Front Cover
 Table of Contents
 Back Cover

Title: Jamaica journal
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00090030/00078
 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: December-April 2005-2006
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: VID00078
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 01797964
lccn - 75027862
issn - 0021-4124

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
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    Table of Contents
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    Back Cover
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Full Text


ui n

The Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ) was established as a statutory corporation through an enabling
legislation, the Petroleum Act 1979. The Corporation s mandated to develop conventional and alternative sources
of energy in a sustainable manner through global trade and/or partnerships geared towards national development.
PCJ is committed to the reduction of the nation s heavy dependence on imported petroleum to meet its energy
requirements. As Jamaica's Total Energy Company, PCJ is responsible for implementing the National Energy Policy.
The Corporation owns and operates three (3) major subsidiary companies: Petrojam Limited, Petcom Limited and
Wigton Windfarm Limited. The PCJ Group of Companies falls under the portfolio of the Ministry of Commerce,
Science and Tecnnology.

Petroam Limited, Jamaica's Energy Company is at the core of the operations of the PCJ Group. Mandated to process
the range of quality petroleum fue products from crude oil to supply the nation's demand for energy at least cost
the 36,000 barrels per day Petrojam Refinery refines crude oi purchased under Government-to-Government
Agreements with Mexico and Venezuela ane from other ad hoc suppliers. The company also supplements production
with finished products from Trinidad and Tobago. In addition to fueling power generation, transportation, including
aviation and marine, the industrial and domestic sectors, the Company also manages the operations of its fully
owned subsidiary, Petrojam Ethanol, which manufactures fuel grade ethanol for export to the United States.

PetCi m
The Petroleum Company of Jamaica Limited, (Petcom) has gained the distinction of being recognized
as the conscience of the Jamaican petroleum market through a growing network of thirty (30) Service
Stations, including its flagship station in Portmore, St Catherine. The Company supplies liquefied
petroleum gas (LPG) to twelve (12) Filling Plants and their dealers, directly to bulk commercial users
and to the domestic market under the household name of Cookie Cooking Gas. Petcom also supplies
asphalt heavy fuel and diesel oils to the industrial sector. Always "Rising to your Expectations",
the company supplies high performance PACE lubricants to the transportation sector


Located in Wigton, Manchester, Wigton Windfarm Limited (Wigton) owns and operates a 20.7 MW plant
and is the largest wind farm in the Caribbean. The Company aims to provide increased wind power and
other renewable energy technologies to generate electricity, which will be sold to the national grid. A
primary objective of Wigton is the provision of tangible and affirmative action from Jamaica as a signatory
of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, regarding the reduction of greenhouse
gases. Wigton provides an environmentally friendly source of energy and is the first Jamaican company
to earn carbon credits for emissions reduction.

Fuelling Jamaica's Development

36 Trafalgar Road, Kingston 10, Jamaica West Indies, Tel: (876) 929-5380; Fax: (876) 929-2409, Email: ica@pcj.com

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Group tours (ten persons or more) by appointment.

Bank of Jamaica
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Tel.: 922 0750; Fax: 922 0416; Email: pr@boj.org.jm

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Roger Mais's Jamaica

Kingston's Dancehall Spaces

Monuments, Memorialisation
and Decolonisation in Jamaica

As the John Crow Flies:
A Preliminary Survey of Aerial Images of Jamaica

Finnish Sailors
Among World War II Internees


Cecil Baugh A Tribute

Osmond Watson A Tribute


Protecting Our Medicinal Plant Heritage:
The Making of a New National Treasure

Images of Einstein


East to West:
The Indian Presence in Jamaica

Musgrave Gold Medallists:
Olive Senior and Richard Hart


The Comforting Arms


Book Reviews

Near Death Experience: A Holographic Explanation
by Oswald G. Harding

From Carvey to Marley: Rastafari Theology
by Noel Erskine

',, r'I -.'-" : '- ; .

Jamaica Journal Vol. 29 No. 3
December 2005 April 2006
Kim Robinson-Walcott
Assistant Editor
Shivaun Hearne
Editorial Committee
Petrine Archer-Straw
Rupert Lewis
., r I L, lil -

Editorial Assistant
Latoya Pennant
Design and Production
Image Factory Limited
Faith Myers
Advertising and Sales
Tamara Williams-Martin
Mapco Printers Limited
Jamaica Journal is published by
the Institute of Jamaica
All correspondence and subscription
requests should be addressed to:
Institute of Jamaica
10-16 East Street, Kingston, Jamaica
Telephone: (876) 922-0620-6
Fax: (876) 922-1147
Email: ioj.jam@mail.infochan.com
..... . rrur, -, ,,T,
Back issues
Most back issues are available. List sent on request.
Entire series available on microfilm from:
ProQuest Information and Learning
Periodicals Acquisitions
P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106-1346
Telephone: (734) 761-4700
Individual copies J$600/US$10; a subscription for
three issues is available from the Institute of Jamaica
forJ$l,800/L ... .i j. -.. i -,, ..p ..-, ,,..1 i, ...ii,,C
Cheque or international money order payable to the
Institute of Jamaica.
Articles appearing in Jamaica Journal are abstracted
and indexed in Historical Abstracts and America:
History and Life.
Vol. 29 No. 3
Copyright 2006 by the Institute of Jamaica
ISSN 0021-4124
Cover or contents may not be reproduced in whole or
in part without the written permission of the Institute
of Jamaica.
Cover: Painting by Roger Mais appearing on the cover
of The Hills .. 1., ..I Toygtler (Jonathan Cape, 1953).

Roger Mais's


11 AUGUST 1905-15 JUNE 1955


Two generations ago, Jamaica's most outstanding political
novelist died, leaving his country a precious legacy: three
published novels, many paintings, short stories, plays,
and a number of political essays that helped to change our
social and political consciousness. Fiercely anti-colonial,
bitterly aware of Jamaica's class structure and its attendant
socioeconomic ills, Mais showed the Jamaica of his time its
faults and shortcomings in fiery, poetic prose. The slums
of Kingston came to life in his novels The Hills Were Joyful
Together (1953) and Brother Man (1954). Two impressions of The
Hills came out in 1953 alone. These novels fell like bombshells
on literate Jamaica, challenging what we were, and what we
might become. Even as late as 1971, a middle-aged primary
schoolteacher asked me in a whisper, "Is this true? Are we
really what Roger Mais says we are?" To have forced such a
reaction constitutes Mais's greatest gift to his country.
Concealed within this great gift lies another, seemingly
different in nature but equally far-reaching: it is the fact that
these are first and foremost novels about and for Jamaica.
We are Mais's primary audience. The Jamaicanness of the
writing, the shaping of a way of expression belong exclusively
to Jamaica, and to all Jamaica. Although others such as H.G.
de Lisser had written fiction set firmly in Jamaican life, their
impact was far less than that of Mais. Yet Mais did not create
a model for other Jamaican novelists to follow. Instead, he
showed that creativity is itself the model, that the world of
Jamaica offers as great a potential for literary experiment as
any other, and that any of us had the right to use the material
of our lives and history in the making of art. When he gave
us his novels, we had no notion of a Caribbean literature,
let alone Jamaican literature. The idea was laughable. In his
fiction we saw and still see the burning energy of the
artist's imagination, refusing to be told to shut up and read
other peoples' literatures and instead gathering eagerly from
all sources the material to create his own: our own.
Herein lies the essence of Mais as pioneer. He demon-
strates a truth repeated again and again in the cycles of
human oppression and liberation: the artistic imagination
is inherent to the human condition. Attempts to impose
cultural domination by one group upon another eventually
fail because the fertile minds of the despised and dispossessed
gradually absorb and alter the models of the conqueror. In
time there arises a wholly new vision of life in which can be
traced not merely the imposed, donated and dismembered
elements, but a way of seeing and speaking that is utterly new.
In Derek Walcott's words, the new art is born of "the writer's

making creative use of his schizophrenia, an electric fusion of
the old and the new".'
This "electric fusion of the old and the new" appears
in Mais's use of biblical language, imagery and symbols
interwoven with the raw diction of realism, and further
interwoven with the dialectal voices of the people of the lane
and the tenement yard. Chorus and choric commentaries -
very much the stuff of theatre drive home the tragic meaning
of the lives of his characters. In The Hills Were Joyful Together,
the narrative voice brings us into the mind of Tansy, a young
girl, forced to miss school to help her mother, Charlotta:

Got to get these clothes wrung out and pinned on the line
... scared of scorpions and green lizards and things, no
foolin' . Ma ought to talk to that Manny real hard ...
that was her now, singing over the bake-sheets ...
Lo, when the day of rest was past
The Lord, the Christ, was seen again;
Unknown at first, he grew to sight:
"Mary" he said she knew him then:

Much later, when the shocking death of Tansy's father
takes place, Charlotta sings the next verse of the same hymn,
establishing her strength in suffering and her fortitude. On the
other hand, Rema, the loving and innocent soul at the centre
of this novel, goes insane and sets herself on fire, her mind
tormented by visions of a Christian hell. As the novel carries the
reader between the many lives of the tenement yard, through
jealousy, love, murder, kindness, endurance, sadism, religious
mania and hopeless yearnings, Mais the author ensures that we
never cease to feel and see the texture of these lives.
Here is a glimpse of life in prison, some sixty years


ago. Rema's lover Surjue, whose
imprisonment brings about her insanity,
looks at his fellow prisoners in the St
Catherine General Penitentiary:

He saw the teeming thousands of
lost men who had been processed
between these walls ... their faces
gaped and grinned at him, their
gnarled and twisted bodies, their
sick bodies, their bodies hunched
above crutches, were without
human form, as their faces were.
.. they grimaced, and wore their
faces like masks, and were cowed
and broken, without pride or
humility... only negation, that
was all...3

Surjue's eyes are literally Mais's
own eyes, showing us what he saw as
a political prisoner within those same
walls in 1944. This is a point to which
we will return, for it sheds light on
why Mais has remained in print and
in our sense of our Jamaicanness for
half a century. Mais speaks directly in
terms we recognize. His highly visual
style a painter's style at its best
- shows us people we know, in places
of which we have heard and to which

Covers of Maiss novels: top, the three novels
republished in one volume by Jonathan Cape in
1966; centre, the original editions published by
lonathan Cape in 1953, 1954 and 1955, featuring
Mais's illustrations; bottom, the Heinemann editions
published in 1974, 1981 and 1983.

R(-)(,[ R MAI





we are connected, however tenuously. We all know the nature
of our prisons and jails. We have always known. Today one
might fairly ask, Who and what was Roger Mais? Born one
hundred years ago, he came from a Jamaica that forms the
underpinnings of today's Jamaica. Yet that Jamaica is in many
ways a foreign country. Urban and rural landscapes have
changed almost beyond recognition. Triumphs and disasters
which to us are the matter of history books were, to him, topics
of immediacy and of tales told by parents and grandparents:
slave uprisings; the Maroons in the mountains; the building
of the Panama Canal; the Crimean War; the building of the
Jamaica Railway, one of the world's most brilliant feats of
engineering; hurricanes; earthquakes; deaths from cholera,
smallpox and typhoid; deaths from malnutrition and ackee
poisoning; deaths from obeah; Revivalist movements and
myalism; the coming of Indian and then of Chinese labourers;
times of plenty, times of starvation. "[One] of his great-
grandfathers was sentenced to the stocks for harbouring run-
away slaves."4 In the first thirty years of his life, Roger Mais's
views and sensibilities were encouraged, shaped, shocked, and
challenged by a social memory very different from that which
prevails today.
The structure of Mais's world, his family, and his early
life play a most important role in explaining the man and his
work. One of seven children, Mais was born in Kingston but
grew up in the Blue Mountains on a remote coffee farm. His
parents, Eustace and Anna Mais, occupied a very specialised
niche in Jamaican society of those times, one that would have
been recognized and respected by everyone who came in
contact with them. Below the plantocracy in landed wealth
and social caste, above many wealthier farmers by virtue
of education and refinement, the light-skinned Maises a
druggist and schoolteacher respectively brought up their
children in devout knowledge of Christian liturgy and hymns,
with the King James Bible as the basis of belief. His parents
and siblings would have been regarded as very respectable
people as people of some authority by those above and
those below them in the social scale. While speaking Standard
Jamaican English at home and in school, Mais would also have
acquired and used Jamaican Creole, and would have known
many of the folk rituals, songs, tales and proverbs of this part
of rural Jamaica. In this isolated and intimate world, the two
Jamaicas African and British co-existed naturally in the
mind of a child such as he. Nothing in his life or work suggests
that Mais ever saw himself as the "divided child" of Derek
Walcott's colonial world. Division existed, but at the heart
of his political doctrine lies a unifying mystical vision of the
oneness of all humanity.
Unlike John Hearne or Derek Walcott, Mais was not
a university man, nor had he the intellectual and bookish
appetites of C.L.R. James and Alfred Mendes. He shows
not the faintest desire to belong to any literary school or to
imitate any particular author. He preferred to tell his story in

TOP: Roger Mais, Group, 1953 (The A.D. Scott Collection, National Gallery of
LEFT: Roger Mais, Cane Cutters, n.d (Collection: Main Library, The University of
the West Indies, Mona)

his own way, even if the result shows
unevennesses and occasional gaffes.
Like Jean Rhys, he used only what
was immediately to hand and to ear,
the everyday discourse of his island.
To this he added the socialist thinking
prevalent in the National Movement
of the 1930s, the Fabian socialism of
Norman Manley, Mais's close friend.
Mais's concern for justice and social
equity emerge very directly at times. He
often fuses imagery and symbols from
the Bible with social commentary, his
most outstanding achievement being
the Christ-like figure of John Power,
the bearded man who goes beyond the
teachings of the Rastafarian movement
"for lack of instruction" to emerge as
the mystical healer and martyr (Brother
Man, 1954). These characters, from
Brother Man to the samfie counterfeiter
Papacita, enemy of Brother Man; to
Cordelia, destroyed by loss, poverty,
grief and religious mania; and, most of
all, to the people of the Lane portrayed
equally as suffering individuals and as
vicious mob, these all show how deeply
Mais had absorbed this universe into
his being.
We recognize the truth of these
portraits today. Yet, while we know that
this Jamaica no longer exists, we have
the uncomfortable sense of belonging
to something we cannot quite grasp
or face. In comparing his Jamaica
and ours today, a few facts serve to
illuminate what formed the world in
which he grew. The population was
much smaller: in 1891, the census
registered 639,500 people, and in 1911
the total was 831,400.5 In the Jamaica of
1905, sugar plantations still dominated
agriculture. But this was also a Jamaica
of small farmers, many of whom
could raise on two acres enough fruit,
vegetables and cash crops to feed large
families. A glance at the statistics of the
Jamaica Gazette for 1890 to 1910 tell this
story. A great many of the tiny farms
existed on Crown lands, sometimes
on land acquired from broken-down
plantations through personal efforts
by ex-slaves, sometimes whole
villages organised by missionaries
to settle the freed people after 1838.
These farms were never sufficient,
however, to support and employ the

whole population of recently enslaved
people, and crops can fail. Most of
the population lived in such rural
areas, dividing their time between
their smallholdings and work on
sugar estates and banana plantations
serving the United Fruit Company.
These small farms alongside the large
estates growing sugar and bananas
represent the "two economies" which
underpin the "two Jamaicas", the Us
and the Them. This idea forms the
core of Philip D. Curtin's Two Jamaicas:
The Role of Ideas in a Tropical Colony,
1830-1865. First published in 1955 by
Harvard University Press, Curtin's
ground-breaking work illustrates
the origins and growth of a divided
world well known to Mais. Poverty
has clear historical roots, and clear
When times grew hard, people
left the land and went to towns in
search of work. At times, the destitute

, ., .s, Workers, 1953 (TheA.D Scott
National Gallery of amaica)

wandered from parish to parish
seeking work and help. As Roger Mais
grew up, times became harder. Four
hurricanes hit Jamaica during World
War I. The banana industry in St Mary
lay in ruins. Some of the rich became
poor. Wages fell. Malnutrition spread.
Urban drift began even before Mais
was born, and accelerated so rapidly
between 1914 and 1938 that Kingston
became a city with troubling slums.
Other emigrants went further, to Cuba,
Panama, New York, just as others had
gone to Nicaragua and Venezuela. The
legend of the wandering Jamaican was
growing. Not all of these emigrants
were of the rural poor: many were
of Mais's educated middle class. The
country exported Us and Them. Mais
would also have found that many
Jamaican families consist of Us and
Them: irony and paradox have played

Now We Know

YBy That the sun may never in dungeons of gold mines
ROGERl MIAIS .set upon the groaning of and silver mines and diamond
Now we know why the people of alien races who min n e and upon sugar
draft of the New Consti- have been brought the bless- plantations anrd rubber plant-
.tution has not been publish- ings of empire; of famine and nations and tea plantations.
ed before. The authors of nIname and the sword........ For the great idea of
that particular piece of hypo- That the sun may never )emocra which relegate
cricy and deception are the set upon the insolence and lnoiray w rele
'little men who are hopping arrogance of one race toward all niggers of whichever
about like mad all over the all others; and especially to race to their proper place in
British Empire implement- those whose manhood' they the sce me of political
ing the real official policy, bold in eternal bondage economy:
implicit in statements made through their own straw-
by the Prime Minister from bosses and quislings and cheap That we Colonials may
time to time. jim-cracks and all the scabs ever sing in our schoolrooms
That man of brave speeches and blacklegs and yes-men those rousiirg songs like
[has told the world again and and betrayers of their own There'll Always Be An
(again that he does not in- whom they can buy for a England and Rule Britannia
-tend the old order to change; piece of ribbon- to wear on and the rest...................
that he does not mean to their coats or a medal to
yield and inch in concess- wear on their coats or some That we might take an
ions to anyone, least of all letters to come after their equal pride with all English-
to people in the Colonies, names or for the privilege men i ii the glory of the
Time and again he has avow- of calling some big-wig by Greatest Empire upon Earth;
ed in open parliament that, his first name 'Hello, Bill'! that we may rejoice we arc
in so many words, what 'Hello, Charlie, how's the boy'! privileged to serve it seeing
we are fighting for is that or with a sinecure of office it couldn't exist without us.
Ei l;.and might retain her ex- with access to travelling ex- That we may take pride
elusive prcroga tti o e to the
conquest and enslavement of penses or with other such great hunks of red meat upon
other nations, and she will scraps which fall unnoticed which the noble Lion feeds
not brook competition in that from the full table where thnat he might have the great.
particular field from anyone. the unholy feast i devour- sie'ws and tie fierce blood
For it is not the uon-dibso- ed by their lords and masters. and the mighty roar to afright
lution of the Empire that For such things as these his enemies.......
is aimed at-there ire free Colonials from all parts of That we may rise uti-
dominions within the Empire Empire are fighting........ fully to our feet and sin
--but it is the non-disso- w t od ave ti
lution of a colonial system Ior such things as these. with the rest, God Save the
which permits the shameless our young men have added King before we take our seats
exploitation of those colonies their names to the roll of in the cinema or after the
across the seas of pir onoured dead l n ith their s how.......................
across the seas of an Empire ote ad ie n is
upon which the sun never sets mothers and wives pand sis hat we might rejoice in
ters and sweethearts present That we might rejoice in
That the sun may never at the unveiling and proud our bonds and join in sneer-
uct. upon aggression and ine- to honour their dead ing at the great socialist re-
qluality and human degrdyn For such things........ publics which comprise the
action; that the sun may never .greatest state upon earth....
set upon privilege and re- That the sun may never
pression and exploitation..... set upon the great British That we might rejoice in
That the sun may never tradition of J)emocracy which our poverty and degradation
.et upon the putting of one chains men and women and and sickness and ignorance
inan's greed before the blood little children with more than and s o r e s; for is ac-
andi the sweat of a million. physical chains; chains of counted muore blessed to be
That the sut may never ignorance and the apathy of poor..................
set upon urchins in rags and the underfed and the submiss-, Fr suc things as ilese
old men and old women in ivt.nes which is a spiritual or suc h a tes
rags, prostrate with hunger sickness in the thews anid w .are lighting side by side
and sores upon the sidewalks sinews of a man; chains thcn wth others in the good cauc;
of cities and upon straw Now w now
pallets among vermin in poor-
houses and prisons and homes. I PUBLIC OPISNIO TUESDAY, JULY 11, 1944.

happily in the family trees of Jamaica,
another reason for the anxious division
into Us against Them. And every class
sees itself as Us, and all others as Them.
Political power derived from
landed wealth. The landowning class
was made up not of smallholders,
but of the plantocracy, the owners of
scores, or hundreds, or thousands of
acres. These were the men who met
in the courthouse in Morant Bay in
1865 when Paul Bogle led a group of
rebel small farmers to demand better
treatment for the disenfranchised
poor. The Morant Bay Rebellion would
certainly have been discussed by many
around him when Mais was growing
up. He would have been aware of the
Jamaica Assembly's surrender of self-
government to the British Colonial
Office after the disastrous events of
the uprising and its aftermath. The
names of Governor Eyre and of his
successor, Sir John Peter Grant, would
have been stamped on him through
the oral histories of his family and
their friends. Most significantly, Mais
occupied a place in the social hierarchy
- the child of educated professionals
- that served him well. His working life
included positions such as education
officer, reporter-photographer for the
Daily Gleaner, overseer on a banana
plantation, and editor. His eye and
ear received the stimulation needed
to make him artist, sculptor, novelist
and playwright: all the ingredients lay
around him, and he had the sensibility
to absorb this rich world. He would
have known at first hand both the
lives of the rural poor, and those of
the 'better off': Them and Us. Hence
his insight into the slum dwellers of
Kingston when, as a journalist and
political activist, he walked the streets
of Kingston and heard singing, talking,
jokes, curses and laments that had
originally come from Jamaica's rural
This was the deprived underclass
about which he wrote his most famous
newspaper article, "Now We Know".
It appeared in Public Opinion, 11 July
1944. It attacked Winston Churchill
for his expressed policy of keeping
the British Empire intact after the end
of World War II. Worse, it painted

Roger Mais, Self-Portrait, c. 1950 (appearing on the
inside flap of the original editions of the novels)

the Empire's rule in terms not of
heroism and grandeur, but of want,
suffering and oppression. Mais sent
copies of the article to friends and
political sympathisers overseas. Mail
was censored it was wartime and
a zealous clerk, none other than a
woman who would turn out to be
my husband's aunt, took the letters
to the authorities. Mais was tried and
sentenced to six months in prison. He
served four months and returned even
more incensed by his experiences in
the General Penitentiary. His Jamaican
patriotism burned higher than ever.
Strangely enough, so did the patriotism
of Miss Violet D'Costa, who had
turned in his letters to the censor: Us
and Them. I much doubt that she read
any of his books. Indeed, she failed
to grasp the meaning of the turbulent
events of 1938, that year in which
strikes, riots, the virtual shut-down
of Kingston and the emergence of a
trade union movement led by Norman
Manley and Alexander Bustamante
began to change the "two Jamaicas".
Mais would have been hugely amused
by an encounter between Miss D'Costa
and Frank Hill at a King's House
reception sometime in the 1960s. She
asked Frank in some bewilderment,
why was the date 1938 constantly
mentioned? "That, dear lady," Frank
replied, "was the year when your class
lost its privileges and power." "Oh,"
said Miss D'Costa, "I never noticed."
Others, however, had.

It is difficult today even for
someone like me who first read Mais
in 1953-54 to re-live the shock of his
work when first it appeared. Pioneering
thinkers and artists obliterate their
own past: we cannot return to what
the world was like before that shock.
Those who did not live in Mais's world
have an even greater task, trying to fit
the world he depicts and from which
he derives into the changing times
that have flowed away since his work
first appeared and began its task of
challenging us.
I recall clearly how Roger Mais's
novels first came my way. Between
the ages of sixteen and seventeen,
a sixth former and head girl at St
Hilda's Diocesan High School for
girls in Brown's Town, I enjoyed
escaping to Kingston and to the radical
conversations of my aunt, Mrs Edith
Dalton-James. A founding member of
the People's National Party, my aunt
belonged to Roger Mais's world and
shared his vision of a "new Jamaica". In
1953, she lent me her copy of The Hills
Were Joyful Together.
My world shifted.
Kingston was no longer simply the
shabby capital, the place with shops,
libraries, movie theatres and Hope
Gardens. It was not even the world of
small neat houses in Vineyard Town,
Whitfield Town or Trench Town, or the
expanse of May Pen Cemetery with
its tended gravestones, or the crowds
around Coronation Market. The upper-
working-class poverty of Greenwich
Town and Maxfield Avenue was wealth
when compared to Moonlight City
and the Dungle. Here, beyond Spanish
Town Road and in other parts of the
capital lay the open sores of Jamaican
society. And when one looked through
the eyes of Mais's characters, one saw,
vividly, painfully, children with swollen
bellies, people living in crates and
tacked-together huts in Sandy Gully,
waiting for the next rainy season to
wash them away.
In 1954 Ileft school. It was the
custom then at my school to offer the
departing head girl her choice of a
book or books as a prize for service.
In those days, I hated my school. Its
class assumptions, its quiet, relentless


Edna Manley, Portrait of Roger Mais, 1944 (National Gallery of lamaica)

racism, and its deep unhappiness made me a rebel. In Mais
I found a kindred spirit, or rather, a kindred conflagration.
I asked for his works as my school prize. I hoped to offend
the school hierarchy, and I expected either a blank refusal or
hypocritical reasons as to why Mais's work was unsuitable. I
certainly did not expect copies of The Hills Were Joyful Together
and Brother Man with the school's inscription. These first
editions became treasured possessions from that moment. The
prize also made me wonder how much I really understood
about my school, my own Jamaicas, and how much other
educated Jamaicans understood. The ripples from Mais's
earthquake had begun to spread.
One of the best introductions to Mais, maker of
earthquakes, is the prefatory essay by N.W. Manley written
in 1965 for The Three Novels of Roger Mais. Mais's third novel,
Black Lightning, joins the others and presents a rural world
used to frame the internal, tragic turmoil of an artist. Norman
Manley saw both the special nature of Mais's many gifts and
their role in the Jamaica of the 1930s and 1940s:
I knew Roger Mais intimately, and I lived and had my
being in the National Movement from its birth until its
ultimate success. I firmly believe that Roger Mais was a
product of that moment of history and drew from it the
direction and power and purpose which his writings
The new birth of Jamaica in 1938 did many things,
but one thing stands out like a bright light: the National
Movement brought with it a great upsurge of creative
energy. We suddenly discovered that there was a place
to which we belonged, and when the dead hand of

colonialism was lifted a freedom of spirit was released and
the desert flowered. Our best young men plunged deep into the
lives of the people and came up with poems and ,,I ,i,,.t with
vivid and powerfid books [my italics].
It was a strange world they discovered; strange, most
of all, in the fact that it was not a world where different
cultures had blended into any single significant pattern.
But a world divided and split in a manner as peculiar as
it was deep-seated. It was not just a question of colour,
nor yet of rich and poor; it was a matter of differences
that involved widely different acceptance and rejections
of values, different interpretations of reality, the use
of identical words to express different concepts and
No Jamaican writer working in those early days of our
National Movement could do a greater service for us all than
to interpret that other world to which the majority belonged for
the rest of us to see and understand [my italics]. No Jamaican
writer was better equipped to do that job than was Roger

Here one sees calmly and rationally displayed, the
disunited, numerous Jamaicas of our past. The italicised
passages not only explain the reality of dissimilar, co-
existent Jamaicas, but demonstrate the instinctive sexism
and class divisions of the times:' "our best young men"
entering a "strange" world, a world unknown to "us", for
which we need interpreters. Meanwhile, "we" inhabit the
world of the educated Us versus Them, the mysterious,
illiterate People. Some, however, have always lived in more
than one Jamaica, and no pronouns can be found to inscribe
such people.
This multiform Jamaica is the result of three hundred
years of sugar and slavery, of plantations and piracy (not to
mention pimps and prostitutes), and finally of emancipation
into a land that was alien to all, but most of all to the Africans
transported from a distant continent. It was a Jamaica marked
with three significant events set a century apart: 1738-39, the
victory of the Maroons; 1838, full emancipation; 1938, the
"new Jamaica" of trades unions and political parties, of self-
determination. Because he inhabited this Jamaica in its many
social dimensions, Mais was able to let its most alienated
voices speak through him. His prose varies in quality and
mode, with certain obvious lapses of diction. Never, however,
does the sense of purpose waver. Never does he inject himself
into the discourse: he remains the servant of his vision. First
published by Jonathan Cape in the 1950s and again in 1966,
Mais's novels have been issued in the Heinemann Educational
series as well as latterly by Macmillan. Not many writers
have shown such sheer persistence.
At the midpoint of the twentieth century, Roger Mais
stood as the awakened conscience of Jamaica and as the
dawning artistic sensibility of a "new Jamaica" proud to be
itself. His urgent desire to help create this "new Jamaica"
came both from the man himself and from the times that
shaped him, and shaped his country. Others who also
laboured to bring about the "new Jamaica" went on working

Macmillan edition, 2004

in such organizations as Jamaica
Welfare, now long vanished. To many
of these idealists, the existence of
Us and Them was apparent, but the
gulf was not then unbridgeable. Or
so it seemed. Surely, once all of the
reforms in health, nutrition, education,
housing, workers' rights, parliamentary
democracy, political independence and
human rights had come to pass, surely
Jamaica would become out of many
- one people, peaceful and prosperous.
In those days the term 'butu' was a
seldom-heard verb meaning 'to stoop
down, to squat'. It was not a commonly
used noun to denote a huge class of
Them. Shade prejudice existed, but
the term'browning' would have been
unknown to Mais and his colleagues
in the New Movement. In their "new
Jamaica", the need for such expressions
would pass away forever.

1. See "What the Twilight Says: An
Overture", in Dream on Monkey Mountain
(New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux,
1970), 17.
2. Roger Mais, The Hills Were Joyful
i,, r. t I' The Three Novels ofRoger Mais
(London: Jonathan Cape, Ir'-.. i 21.
3. Ibid., 210.
4. The jacket notes to the first edition of
Black Lightning (London: Jonathan Cape,
1955) record this item. The design of
this and other jackets is based on Mais's

A cautionary note on his world and
ours comes from a colleague who bought
all of Mais's novels some years ago:

I have read only The Hills \., .
Joyful Together and was really
depressed for a week. Whenever
I think about it, I have a similar
reaction but not for that prolonged
period. In it I saw the beginnings
of the Jamaica we have today, a
society whose first reaction to
any perceived negative situation
is violence, often brutal. There is
no respect for human life, and the
connection between Us and Them
is really based on exploitation. I
have checked with two persons,
now in their nineties, who worked
with Jamaica Welfare, about the
cruelty and lack of real connection
between Them and Us expressed in
Mais and the reply was that [these
attitudes] existed in embryonic
form, but they were ignored for
the most part as in the new era
[everyone] expected that they
would automatically abort.

Much of what Mais dreamed of
and fought for in the fifty years of his
lifetime has passed into our discourse
and our assumptions of who and what
we are, and of what Jamaica is. Jamaica
quitted the British colonial system in
1962, complete with a national flag,
anthem, coat of arms, and a constitution
- but one lacking a bill of citizens'
rights. Successive governments of
Jamaica by Jamaicans have ruled with
varying success. Political parties and
trades unions exist, as a matter of
course, often tribalised and violent.
At one period in the last thirty years,

paintings, and this edition also provides
a small reproduction of a compelling
5. See Gisela Isner, Jamaica 1830-1930: A
Study in Economic Growth (Manchester:
Manchester University Press, 1961), 134.
6. See Philip D. Curtin, Two Jamaicas (New
York: Athenaeum, 1970), especially
7. N.W. Manley, introduction to The Three
Novels of Roger Mais (London: Jonathan
Cape, 1965), vi.

Jamaican banking was largely in
Jamaican hands, but it has once more
passed to foreigners. Sugar and bananas
barely exist in today's GDP, and the
small farmers of today are fewer,
less productive, and under greater
pressure than those of the distant past.
Emigration remains a constant, and
remittances, boasts the government,
form a large part of the economy. In
raw numbers, more schools, hospitals
and public services exist today than in
Mais's day, and not only do we have
universities but we have many other
tertiary institutions. At Chetolah Park
All-Age School, where my aunt Mrs
James served as headmistress fifty years
ago, violence has cut school attendance
by seventy per cent, and the schoolyard
is boxed in by crumbling walls giving
little shelter from passing gunmen.
The lignum vitae trees are gone. The
Rastafarian movement has passed into
the national culture, and beyond into
international awareness, but the lock-
up at the Constant Spring Police Station
reminds us that some things seem never
to change, and may indeed grow worse.
Jamaican artists flourish in every genre
from painting and sculpture to music
and literature. And there are hotels on
the north coast to which entrance is
barred. The garrison communities of
today's Kingston have no memory of
a rural past, of a lost innocence, and
no knowledge of the hills and valleys
of their homeland. Some adults in
Chetolah Park have never seen the
sea. A fourteen-year-old boy asked me
why did my father go and teach in that
wicked place, Whitfield Town? "It was
very different in 1944," I replied. One
wonders what Mais would make of our
new Jamaica. *o

8. One of the best explorations of this
mysterious "other" world is the brilliant
anthropological study My Mother Who
Fathered Me, by Edith Clarke (London:
Allen and Unwin, 1957; reprint,
Kingston: University of the West Indies
Press, 1999). Miss Clarke was one of
the leaders in the New Movement, a
daughter of the plantocracy but also a
descendant of missionaries. She was a
close friend of the Manley family.


Dancehall Spaces


.* IDancehall is a rhythm, a musical genre, a specific
volume, a social movement, a space, a profile, an
institution, a language, an attitude, a profession,
and much more. It is Jamaica's most popular street
theatre, and Kingston's inner cities constitute
7"" its creative home. 'Dancehall' first described the
venues in which dance events occurred. While it is
acknowledged that the 'dance/hall' in dancehall
culture describes the space or hall or lawn in which
dance events happen, little attention has been paid
to the spatial nuance implied in this name. Where
are these venues located? How are they used? Does
their use reveal anything about philosophies of
space in Jamaican culture? How have these venues
existed in relation to the State?
Mapping these performance spaces is a route
to expanding perspectives in urban and cultural
geography, performance and cultural studies,
by outlining what is best captured by the term
'performance geography'.' Performance geography
develops on definitions of cultural geography and
performance studies to look at the way people
living in particular locations give those locations
identity through performance practices. More
specifically, I see it as a mapping of the locations
used, types and systems of use, the politics of their
location in relation to other sites and other practices,
the character of events in particular locations,
and the ways in which different performances/
performers relate to each other within and across
different cultures.

