdites lettres accord exemption
de tous driits d'entree pour toutes sortes de marchandises provenant desdites
isles, appartenant aux associe's de ladite Compagnie, en quelque port de
notre Royaume qu'elles puissent etre amenees pendant lesdites vingt annees
seulement, don't sera fait mention express dans les baux a' fermes de nos
droits qui se front pendant lesdits temps; portant outre, ledit edit & lettres
patentes, plusieurs autres concessions & privileges, en consequence duquel
notre ame' & feal Jacques d'Iel Ecuyer, sieur du Parquet, Se'ne'chal &
Gouverneur pour nous & la Compagnie de 1'Amerique auxdites isles, nous
a fait remontrer que par un contract du 27 septembre 1650, les sieurs Berruyer
Conseiller en nos Conseils, & de Loynes notre Conseiller & Secretaire, Maison
&"Couronne de France & de nos finances, suivant le pouvoir f'eux donne'par
la Compagnie desdites isles de 1'Amerique, par leur deliberation du 22
septembre dernier, lui ont vendu, ce'de, quitted transport" & delaisse, a 'ses
hoirs & ayans cause, le fonds & proprieted de la Martinique, la Grenade,
Grenadine & de Sainte-Alouzie, situees dans l'Amerique, aisi qu'elles se
consistent, pour en jouir dore'navant, & en disposer ainsi qu'ils pourroient
faire, en vertus de la concession qui leur en a ete' faite par ledit edit du
mois de mars 1642. dOement verifie' l'ont subroge' en leur lieu, pour en
disposer ainsi que bon leur semblera; a la charge d'entretenir, pour ce qui
regarded le fonds de ladite isle, les charges & conditions auxquelles par ledit
edit, ladite-isle,-les charges & conditions auxquelles par ledit edit, ladite
Compagnie se trouve obligee envers nous; lequel contract il nous a tre's-
humblement supplies' & requis vouloir confirmer, autoriser & approuver,
pour en jouir, & du contenu audit edit, tout ainsi qu'eussent pu faire lesdits
associes, & a' cette fin lui accorder nos lettres ne'cessaires, humblement
requerant icelles: Savoir faisons qu'ayant fait examiner en notre Conseil, ou
etoient plusieurs Princes & Officiers de notre Couronne, & Principaux de
notre Conseil, ledit contract ci-attache'sous le contre-scel de notre Chancellerie,
de I'avis de la Reine Regente, notre tres-honoree Dame & Mere, nous avons
ratified' confirme& valide, & par ces presentes confirmons & validons ledit
contract, voulons & nouns plait qu'ly sorte son plein & entier effet, & que
ledit sieur du Parquet, ses hoirs, successeurs & ayans cause, l'avenir
jouissent pleinement & paisiblement du contenu en icelui, selon so forme
& teneur; ensemble de l'effet dudit erdit & lettres patentes du mois de mars
1642, en ce qui regarded & concern ce qui lui a e'te vendu & transmis dans
ledit contract, tout ainsi, & en la meme forme & maniere qu'en jouissoient
& pouvoient jouir desdits associes en la Compagnie des isles de 1'Amerique,
sans qu'il soit fait, ni puisse Otre donne, ni i ses successeurs & ayans cause,
aucun trouble & empechement, pour quelque cause & occasion que ce soit,
- l'entiere execution d'iceux. SI DONNONS EN MANDEMENT a' nos ame's
& feaux Conseillers, les gens tent notre Grand-Conseil, & tous nos autres
Officers qu'il appartiendra, que ledit contract & ces pre'sentes ils fassent
lire, publier & register, & du contenu en icelles, ensemble dudit contract &
edit du mois de mars 1642, jouir et user pleinement & paisiblement ledit
sieur du Parquet, cessant & faisant cesser tous troubles & imp&chements
a ce contraires, vous en attribuant, en tant que besoin est ou seroit, la
jurisdiction & connoisance de l'entiere execution des presents, circonstances
& de'pendances, icelle interdite & de'endue, interdisons & dedfendons par
ces presents, a tous autres nos Juges quelconques: CAR TEL EST NOTRE
PLAISIR, nonobstant tous edits, ordonnances, declarations, mandements &
autres choses a' ce contraires, auxquels, & aux derogatoires des derogatoires
y contraires, nous avons pour ce regard, & sans tirer a' consequence, de'roge
& de'rogeons par ces pre'sentes, lesquelles nous voulons sortir leur plein &
entier effet, nonobstant opposition ou appellations quelconques, clameur
de raro, charte Normande, prise a' parties & lettres A' ce contraires, pour
lesquelles ne voulons etre diffe're & d'autant que des presents & dudit
contract, on pourra avoir affaire en divers lieux, nous voulons qu'au vidimus
oh copies d'icelles diement collationne'es par l'un de nos ame's & feaux
Conseilllers, Notaires & Secretaries, foi soit ajoutee comme au present
original. Et afin que ce soit chose ferme & stable, nous avons fait
mettre notre scel a' cesdites presents, sauf en autres closes notre droit, &
1'autrui en toutes. DONNE Paris, au mois d'aoft, 1'an de grace mil six cent
cinquante-un, et notre re'gne le huitieme.
