Front Cover
 Table of Contents
 Back Cover

Title: Jamaica journal
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00090030/00064
 Material Information
Title: Jamaica journal
Series Title: Jamaica journal.
Abbreviated Title: Jam. j.
Physical Description: v. : ill. (part col.) ; 31 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Institute of Jamaica
Publisher: Institute of Jamaica.
Place of Publication: Kingston
Publication Date: February-April 1990
Frequency: semiannual
Subject: Periodicals -- Jamaica   ( lcsh )
Genre: periodical   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: Jamaica
Dates or Sequential Designation: Began with Dec. 1967 issue.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00090030
Volume ID: VID00064
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 01797964
lccn - 75027862
issn - 0021-4124

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Full Text


Treasures of Jamaican Heritage

Height 10"
Institute of Jamaica
Museums Division

Kuan Yin, Buddhist Divinity of Mercy

This beautifully preserved porcelain figure of
Kuan Yin has also been known as a Madonna and
Child since its recovery from the submerged ruins
of Port Royal by Robert Marx during one of his
expeditions of the nineteen-sixties.
The statuette of the feminine form of Buddha
was made in Te-Hua, China, in the early sixteen
hundreds of a type of porcelain known as Blanc-
de-Chine. A common Chinese export in the

seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, Blanc-de-
Chine was used for religious and other figurines
as well as small household articles. Other finds of
this type in the ruins of Port Royal include cups
and a Chinese lion-dog.
The presence of these articles in Port Royal in
1692 vividly illustrates the extent of the shipping
links with that town and the wealth of some of its

Editor Leeta Heame
Assistant Editor Dahlia Fraser
Editorial Assistant/
Subscription Supervisor J. C. Johnson
Computer Operator Joan White
Design and Production Dennis Ranston

JAMAICA JOURNAL is published on behalf
of the Institute of Jamaica by
Institute of Jamaica Publications Limited.
Managing Director
Patricia V. Stevens
Secretarial Services Faith Myers
Sales Reps Ricardo Henderson, Denise Clarke
Advertising Sales Gloria Forsyth
Printers Lithographic Printers Ltd.

All correspondence should be addressed to:
IOJ Publications Limited
2a Suthermere Road, Kingston 10, Jamaica
Telephone (809) 92-94785/6
Fax: (809) 92-68817
Back issues: Some back issues are available. List
sent on request. Entire series available on
microfilm from:
University Microfilms,
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48106, USA.
Subscriptions:J$60 for 4 issues (in Jamaica only);
UK: Individuals: 10, Institutions: 15.
All other countries: Individuals: US$20.
Institutions: US$25.
Single copies: J$17 (in Jamaica only); UK.3;
Other countries: US$7.
All sent second class airmail.
We accept UNEsCO coupons. Contact your local
UNESCO office for details.
Advertising: Rates sent on request.
Index: Articles appearing in JAMAICA JOURNAL are
abstracted and indexed in HISTORICAL ABSTRACTS,
Vol. 23 No.1. Copyright 1989 by Institute of
Jamaica Publications Ltd. Cover or contents may
not be reproduced in whole or in part without
written permission.
ISSN 0021-4124

Cover: Edna Manley's Beadseller, her first Jamai-
can bronze, dating from 1922, was shown in the
recent retrospective exhibition of her work at the
National Gallery of Jamaica. Patricia Bryan's
article begins on p. 28.

I .



Vol 23 No 1

February April 1990

History and Life

2 Jamaican Postage Stamps
Sby John Ingledew
S9 Capture of a Slaver
S44 Slackness Hiding from Culture:
Erotic Play in the Dancehall Part 2
by Carolyn Cooper

Science and Technology

39 John Reeder's Foundry
by Candice Goucher

58 Scientific Knowledge:
S The Way to Peace
Arnoldo Ventura

The Arts
21 Printing the Performance
by Mervyn Morris

Regular Features

28 Art: The Edna Manley Retrospective
by Patricia Bryan

14 Music: Jonah An Eighteenth
Century Jamaican Oratorio Part 2
by Pamela O'Gorman

53 Books and Writers
Reviews: Kenneth Kiple's The Caribbean
Slave: A Biological History by Alllister Hinds
Dennis Scott's Strategies by Wayne Brown

56 Poems by Marie Lombal-Bent

57 Contributor-

'ria LaYacona photograph



On 25 February 1858 we find Mr
O'Connor Morris, Jamaica's Post-
master-General, writing to Rowland
Hill urging that the prepayment system
be extended to Jamaica, and this was
done in May 1858. Until August 1860
the stamps on sale in Jamaica were
those of Great Britain for the values of
one penny, twopence, fourpence,
sixpence and one shilling (Id, 2d, 4d,
6d, and 1/-). Each post office in the
island had its own postmark or
obliteratorr' consisting of a letter and a
number: AO1 for Kingston, A28 for
Annotto Bay and so on. The Great
Britain fourpenny rose-red with the
A54 obliterator of May Hill Post
Office, near Spur Tree, is now worth
more than $1,000.1 The Id rose-red
with the A27 obliterator of Alexandria
is now catalogued at over $6,000.
In 1858 the British Post Office had
Anthony Trollope, not yet a celebrated
literary figure, out to Jamaica, to
inspect on the island's postal services
and advise on their reorganization. He
crossed swords with Mr Morris who
found his 'insolence excessive and his
manner impertinent and repelling', but
his report supported the transfer of
power from Britain to Jamaica which
would then have to take over respon-
sibility for its own postal affairs. The
House of Assembly was strongly
opposed to this move and the citizens of
Kingston petitioned against it, but in
vain. The first action of the House of
Assembly was to sack the unfortunate
Mr Morris and replace him at half the
salary by his Head Clerk, Mr Alexander
Brymer. They also decided that
postmen were to be issued with 'a
distinctive uniform of blue cloth with
red facings' (the traditional uniform of
the English postman until quite
recently) 'but the breeches were home
The first set of Jamaican stamps
appeared on 23 November 1860,
typographed by De La Rue and
Company in England, who produced all
Jamaica's stamps until 1923. The set
was unique in depicting Queen Victoria
wearing a laurel wreath and not the
usual coronet, and also in bearing the
pineapple watermark in the paper of
each stamp (known to philatelists as
'pines'). [Fig. 1, top row] Originally the
same five values as the British series
remained in use. However, since the
halfpenny rate was often needed for
newspapers and other classes of local

Figure 2 Stamps from the Jamaican set of 1919
mail the post office permitted the
diagonal bisection of the Id stamp for
this purpose. If you have any of these
still on their original wrapper or
envelope you may be interested to
know that they are now catalogued at
some $9,700. Each sheet contained two
hundred and forty stamps, but through
an accident in the printing one stamp on
each sheet bore the inscription ONE
so-called 'Dollar Variety' now valued
at $23,000 in mint condition (i.e.
postally unused and still with original
gum on the back), and $6,000 used (i.e.
having been post-marked).
The 1860 set was replaced in 1870
with the 'Crown CC' watermark set,
with the three additional values of 1/2d
(which obviated the need for bisection
of the Id stamp), the 2/- and the 3/-.
This set was in turn replaced by a third
set in 1883 using the 'Crown CA'
watermark and a change of colours.
The year 1900 saw the issue of the
Llandovery Falls stamp, a Id red, a very
early example of a pictorial stamp
(second only, I think, to British
Guiana's 1898 stamp showing the
Kaietur Falls). This fine etching was
based on a photograph by Dr James
Johnston. For somq inexplicable reason
it was unpopular, and the following
year the authorities tried issuing it in
black and red, making it look much
more photographic [Fig. 1, top row].
Until the water feeding the Falls was
diverted for sugar irrigation a few years
ago they were an excellent place for a
very bracing swim. The stamp is pretty
common and valued at about one dollar,

unless you have it printed on blued
paper, when it shoots up to some
This was followed by the pleasant
set of four bearing the Arms of Jamaica
with the Latin motto Indus Uterque
Serviet Uni. Here too there was a
printing error so that one stamp in each
sheet of a hundred has vi of serviet
missing (the so-called 'Seret Error').
The error occurs in all four values, the
5d being catalogued at over $10,000.
One curious feature of the Victorian
stamps is that a new set was issued with
the usual portrait of the Queen in 1905,
four years after her death, and
continued until 1911. By this time
someone had apparently told the Post
Office that she was no longer with
them, and they hastened, if that is the
correct word, to issue the one and only
stamp bearing the portrait of her son,
Edward VII in February 1911, by which
time he too had been dead for a year.2
One other strange facet of Victorian
stamps is that they were based on the
portrait of the Queen as a princess at the
age of eighteen, profiled on a gold
medal by William Wyon in 1837. This
profile was used by Charles and
Frederick Heath for the first Great
Britain stamp in 1840 and endlessly
copied thereafter, so that in all GB
issues and most colonial issues Victoria
shows no signs of aging throughout her
sixty-four years of rule. This may
explain the Post Office's apparent belief
in her immortality.
After World War I a more interes-
ting and indigenous set appeared in
1919, using the Multiple Crown


Figure 3

watermark. The /2d showed the site of
the Jamaica Exhibition of 1891, the Id
an Arawak woman preparing cassava,
the 11/2d (possibly the world's largest
stamp to that date) depicted a
contingent of Jamaican troops
embarking for France, the 2d displayed
King's House, Spanish Town, the 3d the
Columbus Landing, the 4d the
Cathedral, Spanish Town, the 1/- the
Queen Victoria statue, the 2/- the
Admiral Rodney memorial, the 3/- the
Sir Charles Metcalfe monument, the 5/-
a rural scene captioned 'Isle of Wood
and Water', and the 10/- bore the
King's head flanked by a couple of
cherubs. The design of the 5/- and 10/-
originated with the Governor, Sir Leslie
Probyn, but all the other pictorials in
this set were selected by that distin-
guished Jamaican, Frank Cundall. The
Id and 5/- were drawn by his daughter


and the 3d by his wife, so this first truly
Jamaican set was very much a family
affair [Fig. 2]. It was reissued in 1921
using a Multiple Script CA watermark,
with the addition of the superb 6d based
on a lithograph showing the fleet at Port
Royal in 1853 [Fig. 3].
The 1919 set produced, unwittingly,
Jamaica's most famous and valuable
stamp, the 1/- red and orange, of which
one sheet of sixty stamps was printed in
error by De La Rue with the frame
upside down around the Queen's statue,
so that she appears to be standing on
her head [Fig. 3, lower left]. Various
stories surround this event. One story
has it that a gentleman from Brown's
Town bought one of these errors at
Manchioneal Post Office in March 1922
but only discovered it when he got
home. He then rushed back to
Manchioneal and bought ten more.

Another version is that the Post
Mistress at Manchioneal, who had been
sent a half-sheet of thirty of them by the
Central Post Office in Kingston, came
to Mr Tucker, a lawyer in Brown's
Town, offering to sell him a number at
5 each. He promptly sent her packing.
Whatever the truth of that, the other
half-sheet of thirty was sold over the
counter in Kingston without the error
being noticed. Of the sheet of sixty, the
whereabouts of eighteen are known, ten
used and eight unused. At least five are
still in the hands of Jamaican collectors.
Two copies were auctioned in August
1990 by Sotheby's fetching over
13,000 each. Forty-two are still
unaccounted for so it is worth having a
good look round at home for old letters.
In 1923 Jamaica borrowed an idea
originating in Switzerland, the charity
stamp. The Child Welfare set of three

- 11 Jam mmca0 - n nmnn
8li qnt|

3JcAMA IC35ci 3 :
3 5 i s5 c35c.. .. 3 5C

iu "

was based on photographs by Miss V
Taylor, with frames designed by
Cundall and drawn by his daughter
[Fig. 1, second row] and the values
were the 1/2d, Id, and 21/2d. For each
stamp the buyer paid an extra
l/2d,which went to the Child Welfare
League. They were sold for three
months each year for four years, and
those unsold in 1927 were destroyed.
They were not a success and brought
only 246.6s.3d for the Child Welfare
League. The idea was repeated after
Hurricane Gilbert in 1988, when the
Seoul Olympics set was overprinted
'Hurricane Gilbert Relief Fund' and
sold for double the face values of 25c,
45c, $4 and $5. It would be interesting
to know how much this brought in and
how it was used.
After the omnibus issues of the
beautiful set of 1935 Silver Jubilee of
George V and the far less distinguished
Coronation set of George VI in 1937
(sets common to all British colonial
territories), came one of the most
attractive of all Jamaican issues, the
George VI definitive of 1938-53.
Rooted in local scenes and activities,
the stamps are well-designed and
printed in attractive colours. Another
philatelic 'first' for Jamaica was the
unique inclusion of three 3d stamps of
identical design but different colours
[Fig. 3, upper right]. The central figure
of the banana worker carrying his load
on his head, the finely-drawn banana
grove to the right, and the ship in the
distance neatly juxtapose the realities of
Jamaica life the agrarian base, the
closeness to nature and the vital
importance of the sea links. Extensions
of this are the 4d, showing the citrus
industry, the 1/-, showing Monymusk
Sugar Factory and the 1, featuring the
tobacco industry. The 1/- value again
boasts a variety, in which the left-hand
chimney is broken in two. This is
valued at $560.
An interesting philatelic item
engendered by World War II was the
issue by Germany of a well-executed
fake Great Britain Id red of George VI,
overprinted in anticipation of world
conquest, 'Liquidation of Empire -
Jamaica' [Fig. 3, bottom row].
After the somewhat undistinguished
definitive set of Queen Elizabeth II in
1956, the next philatelic milestone for
Jamaica was Independence, first
celebrated in the Queen Elizabeth
stamps overprinted 'Independence

1962', and then in various new sets and
commemorative issues. [Figs 1 and 4]
In the first hundred years of its postage
stamps, Jamaica issued 180 stamps; in
the twenty-eight years of Independence
things have run riot with over six
hundred issues. The rate seems to be
accelerating as the following table

1960 1 commemorative set. 3 stamps. Face
value 1/8d
1962 2 sets. 8 stamps. Face value 10/3d
1964 3 sets. 9 stamps. Face value 6/11d
1970 5 sets. 16 stamps. Face value $2.03
1981 6 sets. 30 stamps. Face value $33.26
1988 9 sets. 35 stamps. Face value $88.45

All the signs are that this eagerness
for extra revenue at the expense of the
philatelist (a virtually worldwide
phenomenon) is counter-productive.
The proliferation of sets at high face
value has made it impossible for
millions of ordinary collectors to keep
up even with a few countries. In
narrowing their interests, their
preference will be for those countries
with a modest number of new issues of
high quality design and low face value.
Many Jamaican collectors I know have
given up trying to collect even
Jamaican new issues. To acquire the
1988 issues, for example, mint and
used, would cost a collector $176.
Attempts by the Jamaica Philatelic
Society to discover the revenue trends
of this policy have met with silence,
although this is certainly a matter of
public concern. Many countries have
gone further along this road than
Jamaica. Guyana, for example, from

Figure 5


1977-87 issued 1,552 stamps, the
Grenadines, in the same period 879 as
against Jamaica's 281. The result is that
most dealers refuse to stock or handle
these stamps, and all the collectors I
know have ceased to collect them.
As far as subject matter and designs
are concerned, Jamaica's output since
Independence has been uneven. There
have been notable successes with
original and interesting subject matter,
tasteful colours and clear lettering in
well-harmonized designs. Some
examples of this are the 1964 definitive
3/- value, the Orchid set of 1973 [Fig. 3,
lower right], the Belisario set of 1975
and 1976 [Fig.4, row 3], the Sculptures
of 1984 and the Moths of 1989. On the
other hand there have been disasters,
sometimes designed by local amateurs
with no expertise in this highly-
specialized mini-art form. An example
of this is the 3d value of the 1965 Girl
Guide issue. The design is banal, the
colours crude and clashing, and the
scroll lettering virtually indecipherable.
The 1964 Boy Scout 8d is in striking
contrast. The design is imaginative, the
colours pleasing and congruent and the
lettering first-class. The rakish angle of
the scout hat adds a note of humour not
often found in philately. Others from
the Chamber of Horrors are the Human
Rights 3d with its dull design and
garish colours (the map motif has been
sadly over-done, having appeared on
twenty-five stamps so far and doubtless
intended for many more), the 21st
Anniversary of Independence [Fig. 4,
bottom right] and the disappointing Bob
Marley set. No self-respecting Jamaican

mongoose would recognize itself in the
3/- stamp set of 1973 showing an Indian
mongoose [Fig. 4, second row].
This state of affairs points to the
need for a more varied and repre-
sentative composition of the Stamp
Advisory Committee which controls
Jamaica's philatelic destiny. It is too
heavily weighted with political
appointees and civil servants with little
or no knowledge of stamps, contains no
graphic artists or aestheticians and only
one philatelist. One reason for the very
high quality of British stamps is that of
the fourteen members of their Stamp
Advisory Committee only three are
Post Office employees; the rest are
experts in design, art, advertising and
One facet of Jamaica philately of
which we can be proud, however, is the
pioneering of the world's first cricket
stamp in 1968, in conjunction with

Guyana. This was a colourful and
original triptych design, in which the
right-hand stamp depicts a bowler in the
act of delivering the ball, the centre one
the batsman receiving and the left-hand
one the wicket keeper anticipating it
[Fig. 5] Unhappily, the more recent set
of five in 1988, showing distinguished
Jamaican cricketers, is very dull in
comparison. Jamaica's example was
quickly imitated around the world, with
issues from New Zealand, Australia,
Britain and India, often heavily
dependent on the Jamaican design.3


1. The values given throughout are the
sterling values shown in Stanley Gibbons
British Commonwealth Catalogue, 1990,
converted to Jamaican currency,
multiplying by 15.

2. This stamp of Edward VII owes its
existence to the petition of the associated
Kingston Philatological Society and the
Jamaican Philatelic Association in 1910,
after the King's death. The petition for a
stamp showing 'our late beloved King'
needed, and was given, approval by
Winston Churchill.

3. See my article, 'The Cricket Connection'
in The Sunday Gleaner, 18 February,
1990 for more detail. Those interested in
Jamaica and her stamps should contact
The Jamaica Philatelic Society, P.O. Box
201, Constant Spring, Kingston 8.

The stamps shown are from the John Ingledew collection
except for those on pp. 2 and 5 which are from the collection of Dennis Ranston.

r~F I

JuNE 20, 1857.]

(To the Editor of the ILLUSTRATED LONDON NE'
lY the last mail, intelligence was forwarded from this plac4
f an unusual and startling occurrence off the coast of Cu'
capture of a slaver, with large cargo of slaves on board.



Of June 20, 1857


y the last mail, intelligence was forwarded from
this place to England of an unusual and startling
occurrence off the coast of Cuba viz., the capture
of a slaver, with a large cargo of slaves on board. I
send you some photographs, that I took a few days ago, of
these ill-treated African youths, who have been so cruelly
torn from their native country. I also send a photograph of the
little craft that bore them across the great Atlantic: these
being illustrative proofs of the fearful reality that the African
slave trade still exists in all its unabated horrors.
Owing to the high prices of colonial produce prevailing
of late, this vile traffic has taken a fresh start, and is likely to
continue to increase unless the most vigorous efforts are at
once made for its suppression. The public mind had been
somewhat quieted by the statements of gentlemen in high
official positions to the effect that this abominable trade had
well-nigh ceased, especially in regard to the island of Cuba;
but the recent capture of a slaver by a British cruiser dispels
at once such as erroneous notion, and discloses to us the
melancholy truth that the full machinery of this wicked
system is in active operation at this moment; that those heart-

rending scenes, so often and so graphically narrated by
philanthropic men, of midnight descents upon unsuspecting
villagers, of the slaughter that ensues in the kidnapping
struggle, the conflagrations, the pestiferous hardships of the
barracoons, and that horror of horrors, the middle passage,
terminating in that terrible wind up to all of hopeless bondage
of the worst description, are still being enacted with daring
effrontery. The case just brought to light clearly shows, as
may be seen in the particulars of the capture, that this is by no
means a rare or unusual occurrence; but, on the contrary, that
in all probability about two vessels on an average depart
weekly from the coast of Africa, with from 500 to 700 slaves
on board; and there is ample evidence to warrant the belief
that, for this one slaver caught, ninety-nine arrive at the ports,
land their wretched freight, pocket the doubloons, and
consign their victims to a life of suffering.
It would be well if the British public would ponder these
startling and incontrovertible facts; remembering, at the same
time, that the above case is but a fair sample of what is going
on every day on the coast of Africa, the Atlantic, and the
West Indies. Let the reader picture to himself the little


schooner here represented, of scarce 140 tons, loading in
some quiet African bay; mark her dimensions closely; and
then watch her crew busily at work stowing away in that
limited hold (57 feet by 15 feet average breadth, and 3 feet
high) some five hundred human beings, upwards of forty of
whom are females! The sad group of boys in the Engraving
tells how they were packed like so many bales of goods,
closely wedged in!
Her anchor is up, the wind seems propitious, and she is
off to sea with her five hundred stowed below. Night has now
closed around the schooner, as she begins to roll on the
mountain waves of the Atlantic that dread first night, when
poor captives become fully alive to the awfulness of their
situation; when sea-sickness seizes them, and multiplies their
agonies tenfold. But they must remain in their dark chamber,
breathing the hot and suffocating air the whole night long,
with their limbs doubled up in the manner shown in the
Illustration. Should sleep afford them a short respite from
their miseries, all they can do is to fall on their sides, and so
remain huddled together in a thick mass, the heads of one
row resting on the hips of the next.
As might be expected, such treatment proves too severe
for some of the weaker constitutions; but their agonising
groans and piercing cries of anguish and despair are
unheeded; many sink, they die unpitied, uncared for and
in the morning are weeded out to become food for the fishes
of the ocean. Daily and nightly, for several weeks, this
dreadful mortality is continued, so that by the time the vessel
is off the coast of Cuba upwards of 130 victims have been
committed to the deep, where they find rest from their
merciless oppressors. But the calculation has been made that,
although a certain portion of the cargo may perish in the
transportation, as one of the common casualties of business,
yet enough remains to realise a handsome return on the
But the diabolical scheme is to be frustrated. The winds
are not favourable; and it was decreed that Jamaica and not
Cuba should be the home of those bewildered strangers.
The pinnace of the Arab was rapidly gaining upon the
slaver, and there was every prospect of a speedy capture,
which the slave captain perceiving, he prepared to escape
with his crew in the boat; but before he left his ill-fated
schooner, he lashed the helm of the vessel, while all the sails
were set, so as to run her full on to the reefs close by, and
thus to accomplish, if possible, the destruction not only of the
vessel, but of the whole remaining 370 human beings on
But the schooner was captured and brought to Port
Royal, where the captain openly boasted of his numerous
slave-trade exploits, having made, it is said, some twenty-
seven trips across the Atlantic with slaves, during which
period he had been captured three times. He is stated to have
amassed a considerable amount of gold, and was very
impatient to return to Havannah, where another vessel was
waiting for him to go on with his vile traffic.
The captured slaves, on their arrival in the harbour of
Kingston were landed at Fort Augusta, and every attention
paid to their comfort; but several were so completely
exhausted during the fearful middle passage that they have
since died. Many sympathising persons visited the survivors
frequently, that they might be themselves eyewitnesses of a
veritable cargo of human slaves (a sight quite new to many
here) just landed in all their degradation and misery. One of