In the 1950s it was "poor people who went to dance
halls".2 The 'dance' provided physical, ideological
and spiritual shelter for a generation of lower-class
Jamaicans, a generation mature enough by the
time of independence when the music ska became
popular. They asserted a new sense of self, a sense
of freedom that was reflected in the beat and tempo
of the music and dance.
The 'sound system night' or subculturall dance'
or 'sound system dance' venue is that place in
which consenting individuals meet in a cultural
system.3 Here, the sacred, the secular, politics and
economics merge in the celebration ritual of the
patrons, DJs, sound system, promoters, selectors,

dancers, vendors, crews and musicians.
Arguably, dance events were created
out of nothing, transformed once the
selector's turntable, speakers, drink
bar and patrons were in place. In most
cases, earth was the floor, sometimes
bounded by a metal fence or wall along
the perimeter. The organisation of these
elements defines spatial boundaries that
are maintained through structures such

*W -^B"**^a <.- ^j

as the systems of sound, dress, posture,
gesture and other bodily actions.
Dancehall venues were the spaces
in which an ordinary sound system
operator could achieve the fame of a
prime minister by vying for the title
of top sound system. Examples drawn
from popular dance culture in Jamaica
reveal that the typical venue is a bare,
mostly uncovered area. The owner of
Merritone sound system said:

You had the most important part
of the Jamaican scenario called
lawns, like Jubilee Tile Gardens
and Chocomo Lawn, big places
that were either concrete slab or
wire fence, and you'd have a dance
in that area, either at the back of
a house or the side of a building
a space where you could put up

Many venues were marginal
spaces such as a gully (ravine) bank or
the Dungle, a space made popular in

Orlando Patterson's novel The C hl',i ,
of 5/-. ,ir Mortimo Planno, who
once lived on the Dungle, a virtual
city dump, revealed that he organised
events in that location.6 Even as
disenfranchised citizens the Rastafari,
in Planno's case contemplated their
condition, they sought to celebrate in
dance events. The Dungle was later
destroyed, and today's equivalent of a


residential landfill out of which people
eke their existence is Riverton City, now
being transformed into the low-income
housing scheme of Riverton Meadows
in the west-south-western region of the
Kingston Metropolitan Area (KMA).
Dance events can be characterized
as nomadic, moving from space to
space. The nomadism of the dance
event parallels the way in which the
ex-slaves, granted little land after
emancipation, roamed the countryside,
then moved to urban areas in which
markets were viable economic options.
An important dimension of this
nomadism is the policed spaces the
ex-slaves occupied, which necessitated
musical instruments being disguised to
prevent confiscation and destruction.
Nomadism is particularly characteristic
of venues located above the class
geographical marker of Cross Roads;
there, complaints about noise pollution
signal the age-old contest with
enforcers of the law who often deem the
dancehall enterprise to be a disturbance

of the 'peace'.7 Other sanctions obtain
today, such as the Noise Abatement Act
instituted to reduce the noise nuisance
around the city, or to curtail lower-
class entertainment, depending on the
perspective taken. Broadly, the power
structure set by colonial slave masters
did not allocate spaces of residence
(or entertainment) for the majority
slave population to freely occupy
or own after emancipation. This has
perpetuated slave/master relations
within the context of contemporary
governments that reproduce the
relations of power consistent with
colonial rule. Squatting and related
phenomena persist. As with spaces of
residence, the popular cultural spaces
of the post-colony have inherited such
Venues like that of the street
corner, used mostly by communities
below Cross Roads, exist without a
land title or lease agreement, and are
appropriated until they outlive their
spatial capacity or welcome. Perhaps
the use of the street as a stage was
perfected by Jonkonnu bands, Burru
drummers, street preachers and
"itinerant songster-troubadours of
Jamaica" such as Slim and Sam during
the 1920s to 1940s.8 Later overtaken by
the sound systems, the most popular
sound system dances occurred at street

Venues can be understood within the
context of hierarchy. Clubs are the most
prestigious, catering to the big bands
and the rich since the 1950s. But, as they
are few, they are outnumbered by the
ubiquitous subcultural dance venues

just as the rich are outnumbered by the
poor.9 So, at one level are the prestigious,
the stage, or the commercial venues, with
clubs as the most prestigious, and at
another level, the popular, the street, or
the community venues, considered the
sphere of the inner-city dweller. The
poor might visit the clubs on special
occasions, but the most accessible and
preferred entertainment scene for them
is the street dance. Dancehall since the
1950s reveals striking continuities, and
evidence of this lies in the emergence
of clubs, their relative success and
their decline as appeal wanes or as
dancehall activity retreats from uptown
into its core habitus, due sometimes
to high levels of violence. Clubs have
been most popular in dancehall high
points, during which concessions
such as "Dancehall Night" or "Ladies
Free" nights are designed to increase
patronage. Their prestige remains
muted for the lower class, as it is only
on one or two nights per week that
clubs capture popular patronage.
Venues have retained their character
and use over the last fifty years. They
may be considered nomadic, occupying
marginal domain, but the wellspring
of venues never dries: these life-giving
spaces are constantly created or re-
fashioned. Even as they are peripheral
to the Jamaicans of 'quality', they are
central to the articulation of a sense
of community and cultural identity
among the lower class and those
abroad, some in spaces of exile.
Venues could be regarded as being
under siege because of frequent raids.
This is heightened by perceived or
real political affiliation which attracts
victimisation, sometimes reinforced
through para-military tactics of the
State. Dance venues since the 1960s
and 1970s have been raided with
considerable frequency. Raids or
'locking down the dance' have become
a feature of dancehall life so that dance
patrons have come to expect them
- and, possibly, film crews can request
them. In a 1994 paramilitary operation
of the Jamaica Constabulary anti-crime
division, eighty persons were detained
and one arrested for murder and
shooting at the House of Leo venue."'
This particular raid was thought to be

staged for a British film crew.
Buju Banton recorded "Operation
Ardent", which details the DJ's
experience of a raid in the early 1990s.
Opening with blaring sirens, Buju asks,

What's di motive?
Why dem keep meddling around
the poor people dem business?

What more?
What oonu want di massive fi do?
Every dance wey wi keep oonu mek
dem get curfew.

He then tells the story of his own
experience throughout the song.
Essentially, what does the State want
the poor, who have no adequate space
in which to live, recreate and re-create
self, to do when every attempt at
entertainment, especially through the
dance, is curfewed? In a helicopter with
bright lights, making people scatter
(including singer/DJ Terry Ganzy
who ran leaving his girlfriend behind),
soldiers arrived, penned the venue and
turned off the sound, ending the dance
in a search for criminals. At the gate,
soldiers armed with high-powered
weapons were already in place. The
patrons formed lines based on gender,
after which they were searched by
soldiers. The search produced no
weapons. People had simply been
trying to enjoy themselves, dancing and
listening to music.
Since the 1960s, many more raids
than those receiving media coverage

have occurred in dance venues. For
example, King Tubby's Hi Fi bore a bad
reputation because it was believed all
the 'rude boys' and 'bad man' followed
that sound system. DJ U Roy, in an
interview with the author, explained
that King Tubby's Hi Fi was the top
sound system: people from all strata
and from as far as St Thomas in the east
would follow the sound and attend
Tubby's dances. The reputation was
that "if yuh want to find bad boy, go to
the dance where U Roy and Tubby's"
were present. Raids, beatings, 'locking
down the sound' and arrests were
common. Experiencing "thousands
of problems" with the police, U Roy
was once beaten and the pain inflicted
was such that he was temporarily
immobilised. His turntable was
confiscated with the explanation that
it created night noise," and he was
Stories of sound systems being
destroyed by the police on the way
to venues also came from U Roy.
He recalled an incident en route
to the Gold Coast venue in east
Kingston, in which the system was
destroyed. However, Tubby, known
for his mechanical genius, rebuilt the
system by the following night for its
engagement at the Students' Union
at the University of the West Indies.
According to U Roy, politics did not
play such an important role in the raids
on dances. The authority of the police
officers was particularly invoked when
'society people' (middle- and upper-

class) complained about the noise as
sound systems played in venues above
Cross Roads.
Police officers were incensed by the
playing of certain tunes. Of these, Max
Ruby's song with the line "Babylon
likkie likkie and beggie beggie"12 was
a sure dance-stopper. Police officers
would immediately attempt to end the
session by ordering the selector to turn
off the sound system. U Roy recalled
that the police officer Joe Williams was
especially known for harassing rude
boys. He would separate the rude
boys by their attire the khaki clothes,
Clarks shoes and dark hazard glasses.
With attendant Black Maria to cart
off the detainees, the police officers
were often hostile. Another
,-. interviewee recalled:

Police look for
wanted man
in the dance.
I used to think
Bab\ l'n don't want man
enoi' themselves back
then Sound system
waan turn down" was the
constant warning at midnight.
If they [had to] come back it's
trouble. Sometimes police mash
up the dance. Sometimes the

Black Maria van was there with
the police, and after they line up
everybody and search them they
would load the Black Maria. Some
of this was just harassment.13

Foundation DJ King Stitt, in an
interview, affirmed that the vocation
of being a DJ was tantamount to a
criminal offence, such as smoking
marijuana, based on the harassment
from police officers.
A more recent police/patron clash
was the incident occurring in January
2003 at the La Roose venue in St
Catherine. Though the occasion was not
intended as a raid, English's Birthday
Bash was targeted by policemen who
allegedly demanded money on their
arrival. When they were confronted
by patrons, a shooting incident
ensued, leaving at least four persons
injured. Raids have been tainted by
the suggestion that police officers
demand money from dance promoters
in exchange for permits to stage events.
These accusations have increased
since the enforcement of the Noise
Abatement Act.

Major types of venues are presented
below on a continuum from community

(popular) to commercial (stage),
which signals the order of historical
development as well as the degree of
commercialization: those which are
community-based appear first while the
most commercial appear last.1
Street corner/streetside sites are the
most ubiquitous, most popular and
available. Some street venues evolved
from sound system bases or dance
yards'" whose street addresses were
dropped because they had become so
popular. They appear above and below
Cross Roads; and the street factors
into most venues as events overflow
onto streets, transcending boundaries
set by walls or fences. Activities such
as vending, 'profiling' (modelling or
watching others) and other spectator
activities contribute to the overflow.
One of the first dance venues was
the corner of Luke Lane and Charles
Street at which Thomas "Tom" Wong's
The Great Sebastian sound system
played in the 1950s. Many gathered
at Tom's street dance in addition to
others at the corner of Rosemary
Lane and Tower Street and the corner
of Dunrobin Avenue and Constant
Spring Road, where the sound systems
Emperor Faith and Jack Ruby played
respectively. A young sound system
is likely to play on the street corner

for some time until it gains enough
experience and popularity to make
the transition to a more established
venue. Contemporary examples of
street corner venues include 6634
Chisholm Avenue, the corner of Pink
Lane and Charles Street, and the corner
of Beeston Street and Matthews Lane.
These street venues are more common
today in downtown sites such as Pink
Lane or Matthews Lane than in uptown
locations such as Red Hills Road or

Constant Spring Road. This could be
attributed to the decline of dancehall
activity on streets above Cross Roads
due to the enforcement of sanctions
consistent with the Night Noise
Abatement Act, especially between
dancehall high points."6
Gully banks: Interviewees revealed
that some of the earliest dances of the
1950s occurred on gully banks around
which shanty dwellings proliferated.17
People gathered to experience the
music of established or emerging DJs,
including those who lived within these
shanties. Despite being some of the
most marginal sites, they attracted large
numbers of people. A contemporary
example is the dance venue on Verne
Avenue at the edge of the Sandy
Gully,' referred to as'Verena Banks' by
Lodge halls, which operated as
brotherhood societies, were famous
venues for quadrille and other folk
forms before the subcultural dance
events." They include Forrester's

Hall, King's Lawn and Marcus
Garvey's Liberty Hall. These were in
use especially during the late 1950s
and 1960s. Many sound systems of
notoriety played within these spaces,
including Sir Coxsone's Downbeat, and
King Tubby's Hi Fi. Often, within the
location that came to be known as "Beat
Street" in the North Street area, there
were as many as seven sound systems
vying for the title of champion sound.
Rented or regular playout venues
below Cross Roads, often affiliated to or
initiated by a bar or 'cook shop' (low-
end restaurant) in the area, are still
common. More contemporary examples
include Joyce's Hot Spot on Admiral
Pen Road; Cherry's Bar on Baker's
Street in Jones Town; and Dawn's HQ
near Cross Roads, which hosted Stone
Love dance events during the early
1980s. The famous "Backline", on
which the "Frontline" and "Top Line"
events were modelled, took place at the
corner of Beeston Street and Spanish
Town Road in the west downtown area.
Frontline and Top Line also had regular
venues located at the Frontline Pub at
Red Hills Road and Southdale Plaza on
South Avenue respectively.
Sound system bases include, as early
as the late 1950s to 1960s, Nanny's
Hot Spot on Laws Street where Studio
One's Clement "Sir Coxsone" Dodd's
Downbeat sound was the resident
sound system, 33 Bond Street where
Duke Reid's The Trojan was first
located, and Brotherton Avenue where
Doc's Thunderstorm was based.
Though these were some of the earliest
venues for listening to the music, they
did not constitute commercial playout
venues as such until the 1990s. Stone
Love's base at Burlington Avenue is a
current example, hosting events such as
the current "Wedy Wedy Wednesdays".
This category also includes "Grotto
Swing" and "Fire Links" at Hannah
Street and Cling Cling Avenue respectively.
Rented or regular playout venues just
outside the KMA were especially popular
during the 1960s and 1970s. Sound
systems travelled regularly to locations
within other parishes; and venues like
Glengoffe and Spanish Town's Prison
Oval in St Catherine, and the Bull Bay
Quarry in St Thomas at the eastern edge

of the KMA, were popular.
The sound system Stone
Love had a regular playout
in Glengoffe at the northern
edge of the KMA. Jamaica
Gates hosted the Sunday
night "Super D" dance during
the early 1990s, named after
the sound system of the
same name. Other venues
outside the immediate
KMA are also noteworthy -
they include Guava Ridge
at the northern edge of the
KMA and Bull Bay at the
border near St Thomas.
Clubs are early
venues, and they include
Bournemouth, Glass
Bucket, Silver Slipper, Club
Havana, Copa Cobana,
Baby Grand, Colony Club,
Blue Mist, Sugar Hill and
Ad Astra of the 1960s. They
first accommodated and
remained largely exclusive
to big bands. Cactus and
Mirage (now closed)
and the current Asylum
nightclub are 1990s
examples. These venues
were the most prestigious
in the early years,
especially among the
middle and upper classes.
They boasted magnificent
infrastructure, including
permanent structures
such as bars, sanitary
facilities, stages and
dance floors. They were
outside the sphere of I
the poor who could not
afford these \ tnl-C
Today, they art iomrn hr a
more accessible th riuh -h
incentive schemE- Nuch .a
those mentioned Lc.rlier
On the other
hand, there \,cre
clubs located
in today's
such as the
Road area, /

which housed several famous clubs like
Sombrero, Road House, and Trap.
Rented or i, -'li ,.l'ii venues
above Cross Roads or outside the inner-
city limits include Shady Grove, the
University of the West Indies Students'
Union and Red Gal Ring in the 1950s
and 1960s, and the House of Leo on
Cargill Avenue (the site of the long-
standing Thursday night Stone Love
dance for over ten years). Others
include Market Place, Tavern Skating

Ring, Blue Mountain Inn, Constant
Spring Golf Club, Caymanas Golf
Club, Mas' Camp, Chelsea Jerk Centre,
Skateland (formerly and now Rainbow
Lawn), Hermitage Community
Centre and the Appliance Traders
Complex. On the other hand, regular
playout venues, such as 106 Maxfield
Avenue, located within a low-income
area were previously very popular.
These examples range from large to
relatively small venues. However,
outside of clubs, they constitute the
most commercial venues which always
attract cover charges. Large venues
such as the Constant Spring Golf Club
are reserved for stage shows which
attract thousands. The early King
Tubby's Hi Fi played regularly at
the Grant's Pen Community Centre,
which yielded many complaints from
neighboring communities.

The history of the development of
the sound system Stone Love spans
critical aspects of the development of
dancehall: the centrality of downtown
venues, the re-emergence of street

venues uptown, the movement of the
DJ from the dancehall to the studio,
the television and music videos, the
international arena, as well as the move
from 'street dance' to 'big dance', with
corporate sponsorship and commercial
success surpassed only by large stage
shows such as Reggae Sumfest.
After its inception as a small party
sound system, owner Winston "Wee
Pow" Powell, having ambitions for
making it big, realized that the system
needed to ground itself within the
downtown space in order to attract a
wider following. Jones Town was where
the breakthrough from an American,
rhythm-and-blues-centred audience
to a local-centred one occurred.
Technology, the skill of a new selector,
and the groundings at Joyce's Hot Spot
and Cherry's Bar, near and within Jones
Town, were important factors.
Once Powell's sound system had
a following, new venues came easily
with increased demand for the sound.
As their popularity grew, so did
police intervention, because events
that spilled onto the street thereby
evoked attention and complaints.
Moving through venues in Jones Town,
near Cross Roads, New Kingston
and Halfway Tree, the sound system
climbed to 'champion sound' status
when it settled at the House of Leo
venue on a Thursday night. With a
weekly local calendar, Stone Love was
in demand, even as it was creating a
client base in the international arena.
By 1988 it earned a commitment to
play in Canada, and other international
destinations followed.
With more staff, kilowattage of
sound, boxes, a playing style that was
different from that of other sound
systems, and links uptown and
downtown, Stone Love changed the
face of dancehall simply by capitalising
on the ghetto and on technology as a
vehicle to propel its capacity beyond
that of other systems by the early 1990s.
Eventually its sound capacity called one
and all to join their dancehall calendar
and be baptised into the fullness of
its 'love'. This baptismal resonance
was confirmed by Stone Love fan and
dancer Bogle, for whom church and
school were replaced by the dancehall

FROM TOP: Typical danceyard located at the rear of a
yard; sound system equipment in storage awaiting
upcoming event; gully bank; entrance to Rainbow

'church': "He had to go every day to
mark present."20
Stone Love has advanced the
image and popularity of dancehall
internationally, moving it outside the
local realm to an international and
transnational one. As Chude-Sokei
suggests, the dancehall has negotiated
a transatlantic, diasporal space in
which the celebration of the local has
surpassed (if only superficially) the
appeal of an African past and present
reified in the culture-centred music
of Rastafari and Rastafari-influenced
reggae artists.21 The traffic of Stone

Love's equipment, audio (and eventually video) cassettes,
fans, special recordings and personnel, between uptown,
downtown, out of town and internationally, gave the sound
system, and dancehall by extension, new levels of appeal.
Importantly, Stone Love's presence in the uptown clubs made
its music accessible to the middle and upper classes.
Stone Love's space in the dancehall is also a political
one. It has stood alone on issues of violence as well as of the
democratisation of the sound system business. In respect of
the violence, Stone Love took a stand not to play tunes that
incited 'matie fights' (fights by women over men) or gang
feuds, or promoted gun talk. In addition, Stone Love has
helped to maintain the standards set by the Sound System
Association of Jamaica for democratising the business. This
has resulted in appearances at venues stipulated by the
association, in some instances within volatile situations, to
stem the monopoly of some systems over particular venues.
One of the crucial lessons within the sound system
business for the now established Powell is the need to keep
one's past firmly in the conscious present. This necessitates
the capacity to accept invitations to play for, and to, promoters
and fans who were present at Stone Love's inception. Stone
Love has acquired and established a new oldies sound system
to navigate old and new spaces at the same time. This multi-
pronged approach extends to navigation of the partisan
political trends in the business: having different units under

the name Stone Love allows it to play at different venues in
one night, sometimes for warring factions. In other words,
Stone Love's basic development reveals the depth and breadth
of dancehall space, the negotiation and navigation of policed,
contested, old, new, local and transnational spaces, to embody
- as its honorific title "The Immortal Stone Love" suggests
- a perpetual identity located in the rubric of multiple

Dancehall is at once a performance as well as multiple
spaces. These spaces can be understood within the context
of spatial descriptors, systems and divides. Within these
spaces, systems of violence, politics and memory operate
to contribute an overall understanding of major analytical
markers that can classify dancehall within (but not limited
to) its Kingston habitus. Dancehall is contested because of
its alleged contribution to moral decay at several levels. It
also contests and valorises attributes of Jamaican moral,
ethical and entertainment culture that stand at the heart of its
identity. It occupies marginal physical space characterized by
nomadism, but through its celebratory ethos, evidence of its
transformation, navigation and creation of space is revealed.
What I have contributed is a mapping of Kingston's
dancehall spaces, their history, evolution, character, use and
classification scheme. Kingston's dancehall memory is bound

up in these spaces where histories, selves, new modes
of community and nation have evolved. This is best
described as performance geography because the use
of space as a holistic category allows for a delineation
of micro-spatialities, local post-colonial stories and
modes of creating space through performance for
entertainment and memorialising.
Most significantly, Kingston, as a colonial
city which had little space allotted for lower-
class entertainment, has an established history of
performance, and its spaces, in no small way, rivalled
and infected the 'official' culture. It is virtually
impossible to visit Kingston without hearing a sound
system in the nightscape, or noticing the ubiquitous
advertisements for the latest dancehall event. These
events occur mostly in street venues appropriated for
the night's event without lease or rental. They continue
to emerge and flourish at the people's will, despite
State sanctions. o



'I jMAcAln



1. Inspiration for the use of this term
came from my research on dancehall,
but it was after reading C. Nash's
"Performativity in Practice: Some
Recent Work in Cultural Geography"
(Progress in Human Geography 24, no.
4 [2000]: 653-64) that I was convinced
of the importance of expanding my
perspectives on a term that I thought
sufficiently captured what I was
2. Bunny Goodison, personal interview,
29 April 2002. See also G. White, "The
Development of Jamaican Popular
Music, Part 2: Urbanization of the
Folk The Merger of Traditional and
the Popular in Jamaican Music", ACIJ
Research Review, no. 1 (1984): 47-80. It
was clear from most of the interviews
conducted throughout this research
that dancehall is felt to be a 'poor
people' phenomenon.
3. The terms are from R. Witmer,
"A History of Kingston's Popular
Music Culture: Neo-colonialism to
Nationalism", Jamaica Journal 22,
no. 1 (1989): 11-18; White, "The
Development of Jamaican Popular
Music"; and N. Stolzoff, Wake the Town
and Tell the People: Dancehall Culture
in Jamaica (Durham: Duke University
Press, 2000), respectively.
4. Quoted in D. Katz, Solid Foundation:
An Oral History of Reggae (London:
Bloomsbury, 2003), 4.
5. 0. Patterson, The Children of Sisyphus
(London: Longman, 1964).
6. Mortimo Planno, personal interview, 23
March 2002, Kingston.
7. Not only were sound systems and
attendant patrons in contravention of
State regulations, but the singing duo
Slim and Sam's popular entertainment

was also deemed in breach of the status
quo of their time. Being run out of the
markets they performed in by market
guards was common. See G. Taylor,
"A Preliminary Look at Slim and
Sam: Jamaican Street Singers", Jamaica
Journal 11, no. 1 (1983): 40.
8. Witmer, "A History of Kingston's
Popular Music Culture", 13.
9. White, "A History of Kingston's
Popular Music Culture".
10. In film footage of the Cultural
Production Training Centre and
Television Jamaica's (then Jamaica
Broadcasting Corporation)
Entertainment Report, 1994.
11. It was only comparatively recently
that Television Jamaica's Prime Time
News reported that'uptown' venues
Constant Spring Golf Club, Priscilla's,
Weekenz and Villa Ronai, utilised
at the commercial end of dancehall
for stage shows in particular were
disturbing nearby residents (11 August
2003). The authorities were appealing
to these entities while reminding
them of stipulations under the
Noise Abatement Act, promising its
enforcement. Promoters of events were
asked to abide by the stipulation to
seek permits ten days prior to the event
and to end events by two o'clock in the
12. The English translation would be 'the
police are avaricious mendicants'.
13. Harry, personal interview, 24 April
14. A preliminary discussion of this
classification appears in S. Stanley
Niaah, "Kingston's Dancehall: A Story
of Space and Celebration", Space and
Culture 7, no. 1 (2004): 102-18. For an
extended look at philosophies of space

emanating from dancehall culture,
see also S. Stanley Niaah, "Making
Space: Kingston's Dancehall and Its
Philosophy of Boundarylessness",
African Identities 2, no. 2 (2004): 117-32.
15. Dance yards were mainly at the rear of
a typical yard which accommodated
dance events.
16. I speak of high points to distinguish
the periods of distinct cultural shifts,
popularity and appeal of dancehall.
Two notable high points are 1989
to 1994 and 1999 to the present. I
have discussed this in more detail
in "Kingston's Dancehall: A Story of
Space and Celebration" (PhD thesis,
University of the West Indies, Mona,
17. In interview with Bunny Goodison
of Soul Shack Disco, and Smithie, an
18. The Kingston Metropolitan Area,
largely defined by the Liguanea Plain,
is drained by the Sandy Gully which
was developed into the Sandy Gully
Scheme after the 1960s. See Clarke
(1975) for details on the development
of the KMA.
19. Bunny Goodison, personal interview,
29 April 2002.
20. C. Reyes, "Investigation into
Dancehall" (research paper in Dance
and Theatre Production, Jamaica
School of Dance, Edna Manley College
for the Visual and Performing Arts,
Jamaica, 1993), 71.
21. L. Chude-Sokei, "Postnationalist
Geographies: Rasta, Ragga, and
Reinventing Africa", in Reggae, Rasta,
Revolution: Jamaican Music From Ska
to Dub, ed. Chris Potash (New York:
Schirmer Books and Prentice Hall
International, 1997), 215-27.

Cecil Baugh


The Honourable Cecil Baugh, OJ, was
the recipient of numerous awards,
including the Gold Musgrave Medal
(1984) from the Institute of Jamaica,
which he served for decades
through the Jamaica
School of Art, as
well as the Order of
Jamaica (2003) and the
Norman Manley Award
for Excellence (1977) all
endorsing his pre-eminence both
in the fellowship of artists and
among the citizenry of the land
he loved: Jamaica. This master
potter was also the recipient of the
Gleaner Honour Award for Arts
and Culture (2003).
The Gleaner's editorial of 1 July
2005 reminded readers that these
awards notwithstanding, "the most
lasting memorial of Cecil Baugh
will be the courtliness and gentility,
his devotion to his students, his
unmatched eye for beauty and the
capacity to transform the lowly clay o:
his native soil into graceful objects all
bearing the undeniable stamp of a great
artist, an original and a genuine Jamaican
icon, whose passing we now mourn, [but]
whose life we now celebrate".

That life could not be diminished
rnot even by the ravages of World
\'ar II, in which he served in
'lontgomery's Desert Rats campaign
in Egypt and later in Burma, two
important theatres of war which
won humankind freedom from
totalitarianism, at least for a while.
S His return to England to study
S with the great master potter,
'. Bernard Leach, provided a fitting
climax in his early life up to that
time early enough to have him
emerge as the cultural icon
She clearly later became in his
Native Jamaica.
At the beginning of our
S' third millennium when we
are all finding reasons to
look back and assess what
we were, what we have
accomplished over the past
hundred years and what kind
of people we have become,
whether we have failed or are
failing as a nation on planet earth,
the life and work of Cecil Baugh
are among the finest and most
reliable of indicators.
Cecil Baugh, who lived for more
than nine of the past ten decades, has

MONKEY JAR, c. 1990

emerged as one of the finest examples of a process at work.
He was a man of the soil, which is admittedly nothing unique
for a country where most have come from the bush. But he
was also a man who always knew who he was, which is more
unusual among so many of us canepiece brats who have
grown 'stush'.
He had always known the value of this country which
gave him birth. He always knew instinctively that he had
to start where he was. He saw what was at close hand and,
in his own surroundings, found the best clay, which he
would then shape and mould to create exquisite works of art
which would be used in the homes of his Jamaican people,
enriching our lives and surroundings with their honesty, their
integrity and their sheer beauty. Such purity and clear vision
had always been the hallmark of all the work of this great
Jamaican potter.
There was another kind of clay which he moulded into
new forms, as if he had a special contract with the Greatest
Potter of all to make his creatures better human beings. The
Tanzanians used to call the late Julius Nyerere "Mwalimu", or



Great Teacher. Cecil Baugh, to every young Jamaican potter, is
recognized as the "Mwalimu" of Jamaican pottery. Generous
to a fault in sharing all that he learned over a lifetime of
handling clay, he passed on this knowledge to every young
potter who sat at his feet. We now have names like Madge
Spencer, Norma Harrack, Gene Pearson, Jean Taylor-Bushay,
Maxine Gray, Donald and Belva Johnson, Marjorie Keith,
David Dunn, Philip Supersad, and Angella Brown, along with
countless others, who have been taught and been inspired

All items reside at the National Gallery of Jamaica. The Monkey Jar was a gift from
the artist in celebration of the gall tntery's twentieth anniversary.
All photos provided courtesy of the National Gallery of Jamaica

by this great and selfless teacher. They have maintained
the tradition of sharing what they know with others, so that
Jamaican pottery now has an international reputation, and
maintains its position as an art form which always attracts
an enthusiastic following, whether it appears in galleries or
at craft fairs, or when special gifts are required for visiting
The great respect that this art form has earned over the
past six decades is due in very large part to this gentle giant
of so generous a spirit. His simplicity, coupled with his
awesome talent, springs from the rich earth of this country,
earth which he used to tell our story in so many different
forms, and shapes and glazes. Our heritage has been enriched
through his work as he uses his hands and his heart to place
before us work that represents the best that we can be. It is
almost as if he lived a life that had itself been moulded on the
potter's wheel, formed with hands that are proud of the work
that they have helped to shape a life that had been through
the fire of the kiln and that had emerged with a purity that left
us breathless by its very simplicity.

1970 VASE, c. 1972

Cecil Baugh remains a national treasure, one who received
countless honours and yet remained unaffected by fame.
Proud of his Jamaican roots, his work was forged out of the
raw materials of this country, and he used them in creative
ways which still tell the rest of us that the best is here, if we
only care and take the time to look around us. He remains an
inspiration to us all, and I am proud and honoured to have
had him as a fellow artist and a friend. ,*

This tribute is adapted from the remembrance given by Professor Rex
Nettleford at the service f ll.,I. l .; i;; for Cecil Baugh held on 11
July 2005.

Osmond Watson


Osmond Watson, the most public of
artists, creator of icons of great public
significance, was the most private
man I knew. It was a privacy that
was wrapped in apparent shyness.
All of us who knew him experienced
that privacy as we attempted to rope
Osmond in to moments of fellowship.
I remember so well Edna
Manley and I discussing this aspect of
Osmond's personality on the eve of a
big celebration that had been planned at

Regardless for Edna's eightieth or eighty-
fifth birthday. Edna was extremely fond
of Osmond and desperately wanted him
to be at the party.
"Dear, I've called him twice, and
he's promised but do you think he'll
"I called him too, Edna, and he says
he'll be here."
So on the evening of the party, I was
absolutely delighted as I was entering
the gate at Edna's house, Regardless,

De Lawd is My Shepherd, 1969 (National
Gallery of Jamaica, inherited from the Institute of
Jamaica, 1974)

to see Osmond's car approaching
- coming up Washington Drive. I
turned back and he pulled up beside
me. We exchanged greetings and I left
him searching for a parking space on
the road that was lined with cars on
both sides.
Inside, I gave Edna the good news
- Osmond had arrived. She was elated.
But we waited inside for five, ten,
fifteen, twenty, minutes. No Osmond
... 1 went back to the road to look. No
Osmond Osmond had changed his mind
- the sight of all those cars on the road
convinced him that he must escape the
crowd he knew would be inside ...
so he simply turned around and went
back home.
Edna, the eternal optimist, could
only say, "At least he tried to come,
dear let's be grateful for that."
This extraordinarily private man
from the very beginning was an
extraordinary public artist.
As a precocious fourteen-year-
old, Osmond Watson, who was born
in 1934, developed an interest in art
through his attendance between 1948
and 1952 at the classes held at the
Institute of Jamaica's Junior Centre.
At the Institute he became acquainted
with key works of the early Nationalist
artists. Manley the sculptor was very
much in evidence. In those days the
Institute had two stellar examples
of her work: Negro Aroused and The
Diggers. The works of Albert Huie,
Ralph Campbell and David Pottinger
were also there, assisting in moulding
the early style of the precocious painter.
The influence of these artists would
continue when he went on to study
painting at the Jamaica School of Art in
Kingston Gardens.

Osmond graduated from the
school in 1958 and launched his career
as a professional painter the same
year, exhibiting with some success
in a one-man exhibition at the Hills
Galleries in downtown Kingston. Also
in 1958, he entered the prestigious
All-Island Painting Exhibition at the
Institute of Jamaica, pitting his skills
against the island's top professionals.
He clearly pleased the judges, for his
painting Caymanas Landscape copped
the first prize.
Osmond eventually pursued
further studies in England, enrolling
at the St Martin's School of Art in
London, which he attended from 1962
to 1965. On his return to Jamaica,
it was clear that his work had
undergone a dramatic transformation.
He explained that this was a result
of his visits to the British Museum
in London and his encounters there
with masterpieces of African art.
From the formal devices which he
adopted, it was also clear in his
paintings that Picasso's Cubism, itself
heavily indebted to African sculpture
traditions, provided the conduit for
Osmond's Africanisms. Wilfredo Lam,
the black Cuban disciple of Picasso
who introduced a new dynamism
into Caribbean art, was another
important influence. In Osmond's
sculpture, particularly his delicately
polychromed bas-reliefs, the influence
of African sculpture traditions is more
direct: many, in fact, seem related to
Yoruba carvings in the proportions
and massing of the figures.
Intensely Jamaican in his
subject matter, he produced in the
late 1960s and 1970s an extended
series of paintings that drew their
imagery from our hybrid Christmas
Jonkonnu, revelling in the depiction
of stylised African masks and the
collage effect of the Pitchy-Patchy
character. These paintings are among
his best regarded and most popular
works. Nineteen paintings from the
series were shown in 1981 at the
National Gallery in its landmark
exhibition Theme and Variations. He
also extended his iconography by
delving into Jamaica's pre-colonial
past to retrieve symbols and motifs

from the lost Taino (Arawak)
culture. In some of these paintings
of "Arawak Vibrations", Watson
skirted the brink of abstraction. The
teachings of national hero Marcus
Garvey and the philosophy of the
Rastafarian movement influenced
him tremendously, and he produced
some moving images of Rastafarian
and genre subjects with sympathetic
depictions of Kingston street life.
There is also a striking image of the
infant Marcus Garvey, which visually
equates Garvey to the infant Christ-
child. He was also an obsessive painter
of self-portraits, in some of which he is
to be found in Rastafarian guise, as a
revolutionary freedom fighter, or as a
black Christ. In 1995 he had this to say
about his own philosophy:

As an Afro-Caribbean man who
resides in the Caribbean and who is
faced with Caribbean problems, my
philosophy on art is simple. My aim
is to glorify black people through my
work with the hope that it will uplift
the masses of the region, giving
dignity and self-respect where it is
needed and [making] people more
aware of their own beauty.

