On behalf of the Mittelholzer family and for my own research purposes I am looking to acquire anything regarding Edgar Mittelholzer and older books about Guyana. Please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Illustrious Exile: Journal of my Sojourn in the West Indies by Robert Burns, Esq. Commenced on the first day of July 1786
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In 1786, the Scottish poet Robert Burns, penniless and needing to escape the consequences of his complicated love life, accepted the position of book-keeper on an estate in Jamaica. The success of his Poems chiefly in the Scottish Dialect made this escape unnecessary. Thus far is historical fact. In Andrew Lindsayâs novel, Burns indeed goes to Jamaica and then to the Dutch colony of Demerara where, into the world of sugar and slavery, he brought his propensity for falling in love, his humanity and his urge to write poetry. In 1997 a small mahogany chest is found in a Wai Wai Amerindian village in Guyana. It contains Burnsâ journal from 1786 to 1796, when he died.
Andrew Lindsayâs novel is a work of imaginative invention, poetic description and meticulous historical reconstruction. As a fellow Scot who has settled in Guyana, Lindsay brings an incomerâs fresh eye to the Caribbean landscape and imaginative insights into how Burns as a man of his times might have responded to slavery. Not least, Illustrious Exile contains some brilliant versions of Burnsâ poems, as written in the Caribbean.
About the Author
Andrew O. Lindsay was born in Scotland in 1946. He studied English at the University of St Andrews where he gained the degrees of MA and B.Phil. He spent his professional career at Madras College, St Andrews, much of the time as Principal Teacher of English. He was able to take early retirement in 2003, a move that allowed him to devote himself to writing full-time.
Andrew has always had a strong interest in the life and works of Robert Burns, and is a past president of St Andrews Burns Club, one of the oldest in Scotland. His partner Eve is a daughter of the late Denis Williams, the distinguished Guyanese archaeologist, author and artist, and Andrew now regards Guyana as his second home. The more he grew aware of the history of the once great Demerara sugar plantations, the more he became intrigued by Burnsâ virtual silence on the subject of the slave trade, particularly since the poet had seriously contemplated emigrating to the West Indies. The result was Illustrious Exile(2006).
He is a past winner of the Sloan Prize for Scots writing with a short story The Ken-Sign, which remains unpublished. He is currently gathering materials for a collection of short stories based on the varied experiences of âreturneesâ in Guyana. As a Scot in Guyana his own experiences raise issues of identity that he is exploring further in poetry and prose. (Courtesy of Peepal Tree Press)
Marie-Elena John is a former Africa development specialist. She and her husband and two children divide their time between Washington, D.C., and Antigua. This is her first novel. (Courtesy of HarperCollins)
Before the Legend: The Rise of Bob Marley
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Coinciding with the 25th Anniversary of Bob Marley's Death (May 11, 1981) NEW BOOK FROM AMISTAD/HARPERCOLLINS ISBN: 0060539917; On Sale: 05/02/2006; Format: Hardcover; Pages: 224; Bob Marley was a reggae superstar, a musical prophet who brought the sound of the Third World to the entire globe. Before the Legend: The Rise of Bob Marley goes beyond the myth of Marley to bring you the private side of a man few people ever really knew. Drawing from original interviews with the people closest to Marley -- including his widow, Rita, his mother, Cedella, his bandmate and childhood friend Bunny Wailer, his producer Chris Blackwell, and many others -- Legend paints an entirely fresh picture of one of the most enduring musical artists of our times. This is a portrait of the artist as a young man, from his birth in the tiny town of Nine Miles in the hills of Jamaica to the making of his debut international record, Catch a Fire. We see Marley on the tough streets of Trench Town before he found stardom, struggling to find his way in music, in love, and in life, and we take the wild ride with him to worldwide acceptance and adoration. From acclaimed journalist Christopher John Farley, the author of the bestselling biography of Aaliyah and the reporter who broke the story on Dave Chappelle's retreat to South Africa, Before the Legend is bursting with fresh insights into Marley and Jamaica, and is the definitive story of Marley's early days.
About the Author
Christopher John Farley was born in Kingston, Jamaica, and raised in Brockport, New York. He is a graduate of Harvard University and a former editor of the Harvard Lampoon. He is the author of the bestselling biography Aaliyah: More Than a Woman and the novels My Favorite War and Kingston by Starlight. He is also the coauthor of Martin Scorsese Presents the Blues. He has worked as an editor and pop-music critic at Time magazine and is currently an editor at the Wall Street Journal.
Muscular Learning: Cricket and Education in the Making of the British West Indies at the End of the 19th Century
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This study is a major contributopn to the debate on cricket and society in the West Indies. This book was written with passion and imagination and inspired by CLR James's masterpiece Beyond a Boundary. The book explores the role of theat quintessential imperial game-cricket and education in the shaping of identity in the former British West Indies from the latter years of slavery to 1900.
About the Author
Clem Seecharan is a Professor of Caribbean History and Head of Caribbean Studies at London Metropolitan University. He is the authour of the 2005 Elsa Goveia Prize winner Sweetening Bitter Sugar: Jock Campbell the Booker reformer in British Guiana 1934-1966.
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This may be the smallest fort ever constructed by the Dutch overseas. Kyk-Over-Al: the historic name of a small island, about 1.5 acres in size, is located at the junction of the Mazaruni and Cuyuni Rivers.
In the late 16th century, Europeans began to trade in the West Indies for salt, which was at that time a `luxuryâ in Europe. European trade goods were exchanged for indigenous products such as annatto, which was used as a dye in Europe.