the first questions that occurs to most people, after they have
inspected this human cargo, is why does not the British
Government put a stop to the traffic? This is, indeed, a
natural question, considering all the circumstances; and it is
to be hoped that the time is not far distant when the British
people will press it to a satisfactory solution. It cannot be that
we have not the power. Surely the country whose navy
commands every ocean and sea is able to put a stop to the
piratical depredations of such puny powers as Spain and
Brazil. Great Britain has the most direct, and what might be
styled a legal, claim or right, as everybody knows, to interfere
with the African slave trade, in the shape of the special treaty
with Spain in the ratification of which, if I mistake not,
England paid a large sum of money to Spain as a sort of
compensation for its abolition. Why, then, is this right not
urged, and are not proper measures adopted at once to ensure
full compliance with the provisions of the said treaty? True,
efforts are, and have been, made from time to time in this
direction; but they are so notoriously feeble as to be of little
The following details of the capture are abridged from
the Colonial Standard and Jamaica Dispatch:-
On Sunday, the 12th of April, the pinnace of H. M. Brig
Arab, under the command of Lieutenant Stubbs, R. N., after a
search of ten days in and about the keys on the south side of
Cuba, succeeded in capturing a schooner of 150 tons, name
and nation unknown, together with 370 slaves, survivors of
500, shipped at Kabinda, on the coast of Africa, and destined
for disposal in Cuba. The circumstances of the capture are
On the 2nd of April the pinnace left the Arab off
Trinidad de Cuba, in command of Lieutenant Stubbs, a
marine, and fifteen men, on a cruise. On the 4th, about half-
past one o'clock, the pinnace anchored in Boca Grande,
where she found a Caymanas schooner, the Star, Captain
McLauchlan, who informed Lieutenant Stubbs that there
were three wrecks of slavers on 'Man-of-War Key', off Boca
Grande, from one of which Captain McLauchlan had
obtained a small quantity of copper, about one and a half
miles east of Cape Breton; the slavers, the Captain stated, had
been on shore for about two months. He also stated that on
Cotton Keys he saw a wreck, and the lifeless bodies of about
twenty Africans; eight men calling themselves fisherman, but
evidently pilots, were on the west point of Cay Grande, some


a ~u~q~

of whom he knew, who informed him that they expected a
vessel with Africans to arrive daily. After this information the
pinnace cruised in the vicinity of Boca Grande, and returned.
Captain McLauchlan then further informed Lieutenant Stubbs
that these pilots were on the look out there incessantly; he
also stated to him that a brigantine stood close in to the land,
and he (the captain) had ordered his men to go in search of
the pinnace, should the brigantine prove to be a slaver. The
brigantine, being certain that she was off the coast of Cuba,
stood out to sea again. On the 9th the pinnace weighed
anchor, and ran round a point in order to escape the vigilance
of the pilots of Cape Grande. On the 12th, at 9.30 a.m., a
schooner was observed from the pinnace running down with
square sails set; the pinnace immediately weighed and ran
out, and stood across the passage. At 10 a.m. the pinnace got
her oars out, and observed the schooner cast off a boat that
was being towed astern, and the schooner stood out to sea.
The pinnace hoisted her colours and fired several shots across
the schooner's bow. At three, the wind being light, oars were
again put from the pinnace a marine, by the name of Baird,
kept up a continual firing at the schooner. The schooner was
now observed lowering a boat, and the firing was
immediately directed against the boat, completely shattering
her rudder. The boat then tossed up her oars, and this having
been observed by the pinnace, as a token of surrender,
Lieutenant Stubbs ceased firing, and boarded the boat, and
took the captain and his cook, and also his private adult slave,
who had been concealed at the bottom of the boat, a spy-
glass, and a lot of Colt's revolvers loaded. By this time the
schooner, with all sails set, was driving on to the reefs, the
captain having lashed the helm up before quitting. The
pinnace, on perceiving this, immediately left the boat and
proceeded towards the schooner, which the Lieutenant and
his men boarded at that time she was about 150 yards from
the reef. He found 370 slaves on board, among whom were
42 females. Previous to the arrival on board the schooner, the
slaves were all loosed on deck, and one of them put her helm
down, thus preventing her going directly on the reef. The
schooner then ran down to Boca Grande, and anchored there.
The Africans by this time tore everything to pieces on board,
in search of food.
The schooner left Kabinda forty-six days previously with
500 slaves, of whom 130 had died on the passage. The
Spanish ensign was found on board the schooner the slaves
had broken open a keg of powder, a case of lucifer-matches,
and a tin of turpentine. The schooner was struck in two places
owing, as our informant says, to the excellent firing of the
marine, Baird. On Monday, the 13th, they observed a
schooner running through the outer reef of the keys through
the passage, no doubt with the remainder of the men on
board. The crew consisted on nine the rest passengers -
having American colours up. There were only two days'
provision on board the slave schooner, and slaves were
perishing from starvation. Lieutenant Stubbs then thought of
proceeding to Jamaica, and on Thursday, the 16th, arrived at
St. Ann's Bay, where the Lieutenant immediately put himself
in communication with the authorities.
The following additional particulars are from the
Falmouth Post:-
The poor captives were in a wretched condition all of
them naked; and the greater part seemed to have been half
starved. They were packed closely together, and covered with
dirt and vermin. On the arrival of the schooner in St. Ann's

At Fort Augusta

Bay several gentlemen went on board, and their sympathies
were excited at the misery which they witnessed. Messrs.
Bravo suggested measures, which were adopted, and, with
their usual liberality, ordered a steer to be killed, and soup
prepared for the sufferers; other gentlemen furnished ground
provisions, bread, &c. ; and, while the food was being
prepared, the whole of the human cargo was brought upon
deck, washed, and had blankets given to them until clothing
could be procured. Thirty of them were in a dying state, but
the most humane attention was paid to them.
The Hon. Charles Boyes, Custos of the parish, sent off
without loss of time a despatch to his Excellency the
Lieutenant-Governor, acquainting him with all circumstances
connected with the capture, and requesting to be informed
whether the captives should be handed over to proprietors of
estates who were anxious to procure their services.
The captain of the schooner refused to give his name, or
the name of the vessel; but stated that he would be a loser of
30,000 dollars a loss which did not cause him much
concern, as he had made other and successful trips. A great
deal of information, however, has been obtained from the
interpreter, who mentioned that several vessels were left on
the African coast; that they were soon to have sailed with full
cargoes; that upon an average two vessels departed weekly,
each with 500 to 700 slaves which on being landed in Cuba
were worth from 500 to 700 dollars each. With regard to
those that were captured in the schooner, there was but one
day's supply of provisions on the day of capture; and so
limited was the quantity of food doled out to them during the
passage that when they saw the soup, bread, yams &c., which
were sent on board by the gentlemen of St. Ann's, they made
a rush to get at them, and it was found necessary to exercise
a rigid discipline, in order that the numbers that were the
most enfeebled should be the first supplied.
The slave-schooner has two decks, and between them the
captives were packed in such a manner that they had scarcely
room to move. During each day of voyage they sat in a
painful posture, 18 inches only being allowed for each to turn
in; and in a deck room of 30 feet in length 300 human beings
were stowed away, and brought up in platoons once every
day to get a small portion of fresh air. The schooner draws
but six feet of water, is of great breadth and flat-bottomed,
and was thus built to enable her, in case of pursuit, to run into
a port where there is not much depth of water. The interpreter


states that when slave-trading captains cannot escape
cruisers they make their way to a particular point of land on
the Cuban coast, run the vessel ashore, and leave the slaves
to perish. The place alluded to is surrounded with rocks;
none but flat-bottomed boats can get in; and the whole of
that portion of the coast is blanched with human bones.
The commander of the Arab is in pursuit of the barque
that sailed in company with the schooner, and we hope that
we shall soon have accounts of her capture.

Editor's Note
The arrival of the slave ship in Port Royal resulted in lively
discussion in the press of the still active slave trade, its adverse
effect on the Jamaican economy and of what was to be done with
the freed Africans. The gentlemen of St Ann felt that they had first
claim to this unexpected augmentation of the local labour force and
they resented the decision of the Lieutenant Governor, Major
General Wells Bell, to move the Africans to Fort Augusta. His
intention was that they were to be employed as agricultural
labourers, but there seems to be no indication as to how they were
to be placed around the island. The writer of a letter to the
Jamaica Standard and Colonial Dispatch tells of having seen two
of the freed captives walking 'happily along King Street'. It
appears that two at least of the involuntary exiles had come to
terms, if only for a short time, with their new surroundings.

JAMAICA JOURNAL is indebted to Mrs Justine Campbell for this page
from the Illustrated London News of 11 May 1857.

An interesting detail is that the article was accompanied by
photographs taken by the author. This piece must be one of the
earlier examples of the nineteenth century 'photojournalism'.

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An Eighteenth Century

Jamaican Oratorio

by Pamela O'Gorman

Part 2: The Music of Samuel Felsted's Jonah

Before discussing the music of
Jonah, it might be helpful to the
layman to provide some
background information on the Oratorio
in England immediately prior to the
publication of the work in 1770 that
is, the late Baroque period.
The Oratorio, a long vocal
composition based on a religious or
contemplative theme, was really
operatic music transferred to the
concert hall or church and performed
without costumes, scenery or action. Its
performance resources as well as its
performance style were those of Opera,
as were its recitatives, solos, duets and
choruses. Many arias were based on
Baroque dance rhythms which provided
the underlying mood and musical
symbolism for the libretto. To the
Baroque mind there was no contra-
diction inherent in employing dance
rhythms in a religious work: in fact, the
dance chosen was part of the emotional
Oratorio had flowered in Italy in the
seventeenth century and in Germany in
the seventeenth and early eighteenth;
but it did not take root in England until
the eighteenth century, when Handel,
the operatic idol of the day and a born
opportunist, adopted it when his
operatic ventures failed. Almost by
chance, Handel discovered that the
English preferred Oratorio to Italian
opera. Part of this could have been due
to the fact that the oratorio libretti were
in English and were therefore more
comprehensible to an audience of
which the majority understood little
Italian. More probably, however, the
popularity of Handel's oratorios
resulted from his unprecedented

Courtesy of the British Library

handling of the Choruses, to which the
English responded with an enthusiasm
which they had hitherto reserved only
for the pomp and glory of the
Seventeen forty-two, the year before
Felsted was born, is usually regarded as
the year in which typical Handelian
oratorio was established for the first
time. Lang, in his monumental Music
in Western Civilization, has a trenchant
description of Handelian oratorio and
its place in English society:

This solid, strong, victorious attitude,
bursting with power, confident of the
security of the faithful and their
advantageous relations with the Lord,
grew from English Protestantism -
from the unshakable conviction that
this powerful God will stand behind the
faithful who are fighting for him, and
will help them to realize the Kingdom
of God in the model of the British

Overtones of this are not altogether
absent from Jonah, particularly in its
final pages.
The other aspect of the late Baroque
which should be noted in approaching
this work, is the musical symbolism -
the word painting and descriptive
figures which constituted the musical
language of the so-called 'Doctrine of
the Affections' which was universal
during the period.
Affections, in this sense, represents
the strongest emotional expressions -
'the temper, disposition, frame of mind,
passions and mental reactions
characteristic of man' [Lang]. It was
commonly believed at that time and,
in fact, stated as a matter of aesthetic
theory that 'Musick hath two ends,
first to pleas the sence... and secondly
to move ye affections or excite
The affections were expressed in a
symbolic musical language which
relied heavily on word painting and
descriptive figures whose uses were
clearly defined in the aesthetic theories
of the time. Thus sorrow would be
expressed by 'a slow-moving, languid
and drowsy melody broken by many
sighs'2 a device which Felsted


M. e.Y

utilizes in Jonah. Dances also had
characteristic emotions. For example,
the Gigue expressed 'heat
andeagerness', the Courante 'sweet
hope and courage', and so on. While
composers did not adhere slavishly to
these aesthetic theories, they often
incorporated them into their
compositions. Jonah is no exception.
The quality of a Baroque composer
was judged most of all by his ability to
concentrate the essence of the 'basic
affection' into the opening notes and to
maintain that affection throughout the
movement. In this respect Handel and
Bach were unparalleled, particularly as
both were masters of contrapuntal writ-
ing, which constituted the essence of a
prolonged statement on a single theme.
However, Jonah contains almost no
contrapuntal writing; for, while Felsted
had absorbed many of the Baroque
conventions, his style of writing,
especially for the keyboard, reveals that
he was well abreast of the new Style
Galante which followed the Baroque
and became the precursor of the
Classical period. Light and homophonic

Thurston Dox
in texture, with heterogeneous material
reflecting a number of changing emo-
tions in each movement, it eschewed
contrapuntal writing as being 'learned'
and out-of-date. In England, in the
1760s, Johann Christian Bach, the
youngest of Johann Sebastian's sons,
was considered one of its greatest
exponents. He enjoyed the high esteem
of the English and in turn influenced



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their composers. It is quite possible that
Felsted, either directly or through his
teachers, knew the music of Johann
Christian Bach and his contemporaries
and absorbed their techniques into his
own writing, for his keyboard style is
not unlike that of 'the Italian Bach', as
Johann Christian was known in Europe
because of his style of writing.
Felsted's music contains elements of
both the Baroque and the Galante.
While it retains much of the musical
symbolism of the Baroque, the spirit
that informs the music is that of the
Galante. It contains almost no contra-
puntal writing. Nor is it cast in heroic
Handelian mode, calling on the massive
choral forces that were available in
England in the eighteenth century.
Adapting his ideas to the inevitably
limited resources that would be avail-
able not only in Kingston but almost
anywhere in the Colonies, Felsted
scored the work for two tenors, chorus
and harpsichord. The addition of a
treble and bass instrument (most likely
a violin and cello) would have been
optional, according to the conventions

of the day, and would have had the 'figured bass'4 provided on the score,
effect of lending greater sonority and rather in the way a jazz player actually
richness to the Overture and the improvises from a"chart"nowadays.
accompaniment.3 Much of Felsted's accompaniment is
In this period, the keyboard player written out. It makes few excessive
was free to improvise his own technical demands on the keyboard
accompaniment from the stenographic player and, in fact can be executed by

anyone who has sufficient knowledge
of harmony to reproduce the chords in
the recitatives. The organist in the
Catskill performance deviates little
from Felsted's written score and,
indeed, has little reason to do so.


Samuel Felsted's oratorio Jonah is in twelve short 'movements'.

1 Overture
Key: F Major

The Overture is in the three-movement Allegro-Andante-
Allegro (Fast-Slow-Fast) format which the Italians used in
the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries in their instru-
mental music as a prelude to their operas and oratorios.
The opening Allegro, in triple time, begins with three
imperious F Major chords, obviously intended to catch the
attention of the listener. Unlike Handel, however, Felsted
does not settle into a mathematically rigid phraseology of
two-or four-bar units. His opening phrase is nine bars long,
subdividing into 2+2+5, and is answered by a consequent
phrase twelve bars long, with overlapping phrases, which
subdivides into a kind of 7+5. This extended phraseology,
which arises usually out of a reiteration of the last chords of
the phrase, is found throughout the work and is one of the
notable features of Felsted's composition.Typical of the
Galant period, the material is heterogeneous in nature,
quickly changing from one affection to the next. The
keyboard texture is light and homophonic.
The second movement of the Overture is a triple-rhythm
air of gentle charm which is again characterized by unequal
phraseology. The opening phrase of this movement is seven
bars (3+4). It is answered by a phrase of six bars (3+3) and
the idea is concluded by one of four bars. This characteristic
persists throughout the movement, which brings forth a
number of graceful ideas within the overall mood.
The final Allegro is a typical Baroque motoricc'
movement in Rounded Binary form, with extensive
modulation in the second section. It conveys a sense of
excitement and anticipation an impression of breathlessness
being conveyed by phrases that are unexpectedly contracted
or extended.

2 Recitative: Jonah, Arise
Key: F Major

Jonah, arise! to Nineveh repair
Reprove her actions and her sins declare
Repentance preach, her crimes for vengeance call,
She must be humbled, or her sons shall fall.
But Jonah sought to shun his Maker's face
And destined Tarshish for the secret place
With haste embarks, when lo! the billows rise,
Tempestuous roar, and threat to lash the skies,
Loud thunders roll, the forked lightning play
And strike the guilty Prophet with dismay.
Convinc'd, he owns the folly of his flight.
Nor longer seeks to shun his Maker's sight.
Implores the crew to plunge him in the Main,
As every effort else would prove but vain.
Th'affrighted mariners around their guest,
Astonished listen to his bold request.
They hear and with reluctance grant.
A wave, yawning, receives and bears him to his grave.
Within a Whale's enormous jaws confined
Trembling, he sees the Tomb by Heaven assigned.5

This recitative a mixture of secco and accompagnato6 -
is suffused with drama. The Baroque musician's love of
pictorial symbolism is given full reign. In the accompani-
ment, the idea of roaring, tempestuous billows is illustrated
by fast scale passages, that of rolling thunders and forked
lightning by quick, short scalic motives and dotted notes.
Even the idea of 'forked lightning' is illustrated by a treble
and bass line in the accompaniment moving in contrary

Example 1


And the idea of the prophet being struck with dismay is
illustrated by repeated thirty-second notes, which give a
trembling effect.
The harmony and melody are also worth noting. There is
hardly a nuance in this recitative which is not reflected by a
subtle change of harmony ('and destined Tarshish for the
secret place'), mood ('loud thunders roll') or a melodic
contour that fully underscores the emotional weight of the
word ('implores the crew. . to plunge him in the Main').
Even the awesome sight of the whale's 'enormous jaws' is
illustrated melodically by an upward rise covering the
interval of a twelfth. Example 2

J i 'I
Within a Whaltis r_- in-rni jawb confit'd,

7 a
Felsted uses his command of harmony and his tonal
imagination to underscore every dramatic turn by use of
appropriate chord changes. The rapid change of events
between God's command and Jonah's eventual encounter
with the whale are aptly reflected in the number of keys
through which the music passes between the opening F Major
and the remote E Flat Major in which the recitative ends.
3 Air: Out of the Deep, O God, I Cry (Adagio)
Key: E Flat Major
Out of the deep, O God, I cry
View my sorrows,
On me in pity cast thine Eye,
View my sorrows, end my woe
Again, Oh Lord, thy mercy show.
4 Air: Billows Foam Around My Head (Allegro)
Key: C Minor
Billows foam around my head
I am counted with the dead.
Save me, Lord, revoke my doom
Nor leave me longer in my tomb.
Jonah, in his anguish, sings these two arias. Both show to
perfection Felsted's unusual capacity for expressing emotion.
'Out of the Deep' is slow. The melodic line makes extensive
use of the appoggiatura, the descending interval of a Second
which was used extensively in the Baroque era to express
pathos or sadness. In the first half it is punctuated by silences
- a standard Baroque technique for expressing sorrow as if
Jonah, overcome by emotion, finds it difficult to articulate his
distress. In the second part of the aria ('View my Sorrows')
the realization of his predicamentseems to give him the
strength to make his pleas more insistent.
Then, in stark contrast, there follows the aria 'Billows
Foam'. The dramatic situation and the pictorial element are
fully captured by the fast, undulating, sixteenth-note passage
work of the accompaniment that expresses both emotional
Example 3

turmoil and the turbulence of the elements.
This is one of the few arias which have a regular two or
four phraseology; but even so, Felsted cannot resist bringing
in his solo voice a half bar earlier than one would anticipate
or indulging in his favourite device of extending the length of
the final phrase to five bars.
'Billows Foam' is a conventional three-part operatic aria
consisting of an A Section, ('Billows foam around my head')
a contrasting, lyrical B Section ('Save me, O Lord') and a
return to the A Section. It is one of the musical high points of
the work.

5 Recitative: The Lord Commands
Key: E Flat
The Lord commands, with haste the Fish obeys
And humble Jonah to the shore conveys.
In this short recitative, Felsted changes key rapidly from E
Flat to B Flat, effecting a change of location and mood as an
introduction to the aria 'My God and King'.

6 Air: My God and King (Allegro)
Key: B Flat
My God and King, to Thee I sing,
My Humble voice I raise
To sing Thy praise.
Preserv'd from death
I'll spend my breath
In offering up Thy praise.
This three-part aria contains all the Handelian associations
of God and Kingship so beloved of English Protestantism.
The keyboard introduction is based on a breezy hornpipe
rhythm. The melodic contours are joyous and exultant and
within them are contained extensive use of melisma,7
ascending sequences and the use of a high tessitura for the
tenor voice. (In one passage the word 'sing' is extended in
fast semiquaver notes over twelve beats, ironically on the
words 'I'll spend my breath' a point surely not lost on the
hapless tenor who has to sing it!). The accompaniment
suggests triumphant horns and trumpets and the aria is carried
along by an irresistible momentum. This is the first time that
Felsted uses extensive melisma, so beloved of Baroque vocal
composers, and his previous restraint pays off handsomely.
Its use is altogether appropriate to the prevailing emotions of
the occasion.

7 Recitative: Jonah, Arise, My Word Declare
Key: B Flat

Jonah, arise, again thy steps prepare,
To Nineveh the great, my word declare.

Within the space of four bars, Felsted manages to convey a
sense of anticipation with a dotted rhythm and a quick
modulation to the key of F Major.


8 Air: Lord, I Obey
Key: F Major
Lord, I obey, taught by thy powerful hand
And preach repentance to the guilty land.
A sprightly, triple dance rhythm, an opening phrase based
on the ascending home chord, the use of long extended notes
and horn passages in the accompaniment maintain a mood of
hope and confidence.