And for more than forty years
Jamaicans of all walks of life have
responded passionately to his work.
Osmond Watson was perhaps the
key artist in the decades following
independence to deal with issues
of racial and national identity. He
consciously strove to create works
that could be understood and
appreciated by all levels of society, and
consequently many of his works, such
as his paintings Peace and Love and The
Lawd is My Shepherd and his bas-relief
Hallelujah, have taken on an iconic
On a personal level, I found
him to be among the most decent
and honourable of men, with an
extraordinary generosity of spirit.
I want to relate a true story that
demonstrates this generosity. I was
sitting in my office at Devon House in
1981, when Carey Robinson called me
on behalf of the prime minister, about

Hallelujah, 1969 (The A.D. Scott Collection,
National Gallery of Jamaica)

* r

..J.- U

the government's wish to erect a statue of Bob Marley,
who had recently died.
"Who do you think, Dr Boxer, would be the best
sculptor to do a statue of Marley?"
"Well, I can think of two artists who would be ideal:
Christopher Gonzalez and Osmond Watson. Either would
be fine by me."
"Osmond Watson ... Isn't he really a painter?
"He's both a painter and a sculptor and he's a
superb sculptor."
"Why don't you contact them for us."
"Well, I'll contact Osmond first and feel him out."
So I called Osmond. I, of course, did not mention
Gonzalez as the other possible candidate.
Osmond's reply has remained with me for twenty-
five years: "David, there's no way I could take on the
job of Bob Marley knowing that Christopher Gonzalez is
around. Christopher is the perfect sculptor for the job. You
should ask Christopher."
With that recommendation, Christopher became the
only possible choice.
Such self-effacing modesty, such generosity of spirit,
has not repeated itself often among our other artists. In
truth, it is that same generosity, in fact, fullness of spirit,
that invades and fills every canvas he painted, every slab
of wood he carved.
And our people have responded: Osmond Watson
is among the most admired and honoured of Jamaican
artists. He was the recipient of the national honour, the
Order of Distinction (1986), and was a Gold Musgrave
awardee (1992). Many of his masterworks reside in the
National Gallery of Jamaica. These include: Peace and
Love, which was selected for inclusion in the City of
Edinburgh's exhibition marking the two thousandth
anniversary of the birth of Christ; three important works
from his "Masquerade" series Freedom Fighter, Hallelujah,
and his enormously popular The Lazwd is My Shepherd,
an iconic image of a Jamaican marketwoman with open
Bible in hand; and two of our most recent acquisitions,
the popular Jah Lives and Morning Song for Jah. A work
considered by many to be his finest sculpture, a life-size,
standing black Madonna and Child, is in the Kingston
Parish Church.

TOP: Peace and Love, 1969 (National Gallery of Jamaica)
LEFT: Morning Song for Jah, 1991 (The Aaron and Marjorie Matalon
Collection, National Gallery of Jamaica)

Back in the late 1960s and
early 1970s, during the heyday of ti
the Jamaica Festival Exhibition,
he copped several gold medals in
both painting and sculpture. In -
fact, it was during the staging of a
the 1969 Festival exhibition that I '
met Osmond. The circumstances
surrounding that meeting are
worth relating. Osmond appears
to have exhibited three or four
sculptures, and his Hallelujah (the
beautiful bas-relief now hanging
in the National Gallery) won the
only gold medal given that year,
and the hefty (for those days)
money prize of 125. I remember
it clearly because at the time I
was a university student and I
had entered the amateur division
of Festival and won the painting
section with a silver medal and the glorious sum of 35, for a
painting called Liwa Wechi inspired by the song of that name
performed by the Xhosa songbird Miriam Makeba.
Norman Rae wrote a review and criticised Osmond's
bas-reliefs. Then the Gleaner published a defence of Osmond's
work written by none other than the veteran collector A.D.
Scott, who had actually purchased the Hallelujah carving. On
reading these articles, I wrote a letter supporting A.D., and of
course supporting and praising Osmond's carvings. To my
surprise, the Gleaner published my letter with my name and
address. A couple of days later, a car stopped at my mother's
Mona Heights house and two gentlemen came out of the car
asking for one David Boxer. One of the men, I quickly learnt,
was A.D. Scott, and the other was Osmond Watson.
They were both very courteous and complimented me
on my prize-winning painting, and then Osmond and A.D.
thanked me for my letter of support. Osmond was extremely
generous, and we discussed his work at some length. When I
next met him, in 1975, I had completed my graduate studies
and was about to join the staff of the National Gallery. I
remember visiting him at his studio and as I left he pressed
into my hand a tiny mask, framed by a fragment of a
diamante necklace. "This is for that letter you wrote back in
1969." I have treasured that little mask, Mask of the Tunga Jula
Priest, ever since.

Masquerade, 1968 (National Gallery
ofr amaica)

SIn recent years I was
instrumental in putting
his paintings on Jamaican
stamps, thus ensuring
the images' widespread
dispersal, allowing them to
reach into the consciousness
of everyday Jamaicans.
Thus the millennium
stamps honoring the two
thousandth anniversary of
Christ's birth used his Jah
Lives and a sparkling Mother
and Child, the mother dressed
in Revivalist garb. They
were used on the $10 and
$30 stamps. Two works by
another master who died
this year, Carl Abrahams,
completed the series. For Christmas 2002, his Masquerade from
the "Jonkonnu" series was used, along with works by Gaston
Tabois, Edna Manley and Kapo. Osmond was very touched
by these tributes to his genius as a visual communicator.
The honours continue: five of Watson's best known works,
including his Madonna of Stony Gut and Revival Kingdom,
are currently touring Britain and the United States in the
exhibition organized by the Whitechapel gallery, Back to
Black: Art, Cinema and the Racial Imaginary. (During the run of
the Back to Black exhibition at the Whitechapel, that gallery
reported the first theft in its history: a small Osmond Watson
carved mask.) Osmond's obituary appeared in the Guardian
newspaper in London. And rather more substantial honours
will hopefully continue, such as the mounting by the National
Gallery of a memorial exhibition and eventually, after a period
of careful study, a full-scale retrospective by a major curator.
I fervently believe that as long as there is a Jamaica, and a
Jamaican people, Osmond Watson's paintings and sculptures
will remain to inspire us, as concrete exemplars of the spirit of
our people at this time in our history and in our development. +

This tribute is adapted from the remembrance delivered by Dr Boxer
at the service of thanksgiving held on 25 November 2005.

All photos provided courtesy of the National Gallery of Jlamaica

-. -w


Medicinal Plant Heritage



Jamaica has a rich plant heritage over 2,888 species of
flowering plants are known, of which 784 (27 per cent) are
endemic (found only in Jamaica). Jamaica also has a rich
heritage in medicinal plant research, beginning with the
foundation of the University College of the West Indies in
1948 and continuing to this day at the University of the West
Indies, the Scientific Research Council, the University of
Technology, and Northern Caribbean University. Most of
this research has required many trips to the 'bush' and many
extractions in order to identify these natural products and
determine how they work, their efficacy and their toxicology.
With the increasing interest in botanicals and the
increased degradation of our 'wild' areas, it has become
imperative for further development of this industry to go
hand-in-hand with conservation efforts. The Environmental
Foundation of Jamaica is cognisant of this fact and has
provided funds to the Biotechnology Centre of the University
of the West Indies for the establishment of medicinal plant
gene banks, beginning with a two-year project running
from July 2004 to June 2006. During this project, ex situ gene
banks of medicinal trees, shrubs, herbs and vines are being
established on the Mona campus of the university and at
the Hope Botanical Gardens, while a smaller collection is
being established at the Institute of Jamaica. There have been
previous attempts to establish medicinal plant gardens in
Jamaica; however, those efforts were neither comprehensive
nor long-lasting. By having medicinal plant gene banks linked
to learning institutions, it is hoped that the effort can be more
permanent and can be a feeder for more extensive efforts. This
garden is now a source of plants for researchers, a teaching
resource and a source of planting material (cuttings, seeds,
The aim of this article is to introduce some of the Jamaican
medicinal plants presently in the medicinal plant garden of
the University of the West Indies, and some of the recipes
we have gathered on our field trips across Jamaica. The
plants in this article are well known, and so are many of the
recipes. This should not be surprising, as we have discovered

that between 80 and 100 per cent of Jamaicans use some
combination of medicinal plants to heal and enhance their
health, both externally and internally. We have discovered
several instances where the scientific names were confused,
and several incidences where our local name was not the
name of the plant in commerce. Examples of this are the
Jamaican peppermint (Satureja viminea), which is not the plant
used to prepare peppermint oil, which is instead the Mentha
piperita. Jamaican rosemary (Croton linearis) is also not the
rosemary of commerce, which is the Rosmarinus officinalis. It
is therefore important to have visual record of our medicinal
plants along with the correct scientific names that correspond
to the herbarium record of each plant.
In this article, we wish to record thirty of the more
common medicinal plants from our collection, which we hope
will eventually include at least the 366 presently recorded
medicinal plants of Jamaica (the list includes plants identified
as medicinal by Asprey and Thorton,' by other scientists at
the University of the West Indies, and by fieldwork). The
accuracy of the scientific names of these plants was verified
by making a search for them in the herbariums of the
Department of Botany at the University of the West Indies
and the Institute of Jamaica.
While there is often more than one local name for each
plant, only the most common local name is given in this
article. Recipes listed are those found during our fieldwork,
but space does not allow full details and they will require
verification. Other local recipes can be found in Common
Medicinal Plants of Portland, Jamaica.2 Scientific investigation is
increasingly verifying Jamaican folk uses with one or more
phytochemicals being attributed to each use. Phytochemicals
present in Jamaican medicinal plants can be found in Jamaican
Folk Medicine: A Source of Healing.3 Medicinal plants and their
associated recipes can be added to this collection by any
Jamaican, as this gene bank now represents a treasure of
Jamaica accessible to all Jamaicans. The collection gives us a
chance to get reacquainted with our folk botanical heritage.

- -M -ON---- mR--
Ackee (Blighia sapida) Basil (Ocimum basilicum)
Family: Sapindaceae Family: Labiatae
The unfit fruit cut in half was used This herb is mainly used locally as a
in the past to wash clothes. For itchy spice (seasoning) and as a refreshing
skin and ringworm, the young fruit is tea. It has anti-bacterial properties and
crushed and a solution is applied to the is also used as a digestive aid.
skin as a treatment.

for babies, it is used for colic and as a
general tea. A leaf decoction (i.e., the
leaf is boiled) is drunk as a tea.

Aloe (Aloe vera)
Family: Liliaceae
In folk medicine, the peeled leaf of
the aloe is used. Some of the uses are
for external problems: alleviating
burns, and as a scar remover, skin
moisturiser, skin cleanser and hair
conditioner. For treating head fungus,
it is sliced and applied to, or rubbed
on, the area; for healing cuts and
swellings, a piece is placed in warm
water then applied; for burns, the fluid
is drained and applied directly to the
site. For improving internal problems
such as gas, hypertension, colds,
nerve conditions and gastrointestinal
disorders, the peeled leaf is placed in
water and soaked for four to five hours
then drunk as required. For treating
diabetes, it is boiled and drunk. As
an anti-inflammatory agent or blood
purifier, one cupful of the blended
aloe is taken over a week. Aloe is also
used to alleviate biliousness, insomnia
and constipation. It may be taken as a
tonic, laxative, purgative and appetite
stimulant, and to enhance the immune

Bizzy (Cola acuminata)
Family: Sterculiaceae
The use of bizzy to treat poison seems
to be known only in Jamaica. It is said
to be very effective, mainly because of
its high tannic acid component. Besides
being used to treat food poisoning,
bizzy is also used to combat upset
stomach, stomach pain and nerve
problems. It is also used to purify the
blood, treat eye inflammation, ease
headaches, fight fatigue and depression,
and as a beverage and tonic. In these
cases, the dry nut (seed) is grated,
boiled, strained and drunk. For treating
cuts, the grated seeds are applied
directly. For bloodshot eyes, one branch
is soaked in water for a few hours, then
the liquid is used to wash the eyes.

Black mint (Mentha spicata)
Family: Labiatae
This mint is used in many savoury
meat dishes and is in high demand by
processors. In Jamaica it is used mainly
to treat depression, colds, vomiting
sickness, bellyaches and diarrhoea;

Breadfruit (Artocarpus altilis)
Family: Moraceae
Breadfruit leaves are used to combat
nerve problems, biliousness, diabetes,
high blood pressure, headache and
weak bladder, and for cuts and
wounds. For these uses, the leaf
decoction is drunk as water. For
headache, the leaves are tied to the
head. Local research has also indicated
it is useful as a bio-insecticide.

Cerasee (Momordica charantia)
Family: Cucurbitaceae
Like aloe and neem, cerassee is also
a bitter bush. It has been used locally
to get rid of colds, coughs, bellyaches
and cramps (leaf decoction, drunk
as needed). For alleviating gas,
constipation, diarrhoea, vomiting,
scabies or worms, or for purifying
the blood, one cup of a leaf and fruit
decoction is drunk daily, for nine days.
It is also used to improve hypertension,
diabetes and nerve problems, and is

taken as a tonic. For internal uses, the
vine is boiled until the container is
green and the water volume is lowered;
the liquid is then drunk as a tea as
needed. As a topical preparation for
itching skin and other skin conditions,
such as burns, rashes or liver spots,
the vine is rubbed in the palm until
juicy, then applied to the affected area.
For burns, the leaves may be applied
directly to improve the condition. For
skin infections, the tea is also drunk.
Cerassee is said to clean the colon,
purge the blood and cleanse/exfoliate
the skin. For rheumatism, a cloth
soaked in this tea is used as a liniment.

Dog blood (Rivina humilis)
Family: Phytolaccaceae
Local uses of dog blood include
treatment of wounds and cuts (the
leaf is boiled and used as a bath). For
treating pains and headaches, the
leaf is boiled and drunk as a tea. The
decoction has also been used locally to
clear the Fallopian tubes.

Fever grass (Cymbopogon citratus)
Family: Graminae
Fever grass is used mainly to treat
fever, coughs and colds. Other local
uses include treatments for gas,
hypertension, pain, insomnia, vomiting,
arthritis and skin problems. The leaves
are prepared as an infusion (added to
boiled water) or decoction and drunk
as a tea. The leaves can also be used
to give a lemon flavour in cooking.
The essential oil of this plant is highly
aromatic and is used in products such
as candles, bath products and soaps.

Ginger (Zingiber officinale)
Family: Zingiberaceae
Jamaican ginger is world-renowned for
its flavour. It is used locally as medicine
and as a spice. Some medicinal
uses include treatments for nausea,
flatulence, indigestion, menstrual
pain, abdominal cramps, bellyaches,
colic, gas, gastroenteritis, vomiting,
insomnia, clots, fever, coughs, colds and
diarrhoea. For these uses, an infusion
or decoction of the scraped rhizome is
prepared and then drunk. For nausea,
a piece of ginger may be placed under
the tongue, or chewed for gas. For
toothache, a compress is made by
mixing the powdered spice in water to
form a gooey paste, then it is dipped in
a small cotton ball and wrung out. The
cotton is applied to the tooth without
touching the gum. Arthritis is treated
with a ginger tincture for anointing

Guava (Psidium guajava)
Family: Myrataceae
Locally, guava is one of the most
effective plants used to stop diarrhoea.
The fruit is high in vitamin C, so it
should be a common addition to the
diet. Other local uses include treatments
for bellyaches, insect bites, colds,
haemorrhage, heart problems, worms,
high cholesterol, vomiting, toothache,
depression, hypertension and diabetes,
and as a tonic. For all these ailments,
the leaves are boiled until the guava
aroma is smelled. It is then strained and
drunk as a tea.

Guinea-hen weed (Petiveria alliacea)
Family: Phytolaccaceae
Guinea-hen weed is used mainly in
Jamaica to ease headaches (by smelling
the leaves) and menstrual cramps (leaf
infusion). Guinea-hen weed has been
used locally as a tea, taken three times
a day, to cure third-stage cancer. Local
research has discovered that a chemical
found in this plant is a potent anti-
cancer agent.

Jack-in-the-bush (Eupatorium
Family: Compositae
This plant is used mainly for colds,
coughs and bronchitis treatments. For
these uses, a leaf and stalk decoction
is drunk as a tea. For dressing wounds
and cuts, the plant is cut into fine
portions and mixed with a small
quantity of water until thick. This
mixture is applied to the affected area
and covered with a cloth.

Jamaican peppermint (Satureja
Family: Labiatae
This is a plant with much potential. It
is used mainly in Jamaica to alleviate

flatulence, vomiting, coughs, gas, colic,
upset stomach, bellyaches, headaches,
diarrhoea and hypertension. The leaves
are prepared as a tea, both by decoction
and infusion. This tea is very refreshing,
and local processors have conveniently
produced tea bags using the dried
leaves of this plant.


John Charles (Hyptis verticillata)
Family: Labiatae
Used with fever grass to clear up bad
chest colds, the John Charles also seems
to build up the immune system. When
used for this purpose, a twig containing
between three and five leaves is added
to three to five leaves of fever grass
per cup of boiled water. One cup is all
that is needed if the cold is mild. If the
cold lingers, one cup per day is used
for a few days until the chest cold is

King of the Forest (Cassia alata)
Family: Caesalpiniaceae
This plant is used mainly in Jamaica to
alleviate liver spots (leaves are crushed
and rubbed on the skin) or burns (a
leaf is placed on the affected area), and
for coughs or colds (one cup of the leaf
decoction is taken daily for seven days).

Leaf-of-life (Bryophyllum pinnatum)
Family: Crassulaceae
This plant can be found growing in
every nook and cranny of Jamaica and

Lime (Citrus aurantifolia)
Family: Rutaceae
Lime has myriad local uses. Both its
leaves and fruit are used for a wide
range of ailments, from a simple cold
to more complex sicknesses such as
hypertension. The juice is very versatile.
Lime juice is ingested for coughs and
colds it may be mixed with honey
for flavour and to add to its potency.
For alleviating a fever, the juice may
also be squeezed into rum. The juice
is also drunk to treat sore throats, gas,
diabetes and cramps, and may be taken
as a tonic. A little salt may be added to
combat diarrhoea and bellyaches. For
hypertension or headaches, lime juice in
water or coconut water is used, or the
fruit is cut and tied to the forehead. For
abdominal pains, the juice is rubbed on
the area. For treating spots on the skin,
fever, swelling, liver spots, arthritis
or itchy skin, the fruit is cut (or juice
extracted) and rubbed on the area. Lime
juice is also taken as a tonic. Leaves are
infused or decocted as tea for diarrhoea
and bellyaches. Lime is a useful plant to
have around because it is a rich source
of vitamin C. Lime grows abundantly in

Neem (Azadirachta indica)
Family: Meliaceae
Neem is widely used internationally. In
Jamaica, it is most commonly used to
combat colds (one cup two times daily
of a leaf decoction), chest pain, diabetes
(half a cup of leaf decoction daily) and
as a pain killer. Neem kills over three
hundred insects and is one of the main
bio-insecticides (seeds, leaves) used

throughout the tropics. It has been used
locally to treat coughs, colds, insomnia,
allergies, diarrhoea, hypertension,
fever, pain, headache cramps, sprains,
swellings and skin problems. When
used, leaves are either crushed or
chewed with a little salt, or a decoction
is made. For swellings, the leaves are
rubbed on the area. The leaves are
also a major ingredient in poultices
for headaches and sprains. In all other
treatments the plant is used as a tea.

Noni (Morinda citrifolia)
Family: Rubiaceae
Noni juice is now a well-known
product, with the Jamaican version
being every bit as potent as the
international ones. The fruit is placed
in a plastic bag and allowed to drain
and ferment; the juice is then extracted.
The juice is drunk locally as an all-
purpose healer, performance enhancer
or laxative; to remove gallstones; to
improve nerve conditions; to alleviate
headaches, hypertension, and diabetes;
and as a cleanser.

Periwinkle (Catharanthus roseus)
Family: Apocynaceae
An infusion from the flowers is used
to treat eye irritations and infections.
A tea infusion is used to treat diabetes.
The plant contains more than seventy
alkaloids. Many of these lower blood
pressure. Two of them, vincristine and
vinblastine, have anti-cancer properties.
In 1985, Lilly Research Laboratories sold
US$100 million of these two chemicals.
Alkaloids in this plant can cause
nausea and hair loss, so the individual
chemicals are recommended for use
rather than the whole plant.

by the local and international organic
farming industry. It has also been
formulated locally into disinfectants and
anti-fungal agents.

from this plant that is very potent
against Strongyloides a dangerous
human pathogenic threadworm.

Quako (Mikania micrantha)
Family: Compositae
Quako has been found to have a strong
antibacterial action by researchers at
the University of the West Indies. It is
used locally to treat itchy skin or spots
on skin, and to dress cuts, as well as
to treat stomach pains, diarrhoea and
colds. For topical use, the leaves are
rubbed until they sud and then applied
to the skin until itching subsides, or the
leaves may be rubbed in the water used
for bathing.

Search-mi-heart (Rytidophyllum
Family: Gesneriaceae
Search-mi-heart is one of our endemic
medicinal plants. It is found only in
Jamaica, mainly in the higher altitudes.
It is a national treasure, to be carefully
guarded and preserved so it can be
sustainably used. A leaf decoction is
used to combat colds and for chest
pains (one cup until pain subsides).

Shame-mi-lady (Mimosa pudica)
Family: Mimosaceae
This plant is used mainly to treat colds
and coughs. A few leaves can be eaten
directly or prepared as a decoction.

Sorrel (Hibiscus sabdariffa)
Family: Malvaceae
Sorrel used to be drunk only at
Christmas time. Bolstered by local

research and the development of
different products, sorrel is now
available in many forms, including
squash, chutney, liqueur, dessert
toppings and sauces (developed at the
Scientific Research Council). Sorrel is
high in flavonoids (red colour) and
therefore it is a useful antioxidant to
add to the diet. Locally, it is also used
to strengthen the blood and to improve
bladder problems. In all cases, the sorrel
drink is made using the calyxes as at
Christmas time.

Soursop (Annona muricata)
Family: Annonaceae
Soursop is mostly used to settle the
nerves. It is also used to alleviate
vomiting, hypertension, urinary
disorders and weak bladder, and to get
rid of worms. For these uses, the leaf is
boiled and sweetened with sugar then
drunk as a tea. As a tonic, soursop tea is
mixed with milk. For nerve problems,
one cup of the leaf and bloom decoction
is used. For cuts, the dry seed is grated
and applied to the cut.

Spirit weed (Eryngium foetidum)
Family: Umbelliferae
This plant is used mainly in Jamaica for
treatment of convulsions, colds, fevers,
colic, gas, depression, hypertension,
rheumatism, clots and asthma. In order
to combat these ailments, the leaf de-
coction is drunk as a tea. Local research
has led to the isolation of a chemical

Susumber (Solanum torvum)
Family: Solanaceae
Susumber seeds are cooked and eaten
to treat diabetes and to get rid of
ringworms. For combatting liver spots,
the leaves are crushed, then the juice is
applied to the spot and left overnight.
This process is repeated for a week. For
treating a bad cold, the leaves are boiled
and drunk as tea.

i //Iqw YI \
Turmeric (Curcuma longa)
Family: Zingiberaceae
Turmeric is used worldwide in the
kitchen and medicinally. In Jamaica,
turmeric is most widely used as a
component of curry, but is increasingly
being recognized locally for its healthful
attributes. It has anti-cancer, anti-
inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-viral
and anti-aging properties.

Vervine (Stachytarpheta jamaicensis)
Family: Verbenaceae
Vervine is used for the treatment of
colds, coughs, inflammation, menstrual
cramps, intestinal worms and wounds,
as a purgative, and for genito-urinary
problems. A decoction of the root, leaf
or vine can be used and drunk as a tea.

Jamaica's folk medicinal knowledge
has been built with remedies from
each of its ethnic groups, along with
home-grown remedies that are known
nowhere else. These uses are both
medicinal and nutraceutical. The
recording of these plants and associated
recipes is important: the main holders
of this treasure (our grandmothers
and grandfathers) are dying and we
have to ensure that this information
survives for years to come. These
uses have been, and continue to be,
validated by scientific research locally
and abroad. The safe use of these

plants, based on adequate information
and training, to complement
pharmaceutical medicines is possible,
and this should be encouraged. As
some of the chemicals found in plants
can also be toxic or psychoactive,
or may cause side effects if used in
conjunction with pharmaceutical drugs,
caution is required. Many people have
experienced health and enjoyed long
lives because they have learnt to use
medicinal plants wisely. We hope that
this article has contributed to the wise
use of our plants for enhanced health
and as a source of wealth. o

Medicinal plant gene banks at the Biotechnology
Centre, University of the West Indies, Mona

Thanks to the Environmental Foundation
of Jamaica for funding and support, and
to the University of the West Indies, Hope
Gardens and the Institute of Jamaica for field
space. Special thanks to the many students
of the 2003-5 batches of the University of
Technology herbal elective for helping to
gather information, to all those who helped
to gather recipes and plants, and to those
who willingly shared their information so
we could establish a national treasure to
benefit us all. Finally, thanks to Karen Levy
for helping with the editing.

All photos S. Mitchell

1. G.E Asprey and P. Thornton, "Medicinal
Plants of Jamaica", parts 1-4, West Indian
Medical Journal 2, no. 4 (1953): 233-52; 3
no. 1 (1954): 17-41; 4, no. 2 (1955): 69-82;
4, no. 3 (1955): 145-69, 1955.

2. I. Harris, L. Harris and L.G. Henry, Common
Medicinal Plants of Portland, Jamaica, ed.
S. Austin and M.B. Thomas (Kingston:
Centre for International Ethnomedicinal
Education and Research, 2004).

3. A. Payne-Jackson and M.C. Alleyne,
Jamaican Folk Medicine: A Source of Healing
(Kingston: University of the West Indies
Press, 2004).

Monuments, Memorialisation

and Decolonisation in Jamaica


The story of conquest, usurpation,
manipulation and illegitimate
appropriation of Caribbean resources
by colonial powers all features of
colonialism and colonisation is a
familiar one. As Jiirgen Osterhammel,
Marc Ferro, David Trotman, Walter
Rodney and others have reminded us,
colonisation entailed the adjustment
on ancestral lands of erected structures
of domination and control.' As an
important stage in the global process of
Westernisation, it meant the imposition
of racism, the principal assumption of
difference, and the elevation to iconic
status of discoverers, monarchs and
military men, among them Columbus,
Nelson and Queen Victoria.
Given these features of the
colonisation project, not surprisingly
since the period of modernity, as several
scholars have demonstrated, Caribbean
people have sought to eradicate
and dismantle political structures of
imperialism, historical representations


... 1 \'Y ',

of the Caribbean in text and image
that mostly reflected British colonial
subjectivity and authority,2 they have
sought to remove the iconic stamp of
the colonisers and in the process reclaim
and reconstruct the indigenous, African,
creole and, later, Asian experience.'
The production of alternative
knowledge was a particularly critical
aspect of what Bill Ashcroft, Gareth
Griffiths and Helen Tiffin refer to as
the counter-colonial resistance.4 The
Caribbean has been affected by a
historically constructed image that
still influences self-knowledge and
global attitudes towards its citizens.
This image, paraded as 'truth' and
'knowledge', was the product of
the minds and pens of generations
of writers from the North Atlantic
system, who appropriated the project of
producing knowledge on the Caribbean
for overseas consumption, introducing
the Caribbean and its people to a wider
public. Caribbean scholars were forced
to engage in a project of reconstruction,
constructing indigenous interpretations
of the Caribbean experience, fashioned
by explicit formulations and theoretical
constructs and offering the antithesis to
the imperialist view of the Caribbean
Caribbean people have waged
the anti-colonial war on other fronts,
using their art and music to ridicule
those whom public pressure has
been unable to dislodge from their
colonial-era pedestals. The process of
iconographic and iconic decolonisation
and reconstruction has also long
started. Indeed, the list of those
installed by the Caribbean as its own

FicuRL 1: Nelson's Statue, National Heroes Square,
Bridgetown, Barbados (Source: http://www.
FicuRt 2: Queen Victoria's Statue, Kingston, Jamaica

heroes and heroines is a long one,
including Kamau Brathwaite, Fidel
Castro, Aime Cesaire, Boukman Dutty,
Marcus Garvey, C.L.R. James, Claudia
Jones, Brian Lara, Lucille Mathurin
Mair, Bob Marley, Una Marson, Caryl
Phillips, Nanny, Derek Walcott, Eric
Williams, Henry Sylvester Williams
- and the list goes on. These icons have
all fired our imagination with their art,
music, literary production (for example,
fictional works that resurrect dislocated
narrative voices and stir political
consciousness by the patriotic heroes
and heroines whom they construct),
historical works that portray a more
liberating narrative of self, films,
political ideologies, philosophies of
representation, and achievements in
science, education and sports.
Some of these icons international-
ised the black, anti-colonial struggle, for
colonisation imposed such structural
discontinuities on the region that
those who fought to end it have been


naturally given iconic status. Some of
those individuals who have reached
iconic status have been elevated further
to the status of national heroes and
heroines, as post-colonial societies
engage in the process of mapping and
re-mapping the post-colonial cultural
landscape. Most territories now have
a recognisable pantheon of indigenous
heroes and heroines, with Barbados
leading the way with ten, followed
by Jamaica with seven (the first to be
installed was Marcus Garvey in 1964)."
Jamaica is not insular or parochial
in its recognition of heroes. On the
contrary, the island has always
embraced global icons such as
Mohandas K. (the Mahatma) Gandhi,
Martin Luther King Jr, Nelson and
Winnie Mandela, Rosa Parks, the first
generation of pan-Africanists and Latin
American independistas such as Simon
Bolivar and Che Guevara.
Indeed, Jamaica plans to establish
a Plaza of the Americas for Latin
American heroes and heroines, and
in 2004 opened its Park of World
Heroes with the unveiling of the bust
of Gandhi.' Martin Luther King Jr and
Nelson Mandela, the other proposed

F ,ULR 3: Marcus Carvey, National Heroes' Park,
Kingston, Jamaica
FicusR 4: Simon Bolivar, Kingston, Jamaica
Fh.URs 5: Park of World Heroes, ,.- ,, Jamaica

occupants of the Park of World Heroes,
are still to be installed. But this latest
attempt to embrace and acknowledge
world heroes has caused controversy
on two fronts: the narrow definition of
the term'world hero', which excludes
people such as Garvey and Marley,
considered local, and the absence of
women such as Mary Seacole.7 Edward
Seaga, former leader of the Jamaica
Labour Party, supported by Ken Jones,
general secretary of the Farquharson
Institute for Public Affairs, insists
that "a bust of Marcus Garvey should
be among the heroes displayed at
the recently opened Park of World
Heroes"." Others want Bob Marley
and Mary Seacole, the bicentenary of
whose birth was celebrated in 2005, to
be installed there, too. The explanation
given for Garvey's exclusion by the
executive director of the Jamaica
National Heritage Trust at the time
was that "Heroes' Park was proposed
as a venue to house Jamaican heroes"
and that "the Park [of World Heroes] is
intended to honour heroes who are not
Jamaican born","1 but this has failed to
appease critics.
While there is as yet no tidal wave
of support for Seacole's inclusion
in either park, national or global,
the matter of Bob Marley has been
particularly contentious, with many
in Jamaica maintaining that the
island cannot be serious about iconic
decolonisation and leave Marley out




of the pantheon of national heroes.
Indeed, on the local and global stage,
the iconic status of some of the heroes
and heroines so far identified appears
unproblematic, taken for granted,
unquestioned it is obvious that
they should be there. But, equally, the
existence of varied philosophies of
representation has, inevitably, given
rise to new forms of political conflicts
and confrontations. These conflicts and
confrontations have, over the years,
taken on class and ethnic dimensions;
as Trotman observes, the popular
classes often entertain their own
ideas about heroes and elevate people
not recognized by the state to iconic
Furthermore, some in the Jamaican
society do not subscribe to the view that
national heroes should only be those
who fought to liberate us from slavery,
the injustices of the immediate post-
slavery period or the tyranny of the old
'representative' system of government,
or who led us to independence. This
is the context within which there are
renewed calls for Bob Marley to be
made a national hero." While clearly
a folk hero and an international icon,
with Time magazine in 1999 declaring
his album Exodus as the best album of
the century and the BBC choosing his
"One Love" song as their millennium
anthem, he has not yet been elevated
by the Jamaican state to the status of
a national hero. But his eligibility for
national hero status seems justified
to those who are not obsessed with
questions of his personal morality (he
smoked ganja and had several 'outside'
children, the opposing voices claim).
Supporters regard him as the world's
greatest reggae music icon, a patriotic
Jamaican who made a significant
contribution to the national good, "an
organic and vernacular intellectual
in the struggle for black liberation
and political independence"," and "a
revolutionary figure in the age of global
transnational capital whose music and
message ... [were] part of the 'trans-
popular' culture that was part of the
decolonization process that challenged
the age of global transnational
capitalism"." Recent media reports
that Bob Marley had expressed a desire

to be buried in Ethiopia and that his
widow is considering honouring his
request, might well force the hand of
the government.
The erection of realistic, life-
like statues and busts, or artistic
representations of individual icons, has
not been the only effort to reinscribe
heroic acts and the anti-colonial struggle
on the post-colonial landscape. Efforts
have also been made to capture eventful
episodes in Caribbean, as opposed to
European imperial, history episodes
such as the conquest of the indigenous
peoples, slavery, emancipation and
independence and to honour the
leaders of such movements. The
erection of monuments to the leaders
of the anti-slavery struggle and
black liberation movements has been
an essential post-colonial activity.
Indeed, all over the African diaspora,
the descendants of black freedom
fighters have devised creative ways
of re-voicing collectively the black
experience and finding appropriate
ways to honour the memory of these

freedom fighters. In South Africa, for
example, the Apartheid Museum not
only stands as a monument to Nelson
Mandela, Steve Biko and others who
struggled against the apartheid regime,
but also catalogues the brutality of that
regime. The tradition of memorialising
freedom fighters is also well established
in Jamaica, the wider Caribbean and
Asia, and, in terms of monuments
to slave emancipation and anti-
slavery rebels, even extends to those
European countries that were primarily
responsible for the trade in African
captives and who have been forced
to acknowledge their role in the slave
trade, slavery and their legacies.
Sam Sharpe, the leader of the
1831-32 Emancipation War, has been
memorialised in National Heroes'
Park as well as in Montego Bay. The
park also has a monument to Nanny.
Other Caribbean states, as well as non-
Caribbean countries like Mauritius (see
figure 8), have constructed monuments
to anti-slavery heroes and heroines:
Bussa in Barbados, Alida in Nickerie,
Tula in Curacao, Kwakoe in Suriname,
Damon and Kofi in Guyana, and
individual liberators and Maroons
in Haiti. Amsterdam (see figure 7),
Norway and the United Kingdom
have all erected monuments: Norway,
to those who died on the slave ship
Fredensborg (see figure 10); Bristol,
to John Pinney's Pero (see figure 9).
Additionally, a group of concerned
citizens in Lancaster, United Kingdom,
conscious of that city's involvement
in the transatlantic trade in enslaved
Africans, recently launched the Slave
Trade Arts Memorial Project.
The designs of these slavery and
emancipation monuments the result
of efforts to inscribe the cultural
decolonisation project on the historic
landscape represent a change from
earlier ones, for as Laurence Brown
has pointed out, "in the wake of
emancipation, representations of
freedom across the 19th century
focused on the image of the Liberator
through monuments to leading
[European] abolitionists like Schoelcher,
constructed from the Caribbean to

FIhURE 6: Alvin Marriott's representation of Marley,
.., ., ..... Jamaica

Edinburgh, from Edinburgh to New
York, from Strasbourg to London"."
As the image of Bussa exemplifies, the
tendency now is to depict the enslaved
as initiators of their freedom. 6

FIC Irf 7: Emancipation Monument, Amsterdam,
The Netherlands (Source: http://www.rnw.nl/
FiclRE 8: Emancipation Monument, Mauritius
FicURi 9: Pero's Bridge, Bristol, UK (Source: http://
ww w .disco'. ...r .. . .,, ., ,,. ,. ., ,.
php?sit_id= I&img id=54 1
FIUIRE 10: The Emancipation Statue, Barbados
(Source: Alissandra Cummins, Allison Thompson
and Nick Whittle, Art in Barbados: What Kind of
'I1. i.. i, ,., [lan Randle Publishers in association
with the Barbados Museum and Historical Society,
FIGURE 11: Monument to the enslaved who died on
, ,. Fr, -.. . , ... ... http://
sites 1, .i n o: wand-

But the continued focus on leaders
among the icons memorialised has
led to increasing criticism of the
project of iconographic and symbolic
decolonisation and a call for its
completion through the construction of
sites of memory to the masses, starting
with the rank and file in emancipation
wars. Such calls have become more
strident in the wake of the controversy
emanating from Jamaica's newest
emancipation monument, Laura Facey's
Redemption Song, unveiled in Kingston's
Emancipation Park in July 2003. Jamaica
Journal (28, numbers 2-3) and Small Axe
(September 2004) have both dedicated
space to the leading debates over the
monument, and this article will rely
heavily on those critical discussions.