Signed LOUI S.
Collationne' sur l'original qui est au de'pt des affaires entrange'res.
A Paris, le vingt-un mars mil sept cent cinquante-un.
Signe' P. LEDRAN, premier Commis du depot.
Lindsay Barrett Song for Mumu, London: Longmans, 1967. 25/-
It was inevitable that one line of development of contemporary writing
in the English-speaking Caribbean should be what we might call an African
phase. By this I mean a phase in which Africa becomes a main source of
theme and nourishment, not just the object of dim imaginings which it has
sporadically been. Vic Reid's The Leopard was an outstanding pioneering
venture, all the more outstanding because Reid did not then have first-hand
knowledge of Africa. Today, writers like O. R. Dathorne, Edward Brathwaite
and Lindsay Barrett are turning to creative use their first-hand experience
of Africa, thereby giving a new dimension to the expression of their aware-
ness of themselves as West Indians. And in some instances this interest in
Africa is part of a new tendency of the West Indian writer to write about the
Negro situation and not just about the peculiarities of West Indian society
Song for Mumu is a fable about "the souls of black folk" We are told,
on the dust-jacket, that one of Barrett's chief interests is "The relation of
African Myth and legend to new forms in literature". This interest is certainly
evident in the book. But a sense of West Indian life and of American Negro
life are there as well, as they are blended and distilled with the sense of
The action takes place in settings which, though realized with vivid
sensuousness, have no precise geographical location. The names of the charac-
ters Mumu, Meela, Papa Peda, Olida, Megmaria, the Rich Man, the
Preacher, Sidnisweet also suggest the blending of different worlds into
one anonymous allegorical world. The plot is elemental. It tells of the short,
violent life of Mumu, a beautiful, vibrant country girl. With her mother,
Meela, she is forced to leave the invigorating countryside to learn the bitter
ways of the city. Her life is partly a search for her father, who hanged himself
in a madhouse when she was a baby. Her capacity for delight is repeatedly
bludgeoned as each man who brings her brief joy comes to a violent end.
Finally, mad, but holding the secret of a calm wisdom, she returns to her
native village and to a ritual death at the hands of the Preacher.
It is a story of primal passions. The predominant impulse is lyric rather
than narrative. There is none of the conventional, naturalistic narrative
method of fiction. The method is rather one of a series of human clashes and
couplings, intense moments of joy and grief, highlighting the human capacity
for these emotions. The word "song" in the title is precise. The work is
paean and threnody, held together by a rhythmic gusto and skill of distinctly
Negro origin. The rhythms are as unmistakably Negro as the rhythms of
Makeba, Sparrow and Satchmo.
This, then, is not a novel in the usual sense. In a manner which brings
to mind David Jones' In Parenthesis, prose gives way every so often to verse
and passages of dialogue written as for a play. The work moves between
these forms naturally, without any fuss or sign of premeditation. And this
unusual treatment is appropriate to the whole unusual conception of the
work, to the way in which it moves in worlds of magic and madness, myth
and primitive ritual, not so as to exploit their strangeness, but to make them
familiar, to emphasise their immediate reality, no les real than the reality
of the natural and everyday. In his own distinctive way, Barrett is doing
something not dissimilar to what, in their separate ways, Wilson Harris and
the Cuban Alejo Carpentier have done.