9 Recitative: Repent, Ye Men of Nineveh
Key: D Minor

Repent, ye men of Nineveh, repent,
Humbled in dust to God for mercy call
Your horrid sins cry loud for punishment
Yet forty days and Nineveh shall fall.

In contrast to the previous aria, this recitative strikes a
serious note, beginning and ending in the key of D Minor.
After the final line, Felsted gives a pictorial illustration of the
fall of Nineveh by means of a passage in dotted rhythm,
moving in descending sequence towards the final cadence.
Example 4 L._

10 Chorus of Ninevites: Have Mercy, Lord (Largo)
Key: D Minor
Have Mercy, Lord, and hear our plaintive cries
Behold our tears and do our sins away
Nor let thy dreadful indignation rise
Nor gentle pity sway.
For the first time the choir performs and, as Handel did
so often, Felsted uses the chorus where normally a solo aria
would be placed.
This solemn three-part chorus, in D Minor, based on a
motif that has been heard previously in the Overture, contains

Example 5



dreadful Indignation rise', by means of a dramatic change of
mood and rhythm, a move to the bass register and an insistent
D Minor tonality, Felsted introduces a sense of menace that
makes almost palpable the dreadful presence of God. At the
same time, the word 'rise' is given a spatial dimension by
means of an ascending figure.

11 Recitative: God saw their Works
Key: D Major
God saw their works, he listen'd to their prayer
And freed the guilty nation from despair.

12 Grand Chorus: Tune Your Harps (Allegro)
Key: D Major
Tune your harps your voices raise
Change your sighs for songs of praise.
So to prostrate crowds around
Nineveh hath mercy found.
Bid the Altar's sacred flame
Rise in honour to thy name.

Praise the Lord in endless strains.
God forever lives and reigns.
Hallelujah. Amen.

The aria opens with some brilliant virtuosic passage work
on the keyboard as an introduction to the Chorus's
declamation of the opening words. The Chorus is in the grand
Handelian manner. God's in his Heaven and the faithful are
redeemed. It is difficult not to be caught up in the excitement
of this final chorus, with its hymn-like paean of joy which
brings together all the forces, including a tenor soloist.

II 1 I M^ 'Ti.

Have mer-cy Lor, ind hear our plaintaie



-~ I I g

numerous appoggiature and chromatic harmonies that
express the anguish of the people of Nineveh.
'And hear our plaintive cries' is later underpinned by a
descending bass line that conveys a sense of hopelessness and
at the same time illustrates Felsted's command of chromatic
harmony. The rapid harmonic rhythm 8 rapid in comparison
with the opening numbers, that is suggests restlessness. The
chromaticisms contained therein truly capture a spirit of
plaintiveness and supplication. On the words 'Nor let Thy

Es I I | Fr iF

6 4 6 1' f $

Once again Felsted breaks with convention by ending his
work, not in the expected key of F Major in which he began,
but in D Major a bright, triumphant key far removed in
colour from the tonic F.
The final Hallelujah is a militaristic declamation of
triumph. In the last four bars, Felsted, after a typical
Handelian climactic silence, gathers all the forces together in
an ascending tonic scale and deposits them on a grand final
cadence guaranteed to bring an audience to its feet.



I,, r


Example 6

Throughout the Oratorio, Felsted has a compelling grip on
his musical material. His awareness of form, his unerring sense
of melodic direction, his command of harmony and tonality
and, above all, his strong musical imagination and dramatic
sense combine to mark Jonah as a work truly worthy of being


1. From The Musical Grammarian by Roger North (1728).
2. From The Harvard Dictionary of Music.
3. The Catskill Choral Society performance actually uses an oboe
and a cello and transfers the harpsichord part to the organ.
4. Figured Bass was a method of indicating to the keyboard player
the accompaniment he should play, by writing the bass notes only,
with figures indicating which intervals were to be played above the
bass. The player was free to improvise above this, provided he
adhered to the style and musical material of the solo part.
5. Here the reader might be reminded that possibly Felsted wrote
his own libretto for Jonah (JAMAICA JOURNAL 22:4) and for that
reason it would be interesting to hear the opinions of literary experts
on the quality of the verse.
6. Recitativo secco was musical declamation supported by bare
chords in the accompaniment. In recitativo accompagnato the
accompaniment was written out and was illustrative of the words.

the first oratorio composed in the New World.
And it provides living proof that in this eighteenth century
trading post, sweating under the burden of Europe's incessant
demand for sugar, dwelt men of sensibility and true artistic

7. In melismatic settings, two or more notes are sung to one
syllable in contrast to syllabic setting in which there is one note to
each syllable.
8. Harmonic rhythm is the rapidity with which harmonies change
in relation to the underlying pulse.

The Harvard Dictionary of Music (Heinemann) Second Edition. 1972
Grout, Donald Jay. Music in Western Civilization. London: J. M. Dent
and Sons, 1963.

'Jonah: An Oratorio by Samuel Felsted' The Catskill Choral Society.
Thurston Dox, Conductor. Musical Heritage Society Inc. 1981

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

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by Mervyn Morris
The term 'performance poem' is
usually taken to signify the poem
which, though it may be available
in print, seems to be (or is) designed
for presentation to an audience
rather than for private perusal by
the isolated reader: it may involve
music (melody and/or rhythm),
voices that insist on being sounded,

some element of mimicry or wit or
humour or strong emotion which
can feed on the responses of an
actual audience. But many a
published item we would not think
to call a 'performance poem' has
been the soul of a memorable
performance; many a 'performance
poem' remains of interest in print.



'The condition of words in a text,'
writes Walter Ong in Orality and
Literacy [p.101], 'is quite different
from their condition in spoken
discourse. Although they refer to
sounds and are meaningless unless they
can be related externally or in the
imagination to the sounds or, more
precisely, the phonemes they encode,
written words are isolated from the
fuller context in which spoken words
come into being. The word in its
natural, oral habitat is a part of a real,
existential present.' 'Reading,' writes
Kamau Brathwaite [1984 p. 18], 'is an
isolated, individualistic expression. The
oral tradition on the other hand
demands not only the griot but the
audience to complete the community.'
We can never put the performance
into print. The performance is an oral -
or an audio-visual event. The end of
the performance exists at a time when
earlier moments of the performance
have already vanished. 'Sound.. exists
only when it is going out of existence. I
cannot have all of a word present at
once: when I say 'existence', by the
time I get to '-tence', the 'exis-' is
gone. The alphabet implies that matters
are otherwise, that a word is a thing, not
an event, that it is present all at once...'
[Ong p.91]. 'The spoken word is
always an event, a movement in time,
completely lacking in the thing-like
repose of the written or printed word'
[p. 75].
Nevertheless, many of the poets
often identified with performance and
orality have also appeared in print.
They, and/or others on their behalf,
have had differing approaches to the
essential editorial problem: if perform-
ance seems the most fully satisfactory
context, 'the words in audible motion',
[Rohlehr p. 8], how to represent them
on the page?
Reading aloud to an audience you
should surely try to be audible; and
arresting, if you can. The poem
representedd in print should be made, if
possible, reader-friendly; it should
appear in as readable a form as is
consistent with the nature of the
material. But, just as there are poets
who, in reading aloud, eschew varia-
tions in the voice, so as to approach
(they hope) the comparative imperson-
ality of print, so too are there poets who
in their transfer from performance into
print resist the basic context of that
The practised reader takes in blocks

Louise Bennett on stage

of print. We expect that the reader of
poetry, who should want to hear the
sounds of the poem, will go more
slowly than would be normal for most
other kinds of material. But even going
slowly, the practised reader is accus-
tomed to recognizing words without
having to focus on syllables. A basic -
at least an initial disadvantage of the
standardized creole spelling some
linguists have proposed is that the
unfamiliarity of the system forces the
reader to slow down until (s)he has
learnt to recognize the new word-
shapes. Compare, for example, these
versions of a stanza from a Louise
Bennett poem.

(a) Ef yuh dah equal up wid English
Language, den wha meck
Yuh gwine go feel inferior when
It come to dialec?
[Bennett 1982 p. 4]

(b) Ef yuh da iikwal op wid Ingglish
Langgwij, den wa mek
Yu gwain go fiil infiirya wen
It kom to daiyalek?
[Cooper p. 8A]

If there is a certain logic and
consistency to the system used in (b),
the compromise system in (a) has
immediate practical advantages.
Version (b) employs the Cassidy
phonemic writing system. 'What is ...
necessary at this stage,' writes Hubert
Devonish [p.114], 'is the relatively
simple step of transforming what is
basically a linguist's writing system
into a set of writing conventions which
could be taught to and used by the
Creole speaking populations at large.' If
and when the system used in (b) gains
fairly general acceptance were taught
in schools, for example it will no
doubt be adopted by more of our
writers. But, anxious not to be rejected
unread, most of us have chosen
compromise. The most common (if
inconsistent) ap-proach is to write the
vernacular for the eye accustomed to
standard English, but with various
alterations signalling creole.
Some authors, however, visually
emphasize that what they written is
very different from standard English.
Linton Kwesi Johnson's spelling is a
guide to the creole pronunciation:

dem have a lickle facktri up inna
inna disya facktri all dem dhu is pack
fi di laas fifteen years dem get my
now awftah fifteen years mi fall out a
[Johnson p. 27]

-lickle/little; facktri/factory; crackry-
/crockery; dhu/do; laybah/labour;
awftah/after; fayvah/favour. On first
encountering the Linton Johnson poems
in Inglan Is A Bitch the reader is
required to sound syllable by syllable
the words which look unfamiliar. But
Johnson's approach is fairly consistent,
and, like the phonemic system in
example (b) above, can be helpful: if
you are not a creole speaker and you
want to say the poem, his spelling helps
you get the word-sounds right. On the
other hand, the procedure of, say, Oku
Onuora makes the words look different,
without normally affecting pronuncia-
tion. When, on the dust jacket of
'Reflection In Red', Oku Onuara writes

an de beat wel red
an de scene wel dred
an de man dem a loot an shoot


an de fia a bun
an de blud a run
an some people doa kno
weh fi tun...

the spelling may be a guide to pronun-
ciation in 'an', 'de' and 'bun' (for
standard English 'and', 'the' and
'burn') and in 'fia' (fire), here clearly
marked as two syllables. But most of
the words which look unusual would be
pronounced no differently if the
standard English spelling were retained:
wel/well; dred/dread; blud/blood;
kno/know. Jean Binta Breeze, similarly
sometimes insists on spellings which
make no difference to pronunciation; as
in 'dutty tuff/but is enuff' [1988 p. 47].
These choices are mainly cosmetic,
familiar words made up to look
Sometimes meanings are obscured
by the spelling. In Louise Bennett's
Jamaica Labrish [p. 187] the first
stanza of 'Kas Kas' reads:

Yuh se me trial now mah?
Dat marga gal Winjy [marga thin]
Waan put me eena kas-kas
[kas-kas contention]
An big lian story.

I used to think that 'lian' must be creole
for 'lion': the story big (and strong)
like a lion. Spelt differently, however
[Bennett 1982 p. 45], the expression is

yuh see me trial now, mah?
Dat marga gal Winjy
Waan put me eena kas-kas
An big lie-an-story.

In the Louise Bennett Selected Poems
'A Note on the Text' [p. xx] explains:

We have tried to ensure that the poems
are easy to read. The spelling assumes
that the reader is accustomed to
English and that anyone familiar with
Jamaican Creole will 'hear' the Creole
sounds even when the spelling looks
like Standard. Previous collections
have printed 'me' for example, where it
would be sounded 'mi' and 'one' for
'wan'. We have taken that process
further: thus 'soldier' for 'solja',
'finger' for 'finga', 'white' for witee'
etc. We have avoided spattering the text
with apostrophes; but as spelt in this
volume many of the Creole words
clearly suggest their Standard English
relations: 'Respec', 'frien','oman',

Linton Kwesi Johnson

faderr', 'modder'; 'lie-an-story' rather
than 'lian story'. The spelling is more
or less consistent throughout; the
occasional variant signals the
pronunciation required in a particular
context (pickney/picinni, independ-
ence/independance, tedeh/teday etc) ...

One of the tasks in preparing
Selected Poems was to punctuate the
poems, as an aid to comprehension. Not
very difficult, when you think you
understand. Sometimes, however, you
get it wrong; as for example, in the last
stanza of 'Back to Africa' [p. 105]. In
line one there is, I now believe, an
important error.

Go a foreign, seek yuh fortune,
But no tell nobody seh
Yuh dah go fi seek yuh homelan,
For a right deh so yuh deh!

As punctuated here, the clauses in
line one ('Go a foreign' and 'seek yuh
fortune') are parallel constructions. But
the primary sense of the creole is not
'go abroad' and 'seek your fortune' but
'go abroad' in order to 'seek your for-
tune' (as in an expression such as 'she
gawn a river look river-stone', she has
gone to the river in order to look for
river stones). The meaning of the line is
clearer when the comma after 'foreign'

Details matter, in print as in per-
formance. Some of the dub poets
prepare their performances meticulous-
ly. Honor Ford Smith has said of Mikey
Smith: 'he would work hours and hours,
sometimes the whole day, with his tape
recorder which would have the backing
tracks for the music, trying out different
variations of rhythm. He was very,
very conscious of the variety that he
could get in his voice' [Smith p. 10].
Watching Jean Breeze on stage, one
senses that she has prepared with
similar thoroughness. I still remember
details of a performance she did in
London in October, 1986, when with
disturbing authority she created the
world of a derelict psychotic, the
persona of 'Riddym Ravings' [Breeze
1988 pp. 58-61]. I remember, for
example, feeling shivers when, with a
very sudden gesture, the woman pushes
in the plug again, so she can 'hear the
DJ ... a play'.
But in many instances the talented
poet-performer is considerably less
skilled, and less professional, in presen-
tation of a text for print In the poster of
'Riddym Ravings' Jean Breeze goes
for 'kean' (keen?) rather that 'cyaan'
which I prefer there is no clear visual
clue that the performance is structured
around the woman's pathetic refrain:


Eh, Eh,
no feel no way
town is a place dat ah really kean stay
dem kudda ribbit mi han
eh ribbit mi toe
mi waan go a country go look mango.

On the poster there is a capital letter at
the beginning of each line, but this is
scarcely noticeable, especially as many
other lines on the poster begin with a
capital letter. In the book published by
Race Today, the norm of the poem, with
the approval of Jean Breeze, is lower
case, and the refrain, which begins with
a capital letter, appears in italics; so the
(performance) structure of the poem is
fairly clear on the page.
Similarly unlike the single block of
print which is 'Baby Mother' in
Answers published in Kingston in 1983
[pp. 5-6] the breaks, especially the
stanza breaks, in the Race Today
version of 'Baby Madda' [pp. 64-65]
register critical pauses in Breeze's own
performance of the poem.
Some 'dub poets' have a fair idea of
how they want their work presented on
the page. Mikey Smith was unusually
uncertain. His skills were essentially
oral. When he showed me some of his
poems in manuscript I found them
difficult to read. The spelling was
erratic, sometimes puzzling. The line
breaks seemed arbitrary, out of sync
with the very firm structures of his oral
delivery. He asked me to help translate
into this other medium poems which
had worked in oral performance. As
explained in my Notes to It A Come, we
agreed on a working procedure. 'Mikey
would read the poems into a tape
recorder; then I, listening to the tape
while examining the manuscript, would
suggest a representation on the page
that seemed to me consistent with
Mikey's reading' [Smith p.10].
It A Come attempts to print the
performance. I saw Mikey perform
many times, and I listened again and
again to recordings of him reading in
private or in full-blown public perfor-
mance. I followed the directives of his
voice. The book, 'Mikey's words in
Mikey's order... presented for the
convenience of readers' [p. 11], earned
a UK Poetry Society Recommendation.
The performer has been well received
in print.
It might be well if more of our per-
formance poets would regard trans-
lation into print as a challenge and an

Mikey Smith

opportunity, and would abandon the
ambivalent pretence that, though one
offers the work in print, one doesn't
really care for the medium.
There are authors and even editors
who, in presenting a book, foreground
the limitations of the context. Intro-
ducing Jamaica Labrish, Rex Nettle-
ford writes: 'If on the printed pages her
poems appear to be dated frozen jingles,
in the renditions she gives of them they
take on vitality and meaning' [Bennett
1966 p. 16]. Hardly the terms in which
to recommend a book. Similarly,
Christian Habekost, introducing his
anthology, Dub Poetry: 'Although the
possibility of "spreading the word"
through books is being used more and
more, the poets concentrate on the
spoken word.... If the sound of the
spoken word is missing the power can't
fully unfold itself, there's no spark to
light the fuse' [p. 14].
Why then bother with the book?
Because the best performance poets are
poets, and the dance of language is
central to what they do. To read their
words with attention is often to be
rewarded. We need not apologize for
having in a book such poems as 'Pass fi
White' by Louise Bennett, Linton
Kwesi Johnson's 'Reggae for Dada',
'Roots' by Mikey Smith, Oku Onuora's

'Dread Times', 'Baby Madda' by Jean
Binta Breeze. If these poets communi-
cate more fully in performance, or with
greater force, so do some of the poets
we much too readily pretend are
prisoners of print. Which Caribbean
'performance poet' is a more com-
pelling performer than Kamau Brath-
waite or Edward Baugh? Which more
entrancing than Loma Goodison?
Since most of the published West
Indian poets have written some 'per-
formance poems' (not always in
creole), and many of the mainly oral
poets have printed poems they do not
need to perform, it strikes me as
unhelpful that a major anthology, The
Penguin Book of Caribbean Verse in
English, should organize its contribu-
tors into sections entitled 'The Oral
Tradition' and 'The Literary Tradition'
- 'Us' and 'Them'.
The editor seems well aware the
separation may be deemed invidious.

Inevitably [she writes], where there is
an oral tradition alongside a written
tradition with literacy the norm,
distinctions become blurred and a good
deal of cross-fertilization from one
tradition to the other occurs. Many of
the poets in the oral section of this book
make use of the printed word as well as
live or recorded performance, while




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many of the poets in the remainder of
the book have written 'oral' poems, or
have been much influenced by the oral
tradition, or are widely respected as
performers of their work. This in no
way invalidates the concept of an oral
tradition with its own patterns of
development and characteristic styles,
distinct from those of the written
tradition. [p. xxviii]

Indeed it doesn't; but the early
sentences of this passage offer com-
pelling reasons against her categori-
zation of the poets (whose individual
poems, untidily, kept hailing friends
and relations in the other class). Kamau
Brathwaite, of 'The Literary Tradition',
has for years been proclaiming his
orality; Louise Bennett, of 'The Oral
Tradition', has been publishing books
since 1942. Most of our West Indian
poets inhabit the differing contexts -
and must wrestle with the differing
requirements of print and of
A well researched, freshly selected,
in many ways a valuable anthology,
The Penguin Book finds room for poets
of various kinds. It is convenient,
indeed helpful, that Paula Burnett's
scholarly introduction has sections on
'The Oral Tradition' and 'The Literary

Tradition'. But segregating the poets
into these two classes, separate but
equal, the editor has missed a signal
opportunity to keep (and to show) us
truly together. The organization of her
anthology encourages notions of
'Them' and 'Us' the performers and the
writers, the exciting ones and the
conservatives, performance poets and
real poets. It will be harder to purvey
that distinction when more of the
performance poets prepare their pub-
lications with an eye to the imperatives
of print.

BENNETT, Louise. Jamaica Labrish. King-
ston: Sangster's Book Stores, 1966.
-. Selected Poems. Kingston: Sangster's
Book Stores, 1982.
BRATHWArrE, Edward Kamau ed. New Poets
from Jamaica. Kingston: Savacou 14/15,
-. History of the Voice. London: New
Beacon, 1984.
BREEZE, Jean. Answers. Kingston: Masani
Productions, 1983.
-. Riddym Ravings, cassette. Kingston:
Ayeola Records, n.d.
-. Riddym Ravings and other poems.
London: Race Today, 1988.
BURNErr, Paula ed.The Penguin Book of
Caribbean Verse in English. Harmonds-

worth: Penquin Books, 1986.
CASSIDY, Frederic G. Jamaica. Talk Lon-
don: Institute of Jamaica and Macmillan,
-. 'A Revised Phonemic Orthography
for Anglophone Caribbean Creoles', in
Proceedings ofthe Conference ofthe
Society for Caribbean Linguistics. Cave
Hill, Barbados: University of the West
Indies, 1978.
COOPER, Carolyn. 'Cho! Misa Cargill,
Riispek Juu!', The Sunday Gleaner, 5
November 1989.
DEVONISH, Hubert. Language and
Liberation: Creole Language Politics in
the Caribbean. London: Karia Press,
HABEKOST, Christian ed. Dub Poetry.
Neustadt: Michael Schwinn, 1986.
JOHNSON, Linton Kwesi. Inglan Is A Bitch.
London: Race Today, 1980
MrTABARUKA, The First Poems. Kingston:
Paul Issa, 1980.
ONG, Walter. Orality and Literacy. London:
Methuen, 1982.
ONUORA, Oku (Orlando Wong). Reflection
in Red, a 45 record Kingston: Prugressiv
Aatis Muvmant, n.d.
ROHLEHR, Gordon 'The Folk in Caribbean
Literature', in Tapia. Port of Spain,
December 1972.
sMrrH, Michael. It A Come. London: Race
Today, 1986.
WONG, Orlando (Onuora, Oku). Echo.
Kingston: Sangster's Book Stores, 1977.

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Horse of the Morning 1943
Guatemalan Redwood H. 51"
National Gallery of Jamaica



The Edna Manley Retrospective
Exhibition recently mounted at
the National Gallery was a remarkable
curatorial achievement being, as it was, a
sensitively orchestrated production.
Curator David Boxer manipulated what
could elsewhere be regarded as an overly
didactic format (a chronological approach
with a supplementary documentary
exhibition) and created an informative yet
aesthetically stimulating presentation. The
show was further given substance firstly
by the simultaneous launching of Edna
Manley: Sculptor written by Dr Boxer
and secondly by the recent publication of
the author's diaries.Both publications offer
insights into the artist's inner self and the
context in which many of the works were
created. David Boxer's book requires
separate discussion but it is a full
appreciation of the exhibition.