Debated globally in the mainstream
media and, we are told by Veerle
Poupeye, even appearing in Playboy,17
Redemption Song has stirred up what
one newspaper report described as
"re-nude" controversy over its alleged
over-sexualised symbolic images of
emancipation. Comments have ranged
from "Negroes Aroused" (a play on
Edna Manley's well-known sculpture)
and "dem should cover dem up wid
a loin cloth or something;... why dem
coulden free up them mind inna dem
clothes!?"" to "it merely reinforces
the stereotypes of black people as
sexualized beings" a representation
on which the tourist culture feeds."
Apart from the nudity, the main basis
of opposition, according to Poupeye, is

I ,

that "the iconography of the monument
does not adequately represent the
meaning of emancipation to the Afro-
Jamaican majority",20 a perspective long
expressed by Carolyn Cooper.2
Facey's defence of her project ("my
piece... communicates transcendence,
reverence, strength and unity through
our procreators man and woman
- all of which comes when the mind
is free")" has not appeased those who
dislike it. The opposition has even been
racialised in a country whose motto
is "Out of Many, One People". In a
letter to the Sunday Herald, one Kali
Krishnadatta of the parish of St Mary

Laura Facey-Cooper 23 is a very fine
sculptor, but in the complex race-
colour-class network that governs
Jamaica, she is neither the right
race, nor the right colour, nor the
right class ... Do you think that the
Indian community would allow
a person from a different ethno-
racial group to construct
an emancipation from
indenture monument?
Do you think the Jews
would allow anyone
but a Jewish sculptor
or architect to design a
monument representing the

Kali might be surprised at
the answers, but nevertheless,
the presence of ethnicity in
the debate over symbolic
decolonisation is inevitable in
the context of nations that are
trying to inscribe their vision
of themselves in increasingly
multicultural spaces. Post-
slavery labour migration
brought just over half a million
Asians to the Caribbean,
and today, people of Asian --
descent comprise significant
proportions of the populations
of Guyana, Suriname, and
Trinidad and Tobago. Their
transition from transient
labourers to citizens has been
accompanied by calls (and
successful initiatives) to project i "

themselves onto the Caribbean
landscape. This has not necessarily
pleased the majority African-Caribbean
population, who see the efforts to
recreate Asianness in creole spaces
as a rejection of Caribbeanness and
a reluctance to creolise. But Patricia
Mohammed tells us that "creolisation is
deeply contested among Indians who
regard it as an indication of cultural loss
... as synonymous with the absorption
of Black culture at the expense of
[their own]".25 The rejection by some
Indians of the creolisation model of
cultural change and the suggestion that
'coolitude' might be a more appropriate
model" has been met with silence,
blank looks, hostility to the attempt to
recreate a pejorative term, or extreme
doubt about the ability of 'coolitude' to
offer a way out of the Caribbean culture
of ethnic exclusion and ethnic ranking.
If not Facey's monument, what
then should memorialise trauma and
the battle to end slavery, a battle that
was an essential forerunner to the

modern decolonisation process?27 As
2007, the bicentenary of the abolition
of the transatlantic trade in Africans,
approaches, this call becomes more
urgent. A strong view is that in the
process of mapping and re-mapping
the post-colonial cultural landscape,
singling out'leaders' and sculpting
and mounting them in parks and
museums, or constructing artistic
impressions and representations of the
African experience, the rank and file
in the liberation struggles have been
forgotten perhaps because, as several
historians agree, they were viewed
as criminals and violent protesters
who upset the peace and stability
of plantation society.28 I support the
view that the Caribbean needs to
eradicate once and for all any lingering
perception that anti-slavery rebels
subverted the colonial order.2 Despite
some opposition from elements that
believe that slavery should remain in
the past, that resurrecting the ghosts
of slavery will resurrect equally racist
conflicts and confrontation, I
have argued consistently since
2000 that the African diaspora
should build war memorials
or a remembrance wall to the
unsung heroes and heroines
of liberation struggles (so
far unrepresented among
the memorials in Jamaica,
according to the Jamaica
National Heritage Trust
website), thereby elevating
the victims of slavery to iconic
status and reversing their
characterisation in the archival
records as criminal elements.
They are the ones who,
following the radical tradition
of the Tainos, the Kalinagos
and the Maroons, lit the fires
of freedom, fanned its flames
until they had started an anti-
colonial conflagration that
S could never be extinguished.
S We know many of their names
and we must move to inscribe
such names on appropriate

S FIcURf 12: Redemption Song, Kingston,

Table 1 Types of Memorials

Let me rehearse the general case for
constructing war memorials to anti-
slavery heroes and heroines. The first
rationale is that war memorials are now
familiar sites in the landscape of many
countries. These provide insight into
the changing face of commemoration,
as well as to military, social and political
history. Second, there has been a change
from the construction of war memorials
only for the elite and high-ranking
soldiers, so the commemoration of the
war dead of all ranks is no longer an
unusual occurrence, as was the case in
the years before World War I. Before
that, as data from the British Imperial
War Museum indicate, the rank and file
were viewed by many as the sweepings
of society, only one stage removed from
criminals, and often the two groups
were seen as interchangeable. It was
not until the late nineteenth century
that this perception began to change.
The most familiar twentieth-
century monuments are perhaps the
war memorials to the soldiers who
died in World Wars I and II. Indeed,
the period of memorialisation after
World War I has been described as the
largest public arts project the United
Kingdom, or maybe the world, has
ever seen. The experiences of the six
million Jewish victims of the Holocaust
during the years 1933 to 1945 have also
been preserved in sites of memory and
monuments, like the concentration
camps in Austria and Germany.
The Caribbean has never failed
to do its part to honour the war dead

of the 1914-18 and 1939-45 conflicts.
Jamaica, for example, has its cenotaph
in Heroes' Park, and most Caribbean
states hold Remembrance Day services
during the month of November. But
the earlier war heroes and heroines are
excluded from similar ceremonies.
Third, it is now generally
recognized that the resistance of the
enslaved, especially armed revolt,
played a fundamental role in achieving



Caribbean freedom. I do not wish to
detail the history of armed revolt, as
many historians have already done
so, but I believe that it is important to
reinforce the point that the resistance
of enslaved people made the Atlantic
World an unstable place from the
period of colonisation. This aspect of
Atlantic World history has not escaped
the attention of those involved in
the study of the birth of the Atlantic
World as an integrated and expanding
capitalist economy.? They have shown,
first of all, the centrality of Africans in
creating this Atlantic World. Slavery
transformed the Atlantic into a complex
trading area, turning it into the centre
of the international economy, especially
during the eighteenth and nineteenth
centuries.31 Indeed, as Barbara Solow
has observed, "firm and enduring trade
links between Europe and America
(and I daresay Africa) were not forged
until the introduction of slavery".32
Franklin Knight adds that "without
African slaves and the transatlantic
slave trade, the potential economic
value of the Americas could never have
been realized".33 Since the emergence
of the concept, scholars have engaged
in a rigorous and vigorous theorising
of the Atlantic World. The ideological
perspectives from which they have
approached the study of the Atlantic
World have not been unified. Debates
have ebbed and flowed, for example,
around the issue of identity. Among the
essential questions posed are, Was there
a discrete Atlantic or creole identity that
was distinguishable from a burgeoning
imperialist mentality? Did the cultural
experiences of Africans and Europeans
determine the creation of a creole vision
that ultimately became the symbol of
an Atlantic identity? Was there really
a sense of community in this world or
was it unavoidably unstable?
Obviously, those who coined the
term'Atlantic World' did so because
they discerned common threads that
seemed to have given a recognisable
pattern and sense of community
to the civilisations that developed
and maintained intercontinental
connections. Despite differences

FIGURE 13: Cenotaph in National Heroes' Park,
. .. -1..., lJamaica

of location, imperial economic and
political zone, origin, class, gender,
ethnicity, colour, and status, the
argument goes, common ideologies,
loyalties and institutions developed
in various parts of the Atlantic World.
But critics maintain that very little,
apart from transnational trade and
finance, and perhaps common imperial
relationships and experiences, held this
world together, loosely. There was no
such designation as an Atlantic World
citizen. On the contrary, deep division,
inequality and instability characterized
the Atlantic World as not all of the
people who inhabited this 'world'
were equally committed to its ideals.
The exploited regions in this world of
partners that were not really partners,
as Walter Rodney has long reminded
us, subverted the ideals of the Atlantic
World: the export production of staples;
the import of inputs; bilateral trading
relationships; and what Charles Mills
has described as the "racial contract"
founded on white supremacy and
Eurocentrism the political philosophy
or raison d'itre of the Atlantic World.
As this contract was one between the
socially dominant whites of the North
Atlantic, it was, predictably, contested
by those who were not 'signatories'
but were nevertheless deeply affected
- mostly negatively.34
One of the most rebellious
parts of the Atlantic World was the

Caribbean. In this part of the world,
we honed the practice of marronage,
used here in Rend Depestre's broader
sense of a historical process resulting
from Maroon activity outside of the
plantation system that "engendered
new modes of thinking, of acting,
of feeling, of imagining"." As Rex
Nettleford pointed out in Caribbean
Cultural Identity, "the Caribbean shares
in the great drama of the Americas of
which it is an integral part". In this
part of the world people engaged in
a "process of shaping an indigenous
Caribbean lifestyle and a new, viable,
worldview born out of the collective
experience of a long-dominated but
rebellious people now enslaved, now
brutalized, ... now pressured into
cultural submission, now colonized, but
never defeated".36
The divisions and lack of
egalitarianism, especially in the slave
relations of production or in the
orthodox Marxist sense, relations
of domination made the Atlantic
World deeply unstable. Scholars of
resistance studies have shown that the
indigenous peoples and the enslaved
were probably responsible for most
of the instability that characterized
the Atlantic World, for they were not
incorporated into the Atlantic World as
citizens with equal rights but as chattel,
enslaved and inferior 'other'. Therefore,
the anti-slavery struggles (and later

decolonisation movements) would
illustrate the lack of consensus even
within discrete economic zones such as
the British Empire.
Many wars were staged in the
Caribbean from the moment of
conquest and colonisation. Indeed,
Hilary Beckles has long argued that the
many slave revolts and plots between
1638 and 1838 in the British Caribbean
alone could be conceived of as the two
hundred years' war one protracted
struggle launched by Africans and their
Afro-West Indian progeny (at times
with minimal participation from free
people) against their enslavers.37
Michael Craton has provided an
overview of the chronology, frequency
and intensity of the wars in the
British Caribbean. He has tracked
the geography of some of these, for
example, the 1760 war in Jamaica, the
1816 war in Barbados and the 1823 war
in Demerara. He has also provided
us with contemporary visual images
- some, representations by the English
militia that suggest that these were
no mere skirmishes but outright wars,
organised armed revolts. The images of
enslaved people, free blacks, and white
militiamen with rifles and in military

FIGURE 14. White militia on parade, Georgetown,
Guyana, mobilised against the Demerara rebels
in 1825. Portion of engraving by Joshua Bryant.
(Source: Michael Craton, Testing the Chains
[Cornell University Press, 1982])

gear and formation abound, starting
from visual representations of Maroon
wars and continuing through to
nineteenth-century liberation struggles.
John K. Thornton reminds us
that we should not be reluctant to
acknowledge that revolts of enslaved
people in the Caribbean were planned
and executed primarily by enslaved
men with military skills and experience,
and that it was not only the so-called
heroic leaders who possessed such
skills. Using the example of Haiti,
he stresses that the enslaved had
remarkable capacities for war, and
they did not fight desperate wars. The
love of liberty and enthusiasm alone
could not win wars and could not
defeat cold steel.3" So, on the contrary,
the enslaved did not suddenly rise
from agricultural labourers to military
experts. Many arrived from Africa
with military skills. Indeed, African
military service had been the route
through which many had entered the
transatlantic trade in Africans as war
captives or prisoners of war. Many
had served in African armies prior to
arrival in the Caribbean. Thorton uses
this issue of military prowess among
new African arrivals to help to explain
the success of the Haitian Revolution.
In any event, as scholars of slave
resistance would agree, later revolts in
other territories would demonstrate
that the lack of a military tradition
did not prevent the creolised
enslaved from seizing and using the
weapons to their advantage. During
the war led by Tacky in Jamaica, the
Coromantees from several estates
seized forty muskets and four barrels
of gunpowder from Fort Haldane and
obviously knew how to use them. The
accounts of the 1831-32 Emancipation
War in Jamaica, especially that
narrated by Bernard Senior, one of
the English military officers active in
the suppression, reinforce the military
aspects of the war. In fact, Senior used
military terms to describe the male
rebels captain, colonel and general
being the most common. The reports
of that war indicate that Sam Sharpe
himself had no military skills, but
he appointed Colonel Gardner to be
the military tactician and strategist.
The principal enslaved leaders also

organised the whole of western Jamaica
into revolutionary cells, called units,
and the leader of each was given a
military designation. Hilary Beckles
also indicates, in Black Rebellion in
Barbados, that the leaders of 1816 laid
down precise military plans involving
the use of small contingents drawn
from most estates to attack the militia.
They apparently had no plan to attack
non-militia targets.
The punishment lists from the
1831-32 Emancipation War in Jamaica,
involving the parishes of Hanover,
Manchester, Portland, Trelawny, St
Elizabeth, St James, St Thomas-in-
the-East, St Thomas-in-the-Vale and
Westmoreland, and which started with
the usual fire just after Christmas in
December 1831, provide some of the
names for the proposed war memorials
or remembrance wall.'" Based on the
official estimates, some 619 rebels
were killed in this war 307 in open
rebellion and 312 executed by the slave
courts and the courts martial.4" Kamau
Brathwaite puts the figure killed in
open rebellion even higher, estimating
that over one thousand enslaved people
had been shot or killed by other means
during the rebellion.4' According to
Craton's account, of those executed,
28 per cent were shot and 72 per cent
hanged.42 The names in table 2 (page
42), extracted from the St James list,
demonstrate both the brutality of the
punishment and a sample of names
for the proposed war memorials. The
process of iconic and iconographic
decolonisation will not be complete
unless we inscribe and capture
these names for present and future
generations. The testimonies and trial
accounts of those implicated, wrongly
or rightly, in the rebellion, a sample of
which was carried in volumes 27 and 28
of Jamaica Journal, should leave us in no
doubt about the suitability of these men
and women for elevation to heroic and
iconic status. The punishment list adds
further evidence.

The Caribbean has made great strides
on the decolonisation path; but while
many territories have made the
transition to a post-colonial state, a new
world order, long installing their own

leaders and handling their own affairs,
the decolonisation of the Caribbean
has not reached an end. Colonialism
as a form of European world rule has
mostly completed its cycle, yes; but
what we could call the fifth phase,
that of mental liberation and iconic
decolonisation, is still in action, despite
the age-old pleas of Marcus Garvey and
Bob Marley. I suggest that part of this
project requires a process of honouring
not just the acknowledged leaders, but
the rank and file in wars of liberation,
thus satisfying critics of existing
monuments. Indeed, the Caribbean
needs a wider range of tangible
and national sites of memory to
memorialise slavery and the slave trade
and to honour those who fought in
what were arguably liberation armies.
I realise that there is much more global
attention to issues such as reparation
and contemporary forms of slavery. But
while we call on those who trespassed
against our ancestors to help to redress
the legacies of slavery, we must also
rescue the ghosts of slavery from an
improper burial, to use the literary critic
Jenny Sharpe's characterisation.4" War
memorials for the black war victims
are one solution. As one young Bristol
filmmaker said, "we [the descendants
of enslaved peoples] want somewhere
to leave a flower", to lay a wreath just
like those who lost loved ones in World
Wars I and II do each November.44
Without such memorials, the pain
and loss captured by Toni Morrison will
continue to haunt us:

No place you or I can go to think
about or not to think about, to
summon the presence of or
recollect the absences of slaves;
nothing that reminds us of the ones
who made the journey and of those
who did not make it.4 ..

Extracted from "Because They Lit a Fire:
Completing the Process of Iconographic
Decolonization in Jamaica" (keynote address
at the conference Global Fire, University
of Vienna, Austria, 1-4 December 2005). 1
acknowledge the assistance of Dalea Bean,
Kerry-Ann Morris and Ahmed Reid with
graphs and photographs.

Table 2 A Return of Those Tried by Courts Martial & Civil Courts in the Parish of St James for their Role in the 1831/32 Emancipation War

Stephen Alien




*James Anglin Bonavista Death
(Lucius alias William Angin Cambridge 100 lashes
Alleck Moor Park Death
Richard Allen Unit Hall Est. 150 lashes & 6 months.
Wiliam Archibald Newman Hal 300 lashes
Nicholas Birch Leogan Death/commute 4d to 6 months in prison
Robert Bowen Wiltshire Death/executed
John Bowing Friendship Death/executed
Bina Moor Park 100 lashes
David Bernard Thomas I. Bernard Death/executed
Edwin alias Sam Bernard Geo. C. Ricketts 300 lashes & 6 months in prison
lames Bernard Bandon Penn Death/executed
Becky Virgin Valley Postponed
Joseph Brown Newmanhal Death
*Willam Barnett Anchovy Death
*George Brissett Knockalva Deat
Elizabeth Bal Free 24 lashes
Charles Dickson Brown Argyle 300 lashes & 3 months in prison
George Bucknr Unity Hall Est 200 ashes& 3 months in prison
homas Baie Unity Hall Est. Death/commuted to 200 ashes/6 months prison
John Baillie Unity Hall Est Life/commuted to 200 lashes/6 months prison
lames Bennett/ Robert Walker Springfield / Helen Cordon Death y execution / Death by execution
Harris, alias Sam Brown Est. ofJohn Dodd (dec) Deathcommuted to transportation
Charles Barrett Roehampton 100 lashes
Edward Bowen Adelphi Death/commuted to person for life & 300 lashes
Nathaniel Brown Worcester Death/executed
Edgar alias Davie Bernard Bonavista Death/executed
November alias Wi liam Bowen Cambridge Deathexecuted
Cromwelf- Spring Mount Dear/executed
Charlotte Moor Park Reprimanded
John Clarke Wiltshire 200 lashes
Thomas Chambers Mrs. L Chambers 200 leases & 6 months in prison,
*Samuel Cunningham Belfield Death
'Fred Cunningham Belfeld Acquitted
Edward Chambers John M. Bucknor Acquitted
*Willam Clarke Bam i)o Death
Sam Clarke Retirement Deatihexecufid
Cuffee Lima Death/executed
Henry Collman Belfield Death/executed
Samuel Cleland Belfield Death/executed
Cvrus Vaughansield Death/executed
George Clarke| Lapland |200 lashes
Alexander Campbell New Montpelier 100 lashes
Sam Dickson iWelcome Death
William Dodd Concordia Death/executed
Davie Moor Park0 lashes
John Dunbar John H. Morris Death/executed
George Duhaney Mrs. R. Grizzell Death
Thomas Duhany Wlliamsleld Death/executed
Nicholas Doman Roehampton Death
James Dodd Est. of John Dodd iDecl 300 lashes
Duncan aka Thomas Dennston Ann G. Morrs Death/Executed
Dennis Rebecca Grizzell Deathexecuted
Daniel Dehany Worchester iDeath/executed
George Edwards MrsWarburton Death/executed
Prince Edward ohn S. Waite Deah/executed
Wiliam Ehis Welcome Death
James Ellis Death
Martin Fowies Wiltshire Death/executed
Thos Flemming Friendship Death/executed
Joseph Fitzroy Re remen Death/executed
Henry Finlavson I Summer Hill '300 lashes
Edward Fowler In.Fn Ir Death/executed
Adam aliasThYlos G Coi n '. Death/executed
Richard Gillespie John S. Waite Deah/execute
Thomas Callowav Unity Hall Death/executed

lohn Gordon

Unity Hall

*James Guy Belield
*Ann Guy Belfield
eorge Grant Retirement
David Gordon Sprin Garden
iohn Cuthne Arigle
Alexander Cow Castle Wemyss
Charles Gordon Unity Hall EsI.
Robert alas Sam Griffith Summer Hill Penn
Wiliam Gale Spring Garen
Thomas Gordfion Worchester
Edward Hall Stapeton
Samuel Haywas Moor Park
joseph Hocher Welcome
*George Hall Kirkparick H~1
Harry Retirement
Hewan Kirkpatrick Hall
loseph Hilton Chestercastle
George Halson Spring Mount



Death/commuted to 6 monhsn prison.

500 lashes

Thomas Heslop Leoan 100 lashes & 1 month in prison.
George Helington Roehampton Transportation/100 lashes
William Hilton New Montpelier 200 lashes
Robert lames Bonavista Est. Death/executed
lames Ennis Bonavista Est. Death/executed
Henry lames Burn Ground Death/executed
Charles ames Beverly Penn Death/executed
Blacksmith James Retirement Death/executed
James Industry Death/commuted to 12 mths in the workhouse
*Jenny Kirkpatrick Hall Death
lames Johnson Est. of William Brown 150 lashes & 3 months hard labour
William Jarrett Spring Garden Death/executed
Alexander Kerr Daniel Hine 150 lashes
Robert Kerr Est. of Samuel Kerr (dec) Death/executed
George Lawrence Cambridge Estate Death/executed
Thomas Linton John H. Morris Esq. Death/executed
George lawrence Stapletton Death/executed
Eliza Lawrence John H. Morris 50 lashes & 6 months in prison.
Blly Lawrence Kirk Patrck Hall Death
*Edward Lewis Anchov Death
George Longmore Wiliam Cark Death (execution)
Geo Lawrence aka (Litle Gorge Worchester Death/exeuted
Richard Lawrence Kensington Death/executed
M. !?) Lawrence Kensington Head driver) Death/executed
Willam McKenzie Friendship Death/executed
lames Murray Mrs. Warburon Death/executed
John Mattick Mrs. MaRttck 300 lashes &transportation
'lohn McLachlan Sprig Garden Death
*Thomas Mitchell Spring Garden Death
lames Morris alias Downer R.T. Downer Esq Death/executed
John Morris Duckett Spring Death/executed
CTarles Morris Old Montpelier Death/commuted to transportation.
Dublin Malcolm Old Montpelier Death/ditto
Charles McClennan Springfield Deathommuted to ransportaton
Yawle aias Geo McClenan ohn McClenan Death/executed
Alexander Mclntosh Leogan Death/executed
Charles Moulton Mrs Mary Scarlett 150 lashes
Alkck aias Alexander Milne Chesterfield 3 months prison, 50 lashes going in and out
John McDona ldChesterfield Transportation for life
Bily alias illy Mihty Elizabeth Allison Transportation for lie
George Miller Roehampton Death/commuted to transportation
ohn Mason Kensington Death/executed
Tomas Mudie Alexander Mudle Deathiexecuted
Roert las Robert Norman Eliza S. Bernard Death/execuled
Lord Nelson Retirement Death/executed
Charles Perry Adelph Estate Death/executed
*George Phillips Newman all Death
*George Porter Woelcome Death
Geo Plummer liol. 9" slartsl Retirement Death
Prince Spring Mount Death/executed
Alexander Peern Roehampion Death/pardoned
John Roper Dr. Wlldam ames Bernard Death/executed
Thos Richardson John H. Morris Death
Wlliam Reid Mrs. R. Grizzel Death/executed
Robin Flamstead r3Death/executed
Wiidam Richards Unity Hall Death/executed
John Robinson Roehampton 200 lashes & 6 months prison at hard labour
September JosephBowen Acquitted
Samuel Sharpe S amul r Eq. Death/executed
Beck's ames aka Wiliam Slennett Moor Park Dealh/executed
David Strachan Miss Dodd Death/commuled to 200 lashes
Allred Smith Postponed
lohn Smith T ohn S Walle Death/execuled
Thomas Stevenson I Jacob Graham Death/executed
'George Sawyer P. A. Scarlet Pardonerl
*Success Sunderland 50 lashes
Stephen_ Sal300 lashes 6 months in pson
Richard Stewar Unity Hall Death/executed
Kity Scarlet NCambridge Death/commuled to transporalon.
David Svms Roehampton Death/kommuted to transportation.
William yor Belfield Death/execuled
James Gordon Tharpm eHamplon Deah/execuriedn
John Tha3rp Miss Ann Williams iDeath/execuled
Lawrence Tharp Hampton Death/executed
Thomas Moor ark Death/executed
'Trvall WKirkpaiinck Hllf Death
Richard Walker Est. oi lohn Hllton ldec Death/execuled
Thomas Walker New Montpelier Death/commuted to 200 lashes
WilliamVernon James Vernon Esq. Death/executed
WiIllam SpringlMount Death/executed
George Wliams Seven Rivers I month prison; 50 lashes in & 100 coming out
Martin Wiliams Hazelmph Death/commuted to transportation.
Cufiee alias Willken William Rickerb (clec) Death/executed
lohinWilson Thomas Gray Death/executed
William Wilson Anchovy Bottom 100 lashes
(Source:CO 137/185/fols 2l7 241)

1. For a theoretical discussion of
colonialism, see Jirgen Osterhammel,
Colonialism: A Theoretical Overview
(Kingston: lan Randle, 1997) and
Marc Ferro, Colonization: A Global
History (London: Routledge, 1997).
See also Walter Rodney, How Europe
Underdeveloped Africa (London: Bogle-
L'Ouverture, 1973) and David Trotman,
"Symbolic Decolonisation and the
City Landscape in Trinidad" (paper
presented at the conference City Life
in Caribbean History, Third Text and
Testimony Collective Conference,
University of the West Indies, Cave Hill,
Barbados, 11-13 December 2003).
2. Petrina Dacres, "Monument and
Meaning", Small Axe, no. 16 (September
2004): 149. See also Carolyn Cooper,
"Enslaved in Stereotype: Race and
Representation in Post-Independence
Jamaica", Small Axe, no. 16 (September
2004): 154-69.
3. Trotman, "Symbolic Decolonisation";
see also Carleen Payne, "The Heroic
Construction of St Kitts' 'Papa'
Bradshaw" (seminar paper, University
of the West Indies, Cave Hill, Barbados,
May 2003).
4. Bill Ashcroft, Gareth Griffiths and Helen
Tiffin, eds., The Post-Colonial Studies
Reader (London: Routledge, 1995), 1.
5. Payne, "The Heroic Construction", 1.
6. Report by Georgia Hemmings, Sunday
Gleaner, 18 July 2004, F3.
7. Daily Gleaner, 22 November 2005, A6.
8. Report in the Daily Gleaner, 12 October
2004, A3.
9. Daily Gleaner, 22 November 2005, A6.
10. Daily Gleaner, 12 October 2004, A3.
11. Trotman, "Symbolic Decolonisation".
12. See Reverend Devon Dick's suggestion
in the Daily Gleaner, 22 November
2005. In "Jamaica Needs a Memorial
for Former Prime Ministers", Jeff Shim
lamented the lack of "a living memorial
that features past Prime Ministers"
(Sunday Observer, 25 July 2004, 21).
13. Quoted by Eron Henry, "Marley for
National Hero?", Gleaner, 15 April 2000,
B7. He was quoting Grant Farred's 1997
PhD dissertation (Princeton).
14. Quoted by Henry, ibid. He took that
quotation from Masa-Hide Kato, a
doctoral candidate at the University of
15. Laurence Brown, "Monuments to
Freedom, Monuments to Nation:
The Politics of Emancipation and
Remembrance in the Eastern
Caribbean", Slavery and Abolition 23, no.

3 (December 2002): 94.
16. Ibid., 99.
17. Veerle Poupeye, "A Monument in the
Public Sphere: The Controversy about
Laura Facey's Redemption Song", Jamaica
Journal 28, nos. 2-3 (December 2004): 37.
18. Gleaner, 2 August 2003, Al, A3.
19. Ibid.
20. Poupeye, "A Monument", 40.
21. Cooper, "Enslaved in Stereotype".
22. Notes in programme brochure for
the opening ceremony for the statue
Redemtion Song, quoted in Poupeye, "A
Monument", 42.
23. The artist prefers to use 'Facey' instead
of 'Facey-Cooper' as her professional
24. Sunday Herald, 10-16 August 2003, and
Jamaica Journal 28, nos. 2-3 (December
2004): 39.
25. Patricia Mohammed, "The 'Creolisation'
of Indian Women in Trinidad", in
Questioning Creole, ed. Verene Shepherd
and Glen Richards (Kingston: lan
Randle, 2002), 130-47.
26. Marina Carter and Khal Torabully,
eds., Coolitud: An Anthology of the Indian
Labour Diaspora (London: Anthem, 2002),
27. Annie Paul and Krista A. Thompson,
"Caribbean Locales/Global Artworlds",
Small Axe, no. 16 (September 2004): vi
28. Payne, "The Heroic Construction".
29. Ibid., 1.
30. See, for example, Paul E. Lovejoy
and Nicholas Rogers, eds., Unfree
Labour in the Development of the Atlantic
World (Essex: Frank Cass, 1994); John
Thornton, "The Birth of an Atlantic
World", in Caribbean Slavery in the
Atlantic World, ed. Verene A. Shepherd
and Hilary McD. Beckles (Kingston: Ian
Randle, 2000); and Barbara Solow, ed.,
Slavery and the Rise of the Atlantic System
(Cambridge: Cambridge University
Press, 1991).
31. For a discussion of the development
of an international economy even
before the nineteenth century, see
William Ashworth, A Short History of
the International Economy since 1850
(London: Longmans, 1987), chapter 7.
32. Barbara Solow, "Slavery and
Colonization", in Slavery and the Rise of
the Atlantic System, ed. Barbara Solow
(Cambridge: Cambridge University
Press, 1991), 21.
33. Franklin Knight, "Slavery and
Lagging Capitalism in the Spanish
and Portuguese American Empires",
in in Slavery and the Rise of the Atlantic

System, ed. Barbara Solow (Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press, 1991), 72.
34. For an elaboration of this theory, see
Charles W. Mills, The Racial Contract
(Ithaca: Comell University Press, 1997).
35. See Depestre's discussion in Kathleen
Balutansky and Marie-Agnes Sourieau,
eds., Caribbean Creolization: Reflections
on the Cultural Dynamics of Language,
Literature and Identity (Kingston:
University of the West Indies Press,
1998), as well as the editors' summary;
and "Les Aventures de la crolite", in
Ralph Ludwig, ed., Ecrire la parole le
la nuit: La nouvelle litterature antillaise
(Paris: Gallimard, 1994).
36. Ibid.
37. Hilary Beckles, "The 200 Years
War: Slave Resistance in the British
West Indies An Overview of the
Historiography", Jamaican Historical
Review 13 (1982): 1-10.
38. John K. Thornton, "African Soldiers in
the Haitian Revolution", in Caribbean
Slavery in the Atlantic World, ed. Verene
A. Shepherd and Hilary McD. Beckles
(Kingston: lan Randle, 2000), 933-45.
39. B.W. Higman, Slave Population and
Economy in Jamaica, 1807-1834 (Kingston:
The Press, University of the West Indies,
1995), 12-13.
40. Mary Turner, Slaves and Missionaries:
The Disintegration of Jamaican Slave
Society, 1787-1834 (Kingston: The Press,
University of the West Indies, 1998), 161.
41. Kamau Brathwaite, Wars of Respect:
Nanny, Sam Sharpe and the Struggle for
People's Liberation (Kingston: Agency for
Public Information, 1977), 28.
42. Craton,
43. Jenny Sharpe, The Ghosts of Slavery: A
Literary Archaeology of Black Women's
Lives (Minneapolis: University of
Minnesota Press, 2003).
44. Portcities, Bristol, www.
45. Mae G. Henderson, "Toni Morrison's
Beloved: Re-Membering the Body as
Historical Text", in Comparative American
Identities: Race, Sex and Nationality in
Modern Text, ed. Hortense Spillers and
Marjorie Pryse (New York: Routledge,
1991), 62-86; also in Toni Morrison's
Beloved: A Casebook, ed. William
Andrews and Nelle McKay (New York:
Oxford University Press, 1999), 79-106.