It is not surprising that in a work like this, where the talent seems so
natural and irrepressible, one should find from time to time a certain
crudity of style; the very first sentence nearly deterred me from reading
further. Nor is it surprising that the gusto should at times appear to be little
more than mere gusto. The rhapsodic evocations of the sexual act serve only
to remind us that literature has reached a dead end in that direction.
But although the execution of the work may not always be equal to the
conception, that conception is remarkable enough to suggest a fertile and
H. Hoetink The Two Variants in Caribbean Race Relations
A contribution to the Sociology of Segmented Societies.
Institute of Race Relations/Oxford University Press 25/-
Professor Hoetink's work is an attempt to explain the difference in race-
relations in the Caribbean. The Caribbean is here defined as a culture sphere
demarcated by an arc stretching from "half way down the Brazilian coast,
across the Guianas, along the Caribbean coastline and across the United
States, to include the West Indian archipelago". The two variants within
this area which the author distinguishes are. on the one hand, the Iberian -
those areas originally colonized by Europeans from the Iberian peninsular
- and, on the other, the North West European which includes the non-
Iberian Caribbean' islands and the American South.
The author re-examines the concept of race-relations and suggests a two-
fold categorization of this area of social experience, the non-intimate or
public and the intimate, the latter indicated by the extent of biological and
social mingling on a basis of equality by members of different races. Applying
the two categories to the two variants Professor Hoetink claims that the
Iberians show a much greater "suppleness" in public race-relations than the
N.W. Europeans. The superfidal warmth and friendliness of such public
relations is executed with so much "social skill" that they appear to be in no
way artificial. This is much in contrast to the awkwardness and formality
of public race-relaions in the societies of the N.W. European variant. Hoetink
accepts the fact that cultural differences between the Europeans of the two
variants sufficiently explain such differences in the realm of public, non-
It is with the second. intimate, type of race-relations that Professor
Hoetink is mainly concerned, however, for in his view, this determines the
fate of a racially segmented society. Here he insists that the difference
between the two variants cannot be explained in terms of varying cultural
traditions. What exactly is the nature of this difference? It is the greater
"biological-cum-social mingling" between the races of the Iberian variant,
resulting in a greater acceptance of "coloured" by the white group and, on
the other hand, the rejection of the N.W. European of such a group, the
tendency in such societies being to classify all non-whites as negoes.
Professor Hoetink further asserts that economic factors, like cultural
factors, cannot explain this greater liberality on the part of the Latins,
claiming instead that the difference can only be "explained in terms of a
smaller somatic distance, a slight difference in the somatic norm image
between the N.W. European and the Iberian whites" His key concept of
the somatic norm image he defines as, "the complex physical (somatic)
characteristics which are accepted by a group as its norm and ideal" In all
racially segmented societies the somatic norm image of the dominant group
is adopted by subordinate groups.
After a great deal of irrelevant and unduly defensive carping at
"sociologism" and the ideological biases of North American sociologists,
Professor Hoetink applies his "new" concept to the two variants and finds,
first, that the white somatic norm image is dominant in both variants and
secondly, that for the whole Caribbean "Negro characteristics are universally
considered ugly". How then, is the concept useful in explaining differences
in the degree of intimate race-relations in the two variants? Professor Hoetink
answers that while the white somatic norm image is dominant in the whole
area, that of the Latin American is "darker" than that of the N.W. European.
Hence, the somatic distance between whites and certain light-skinned coloured
is much less (to the point of being negligible with some individuals) in the
Iberian areas than in the N.W. European areas. The point is emphasised
that this willingness on the part of Latins to accept light-skinned coloureds
as "white" is not to be explained in cultural terms, but is due to the fact
that "Latin whites simply accept 'coloureds' in their midst because by their
physical criteria they are not coloured".