Sculptor In Retrospect by Patricia Bryan


Forerunner 1941
Yacca H. 32"
Private Collection

All that, however, is augmentary not compensatory for
the work undeniably speaks for itself. This exhibition
was best viewed alone there in the solitude of the
confidential spaces the viewer could have a deeper
level of communication with work which in many cases
compelled the viewer to intimacy.
The exhibition offered the opportunity to survey the
development over seven decades of the artist's oeuvre.
As an art student, Manley had, it appears, been
influenced by the Romantics but by the time she arrived
in Jamaica she had completely modified her orientation
and turned instead to modernism to answer her quest
for a humanistic art. Now symbolism and cubism were
her allies, idioms which she approached with mastery
and sophistication (Beadseller 1922).
The early Jamaican works showed cubism's
influence on the the artist's own analysis of African

sculpture. In works such as Wisdom (1924) and Ape
(1924) the block format and rigid frontality recalled not
only early Egyptian sculpture but also such sub-
Saharan prototypes as the Kuba N'Dop figures. The
artist's constant searching led her to unify the planarity
of cubism with the neo-classical rotundity of form to
create such works as Seventeen (1932) and Sixteen
(1932). This modification of style coincided with the
introduction of stone as a medium. Henceforth texture
begins to play an important role in Manley's work,
inspired perhaps by the natural quality of the Portland
stone (Beulah 1933). This textural concern transferred
itself to all media; at times in heavily grained wood the
natural woodgrain was effectively utilized for aesthetic
grain (Youth 1938; Negro Aroused 1935). At other times
chisel marks became an important illlusionistic device,
creating areas of light and shadow on works in stone,


Pocomania 1936
Hoptonwood Stone H. 231/2-
Collection: Wallace Campbell

wood and metal. In Sawyers (1938) this technique was
used to express the vibratory motion of the sawing
The artist returned time and again to texture for
expressive intent; from the Father, Forgive Them and
Fiery Furnace of the politically turbulent 1940s to the
mourning works dealing with the death of her husband
as in Phoenix and Woman (1971). All these revealed the
artist's personal emotional involvement.
Manley's work is particularly interesting to assess
chronologically for in spite of stylistic changes there are
the seemingly compulsive themes to which she
repeatedly returned; the themes of Woman,
male/female relationships, social/political concepts,
allegorical explorations of the life cycle. What is even
more remarkable is how intricately all these relate to
each other, to the artist, and to history.

The resilience of woman intrigued her at first, per-
haps because of the strength of her mother, but
certainly later because of the monumentality of the
Jamaican woman.The 1927 Adolescence shows this
monumental perception of woman. Unfortunately the
similarly monumental Eve could not be included in the
exhibition. In Rachel (1934), Mountain Girl (1935) and
Market Women (1936) woman is seen as the burden
bearer. Woman is of course the only fitting metaphor for
the Hills of Papine (1949), serving both an embracing
and protecting function.
The frailties of women Gossipers (1963) is differentia-
ted by its scale from the intensity of communication
between women with a purposeThe Message (1977).
Painful images of woman's role in the Jamaican
matriarchy emerge in Mountain Women (1971) Ancestor
(1978) and Ghetto (1981). The woman of the 1970s feels


Prophet 1935
Mahogany H. 301/4"
National Gallery of Jamaica

pain, presaged by the Grief of Mary in 1968. Grief (1974)
is her own grief. Woman (1971) writhes with emotional
agony. None of the women represented in the 70s are
happy. Mother (1979) is withdrawn, almost catatonic. It
is only with Dawn (1981) that we see an awakening
from the depression and later, in 1983, Praise, with arms
and eyes focused upward gives hope for a more joyful
future. Finally, Birth (1986) speaks really of rebirth,
water cleansing and rejuvenating the soul, and woman
re-emerges invincible.
It may be somewhat of a contradiction that an artist
who would create such a feministic view of woman
could also render a profoundly sensitive development
of the Man/Woman relationship. However, closer
examination shows that this latter theme, based largely
as it was on her own relationship with her husband,
explored a wide range of emotions and experiences.

The stress in the interaction between Adam and Eve
(1930) echoes the strain being experienced at that time
of her own marriage. In Sun and Earth a reversal of the
allegory makes Woman earth dominant and Man sun
submissive. These early problems resolve themselves
and the images change. The Mountains (1952) Man and
Woman (1952) Only the Brave (1960) andAdios (1971)
project an image of a couple united, looking forward
together, sharing tenderness. It is instructive that in the
grief of losing her husband she turns again to woman,
the protector Angel (1970), to whom she entrusts the
transition of the soul of her beloved Norman. Adios,
represented in the show by maquette and photograph,
is a moving testament to their closeness.
The social-political theme gained expression in at
least two different stylistic modes. There are the works
which speak of conditions among the masses then there


Negro Aroused 1935
Mahogany H. 25"
National Gallery of Jamaica

Norman 1924
Plaster H. 24"
Collection: Estate of Edna Manley

Tyger 1963
Terracotta H. 19"
Collection: Rachel Manley


Market Women 1936
Mahogany H.16"
Collection: Spellman College

Ghetto Mother 1981
Ciment Fondu H. 43"
National Gallery of Jamaica

Phoenix 1971
Guango H.51"
Collection: Mr John Mair


New Moon 1980
Silk Screen 281/2 x 20"

are the works reflecting the leadership of the nation-
alistic struggle. In the first instance, the artist functions
as an outside observer of conditions which, while
drawing her empathic reaction, do not necessarily
impact on her life very immediately. Thus she was able
to create poetic expressions using fluid curves and
repetition of form as in Negro Aroused, Diggers (1936),
Market Women, and Sawyers. On the other hand, works
which address political issues at leadership level and
which must necessarily have affected her personally,
connected as she was to the two main protagonists, are
highly expressionistic almost violent. Fiery Furnace,
Father Forgive Them, Cain and Abel, all from 1940, show
plainly the artist's distress pertaining to the conflicts
between her husband and his cousin Bustamante. The
riotous textures of these surfaces echo the artist's
disquiet. In Dispossessed, also from 1940, and Ghetto

Mother (1981) she conjured up emotive images of shame
but these are images lacking the intensity of the works
from 1940.
Those who knew Edna Manley will tell you that she
was a warm, gentle, caring person. More than that of
any other artist, her work chronicles the struggle for
nationhood in Jamaica. Negro Aroused is the accepted
symbol of that struggle. These factors may be inclined
to influence a romanticizing tendency on the part of the
viewer. This should not however blind one to the reality
that her version of that struggle is carefully edited.
Edna Manley must have very early been aware that she
and her art were part of history in the making. Entries
in her diary have a self-conscious quality which seems
to anticipate publication. She was, after all, the wife of
one National Leader and mother of another. It seems
that she was careful never to embarrass her family with



Moon 1943
Mahogany H. 25"
National Gallery of Jamaica

her art. Even when she was driven in the 1940 works to
exorcise demons haunting her about antagonism
between her husband and his cousin Bustamante, she
carefully disguised this under biblical metaphor. The
choice of metaphor however explicitly described the
crisis (Cain and Abel). When her husband's political
reputation was challenged, she again turned to the
Bible to answer his critics with The Fiery Furnace and
Father Forgive Them. Only her technique betrays her
rage. The artist manages to subtly manipulate those
who view her works in their perception of Norman, the
great horse riding the winds the morning, coming to
save the Dispossessed fromHunger (1940). It is no
coincidence that the rising sun symbol featured in so
many of her works became the symbol of her husband's
political party.
During the difficult decade of the 1970s, her support

lay solidly behind her much berated prime minister
son. Ancestor (1978) shows the male child within the
protective arms of the female ancestor. Her only lapse
from her apparent policy of protection is the heroic
Ghetto Mother whose massive arms seek to protect her
children from the terror of violence. It seems that Edna
Manley's response to the frightening social conditions
of the time could have been inspired by Bob Marley's
music. As David Boxer tells us, The Voice (1980) was
influenced by Marley's 'Redemption Song'. This
explains, perhaps, the change in treatment from the
very formal and rather sterile Brother Man to this much
more expressive image of Rastafari. It explains also how
she was able to allow herself to produce Ghetto Mother;
social conscience and awareness had never been so
high. Could the artist have had second thoughts about
these works?


Dispossessed 1940
Sepia wash on paper 291/2 x 193/4 "
National Gallery of Jamaica

Studyfor Ghetto Mother (Gunman)
Charcoal on paper 163/4x 14"
National Gallery of Jamaica

Illustrations courtesy of the National Gallery of Jamaica
Colour photographs: Maria LaYacona

After these works the show turned dramatically
away from political expression to seek balm in dancers,
musicians and myths. In fact, Jacob Wrestling with the
Angel (1982) could be interpreted as an act of self-
In the final gallery, which showed works from the
artist's last years, her preoccupation with the life cycle
wasclearly seen. This is a theme which was visited with
various renditions of the day/night, sun/moon motif
throughout the show. Tomorrow revisited signalled a
new beginning and all subsequent works were
ritualistically preparatory for that new beginning. The
artist drew upon historical prototypes to define this
new birth. The Wave is clearly an Ascension image.
The Raising of Lazarus is a most appropriate image on
which to end the discussion of an artist whose life and
art were haunted by symbolism from her birth on the

29 February 1900 to the closing of her cycle which
found her labouring on a work which spoke of res-
surection and the hope of eternal life.


BOXER, David. Edna Manley: Sculptor. Kingston:
NationalGallery of Jamaica and the Edna Manley
Foundation, 1990.
Manley, Rachel. ed. Edna Manley: The Diaries. Kingston:
Heinemann Publishers(Caribbean) Ltd,1989

Gloria Escoffery, our regular art correspondent, has temporarily given up
writing for Jamaica Journal in order to concentrate on her painting.


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John Reeder's Foundry

A Study of Eighteenth-Century
African-Caribbean Technology

by Candice L. Goucher

West African blacksmith, Brawhani, Ghana

B y the end of the sixteenth century the ironwork. The example of John Reeder's foundry
metallurgical crafts were highly developed in St Thomas suggests that there was a range of
in West Africa. Among the Africans interactions between African and European
transported to Jamaica during the centuries of technologies within which the Africans
slavery were blacksmiths and metal workers who contributed considerable skills and expertise and
handed on their skills, particularly among the demonstrates that technology transfer was an
Maroons who were famed for their mastery of inevitable consequence of the Atlantic slave trade.

John Reeder, a young Englishman and
coppersmith by trade, came to Jamaica
in about 1760. He apparently accom-
panied a 'Mr Bailey' (probably either
Zachary Bayley or William Baillie of
Morant Bay, both large property
owners in St Thomas), who encouraged
Reeder to start up his foundry opera-
tions. Although Reeder found it
necessary to borrow money for his
venture, it was readily acknowledged
that the potential profits were bound to
be tremendous and he easily obtained a
loan from the Jamaica House of
It is likely that John Stewart, writing
in 1808, had Reeder in mind when he
claimed: 'The professions most likely
to make money here [in Jamaica], next
to attorneys and the reverend clergy, are
surgeons, surveyors, watchmakers,
copper-smiths... they have it much
more in their power to make a speedy
fortune than the planter-adventurer.'
Every imaginable enterprise, from the
successful operation and maintenance
of estate mills to the outfitting of the
ships of the Royal Navy, was dependent
on foundrywork for repairs and replace-
ment parts, as well as for critical
supplies such as cannon and shot.
Without a local foundry, Caribbean
defence and commercial interests were
forced to rely on British supply ships
for their needs. As a result, they were
frequently subject to costly delays and
the not inconsiderable shipping
expenses attached to colonial imports.
The local island foundryman could, on
the other hand, provide easier terms and
individually designed manufactures
which could, in turn, bring him wealth.
By 1772, John Reeder had pros-
pered sufficiently to acquire lands in St
Thomas-in-the-East for the purpose of
erecting mills 'with a water work for
the smelting and other manufactures of
iron and other metals'. The eight acres
he bought bordered the road between
Kingston and Morant Bay, Johnston's
River (Morant River), and two other
properties, and were clearly situated so
as to allow for the use of the river by
the mill operations A sketch map by
Thomas Harrison in the collection of
the Institute of Jamaica also shows that
the 1777 foundry building was aligned
along the river bank, just south of the
Church and near the old 31-mile stone
marker.2 With a public loan of 3,000
granted by the House of Assembly,
Reeder was able to complete his

Jamaican blacksmith, Ginger Ridge,
St Catherine
foundry in 1774, and begin operations.
By 1781, the foundry was making a
clear profit of 3,000 annually. But the
success was short-lived.3 In 1782, the
Governor General of Jamaica, Sir
Archibald Campbell, ordered that the
foundry be dismantled. An invasion of
the island by the combined French and
Spanish forces was threatened and the
government did not want to risk the
foundry falling into enemy hands.
John Reeder was residing in Saint
Domingo, owing to ill health, at the
time his foundry was dismantled, but he
quickly rallied in an attempt to recover
his loss and even expand the original
operations. Most of the surviving
written correspondence and records
dealing with the Reeder foundry pertain
to his lengthy and persistent attempts to
cancel his public debt in the form of a
bond and all interest owing, obtain
compensation for the loss of business
and equipment (by 1782, his investment
totalled between 22,000 and 30,000),
and, lastly, to obtain a pension.
Reeder's struggle was not simply to

demonstrate the value of his loss, but
rather to convince the British govern-
ment of its obligation in the matter,
since the colony could not afford to pay.
These were causes that eventually were
(unsuccessfully) taken up by his only
surviving child, Eliza Crosse. In the
end, the island Assembly cancelled the
bond and the British Parliament autho-
rized compensation of 3,000 in 1789.
The buildings and equipment which
had escaped being dismantled or buried
during martial law in 1782, were
destroyed by hurricanes the following
year. All that could be recovered was
equipment valued at 500 and this was
sold by Reeder to pay debts. Reeder's
ill health and impoverishment were the
subject of bitter and complaining
correspondence. Finally, he died in
England of a seizure some time before
February 1806, and thus never obtained
the promised pension.

The Reeder Foundry

The testimony brought to bear to
support John Reeder's attempts to
obtain compensation for the foundry's
dismantling clearly indicates that the
foundry was 'of great use' to Jamaican
society in the eighteenth century.
Various descriptions confirm the
foundry's working of both iron and
non-ferrous metals, including brass,
copper, and lead. A variety of articles
was manufactured: large iron boilers,
iron rollers for pressing canes, cast
utensils, a brass train of artillery, brass
howitzers, mortars, petards, cannon,
shot, lead bullets, plus the general
outfitting of British warships and other
vessels. Admiral Sir Joshua Rowley
testified that without the foundry no
fewer than seven ships 'otherwise
would have remained in harbour until
supplied from Europe'. According to
one of Reeder's own descriptions, the
foundry equipment had included
'machinery for making bar-iron'.4 One
solitary reference [letter from John
Reeder to George Rose, 5 April 1787,
Reeder Papers] makes mention of the
foundry's 'reverberating furnaces'
having been demolished.
In eighteenth-century British
ironmaking, the manufacture of bar-iron
was generally accomplished by a two-
step ('indirect') process. First, pig iron
was produced by smelting iron ore in a
blast furnace. This cast-iron product
was then refined and converted into

40 JAM A

wrought-iron in a reverberatory (or air)
furnace or hearth called the finery.
Impurities and excess carbon were
removed during the smelting process.
The reverberatory furnace, usually
water-powered, made it possible to
apply heat evenly in large closed
crucibles or in a finery hearth. Casting
was carried out by moulding in loam or
sand. About this time revolutionary
experimentation with coke rather than
wood charcoal and the application of
steam power were taking place in
England, but it is unlikely that such
'high-tech' and patented methods were
known or transferred to Jamaica.
The two major problems facing the
British ironmakers were scarcity of fuel
and the unreliability of water power.
The Reeder foundry seems to have
faced neither obstacle during its brief
existence.5 The descriptions of
technical machines and equipment were
vague (except for the mention of the
reverberatory furnace). It can be noted,
however, that multiple furnaces were in
use and the operations (given the range
of products) were broadly multi-
functional: casting, turning, forging,
refining and possibly smelting.
According to the records, the eight
acres of land purchased by Reeder
contained 'houses' (more than one) and
other buildings.6 Foundry workers
included two hundred and seventy-six
'Negroes' and between thirty and sixty
Europeans; the latter were employed on
an occasional basis. The European
presence was short-lived for several
reasons. Skilled workers were difficult
to lure to the Caribbean and expensive
to employ, even on a temporary basis
(as for setting up operations or training
labour). Another reason is found in
Church of England records which
confirm a high mortality rate among the
small population of English craftsmen.
Between August, 1779, and September,
1783, five of the English craftsmen
died: James Nalby, a foundryman;
Edward Thomas, a blacksmith;
Alexander Mortimer, foundry head
manager; George Gillespie, a carpenter;
and John Clinton, a coppersmith. At
least one other died as a result of the
transAtlantic voyage, having been
brought to Jamaica at considerable
expense in about 1783 to restore the
foundry. Thus, John Reeder was forced
to rely on the skills of African and
African-Jamaican metallurgists.
By Reeder's own estimate, many

Africans were 'perfect in every branch
of the iron manufacture so far as it
relates to casting and turning... and in
wrought iron...' The Church of
England records confirm that both
slaves and free Maroons were employed
in the foundry. Maroon smiths were
highly valued. A 1743 observer noted:
[The rebellious negroes in St. James]
forge their own ironwork, making
knives, cutlasses, heads of lances,
bracelets, rings, and a variety of other
kind of necessaries, they have bellows
which are made of wood... having for
that purpose two negroes who... are
always working them up and down.7

Indeed, it is likely that the
eighteenth-century Maroon wars,
encouraged the persistence of African
metallurgical skills.
Michael Craton has demonstrated for
the Worthy Park estate, that African
craftsmen were indispensable and a
danger to the estate system. Because of
the blacksmith's skills and potential
power, Craton claims that white or
Creole blacksmiths were preferred to
Africans. But Worthy Park may not be
typical in this respect. The genealogy of
the successive head blacksmiths
documented in the late eighteenth and
early nineteenth centuries is as much a
demonstration of traditional European
and/or African systems of apprentice-
ship at Worthy Park as it is of a colour
Elsewhere in the eighteenth-century
Caribbean, wherever African black-
smiths were able to organize themselves
into a community, they accumulated
considerable political and economic
power. In Berbice, Guyana, Winkle
Village blacksmith slaves formerly
belonging to the Dutch crown went on
strike for better wages and eventually
negotiated an early emancipation. The
power of the skilled metallurgist
survived the Atlantic journey and the
experience of slavery.8
Within the slave society, these crafts-
men occupied a highly respected posi-
tion. Those who had been em-ployed by
Reeder suffered greatly from the
destruction of his foundry. Accor-ding
to Reeder himself in a letter to the
British Prime Minister, William Pitt,
dated 24 June 1789:
In consequence of the dismantling (of)
my foundry, I have lost capital, the
most valuable of my Negroes are dead .
. from my being under the necessity to


employ them in Husbandry, dispon-
dency (sic) ensued. Trades Negroes
consider themselves of rank superior to
otherand cannot brook the disgrace of
being employed in the cultivation of

Ironsmelting in Jamaica

As a coppersmith, John Reeder
probably knew very little about the
smelting of iron ores. Although
smelting was listed in the land grant as
an intended activity of the Morant Bay
foundry, there is no record as to
whether it was actually undertaken. The
production of bar iron mentioned
elsewhere could have been accom-
plished by refining imported pig iron.
In 1776, John Reeder applied to the
Jamaica House of Assembly for
permission to smelt iron ore at Bath.9
His petition mentions that at his Morant
Bay foundry he had been 'prevented
from carrying his plan of iron
manufactory fully into execution by the
want of a proper quantity of iron ore'.
The petition requested permission to
erect mills and furnaces 'near and upon
the rivulet' (near Sulphur River, by
Bath Spring) and to cut wood for
charcoal. Permission for all of the
above was granted the following day,
with the proviso that trees not be cut
nearer than fifty yards to the road and
care be taken not to injure the Spring.
That Reeder should have renewed
his interest in smelting in 1776 is not
surprising. The effects of the American
war would have contributed to the
scarcity of iron. Generally, the cost of
all goods increased dramatically
between 1776 and 1782. Reeder was
claiming an ore bed containing three
thousand tons of iron, with abundant
wood and charcoal on the spot, and he
had skilled Africans.
African smelting skills were
renowned and only when they could not
compete with cheap, (usually inferior)
imported iron or when resources were
exhausted, did African metal industries
decline. The Brazilian historian, Celso
Furtado notes 'the development of
steelmaking in Brazil was possible only
occasionally [and only then] because of
the technical skills of a few African
slaves'.10 There is no record that
Reeder's plan was put into practice, but
if iron smelting was carried out by
Africans at Bath, it is likely to have
retained an even greater African iden-

tity than foundry operations.11 African
iron smelting involved both complex
metallurgical skills and ritual expertise.
Indeed, smelting technology, embedded
in belief systems about social relation-
ships and the natural world, cannot be
understood without reference to its
social and ideological context.12

Creolization: The Technological
The study of African linguistic
continuities in the Caribbean may
provide the most useful analogy for
understanding the range and variation
of technological transfer, interaction
and change. A language 'continuum' is
used to describe situations revealing
greater or lesser continuities with the
polar alternatives, i.e. standard English
at one end of a linguistic spectrum and
West African languages at the other.
Parallel to the continuum of time is a
range of contextual factors affecting the
retention of 'Africanism'. Brathwaite,
writing about the 'folk' culture of
Jamaican slaves, describes the cultural
process of creolization 'from African
motif to something local but (exter-
nally) European-influenced.'13 Simi-
larly, it should also be possible to iden-
tify a particular historical or archaeo-
logical 'moment' in the continuum by
use of a diaspora trait. While the
existence of West African continuities

in many areas of Caribbean folklore,
music and culture has been ably docu-
mented, technology transfer, apart from
ceramics, has not received the attention
it should have had as an equally inevi-
table consequence of the Atlantic slave
Studies have shown that greater
retentions (weighting the African end of
the continuum) have been found in
situations of strong continuity where
ritual is present.12 Even the contem-
porary Jamaican blacksmith, like his
African counterpart, who works on
automobile axles or other twentieth
century repairs, still refers to his anvil
as the 'mother' of the forge. A number
of questions need to be answered here.
Were rituals maintained, animal
sacrifices made and libations poured at
the Caribbean forge? Were 'medicines'
enclosed in Maroon iron smelting
furnaces? What refinery, smelting and
smithing styles were maintained against
the European anvils? Did the language
of the bellows survive the Middle
Passage? And did all of this have any
effect upon the operation of the Reeder
Foundry? These are questions which
will have to be answered by archaeo-
logical, ethnohistorical, and technical
studies of African and African-
Caribbean metallurgy.