As the John Crow Flies



In 1942, the officers of Jamaica's
military garrison who nursed their
gins at the bar of the Liguanea Club
admitted three fears. First, that German
"special service troops, heavily armed
and 300 strong, might swoop ashore
from submarines", perhaps rowing
into Bull Bay, or else following all those
other feared invaders of seventeenth-
and eighteenth-century Jamaica to come
ashore at Old Harbour before attacking
Spanish Town and Kingston. Next, they
were nervous that they would miss the
war and, increasingly, they worried that
the newly arrived American troops in
their lease-lend base at Fort Simons,
Vernamfield in Clarendon, would
produce the up-to-date map of Jamaica
that the colony's Survey Department
had long failed to complete.' Six years
earlier, the department had proposed
an aerial survey as a preliminary to
such a map, but the Royal Air Force
refused to send a plane when it had
no West Indian base and, in the depths
of the Great Depression, the Air
Ministry's alternative suggestion of
hiring a commercial air survey firm led
nowhere. Now the US Army Air Corps
had a base on the island.2
In practice, the officers could have
rested easy on two counts: for the
first, German U-boats would attack
Aruba and shipping off Trinidad
later that year, but no submarines
or inconspicuous tramp steamers
crammed with Nazi storm troopers
sailed for Jamaica; for the second, the
battalion that provided the island's
garrison in 1942 would sustain
gallantly high casualties in Europe in
1944.3 On the third count, however,
the Americans quickly superseded
frantic British efforts to consolidate
accumulated survey data into a new
map. During December 1941 and
January 1942, an American survey
plane flew to and fro across the island

taking a series of high-altitude vertical
shots. These photographs were then
sent to Philadelphia where the resulting
controlled mosaic was consolidated via
a polyconic projection into a series of
sheets comprising a 1/50,000 map of
the colony. In the short term it would
do little to console bruised British
professional pride that while the map
was "prepared under the direction of
the Chief of Engineers, US Army", the
authority for the resulting publication
remained shared with "the Royal
Engineers and the Jamaica Survey
Department". The photographs then
provided the base for a 1/50,000 scale
map of the island that the Survey
Department produced in 1954.4 The US
Army Air Corps's 1941-42 photographs
and 1942 map constitute the earliest
aerial photographic survey of the
island. The images offer a base for
comparisons in discussing subsequent
What the stories demonstrate
- besides the sheer foreignness of
even the recent past is that aerial
photography has a long history in
Jamaica. It is an impressive history
as Jamaica has offered "marvellous"
opportunities for flying, "with usually
clear weather, an absence of other
aircraft, and stunning views of the
sea and mountains".5 The resulting
accumulation of photographs and
satellite images held on the island has
the potential to provide archaeologists,
architectural historians, historical
geographers and historians with
important visual resources. Elsewhere,
archaeologists working in other
post-colonial societies have drawn
on similar collections as databases,
both in identifying sites and for their
subsequent monitoring.6 In Jamaica,
the remarkable collaborations by the
late Jack Tyndale-Biscoe, a keen flyer
and the proprietor of a Jamaican aerial

survey firm, and David Buisseret, a
historian, in illustrating Historic Jamaica
from the Air, published in 1969 and then
in a substantially revised second edition
in 1996, have already demonstrated to
a wider public the impressive potential
for aerial photographs to illuminate
archaeological and historical questions.7
This article surveys some of the
extensive accumulation of photographs
held in Jamaica, discusses why they
were made and offers some initial
suggestions on how archaeologists and
historians may draw on the resulting
sequence of images.
Starting with the basics, aerial
photographs present bird's-eye views
of the landscape." These are either
vertical, looking straight down, or
else oblique, looking down at an
angle. Definitions for appraising
aerial photographs developed during
World War I and subsequently taken
over by British archaeologists still
provide a useful starting point. The
distinctive individual features that
aerial photography can portray fall
into three types: shadow marks, soil
marks and crop marks. Shadow marks
are produced by banks and ditches
standing out in relief. The nature of
the shadows these features will cast is
dependent on both the direction and
the angle of the sun at the time that
a picture is taken: ditches or banks
at right angles to the sun will cast far
more clearly defined shadows than
those running parallel to the sun's rays.
As a result, shots of the same features
taken at different times of the day, or
else when the sun is lower in the sky
at sunrise or towards sunset, can catch
different patterns of shadows. Soil
marks and crop marks both indicate
disturbances of the subsoil. Soil marks
show contrasts between different
soil types showing up in ploughed
land: either as the dark edges of the

FIGURE I: Fort Augusta from above, 27 August 1983.
A survey photograph by lack Tyndale-Biscoe. This
shows part of the new harbour and causeway
to Portmore, along with the tip of the Palisadoes
point at the top right. The image demonstrates
not only the difficulty of constructing a stone fort
on the original Mosquito Point, which required
massive piers driven into the mud, but also the site's
original importance. The sand bars that can be seen
between it and the Palisadoes would force any ships
entering Kingston Harbour to sail towards the fort
and its battery of guns.

humus- or charcoal-rich fill of a ditch
or pit showing against lighter-coloured
fields or else as the smeared white
outline from a ploughed-over shell
midden highlighted against darker
surrounding soil. This sort of feature
will occur in Jamaica and should
merit looking out for. Crop marks
offer a third phenomenon. The best
known types occur on thin topsoils. In
times of drought, crops growing over
ditches or pits where ground water
is retained longer may continue to
flourish while the rest of the field is
parched. Conversely, the roots of crops

sown over walls, foundations and
former roads are stunted and will be
parched when the rest of the crop is
still healthy. Seen from above, these
phenomena can produce dark green
lines running across lighter-toned
fields, or else bleached lines and points
against a greener background. Where
crop marks of these 'negative' and
'positive' sorts are observed, they
can produce remarkably detailed
plans.9 Sites identified elsewhere in
this fashion have produced some
impressive discoveries. For a long
time, British discussions of the value
of aerial photography as a distinct
technique for archaeological fieldwork
emphasised crop marks. Introductory
texts lead with discoveries from the
chalk hills of south-east England, or
on river gravels, or the silty soils of
the English Fenlands, or else from
the thin clay-over-chalk soils of the
Somme valley in northern France
and whatever the soil examining

fields sown with cereals or perhaps
drought-stricken clover and meadow.
Neither chalk hillsides nor fields of
grain are site-types that we are likely to
find when going through West Indian
photographic collections.
In looking at aerial images of
Jamaica, we need to acknowledge
what we will not see. The island's clay
soils may bake and crack in a drought,
but what moisture there is will still
percolate, so that former pits and
ditches will not show up as crop marks;
nor will such marks necessarily occur
in thinner soils overlaying limestone
- whose own fairly regular cracks and
fissures can all too easily be mistaken
for human activity. As always, there are
exceptions, and some crop marks have
been observed over some limestone
formations.10 Then, in contrast to
those temperate crops of wheat and
barley or oats and rye, cane fields do
not appear to prove as sensitive an
indicator of sub-surface foundations

and ditches (though experienced local
pilots might well be able to contradict
this comment). Before we despair, in
other instances fields of tea and sisal
have, apparently, provided useful
images." A further tendency for the
aerial surveys undertaken in Jamaica by
Canadian and British companies to be
scheduled during the northern winter,
when equipment and crews were not
being used at home, means that a
disproportionate number of the older
sets of photographs cluster between
December and March, so are less likely
to have been flown over parched
fields.12 (This is a significant loss as
these include most of the low-level
surveys.) Then, compounding all these
problems, in a tropical climate 'bush'
sprouts up quickly, obscuring features
of all sorts, man-made and natural
alike.13 Yet none of these factors should
oblige us to walk out of the Document
Centre at the National Land Agency's
Surveys and Mapping Division without

consulting its indexes and filing
cabinets. Jamaica has its own distinctive
and revealing features, first, because
Jamaica does have some areas of river
gravels and gravel-based coastal raised
beaches where, under some crops and
given drought conditions, crop marks
may yet be observable. Second, soil
marks can appear in clay soils after they
are ploughed and even without long
northern winter evenings and sunrises
- some features will still shed some
shadow marks. What is more, careful
observation may yet identify further
ways that buried features manifest
themselves through uneven growth
in tropical crops.14 As one experienced
practitioner observes, "even the most
unpromising of areas has potential
when conditions are right".'5 Then, in
looking at standing monuments from
the island's more recent past houses,
ruins, townscapes or field systems
- sets of aerial photographs provide an
invaluable base for surveys of historical

architecture or heritage resources or,
indeed, for addressing basic questions
about land use and erosion.16 There
should be worthwhile things to search
for; not looking remains the surest way
not to find anything.
There are certainly plenty of
photographs to examine. These include
the private collections of photographs
accumulated between the 1950s and
the mid-1980s by Jack Tyndale-Biscoe.
The two editions of Jamaica from
the Air offer a sample of his efforts.
Many more of his black and white
photographs may be consulted at the
Jamaica Archives and at the National
Library of Jamaica, though prints from

FIGURE 2: Myrtle Bank Hotel as rebuilt after the
1907 earthquake, looking north from the harbour,
5 August 1955, when it was still Kingston's
premier hotel. The landing stage, where a ship's
passengers could come ashore, is in the foreground.
The warehouses on either side show how far
Kingston's docks dominated the waterfront until the
construction of Newport West after independence
in 1962.

his colour films are not held in public
collections. The Tyndale-Biscoe deposits
include some vertical aerial surveys,
often single plates commissioned by
individual customers, besides some
substantial series, like those surveying
the aftermath of the Rio Minho floods
of the early 1980s, but many of these
photographs are oblique shots, taken
out of the cabin window and depicting
material that he thought looked
interesting. Scholars should find his
work increasingly valuable. For all the
necessary caveats that "air photographs
show something which has been
seen briefly and from a distance",
so that even the best pictures need
interpretation, these photographs are
clear and illustrate significant topics
over a period when the island was
changing rapidly.17
Jamaica has further impressive
collections of aerial images in public
hands, some generated by official
projects, some by private interest.

Several aid-sponsored or government-
commissioned aerial surveys have
been undertaken since 1949.18 Some
focused on particular regions, others
covered the whole island. Texts such
as the 2002 manual on photographic
interpretation for Jamaican foresters,
commissioned by the organisation Trees
for Tomorrow, illustrate the nature of
the holdings retained in individual

FI;URE 3: Start of clearing
of Kingston Pen for Tivoli
Gardens, 3 October 1963.
Shows the extent of this long-
established squatter settlement,
the scale of the individual
buildings and the absence of

Fii.,us IB (detail): An aerial
photograph catches a tense
moment. The bulldozer seems
to have made one run, as there
is a pile of debris behind it, but
a crowd had assembled. The
detail also demonstrates the
variety of builds, including
one whose fenced-in yard held
two wooden benches.

government departments." Alongside
all of these collections, satellite-derived
surveys are providing increasingly
well-defined images of the island. The
largest series of photographs are the
official surveys done between 1949
and 1999. The most accessible of these
are held by the National Land Agency.
These are runs of photographic prints
commissioned from private firms


primarily British and Canadian,
but including Mr Tyndale-Biscoe too
which were undertaken either for
cartographical purposes or, covering
specific areas, as preliminaries for
particular development projects. What
this means is that they are vertical
shots taken automatically by cameras
set on frames pointing down from a
plane running at a constant speed
and height, navigating up and down
parallel flight lines across the island. In
order to allow the prints to be viewed
through stereoscopic lenses, such
cameras are set to take photographs
in a closely overlapping sequence,
seeking at least a 50 per cent overlap
between each plate, though, as a usual
safety margin to allow for displacement
when the scale changes as the plane's
path crosses hills or valleys, generally
aiming at 60 per cent. The flight lines
scheduled for each run will plan
to incorporate a further 30 per cent
'sidelap' with neighboring runs. As a
result, phenomena that seem interesting
in one photograph may well be shown
in plates taken just before or just after,
or else on further photographs taken on
a parallel run. The resulting images are
available at various scales, including
some regional surveys commissioned

in 1954 at 1/6,000, though most are
at 1/15,000 or 1/40,000. After the US
Army Air Corps's 1/50,000 1941-42
set and a further set that they also took
showing Kingston and its environs at
1/10,000, the surviving surveys include
a 1/12,500 black and white survey of
the whole island made in 1953, besides
complete 1 /15,000 black and white
surveys in 1968, 1979-80 and 1991-92,
plus another in colour at 1/40,000 taken
in 1999 that covers 90 per cent of the
country.20 Satellite pictures are now
available too. Successive overflying
cameras have caught some fascinating
images, although these were taken on
an automatic timer, so each image is
framed by time rather than focusing
on anything in particular. Individual
photographs may also incorporate
clouds below the plane or the shadows
cast by clouds above it. To make access
a little more difficult, not all of the
indexes supplied with the original sets
of contact prints, showing the flight
lines where the planes flew and which
plates were exposed at each stage, are
available today.21 Nevertheless, it is
still possible to identify useful material
by working through bundles of prints.
Researchers can access successive series
of Jamaican aerial surveys.

FICURE 4: Morant Bay, photographed in March
1954 at 1/6,000. The image shows the town plan,
including the court house on the square, and the
town's relation to the harbour and the local road

The Jamaican government's
photographic holdings range wider
still. Forestry surveys offer a further
corpus of images, often showing
the same areas at annual or bi-
annual intervals. European-trained
archaeologists may simply consider
them tantalising, because in aerial
surveys intended to show the status
of forestry resources, each set focuses
on blocks of woodland in full leaf,
leaving most underlying features
obscured. However, in fieldwork in the
US Virgin Islands, fruit trees poking
out of the forest cover provided useful
indicators for abandoned house sites
and former food grounds, which
suggests that forestry surveys could
have considerable potential as a
resource for West Indian archaeological
fieldwork.22 The list can certainly go
on: future researchers should find
that the individual aerial photographs
submitted as part of applications for
planning consent present a further
corpus of images of landscapes just
prior to their undergoing substantial
alterations.23 Similarly, we can hope that
the path-breaking work undertaken
at New Seville in the early 1980s,
exploring the possibilities for using
infrared photography to distinguish
foundations and other archaeological
features (which won the Jamaican
government an award for applied
engineering in 1982), may yet be
extended to further sites.24 We can
also recognize gaps in even these
extensive holdings. While some aerial
photographs of Jamaica made by the
then US Army Air Corps during World
War II are held in the US National
Archives in Washington, what remains
conspicuously absent in these lists
are any photographs undertaken
by the post-war Caribbean Defense
Command of the United States, or
by Britain's Royal Air Force prior to
Jamaica's independence, or by the
Jamaica Defence Force's Air Wing since

Jamaica's aerial photographic
resources are an impressive and
tantalising collection. Clearly we
should still ask for more: perhaps
looking out for photographs taken
at instances when tree felling or
cane cutting expose land surfaces, or
else urging sympathetic pilots to fly
over drought-stricken areas to see
whether any crop marks are revealed.
The experiences of European aerial
archaeologists highlight the value
of undertaking repeated flights over
particular areas, which increases the
chance of catching fleeting patterns
of light and shade. But what can we
do with what we do have? In part,
certainly, we can simply recognize
that these images exist and aim to
consult them as part of the preliminary
research to appraise the potential of
particular sites.2" Far more can be done
than simply tacking further desiderata
onto site researchers' reading lists.
Aerial photographs offer a
rich resource for both historical
and archaeological research.27
Photographs are invaluable in
setting particular features into wider

spaces. Older images offer views of
landscapes subsequently changed by
development, urban sprawl or bauxite
extraction. Thus a detail from the
1941-42 Army Air Corps map shows
the major Taino site at White Marl two
years before work to straighten a curve
on the main road between Kingston
and Spanish Town sliced through
the deepest sections of the former
settlement. Besides showing what a
now-lost archaeological site looked
like which may be a useful facility
in its own right when trying to make
sense of unpublished site notes an
aerial image can also locate a particular
site within the wider landscapes
its builders knew. Here, bird's-eye
views may allow reappraisals of the
relationships organising particular
landscapes, or, as an anthropologist
expressed it, overviews "of large areas
of terrain frequently display patterns
and regularities in the relation of

Figure 5: Overgrown field systems near Munro
College, St Elizabeth, 28 November 1980. Viewed
from the air, the earlier network of field boundaries
can still be made out.

culture to ecology that would escape
notice on the ground".28
The possibilities for interrogating
sequences of photographs should
extend considerably further.
Technology already offers the potential
for integrating older photographs
of landscapes with current satellite
images of the same place through the
Global Positioning System (GPS) and
Global Information Systems (GIS).
Specific items can be pursued through
successive images. The great houses of
the sugar era, along with the impress
of particular crops, have already
attracted the cameras of West Indian
pilots. Traces of works yards or even
of the gardens that some planters laid
out may yet be identified too.29 Moving
out onto the estates' cane pieces and
pens, the potential remains to link the
patterns of dry stone walls showing
through the bush in unused fields
to older field boundaries recorded
in the remarkable collections of land
surveys and other estate documents
held in Jamaica." Aerial photographs
should offer a valuable tool here. All
the more so as comparisons made by
archaeologists in the west of Ireland of
forty-year-old aerial photographs with
modern photographs of the same areas
show massive demolitions occurring
in that region's networks of drystone
walls, highlighting the vulnerability
of ancient walls, and the inherited
agricultural landscapes they define,
to the demands of modern farming.3
Consulting photographic and satellite
images should expand existing
research projects.
The prolonged coverage offered by
Jamaica's collections of photographs
can encourage fresh work too. Here
the forestry surveys may yet help us
to move out from the valleys that the
planters dominated to investigate
the hillsides where slaves and
emancipated people maintained
their provision grounds. These
are perspectives to investigate, as
fieldwork elsewhere shows how far
these hillside gardens were not just
essential to slaves' daily survival, but
remained central in many enslaved
households' attempts to construct their
own social spaces.12 Then, moving

into more traditional 'historical'
territory, industrial projects often
show up well in aerial photographs
- be they modern bauxite works, or
older mining sites or railway lines.33
This observation, too, can be taken
considerably further. Jamaica's
history is littered with ambitious un-
built developments. Some, like the
proposed extension of the Jamaica
Railroad into the parish of St Mary
in the early 1920s, did get as far as
having preliminary surveys; other
schemes, like a proposed canal in the
1790s to run through the Bog Walk
Gorge in an aqueduct to be hacked out
of the mountains alongside the Rio

FIcURE 6: Crop circles or a ploughed down set of
mounds? Cane fields beside the Sligoville Road,

Cobre River, most of the railway lines
proposed in the mid-1840s, or a further
proposal from 1867 for another line to
go around the whole island, never got
so far.3 Consulting aerial photographs
to re-examine the routes may help
to determine whether there was any
merit to any of them.
Looking down at Jamaica's
landscapes will bring additional
puzzles to light. When archaeologists
or historians scan these images we
can and should see unexpected
relationships in familiar material.
We may well find phenomena that
appear downright unfamiliar. What,
for example, produced the network of
white circles revealed in a newly cut
cane field beside the Sligoville Road
in 1954? The standing canes in the
next field that cut across two of these

circles demonstrated that they were
not simply produced by the harvesting
Two more clusters of similar white
circles caught on further plates on
the same run shows that they were
not unique either." A photograph by
Mr Tyndale-Biscoe of Ramble in St
James, taken in 1979, includes a further
intriguing phenomenon, where some
of the large square fields that organise
this landscape are broken up into
wedge-shaped sections with some sort
of yard in the middle. These hedges
were inserted into an existing field
pattern as, in some instances, they
swing around older trees.36
What is going on here? To employ
the terminology of photographic
interpreters working on forestry
surveys, both features seem to call for

a "ground call" or perhaps, using a
phrase current among Nigerian land
surveyors, a "ground truth".37 Field
walking will remain the most effective
way to investigate what is going on,
but examining aerial photographs
can help to identify further fields
that should repay walking over. The
dialogue should prove mutually
beneficial: as a 1930s pioneer
commented, "Air photography, which
makes the faintest undulations plainly
visible, has reacted on the ground-
observer and sharpened his eyes so
that he can, in fact, see much more
than he could."3" The archaeologists
field walking in today's Jamaica do
have plenty to see.

I will end by returning to my title.
A Victorian naturalist's description of
Jamaica's John Crow vultures waxed
lyrical in describing their flight: how,

in the evening,... they delight
to congregate and cruse at an
immense height. At this time they
soar so loftily, that they are scarcely
discernable as they change their
position in wheeling from shade
into light, and from light into
shade. They seem as if they rise
upward to follow the fading day-
light, and to revel in the departing
sunbeams, as, one after another,
the varying hues are withdrawn, or
irradiate only the upper heaven."

Now, we too can hope to share the
FIG;RE 7: Field systems near Ramble, St lames, t s
16 luly 1979. keen vision attributed to these soaring

John Crows as we re-examine the
extensive collections of aerial images
of Jamaica available today. :*

An earlier version of this article was
presented to the Archaeological Society
of Jamaica's Second Symposium "Zemis,
Yabbas and Pewter: The Diversity of
Jamaican Archaeology", held at the
University of the West Indies, Mona,
Jamaica, 3 April 2003. A visiting international
research fellowship in the Department
of History at Oxford Brookes University
allowed me to consult material held in
British libraries. Mrs Tyndale-Biscoe gave
permission to print her late husband's
photographs. The National Land Agency
kindly donated two images. I am grateful
to Philip Allsworth-Jones, David Buisseret,
Piers Cain, Barry Higman, Linda Sturtz and
Marjorie Tyndale-Biscoe for reading and
commenting on earlier drafts.

1. R.W. Thompson, Black Caribbean
(London: Macdonald, 1946), 65-66,
75-76. Fears of invasions shaped Home
Guard exercises. In 1941, a German
landing in Old Harbour provided
the scenario for the Kingston Home
Guard's first field training exercise. See
Kingston, National Library of Jamaica
(henceforth, NLJ) Ms. 1954, S.A.G.
Taylor Papers, Box B, file, "Tactical
Exercises, [1941-1945]".
2. London, National Archives, Public
Records Office (henceforth, PRO), CO
137/806/7, 18 December 1935, draft
dispatch to Jamaica, also accompanying
correspondence; the base, Patrick
E. Bryan, Jamaica: The Aviation Story
(Kingston: Arawak, 2003), 65-67.
3. Gaylord T.M. Kelshall, The U-Boat War
in the Caribbean (Port of Spain: 1988; 2nd
ed., Annapolis: Naval Institute Press,
1994); Thompson, Black Caribbean, 280.
4. The Keystone Aviation Company of
Philadelphia undertook the work.
I used a set at the Jamaica Archives
(henceforth, JA), 7/109. Citing the
relationship between these photographs
and the 1954 map, Mark D. Griffin,
"Remote Sensing Activities in Jamaica",
Jamaica Journal 17, no. 2 (1985): 46-56.
5. The start date is earlier. Three pre-war
aerial snaps remain among the papers
of Sir Charles Campbell Woolley, a
former colonial secretary of Jamaica.
Annotated "Balaclava Railway, received
July 30th 1936", they show a de-railed
railway carriage. Oxford, Rhodes House
Library, Ms. Brit Empire, s. 276. Box
3, file 1, "Jamaica Papers", item 7 a-c.
Discussing early flying in Jamaica, with
the first plane landing in 1911 and the
first private flights around 1935, Bryan,
Jamaica: The Aviation Story, 21-48. The
quotation, David Buisseret, Historic
Illinois from the Air (Chicago: University
of Chicago Press, 1990), xvii.
6. Examples include Botswana, where
archaeologists at the National
Museum searched Survey Department
photographs to identify prehistoric
settlement sites, and Australia, where
archaeologists have used aerial surveys
to locate and monitor inaccessible sites.
James R. Denbow, "Cenchrus ciliaris:
An Ecological Indicator of Iron Age
Middens Using Aerial Photography in
Eastern Botswana", South African Journal
of Science 75 (1979): 405-8; Graham
Connah and Alan Jones, "Aerial
Archaeology in Australia", Aerial
Archaeology 9 (1983): 1-23. Deciphering
the local impact of apartheid, Nancy J.
Jacobs, Environment, Power, and Injustice:
A South African History (Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press, 2003),
189-98. Peter Home re-emphasises the
value of a pre-existing collection of

photographs in compiling a regional
archaeological inventory, "The Yorkshire
Dales: A Pilot Project for the National
Mapping Program", in Archeologie
Adrienne: Actes du Colloque International
tenu Amiens (France) du 15 au 18 octobre
1992, 2 parts, ed. Bruno Breart, Frederic
Nowicki and Charles L6va, special
issue, Revue Archdologique de Picardie, no.
17 (1999): 179-87.
7. David Buisseret and Jack Tyndale-
Biscoe, Historic Jamaica from the Air (1969;
rev. ed. Kingston: lan Randle, 1996).
8. David R. Wilson, Air Photo Interpretation
for Archaeologists (New York: St Martin's,
1982); John W. Hampton and R. Palmer,
"Implications of Aerial Photography for
Archaeology", Archaeological Journal 134
(1977): 157-93, and Rowan Whimster,
The Emerging Past: Air Photography
and the Buried Landscape (London:
Royal Commission on the Historical
Monuments of England, 1989). General
discussions of aerial photography's
archaeological contributions include
Raymond Chevallier, L'avion h la
dicouverte du passe (Paris: Fayard, 1964)
and Leo Deuel, Flights into Yesterday: The
Story of Aerial Archaeology (New York: St
Martin's, 1969).
9. Derrick Riley offers clear discussions of
all these phenomena: "The Technique
of Air-Archaeology", Archaeological
Journal 51 (1946): 1-16; Aerial Archaeology
in Britain (Aylesbury: Shire, 1982); Air
Photography and Archaeology (London:
Duckworth, 1987).
10. Derrick Riley, "The Frequency
of Occurrence of Crop Marks in
Relation to Soils", in The Impact of
Aerial Reconnaissance on Archaeology,
ed. G.S. Maxwell, Council for British
Archaeology, Research Report
49 (London: Council for British
Archaeology, 1983), 59-73.
11. Deuel, Flights into Yesterday, 52.
12. Don W. Thompson, Skyview Canada:
A Story of Aerial Photography in Canada
(Ottawa: Information Canada, 1975),
13. Appraising regrowth in a high-altitude
site, Peter L. Weaver, "Elfin Woodland
Recovery 30 Years after a Plane Wreck
in Puerto Rico's Luquillo Mountains",
Caribbean Journal of Science 36 (2000): 1-9.
14. Phenomena like the bleached rings
seen in some newly mown English
hay fields where grass grew taller over
pits and ditches, which then reduced
the formation of chlorophyll higher in
individual stems than in the rest of the
field, so after the field was cut these
stems showed lighter, demonstrate
a further way such soil features can
be indicated. R.H. Bewley, "A Late
August Experience 1983: Grass Marks in
Cumbria", Aerial Archaeology 12 (1991):

15. Paul J. Gilman, "Aerial Archaeology
in Essex (Great Britain)", in Archeologie
Adrienne: Actes du Colloque International
tenu Amiens (France) du 15 au 18 octobre
1992, 2 parts, ed. Bruno Br6art, Frederic
Nowicki and Charles Ldva, special
issue, Revue Archdologique de Picardie, no.
17 (1999): 199.
16. Reporting Quebec's use of aerial
photographs as a foundation for
establishing a provincial register of
historic buildings, Pierre Lahoud, "Les
utilisations de la photographic a6rienne
pour un inventaire du patrimonie:
I'exp6rience quebecquoise", in
Archiologie Aerienne: Actes du Colloque
International tenu Amiens (France) du 15
au 18 octobre 1992, 2 parts, ed. Bruno
Br6art, Fr6deric Nowicki and Charles
Leva, special issue, Revue Archeologique
de Picardie, no. 17 (1999): 97-104. For
Caribbean geographers' use of data
from successive aerial surveys, Martin
L. Parry, "Land Use in the Christiana
Area, Jamaica" (MSc thesis, University
of the West Indies, Mona, 1968), 58-95,
121-36; Tania del Mar Lopez Marrero,
"The Study of Land Use Change in
a Caribbean Landscape: What Has
Happened in Eastern Puerto Rico
During the Last Two Decades?",
Caribbean Studies 31, no. 2 (2003):
5-36; and Edward Robinson, "Coastal
Changes along the Coast of Vere,
Jamaica over the Past Two Hundred
Years: Data From Maps and Air
Photographs", Quateruary International
120 (2004): 153-61.
17. Quotation from Riley, Aerial Archaeology
in Britain, 31. Two boxes of Mr Tyndale-
Biscoe's photographs are in the National
Library's Photographic Collection. One
contains vertical shots, including the Rio
Minho flood damage series, the second
holds oblique images. At the Jamaica
Archives the photographs are divided
between two deposits: 7/169, made by
Mr Tyndale-Bisoce and 7/170, made
by his wife. Would-be users should
be reminded that the family retains
copyright over all these photographs
and that prior permission has to be
obtained to reproduce them.
18. The list of "Canadian Overseas Aerial
Photography Contracts, 1958-1970"
in Thompson, Skyview Canada, 192,
understates the number of Jamaican
projects and how early they started.
19. Trees for Tomorrow Project, Phase II,
Photo Interpretation Manual (Kingston:
Forestry Department and Ministry of
Agriculture with Canadian International
Development Agency, 2002).
20. I consulted contact prints sets of the
1954 1/6,000 surveys of Spanish Town,
of Black River and of Morant Bay at the
Documentation Centre of the Surveys
and Mapping Division, National Land

Agency, Cabinet 26, Drawer H. Earlier
surveys were undertaken in 1949,
covering the island's main townships
and mid-Clarendon. I have not seen
these, but in 1952 they were listed as
"Jamaica Government Photographs, C",
in a list of photographs in the possession
of the then Survey Department in
Kingston, PRO OD 6/396/41, 20
November, 1952. The 1941 1/10,000
survey of Kingston was "Jamaica
Government Photographs, B" in this list.
Robinson, "Coastal Changes", 160, cites
further sets of the 1941, 1953, 1968 and
1980 aerial surveys held at the Ministry
of Land and Environment, Mines and
Geology Division.
21. Where surveys were commissioned
through the British Ordinance Survey
Department, which includes not only
pre-independence series but also
some later ones funded out of aid
budgets, negatives were retained by
the Ordinance Survey in Southampton.
Prints are deposited at the University of
London's School of Oriental and African
Studies. NAPLIB Directory of Aerial
Photographic Collections in the United
Kingdom 1993 (London: Aslib, 1993). It
may be possible to locate some back-up
flight plans via these sets.
22. I am grateful to Mark Hauser for
discussing this work. Commenting
on tamarinds and "the brighter green
of the genip" as effective indicators
of house sites, Douglas V. Armstrong,
Creole Transfornation from Slavery to
Freedom: Historical Archaeology of the
East End C... ....it,. St John, Virgin
Islands (Gainesville: University Press of
Florida, 2003), 345-46, n44. For technical
developments in aerial forestry surveys,
Thompson, Skyview Canada, passim;
Merle P. Meyer, "History of Small
Format Aerial Photography: US View",
and Victor G. Zsilinszky, "History of
Small Format Aerial Photography:
Canadian View", both in The First North
American Symposium on Small Format
Aerial Photography: Technical Papers, ed.
Marvin Bauer et al. (Bethesda: American
Society for Photogrammetry and
Remote Sensing, 1997), 3-16.
23. I am grateful to Thera Edwards for
discussing this point with me.
24. For examples, G.A. Aarons, "Sevilla La
Nueva: Microcosm of Spain in Jamaica
Part 2, Unearthing the Past", Jamaica
Journal 17 (1989): 32-33. The Council of
Wisconsin Engineers' Award, Griffin,
"Remote Sensing Activities", 54.
25. Kennedy Singh has consulted the
collections at the National Archives
in Washington as part of his ongoing
research on the US bases in wartime
Jamaica. I am grateful for his describing
this material to me. Citing the potential
inclusion of Jamaica and British Guiana

in forthcoming photographic surveys
by the United States. Caribbean Defence
Command, PRO OD 6/396/19, 11
August 1948, Colonel J.G. Ladd to
Brigadier M. Hotine.
26. This should not be an impossible
burden. Each sheet in the 1970 1/12,500
map of Jamaica includes references to
the photographs in the 19681/12,000
survey in the bottom left hand corner.
Professor Edward Robinson brought
this point to my attention.
27. For useful comparative surveys, see
M.D. Knowles, "Air Photography and
History", and Sir Ian Richmond, "Towns
and Monumental Buildings", both in
The Uses of Air Photography, ed. J.K.S.
St Joseph (1966; 2nd ed. London: John
Baker, 1977), 154-78, along with M.W.
Beresford and J.K.S. St Joseph, Medieval
England: An Aerial Survey (1958; 2nd
ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University
Press, 1979).
28. Evon Z. Vogt, Aerial Photography
in Anthropological Field Research
(Cambridge: Harvard University Press,
1974), v.
29. For great houses and coffee estates,
Buisseret and Tyndale-Biscoe, Historic
Jamaica (1996 ed.), 68, 74-75, 84-85,
104; works' yards, Veront M. Satchell,
"Estate Ruins as Loci for Industrial
Archaeology in Jamaica", Industrial
Archaeology Review 26 (2004): 37-44;
Sir Charles Price's elaborate gardens,
Rosalie McCrea, "Ut Pictura Hortus
(As a Painting, so a Garden): Was
Charles Price's Neoclassical Column
Intended for Decoy Penn?" Axis: Journal
of the Caribbean School of Architecture
6 (2002): 16-29. Cf. David R. Wilson,
"Air Photography of the Remains of
Old Gardens in Britain", in Archlologie
Adrienne: Actes du Colloque International
tenu Amiens (France) du 15 au 18 octobre
1992, 2 parts, ed. Bruno Breart, Fr6d6ric
Nowicki and Charles Leva, special
issue, Revue Archdologique de Picardie, no.
17(1999): 215-21.
30. Barry Higman, Jamaica Surveyed:
Plantation Maps and Plans of the
Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries (1988;
rpt., University of the West Indies Press,
2001), and, describing another useful
corpus, Joan Vacianna, "Some Primary
Sources for the Study of Jamaican
History: An Introduction to the
Microform Collection of the University
of the West Indies, Mona", in Jamaica in
Slavery and Freedom: History, Heritage and
Culture, ed. Kathleen E.A. Monteith and
Glen Richards (Kingston: University of
the West Indies Press, 2002), 3-24.
31. Gillian F Barrett, "Landscapes at Risk",
Archaeology Ireland 6, no. 2 (1992): 16-18,
and "The Destruction of Antiquities: An
Aerial View", in Atlas of the Irish Rural
Landscape, ed. F.H.A. Aarlen, Kevin

Whelan and Matthew Stout (Cork: Cork
University Press, 1997), 252-53.
32. Lydia M. Pulsipher and Conrad M.
Goodwin, "Here Where the Old
Time People Be: Reconstructing the
Landscapes of Slavery and Post-Slavery
in Montserrat, West Indies", in African
Sites Archaeology in the Caribbean, ed. Jay
B. Havisier (Kingston: Ian Randle, 1999),
9-36; Laurie A. Wilkie, "Methodist
Intentions and African Sensibilities:
The Victory of African Consumerism
over Planter Paternalism at a Bahamian
Plantation", in Island Lives: Historical
Archaeologies of the Caribbean, ed. Paul
Farnsworth (Tuscaloosa: University of
Alabama Press, 2001), 272-300.
33. Buisseret and Tyndale-Biscoe, Historic
Jamaica (1996 ed.), 100-101, also Kenneth
Hudson, Industrial History from the Air
(Cambridge: Cambridge University
Press, 1984).
34. A 1922-23 Commission of Enquiry for
a line from Riversdale, St Catherine,
to Gayle, St Mary, JA 1B/5/76/3/432;
the canal, X.Y. "Proposal for an Inland
Navigation on the South-Side Jamaica
..., Columbian Magazine 2, no. 2
(February 1797): 570-77, A.B. "Further
Observations on the Projected Canal
from St Thomas in the Vale", Columbian
Magazine 2, no. 4 (April 1797): 747-51;
H.F., "To the Printer of This Magazine",
Columbian Magazine 2, no. 5 (May 1797):
827; listing the railway schemes of the
1840s, A. John Dickenson, "Appendix
A: The Railway 'Mania' Spreads to
Jamaica: Projected Railways 1845-46", in
his "The Jamaica Railway, 1845 to 1915:
An Economic History" (MSc thesis,
University of the West Indies, Mona,
1969), 136-63; and sketching a further
elaborate proposal, NLJ Ms. 1839, 9
March 1867, "Draft Railway Bill".
35. National Land Agency, Surveys and
Mapping Division, Cabinet 26, Drawer
H, March 1954, 1/6,000 Spanish Town,
film 3, run 3, no. 54, with further sets
shown in the same series at run 2, no. 13
and run 4, no. 26.
36. NLJ Tyndale-Biscoe photographs, Box 1,
number S4742, 16 July, 1979, Ramble in
St James. I am grateful to Mrs Tyndale-
Biscoe for checking her husband's
photographic logs to identify which
Ramble this photograph shows.
37. Trees for Tomorrow, Photo Interpretation
Manual, 28. Philip Allsworth-Jones
introduced me to the Nigerian phrase.
Other practitioners invoke a "ground-
check". Deuel, Flights into Yesterday, 131.
38. G.W.G. Allen, Discovery from the Air
[1939], ed. J.S.P. Bradford, O.G.S.
Crawford and D.N. Riley, Aerial
Archaeology 10 (East Dereham: Aerial
Archaeology Publications, 1984), 47.
39. Philip Henry Gosse, The Birds of Jamaica
(London: John Von Worst, 1847), 8.