He argues, further, that the greater acceptance of coloureds leads to a
fundamental difference in the development of the two variants: "The
Iberian type tends to homogenization through mingling, the North-West
European one to homogenization through the elimination of the dominant
segment", with the coloured group playing the important role of a social
and cultural bridge in the former variant. However, the most significant
difference in the development of the two variants brought about by their
slightly differing somatic norm image is biological homogenization. The
author asserts that in the' Latin area the negro race is constantly undergoing
a process of "whitening" or "bleaching" leading to a situation where "pure
negroes" are becoming numerically insignificant while the white group
expands with ever growing recruits from the coloured group since biological
mingling between whites and non-whites continually produces individuals
"who are acceptable as marriage partners to the whites" In the N.W. Euro-
pean variant, however, the prevailing somatic norm image leads either to
a "stagnation in the proportions of the racial groups or to a relative
reduction in the numbers of the white group".
Professor Hoetink's book certainly makes interesting reading. He is,
however, not half as controversial and original as he doubtless imagines
himself to be. One is constantly irked and, at times, not a little embarrassed,
at the aggressive tone of academic teeth-baring with which Professor Hoetink
proclaims the approach of one or other of his "new" key concepts. It is a
pity that these concepts consistently fail to justify their proclamations.
In the first place, his most fundamental categorization, that between
the two variants, remain highly dubious. The author offers a very useful
(if largely derivative) criticism of Tannenbaum's explanation of the two
variants, only to accept the distinction in principle and recommend instead
his more simple-minded explanation of the difference between them. The
fact is that it is wholly unrealistic to classify the large number of societies
which he considers under a single heading. The term "Caribbean" is vague
enough as it stands in its own waters, but this is taxonomic madness. What
is more, his broad distinction between the two variants blurs certain
fundamental regional and structural differences within each category. There
is, for example, the distinction between the American South and the N.W.
European Caribbean, a distinction which is so obvious that Hoetink goes
out of his way in an attempt to show that, in terms of his objectives, the
differences are not crucial. I remain unconvinced, and it would appear too,
that so does the author, whose arguments in this regard are so weak as to
be non-existent. In the end he gives up the attempt at a reasonable explana-
tion and simply affirms as a matter of his "opinion" that the differences
are not so crucial as to justify an abandonment of the broad two-fold
categorization. Whatever the situation in the other areas of the N.W. Euro-
pean Caribbean islands, it is clear to this writer that regarding the English-
speaking West Indies, there can be no doubt that firstly, basic differences
exist between these islands and the United States South, both in public and
private spheres of race-relations and that, secondly, whatever tricks the
somatic norm image may be up to in these two areas, cultural and structural
factors are crucial in explaining such differences.
Secondly, Professor Hoetink's conception of the development of racially
segmented societies stated in his concept of 'homogenization' is
curiously old-fashioned, not to mention untenable. Racially segmented
societies, we are told, can become homogeneous either through the Iberian
racial path of "biological-cum-social mingling", or through the elimination
of the dominant segment. There is no other way. What a ghastly fate Pro-
fessor Hoetink poses for the black man in the New World! Either he settles
for gradual whitening (which technique ought to ensure a solution of the
problem in the Latin variant in a short matter of a few more centuries)
or he seeks to eliminate the dominant segment. The latter course may
perhaps have some ideological appeal to more way out elements of the
Ras Tafari cult in Jamaica, but is hardly a comforting alternative for the
mass of, say, Southern American negroes.
The truth of the matter is that Professor Hoetink is merely reformulating
the old melting-pot theory of racial assimilation thinly disguised by his
manner of tough-minded continental intellectualizing. Nobody these days
takes seriously the melting-pot or "homogenizing" theory or the false alterna-
tive which it poses. Rather, sociologists, and other scholars involved
with "the problem", are involved in the, admittedly frustrating, task of
formulating new insights into the existential and normative trend of current
race-relations. It is a pity that Professor Hoetink has not found it possible
to acquaint himself with the very suggestive analysis of Talcott Parsons
on this subject published in a recent edition of Daedalus.
Part of Professor Hoetink's problem lies in his uncritical use of sources
and his failure to appreciate the significance of recent developments,
especially in the English-speaking Caribbean and the United States. His
remarks on the West Indies, for example, rely far too heavily on the works
of Lloyd Braithwaite and R. T. Smith, both of which were based on researches
carried out in the early fifties. It seems clear, too, that a less superficial
acquaintance with the slave system of the English-speaking Caribbean would
have discouraged his very forced categorization of the area with the American
South and would have indicated ways in which differences in race-relations
in the "Caribbean" were, in fact, partly determined by the varying conditions
We come now to Professor Hoetink's major explanatory concept that
of the somatic norm image. It is not our view that this appealingly naive
aesthetic theory of race-relations is completely without foundation. It is the
grossly exaggerated claims which are made for it that we find so un-
acceptable. To begin, the concept, considering the significance which its
author gives it, is astonishingly ill-defined. What exactly are these "complex
physical characteristics" and how are they derived? Clearly there are
objective physical differences between races, but both within and between
racial groups it seems absurd not to admit that cultural factors do play an
important part in determining how the objectively given racial features are
to be evaluated.