In the technological continuum of
Jamaican history, the eighteenth century

occupies a critical position. During this
century, it is likely that the series of
Maroon wars which plagued European
domination also encouraged the
persistence of African metallurgical
skills. The difficulties (including high
costs) of attracting European craftsmen
to the West Indies brought about a
greater reliance on African metallur-
gical skills and knowledge, and allowed
West African traditions of apprentice-
ship to flourish. European-owned
ventures, particularly the Reeder
foundry, were sensitive to the scarcity
and unpredictability of imported metal,
yet ultimately also relied on African
The degree to which the West
African vision might have influenced
the metallurgic industry at Morant Bay
is yet to be fully ascertained. What is
known is that its success was in great
part built upon the skills of theAfricans
working at John Reeder's foundry.
After the eighteenth century, certain
technological innovations, including the
switch to new fuel sources (coal),
would have moved the continuum
inevitably towards the technical sys-
tems developed in European contexts.
Only by identifying the cultural
processes governing African and non-
African technological interac-tion will
it be possible to fully understand the
forging of new societies in the wake of
the Atlantic era.

Excavations at John Reeder Foundry site, Morant Bay


1 Indenture dated 29 April 1772, Index to
Grantees, B. A. Old Series vol. 6, No. 248,
p.91, Jamaica Records Office, Spanish
2. Map (undated), by Thomas Harrison,
incorporating Edgar's notes of 1777 in
Mitchell vs. Duany, etc. Institute of Jamaica,
St Thomas-in-the-East. The foundry's
bearingis indicated as SE86'. Unfortunately
the map is not available for use with this
3. Memorial of Stephen Fuller Esq, Agent
for Jamaica, Institute of Jamaica, ms. 1718.
4. Jamaica House of Assembly Journal,
vol 8, 7 December 1785, p. 132; Reeder
complained that the machinery had been
rendered totally useless and would remain
so until people with the proper skills to put
it in order were brought from England. One


craftsman who had been so engaged at an
expense of 140 died too soon after his
arrival to have accomplished anything,
according to Reeder.
5. The original plan was for waters from
the Morant River to be drawn by aqueduct
to the mills. According to Reeder, his plan
to manufacture iron would benefit from the
abundance of wood and charcoal locally
[John Reeder, 'The objections to be stated to
my manufactory...' John Reeder Papers,
J20, Devon Record Office, Exeter].
6. John Reeder, indenture dated 29 April
1772, Index to Grantees, B.A. Old Series
vol 248 p. 91. Jamaica Records Office,
Spanish Town.
7. Letter from Lewis to Edward Long, 20
December 1743, Edward Long Collection,
Papers relating to Jamaica, 12, 421, British
Library, London.
8. Sandra Barnes, edited study of Ogun
[Africa's Ogum: Old World and New,
Indiana University Press, 1989] looks at the
conceptual side of this transfer, while
largely ignoring its technological
9. Petition of John Reeder, 4 December
1776, Jamaica House of Assembly Journal
vol 6, p. 670. The land at Bath was public
land governed by a foundation.

10. David Buisseret, in Historic
Architecture of the Caribbean (London,
Kingston, Port of Spain: Heinemann, 1980),
notes that iron smelting was rare in the
Caribbean, but provides no further
11. Such was the experience of post-
fifteenth-century West African smelting as
compared to smithing, which by nature was
more adaptable to new materials and needs,
and less reliant on ritual.
12. See, for example, The Blooms of
Banjeli: Technology and Gender in West
African Iron-Making, a film by Candice
Goucher, Eugenia Herbert, and Carlyn
Saltman, distributed by documentary
Educational Resources, 101 Morse Street,
Watertown, MA 02172, USA.
13. Note, for example, in Hani (Brong
Ahato, Ghana) blacksmiths' special (ritual)
vocabulary, the retention of archaic forms
[M. Posnansky, personal communication].



Western Terminals Limited is a modern breakbulk
port facility sited on 26 acres of land, three miles
from downtown Kingston, Jamaica's capital city.
The company is a member of the Shipping
Association of Jamaica.

The Channel is 1,500 feet wide, 34 feet deep, and
has a turning basin with a radius of 2,000 feet.

Four lateral berths totalling 2.425 feet with
maximum depth of over 30 ft. including a Roll-on/
Roll-off container Berth. Four hurricane-proof
concrete warehouses totalling 154,400 sq. feet.
460,000 sq. feet of paved open storage *
Container Storage Area. Cold Storage Facilities.
Various mobile cranes, three-ton and heavy fork-
lifts for handling all types of cargo Bunkering
facilities: Bunker "C", Marine Diesel and Blended
fuels. Fresh water outlets for delivery at a rate of
200 tons per hour.

Wharf Company to set up modem operations at
Newport West. In fact, Newport West became a
reality with the opening of WESTERN
The Company has an enviable reputation in care and
safety of Cargo Handling.

WESTERN TERMINALS has taken the Ports of
Kingston and the Caribbean into the Port
Computer Age. The Port of Kingston has made great
strides in Computer Applications, thanks to the
pioneering role of WESTERN TERMINALS, -
Newport West (Port Bustamante) providing a
vital link with the rest of the world.

Western Termi





The main primary sources consulted for this
paper were the John Reeder Papers, Devon
Record Office, Exeter, U.K. and the Journals
of the Jamaica House of Assembly, Vols 6 to
8, 1782 1787.

BRATHWAITE, EDWARD, The Development of
Creole Society in Jamaica, 1770-1820
Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1971.
Reprinted 1978.
CRATON, MICHAEL, Searching for the
Invisible Man: Slaves and Plantation
Life in Jamaica. Cambridge: Harvard
University Press, 1978.
FURTADO, CELSO, The Economic Growth of
Brazil. Berkeley and Los Angeles:
University of California Press, 1965.
of African Languages in Jamaica,' ACIJ
Research Review, No. 1, 1984.
RICKFORD, JOHN Dimensions of a Creole
Continuum: History, Texts, and
Linguistic Analysis of Guyanese Creole.
Stanford University Press, 1987.
STEWART, JOHN An Account of Jamaica and
its inhabitants. London, 1808. Reprinted
by the Black Heritage Library
Collection, Books for Librarian Press,
Freeport: New York, 1971.
Photos by Candice Goucher

Part 2 2rt ,



P r Cooper read her paper on 7 March 1990 at the Creative Arts Centre, University
D of the West Indies, as part of a panel discussion on Women in Dance Hall
organized by the Women and Development Studies Group (WAND), Mona Campus, as
their contribution to the celebrations for International Women's Week. Entertainer, Lloyd
Lovindeer was also a member of the panel. A shortened version of his response to Dr
Cooper's paper follows.
IAmbitious Woman Commodified Man

SIn Johnny P's Gyal Man, a man is perceived as just
one of a number of valuable possessions that
successful women display as signs of prosperity. He
is a kind of essential accessory for the fashionable
woman, somewhat like a handbag:1
Yu mus always ave fi yu own man
No mek nobody come a fight up fi no man
Come a talk bout yu a tek fi dem man.
Yu jus hol up yu han, gyal, a no one frock yu ave!
Jump up, gyal, yu no ave no one frock!
Lif up yu foot, gyal, yu no ave no one shoes!
Hol up yu head, yu no ave one hairstyle!

An instructive sub-text of Johnny P's song is his
respect for the upward social mobility of enterprising
a women: ex-domestic servants, perhaps turned
higglers, who have ambitiously extricated them-
selves from traditional drudgery: 'Hol up yu head,
V cau yu nah scour people pot/ Hol up yu head cau yu
ave ambition/ Jump about cau yu full of potential
(sic).' These women's attention to matters of
personal hygiene is one of the social graces that is
particularly appreciated in the intimacy of the dance:
Hol up yu han cause yu arm smell good.
Jump up, gyal, yu no frowsy, jump up!
Bounce a gyal weh a frowsy!
Hol up ar han an scent start come up
Dem deh gyal deh, yu know yu cyaan stomach.
Dem deh gyal, dem no bathe, dem wipe up
An come a dance-hall an dem a jump up
An dem a wine up, and dem sweat up
An den di frowsy scent it start come up.

The dancehall is the social space in which female
'. power can be extra-vagantly displayed in the flashy

Detail from Dance Hall by Carl Abrahams

jewellery, expensive clothes, elaborate
hairstyles and rigidly attendant men that
altogether represent substantial wealth.
In the words of Higgs and Twins'
Jump Up Time:

Lovers hand in hand, single man
an oman
Pretty pretty hairdo, nuff style an
Mini skirt, bell skin (?) girls a
Di French cut acid dem a seh one.
Dem a bounce, spread out an shake
Di man dem stan up at attention. Tcho!
Six to six an di dance still ram
Five nights a week, everybody a jam.

Inevitably, in a culture of multiple
possessions, some women will have
more than one man. So there are songs
of female inconstancy. Ninja Man's
Tell Me employs in part the wistful
melody and somewhat modified lyrics
of a folk song, Liza Gyal, to sing about
lost love and, simultaneously, his skill
'roun di microphone':

Every time me member fi me gyal
friend) Adina
Water come a me eye
Becau me love ar to me (h)eart and
me love ar to me soul
Me love ar to me min(d) an dat, a
dat me control
Roun di microphone me come fi
rackle yu soul
An dis is wat me givin to di young
an di ol
Me waan yu tell me, tell me, gyal,
tell me
Tell me why you love me an leave
Run gone wid di dyam glibity,

The answer could be that provided in
Shabba Ranks' Cyaan do Di Wuk:

Some man cyan only give yu
But where di international work is
Tcho! Sof soap dat.2
Ear me now girls!
Yu jus jump around if yu man cyaan
Oller out if yu man cyaan wuk
Wine up yu body if yu cyaan tek di
Some man a let aaf di money an
dem cyaan do di wuk.

Heart of Slackness

The ability to 'do di wuk' and 'tek di
wuk', which separates the men from the
boys and the girls from the women, is
the heart of slackness. And it is the
sexuality of women, much more so than
that of men, which is both celebrated
and devalued in the culture of the
dancehall. The songs in the sample that
are simply about winein often appeal
exclusively to women for approval,
using the yardstick of their response as
the measure of the song's success. For
example, Shabba Ranks's Get Up,
Stan(d) Up: 'I'm not goin to a circus,
I'm not goin to a fair/ If is di stage
show or di dancehall, Shabba Rankin
will be dere/ Tcho! Time for lyrics di
girls waan to hear.'
Women's enjoyment of sexual and
economic independence, as demon-
strated in their uninhibited solo winein
on the dance floor, is most clearly
illustrated in Flourgon's Fret an Worry.
The DJ, unintimidated by the women's
show of strength, is absolutely confi-
dent of his own abilities. He is therefore
in a favourable position from which to
mock his less fortunate rivals:

Some a fret an worry, dem a fret an
Seh dem a mad over di girl dem
All dem a spen, me sch dem cyaan
get i'
Cau di girls dem nowadays a dem
no licky-licky.
Some a fret an worry, dem a fret an
Becau dem cyaan get di girls dem
Sexy body Pam an di one Audrey
Look ow dem a shock out in di party!
Me seh some a dem slim an some a
dem fat
Look ow di girls dem sexy an trash!
None a dem no live pon no yeye top
So yu gwan blink none a dem nah
go drop.
The erotic wink has been devalued
by the women's superior currency -
their own. So they can afford to
brazenly out-gaze the aspiring man and
put him firmly in his place:

We cyaan come a dance come beg
An we nah come a dance come fa
So who waan chat, an me seh, mek
dem chat chat
All dem a chat, Lawd we still hot

Mek dem gwan quint, we nah drop
None a we no live pon no eye top.Cau,
inna me house, it haffi trash
Cau me colour TV me siddown an
Inna one comer yu fin(d) me wat not
An me figurine dem me cock up on
Me seh two lickle hen an one big cock
Pon di wall a di granfader clock.
Easy Flourgon, dem know seh yu hot
Entime yu come a dance it haffi

The 'me cock up' double-entendre is
wickedly accurate: women made doub-
ly cocky by economic independence,
assuming traditionally male privileges
of selection, while retaining the
conventional woman's right to pick and
choose. If we attribute the ambiguous
last two lines above not to the self-
validating DJ, but to the women, then it
seems that they themselves accept that
their only match is the DJ, whose
sexual/lyrical prowess is imaged in the
tableau on the whatnot.
Lovindeer's No Pussy Tes(t),
excellent feminist polemics, asserts the
woman's right to sexual pleasure as an
essential constituent of total health. The
song starts off as simple slackness, but
gradually develops into a critique of the
Public Service and health care systems
in Jamaica:

Patsy complaining day an night
Sch her pussy doan ha no appetite
She use to be so lively an fat
Now she is jus a lickle mawga cyat.
Well, personally, me love di lickle pet
So me tell Patsy fi tek ar to di vet.

The doctor's preliminary investi-
gation raises a number of questions, one
of which is about health insurance.
Satisfied that the puss is covered, he
proceeds with the examination. But
before he can 'look into' the problem
fully the lights go out. In a frustrated
orgiastic scene the puss eludes the gaze,
to the distress of the owner, the doctor
and the DJ:

Di doctor seh, 'Lady I'm sorry to say
You have to come back anodder day.
Doan blame me, blame JPS
Dem lock off di light, so no pussy

The song also subversively suggests
that the pets of the middle-class are
likely to have access to much better
health care than the vast majority of


poor people in Jamaica who have no
'health insurance', and are forced to
depend on the vagaries of the
notoriously inadequate clinic system.
Age is no barrier to sexual pleasure
for women. Granny Two-Teet, also by
Lovindeer, is a witty tale of callow
Youth versus cunning Experience:

Me know a young man dem call
Don Juan
Cau when it come to love im a di
Im check every oman, im no partial
Im love ol foot, an im love young gyal.
Now las week-en im go check
Who live a Shortwood wid ar two-
teet granny.
Im drink off a whole quart bottle of
An lickle after dat im get tipsy.
Im seh, 'Roses are red and violets
are blue,
Ah gwine mek love to di both a yu.'
Beverly seh, 'Do wat yu want wid me
But please doan trouble me two-
teet granny.
She ol an feeble an very sickly
So don't yu come come hackle ar body.
She ave only two teet in ar mout
Too much hacklin a go mek dem
drop out.'
Granny jump up seh, 'Hush yu mout
Yu doan know wat yu talking about
Di man seh di two a we mus get it.
Come out a me love life, doan romp
wid it.
Come Don Juan, no pay ar no min(d)
Come mek me show yu seh Granny
cyan wine.
Nowadays gyal only have so-so mout.
Me experience, deh cyaan get m out.
Me got me two teet, me two teet, me
two teet (rep.)
Me temperature jus start to rise
Come mek me show yu me panty size.
I know yu will be surprise to see
Me still ave my glamity.
By the way, one question:
Yu is a Shortwood man?
Ah doan want yu go deh an feel too
Cause I like di man dem from Long

Granny, having risen to the counter-
challenge of the omnivorous Don Juan
- 'It seems to me/ Yu tek your lovin
seriously/ Well I gwine love yu tender
an hot/ For any amount of teet dat yu
got' is prepared to do whatever is
necessary to prolong sexual pleasure:

Don seh, 'Cool off, yu too hot!
Yu figet seh a only two teet yu got?
So done me done, an me ready to go.'
Granny seh, 'Wait! Yu cyaan leave so!
Don Juan me bwoy, yu mek love
Hol on lickle mek me fm(d) more teet.
Me got two lickle one down in me jaw
Dentures in me bureau top drawer
An if yu waan fi come back tomorrow
Me cousin ave teet me cyan borrow.'

Don Juan's anxiety about Granny's
voracious sexuality (all those teeth!),
has its counterpart in the DJ's comical
distress, recorded in Panty Man, after
his inadequate confrontation with Miss
Fatty, 'a big panty gyal'. He sheepishly
confesses: 'Water come a me eyes';
coming at an obviously inappropriate
point of egress:

Me know a big panty gyal dem call
Miss Fatty
An long a long time di gyal after me.
But, t(h)rough me know my limitation
Bow! Me no tek on no big panty gyal.
Now one night, me no know wha get
inna me
Bow! Ow me decide fi check Miss
She fling up a piece a wine under me
Di gyal rackle every bone inna me
Well! She will always be me good
But! Intimately? Never again.

Size, size, I have to look me size
She hackle me body til water come
a me eyes
If deh had a competition
Yu would wid di prize
For di girl wid di biggest panty size.

The melody of the 'size' coda, with
its hymn-like resonance, underscores
the wit of the irreverent lyrics. Miss
Fatty's rackling, cutting rather close to
the bone, ruffles the cock's feathers.
The DJ's hackles are raised in self-
defence. What is truly delightful about
Lovindeer's wicked compositions is the
variable male/female point of view
which he assumes. His songs cannot be
reduced to simple gynaephobia. For
even when he appears to be deriding
aggressive female sexuality he
simultaneously affirms its compelling
potency: 'me no know wha get inna
me'. The Man, out of his depth, may
fear that the supernatural has been
invoked to overwhelm him. But there is

also a sense of conquest in having
tested his limitations and surviving to
tell the tale.

Slackness Feminized and Censured

Women who enjoy the humour and
innocuous slackness of songs such as
these and their less subtle variants -
are subject to censure under the terms
of the prevailing double standard. Thus,
Mr McGowan, again:

Let us not fool ourselves, however (sic)
the fault is not entirely that of the DJs
but it lies with a certain section of o u r
society. If females can dance and shout
when men stand on stage and give
details of sexual exploits with women,
then something is very wrong.3

And a censorial male letter-writer to the
Daily Gleaner of Friday 13 January on
the subject of the Sting stage show:

A good show, until two DJs ..
displayed their vulgarity, and certain
females, if I must call them so, jumped
and shouted to their delight to hear
certain sections of their body being
described most disgracefully.
The DJs were urged on by these
women who had on the most
outrageous outfits that can ever be
worn on the face of this earth.
Something is definitely wrong. Could it
be illiteracy or stupidity?

Explicit in that final question is the
slackness/illiteracy equation. A
similarly denunciatory letter to the
Daily Gleaner from a young woman
inadvertently highlights the contra-
dictions of these simplistic moral
generalizations: 'The women who
dance to this filth do not know better
and need to be taught. Many of these
women go to church and put on their
choir robes and sing Christian hymns.'4
In the conservative discourse of
fundamentalist ideology, slackness is
thus feminized. Undomesticated female
sexuality erotic marronage must be
repudiated: it has the smell of
Lovindeer's complex Doan Mess
Wid My Pum-Pum is an excellent
example of a feminist-sounding song
about women's sexual independence,
which seems to quickly degenerate into
the old-fashioned rhetoric that tries to
keep women in their subservient place
as sex objects, available at a fixed
market price:


Well I've been out of crotch now for a
long, long time
So I take an ol friend) for a little
She said, 'I can help you if you want
to come
But you, you gotta pay me, freeness
days are done.
Strictly cash I deal with, I doan trus(t)
no man
They are only out to get everything
they can.'
The price that she told me was very
I said, 'I only wanna rent it, I doan
wanna buy.'

But the loaded 'trus(t)' 'I doan
trus(t) no man' with its divergent
commercial and emotional resonances
puts the woman's dilemma clearly into
focus. The song is much more than just
a mocking deflation of the woman's
value/price. It is a disturbing comment
on the grim economic conditions in
Jamaica that force some women of all
social classes to commodity their
sexuality: 'She seh "I'm a working girl,
I doan have a lot/ Pum-pum is the only
thing of value that I got".' And the
price of the commodity has to
continually escalate to keep up with the
rising cost of living. Note the brisk
rhythm of the repeated third line, with
its sequence of stressed syllables, that
enacts the upward march of prices.
Sexuality becomes a taxing issue:

Me check a lickle daughter fi buy a
lickle jook
She tell me seh me money cyan only
buy a look.
Me seh pum-pum price gone up
Tell you seh di pum-pum price gone
An me seh tings an times dem a get
so tight
Up-town girls haffi work at night
Workin to survive
Tell yu seh di pum-pum a keep dem
Deh taxin dis an deh taxin dat
Deh taxin every lickle ting dat we got
Jook dem wid di pum-pum tax
Im soon jook dem wid di pum-pum
Yu doan have to pay if yu give it free
But if yu use it commercially
Get ready fi di pum-pum tax. (rep.)
Except at certain time a di month
Pum-pum taxes pay up front
Batty man haffi pay back tax. (rep.)

Josey Wales

There's the inevitable stab at the
homosexual who is doubly taxed.
Menstruation, as universal taboo, turns
the woman's natural bodily functions
inside out and back to front. 'At certain
time a di month' woman becomes
devaginated, a symbolic batty man,
facilitating the 'straight' man's working
out of homophobic anxieties. Widened
beyond the immediate context of
prostitution, the taxing jook becomes a
provocative metaphor for Government's
rapacious desire to muscle in on all
forms of small-scale economic activity
in the 'non-formal' sector: Bureaucratic
Culture seeking to control enterprising

Bare Essentials

There are a few sdngs in the sample
in which the commodification of
women's sexuality by men assumes
truly vulgar proportions: Yellowman's
Waan Me Virgin and fitty Jump. Gilroy
identifies Yellowmah as the clearest
example of the 'decline of radical

After two explicitly political sides
chronicling the rise of authoritarian statism
in Jamaica Soldier Take Over and
Operation Eradication (the latter a
particularly effective version of The Itals'
heavy Ina Disya Time rhythm), he opted for
the safety of nursery rhymes,animal noises
and anti-woman jive talk.6

Titty Jump is the kind of song that
draws down the wrath of the righteous
and the disdain of the feminist alike.
Woman is reduced to a collection of
body parts which seem to function
independent of her will. This is the
crucial difference between Titty Jump
and, for example, Johnny P's Wine an
Push een. In the latter, the woman is a
whole being, actively enjoying her own
sexuality. In the former, one part of her
anatomy is isolated, and despite its
jumping, is a passive, abused object of
pleasure for a lecherous voyeur:

Girls, yu cyaan do wat di guys do yu
know an still be a lady
Titty jump, titty jump, mek me see yu
titty jump!
Some gyal titty stiff like elephant
Some gyal titty stiff like any tree
Some gyal titty jump like any bull
When di brassiere come aaf it favour
t(h)read bag.