W4' Images of Einstein


(Source: A. P French, ed., Einstein: A
Centenary Volume fHeinemann, 19791)

Albert Einstein has been known
around the world for over eight
decades, and indeed his theories
have been applied to great
advantage at the University
of the West Indies at Mona.
His name has been widely
associated with theories of
relativity, usually described
as concerned with the
familiar concepts of time
and space. Nevertheless,
nothing could persuade
most of us that we
would ever arrive at an
understanding of these
theories. At the same time
we have felt at ease with
S the equation E=mc2, but it
has functioned merely as
a (scientific) sound-bite, the
currency of modern celebrity. Many
celebrities are known or identified
through their first name only, or
through a sobriquet. Einstein was
known and identified through his
It has seemed, therefore, that
Albert Einstein has been even more
widely known for his celebrity than
celebrated for his achievements. The
media and other sources have projected
appealing images of unruly hair,
sorrowful eyes and unhosiered feet,
which satisfied our own conception of
star quality. Einstein became a rock star
before rock stars became part of our
cultural landscape, and on his first visit
to the United States, in 1921, the press
followed him across the continent. It
seems that image mattered.
Despite the superficial projection
of Einstein, people dimly realized that
he had lived a life on a different plane.
Indeed, he was a canonical example of
pure intellect: if he was absent-minded
it was because his mind was fully

Two aspects of his early years,
retrospectively, foreshadowed a life of
thought and a career in science. The
'toy' that fascinated him most as a
child was a magnetic compass to which
his father had introduced him at the
age of five. That it assumed the same
orientation, however it was placed,
remained with him as a puzzle for
many years; it eventually seemed to
him to reflect something deep within
nature that needed explanation. Later,
as a teenager, he became aware of the
physics of light travelling as a wave
at an enormous speed, c. In thinking
about the passage of this wave he
developed the'thought experiment', a
method of dealing with fundamental
problems in physics, not unique to but
characteristic of Einstein. He imagined
himself travelling in step with the
light wave at the same speed, c, and he
realized that he would then observe a
light wave at rest (relative to him)! His
strong scientific intuition told him that
stationary light waves did not, indeed
could not, exist: they had to move in
the same way relative to him as to any
other observer. Herein, unknown to
him, was the seed of his special theory
of relativity.
The two reported intimations of
Einstein's future, in which we see
reflected a certain independence of
thought, were augmented by his
experiences as a student when he
marvelled at the power of geometry,
which could deliver results through
pure thought: he remembered the
geometry book of those years for the
rest of his life. He must also have begun
to be aware of the independence of his
thought and the power of his intellect.
Einstein possessed the clear marks
of a future achiever, reflected in his
passionate interest in specific areas of
his syllabus, namely mathematics and


science, and also by the fact that he was
considerably ahead, in these subjects,
of the syllabus and of his classmates.
It was therefore not surprising that
he exhibited a precocious confidence
and single-mindedness that led one
of his lecturers, mistaking confidence
for arrogance, to remark that no one
could tell Einstein anything. "This
prickly arrogance appears increasingly
throughout his student years."' At the
same time Einstein possessed a solitary
personality, but it was in harmony with
the life of the mind that was already
beginning to define him.
By the age of eighteen, despite
his interest in physics, Einstein was
leaving behind an unexceptional school
record to embark on an unremarkable
undergraduate career, punctuated
with failures. Even so, he was
already profoundly read in physics,
devouring the primary sources, that
is, the original work of the masters,
and supplementing this reading with
the secondary material found in text
books. Here, he was clearly indicating,
through such reading, the nature of his
mind and the scope of his ambition. His
intellectual temper was such that it led
him relentlessly, from his adolescence,
to foundational issues in physics: he
needed to go as deeply as possible to be
able to have as wide an understanding
as possible. He had a philosophical
Indeed, from this perspective it is
not at all surprising that he was also
well read in the philosophers like David
Hume and, particularly, Ernst Mach,
a philosopher of science as well as a
scientist. Einstein often gave credit to
the critical writings of Mach, which
dealt with the Newtonian concepts
of absolute space and time, for they
fertilised his own contrary ideas that led
to the theories establishing the relativity
of space and time.
Einstein's ambition was voracious,
but it only reflected his sense of himself,
his intellectual confidence, and his
primal need. His ambition was, in fact,
cosmic. In a speech in 1918 he said,
"The supreme task of the physicist is
to arrive at the universal elementary
laws from which the cosmos can be
built by pure deduction."' It was no less

Teenager Einstein (Source: A. P. French, ed.,
Einstein: A Centenary Volume [Heinemann, 1979])

than the understanding of the whole of
physics and putting its parts together
as a seamless whole. He was respectful
of but not intimidated by the work
or the reputations of Isaac Newton
and James Maxwell. Indeed, he was
passionately interested in the ideas that
formed the framework through which
these scientists had established the
foundations of two (of the three) major
areas of physics, namely mechanics
and electromagnetism. In a tribute he
said that Newton "was better aware
of the weaknesses inherent in his
intellectual edifice than the generations
of learned scientists which followed
him. This fact has always aroused my
deep admiration".' As it turned out, his
theory of special relativity corrected,
explicated and, in some significant
sense, unified the theories of Newton
and Maxwell.

Perhaps only Newton three hundred
years before Einstein, and no physicist
since his time, has had the breadth and
depth of interest taken by others in his
work, and in the continuing exploration
of its implications. His work was not
only fundamental but seminal. As
examples we need focus only on the
work he did in one wonderful year,
1905, when five papers, completed
within the year, were published within
the space of five months in that same
year. Two related papers dealt with
the so-called Brownian motion, the
random movements of small particles

suspended in liquids, through the
examination of which Einstein was able
to establish the physical existence and
size of molecules. Their existence up to
that time was still in the realm of 'mere'
theory. Another paper, establishing the
granular nature of light, was important
for the development of quantum
theory and the precise description of
microscopic matter. It preceded his
special relativity paper and the fifth
and final paper of the year in which
he announced his famous equation
relating mass to energy. These three
papers spawned two of the three
great developments in science during
the twentieth century: relativity and
quantum mechanics. Only molecular
biology escaped his attention, since
his establishment of the existence of
molecules, although relevant, was not
seminal in its development.
If Einstein had done nothing else
in his life but the work of those few
months in 1905, he would still be
regarded now as one of the greatest
scientists of the twentieth century.
What is particularly astonishing
about that body of work, apart from
its profundity, is its diversity. There
were, at that time, three large areas of
science that embraced the whole of
physics: mechanics, electromagnetism
and thermodynamics. Einstein's work
significantly advanced the first two,
and through the statistical method
used in his Brownian motion papers,
he introduced a new emphasis
on statistical mechanics that was
the theoretical underpinning of
thermodynamics. Indeed, at the end
of one of these papers his expressed
hope was that someone would solve a
problem he had raised, and which he
saw was "important for the theory of
heat" .4
So what is it that Einstein actually
achieved? These achievements are at
two levels, the general and the specific.
All his work was at the deep levels of
science, as already indicated, and even
the specific, tangible developments
arose from such work. Thus we can
list aspects of microelectronics such
as television cameras, photoelectric
devices like automatic street lights,
lasers and nuclear energy plants among

the specific. A full understanding of
the general achievements requires,
logically, some knowledge of the state
of the relevant sciences at the time,
which is not appropriate for the limited
sketch being drawn here.
Einstein's special relativity is the
successful formulation of equations
that ensure the laws of those major
areas of physics mechanics and
electromagnetism are the same for
all observers moving at a constant
speed relative to each other. In
achieving this unification, Einstein
reanalysed the concept of time and
solved problems that many scientists
did not even know existed. It must
be emphasised that Einstein was
solving the problem of physical time,
and although this achievement has
led to voluminous publication on
the fundamental nature of time, this
problem that has caused so much
anguish for millennia has not thereby
been solved. The fifth paper of the
wonderful year, in which the equation
E=mc2 was unveiled, was really an
implication flowing out of the special
relativity paper, and it gave a new
and unanticipated understanding of
the fundamental physical concepts of
mass and energy. Where the original
relativity paper outdid this one in awe,
the latter outdid the other in fame.
At the fundamental, philosophical
level, special relativity achieved even
more by providing a striking and, at the
time, unique example of doing physics.
The theory did not arise from the
accepted and acceptable way of doing
science through serious connection
with the empirical. Einstein adopted a
postulational approach, an approach
akin to the geometry of his youth, to a
method that depended on pure thought
and deductive powers. This was
essential Einstein.
These are the core achievements
of his special theory of relativity, in
the most general terms, but also in the
most significant terms, for they are
what Einstein set out to achieve. Some
of the more exciting and paradoxical
implications of his theory are outside
of human experience. Thus we will
not, in the near future, experience high-
velocity travel to a star, returning to

earth younger than our twin brother
who remained on this planet.
The other remarkable paper of
1905, on the particulate nature of light,
allowed the scientific community to
understand the otherwise puzzling
photoelectric effect (how electrons
are detached from metal surfaces by
optical radiation), while providing
something concrete for the idea of the
quantum introduced, theoretically,
five years before. The idea of light as
quanta now existed beside the idea
of light as wave. However, it must be
realized that 'wave' and 'particle' are
two categorically different physical
entities, and that disputes had raged
for centuries about the real nature of
light. Physics was able to find a way
around this apparent philosophical
schizophrenia. Indeed, quanta provides
a much readier explanation for some
modern phenomena.
The paper on light as quanta or
photons was, in Einstein's view as well
as the view of the critical community of
scientists at the time, the most (indeed
the only) revolutionary offering of his
wonderful year. It was, at the same
time, more readily understood than
his relativity paper, although neither
challenged mathematical knowledge
or understanding. The idea of light as
quanta was a revolutionary idea but not
difficult to conceive. Special relativity,
however, defied intuition and common
sense. The relevant status of these two
great offerings is reflected in their fate
or public acknowledgment; it was the
former work that gained the Nobel
Prize in 1921. Even at that late stage,
many physicists were not sure of the
validity of his new ideas about space
and time, arising in no small measure
from a failure to understand them.
The most dramatic instance of this
failure was that the University of Berne
refused his special relativity paper as a
submission that Einstein had made in
order to satisfy the requirement for a
postgraduate degree.
Einstein's general relativity theory,
now acknowledged as the greatest
of his intellectual feats, had in 1921
already gained experimental support,
but here the abstraction is severe, the
mathematics unfamiliar and dense,

so the theory needed more time to be
properly digested, even by the experts.
The difficulty that even distinguished
physicists had in understanding
relativity, as published, must have led
many people over the last eight decades
naturally to conclude that only a really
superior mind could conceive of those
What general relativity achieved,
among other things, was to extend
Einstein's ideas to those observers
accelerating with respect to each other.
It also corrected Newton's gravitational
theory. The theory has, in recent years,
incited the interest of large groups of
astrophysicists because it is seen as an
indispensable tool for gaining some
understanding about the past and
the future of our universe. Close to
ninety years after Einstein published
his general theory of relativity, it is
fuelling much of the development and
providing much of the excitement in
the field of cosmology.

The signal element in Einstein's work
has been its successful unification and
the associated comprehensiveness: his
achievements have affected almost all
of physics. This element has also led to
the application of his work in far-flung
places. There are several aspects of
his work that have had an impact on
science and society in Jamaica. Two of
these are the development of nuclear
energy and the production of lasers.
It was Einstein's demonstration of
the equivalence of mass and energy
through his famous equation, E=mc2,
that led other scientists to realise the
fundamental implications of certain
chemical transformations that were
becoming familiar. By the end of the
1930s it was known that the mass
of a uranium nucleus, consisting of
protons and neutrons, was less than
the aggregate masses of the fission
fragments of that nucleus. This 'loss
of mass' was manifested as very high
kinetic energy of the fragments. It
was this energy that would become
available for the destructive power of
so-called atomic bombs: E=mc2 was the
theoretical basis for the eventual release
of nuclear energy.

These bombs needed much
technological input, leading to the
production of neutrons, the chain
reaction of fissioning nuclei and
therefore the uncontrolled production
of large amounts of energy. It was also
realized that if this reaction could be
controlled, then a nuclear instrument
of peaceful use could be constructed:
we would have a nuclear reactor rather
than a nuclear bomb. Hence, we have
had the low-energy reactor mounted
on the Mona campus of the University
of the West Indies since the 1980s. It
is now the International Centre for
Environmental and Nuclear Sciences.
This reactor, the SLOWPOKE 2, has
been used to carry out investigations
on samples of local ore to determine,
for example, percentages of elements,
either toxic or wealth-creating, that
could be relevant to our health, or to
agriculture and the mining industry.
With the reactor as the core instrument,
neutron activation analysis, among
other techniques, has been applied to
material in a neighbourhood school
located in the Hope Mine area that was
found to possess unacceptable levels
of (toxic) lead. Corrective measures
were taken that improved the health
and learning potential of the affected
population (see Jamaica Journal 29, nos.
The second Einstein discovery,
an aspect of his quantum theory, is
not so well known as to be associated
with his name. It is the laser, an
acronym for light amplification by
stimulated emission of radiation.
Atoms absorb radiation, and emit
radiation spontaneously. Einstein was
the first to consider the possibility that
atoms could be stimulated by the very
radiation being spontaneously emitted,
and he provided the mathematical
theory for such phenomena. The result
of such stimulation is a 'chain reaction'
of cascading emissions providing
radiation of very high energy (flux)
that is coherent, having a very small
frequency and spatial spread. The
obvious advantages of such radiation
is the narrowness of the beam, so that a
great amount of energy is confined to a
very small cross-sectional area, and the
beam can at the same time travel over a

SLOWPOKE reactor core

large distance without
much loss of energy.
A solid ruby rod was
the first laser medium
The Department of
Physics at Mona had a
continuing project for over
eight years in the 1960s
and 1970s, in which it
used a Laser Radar system
incorporating a ruby laser.
Its use for investigating the
density and temperature
of the atmosphere up to
as much as one hundred
kilometres was original, and
allowed the research team
to study also the twenty-
to twenty-five-kilometre
aerosol layer, during which
was discovered the pronounced
stratification occurring in that layer. A
study was also made of the mesosphere,
a region that lay just above the
maximum height reached by a standard
meteorological sounding rocket. In
general, information of considerable
meteorological value was obtained,
all made possible by Einstein's insight
that led to the laser, with its special
In addition, the instrumentation
at the heart of which was the laser
allowed the research team to study the
effects of cometary dust produced in
May 1970 and February 1971 by the
comets Bennet and Encke. Many other
countries, I believe, can cite scientific
and national advantages arising
out of these and other astonishing
achievements of Albert Einstein.

From about 1921 to 1955 (when he
died), Einstein was a living legend,
which was difficult for someone of
his reflective and solitary nature. The
fame was fanned by that nature, and
the achievements facilitated by it. He
was in some ways unconventional; he
referred to himself as a heretic, and he
did make revolutionary contributions
to science. As a child, he began to speak
at a relatively late age, and was never

linguistically fluent. He had, at that
time, the habit of repeating to himself
what others had said to him or what
he wished to say, which added to
the other evidence of his linguistic
defects. It was suggested, as a partial
explanation, and others in later life
noticed it, that he was obsessed with
thoroughness, and perhaps his childish
habit reflected his wish to be absolutely
sure of himself before he delivered
his opinion. At times he would not
communicate at all. Of course, as
someone on his way to a career in
mathematical physics, his symbols
would be only partially linguistic.
Einstein admitted, "The words or
the language, as they are written or
spoken, do not seem to play any role
in my mechanism of thought."5 More
pointedly, he said that he thought
in "signs and ... clear images".6 His
solitary nature has been mentioned
already, and in his early teens someone
observed that "in all those years I
never saw him in the company of
other boys of his own age".7 His sister
reported that he loved solitary games
of patience, and he grew to love the
violin. Indeed, he played the violin
throughout his life, which was a break
from science if not from solitariness.

f 1


Young Einstein (right) with friends (Source: A.
P French, ed., Einstein: A Centenary Volume
iHeinemann, 1979/)

Einstein's heretical instincts were
in tune with his solitary nature. He was
bored with conventional instruction
in his school and university, and paid
scant attention to what did not gain
his interest. His modest grades were
well deserved. He was once asked to
leave his school because "his mere
presence spoiled the respect of the
class". He himself said that he had a
life-long resistance to authority. "[T]he
dull, mechanised method of teaching"
did not make it worthwhile for him
"to try to overcome his problem with
language"." At university he got
classmates to take notes for him. It is
obvious that such a dislike and practice,
as indicated, left him entirely free to
be alone to think great and unusual
thoughts. He thought it ironic that
fate "to punish me for my contempt of
authority ... made me an authority".'
His single-mindedness and
solitariness continued to be noted
beyond his youthful years. In his early
twenties he did meet frequently with
three others, one of whom remained
a very good friend to near the end of
Einstein's life, although for several
decades contact was often, and
probably unavoidably, by letters. Their
meetings were often for dinner but
also, equally important, they met as an
'academy' to discuss physics. It was a
working meal.
Once, on Einstein's birthday,
the friends decided to treat him to
something that he particularly liked
and rarely ate: caviar. However, it was
at the end of the meal that Einstein had



to be told that what he had been eating
was caviar there had been no response
from him the whole time, so engaged
had he been in talking about the
physics of Galileo. His solitary nature
was essential for his creative impulses,
but it should not be interpreted to mean
that this was the exclusive and defining
category of such an unusual human
being. He did not become a recluse, and
indeed some colleagues reported that
he could be happy company.
Einstein married twice, and had
children, but much of the evidence
suggests that they provided below-
average examples of warmth and
reciprocity. Not surprisingly, outside
of the family he was not a 'joiner'.
He agreed: "I have never been
able to tolerate belonging to any
group, any nation, any party, even
any committee."m" One biographer
concluded that "neither professional
activity nor a family had a great
significance"" for him. In his biography
Einstein mentions only one relative, his
father, and that is in connection with
the magnetic compass that his father
had showed him! More explicitly, in
writing about his best friend, after his
death, he said: "What I admired most
in him as a human being was that he
succeeded to live many years... in
continuing consonance with a woman
- an undertaking in which I have failed
twice rather shamefully."'2 This is
another image of Einstein.

Einstein deserves to be looked at whole;
and his deficiencies were an integral
part of his great achievements. This
seems minimally fair to a man who

spent all his life at attempts to unify.
His self-absorption, his solitariness, his
human failures were, for him, necessary
for the realisation of his outsized
ambition. He knew that he was
basically an intellect: "What is essential
for a man of my kind is how he thinks
and what he thinks, not what he does
or what is done to him.""
His intellectualism and solitariness
did not, however, deprive him of
humanity or of a social conscience, but
these virtues were manifested in a way
consistent with that solitary nature and
with his single-mindedness: passionate
but without warmth; expressive and yet
distant and uncommunicative. Einstein
had a passionate hatred of injustice and
of Germany. Although a Jew, he only
became interested in Jewish matters
after continuous injustices had been
meted out to Jews, culminating in the
obscenities of Germany in the 1930s.
He left Germany never to return, either
physically or spiritually, and became a
passionate supporter of Zionism and of
the resettlement of Jews in Palestine. He
spoke publicly and wrote frequently
on these issues, both as a Jew and as
a human being. When in 1952 he was
offered the presidency of Israel, he
declined, saying that although "my
relationship with the Jewish people
has become my strongest human
bond", he thought that he lacked
"both the natural aptitude and the
experience to deal properly with
people".14 To his modesty we must also
add his honesty.
It seems to me that Einstein
throughout his life retained in the
most exceptional way the experiences
and the images of his childhood,
for example the magnetic compass.
He was relatively unburdened by
the responsibilities of growing up,
and remained haloed by a childlike
innocence. His was a different
personality from Newton's, but in
an essential way they had striking
similarities. One striking difference was
that where Newton was mean, Einstein
was generous. In their childlikeness
they were similar. Newton famously
said about his career that "to myself
I seem to have been only like a boy
playing on the sea-shore, and diverting

SLOWPOKE reactor pool

myself in now and then finding a
smoother pebble, or a prettier shell
than ordinary, whilst the great ocean
of truth lay undiscovered before me"."
Einstein believed that he succeeded in
the "formulation of relativity theory
in good part because he kept asking
himself questions concerning space and
time that only children worry about"."'
Equally striking was Einstein's
retention of the sense of wonder
that we all recognize as the quality
with which children face the world.
In writing to his old friend about
the comprehensibility of the world
"which seems to me a wonder or
eternal secret", he added that "one had
no justification whatever to expect"
the successes of his work. "Here,"
he says, "lies the sense of 'wonder'
which increases ever more with the
development of our knowledge."'7
Although he remained cheerful and
happy, Einstein was more than a child:
he conceived of a goal which maturity
demands. He advised one young man
that if he wanted to be a happy man he
should set a goal in life and not be too
dependent on other people or on things.
Einstein had one of the most ambitious
goals in the history of mankind, much
of which he triumphantly achieved.
We can understand, therefore,
why he remained a happy man,
characteristically on his own terms.
It is often regretted by others that
Einstein spent, unsuccessfully, the
last thirty years of his life in pursuit
of a unified theory of all of physics;
yet many living physicists are now
excitedly seeking to find that holy grail,
and are thus continuing Einstein's

1. Ronald Clark, The Life of Albert Einstein
(London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1973),
2. G. Holton and Y. Elkana, eds., Albert
Einstein: Historical and Cultural
Perspectives (Princeton: Princeton
University Press, 1982), 145.
3. G. Holton, Thematic Origins of Scientific
Thought (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard
University Press, 1973), 171.
4. Ibid., 169.

work. For this reason, certainly, his
efforts should not be seen as a failure.
Indeed they should be seen as some
kind of triumph for the reason that
those efforts, more than anything
else, help us to define and more
clearly understand this exceptional
man. Here was someone with the
extraordinary virtues of persistence
and thoroughness, a man with a cosmic
ambition and unbreachable faith in
his intellectual powers, remaining
unswayed by the routine, pessimistic
or "dull, mechanistic" responses of the
established academy. We recall that he
had a life-long resistance to authority;
we acknowledge that he became the
Authority. *

Holton and Elkana, Albert Einstein, 140.
Ibid., 141.
Ibid., 154.
Ibid., 155.
Ibid., 156.
Ibid., 417.
Ibid., 157.
Pierre Speziali, ed., Albert Einstein-
Michele Besso Correspondence, 1903-1955
(Paris: Herman, 1972).

Albert Einstein was born in Germany in
1879 and died in the United States in 1955
at the age of seventy-six. He spent the last
twenty-two years of his life at the Institute
for Advanced Study at Princeton.
The year 2005 was generally one
of a celebration of physics and, more
particularly, the centenary celebration of
the publication by Einstein of scientific
papers that astonished the world by the
breadth of their attention, the depth of
their penetration and the novelty of their
insights. The year was so designated
through a declaration by the General
Assembly of the United Nations on 10 June
2004. The year was formally launched at
the UNESCO headquarters in Paris, 13-15
January 2005.

13. Holton and Elkana, Albert Einstein, 418.
14. A.P. French, ed., Einstein: A Centenary
Volume (London: Heinemann, 1979), 206.
15. Richard Westfall, Never at Rest
(Cambridge: Cambridge University
Press, 1980), 863.
16. Holton and Elkana, Albert Einstein, 155.
17. H. Woolf, ed., Some Strangeness in the
Proportion (Boston: Addison-Wesley,
1984). 62.

Finnish Sailors among

World War II Internees


Picture this: blond-haired Finns
scything the long, sun-dried grass at
Gibraltar Camp, an evacuation camp
established on the edge of Kingston,
Jamaica, for civilians from the Rock of
Gibraltar during World War II.
The scythe, a long-handled tool
with a sickle-shaped blade, was not
a common sight in tropical Jamaica.
Nor would white, blond young men
have been typical labourers. But they
were only one of the many unusual
sights in wartime Jamaica, where the
colonial government accepted custody

of a range of European peoples: enemy
aliens interned behind guarded fences;
evacuees from Gibraltar; Jewish and
other refugees from Nazi-dominated
Jamaicans accepted, but seem to
have paid relatively little attention
to, these visitors, despite the fact that
they stood out, physically, amid the
mainly black and brown population,
and despite their significant numbers
- close to one thousand men at an
internment camp adjoining the military
headquarters, Up Park Camp; women

i1 I'l' l'l I 1. 1: 1. I \In .llI M" n I', \ I..i; .111 l I N i I I -


1. '0 I,' I ..l., 1 Il/ii i .rdcr I 'I i 0 *0f r 0,, 1l I' 0' :,r ( h0 [i
:ll r !. ii[,i'li.. .' ,|I,'T ,

In 1 I Ii nt Iuk St. Eingse1

Order transferring the group of interned Finns from Up Park Camp to Gibraltar Camp in 1942
I' I I I ,o-UI,
IIr ,. 11,''

Ir n ,t b0 Ihb Cmlroon ]'nrentOr. Dub, SI ..Ein son

r Order transferring the group of interned Finns from Up Park Camp to Gibraltar Camp in 1942

and children in the old Anglican
compound on Hanover Street in
downtown Kingston; more than two
thousand evacuees and refugees at
Mona. The population of Jamaica
was then some 1.2 million, with some
109,000 in the urban centre of Kingston,
the capital city and some 289,000 in the
urban agglomeration.'
Few Jamaicans were allowed into
the camps, even Gibraltar Camp, from
which the residents could exit with little
hindrance. Priscilla Harris, who lived at
Gibraltar Camp while her then husband
was camp commissary officer, recalls
the Finns the smallest of the groups of
foreigners cutting the grass.
The time would have been the
second half of 1942, and the men would
have been Finnish seamen interned in
Jamaica as enemy aliens during World
War II. Finland was then formally at
war with the Soviet Union, one of the
wartime allies of the British Empire.
Most of the men were crew of a
merchant ship seized by British colonial
authorities in Jamaica and variously
reported as the SS Yiloum or Yltum.
One, Leo Fabritius who died in 2005,
aged ninety-three years had been a
cabin boy aboard a Norwegian ship,
MV Palbeck. The only Finn aboard, he
was interned when the ship called at
Kingston in December 1941.

- '
-a 9K

? ^ *;~

2 Pernte-ibe". 'lLc

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r- V *. P1-d 3p. June,. 192?, I hr.ve the
h .19, .... 5., I: i]"'.* -'n t,;-T- .-1i P1.nnl Fl. et- ps. enl ,' ere
't'.e;,-: ',;*, J :x'e.4c- L: ve '"ee:- rp er' eoed fr :. Internment:

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'-. I ncpllr r'-:-,r v 1' tl.p Trtnsffer Order 'Ir'e
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Oer-r~F_.=e R,- I: 1; ^. '.e I. T',t

-. .' -e "rrn- ."-c "-eleFrtei pub.lect .? t ne
-.,c. ::'. 7 7`1: i:. tw re lore, Re.IeTr ctlonr Order.

'. Sl:e '1let" r-ele5rPe v'ur '?f them S.A. Ekberg,
J.J.T. p-rrlr, R.C. P? Pi.is and S.A. Miettlenen have
, tri;ei o-" '-.-7~.ert as e:; ineers ir. ehi-s belonrdin. to
"?".-^P. J.5. '^,NItt r o* ii pe.

I hrve t".e -ono'.'vr to 'e,
'.v Lord,
Ynur Loroehi"' r nost nbedient,
humble Servant,


The Rptht Honourable
Lord Cranborne,
Secretary of State
for the Colonies.


.C. O. R

In a letter written through his wife,
Marjukka, Leo Fabritius recalled that
he was the only Finn aboard the vessel,
which came into Kingston Harbour on
13 December 1941,
when he first time heard that
England had declared the war to
Finland and so he was the enemy.
Then he could not think about that
he would be in this tropical island
2 years 10 months 25 days. There
were 31 Finnish prisoners who had

come there before Leo in the ship
called S/S/ Yltum. Everybody got
a new name and I [Leo] was called
1107. I had been there a few days
when I was called to the captain of
the camp and I was told that I was
the only one who was alive of the
crew, the ship was torpered [sic].2

Apparently the Palbeck had been
torpedoed by the Germans in open sea.
The Finnish sailors already in the

Correspondence from Governor Sir Arthur Richards
to the Secretary of State for the Colonies, Rt. Hon.
Lord Cranbourne, concerning the release of the
Finns from internment.

camp included Werner Ojst, whose ID
number was 1105. Ojst came from a
group of islands between Finland and
Sweden, in the Finnish province of
Ahvenanmaa or Aland. The two men
became firm friends."
Although Leo recalled only
Gibraltar Camp, the documents indicate

".7 r \



': L-.

that the Finnish seamen were initially
interned in a large camp adjoining
the military headquarters at Up Park
Camp. There they would have joined
a mixed community non-combattant
German and Italian men interned
in West Africa and sent to Jamaica
in 1940 for the duration of the war;
captured merchant seamen; German
nationals, many of them naturalised
British subjects, interned while living
in Jamaica; local political internees. The
men women and children were held
in another camp in Kingston were
grouped in various compounds within
Up Park Camp.
Richard Hart, Jamaican political
activist and historian, then an inmate
at the internment camp, recalled
the Finnish nationals among the
population of the camp, which was
spread across several compounds.
He noted that the camp was on War
Department land, which he recalls
stretching from the entrances to Up
Park Camp on Caledonia Avenue and
South Camp Road near Cross Roads,
to the Mountain View Road. "The
Internment Camp was at the Mountain
View Avenue side of the land. Although
the compounds adjoined they were
separated by wire fences and there was
no cross contact between compounds.
Each compound had military guards at
their exit."4
The internment of the Finnish sailors
had been rooted in a British policy
decision of June 1941, coinciding with
the declaration of open war between
Finland and the USSR. But this policy
shifted in 1942, based on a Canadian
decision to continue employing Finnish,
Hungarian and Romanian seamen. The
Canadians pointed out that shortages
of seamen would affect shipping, and
asked for a change of policy in several
colonial ports.
Soon after, the Finnish sailors
in Kingston were moved from the

1. Population Statistics website, http: /
www.library.uu.nl /wesp/populstat/
2. Leo Fabritius, letter to the author, 13
May 2004.
3. E-mail correspondence with Kauko

internment camp to the much more
open facility at Gibraltar Camp, Mona,
which had been built for Gibraltarian
evacuees and subsequently became
home also to several hundred European
refugees most of them Jews fleeing
Nazi terrorism. The Finns would have
been easily accommodated there, as
the camp was built to house several
thousand more evacuees than actually
arrived in the island.
The official order moving the men
was dated 16 July 1942. It lists the
thirty-one Finns by name. Subsequent
correspondence between the colonial
governor in Jamaica, Sir Arthur
Richards, notes that the men were
released from internment subject to a
restriction order, and that some of them
had since obtained employment and
left the island. The first to leave were
S.A. Ekberg, J.J.I. Saario, R.O. Paasiala
and S.A. Miettienen, who got jobs as
engineers on ships belonging to J.S.
Webster and Sons. Subsequently, A.M.
Viisainen got a berth on a Yugo-Slav
vessel, the Maria Petrinovio, whose local
agent was R.S. Gamble and Son. Then,
in November, the captain, three deck
officers and six crew requested and
were granted permission to leave for
the United States.
Leo Fabritius indicated that the
Finns were content with their living
conditions at Gibraltar Camp: "The
Finns got permission to change a
warehouse into a community hall. The
Finns also built tables and chairs for
this community hall." And Leo, who
built miniature ships inside bottles
and was good with his hands, also
did remodelling jobs for wealthy Jews
living in the camp:

We built the sauna, community
club, walking, made acquaintances
with the other prisoners [sic] from
other countries, also Jamaican
people. We had permission to go 7

Savolainen and Marjukka Fabritius via
Irene Savolainen, 25 January 2006.
4. Richard Hart, e-mail to the author,
January 2005.
5. Interview with Leo Fabritius conducted
via Kauko Savolainen in Finland;

miles to the north and 5 miles to the
south. I also made bottleships and
I raised strawberries. I also met an
old Finnish lady who was married
to Mr MacDonald and they owned
a hotel called Mansfield.5

Leo recalled that the Finnish lady
was a Miss Laukkanen who had been
working as a maid in New York and
went with her American employees
on vacation to Cuba, where she met,
and married, Mr McDonald. Leo also
helped with repairs at the MacDonalds'
hotel, once staying there for a fortnight,
with permission from the camp
The camp commandant would have
been Ernest Rae, whose son, Allan,
recalled that a Finnish captain, possibly
named Oyst, gave his mother a ship
in a bottle which he had made while
interned. The ship maker may well
have been Leo's friend Werner Ojst, as
there was no "Oyst" among the Finns.
Leo Fabritius was in no hurry to
leave Jamaica after the war, but he was
eventually lured away when Captain
Ojst offered him a job as a steward
aboard his merchant vessel. Leo then
lived in New York for several years
before returning to his native Finland.
A friend of Leo's, Kauko
Savolainen, often heard stories of his
adventures in Jamaica: "Leo enjoyed
his time in Jamaica," he said. "He says
he could move around freely, without
anyone disturbing him, although the
camp leaders had warned them about
possible dangers outside of the camp.
Leo spoke English that he had learned
when working on ships and on land
... Leo remembers his time in Jamaica
warmly and the Jamaicans as friendly
people."6 An interesting footnote on
wartime Jamaica. *

outcome transmitted via e-mail
correspondence, 11 November 2004.
6. Kauko Savolainen, e-mail
correspondence with the author during


The Indian Presence

in Jamaica

The year 2005 marked the one hundred
and sixtieth anniversary of the arrival
of the first group of Indians on the
shores of Jamaica on 10 May 1845.
In recognition of this milestone in
Jamaican Indian history, the Museums
of History and Ethnography of
the Institute of Jamaica in August
2005 opened the exhibition East to
West: The Indian Presence in Jamaica,
curated by David Stimpson with the
kind assistance of members of the
Jamaican Indian community. The
exhibition examined the contribution
of the Indians to the socio-cultural
development of Jamaica from 1845 to
the present. On display were various
aspects of the Indian way of life, with
focus on their food, religion, music and
other cultural practices.
After the abolition of slavery,
those Europeans, Africans and Asians
dispatched to the colonies of the
Caribbean as indentured workers
included 528,570 Indians. Most were
received by Guyana and Trinidad.
Jamaica received only 7 per cent of this
number. Most emigrants came from
the north-eastern and central regions
of Agra, Bihar and Oudh as well as
Bengal, and even from as far as Nepal.
After 1900, an increasing number came
from Madras and Punjab. These new
labourers went to work mainly on the
large sugar estates on the plains of
Clarendon and Westmoreland, and later
on the prime banana cultivations of St
Their contracts of indentureship
were initially for a one-year period, but
were increased to three and then five
years after 1860. These contracts were
to terminate on payment and were to
include return passage. However, most
of the contracts were breached by the
employers, especially in regard to their
return passage. Only about 38 per cent

or 12,100 of the Indian indentured
workers were returned to their
native land, and many of them
were paid off and given land in lieu
of passage. Approximately two-
thirds of these Indian indentured
labourers remained after their
indentureship ended, and today, it is
their descendants who constitute mos:
of the Jamaican Indian population.