If we look, first, at the intra-racial situation, it is difficult, if not im-
possible, for Professor Hoetink to explain how it is that over the centuries,
indeed, over the decades, different standards of beauty have developed.
In Britain, the pallid, bossomy, long-haired, broad-shouldered, undulating
expanse of womanhood that was the Edwardian somatic ideal, is far removed
from the skinny, sun-tanned, closely-cropped working-class Twiggy of today.
And a recent study of the pictoral representation of the English face reveals
an astonishing change over the ages of the dominant somatic norm image
even within the middle-class English group. Clearly, only cultural factors
can explain such changes since, as far as is known to this reviewer, no
mutations have taken place in that population.
Similarly, the somatic norm image in "racially segmented" societies is
largely a product of cultural and socio-economic factors. Professor Hoetink
thoroughly unconvincing, for example, in his attempt to explain why it is
that New World negroes quite often adopt the somatic norm image of the
white group. Obviously, while the average physical features of a racial
group do play a part in determining the eventual self-image of that group,
forming, so to speak, a conditional base-line limiting the range of possible
choices of images made by the culture (choices which, nonetheless, are
nearly inexhaustible when the imaginativeness and vanity of human beings
are considered) it is the cultural evaluation which in the final analysis
determines the ideal chosen. It is indeed depressing that it should still be
necessary to point out that socio-economic factors and the cultural heritage
at any given time largely determine the changing myths that people have
about themselves or seek to impose on others, and not vice versa.
There is too, a purely semantic problem involved in Professor Hoetink's
use of the somatic norm image concept. In the English-speaking West Indies
there is a substantial coloured group. This group is proportionately larger
and certainly more socially and politically important in their societies than
parallel groups in the Iberian variant. This group, however, is not called
"white" in the West Indies, but more accurately, "light-skinned" or "high
brown" The fact that they are not referred to as white (in the way they would
have been in the Iberian variant) in no way alters the fact that they are
just as, if not more significant in their societies as the Iberian "coloured"
and that their relations with members of the white minority are just as cordial
and intimate. I strongly suspect that a much higher proportion of white
Jamaicans of both sexes have married light-skinned or "high brown" people
than is the case in the Iberian variant. It follows that the only reason why
a society such as Jamaica was excluded from the Latin variant, or at least not
excluded from the N.W. European variant, is, if I may be pardoned, the fact
that its semantic norm usage is different.
Finally, since Professor Hoetink shows such concern about the ideological
basis of sociological studies of race-relations, he would not consider it out
of order if a reviewer questioned his own ideological background. To which
he would no doubt reply that his ideal is scientific objectivity, a position
expressly stated in the work. One would have thought that after Alvin
Gouldner's classic paper on the "Myth of a Value-Free Sociology" it is
Professor Hoetink who is open to the charge of optimism.
SELECTED BOOK LIST
Song for Mumu
Longmans, Green & Co. Ltd.
Colonial Development & Good Gov-
Clarendon Press, Oxford Univ.
Obstetrics and Gynaecology in the
Tropics and Developing Countries
Edward Arnold, 1967
The West Indies-Canada Economic
Relations (Selected papers from the
Canada-Caribbean C o n f e r e n c e
I.S.E.R., U.W.I., 1967
The West Indies, Islands in the Sun
Nelson-National, N.J., U.S.A.
Dictionary of Jamaican English
Cambridge University Press,
The Two Variants in Caribbean
Oxford University Press for the
Institute of Race Relations,
J. M. Lee
J. B. Lawson &
D. B. Stewart (Ed.)
G. W. Roberts et al
F. G. Cassidy &
R. B. LePage
8 hard cover
4. 4/- soft
$3. 50 (U.S.)