The thread/money bag image (which
includes the transferred meaning of bag
as udder), is particularly deflating.
Women's sexuality is negatively
imaged in terms of the market place.
The fact that women, and not only
higglers, sometimes secrete money in
their bosom (a complex symbol of
private space where women exercise


private space where women exercise
absolute control of material and sexual
resources) is demeaningly extended as
the ultimate comic image of woman
reduced to undignified, bare essentials.
Economic power is the antithesis of
sexual power: the money bag is no
substitute for the real flesh and blood
thing. But the fractured first line of the
song can be read ironically: 'Girls, yu
cyaan do wat di guys do yu know' go
through the motions, 'an still be a lady'
- remain untouched. The 'sexual
liberation' of woman, her commodi-
fication for the pleasure of man, is pure
pornography in the most literal sense of
the world: 'description of life, manners,
etc. of prostitutes and their patrons'
Waan Me Virgin is not quite as
damning as its inflammatory title would
suggest. Indeed, read subversively, the
song deconstructs itself. It begins: 'All
special request to di cyat name Audrey,
an di cyat call Sandra, an di cyat call
Jacqueline, an di cyat call Susie, OK?'
These 'special' requests, going
indiscriminately to the feline posse,
cannot, by their very inclusivity, be
deemed special. But, perhaps, this is the
essential difference in the way that men
and women understand the language of
mating. Women assume that 'special'
means 'exclusive'; men know that
'special' simply means, well, special.
Yellowman states his preference for a
virgin and proceeds to describe his
meeting with a prospective candidate:

Know a gyal from St Elizabeth.
Ask ar weh she name, an she name
She seh, 'Me ave supn weh no man
never get'.
Me seh, 'Gi me di virgin, waan di
Gi me di virgin, waan di virgin
Gi me di virgin an Ah gwey tek di
Gi me di virgin, waan me no waan,
me no waan, weh di man dem nyam
an lef.

The elided 'di virgin' in the pen-
ultimate line, which syntactically
compresses what is wanted and what is
not, foregrounds the image of woman as
object of conflicting desire. Woman is
valued for her fleeting virginity and,
simultaneously, for her willingness to
give it up. Unlike Lovindeer's en-
gulfing Big Panty Gyal, or his las-
civious Granny Two-Teet who, Anansi-

like, bares her many hidden teeth only
when she has securely grabbed a piece
of the action, Yellowman's sought-after
Virgin is innocently non-threatening.8
Paulette, herself, in her unsolicited
advertisement, seems to passively
accede to the commodification of her
sexuality, marketing her alleged
virginity as scarce goods which she is
hoarding until the right buyer comes
along. But in the second cycle of the
song when the meeting with Paulette is
again described (we assume that it is the
same Paulette and not another
interchangeable virgin of the same
name), a somewhat different scenario
unfolds. Self-assertive Paulette not only
dismisses Yellowman's desperate suit
but declares her unwillingness to give
in to the man she 'deh wid' until she
has been appropriately and lengthily

Becau meet up a gyal las week
Me ask ar weh she name, she name
Me seh if she love me, di gyal seh,
'Gu weh!
Cool Yellowman, me an yu bredrin
But di something weh me ave, im
never get
Di bwoy waan come mek love right

Paulette knows the rituals of romance,
and/or is simply holding out for a
higher price in a seller's market. What
is important is that it is she who calls
the shots. The frustrated Yellowman
continues on his quest; desire, unlike
virginity, is a renewable resource.

Diminished Masculinity

But even Yellowman's narrow
sexism can be viewed somewhat
expansively, especially by feminists
who theorize the conjunction of gender,
class and race, as a 'small man' revolt
against the institutionalization of
working-class female domestic rule and
middle/upper class male dominance in
Jamaican society. For, as I suggest in an
earlier essay on female sensibility in the
poetry of Louise Bennett,9 disem-
powered working-class men cannot be
simply stigmatized and dismissed as
unqualified 'oppressors' of women.
Their own oppression by gender-blind
classism and notions of matriarchy
itself motivates their attempted

oppression of women.
Take, for example, Super Cyat's
need to 'control' a number of women
both locally and internationally:

Cau me seh dis is di Cyat it, an im a di
wil(d) Apache
An every weh a weh me go, an dem a
fight over me.
Ave girl inna yard, an girl inna broad,
an inna Miami
Ragamuffin Mr Cyat, im a de wil(d)

Cowboys fighting Indians fighting
women fighting each other: a chain of
disempowerment. The raw sexism of
some DJs can thus be seen as an
expression of a diminished masculinity
seeking to assert itself at the most basic,
and often the only level where it is
allowed free play.
Further, the relatively low status of
the DJ himself in the mercurial business
of record production that is ultimately
controlled by the monied producer (as
in The Harder They Come),o1 can
account in part for much of the bravado
displayed in those songs that celebrate
DJing. For example, Lecturer makes the
extravagant claim, as befits his sobri-
quet, that he is a pen and paper DJ:

Daddy Lecturer one di lyrical tongue
An DJ come, an me nah go run
Pon di groun me sit down
Wid me pen an me paper
Me write me lyrics down.
An me study it, an inna dance-hall
Me fling it down.

The confrontational, throwing-down-
the-gauntlet rhetoric of the DJ, imaged
in the flinging down of lyrics, suggests
as well the disposable quality of the
DJ's throwaway lines. Pinchers
account in Ardent Fan of the eager
response of a female autograph hunter
and her admiring friends voices the
DJ's need to lionize himself:

So her friends dat stand up, dey also
did feel di vibe
An upon their faces I saw the glee an
welcome in their eyes.
Dey told me some come to trill, but
dey ave the confidence
I come to reign.
Cause when I'm in my dance-hall
style is worries, agony an pain.
They're listening to my voice an
also feeling my melody
Dat also bring a strong belief dat
I'm a legend to be.



Shabba Ranks's No Bodder Dis
respect ) Me:

No bodder dis, Mr. Sophistic
Soun(d) a soundd, ol pan a ol pan
Wi no kill champion, we raise
A di music weh we play we gain
An me bomb up a dance inna Englan.
If it come to Canada, yu know seh dat
done ram
No bodder dis, doan bodder dis,
I'm tellin yu

Min(d)Yu Disrespec Me by Gregory
Isaacs and Josey Wales similarly
exemplifies the DJ's need for both
respect and respectability, the latter a
commodity that is often so splendidly
devalued and sardonically deferred to in
DJ culture. Indeed, this song validates
Culture in the old-fashioned, non-elitist
sense of the word. It employs biblical
injunction 'Honour yu modder,
honour yu fader/ Dat yu days may be
longer' and proverb 'Wat yu pickin
up Ah put down already/ Young bird
doan know storm' to recall a whole
way of life, a vanishing rural past in
which a folk culture of ritualistic
deference to elders is affirmed in the
language of proverbial wisdom.

Non-Sexual Social Commentary

Of the small group of songs
classified as 'social commentary',
Flourgon and Thriller U's Peace is the
only one that deals explicitly with
political issues. It begins to the ironic
accompaniment of simulated gun shots:
'Salute di Peace! Cau you know seh
widout peace tings no right.' Employ-
ing the familiar contrast between the
sentimental optimism of the love song
and the brutal reality of ghetto life,
Peace calls judgement on the politiciza-
tion of violence in Jamaican society:

Ear dem a talk bout love
Me no see no lovin a gwan
Ear dem a talk bout peace
Me no see no peace a gwan.

Lawd, me seh a pure gun shot, a
pure lootin
Inna one comer a pure screaming
Up di road, Jahman, a pure people
Everybody running an hear dem
'We want love, Lawd', everyone
A pure gunshot bad bwoy firin
Ear dem a talk bout love.


Similarly illustrating that upright
folk piety that can co-exist unself-
consciously with Slackness in the dance
hall, Lady G's No Bad Mind conflates
two biblical references in its plea to 'all
a di people dem fi live right': 'A fool
despiseth his father's instruction: but he
that regardeth reproof is prudent',
Proverbs 15, verse 5; and 'Thy word is
a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my
path', Psalm 119, verse 105:

Becau nuff wickedness me seh
inna mankind
Some a tek fi dem daughter to be fi
dem wife
Some a go outta street an a tek people
Come now, lissen dis a lyrics people if
yu wise
Commandment is a lamp an a lamp
is a light
Reproof of instruction is di way of
So done away wid hatred, an done
away wid strife
An mek we pray to di Father day
an night.

Papa San's Watch Me a Watch Dem,
warning against the folly of interfering
in other people's business to the
detriment of one's own, values the
covert wisdom of Anansi:

Yu fi see an blind, yu fi hear an deaf
An no watch people business, a it
yu fi lef
An inna fi yu own yu nah put no
A fi yu own a spoil t(h)rough yu

He offers a humorous, literal-minded
solution to the problem of 'watching':

Becau if yu watch man, Poopa San
im ave a plan
Jus open yu ears an understand:
Me a go put dem inna suit like a
military man
Buy dem a baton fi cyarry inna dem han
Mek dem walk wid a alstatian (sic)
So yu a watchman yu fi dress like one.

Clement Irie's Hungry No Laugh
makes a serious social statement,
employing the dissonant imagery of
play: 'See food deh! Me no romp wid it,
romp wid i.' Personified hunger is a
formidable enemy:

Now request to all di people dem who
feel hungry an know wat is hungry. Yu
no know, a lot of people don't know
wat is hungry, man, cau dey don't feel
it. Now who feels it, know it. Watch it!
Lawd a mercy! It name

Hungry no laugh, an Hungry no talk,
me friendd.
Now inna yu belly bottom Hungry
a walk.

Becau Hungry is a ting no respect
Hungry no partial, modder, neither
So me sorry for di people who cyan
hardly afford it.
Hungry no romp, Hungry no skin
Hungry is a ting weh mash up yu
Yes, no friend) im too much an mek
im get too lovin
Now else im a go tek over yu body
Mash up yu organ an yu intestine
Yes, yu cannot see Hungry, but yu
only feel im.
Now Hungry mek yu do some very
dangerous ting
Like bruk people houses, shop an

Hungry No Laugh is an excellent
example of the use of metaphor in
Jamaican Creole to embody abstraction.
Humourless, uncommunicative screw-
face Hungry assumes the emaciated
form of his victims.
Lovindeer's brilliantWil(d) Gilbert is
the classic in this grouping of songs of
social commentary, if not in the entire
sample. In the opening frame, the
hurricane's power elemental
Slackness on a grand scale is ack-
nowledged in the DJ's caution to
address Gilbert only in his absence:
'Well Gilbert, yu gawn! Ah ha! Now
we cyan chat behind) yu back.' This is
the cunning of Anansi who can feign
great bravery when it is least likely to
be challenged.
In the opening verse, Lovindeer
evokes the bizarre atmosphere of the
hurricane in the clever fusion of the real
and the surreal:

Water come eena me room
Me sweep out some wid di broom
Di lickle dawg laugh to see such fun
An di dish run away wid di spoon.

The nursery rhyme dish becomes the
satellite dish, bearer of imported,
prepackaged, instant culture. Its alien,
flying saucer values, like the strange
English nursery rhymes of childhood,
are made familiar in the two-way flow
of human and media migration: 'Dish
tek aaf like flying saucer/ Di roof
migrate widout a visa.'

Natural disaster reinforces old
barriers of privilege; the wealthy are
able to recover much more quickly than
the poor. With their visas they can fly to
Miami for generators and other essen-
tial commodities. Not so the exploited
DJ, spokesman for the discontented

Me eena di dark, no light no on ya
An t(h)rough me no ave no generator
Me seh, one col(d) beer cos(t) ten
Me fish an me meat spoil in di freezer
A pure bully beef full up me structure.

But opportunist, looting youth
quickly recognize the catastrophe as an
act of divine providence. In the spirit of
Hungry No Laugh, dem doan mek fun fi
tief people tings:

Me a look someweh safe, dry an warm
Di yout dem a loot in di ragin storm.
We tank di Lawd we never get hurt
Dem seh, 'Tank yu, Lawd, fa Mr
Cause, yu see me fridge? Gilbert gi me.
Yu see me colour TV? Gilbert gi me.
Yu see me new stereo? Gilbert gi me.
Yu see me new video? Gilbert gi me.'

The video is the next best thing to the
satellite dish.
The inset tale of Knotty Dreadlocks
and Mr Chin wittily counterpoints basic
Jamaican stereotypes: the Rastaman,
emblem of the renunciation of worldly
goods; the Chineyman, symbol of
acumen in commercial affairs. Gilbert
temporarily levels both:

Knotty Dreadlocks siddown inside
A look ow Gilbert a gwan outside.
When breeze lick down Mr Chin
Knotty Dread jump up an chant:
'Lick dem Jah, gwan go dwiit,
A dem did gi di Dread pork fi eat.
Jook dem Jah wid storm an under
Tear aaf dem roof an bruk dem

Lickle affa dat Gilbert turn back
Lif(t) aaf di roof aaf a Knotty
Dread shack
Im seh, 'Blouse an skirt, Jah mussa
never know
Seh I an I live right yasso.'

Naturally, in all of this social
commentary, Lovindeer must indulge in
a little low-key Slackness. 'Blouse an
skirt', old-fashioned, euphemistic swear
words, is one of a few references to

clothing 'Me save me brief, but me
lose me shirt' that suggest the
inadequacy of the DJ's undergarments
to protect his unmentionable private
parts from a thorough soaking during
the storm: 'Water wet up me what's it
not./ Yu mean yu wat-not!/ No, me
what's it not!' The slackness theme is
full-blown in Lovindeer's other Gilbert
song, the calypso Hell of a Blow Job.


The Culture/Slackness antithesis that
is reified in the dancehall is one
manifestation of a fundamental anta-
gonism in Jamaican society between
uptown and down-town, between high
culture and low, between literacy and
oracy. That the lyrics of the DJs should
be identified as an appropriate subject
for literary analysis is itself evidence
that Culture is in hot pursuit of fleet-
footed Slackness: subjection to analysis
is yet another form of containment. But
the equivocations of pursuit and capture
are transacted in the metathesis
'Culture hiding from Slackness'. For
marginalized oral discourse, penetrating
the rigid boundary of the scribal canon,
requires that it yield to accommodate
the full Creole/English, oral/scribal
range of verbal creativity in Jamaica.
The literariness of DJ oracy thus
declares itself somewhat ambiguously
in the loose language of Creole


1. I am indebted to Erna Brodber, in
conversation, for this analogy.
2. Compare with the proverb 'Oman an
hood never quarrel'; 'hood,' Jamaican
Creole for 'wood' as symbolic penis
Firmness is clearly at a premium. The
inverse relationship between economic and
sexual power suggests the compensatory
nature of sexual prowess for the
economically under-endowed man.
3. Sunday Gleaner, 1 January 1989,
p. 5. The offending lyrics had to do with
menstruation and cunnilingus.4. Daily
Gleaner, January 13, 1989.
5. Gilroy, p. 188.
6. Ibid., pp. 188-9.
7. Despite the notorious problems of
definition what exactly is the difference
between pornography and 'erotica'? I use
the term because of its decidedly negative
connotations. But I am aware of subversive
readings of the feminist arguments against


commodified sexuality. For example, Gary
Day argues in his 'Introduction' to
Perspectives on Pornography that
feministit attacks on the presentation of
sex without love, or sex where women are
treated as objects, may perhaps be regarded,
at least in part, as an unconscious attempt
by feminists to preserve and defend one of
the most important sites of subjectivity for
women. If this is the case, then there is
something profoundly conservative about
feminist writing on pornography, for it is
implicitly accepting that sex and love are
privileged sites for female subjectivity, and

the intensity of some feminist attacks on
pornography could be said to reflect an
unconscious acquiescence in patriarchy's
distribution of subject positions. Perhaps
the shock of feminism embracing
pornography would create a greater
potential for radical change than feminism's
criticism of it.'
8. For a comparable calypso version of
'woman as devourer of male sexuality' see
Rohlehr, op. cit., especially pp. 252-3: '...
beneath the condemnation of prostitution
lies the fear of castration or emasculation,
which is itself a rationalization of male

Good evening. I'm not really
going to talk on the broader
subject, I'm just going to
concentrate on 'Women in
Dancehall: Liberated or
Oppressed' and 'Slackness in the
When we talk about slackness . .
there's a time and place for everything,
and the only thing that is wrong with
the slackness in some of these songs
nowadays is that it is exposed to
children, and to people who don't want
to hear it. But in the confines of a
dancehall, where anything goes, and for
the people who go and want to hear this
kind of thing, there's nothing wrong
with it. The slacker the lyrics you can
come up with, the more gun salute and
pram-pram you get. The people in the
dancehall, they enjoy it. And as they
say, what consenting adults do behind
closed doors, is OK. It's the same with
a blue movie. Some people might find
blue movies revolting, others might
find it stimulating. Now those who find
it revolting should not sit in the
company of people who find it
stimulating and watch it. And the same
thing goes for dancehall.
You see, we know what to expect in
the dancehall and looking at the people
I see here, these are not the kind of
people I see at dancehall. Serious t'ing.
So when it comes to a discussion on
slackness in dancehall, there's no
woman here who will defend it,
because the average woman who you
see at dancehall, in the regular finery...
I don't see any of those here. Now, let's

Women in Dancehall

A Response by Lloyd Lovindeer

say a DJ like Johnny P or Ninja Man
should come now, and perform those
kind of lyrics here, he would be booed
off the stage. But those same kinds of
lyrics he could take into a dancehall at
Grove Road and tear the place down.
The women will be asking about them.
They always think it's somebody else.

So they don't take it to mean anything.
And the same lyrics that you hear those
DJs using, cursing women and all that,
that's the same kind o' lyrics those
women use to curse other women.
Because that's where these DJs get their
lyrics from. So the more the DJ can use
those kind o' lyrics and des-cribe
certain things which these women know
about and curse other women with, the
more they jump up and shout.
Especially if they can point out a wo-
man who might be fooling around with
their guy, it done right deh so. Because
that is exactly what dem talking about.
And you will find that a DJ like
Josie Wales might say, 'Cho we nah do
nuh slackness, we a go do culture.'
Well, him can do culture, but it is not
commercial. And most of these DJs
they do this thing strictly for the money,
the straight economics of it. A guy has
to survive. And remember most o' these
DJs didn't go to a high school. As a
matter of fact, some of them didn't even
go to primary school. So the lyrics that
they come up with are the lyrics that
they are exposed to every day on the
street side, lyrics that they hear other
guys using. So they don't have the time,
or the intellect to sit down and compose
something that will leave a little bit to
your imagination. They are more


sexual inadequacy', p. 252; and 'if the
precocious young woman was regarded
with a mixture of moralizing anxiety, dread
and the eager anticipation of the rake on the
prowl, the libidinous old woman was
regarded with positive horror', p.253.
9. Carolyn Cooper, 'That Cunny Jamma
Oman: The Female Sensibility in the Poetry
of Louise Bennett', JAMAICA JOURNAL, Vol.
18:4. pp. 2-9.
10. The Perry Henzell/Trevor Rhone film
(1972), and later novel by Michael
Thelwell, London, Pluto Press, 1980.

Now, a DJ who went to a good
school is expected to write the kind o'
lyrics that appeal to people like you.
Not to say that the plain, straight
forward slackness will not appeal to
you, because I see some of you
laughing at some of the lyrics that
Carolyn was mentioning there. These
are old lyrics, but the fact that you are
laughing, as if it's something new,
means that you never really listen to the
lyrics o' these songs when you hear
them. Like Shabba Ranks, for example.
Maybe because his kind of voice is not
something that you can really pick out
and listen to, there's not much clarity.
So when him say, 'Jump around 'cause
you man cyan wuk', we don't really
know weh him a talk 'bout. Right?
Because we wouldn't say it like that.
We might say, 'Jump up and enjoy
yourself if your man can administer
sexual intercourse.' That's exactly what
dem saying, but it just doesn't ride de
It is ghetto talk, ghetto language,
ghetto experience. Not to say that the
ghetto experience is any different from
the uptown experience. It's just that the
uptown experience usually happens
behind closed doors and you don't
really see how it go. But living in a
tenement yard, you find you're exposed
to more of this kind of thing. And
children are more exposed to this kind
o' living when they live in the ghetto,
because you can't lock yourself in the
bedroom and discuss certain things

while the child is outside there in the
living room watching TV, because
there's just one room. So these children
are exposed to all kinds o' lyrics in dem
head, and dem no see nothing wrong
with it. So whereas we might cringe
when we hear certain lyrics, it is
second nature to them. And in the
dancehall, sorry to say, but anything
goes, and the more a DJ can come up
with those kinds of lyrics, the more
he'll get across...
It's just a matter of how you put it
across. In other words, you can
proposition a young lady in such a way
that she will feel fi just box you,
because yu feisty, and yu fresh an yu
slack. But you can proposition her in
such a way that she might consider it.
Now, if you use that same kind of
proposition to some women in certain
areas, or in some dancehall, them laugh
after you. Like it is understood that the
polite way to ask a woman for a dance,
well when I was growing up, which is
quite a long while ago, when you go to
a party you would say, 'Ah, may I have
the pleasure of this dance?' Now, even
saying it now, it sound a way, you
know? A girl nowadays would look at
you as if something wrong with you.
But in my days if you said that she
would dance with you. But if you go
say dat in certain places now, no-no, it
nuh work so. And you might hear a guy
say, 'Come john crow come flap yu
wing' and she will dance. Because, like
I say, you know, she doesn't take it

personally. Believe me. These girls in
the dancehall, they take it as a joke. So
if you go to a girl in the dancehall and
say, 'Ah, may I have the pleasure of this
dance?' she know right away that she
don't really want to dance wid you.
Because if you talk like that, more
likely yu cyan wine. And in the dance
hall is bubbling and wining. The regular
three-step business don't work. So it's a
totally different culture from what we
are exposed to uptown and even slightly
midtown. Totally different. You have to
really go back to school when you goin'
to these places.
So, like I said, what is wrong with
the slackness is that it is exposed
outside of the dancehall. Inside the
dancehall it is OK. because you have
consenting adults there who want to
hear those kinds of things, and it's OK.
with them. But outside you have
children, Christians and other people
who don't want to hear those kinds of
things. It turns them off. What is wrong
with the slackness is that it is exposed
to people who don't want to hear it.