Indian festivals such as Phagwah and
Diwali, and religious ceremonies such
as Pujas and Yagnas, are evidence
of the unifying efforts that Indians
made to keep their traditions
alive. Though practised mainly
among themselves, the music and
dance attracted other audiences and
soon Afro-Jamaicans were involved in
these festivities. Eventually, elements of
their celebrations found their way into
Afro-Jamaican cultural practices such as
Jonkonnu and Revival, which are often
assumed to be purely Afro-Jamaican.
The Indian Spirit in Revival is regarded
as one of the strongest. The Coolie Baboo
is part of the Masquerade tradition of
Annually, Indo-Jamaican
communities such as Race Course in
Clarendon converge to celebrate the
Hosei festival, a colourful affair that
includes costumed performances,
dirges and the Tazia float. A sure staple
in the activities of these communities,
this festivity is participated in by both
Afro- and Indo-Jamaicans.

An exhibition of artefacts, documents
and other ephemera, East to West:
The Indian Presence in Jamaica sought
to provide a glimpse into the lives
of the Indian immigrants during the
nineteenth century, as they tried to

Indian Tazia a model tomb (Tazia) that features in
the Hosei festival.

adjust to the society in which they now
lived, whether by choice or coercion.
Many of them were often forced to
leave their children behind with their
parents as security for their return, and
the exhibition showcased some of those
letters that were written by relatives
and loved ones as poignant reminders
that few ever returned. Many of these
children corresponded with their
parents until they died, without ever
seeing them again.
Overall, East to West: The Indian
Presence in Jamaica highlighted the
impact of Indo-Jamaicans on the
Jamaican way of life and their efforts
in maintaining links with their roots
while participating in the fashioning
of a national culture. It sought to
stimulate interest in the rich history
and customs of the Jamaican Indians
and their contribution to Jamaica's
culture, through their religion and other
cultural practices. *
Public Relations Officer

Musgrave Gold Medallists


In 2005, two Musgrave gold ,iit t were presented with their awards at special ceremonies held at the Institute of Jamaica. On 10
November, the Musgrave gold medallist 2005, Richard Hart, was presented with his award, and on 14 December a second ceremony was held
for Olive Senior, the Musgrave gold medallist 2004. The citations read at the ceremonies are reproduced below.

Nlusgrawe Gold Medallist 2004
A. nmiazterplc coo laiaaican literature is the short story
co-llcni, L~. 1n 1 1,'f Hearts by Olive Senior, and
li\ ie senior , herself the master discerner of the
teart ofii lamaican grandmothers and mothers, the
mna tt.r J ics r ner of Jamaican childhood and the
mater dici ner of Jamaican rural and urban
For he r loving portrayal of her definitely
Jamaican characters, Miss Senior's fictional
works, ha e gained her a readership that
:. rl ., a ts her short stories. Her readers
mar, el I t Ih r gift for capturing the authentic
speech and attitudes of a nation which,
like o man,. of her characters, is struggling
to reconcile warring emotional forces and
.strli ing tor definition.
lis Seni i r has given eternal life to the
lamraican grand mother who is saving her
mionc for the niot beautiful coffin that the town
undertaker ian pro% ide because that is her last chance
to partake in some tinery; she has given us child
char.actir. a. tEndearmg as Becka, who mystified
Archdeaco'n % ith the question, "Do Angels Wear
Br sieres' a well as child characters as
mannish as Son Son, who, though he is
supposed to be seen and not heard,
becomes the village chronicler, for
he has, like so many Jamaican
children, a special propensity
for eavesdropping on the big
people's conversations.
Miss Senior's short story
publications are Summer
Lightning and Other Stories,
Arrival of the Snake Woman and
Other Stories, and Discerner of
Hearts. For Summer Lightning
she won the Commonwealth
Writers Prize in 1987; and of

Discerner of Hearts, a reviewer noted
that her "finely controlled elegance
confirms her status as one of the
Caribbean's leading voices". The
Institute of Jamaica awarded Miss
Senior the Silver Musgrave Medal in
1988 for Literature.
For other writers, those short stories
would have been accomplishment
enough, but Miss Senior is also a full-
fledged poet. Her poetry publications
are Gardening in the Tropics and Talking
of Trees,' and of her poems a reviewer
rightfully noted that "her predominant
tone is the verbal equivalent of a pair of
wide arms".

Miss Senior's entire writing life
has been to our joy and edification.
She is not only short story writer and
poet but chronicler and encyclopedist
of our nation. It was a day of rejoicing
when the A-Z of Jamaican Heritage
was published in 1983, and it was
pure euphoria when the long-awaited
Encyclopedia of Jamaican Heritage was
launched in 2003. The Encyclopedia's
significance was immediately
recognized and the publication was
awarded Best Reference Book by the
Book Industry Association of Jamaica.
Not the least of Miss Senior's
accomplishments as wordsmith was

Olive Senior accepts the 2004 Cold Musgrave
Medal Certificate from the Hon. Donald Rhodd,
former Minister of State in the Ministry of Education,
Youth and Culture

being editor of the esteemed Jamaica
Journal and the equally esteemed Social
and Economic Studies. Her other non-
fiction works are The Message Is Change,
and Working Miracles: Women's Lives in
the English-Speaking Caribbean. For her
editorial acumen she was the recipient
of the 1987 Press Association of Jamaica
Award for Outstanding Public Service
(Print Medium).
An unapologetic country girl,
Trelawny and Westmoreland being
her childhood territory, Miss Senior
is a graduate of Montego Bay High
School, and like many other illustrious
Jamaicans had a stint with the Gleaner.
The nation is grateful to her for
having listened in on the "big people's
conversations" and for using her
writer's ear and gifts to craft what she
heard and has imagined into Jamaican
literary and reference masterpieces.
Generations to come will call her
blessed for putting in print the hopes
and fears, the accomplishments and
the missteps of a people and a nation,
and for giving us a poignant mirror in
which to look at ourselves.
For distinguished eminence in the
field of documenting Jamaican heritage,
the Council of the Institute of Jamaica is
pleased to present the Gold Musgrave
Medal to Miss Olive Senior.

'Subsequent to the award of the 2004 Gold
Musgrave Medal, a third collection of poems
by Olive Senior, Over the Roofs of the World,
has been published (2005).

Musgrave Gold Medallist 2005
Dr Ansell Richard Hart has been one
of the important participants in the
struggles for Caribbean decolonisation,
and his principles continue to be
firmly rooted in ideas of social justice,
fairness and equity. He embraced
socialism because it embodied the
ideas around which he and others
could develop a principled base for the
politics of transformation of islands

and territories with a history of slavery
and colonialism. It was a position that
gained him many friends from among
the Jamaican people, and many enemies
from those who benefited from Jamaica
being a colony.
Richard Hart was born in Jamaica
on 13 August 1917 to Louise and
Ansell Hart. Richard was the youngest
of four children, following Sam,
Herbert and Constance all of whom
have predeceased him. Richard was

educated at Munro College and at
Denstone public school in England.
His father, Ansell Hart, was a solicitor
and partner in the firm of Manton and
Hart which later merged with Myers,
Fletcher and Gordon. For many years
Ansell Hart published a newsletter,
Monthly Comments, which focused on
history and public life in Jamaica, a
collection of which is available at the
National Library of Jamaica. The civic
sense and keen interest in history of the


father were later to be developed in the
Richard Hart is a family man, and
has four children. Gordon and Robin
are the products of his marriage to
Pansy, and Andrew and Sui Ming
are the issue of his marriage to Avis.
In the not too distant future Avis
and Richard will be celebrating fifty
years of marriage. Avis has enabled
Richard to continue his research and
writing, accompanying him on his
many peregrinations throughout the
Caribbean, tempering his revolutionary
ideals with healthy doses of common
Hart trained as a solicitor and
practised for many years in Jamaica,
where he constantly gave legal service
free of cost to working-class and poor

Jamaicans. He also practised in the
Turks and Caicos Islands and Cayman
and represented the trade unions in
Antigua and St Kitts at Commissions of
Inquiry in 1951, 1960 and 1962.
Richard Hart belongs to that
generation that came of age in the
tumultuous era of the 1930s. He is
both a product and a symbol of the
nationalist awakening in Jamaica
and the Caribbean in the 1930s. He
has contributed to Jamaica's political
awakening by his selfless commitment
to political education and organisation
geared towards bringing an end to
the racist and undemocratic legacies
of colonialism and effecting political,
social and economic transformation
of Jamaica within the framework of
Caribbean regional unity.

Richard Hart's life and work
remind us that participation and
contribution to Caribbean development
have come from people of all races and
social backgrounds. His immersion
in the anti-colonial movement of
the time made him well placed to
document, for the benefit of his and
future generations, the history of that
He has the distinction of being
a founding member of the People's
National Party in Jamaica in 1938
and was a member of its Executive
Committee from 1940 until 1952. He
was deeply involved in the formation of
the trade union movement in Jamaica,
working alongside Norman Manley
and Alexander Bustamante in this
Richard Hart was imprisoned
by Governor Arthur Richards from
November 1942 to March 1943 in an
attempt to frustrate the trade union
movement and the People's National
Party. In 1952, the Marxist left of the
PNP, comprising Frank Hill, Arthur
Henry, Ken Hill and Richard Hart, were
expelled. It was not until the 1970s that
Hart's membership of the PNP was
His disagreements with Norman
Manley, as well as with other political
opponents, were never transformed
into sustained personal hostility
and disrespect. The correspondence
between Norman Manley and Richard
Hart and between Richard Hart and
Michael Manley, and his assessments
of their contributions attest to this.
Likewise, his many assessments of
Jamaican history and politics do not
betray any spite or ill-feeling. He sticks
to evidence, is consistent with his
political principles and analyses the
contending forces in the political arena
of the day with great clarity.
Richard Hart has made a major
contribution to the writing of the
history of the Caribbean, with an
enviable list of publications to his
credit. Among his major publications
are his two-volume work entitled
Slaves Who Abolished Slavery. He wrote
pioneering essays on Marcus Garvey
and in 2001 he published the booklet
The Life and Resurrection of Marcus

Mona with the award of an honorary
doctorate. Richard Hart has followed
his father's footsteps in writing
history. His father Ansell Hart wrote
an important study, The Life of George
Williamt Gordon, which was published
by the Institute of Jamaica as the first
volume in its Cultural Heritage Series.
Today, his son is being recognized for
his own pioneering work in the writing
of history and his consistent adherence
to the ideas of serving the Jamaican
Sand Caribbean people in the cause of
For his contribution to history, the
Council of the Institute of Jamaica is
pleased to award Dr Ansell Richard
Hart the Gold Musgrave Medal for
distinguished eminence in the field. o

Rithard Hart accepts his medal from Maxine Henry-
Wilson, Minister of Educaion, Youth and Culture
(above) and converses with rank Coidon and
Ken l/ne.s, founding nmemnheis o the Trade Union
Congress rightt. I

Garvey. Ever mindful of the need to
write popularly accessible histories,
Richard Hart produced From Occupation
to Independence: A Short History of the
Peoples of the English-Speaking Caribbean
in 1998. Hart is also the author of
a three-volume study on Jamaican
politics from 1938 until the decade after
independence. This trilogy constitutes
an indispensable source of information
and analysis of the political history of
Jamaica and the Caribbean. While so
many leading participants in the rise
and demise of the Grenada Revolution
have chosen to remain silent, Richard
Hart has written major essavs on this
experience. His most recent is The
Grettitda Revolution: Setting the Record
Straight published in 2005. Richard
Hart is also the author of hundreds of
pamphlets and articles in journals and
Conscious of the need for us to
create our own archives, Richard Hart
has donated his papers to the National
Library of Jamaica, the University of
the West Indies and most recently to
the Archives Project of the Centre for
Caribbean Thought.
Hart's work has been recognized
by the University of the West Indies
at the 2005 graduation ceremony at

The Comforting Arms


The jealousy Sugar felt for Celine, who
was pregnant, was so acute, it made
her hair roots ache. It was Celine who
was the prettier sister, but it was Sugar,
after all, who was older. In Plantation,
an early pregnancy was thought to
be the sign of a blessed womb. Not
only that it was the sign that a girl
had officially become a woman. All
around the district, there were young
girls, thirteen- and fourteen-year-olds,
parading up and down, babies on their
hips already women, whom people
spoke to and of with respect, as if they
were not the disgraced secondary
school dropouts they in fact were. As if
they had accomplished some great act
for which they should be rewarded.
Sugar Crawford was twenty-two
and still childless. A mule, she'd heard
people speculate, and she resented
Celine for making the neighbours
regard her with derision and, worse,
The sisters scarcely spoke to each
other now, and when their paths
crossed at the once-weekly visits that
Sugar paid their mother, she would
blithely ignore Celine, pretending not
to notice her baby bump. She stopped
bringing home the day-old, slightly
bruised fruits and leftover food from
the hotel kitchen because she knew how
much her sister looked forward to the
bounty. On the walk in after her shift
had ended, Sugar would pick hibiscus
for their mother's hair and none for
Sugar did not consider herself
a particularly bad person. Yet her
behaviour mystified her frightened
her, even. How could she feel such an
intense dislike because by this the
jealousy had grown to dislike for her
the sister who, up until then, had been
her favourite? Sugar had five sisters.
She hated to even look at Celine, who,
with her little pumpkin belly before her,

was radiant in pregnancy, serene. Like
a Madonna. And when Sugar imagined
Celine bouncing a tiny newborn infant,
its skin all sweet-smelling, on her
knee, envy and resentment bloomed
within her. Then she would have to
remind herself how a pregnancy would
interfere with the path she had decided
on for herself. In Plantation, it was
easy to forget dreams, which can turn
so easily into fairy dust when you are
Sugar worked at the Twin Royal
Sands, a little resort on the north coast.
She'd been working there for the past
five years. The pay was not good: the
rich hotel owners who played hug-up
with the government were the ones
who reaped most of the benefits. But
at least the foreign currency gratuities
that the tourists gave often made up
for it. One Yankee dollar was like a
nugget of precious gold and could
fetch almost one hundred Jamaican
dollars on the street although the
official exchange rate was a little over
sixty dollars. Sugar's English was
excellent, she having gone as far as
grade nine in school and displaying
a keen aptitude for English language
and literature. This made her popular
with the tourists (who did not have to
waste time repeating things to her as
they did to the other hotel staff, who
were barely literate, at best, and whom
they often were unable to understand).
It also earned her a lot of tips working
in housekeeping and sometimes at
the bar. She ran errands for them, and
performed certain favours, from sewing
on loose buttons on their clothes to
scouting ganja from the local pushers
- Rasta hustlers she was familiar with,
who hung about the craft market where
her mother sometimes sold her Jamaica
dolls to tourists and babysitting
children of parents out for a romantic
night on the town.

She also provided even more
intimate favours for the tourists. White
people on vacation, she discovered,
were often uninhibited, and intent on
living out some tropical fantasy with
willing natives. Sugar was no longer
ashamed of those things she had to
do; it was a living. Sometimes a couple
engaged her to be with them. Other
times she was paid handsomely by
wives to service their husbands, or the
other way around by the husbands to
watch her with their wives. Under inky
night skies, in secret places both on and
off the hotel property, she heard them
moaning beneath her, their pale sweaty
skins slippery as frogs' bellies, and
she would think of all that the money
would do. A baby did not fit into her
plans, Sugar realized. Still she hated
Celine for getting pregnant before her.
Then, when Celine was about
seven months pregnant, seized by a
fit of depression, she carved a pattern
on her cheek with a knife. Their
mother, looking in horror at the blood
streaming out of the open wound on
the side of her daughter's small face
while she sat stoically there seemingly
unaware of the pain, sent for Sugar.
Adina Crawford was convinced that
Celine's baby-father's other woman
was working obeah on her. Too many
strange things had befallen Celine her
skin had mysteriously broken out into
boils, which would occasionally surface
and then disappear, her ankles were
swollen like an elephant's, and one
day she'd woken up unable to speak
because her tongue felt like a weight
had been put into it what else could
explain all this?



These things, Sugar tried to point
out to her, might have been simply the
consequences of the pregnancy: the
boils, the swelling up, the depression.
But Addie, a devoted churchwoman,
was also a strong believer in the devil,
and she waved them off; after all,
she had herself been pregnant nine
times and had never once been sick;
Crawford women were from sturdy
stock. So, to Sugar's irritation, she
contacted a reader woman in the
district, and was instructed what to do.
She bought various oils and potions,
which Celine refused to take, and when
Celine objected to taking a bath to ward
off the evil spirits in her obeah woman's
parlour, this was the final straw. Addie
decided it was time for the girl to live
with her sister Sugar, who had turned
out to be great supplementary source of
income for her since she'd started over
at the hotel.
Darkness was slowly settling
over Plantation, a district that would
otherwise have been forgotten were
it not for its unspoilt, undeveloped
natural beauty despite the presence
of pockets of crumbling slums that
had popped up over the years that
made it an increasingly essential tourist
product. The calico window curtains
rustled as the dark seeped into the
"I can't do no more for that girl,"
Addie complained to Sugar, and
pointed to the grip that she'd packed
for her. The younger children were
playing in the yard. Addie Crawford
was a tall, knock-kneed black woman
who lacked grace and charm. Sugar
tried to imagine her mother when she
was younger. She found it hard to
believe that she could have been pretty.
Addie's body was aged and stooped
- even though she was only in her early
forties from having too many children
too quickly; and her face was stern,
with a humourless mouth that seemed
unable to curve upwards into a smile.
"What you looking at me like that
fo', girl?" Addie folded her arms now
over her emaciated breasts that sagged
like udders against the fabric of her
worn housecoat and stared pointedly
at Sugar.
They were standing in what passed
for a living room in Addie's cluttered

house. In one corner of the room stood
an enamel chamber pot, a permanent
fixture for catching water from the
leaking roof whenever it rained. Sugar
looked down at her feet in her dusty
shoes. She had just got off work after
a long shift and was in no mood to be
bothered with this foolishness. Why
couldn't Celine stay right there? She
certainly had no interest in sharing
her tiny nearby two-room house
which she'd only recently moved into.
Especially not with someone she hated.
Besides, how would she and Celine
ever hold in that small space?
Addie turned abruptly and
marched to the bedroom.
Sugar looked around at the tatty
sofa her mother had had forever, the
coffee table with the vase of artificial
flowers, the crowded whatnot stacked
with the hideous figurines of animals
that country people adored, the picture
of Jesus with the flame in his heart
that hung over the doorway, the string
running from one corner of the ceiling
to the next festooned with Christmas
cards amassed over the years. She
started to follow her mother into the
little bedroom.
"Mama, where I going put her?"
she argued, knowing full well that her
protests were useless. She always found
it difficult to deny her mother's many
demands. Sugar was practically the
breadwinner for the large family. Half
of her paycheque went to Addie. She
resented this additional unconscionable
demand her mother was making on her.
"I don't have any space for Celine," she
muttered beneath her breath. "She is
big woman. She must go make her own
life for her-own-self."
"Two spirit at war in this house,
the Lord and the devil," Addie said,
emerging again from the room. She
continued in a loud voice for Celine,
who was sitting outside staring
dreamily into space, to hear. "I don't
want no evil dwelling in here"- she
shivered as if she were tarrying for
the Holy Ghost at the altar at church,
squeezed her eyes shut and waved a
hand heavenward "Hallelujah! Yes,
Lord. I wash my hands clean-clean
from that in my house. You hear, Satan,
I wash my hands."

Sugar looked out at Celine
sitting on the front stoop and made a
stchupsing sound through her teeth.
She stared at her sister's profile with
pure malice. Apart from the hideous
bandage covering her left cheek, a
reminder of the grotesque self-inflicted
wound, Celine's face seemed young
and fresh, like an innocent schoolgirl's,
scrubbed clean like a child's, and it
was hard for Sugar to conceive that
her younger sister had actually lain
on a bed beneath a man, and been
filled up with his seed. So obscene
and perverse was the thought, it sent
a surge of something acrid rumbling
through Sugar. As if the thought itself
had violated something sacred in
Celine was still gazing at the
darkening evening sky when Sugar,
sensing it was pointless to argue with
her mother, said, "Come, let's go."

The following morning Celine made
breakfast for Sugar and set the table for
her. "See, I make a special breakfast,"
Celine said, looking up, her face flushed
from standing over the heat of the
two-burner. The ugly yellow paint on
the walls was peeling, the floorboards
squeaking even more.
"No. 1 can't stop, I'm late for
work," Sugar replied, trying to ignore
the growling sounds her stomach was
making. "You eat." She noted with
relish that Celine, who was dressed
in a shapeless calico shift, looked
Celine waddled behind Sugar,
gingerly holding her back, taking her
time to sit down in the old pea-green
second-hand couch Sugar had gotten
when the hotel had been refurbished.
Sugar rolled her eyes, sighing. Celine
was the laziest pregnant woman she
had ever seen. Their mother had
always been filled with boundless
energy, even with a belly way out in
front of her.
"Sugar," she moaned, glancing over
at the plate and looking as if she were
about to be sick. "I don't want to eat. I
can't hold nothing down."
Sugar's patience snapped. "Don't
eat, then," she said. "You can starve
for all I care. Don't eat, and drop dead,

then." And with that, she stalked out
the front door, slamming it behind her.
In the following days, Celine
lounged listlessly about the house in
the same shapeless dress that needed
to be washed, her hair uncombed,
her beautiful copper eyes focused on
the smoke coming like human breath
from the glowing tips of the mosquito
destroyer coils she had taken to
ritualistically lighting throughout the
course of the day. She refused to eat,
fretting constantly about the baby's
father, while being plagued by the
never-ending morning sickness.
Sugar's resentment for her sister
grew. The chalky taste of envy coated
her tongue, constantly. She eyed
her sister's growing belly and her
thickening ankles as the time for her
delivery drew nearer. On those sticky
paradise nights that would see Celine
stripping off all her clothes but her
frayed panties and going to sleep,
Sugar would stand over her little
cot, watching her sister in a tortured
slumber, perspiration rolling down her
skin, noting the prickly heat developing
beneath the swell of her milk-engorged
One evening Sugar was about to go
out on a date with one of her tourists, a
ruddy-faced athlete on scholarship at a
Florida university who had appeared at
her flat with a bunch of flowers plucked
from the hotel's garden, as though he
were really a date and not really paying
her the hundred US dollars in crisp
twenty-dollar notes in his wallet.
It was a beautiful Plantation
summer evening, clear and peaceful,
with the smell of fragrant jasmine
filling the air. Celine had miraculously
dragged herself out of the house and
was admiring the gloriousness of the
evening. She was standing on the top
step of the back stoop, standing on
tiptoes, peering out towards the sea
which could be viewed clearly from
Sugar's backyard, when the tourist,
picking his way around the side of the
house, walked up, startling her, making
her almost lose her balance. Sugar,
who had come up behind her that very
moment, saw Celine start, twist her foot
and wobble unsteadily before regaining
her footing.

Later, moving silently beneath her
date, on a craggy patch of pebbled earth
behind the old courthouse across the
road from the pier where they'd gone to
watch cruise ships dock, Sugar ignored
the man moving urgently inside her,
making grunting noises, his white skin
a startling contrast to her rich, dark one,
and thought about what would have
happened if Celine had miscarried.
Sugar closed her eyes as the man
eased out of her and, without pausing,
roughly flipped her over before hiking
her skirt up further around her waist
and grabbing a fistful of her hair before
plunging again into her.
Sugar winced as the pain shimmied
through her like volts of electricity,
then willed herself to remain perfectly
numb. The tourists liked doing it this
way; she didn't like it but she would
get more money. To avoid concentrating
on the pain, she imagined Celine lying
in a heap on the ground, as baby fluid
oozed into the earth between her legs.

After that, Sugar could scarcely bear
being around Celine, whom she could
no longer look in the eye. She was
ashamed of the blackness of her own
heart. But she could not help herself
the jealousy she was experiencing
seemed to be feeding itself like a
cancer. She began staying late at work,
requesting double shifts and overtime,
anything that would make her not
cross paths with her sister. She was
exhausted from the long hours she now
spent working. Dark circles appeared
beneath her eyes. She prayed her sister
would hurry and have the baby so she
could go back to Addie's house and
leave her and her unblessed womb in
Then one day at work, Sugar
overheard two of the kitchen attendants
at the hotel gossiping about her. They
were two older women Sugar despised.
One of them said, "You don't hear
how Sugar sister man making idiot
outta her? The gal big-big pregnant fi a
no-good man. He have a woman that
work at Mr Chin shop, see!"
The other one snorted. "That's what
they get. Miss Addie gal-pickney dem
love to open they leg to too much man,
you hear. You never know Sugar is the

biggest whore? Oh, you don't know,
chile? Is open secret the things she do
fo' the white tourist dem. Her man
leave her. Gone a Kingston. Don't want
her no more. He must be hear 'bout her
whoring ways. Yes, chile. Him leave
before she could bring disgrace'pon
The first one, chuckling louder:
"Celine is the one that fool-fool, though.
She let sheself get ketch. And don't
have nothing to show fo' it 'cept big
"Me hear her man won't have
nothing to do wid she nor di baby."
"Well, that's 'cause him other
woman, the dry-foot gal, Pauline, she
have big-big belly, too. Patsy tell me sey
she and her friends dem come a market
the other day and she a talk how she
obeah Celine."
Sugar, who had been listening
on the other side of the door, felt
something like a punch in her stomach.
From where she stood in the dining
hall, she could see out the windows
and across the sea. Sugar felt the red
in her eyes, rubbed at them. She had
never believed the obeah story before.
Yet, instinctively, Sugar knew what she
was overhearing was the truth. Celine
did not deserve to be treated like this
by the breadfruit-head liar she'd made
the mistake of getting belly for, who'd
humiliated her by choosing another girl
over her. But, more than that, Sugar felt,
her little sister, who was so good and
kind and trusting, did not deserve to
be discussed by a bunch of meddling
gossips in that way.
A space suddenly opened up inside
Sugar and she wanted to rush into
the kitchen and rush towards the two
women, rip their hair out, gouge out
their eyes.
But instead she turned and ran out
the front gate.

That evening Sugar sat with Celine
on the back steps of the house in the
thickening dusk as fireflies flickered
and the stars appeared like tiny alien
gods in the sky. She was still dressed in
the ill-fitting grey hotel uniform.
"Come. You need to eat for your
baby," Sugar said gently, trying to
tempt her with a morsel from her plate.

But Celine only turned her head
away and stared vacantly out into
the yard at the mango trees, stinking
with the smell of the fruit rotting on
the ground beneath. In the distance,
colourful boats drifted like bobbing
dots out on the tranquil blue sea.
It was already late summer, the time
that most of the tourists were leaving
to return to their homes and their
normal lives. The girls were sitting on
the back steps of the house watching
the sun sink slowly down in the sky.
Sugar thought about snapping freshly
laundered sheets and changing towels
at the hotel. What was she going to do,
now that she'd walked off the only job
she'd ever had?
Two months had gone by since
Celine had moved in. She was due
any day now. She sat, with bare legs
outstretched, on the top step, above
Sugar, who was seated on the bottom
step. She stretched out a leg crisscrossed
with tiny spider veins. Tentatively, she
reached over and took a piece of yam
from Sugar's plate and slowly began to
chew it. The leaves of the privet bush in
the yard rustled in the breeze that had
come up from the sea.
Sugar smiled at her, pretending not
to notice the foul odour radiating from
"I didn't do it, y'know, Sugar."
Celine's honey-coloured eyes had
darkened to a liquid chocolate.
"Didn't do what?" She was a pretty
girl, Sugar observed, as if seeing her
sister for the first time. Even in spite
of the scar, the pattern of a sickle, on
her face. She had a straight nose with
nostrils so tiny she must surely have
difficulty breathing through them, and
small pink lips that Sugar imagined
tasted like sugar on the lips of the fool
she had given her innocence to. She was
barely twenty, the sister who followed
Sugar, from a different father. All of
Addie's children, with the exception
of the last three, had been fathered by
different men, itinerant labourers who
usually disappeared with the birth of
their children. Their mother seldom
invoked the men's names, nor did she
ever really entertain full disclosure on
the men, so that none of the children
really knew for sure who their fathers

"I didn't do it," Celine repeated,
more urgently. She looked penetratingly
at her sister. "This She pointed to
the ugly mark tattooed into the smooth
skin of her cheek. "He do it."
"What? Byron cut you?"
Sugar was surprised at the anger
she heard in her own voice. This was
the first time they were discussing what
had happened. She stopped speaking,
not wanting her anger to escape and
cause Celine to clam up. She leaned
over and spooned some saltfish into
her sister's mouth. Celine opened her
mouth like a hungry newborn.
Sugar's anger surged again. "I
should go to his house and stab him,"
she said, and spooned some more
saltfish into her sister's mouth.
Celine tried to lick at the spot where
a dribble of oil had splashed onto her
chin with her tongue. Sugar wiped
it away for her with her fingers, and
Celine smiled gratefully.
For a while neither of them spoke.
They both sat watching the late
evening sky turn from pink to indigo, a
painter's easel. Sugar had always heard
the tourists say the Jamaican sky is
magical, that it is the most beautiful sky
in the entire Caribbean. They said that
there is a place in Negril where you can
see straight to the edge of the world,
where hundreds of tourists converge
each day to watch the sun setting,
and divers plunge recklessly from
jagged cliffs to the depths of the blue
sea beneath, besotted by the goozoom
of the vast, vivid Jamaican sky. That
evening, looking out into the perfect St
Ann countryside, Sugar sighed, almost
believing it was all true.
Celine was still staring into the
distance, thoughtfully chewing the food
in her mouth, like a cow chewing her
cud. When she swallowed she looked
back at Sugar. "He never mean to," she
said, her eyes clouding over. "I was
mad. I go to him with a knife. We start
to fight." She clutched Sugar's hand
and looked pleadingly at her. "Him was
defending himself against me. He grab
my wrist, trying to get the knife. In the
mix-up, it end up hitting my cheek. He
never mean to. That was the last time
I saw him." She buried her face in her
hands and started to cry.

Later, Sugar bathed her. Celine's
belly was even huger than Sugar
remembered. It was so far in front
of her, it almost made her seem like
another person. She was carrying high.
The last time Sugar bathed her sister,
she was a little girl with a tinkling
laugh and coloured ribbons at the ends
of her plaits, wriggling as Sugar tried
to soap her up. Being the eldest child,
Sugar had the responsibility of taking
care of the younger children while their
mother sold her crochet pieces and
stuffed calico Jamaica dolls at the crafts
market in the town square. Now Celine
sat meekly as Sugar's fingers moved
tenderly over her body.
Sugar looked at her, feeling the
familiar twinge at the back of her
throat. It wasn't fair. Celine was about
to become a mother; she could barely
take care of herself.
But as quickly as the jealousy came,
it flitted away like vapour.
Tears were streaming down
Celine's face. Sugar got in beside her,
fully dressed, and loosened her plaits,
washing the stink out of her hair with
the scented soap that she'd recently
received from one of her tourist dates
as a gift. He was a huge Boston college
professor with skin as red as a boiled
lobster who complimented her on how
pretty her English was.
A tremor crept up Sugar's belly and
she realized she'd begun to cry, too.
Night shadows fell against the wall.
Outside, they could hear the heavy
engine of a delivery truck from St Ann's
Bay on its way to the hotel rumbling
by. There was no water in the pipes so
they had to make do with the enamel
pan that was filled with water from the
cistern outside during the day. Sugar
splashed cold water onto Celine's head
and she closed her eyes tightly and
shivered. In the dimness filling up the
room, the water over her cocoa-brown
skin looked like velvet.
The night had become cold and
still they sat, shivering, clinging to each
other for a long time, until there were
no tears left and there was nothing left
to do but get up. o



When I heard you'd eloped with Madness
I resolved to move far away from
this village where the acid rain beats
like drumsticks on my grandmother's tin roof
and blood drips from palm trees,
congealing on the hot ground.
I planned to drag my feet down
the narrow path mi madre took,
trace her footsteps by moonlight
or somehow harvest her brown limbs
from the ripening October wind. For we,
the children of the motherless tribe,
have become nomads, daily we rinse
the tear dust from our faces and now
that the world is in the business of
murdering dreams, we've had to master
the art of sleeping with open eyes.
But now you are one of them, gone, and
everyday I die when I imagine
you on the road to Death's dark cave,
making your bed with scorpions and thorns.
Here, the poui and the poinciana
no longer confide secret messages,
the sunset has abandoned the horizon,
the sonnets have vanished back into my pen.
So I resolved to move
far away from this village where...
but memories of us made me stay.