Transcribed and edited by Carolyn Allen,
Research Fellow, Institute of Caribbean
Studies, UWI, Mona.

TFair the Record

One of the illustrations to
Wycliffe Bennett's article on
the Jamaican theatre in
JAMAICA JOURNAL 22:3 was this
cover for the 1951 Secondary
School Drama Festival. After
the Journal had appeared we
discovered that Mr Albert Huie
had donated this design to the
1951 Secondary School Drama
Festival. We are happy to have
this opportunity to give Mr
Huie the credit he deserves and
also to remember his associa-
tion with Jamaican theatre.

We very much regret that
the photographs of snails
which accompanied Dr
Farr's article in JAMAICA
JOURNAL 22:4 were given
the wrong credit. They
were, of course, taken by
Dr Elaine Fisher, Head of
the Natural History Division
of the Institute of Jamaica,
who is responsible for so
many of our Natural History




Book Reviews

THE CARIBBEAN SLAVE: A Biological History
Kenneth Kiple
Cambridge University Press, 1984.
by Allister Hinds

Kenneth Kiple's The Caribbean Slave focuses on the
biological history of black people in the West Indies from the
sixteenth to the nineteenth centuries. His primary concern is
the extent to which black immunity and susceptibility to
disease affected slavery in particular, and, in general, the
history of the region.
Overall, Kiple's treatment of the subject matter is
commendable because he is dealing with matters for which
existing information on the West Indies in general is often
sketchy, unreliable or non-existent. Thus, although his work
is tentative, Kiple draws our attention to aspects of the bio-
logical history of blacks in the West Indies which are worthy
of serious, if not urgent, attention. These include the evolu-
tion of genetic and biochemical characteristics and their
implications for the health of present day West Indian blacks,
the long-term impact of dietary deficiencies on their health,
and, finally the consequences of the continuation of dietary
habits acquired during slavery. The latter concern is espe-
cially important as we are gradually beginning to realize that
diseases such as hypertension, one of the biggest killers of
black people worldwide, are due in part to high levels of salt
consumption. Given that, historically, salted beef, pork and
fish have formed a significant part of our diet, blacks in the
West Indies must be concerned about the implications of this
Kiple's discussion of diet, disease and demography is the
most interesting section of his study. Here he attempts to
resolve the question of why most slave populations in the
West Indies failed to increase by natural means. Kiple
contends that an analysis of the nutritional factor is essential
to a resolution of the debate over slave demography. He
acknowledges that the combined effects of prolonged
lactation and the problems created by malnutrition make a
sufficiently strong case for low fertility to warrant serious
consideration in the present debate [p. 110]. Yet he addresses
only the impact of prolonged lactation on fertility even
though, by his own admission, this seems to be the weaker
half of the case. The combined impact of the factors on
fertility was ignored.
In spite of this, Kiple claims that slave fertility in the
West Indies was actually high, but West Indian slave
populations failed to grow because infant and childhood
mortality rates were high as a result of poor nutrition. This
hypothesis would have been enhanced if he had been able to
demonstrate that the failure of West Indian slave populations
to increase by natural means was not a result of a negative
impact on fertility by the combination of prolonged lactation
and the side-effects of malnutrition. On the other hand, his
hypothesis is useful because it brings into focus an aspect of
the slave experience which, thus far, has been largely ignored
i.e., the impact of dietary deficiencies on slave demography

in the West Indies. In its present form, Kiple's hypothesis
relies too heavily upon parallels between West African and
West Indian situations to be really convincing. Hard evidence
is sorely lacking on stillbirths and infant and child mortality.
These are crucial variables. Nevertheless, he must be
commended for shedding some light on another dimension of
the debate.
The treatment of West Africa in Chapter 2 is surprisingly
ragged. Although information on the status of children in
African families is available, Kiple chose to quote from an
'African' source [p. 33] in Ghana (Gold Coast) which makes
outrageous assertions about the general status of children in
Ghanaian families. African children did not face dismal odds
of survival in the early twentieth century because 'they are
not considered as important as the parents and their needs are
not catered for in the way that British parents, for example,
cater for their children' [p. 33]. African parents love their
children as much as parents from other continents and, like
all other parents worldwide, they try to give them the best
they can afford. In the early twentieth century the majority of
parents could have afforded very little.
Similarly, on pages 34-35, Kiple should have resisted the
urge to make dangerous and derogatory generalizations about
adult West Africans, in particular those in Ghana and Nigeria.
It is important to note that Kiple does not give his reader any
idea of the geographic location and the nature of existing
social and economic conditions in the areas of Ghana and
Nigeria to which he refers. In addition the frequency with
which the examples he cites occur, is by his own admission, a
matter of conjecture. Nevertheless, he uses emotive language
which paints a picture of child abuse of unimaginable
proportions in Nigeria and Ghana and, by inference, West
Africa in general. I challenge him to give a scholarly account
of the existing situation. I would also like to know why the
nutritional requirements of people of European ancestry at
the moment constitute the world's 'standards' [p. 38]. Given
the black experience on West Indian plantations outlined in
this study, this is understandably a matter of great concern to
present day blacks!
Despite its weaknesses, Kiple's study should be read
both by students of West Indian history, and people who are
interested in the experiences of black people in the New
World. Although its utility has more to do with the issues it
raises than with the ones it resolves, it should not be
dismissed lightly.

Allister Hinds teaches History at the Mona campus of the
University of the West Indies.


... it comes
in the act of loving-
a cry of birds hoping South
a perfect sentence
sudden as candlelight's leap
at my wife's mouth-
comes at any moment
that will reassert the
permanence of dreams
the possibility of dancing...
Dennis Scott: Strategies

Half-a-billion people have
probably seen him on tele-
vision: the shiny-headed red-
skinned actor who plays Lester, the
father-in-law on the Bill Cosby show.
Some of those people, observant souls,
may have caught his name in the
credits: Dennis Scott. But only an
insignificant fraction of them would
know that Scott, a Jamaican who is
today co-chairman of the Directing
Department at Yale University's School
of Drama, is also a poet of the highest
I knew him at university in Jamaica
in the mid-sixties. Along with Tony
McNeil and Mervyn Morris, we were a
quartet of young writers in our twenties,
who converged upon one another's
poems as they came hot off the type-
writer, like bees converging upon a
succulence. Except in memory the taste
of those years is rather like lime,
clarifying and acidic.
An acidic elation! For that imper-
sonal ardour, that urgent appraisal of
one's work by one's peers, there would,
I later discovered, be no substitute. And
it would be years too before I learned
that in our Caribbean these islands of
ex-slave and ex-indentured labourer, of
'dog eat dog and vice versa' such
impassioned cameraderie in the service
of a shared craft had been a privilege
and by no means the norm.
But at the time it seemed natural
and inescapable. We gave to each
other's poems an ardour of critical
attention which I am sure they have not
had since; and the fact that as poets we
could hardly have been more different -
Morris, ironical, McNeill, all electric,
Scott, intelligent, sinuous and some-
times, tell the truth, downright sinister -
and myself, the lone Trinidadian, blear
and subterrarean was something that
turned out to our advantage, or mine


Dennis Scott



by Wayne Brown

anyway, quite insensibly and several
years down the road. We took turns
shuffling the placings in the annual
Jamaica Festival Poetry Competition;
and when one by one our books
appeared, each bore, like a watermark
discernible only to the initiated, the
impress of the others's minds.
Those were the days! Or, as Scott
puts it in his latest collection
(Strategies, Sandbury Press, Kingston

When we were poets world burned
with a bright ash, everything we
was fool's gold, was wonder-

(And if you want to know how good
Scott is not now as a patriot and a
philosopher and a human being, and a
credit to his country and race, but
'merely', purely as a poet, a practitioner
in the field of language look how, in

those lines, he withholds the 'ful' from
wonderfulul), yet gets it anyway, from
the expectation of it which the syntax
conveys, combined with the strong echo
of 'fools' three words earlier (so that
what you hear, dimly, is 'wonder-fools',
which is precisely the point) gets it,
only to override it brusquely with the
chime of 'wonder/remember'. Look too
at the web of meaning constructed: at
how the adult, censorial 'bright
ash...fool's gold' is balanced by
'wonder' and 'remember', with, in that
standoff between asceticism and
nostalgia, the power of gold coming
through. And why do I hear behind all
this Tony McNeill's quite different
lines, written a quarter of a century
earlier: 'Lord, your light shone down
uncensored/Until we ate darkness and

...all morning the wind
never stopped, to breathe was like
we went without skin
through the sharp days watching pain
like visitors,
learning Time, it was honey, was
amber, for always-
o how we go down, how we go down...

(Re that throwaway 'watching pain
like visitors' : Scott had visited the
States many times before settling into
his exile in Yale several years ago; but
the line refers rather to those species of
pain conferred by the passing, not of
place, but of time. Take note, though, of
that uncapitalized, selfmocking 'o').
Scott's first collection of poems,
Uncle Time, appeared in 1973. It won
the International Forum Prize and the
Commonwealth Prize for Poetry. But
Scott had other gifts too, chiefly as a
man of the theatre (his plays An Echo
in the Bone and Dog are well known in
these parts, and he was for many years
the principal of the Jamaica School of
Drama), and soon after his second
collection, Dreadwalk, appeared (New
Beacon, 1982) he left to teach drama at
Those two experiences, of drama
and exile, are the deep influences
underlying the present book. The first
reinforces the element of performance
which has always been a mark of (and
in the weak times a threat to) Scott's
poetry. And the second has had, it
seems to me, the curious, unexpected,
but on reflection true consequence of
turning the poet's gaze inward, for


solace, upon his relationships with his
wife and children: upon his portable
Jamaica, so to speak, the world of his
domesticity. (Look again at the lines at
the top of this review, where the poet
rhymes 'South' with 'my wife's
These elements, of domesticity and
performance and what lie behind
them, exile and the theatre are seldom
treated explicitly, for Scott is of the
second, less demonstrative generation
of West Indian writers. (Except for a
few references to winter, for example,
the reader of Strategies might well
remain unaware that the author now
lives in the States, so absent is America
from the book). But they come together
in the poem, An Exercise of Faith:

'Run!' she says. 'Now!'
holding his arm
and off he goes, their four shoes
on the bare winter walk
he's running, look! she's holding him
and sure on the path's long white and
suddenly I see green fields
a trick of the eye only
for where in January would there be
two pairs of feet brushing pollen
into the winter morning...?

(Look at the splendid actualization of
the action in those first four lines; at the
syntactical gearshift that leaves white
hanging, not an adjective after all but,
orphaned, acquiring the malevolence
and historical reference of a noun (the
white-people's world awaiting the child,
but also white as in winter, meaning
death and the implied relationship
between them). Look at the emotion
released by the sound of that 'green
fields' (cf. the account of Falstaff
remembering: 'And a'babbled of green
fields'); at the pun on eye; at the way
that the rhythm of the next line throws
the emphasis of an oath on January, so
that the inner ear hears an inkling of,
'For where in hell would there be',
linking January/winter to 'hell'. And if
you think I am overrating this poet's
craft, and seeing too much in these
lines, look how powerfully, and how
terrifyingly, An Exercise of Faith opens
out at the end):

'Run! There's nothing ahead, just me,
my voice,
just my life, my love, your faith
will be a muscle of air to hold us ever

safe, summer-quick
in the cold, in the dark,

It is impossible in this brief note to
do justice to the triumph of a book like
Strategies. Granted there are poems,
like Zoosong, which, lacking in passion,
irritate with their obscurity; and there
are poems, like Givingsong, in which
by his standards the poet is doodling.
But these are very much the exceptions.
More characteristic are the eloquent and
grieving celebrations of the poet's
ancestors: his mother (Prayers for those
gone/before you to a joyful place/The
ordering of rooms/in strict and simple
grace. The passage echoes, perhaps
consciously, Derek Walcott's lines to
his own mother: Your house sang softly
of balance,/of the rightness of placed
things) and his father:

We were never afraid of his shadows
he had made us
citizens of laughter.

(Look at that tender semi-rhyme,
shadows/made us, the shallowing each
time of the second vowel sound; and at
the simplicity and self-containment of
the second line.) And in this poem,
called Sonsong, in which the body of
the poet's dead father is likened to the
country we had lived in', see how grief
is subsumed in the long view of things
as the poem sweeps away at the end
into a recollection of the march of the

I repeat that continent of loving
as I can
as he too must have imitated
his father walking
on some day like this
round his own toppled kingdom.

(It is startling to realize that with
kingdom the poet has arrived at his
Strategies is not without social
comment.There is the (uncharacteris-
tically straightforward) satire A Moral
Victory, a poem about a vagrant (and
therefore one about which most Trini-
dadians would presumably have strong
views) which begins: The lunatic has
found food in the garbage./A good
citizen hits him, crying stop, stop,
filthy!/ the lunatic runs. The morsels
fall./His wide trousers are sails in the
midday traffic./The grey road laps at the
scraps./The citizen washes his hand.).

And there is the more powerful dialect
poem, Riversong:

...(What de use?
What him catch? Don't de line still
All de same check de man,
catch him head, look him back.
Him stand free. De water like it
deliver him, though it look like it move
slow, de current strong.)
Wait. Not long.

(Look at the three meanings of that
first 'like', and the threat and perfect
ambiguity of the last line).
But the characteristic note of
Strategies is, rather, intimate. In a
glancing rejection of 'history' and what
that word meant in the American South,
the poet declares the confederacy that I
wish: those/ who in some way keep the
light/ from going out. In the title poem
he affirms the heart's drum louder/than
any sound of soldier falling, and
urges... till the war is over/let us
celebrate/ ourselves, all that is kind/and
carnival, living...
For those who care about art -
about the mind's capacity for craft, and
the heart's capacity to endure -
Strategies is itself an occasion for
celebration. To me, a writer and a West
Indian of Scott's generation (now
nosing into the channel between the
scarred cliffs of middle age) it is, in its
mastery and humanity, an immensely
consoling book. Here for the road is
tlarbour-song, the poem with which it
opens (the comma at the end is not a
typographical error):

Sailed here from oh so many curious
home is my heart, at ease
after the hurtle and the blinding seas
:the shadow of your mouth.
Here to the sand where sleep belongs
I come as quietly as children
into the harbour of your love
after the windy evening games
the salt that frosts so many other faces
all those songs, all those songs,

Wayne Brown is author of two collections of
poetry, On the Coast and Voyages, as well as
The Child of the Sea (stories and
remembrances) and Edna Manley: The Private


by Marie Lombal-Bent


Hitching up his sagging
poet's rig, Mr Anonymous
frowned, and pronounced
from his high chair: 'Let her
write prose. These timid
mumblings lack both rhyme and reason'.

And so, there was a silence.

One day, the madness came back
as a voice. Pig-headed,
with its black pearls.
Late-blooming, panic
and subversive,
from the bowel-rumblings of its wilderness.

Utterly free
of a destiny. Armed
with a shrugging-off
of all punctualities, and weary
of the steering clear.
A yawning towards phantom interrogations.

Will you be a pathfinder?
Will you join the carnival?
Will you mime our manifesto?
Will you inaugurate our 'mums?

Pig-headed, with its black pearls,
it is chosen, but will sing
no arias on green lawns,
no high- or low-life wailings
of denial or commitment,
no snarling clips on campus ghetto-blasters.

Pig-headed, with its black pearls.


They came. One by one.
Hard-earned, and with a sheen
more enviable than Sterling's.
Some bitch-goddess declared:
Darling, your dyeing is bizarre.

How do you keep the silver
in just half a dozen strands?
I blushed. (And me so proud
of my six silverings,
recalcitrant and shy among the jet.)
Walled garden, I observe my peers:
fears of grandmothering,
coddlings, and photographs
of Sasha in his pram.
While my tiare sheds its petals.
How can I be forty-three
when I've never even owned
a doll?


Translucent they were.
In-ex-orable. Only gaulins
and big-fish made it to the other side.

Children giggled and pulled each others' hair.
An endless leap-frog down the cul-de-sac.
And you watching nanny-goats trap ants.
All those games were the same.
A sort of Blindman's Buff in the empty yard.
No exit.

Schooldays brought some temporary relief.
An atlas was the window on a world.
I studied it on weekends, dreaming itineraries.

That summer when my sisters sailed away
(the Civil Service only paid for four)
to a Britain of crumpets and weekly baths
and digs (a magic word) in Brixton,
I dreamed of suicide, consoled a grief with novels,
and swore that one day I would scale the wall.

How easy it seems, now that I have sailed
those tortured seas. Seeking a freedom.
The postcard sunsets menacing the beach
still leave me restless. Reeking of dragons
crouched in coconut groves,
crab-feeds with rhumba-boxes, and Red Stripe.
I never learned the password to the clan,
But the watching was a lesson, silent,
and rich in futures. No more absolutes.
No key opens the weightless gate unto
the soundless music that still casts no shadow.


My seashell booms its endless rhythm of waves,
Bandana dolls stand stiffly in their niche.
My antique inkwells preen their featherings
of parakeet wings and doctor-bird tails.
The silent-movie of a life summed up in etchings
by men with names like Kidd and Hakewill.

Now I am on the outside, looking in.
I might as well get used to prisons.


There you go,
quick-change artist
up to your tricks again.
Out of one skin
into another,
hop hop hopping
to the hopscotch rhythm,
spitting arrows
as you zig-zag
through a crowd-fever.

Who was that angel?
You wore it like a helmet
in a tete-a-t&te
with some new lover.

Wouldn't it be more practical
to inherit
with that first dangling,
a single, spotted coat,
still squealing,
and still slippery when wet,
yet somehow mathematically predictable?

The coromantine and ashanti shades
would keep their pigments
shiny and fresh
against the fuzz
of peaches in the Wedgwood bowl.

No. It might be rather dull
if there were nothing left to shrink.
And chameleons make such thrilling
circus acts.

The Institute of Jamaica

functions are to foster and encourage the development of culture, science and history, in the
national interest
It operates as a statuary body under the Institute of Jamaica Act 1978 and falls under the
portfolio of the Ministry of Culture. The Institute's central decision-making body is the
Council which is appointed by the Minister.
The Institute of Jamaica consists of a central administration and a number of divisions
and associate bodies operating with varying degrees of autonomy.

Chairman: Sonia Jones
Executive Director: Beverley Hall-Alleyne
Deputy Director: Dexter Manning

Central Administration
12-16 East St., Kingston. Tel: 922-0620

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

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

Jamaica School of Dance
Jamaica School of Drama
Jamaica School of Music

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

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

Head Office:
12-16 East St, Kingston Tel: 922-0620
National Museum of Historical
Archaeology, Port Royal. Tel: 924-8871
Fort Charles Maritime Museum,
Port Royal
Arawak Museum, White Marl
Military Museum, Up Park Camp, 3rd
GR Compound.
Jamaica People's Museum of Craft and
Technology, Spanish Town Square
Tel: 984-2452
Old King's House Archaeological
Museum, Spanish Town Square

National Gallery of Jamaica
Roy West Building, Ocean Boulevard,
Kingston Mall. Tel: 922-1561/4

National Library of Jamaica
12 East St, Kingston.
Tel: 922-0620

Natural History Library and Museum
12-16 East St, Kgn. Tel: 922-0620


Patricia Bryan is Head of the Depart-
ment of Art Education at the Edna
Manley School for the Visual Arts.

Carolyn Cooper is a lecturer in the
Department of English, University of
the West Indies.

Candice Goucher is Head of the
Department of Black Studies at the
University of Portland, Oregon.

John Ingledew recently retired from
his post as Senior Lecturer in the
Department of English, UWI.

Marie Lombal-Bent, Jamaica Scholar
was once an Assistant Lecturer in the
Department of Spanish at the UWI.
She now lives in the South of France
with her artist husband, Guy Lombal.

Mervyn Morris, Reader in English at
the UWI, is also Head of the Depart-
ment He is a leading Jamaican poet
and has been a contributor to JAMAICA
JOURNAL since 1971.

Arnoldo Ventura is National Science
and Technology advisor in the
Ministry of Development, Planning



KNOWLEDGE thewayto

For the first time in the

history of man,

peace is truly possible.

An Essay by
Arnoldo Ventura

T his has largely resulted from the fact that there are
now credible alternatives to war and that war itself
Shas an clement of total finality which supersedes any
strategic expediency it may possess.' Both, the various
altematies to war and its awesome destructive powers, are
the consequences of the modern scientific revolution.
In his relentless quest to understand his surroundings, man
has invented a method of uncovenng truth called science.
Observations, analyses and logical reasoning are deployed to
discover facts objectively and to fit them into a comprehen-
sive whole. Scientific results have proved to be so useful to
military and economic development that most aware nations
have invested heavily in encouraging ever-increasing
scientific activity. The explosion of information thus created
has literally transformed all aspects of life as technology, the
practical application of science, affects man's environment.
In considering the possibility of world peace, we find that
the concept of development becomes important. Develop-
ment refers to a country's ability to satisfy its material,
cultural and spiritual needs. When a country can supply its
material needs and wants, it is referred to as developed. If it
cannot, it is defined as underdeveloped. It should be
recognized however, that a nation may be underdeveloped in
a spiritual and psychological sense, while developed in a
material sense. This is true of many of the highly
industrialized countries today.
The intent of this essay is to provide a working under-
standing of peace. Ways in which a more peaceful world may
be created are explored and the role of science and its tech-
nologies in this quest are adumbrated, together with sugges-
tions for promoting a just and lasting peace.

Peace and its Enemies
[V or analytical purposes, there are two types of peace:
negative peace and positive peace.2 Negative peace
exists when there is the absence of violence or
hostilities, while positive peace prevails when there is not
only an absence of tension and violence, but also a

community of interest among people, impelling them to
cooperate in an atmosphere of kinship, justice and mutual
respect. Peace among nations must go beyond mere political
diplomacy. It must include social, cultural and economic
relations based on voluntary cooperation which is, in turn,
founded on equity and justice. Understanding, friendship and
mutual enrichment will surface in positive peace so that
intellectual and moral fellowship will naturally follow.
Military security will then be replaced by economic security,
the foremost security of all.
Both war and peace start in the mind of man. For true
peace to exist, a new psychological awareness must embrace
peace as the overriding precondition for human progress.
Peace must replace war as the power-base for man if he is to
harness his true potential.
Observations over the years have led to the identification
of certain elements which promote tension, sporadic violence
and, ultimately, war. Chief among these influences are the
great material disparities within and among societies. In both
developed and underdeveloped countries, these disparities
often reach extreme proportions when the basic needs of
large sections of a population are denied as the direct result of
exorbitant self-interest and rugged individualism in socio-
political systems. Jamaica is a prime example of these sorts
of divisions. Because of the small size of the island and the
extremes in economic disparities, which are among the worst
in the world, excessive need and over-whelming greed rub
shoulders daily.
The gap between the well-being of a few and the vital
needs of the majority of mankind is steadily growing.
Appalling conditions, distantly associated with early
capitalism, now exist in many underdeveloped countries as a
consequence of misguided attempts to cater to an absurd
international economic order, based on the ideology of a so-
called free market system. The results are islets of wealth in a
sea of poverty and despair. In Jamaica the results are
internecine violence and murderous assaults on the
established order and those who are symbols of oppression.
Starvation, disease and premature death are the products
of such backward social systems. Underdevelopment is not



ordained; it is simply the result of an
organized system of domination and
exploitation. Among the most dan-
gerous consequences to the world of
this man-made poverty is that, each
second, legions of children are being
added to the pool of despair, without
the mental or physical strength to cope.
Over-population looms in these circum-
stances, outstripping all attempts to
ameliorate conditions.
Against this background of ignor-
ance, squalor and early death, a few
indulge in scandalous excesses of over-
consumption and ostentation. Scarce
resources are squandered worldwide in
maintaining military establishments
which now swallow over one thousand
billion dollars a year.3 More than a
quarter of the world's scientific effort is
spent in creating ever more powerful
weapons of terror and mass destruction.
So awesome have these weapons
become that they are no longer
considered to have a true military
rationale, because they cannot be used
to gain any serious military advantage.4
Once they are used, our human world
will end. Nevertheless, non-renewable
energy and mineral supplies, dwindling
capital and great scientific effort are
wasted yearly on a massive scale to
maintain so-called security. This is
surely a monstrous waste of human
capacity, tending to provoke war and
militate against peace.
Our planet is now under tremendous
pressure from the indiscriminate act-
ivities of man. Air, water and land are
being bombarded by the refuse of the
industrialization with which man
threatens his own existence. Industrial
and other activities in any one country
can now pollute and jeopardize life in
another. If this continues unabated, the
inevitable consequence is conflict.
Already there are claims and counter
claims as to who is responsible for acid
rain, ozone depletion, marine pollution,
destruction of sea life and pollution of
outer space. At the same time, the
pressures of poverty cause massive soil
erosion, with increased likelihood of
flooding across national boundaries,
and great disturbances in the balance of
atmospheric gases, the result of burning
fuels to provide domestic energy.
Not only is there pressure on our
ecosystem from population growth and
need, but also as sequels to the draco-
nian policies of multilateral funding
agencies.5 Some countries are destroy-

ing global life support systems just to
pay interest on massive foreign debts.
Brazil is destroying the Amazon forest,
with potentially disastrous effects on
ecological balance and world climate.6
Even here in Jamaica, woodlands are
being destroyed at the rate of three to
four per cent a year. Between 1981 and
1990, according to Dr Allan Eyre of the
University of the West Indies, 324,805
acres of forest were converted to other
uses. Already the underdeveloped
countries argue bitterly, when they are
asked to slow down their much-needed
development for the sake of the world's
environment, that they are being made
to pay for the decades of profligate
living in the industrialized states.
Another major source of internation-
al tension and potential conflict is
political arrogance. Because of their
privileged economic and military
positions, the industrialized states act as
if the rest of the world exists only to do
their bidding, assuming that their own
culture is the only one worth pre-
serving. Their contempt for inter-
national law and order belies their much
vaunted respect for justice and peace.
The lessons of history and the tran-
sience of empires, are lost on them, as
they dominate, discriminate, exploit and
pollute. At all levels of the so-called
civilized societies, the denial of legi-
timate human rights has been so perva-
sive that respect for life is still wanting.
Defiant children, as in Israel, have
begun to challenge political leadership,
launching campaigns of terror against
society itself.
Around the world the lessons of
crime, violence and acquisition are so
well learnt that, to gain partisan
advantage, financial power, perceived
rights or even to serve God, torture,
pillage and mutilation are practised with
bloody effect. Who is a terrorist is
defined by the cause which is being
attacked. The leaders have shown the
way and the children have learnt the
short-term gains of cruelty, imprison-
ment and the fear of death. Here in
Jamaica partisan politics have been held
responsible for starting the orgy of
guns. Now, however, politicians have
no way of controlling the recurring
waves of murder by the gun. In many
societies, the sale of guns of all kinds is
legitimized, irrespective of the deadly
consequences. So antagonism and hate
reign between brothers, causes and

Even when altruism is displayed, it
is laced with invidious sociopolitical
motives. Food, for example, is used as
an instrument of political blackmail,
financial and technical aid as a simple
way to promote trade, and offers of
education as a means of recruiting
adherents to political or religious
ideology. These realities must be
mentioned because the search for truth
is the only way toward a lasting peace.

The Way Toward Peace

r he lack of peace in the world
S arises essentially from the
Bankrupt striving of man to
maintain dominance over others and to
create material wealth far beyond the
practical needs of individuals and
societies. The way toward peace, then,
must begin with the amelioration, and
where possible elimination, of these
destructive courses.;The impediments to
peace which can be identified nationally
frequently mirror the problems at the
international level. Strictly national
problems are often the result of super-
stition, ignorance or insecurity.
In a general sense, it has to be
recognized that for peace to become
firmly entrenched, it must be actively
pursued at the highest levels of
leadership. The mere absence of war,
tension or conflict, in itself, is not
enough. For peace to break out, all
mechanisms of violence and confron-
tation must be removed, and in their
place, positive initiatives for peace
constructed. For example, glorification
of war must be viewed as barbaric,
armies must be abolished, and the sale
of armaments rejected as suicidal.
Doctrines of spheres of influence, vital
interests and surrogate states must be
abandoned. Military security must be
seen as a contradiction in terms. In its
place economic security must be sought
for each human being. This is not as
visionary as it may seem. In 1980 it was
estimated that seventeen billion US
dollars were required to feed, clothe,
house and provide health service for all
of humanity. This sum was consumed in
only two weeks in the arms industry.7
Jamaica's foreign debt of four billion
dollars could be repaid simply by stop-
ping one third of a day's expenditure in
the global arms race.
Disarmament will release immensely
significant resources. In addition, there







is perhaps no other source of readily
available means of such magnitude. It
can therefore be argued that dis-
armament is a necessary precondition
for peace, but it is not enough. Along
with the elimination of chemical,
biological and conventional weapons,
must come a redistribution of the
resources which have been released.
A new International Economic Order
would undoubtedly be the result. This
must be coupled with the protection of
the environment, elimination of political
and economic imperialism and, above
all, the banishing of poverty before a
just and lasting peace can be implanted
on this planet. Furthermore, excessive
consumption, excessive population
growth and excessive permissiveness
affecting private interests all contribute
to global tension and violence, which
must also be curtailed. Ways must be
found to discourage obsessions with
possessions, power, and money, as all
these threaten the fragility of peace.
Finally the progress of scientific
knowledge has made it quite clear that
there is an inextricable link between
ecologically sustained development and
peace. Peace is a precondition for
adequate sustained development and
ecological stability, while ecological
stability is a precondition for peace.

Contributions of Science to Peace

science has contributed, directly
and indirectly, both to the
Is creation of obstacles to peace
and to the capability to remove these
obstacles. The current revolution in
science and technology has opened up
new vistas for social progress. At the
same time, it has resulted in violations
of nature, alienation of man, and the
military means to eradicate mankind.
Science is also responsible for the
curtailment of dreaded diseases, pro-
longation of the life span of man, in-
creased agricultural production, to the
point that all now can be fed, artificial
creation of life, rapid communication
throughout the planet and the explora-
tion of space. Science has literally
replaced nature as the limiting factor in
production and social progress and has
allowed man, for the first time, to chart
his own destiny.
Unfortunately, this tool has been
used so carelessly that overconsump-
tion for a few has resulted while many

are in dire need. Private profit has been
promoted over community welfare, and
appalling waste in the manufacture of
weapons has gripped the psyche of
man. In science, then, lie the fruits of
good and evil. Man has to decide which
aspect of science he will cultivate.
What man has fought for through
millennia can now be gained in peace
by science. No longer is there need for a
zero sum philosophy; i.e 'I gain, you
lose'. Nuclear weapons, the direct result
of theoretical physics, have made mil-
itary confrontation no longer a viable
alternative strategy for the resolution of
human differences. A third world war
would herald the end of civilization.8
Now all can benefit from the harvest of
science without commandeering what
rightfully should go to others. The
dramatic success of Japan and Ger-
many, the vanquished nations of World
War Two, stands as testimony to this.
Science today not only offers a
variety of ways to tackle chronic social
needs and stimulate material progress
but has also become a necessity for hu-
man survival. The ever-expanding de-
mands of man are creating funda-
mental environmental changes at such a
rapid rate that they are outstripping
nature's ability to adapt. New sciences
and new technologies will be required
to deal with the pressures of civili-
zation, urbanization and the pollution of
Science and technology have
replaced nature as the limiting factors in
production.9 The information age, i.e.
the rapid generation and application of
information, and biotechnology, the
advanced use of living systems to gain
desirable products, both made possible
by modern science, are literally making
the traditional reliance on natural
resources anachronistic. Man has never
had so much influence on the course of
his future. He can now supersede nature
and chart his own destiny.10 He has an
ever expanding range of opportunities
for human betterment.
Clearly, enough knowledge exists to
solve man's physical and material
problems. What appears necessary now
is the application of the scientific
method to human cognitive processes
and the instilling of behaviour con-
ducive to peace. It is to be hoped that
the outcome will be a collective will
and a pervading wisdom so that the
power of scientific knowledge may be

skilfully deployed to release man from
being a prisoner of his primitive
instincts. Truly it can be said that the
scientific method has provided the
means of harnessing the extensive
powers of human reasoning and hence,
the human spirit. From the point of
view of peace, the next millennium will
have to be that of the mind or it will not
be." So much then will hang on
Science has given us the tools to
eradicate all the material reasons for
poverty and it has shown us that pover-
ty threatens the entire planet. Pollution
comes not only from the new materials
and effluents of modern industry, but
also from the subsistence activities of
the ever increasing numbers of the poor.
For example, the greenhouse effect
cannot be abated without forests being
maintained. The poor however, are
compelled to burn trees to produce
domestic energy, depleting forests and
contributing to the growing layer of
gases which will eventually cause
heating of the planet. Sluggish attempts
to ameliorate poverty will result not
only in ecological degradation, but also
in growing numbers of angry, frus-
trated youths. The aging population of
the industrialized states, with their
military might and languid indifference,
will frequently have to confront the
fearless, ambitious and desperate
children of poverty and backwardness.
Not a very promising prospect for
peace. More knowledge, and under-
standing are now urgently required to
bridge the gap between the rich and
Fortunately science has provided
relatively cheap and convenient ways to
collect, analyze, transmit and display
au courant information worldwide.
What is now necessary is simply the
will to use these tools more for
enlightenment and harmony than for
propaganda and profit.
Many questions, whose genesis has a
direct bearing on peace, stem from
inexplicable occurrences and beg for
answers. The lack of food, health care,
education, and gainful employment,
which now grips more than seventy per
cent of humanity, must result in reduced
production, which in turn curtails
development and furthers penury, but
how is it that these conditions attract
world attention only for short periods of
famine or other dramatic upheavals?


The vast improvement in the dissemi-
nation of information today brings the
excesses and profligacy of the rich
constantly in full view, triggering rising
but forlorn aspirations, especially
among the disenfranchised young. Can
the results be anything other than
frustration and indiscipline, intolerance
and violence? In Jamaica today there
are almost daily cries from concerned
citizens for television to offer a better
balance of programmes with less US
glitter and more regional information.
At the same time a massive transfer
of capital from the poor to the rich
countries continues unabated.12 Save
the banks and destroy the world,
appears to be the message. Man has to
make a decision as to which is more
important, profits or peace.
Clearly the paradoxes caused by
science, in which a few have been
enabled to commandeer so much while
so many are allowed so little for their
survival, have to be rectified if peace is
to prevail. Advances in science and
technology must be better managed to
ensure greater equality and justice.
More equality, however, will be
contingent on using the steadily increas-
ing stock of scientific knowledge and
technological skills to promote
development where it is most needed.
The deliberate use of science for
socioeconomic development arose from
the experiences of the last world war,
but there is much still to be understood
about this process. Science policy
studies, therefore, have to be intensified
to provide the guidance which will
make science work more for peace than
for aggrandizement. The difficulty here
is exemplified by the fact that it took
Jamaica over ten years to promulgate a
science and technology policy because
many leaders could not see what the
immediate returns from such a policy
would be.
One fundamental means by which
science contributes to peace is the
substitution of detailed observations
and deductions for authoritarian and
arbitrary attitudes. Science has brought
to community life the idea of object-
ivity and the primacy of the exchange
of facts and opinions in the search for
truth. In a sense, science has freed the
intellect of man and as such has an
overpowering impact on his cultural,
religious and political life. Logically the

pursuit of science supports democracy.
True democracy will prevent techno-
logical imperialism with all of its
attendant ill effects. It is important for
Jamaica to remember that democracy is
not simply the holding of elections once
every five years, but a freeing of
individuals so that they can make mean-
ingful contributions to their society.
Poverty is therefore a reflection of an
under-democratized society.
As scientific knowledge spreads,
there is greater likelihood of rational
thought and, consequently, greater
possibilities for peace. It has to be ack-
nowledge, however, that the beha-
vioural and psychological sciences have
not advanced as far as the physical and
biological sciences. Perhaps this will
come with the renewed interest in
mental sciences and a closer working
relationship between physical and
biological studies and the social
sciences.13 Scientists by their pro-
fessional example and with their tradi-
tional disciplined, patient and tolerant
approach to their work can set examples
which can help build a new order; one
in which the individual's avarice and
self-centredness will give way to a
sense of common weal and cognizance
of posterity.
Many scientists are now actively
engaged in peace research, or in the
building up of a corpus of knowledge to
place peace on a firm foundation. In
conjunction with these are complemen-
tary efforts to identify the underlying
causes of conflicts and the motivation
that prompts man to indulge in the
carnage of war various studies. The
study of international laws is also being
undertaken for the purpose of facili-
tating global disarmament and is also
on the agenda of scientists. So, in a
direct way, scientists are calling on the
scientific method in order to bring
peace to the world.
Another direct way in which science
can contribute to the moulding of minds
to promote peace effectively is through
education. There is now a deliberate
desire to promote the teaching of peace
at all levels of the educational system.
Even though there is need for satis-
factory teaching aids, materials and
methods, certain elements have already
been identified for more enlightened
curricula. Young people should
certainly be encouraged to shun


exploitation of others and the various
forms of discrimination and injustice.
Such attitudes are based not only on
morality and abstract values but also on
the realities of the dislocation and strife
which such inequities breed around the
world. The educationalists who struc-
ture the new curricula of Jamaica's
educational system must include
elements relating to peace and social
harmony. Young Jamaicans must be
taught to reason and communicate,
shunning violence as a tool for the
resolution of conflicts. Moreover, an
appreciation of the history, philosophy
and evolution of science can help to
remove the vestiges of superstition,
bigotry and racism on which so much
repression is based. The history of
science will clearly show that the
progress of science is not a monopoly
of any one nation, era or race. Science
is a truly universal and rallying point
for rational thinking.15
Scientific workers have spoken out
against the merchants of war and have
shown the way toward peace. The anti-
war movement started with a few
scientists a decade ago16 and has now a
widespread and active following. Scien-
tists have also made decisive technical
contributions to the control of nuclear
weapons and have placed verification of
disarmament on a sound footing. By not
remaining indifferent to misguided
political authority and by informing the
general public about the massive waste
within the military establishment in
many countries, scientists have brought
the world nearer to peace.
Scientists have made it absolutely
clear that environmental protection
requires global cooperation and that this
can only take place in an atmosphere of
peace. They have also demonstrated
that problems such as ozone strato-
pheric disruption and the destruction of
other life support systems, global
warming, resource depletion, loss of
soil and genetic diversity can be solved
only by environmentally sound
technologies which will have to come
mainly from the rich industrialized
nations. For any corrective strategy to
be truly effective, the poorer countries
must be involved and, therefore,
technologies must be provided at
reasonable cost. This can never take
place in an atmosphere of hostility and

Conclusion and Recommendations

A lIthough wars continue, science
has rendered warfare obsolete
as an effective strategy for the
resolution of human problems. The
scientific method has demonstrated its
capacity to deal with intractable
material problems of human existence.
It has solved long recognized problems
and has shown its capacity to tackle
new ones.
The material base for peace is
available. It is now left to the scientific
process to provide the behavioral
foundation which will lead to lasting
peace on this planet. Countries which
have not invested in science must be
encouraged to do so because, without
science, the stability and prosperity
they seek will remain a forlorn dream.
Knowledge gained and knowledge
wisely used are the key to the resolution
of all the problems we face. To continue
to work from ignorance, contrived or
otherwise, is a perfect prescription for
failure materially, politically, culturally
and spiritually. The race for peace is
one between science and ignorance.
The present levels of scientific
knowledge and of technological pro-
gress are great enough to solve most
global problems of human develop-
ment, including population growth, the
food supply, health, environmental
decay and energy supplies. Only a
higher plane of cooperation is now
necessary to tap material and intellec-
tual resources in order to make a more
equitable world. Fruitful cooperation
among scientists in the use of the
results of their researches could, per-
haps, set the stage for greatly improved
human relations.
This new optimism should not over-
shadow the problems which have
recently emerged to threaten the march
toward peace. The warping of the
minds of the young with illicit drugs,
accelerated consumption of global
resources by a few nations, dumping of
toxic wastes in unsuspecting poor
countries, and growing anomie in
industrial societies are among such
threats. Because of the multidisci-
plinary nature of scientific research and
development and the extent of material
and organizational resources available,
there is a danger that these activities
will be centralized in a few rich
countries and corporations. If the
pattern of the last three decades per-

sists, then the results of this work will
become the property of a few who will
use them for their own interests and,
ultimately, for the control of others.
Smaller countries will be deprived of
the knowledge they need in order to
develop. The availability of scientific
and technological knowledge seems
poised to displace ideology as a primary
cause of world tension.
Science and technology have already
started a multidisciplinary assault on
such problems but the resources
necessary to redress them speedily have
yet to be applied to and involve enough
countries to be fully effective.
If the scientific movement is not
given full rein to provide answers in a
reasonable time, we may yet see more
causes of war. Already there are signs
that this may be the case. The tragedy
of the cult of drug lords, refugees from
degraded environments and growing
disappointment in modern life, are all
part of a potentially deadly process. As
we are no longer restrained by necess-
ity, we must now embrace the era of
responsibility. Let science come first
and give humanity a chance. This
message should not be lost on Jamaica.


1. 'The Nuclear Delusion', in 1939 J.
D. Berral's The Social Function of
Science 1989, Akademie-Verlag, 1989,
Berlin. See also the 'lethal index'
forwarded by M. G. K. Menon,
'Disarmament and Development'.
Scientific World 3: 1987.
2. UNESCO. Thinking Head -
UNESCO and the challenges of today
and tomorrow. Paris, 1977.
3. Stockholm International Peace
Research Institute (SIPRI). Year Book,
Stockholm, 1989 and M. G. K. Menon,
'Disarmament and Development',
Scientific World 3. 1987.
4. Pentz, M. 1989.
5. Policies of the International
Monetary Fund are premised on a set of
rules for all poor countries, which
inevitably lead to increased poverty and
destruction of social services. See T.
Killick et al. 'The quest for economic

stabilization: the IMF and the Third
World', The IMF and Stabilization,
Developing Countries' Experiences.
Heinmann Educational Books, London,
1984. Also see Development by People
- Citizen Construction of a Just World
by G. Gran, Praeger, New York, 1983,
for similar activities by the World Bank
and other aid agencies.
6. As Brazil's debt burden grows
poverty increases, forcing peasants to
burn trees to make space in the Amazon
rain forest to plant food crops.
7. J. M. Legay, 'Main trends in and
prospects for the development of
Science and Scientists' responsibilities
in working for peace'. Scientific World
3 1987. See also Global 200 Report
to the President Council on
Environmental Quality and the
Department of State Washington, 1980.
8. This is a widely held view among
scientists in the East as well as the
West, based on the destructive overkill
capacity of the awesome military
arsenal of the industrial nations, giving
rise to the concept of Mutual Assured
9. Expressed in a statement issued by
the Advisory Committee on Science
and Technology for Development to the
United Nations Center for Science and
Technology for Development, Sept-
ember 1989.
10. Ibid.
11. Statement attributed to French
cultural historian, Andr6 Malraux.
12. Clairmonte F. and Cavanagh J.
'Third World debt crisis threatens
collapse of world trade and financial
systems'. IFDA Dossier 59. May/June
1987. See also Girvan, N. F. 'Adjust-
ment vs Austerity. Is there an alter-
native?' IFDA Dossier 45.
13. Batchelor, D. B. 'The Technolo-
gical Mentality. A crucial challenge to
education in arts and sciences'. Arts in
Education 86. 1985.
14. Legay, J. M. 'Science must
consider the reality of complex
systems'. Scientific World 1. 1986.
15. Sarton, G. The History of Science
and the new Humanism. New York:
George Braziller Inc., 1956.
16. See publications of the World
Federation of Scientific Workers and
Bulletin of Atomic Scientists.


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

-4 '

We call this a

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

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


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Glimpses of Jamaica's Natural History

The Jamaican Iguana
(Cyclura collei)

he largest lizard in Jamaica is the endemic Jamaican Iguana (Cyclura
collet), one of the island's largest land animals. It can grow to a total length
of 5 feet and possibly more. The species has managed to survive in the
Hellshire Hills but is now on the brink of extinction due to severe stresses
including the destruction of its habitat and the threat of introduced species,
among them the mongoose. Stringent conservation measures are urgently
Conservation strategy is now being developed by a group consisting of
members of the Zoology Department at the University of the West Indies, the
Hope Zoo, the Institute of Jamaica and the Natural Resources Conservation
Division. The picture above was taken during a recent survey of the Jamaican
Iguana in the wild carried out in Hellshire by members of this group.

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