When you leave, close the door
behind you and turn the key.
You are going to the movies again.
I'll remain here with Mother
to watch the fire make poetry with the logs
and listen to Norah Jones
on the victrola persuading him
to go away with her.
When you return, the glass moon
will have donned her nightgown.
Inside, only the ash
in the fireplace will have changed.
We will still be seated here,
in the dark, where you left us.

- for Beryl Clarke

Sometimes when the blue moon is full
and I feel like a full woman,
I don my black French gown
with my dead mother's white stockings
and colonial hat, and flee to
the low grounds of Rose Hall, to lie
among the agnostic palm trees.
Those are the nights when blue dreams

I bear proof that a woman's heart
is an ocean of secrets, a maze
of no escape which mere men fear.
Alone in the dark, I wrestle with
the black spirits that arrived the day
I shattered the long mirror after
the last of the three shrouded horsemen.

What can save me from
the custody of my conscience?
No morning walk on the beach to let
the early wind have my hair and my alibi.
Not even the sweetest kisses of the
Do scorned women ever become nuns?
How can I regret when I had no choice,
when I never got the prize for
discovering the secret life of the firefly?

There are no sharp blades here to kill you with
so I make paper birds all morning.
Last time we met, these hands remained bare,
worn from the lives they used to lead.
But today I reclaim them, each angry finger
that will turn against me tomorrow.

Doctor, I am fond of you;
you tower above this lovely building,
the god of plastic dreams.
Your four eyes try to undress me
to light the secret room of my mind
where I hide, sleep and cry.

You don't understand the magic
of talking to oneself, quiet and alone.
I am king of all my memories lost.
Once I was handsome. Now I am myself,
counting infinite rows of paper birds,
praying that somehow they'd turn into blades.

Book Reviews

By Oswald G. Harding
Kingston: LMH Publishing Limited, 2006
ISBN: 976-8202-09-2 (paper); xviii, 238 pp;

Reviewed by George Graham
A.J. Ayer (1910-89) was an influential
British philosopher of the last century.
He had no patience with supernatural
creeds, convinced that religion was
nonsense. Ayer, however, did have
a creed, a naturalistic doctrine of
faith, one central element of which is
that science is the only trustworthy
guide to truth. Religion is not to be
trusted. Ayer held this creed in the
face of potentially powerful contrary
A year before his death, Ayer was
hospitalized with pneumonia. While in
intensive care, his heart stopped beating
for several minutes. On awakening,
he reported to a friend that when his
heart stopped he had had a vision an
out-of-body, near-death experience, in
which he confronted a powerful light
that he interpreted to be, as he put it,
"responsible for the government of the
Ayer confessed that his anti-religion
creed was "slightly weakened" by his

experience. But he also reported that
he continued to hope that his "genuine
death, which is due fairly soon, will be
the end of me".
Is that what we should expect of
someone who has had an out-of-body,
near-death experience? Should we
expect them to reject the possibility
that there is something in us that is
indestructible and can survive the death
and decay of our body? Or should we
expect persons to be sympathetic to
Where do the facts reside? Do they
rest with survival or no survival? The
answer to this question is explored
by one of Jamaica's most prominent
statesmen and political leaders, Oswald
G. Harding, in his exciting new book on
near-death experience.
Dr Harding should be familiar to
readers of this journal, having served
his native Jamaica as Attorney General,
President of the Senate, and Minister of
Foreign Affairs, and on the faculty of
the distinguished Norman Manley Law
School. Educated, as a young man,
at McGill and the London School of
Economics, Harding recently returned
to university to complete a doctoral
degree in philosophy. He was awarded
the first PhD in philosophy in the
history of the graduate programme
at the University of West Indies
(Mona), under the tutelage of Dr J.A.I.
Bewagi. Harding's book on near death
experience is based on his doctoral
What happens in the book? To
answer this question it helps to
understand something about the field
of professional philosophy.
Professional philosophers have
basic disagreements about fundamental
questions like the existence of God,
the scope of free will, the objectivity
of morals, and so on. One of these
disagreements concerns a problem
known as the mind/body problem,
and it is a problem that has important

implications for whether persons
survive bodily death.
Here is the problem: What is a
human being? If you answer that
a human being is a vast collection
of atoms and molecules, organised
in an immensely complex way,
and observing the laws of biology,
chemistry and physics, and then
add, "That's all we are", then you are
(to use the language of professional
philosophy) a materialist. Intuitively, if
materialism is true, survival of bodily
death is impossible. Just as the body
is extinguished, we are blotted out. If,
however, you answer that in addition
to being atoms and molecules, we
are subjects of conscious experience
including such mental states as fear,
hope, aspiration and belief, and that
as minds we are more than mere
matter, then you are an anti-materialist.
Intuitively, if anti-materialism is
true, survival of bodily death may be
possible possible, that is, assuming
that consciousness can somehow
function independently of the brain.
Should you count yourself as a
materialist or anti-materialist? There are
two ways to answer this. One is to let
science decide. You might be impressed
by the success of physical science, and,
like Ayer, take science to be a reliable
guide to what we are.
The difficulty that deferring to
science poses is that science has not
decided what we are. Some scientists
are materialists; some are anti-
materialists. However, there is another
way in which to think about what is
a human being. This is to appeal to a
vast range of evidence and argument
including, not exclusively relying on,
insights offered by science. This is
the manner of philosophical decision
making that Harding deploys in his
book. It is a method reminiscent of
one of the giants of nineteenth-century
philosophy, William James (1842-1910),
and evident in James's classic work,

dJ;;3~q P__ IL:l 3 d

The Varieties of Religious Experience,
delivered as the 1901-2 Gifford
Lectures. Human life, for James, is
characterized by a wide range of human
experience. No one form of experience
(religion, science, art, etc.) should be
used to decide what it means to be a
human being.
Harding argues that if near death
experience and related phenomena,
including out-of-body experience, are
taken seriously, and examined in the
context of the broad scope of human
experience, then anti-materialism is to
be preferred to materialism. He writes
that near death experience "challenges
the materialistic world-view" (p. 186).
Just how it does so is the main story
of the book, told with invention,
imagination and insight, and in a lively
and readable manner that should
interest educated laypersons as well
as professional academics. Harding is
ever the studied statesman, examining
the data, seeking the best case for either
side, and showing what should be
There is a bonus. Contained
in the book is not only a defence
of anti-materialism and a detailed
consideration of near-death experience,
but the outline of an alternative non-
materialist worldview to which Harding
is sympathetic. This is the view that at
the deepest level reality is neither mind
nor matter but something that Harding

describes as "holographic" movement
or a "frequency domain which is the
primary reality" (p. 176).
Frequencies? It is a striking if
perplexing image. A brief example
of what Harding intends, humbly
acknowledging his debt to other
theorists, may help.
Consider the following ways of
designating yourself:

* Jane Doe
* the reader of this issue of the
Jamaica Journal
Oswald Harding's student at the
Mona campus

But now suppose that you are not
composed of elementary particles, you
lack mass and weight, though within
you there is a quantity of psychic
energy this energy is you. It is part
of a continuum of energy (frequencies)
in which reside each and every other
reader of this review and everyone
else besides. 'Jane Doe' and the other
terms of designation refer to something
that thinks and is conscious, namely,
you, but you are best pictured not as
localised (in a head atop your body) but
ultimately as indistinguishable from
everyone else. You are, well, implicitly
everything or at least everyone.
Like many other philosophers who
address the problem of what we are as
human beings, Harding paints a picture

of ourselves as not, in a sense, how
we appear. We appear as biological
organisms or animals, but we are
not. We are both less than biological
organisms insofar are we are not
individually isolable, and more, insofar
as we are connected with cosmically
conscious frequencies.
How does examination of the
details of near-death experience lead
to this world picture? I will not spoil
Harding's story. However, part of the
secret is that the occurrence of near-
death experience, he argues, shows
that we persons can, as it were, step
outside our heads, exist external to
our bodies, and make perceptual
contact with a form of reality in which
consciousness does "permeate all of
nature" (p. 175). "Consciousness," he
says, "possesses an ineffable relation
between the percipient and the objects
perceived" (p. 116). In no case is this
ineffable or indescribable relation more
evident than in near-death experience
- an experience, in effect, of unity
with cosmic frequencies. For the
full story, with all its characters and
characterizations, including a detailed
botany of approaches to the mind-body
problem, read this fascinating book.
It represents a new and imaginative
venture for Jamaican academic culture:
a philosophy of consciousness.

By Noel Erskine
History of African-American Religions
Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2005
ISBN: 0-8130-2807-8; 224 pp; J$2,515

Reviewed by Rupert Lewis
The publication of Noel Erskine's book
From Garvey to Marley: Rastafari Theology
is timely. We read it in the context of
a profound crisis in Jamaica that goes
well beyond what we experienced in
the 1970s, not only in the number of
homicides but in the thresholds that

have been crossed. These thresholds
have to do with how disputes are
resolved and the idea of murder being
a first resort in conflicts; the rape and
murder of children and old women
and the killing of the elderly; the
despoliation of communities and the
growth of nihilism, of young murderers
sustained and financed by the drug
trade and the 'protection' mafia.
Political mobilisation in Jamaica has
become a liability to national security
because of its history of participation
and continued involvement with
criminalisation. The intelligentsia,
too, has failed because most of us are

part of this system and critical voices
have voluntarily been muted. But we
are reminded that the crisis we face
in Jamaica is not unique, as similar
patterns are being exhibited throughout
the Caribbean and the wider world. We
are experiencing a profound crisis of
Yet, Jamaica would be much worse
off, were it not for the continued
presence of Rastafarians, and their
influence in communities of the
poor throughout Jamaica and in the
diaspora, and the spiritual impact of
Rasta through contemporary global
reggae music. It is, literally, the
principal counter to youth nihilism.
Cornel West has defined this nihilism in
black America as "the lived experience
of coping with a life of horrifying
meaninglessness, hopelessness, and
(most important) lovelessness. This
monumental collapse of meaning, hope,
and love primarily resulted from the
saturation of market forces and market
moralities in black life and the present
crisis of black leadership."'
At the same time, I also think
that Jamaica would be much worse
off without the work and outreach of
the church. However, the problem,
as I see it, is that the Jamaican church
has become compromised by its
connections with the post-colonial
political and economic establishment. It
often excuses what is going on, speaks
softly, calculates what is acceptable and
what is not; and organised religion in
Jamaica is seen by many as a partner of
Babylon. The Christian church is also
being influenced by market moralities.
The questions that puzzled me while
preparing this review were: To what
extent would Jamaican church leaders
seriously engage with the arguments
marshalled in this volume by Erskine?
To what extent would they think that
the identity challenges raised in this
book bear serious consideration?
To what extent do we devalue the
theological issues raised by the poor in
Erskine's book speaks to us at
the deepest level about the value-
reorientating traditions of the
twentieth century and the movements
generated in this island but moving

outwards, thereby exerting a degree
of global influence. These are the
Garvey movement and Jah movement
of Rastafari, and it is their value-
reorientating power that has made
them appeal to human beings,
crossing national, racial, linguistic,
cultural and political boundaries.
Their value-reorientating power is
demonstrated primarily in the assertion
of the humanity of black people in a
world that associates us with being
less than human. Marcus Garvey's
enormous contribution in the area of
our humanisation and emancipation is
the reason that in 2003 he was selected
by two British political theorists as one
of the fifty principal figures in political
thought in the last two thousand years."
These Jamaican-birthed movements
were generated as counter-hegemonic
forces to British and European
colonialism and American racism and
colonialism, and their neocolonial
forms after independence. Globalisation
of this era has brought with it new
forms of colonialism expressed through
American and European Union
policies, the G8 nations, the World
Bank and the International Monetary
Fund, and leading white scholars of
empire are drawing lessons from the
past to influence new forms of global
colonialism. New and old forms of
colonialism rest on value systems as
well as on material conditions, and
religious ideas often underpin both.
Theology is a critical component of
value systems and, in this regard,
the theological legacies of Garvey
and Rastafari theology merit serious
Erskine's book calls attention in
its title to two global icons, Marcus
Garvey and Bob Marley. These icons
are symbolic of the philosophical
and spiritual thinking and energies
developed from reflection and action.
Garvey is examined as a foundational
theological thinker and Marley as
an evangelist in music. The Garvey
and Marley oeuvre encompasses
Africa as well as the experience of its
descendants in the half-millennium
of survival and transcendence of the
genocidal transatlantic slave trade,
plantation slavery and modern

capitalism. Can one be a Christian in
the modern world and not address
these issues? These issues are not only
black people's issues but are central to
any assessment of Western civilisation.
Every time we sing "Amazing Grace"
we should remember that it was
written by John Newton, an English
slave trader whose salvation from
wretchedness was purely personal,
because after writing this hymn he
continued his crimes as a slave trader.
Although "Amazing Grace" has
been appropriated and given new
meaning by African-American singers,
John Newton remains the archetypal
Western Christian who ensures
personal salvation while making money
from the blood of African people.
Modern Christian identity in the
Western world is, therefore, in my view,
inseparably bound with the themes of
Erskine's book.
From Garvey to Marley enjoins
Christians to enter into dialogue with
Rastafari, not for some indigenising
process based on singing local hymns
or having the drum or steel pan in
services, but because modern organised
religion is spiritually challenged.
From American-style bling-bling
evangelism in the growing churches of
the Caribbean and Africa to the sexual
abuse scandals in the Roman Catholic
Church, the modern church is in crisis.
Erskine's syntheses of Rasta
theology and livity offer a new way
of comprehending and grasping
our humanity, and represent a
transformative approach to values and
attitudes as distinct from the less than
effective inventory of values drawn
from the colonial/ peasant/ small
proprietor / teacher / deacon experience
which has influenced substantial
sections of black leadership in the
Caribbean. While the values generated
from this source can assist with the
values that struggle for social, economic
and political mobility, they are not
sufficiently transformative of a people
who have gone through the valley of
the shadow of death. The colonial/
peasant / small proprietor / teacher/
deacon experience is frequently self-
negating and loathes and fears the
idea of Africa. Erskine's challenge to

dialogue assumes that we are ready to
look at people many of us despise and
to centre Africa in our consciousness.
This call to dialogue is part of
Erskine's project of decolonising
religion. We are both sons of Baptist
ministers, so we witnessed the
transition from British Baptist parsons
to black-skinned Jamaican Baptist
parsons. In the 1950s, my father took
over from the Englishman Reverend
Bastable in the Portland circuit of
Baptist churches, but there was no
calling into question of British colonial
Christian theology no theology
of change emerged; there was no
transformative theology. There was
talk at home of the pervasive racism of
the English clergy, their comments and
attitudes, but these were not discussed
and examined in terms of theology. On
the other hand, Africa was very present
in the church as there were many
challenges, from the Revival-based
catching of the spirit which I witnessed
during my father's preaching, to the
threats of Maroons in Moore Town
that if a certain tree that harboured
ancestral spirits was cut down to clear
the way for a church he, Reverend
Lewis, would not live to return to Port
Antonio. Erskine delves deeply into the
Myal and Revivalist traditions in the
nineteenth century which influenced
Rasta in Trinityville, St Thomas, where
his father was a Baptist minister.
In the following sections, I will
identify a few propositions from
Erskine's book that are outside the
contemporary Christian framework
that informs global and Jamaican

Most of us begin with the God constructed
by Europeans or Americans, with their
interpretation of the white iconography
of Jesus, Mary and the entire Bible.
Erskine quotes Peter Tosh, who says,

Then they started to teach me of
the devil, and Satan, and hell. They
teach me of the Christians. But
they made sure that they teach me
that Jesus, the son of God, was a
white man. When I ask why am I
black, they say I was born in sin

and shaped in iniquity. One of the
main songs they used to sing in
church that made me sick is "Lord,
Wash Me and I Shall Be Whiter
Than Snow". In my search I heard
the name 'God'. I go to church and
they say God made me in his own
likeness and image. If I make a doll
in my image it is quite obvious that
the doll must look like me. Yet still
I am faced with the ignorance, lost
in fantasy, seeking to find the reality
in what they taught me in this
religion, of God. (pp. 171-72)

Religious iconography in Jamaican
churches is in large measure similar
to what it was during the period of
slavery and colonialism, with some
exceptions. Several generations of
Caribbean renaissance-oriented Rasta
and non-Rasta painters and sculptors
have produced religious art in the black
Christological tradition, and their work
is found in a few churches. But before
considering changing iconography, one
has to deal with the basic identity issues
that the iconography raises.

Erskine argues,

As long as Caribbean people
accepted a white God as the
ontological basis of their reality,
the rejection of self and the
internalisation of oppression were
unavoidable. Following in the
tradition of Marcus Garvey and
Alexander Bedward, who taught
that God should be seen through
the lens of Africa, the Rastas look
to the black king from Ethiopia and
claim him as their God. (p. 147)

Rasta has developed what Erskine
refers to as a "black Christological
frame of reference in that the messianic
promise of liberation for black people
is fulfilled in the black man from
Ethiopia, Haile Selassie" (p. 115).
Revelation 5:2-5 speaks to the one who
is able to break the seals and open the
scroll, and that one was the "Lion of
the tribe of Judah, the Root of David".
Herein lies a difference between the
Garvey tradition of Christology, set

out in the Universal Catechism, and
Rastas. Garveyites never saw the
emperor as God but as a monarch. Yet,
this contradiction notwithstanding,
Garvey becomes a central prophetic
source for Rastafari as he had linked the
coronation of Ras Tafari prophetically
with Psalm 68:31: "Princes shall come
out of Egypt; Ethiopia shall soon
stretch out her hands unto God" (p. 2).
The interpretation of this verse, as is
the case with so many other biblical
passages, demonstrates new ways of
doing biblical exegeses in the context of
the geographical provenance of Africa
in the Bible and the descendants of
Africa in the diaspora. Were it not for
Rastafarians and a few theologians, we
would not know about the Ethiopian
eunuch and his role in Christianity;
of Simon of Cyrene, the African who
helped Christ carry the cross; and of
the great church leaders St Augustine,
Origen, Tertullian and others (p. 158).
This history is important: the history of
people of African descent cannot start
with the plantation, as this condemns
people to legacies of deprivation
and inhumanity. There has to be the
integration of African history with
Caribbean history, and the same applies
to the history of religions and the
If Rastafari has broken the cycle
of self-hate by the appropriation of
Selassie, it means that the cycle could
also be broken by other means. One of
the arguments that underlie Erskine's
work is that African Jamaicans can
create God in their own image and not
only through Selassie.

Rastafari has long integrated the
body/soul relationship, while colonial
Christianity has historically been soul-
oriented. "Many missionaries who
condoned slavery or felt impotent to
affect the system of slavery for good
taught a separation of body and soul"
(p. 130). Given the history of the black
body in Jamaica for most of the last five
hundred years, this body has not fully
belonged to us. It has been property.
The significance of this fact is not well
appreciated. The black body belonged

to the slave master as property, and
the missionaries conceded that and
spoke instead to saving the soul.
This compromise allowed Baptists
and Moravians to evangelise on the
plantations. We have substantial
evidence from the Thistlewood diaries
in eighteenth-century Jamaica that the
black female body was the object of
his syphilitic penis as well as a source
of labour.3 The politics of the body is a
vital area. The body as property is not
a thing of the past. Recently, a Jamaican
female graduate student in Belgium
told me that it was common for Belgian
men to walk up to black women on
the streets and ask, "How much?" The
sexual degradation of the female body
has been profoundly affected by our
past and, unfortunately, too many of
our own males treat the female body
with the same disrespect.
Erskine points out that in their
emphasis on the reclamation of the
body, Rastafari has made a major
contribution to Jamaican cosmology
and to the idea of body/soul unity.
Reflection on this unity must be a
central issue for us, as from it follows so
much. Erskine writes, "One advantage
of beginning with the body is that it
brings to the fore issues of poverty and
racism that are central for Rastafari.
Talk about the body also forces us to
talk about sexism and homophobia,
which Rastas are not eager to discuss"
(p. 141). The reclamation of our bodies
for ourselves and not for others
represents a main achievement of
Rastafari, and the rest of the society
has not sufficiently appreciated that
contribution. The ease and pleasure
with which we maim and kill our
bodies falls within that sphere as well.

The precepts of Christianity and
Rastafari coincide on the subordinate
role of women. "In both Christian
theology and Rasta ideology woman is
polluted" (p. 112). Levitical principles
are applied, particularly among Bobo
Shanty houses of worship, in relation
to menstruation and pregnancy, and
there are restrictions in assembly, and
in serving and preparing meals. These
strictures affect the functions of women
in worship as well. In some Christian
churches, restrictions on females are
reproduced and enforced according to
biblical precepts. Erskine draws on the
traditions of Revivalism and the Native
Baptists to show that the African-
derived spirituality and the traditions
of spirit possession do not have a firm
gender demarcation and therefore the
bearers of revelation are equally male
and female.

The Rastafarian tradition is not a church
tradition, as the indwelling of the
divine in man comes through reading
and interpreting of the scriptures
and reasoning. Erskine quotes Tekla
Mekfet as saying that 'Rastas are not
followers.... Each Rasta is divinely
guided by Jah'.... The church or
religious community is needed by
persons who have not responded fully
to the divine within" (p. 189). Erskine

Although there are Christian
believers who share with Rastas
the views that God indwells the
human heart and that communion
with the divine within is essential

for guidance and direction, one
profound distinction between
Christian and Rastafari perspectives
is that the Christian makes this
claim from within the community
called church. Even when the
Christian makes the claim that
all she or he needs is God from
the quiet of the home, the church
is presupposed. The Christian
sentiment presupposes that in
this relationship with the beyond
who resides within, the church is a
necessity. The converse is the case
for Rastas. (pp. 189-90)

Erskine records a Rastaman attending
a conference in Kingston who states,
"People say money is the root of all evil.
If I never have money, how I would
have access to come to Jamaica. Money
is the root of all business and man
needs roots" (p. 193). It is this kind of
reasoning that enables the visionary in
Rasta to blend with the pragmatic.
This book requires close study and
discussion; it is well organised and the
reasoning is sound. It does come down
on the side of Christian eschatology, it
does support the church as community,
but it is calling for a re-examination of
the issue of identity and Christian faith
in the light of the valley of the shadow
of death of the past five hundred years.
It is calling for a church that can speak
to us today in the same way that in the
past the early Christians spoke to their
times. 4*

1. Cornel West, Democracy Matters: Winning
the Fight against Inperialism (New York:
Penguin, 2005), 26.

2. lan Adams and R.W. Dyson, Fifty Major
Political Thinkers (London: Routledge Key
Guides, 2003).

3. Douglas Hall, In Miserable Slavery: Thomas
Thistlewood in Jamaica, 1750-1786 (1989;
reprint, Kingston: University of the West
Indies Press, 1999).


M.H. AHMAD is Professor of Biotechnology
and Director of the Biotechnology Centre,
University of the West Indies, Mona. Under
his supervision, over twenty graduates
have been awarded the PhD or M Phil
degree. Prof. Ahmad has been an editor
for local and international refereed journals
and presently has over eighty scientific

DAVID BOXER is Director Emeritus and
Chief Curator of the National Gallery of
Jamaica. He has, over the past thirty years,
curated over one hundred exhibitions, and
has authored many essays, articles, and
catalogues of Jamaican art. He is the author
of Edna Manley, Sculptor (National Gallery
of Jamaica/Edna Manley Foundation, 1990),
and jointly with Veerle Poupeye, of Modern
Jamaican Art (lan Randle Publishers on
behalf of the University of the West Indies
Development and Endowment Fund, 1998).
He is also widely regarded as one of the
Caribbean's major contemporary painters
and installation artists.

JEAN D'COSTA (nee Creary) taught Old
English, linguistics and literature at the
University of the West Indies, Mona
(1962-77), and then at Hamilton College,
Clinton, New York (1980-98), from which
she retired as Leavenworth Professor
Emeritus. Her work includes Sprat Morrison
(1972; Longman, 1990), Escape to Last Man
Peak (Longman, 1976), and, with Barbara
Lalla, Language in Exile: Three Hundred Years
of Jamaican Creole (University of Alabama
Press, 1989).

areas of communications and heritage.
Her current PhD research focuses on
camps established in Jamaica by the
colonial government in World War II. Her
publications include two children's books,
The Mystery of the Golden Table and Searching
for Pirates: A Port Royal Adventure (Arawak
Publications, 2001), as well as Mona, Past
and Present: The History and Heritage of the
Mona Campus, University of the West Indies
(University of the West Indies Press, 2004).

GEORGE GRAHAM is A. C. Reid Professor of
Philosophy at Wake Forest University in
Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA. He
is the author and editor of numerous books
including Philosophy of Mind (2"' edition,
Blackwell, 1998).

SHARON LEACH lives and works as a
columnist and freelance feature writer for
the Jamaica Observer. Her short stories have

appeared in that newspaper's Literary Arts
supplement as well as in Bearing Witness:
The Best of the Observer Arts Magazine (vols.
1, 2 and 3), Kunapipi: Journal of Postcolonial
Writings and From the Blue Latitudes: An
ai..;... .. of Caribbean Women Fiction Writers
(Seal Press, 2006). Her first collection of
short stories, What You Can't Tell Him, will
be published by Starapple (Trinidad) Press
later this year.

RUPERT LEWIS is Professor of Political
Thought in the Department of Government,
University of the West Indies, Mona,
and is Associate Director of the Centre for
Caribbean Thought. He is a member of
the Council of the Institute of Jamaica and
Chairman of the African-Caribbean Institute
of Jamaica/Jamaica Memory Bank. He has
written extensively on Marcus Garvey and
the Garvey movement.

NEVILLE MCMORRIS is a retired physicist who
taught at the University of the West Indies.
He was Head of Department for many years,
and Dean of the Faculty of Pure and Applied
Sciences for seven years. His main academic
interest has been the history and philosophy
of science, and he has written papers and a
book on the subject.

SYLVIA ADJOA MITCHELL has worked at the
Scientific Research Council and the Sugar
Industry Research Institute. Presently
she lectures and supervises the group
she initiated in 1999, the Medicinal Plant
Research Group, at the Biotechnology
Centre, University of the West Indies, Mona.

REX M. NETTLEFORD is Vice Chancellor
Emeritus, Distinguished Fellow (School of
Graduate Studies), University of the West
Indies and Fellow of the Institute of Jamaica.

SONJAH STANLEY NIAAH is the inaugural
Rhodes Trust Rex Nettleford Fellow in
Cultural Studies, 2005 and is a lecturer in
Cultural Studies at the Institute of Caribbean
Studies, University of the West Indies, Mona.
She has published on dancehall in Space and
Culture, Discourses in Dance, African Identities
and Proiudflesh. She is an associate editor of
. ..!,.. A Journal of the Caribbean and its

TYRONE S. REID is currently pursuing a BSc
degree in International Relations at the
University of the West Indies, Mona. He has
won gold, silver and merit awards for his
poems in the Jamaica Cultural Development
Commission National Creative Writing
Competition, and in 2005, was awarded

the Best Overall Writer Trophy. His poems
appear regularly in the Observer Literary Arts
Supplement. He also works as a journalist at
the Observer.

JAMES ROBERTSON is a lecturer in the
Department of History and Archaeology
at the University of the West Indies, Mona.
His publications include the book, Gone is
the Ancient Glory: Spanish Town, Jamaica,
1532-2000 (lan Randle Publishers, 2005).
He is currently working on the first English
century in Jamaica.

VERENE SHEPHERD is Professor of Social
History in the Department of History at the
University of the West Indies, Mona. She is
a vice-president of the Jamaica Historical
Society, chair of the board of the Jamaica
National Heritage Trust, and chair of the
Slave Trade Abolition Bicentenary Planning

KIM ROBINSON-WALCOTT is editor of books
and monographs at the Sir Arthur Lewis
Institute of Social and Economic Studies,
University of the West Indies, Mona. Her
publications include Out of Order! Anthony
Winkler and White West Indian Writing
(University of the West Indies Press, 2006)
and the children's book Dale's Mango Tree
(Kingston Publishers, 1992) which she also
illustrated. She was the regional winner
(Americas) of the 2005 Commonwealth
Short Story Competition.


wod ISl L Sie ISqbmite l i

Pubee e *. s ar

ilutrtv maera (oiinl

From the foreword to
Jamaica journal 1, no. 1
(December 1967)

The Jamaica Journal sets out to act as a
magnet as well as a directional device. It
sets out to provide a 'home' in its pages to
all Jamaicans (and some non-Jamaicans)
who create whether in literature, art,
literary criticism or historical and scientific
thought. Merit, in the areas where such
merit is relevant to our Jamaican scene, is
the basic criterion for inclusion.
The Journal will address itself primarily
to Jamaicans.... And we hope that while,
on the one hand, our readers] shall not
feel that [they] are being fed esoteric and
incomprehensible stuff, [they] should not,
on the other, feel able to dismiss us for not
having aimed high enough.
Yet we must make clear that this
journal will not set out to 'impose high
standards' borrowed from other peoples'
achievements. Instead, we hope to explore
new directions of our own, new lines of
thought, to help in the essential task of
groping towards the creation of 'standards'
valid to our own experience.
Last, but by no means least, the
Journal sets out to publicise the work
of the Institute, and through articles,
reproductions and photographs to make
widely available to the Jamaican people
one of the few valuable legacies from our
past the wealth of historical and scientific
material collected and preserved at the
Institute of Jamaica.
In a lighter vein, the Journal promises
never to take itself too seriously. Human
values are important but not immovable.
We hope that all those who feel excluded
will realise that exclusion is part of the
editor's unfortunate task, that his [or her]
judgement is fallible but all that he [or she]
has to go by, that the rejected manuscript
or drawing forms as much a part of the
process of creation as the accepted one, and
that it is the process of creation as much as
the achieved result that this journal sets out
to encourage.
Finally, we set out to achieve
simplicity, vigour, clarity, relevance,
whether through words or pictures. No
one can give the absolute answer to these
demands, but we hope that all those who
contribute and all those who read will use
these criteria as a rough rule of thumb in
accepting or rejecting what we have to
Alex Gradussov, editor, 1967

INSTITUTION was founded in 1879. Its
main function is to foster and encourage the
development of literature, science and art, in
the national interest.
It operates as a statutory body under the
Institute of Jamaica Act 1978 and falls tinder
the portfolio of the Ministry of Education,

Professor Alston "Barry" Chevannes

Executive Director
Vivian Crawford

Central Administration
10-16 East Street, Kingston
Tel: (876) 922-0620-6
Fax: (876)922-1147
Email: ioj.jam@mail.infochan.com
or info@instituteofjamaica.org.jm

Junior Centre
19 East St, Kingston
Tel: (876) 922-0620-6
Email: jcentre@instituteofjamaica.org.jm

Museums of History & Ethnography
Head Office: 10 East Street
Tel: (876) 922-0620-6
Email: mus.ioj@n5.com.jm or

* Fort Charles Museum, Port Royal
Tel: (876) 967-8438

* Forces Military Museum
(temporarily closed)
Tel: (876) 922-0620-6

* People's Museum of Craft &
Technology, Spanish Town
Tel: (876) 907-9322

* Museum of St James, Montego Bay
Tel: (876) 971-9417

Youth and 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.

Natural History Museum
10-16 East Street
Field stations: Mason River Reserve &
Green Hills
Tel: (876) 922-0620-6
Email: nhd.ioj@cwjamaica.com
or nhd@instituteofjamaica.org.jm

Jamaica Clearing Mechanism
Biodiversity Website
Email: chm.nhd@cwjamaica.com

African Caribbean Institute of Jamaica/

Jamaica Memory Bank
12 Ocean Boulevard, Kingston Mall
Tel: (876) 922-7415/4793
Fax: (876) 924-9361
Email: acij@angel.com.jm
or acij@instituteofjamaica.org.jm

National Gallery of Jamaica
Roy West Building
12 Ocean Boulevard
Tel: (876) 922-1561/ 8540
Fax: (876) 922-8544
Email: ngalleryja@cwjamaica.com

National Library of Jamaica
12 East Street
P.O. Box 823
Tel: (876) 967-1526/2516/2494
Fax: (876) 922-5567
Email: nlj@infochan.com
Website: www.nlj.org.jm

The Institute of Jamaica

.nat the


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The Sphingid Moth

The Satellite Sphinx Moth Eumorpha Satellitia Satellitia (Linnaeus, 1771)
The Frangipani Caterpillar Pseudosphinx tetrio

Like butterflies, moths belong to the order of insects known as
Lepidoptera, a name that means 'scaly-winged'. Their beautiful
colourations and designs are due to the numerous scales that
are arranged like overlapping tiles on the background of a
transparent wing membrane.
The family of Sphingid or Hawk moths is comprised of
swift, strong fliers that resemble miniature aeroplanes. Some
are day fliers, but most of them are active at dusk or twilight
and are termed as nocturnal, a characteristic feature of most
moths. They behave much like hummingbirds as they hover in
front of flowers, extending a long tongue or proboscis through
which nectar is sucked up. In recognition of this resemblance to
humminzbird- th_\ jar' -,.mttimt-- called hurimmingbird moth
and in mamn. precie- thE bWKl. i- abi'ut the -i/v'': a hummingbird

The larvae of most species have a conspicuous horn or
spine-like process on the dorsal surface of the eighth abdominal
segment, and are commonly called 'horworms'. Hornworms ar
voracious feeders and possess the ability to devour large plants
or trees, causing considerable damage to some plant species.
Many Jamaicans are familiar with the large black caterpillar with
yellow stripes encircling it, and vivid red head and feet. It feeds
almost exclusively on species of Plumeria or Frangipani and may
sometimes be called the Frangipani caterpillar.
The name 'sphinx' probably refers to the sphin\ l[e position
that some of their larvae assume where. Fi turnedd !

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Ir :, S
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