However, the trade was not economically viable as the quantities of items supplied by the indigenous peoples were insufficient. Thus depots were built to collect and store produce until the arrival of the ships. Two depots, one at Nibie, a small village on the Abary Creek, and one on the Pomeroon River, were established for his purpose.
The latter was soon removed during the early part of the 17th century to a small island at the junction of the three rivers, Essequibo, Cuyuni and Mazaruni. A small fort armed with a few guns was constructed. It was named Fort Ter Hoogen in honour of an influential Dutchman. However, this appellation soon gave way to the descriptive name Kyk-Over-Al (See Over All).
The British governed the island in 1666 for a short period. However, it was recaptured and fortified by the Dutch. Activities reached a peak in 1670, when a great deal of trading was done with the local tribes.
By 1716, the island became overcrowded and this resulted in the decision to construct a new house for the Commadeur at Cartabo Point. Dutch administration was relocated to Fort Island, closer to the mouth of Essequibo River. In 1748, most of the buildings were demolished and the materials were used to construct a sugar mill at Plantation Duyenenburg, which was located along the Essequibo River.
During the boundary dispute of 1897 between Venezuela and the British Guiana, excavations of the foundations of the remaining ruins and the bricks of the lower course were undertaken to clarify the builders of the fort. The samples taken were analysed in England. These examinations revealed that the bricks used in the construction of the fort were of Dutch origin. This knowledge was used to substantiate the claim that the British had inherited territories formerly occupied by the Dutch.
In June 1910, the island was thoroughly cleared of its undergrowth by an order of Governor Sir Frederick Hodgson. Many parts of the fort, including the stone ramparts and brick pavements complete with relics of Dutch occupation such as canon balls, glass bottles and several clay tobacco pipes were unearthed.
The ruins revealed that the ground floor was used as a storehouse for food and goods received from the indigenous and a magazine. There were three rooms on the top floor - one for the soldiers, one for the Commandeur and the other for the Secretary of the colony of Essequibo.
Today, all that remains of the fort is a brick arch.
On July 20, 1999, the island was declared a National monument. This site is maintained and managed by the National Trust of Guyana.
(Courtesy of http://www.landofsixpeoples.com)
Isabel Adonis,Elizabeth Alleyne,Caz,CleanSlate,Cyril Dabydeen,David Dabydeen,Hope McMillian,Michaela V. McRae,Pertamber Persaud,Jeremy Poynting,Guoyan Rampersaud,James C. Richmond,Zaira Simone,Kamanie Singh,Jacqueline Ward,Wyc Williams
A cloud of gulal envelopes revellers at the Kendra Celebrations.
By Adrian Boodan
Phagwa, or Holi celebrations, get underway this week when the Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha, the largest local Hindu body, burns an effigy of Holika on March 14 at three locations: the Parvati Hindu Girls’ College, Debe, the Tunapuna Hindu School and in Vega de Oropouche.
Sat Maharaj, secretary general of the Maha Sabha, said Phagwa 2006 will be one of the biggest ever as the centuries-old festival that has its roots in India has been gaining much momentum locally.
Maharaj said that on March 18, President George Maxwell Richards was expected to attend children’s Phagwa celebrations at the Tunapuna Hindu School, while the national Phagwa celebrations would take place on March 19.
He said that last year there were more than 500 appearances by chowtaal groups across the island, and this year, 21 stages were being prepared across Trinidad for some heavy chowtaal singing.
Chowtaal singing will be at its best, Maharaj said, since many of the participants had been practising at their temples, schools and at home to show off their talents on the big day.
Maharaj said the recent upsurge in Indian culture did not happen overnight and was no accident. He said the Maha Sabha introduced its Baal Vikaas singing competition in its school system more than two decades ago and this set the stage for many young artistes to get some level of formal training.
Many of today’s local Indian singing artistes have benefited in some way from the programme, he said. He said even Government schools have taken advantage of the Maha Sabha’s thrust towards the development of Indian culture.
One such school is the Palmiste Government Primary school, which raised funds to purchase Indian instruments that the Maha Sabha was selling at an extremely low price in 2004.
For those unfamiliar with the festival of Phagwa, the celebrations began in T&T with the arrival of the first indentured Indians in 1845.
The origins of the festival lie in the Hindu scripture the Vishnu Purana, which tells the tale of the evil king Hiranyakashipu who wanted to destroy his son Prahlad because Prahlad did not want to worship Hiranyakashipu.
The king then plotted with his sister Holika to destroy Prahlad by fire. Holika had a magic scarf that would protect her from the flames. When she lured Prahlad into the flames, however, the young man managed to come out alive and covered with the scarf, and Holika was burnt instead.
Prahlad then took the ashes and started playing with them. This event signified the rise of good over evil.
Maharaj said celebrations could not take place before the burning of the effigy.
He said that abir, the coloured liquid that is synonymous with the festival, cannot be sprinkled before the effigy was set alight.
Wherever the Diaspora settled, Phagwa, like Divali, has followed. In Guyana, Phagwa is a national holiday. It is also celebrated in the Hindu Kingdom of Nepal, in Suriname, in the United States, Canada, Mauritius and Fiji.
The music of Phagwa
What are celebrations without music? The indentured brought with them in their jahaji bundles several percussion instruments that include the dholak drums, the kartaal, jhal and majeera. These instruments are still used today to accompany the chowtaal bands across the island and none of them run on electrical power. When combined with the voices of the singers, however, the music is loud enough to fill a savannah.
The songs are religious in nature and dedicated to Hindu deities as Lord Shiva, Lord Krishna and Lord Rama. Chowtaal songs are fast paced and energetic. In recent times some Bollywood songs have entered into the Phagwa arena, the most popular being Rang Barse, sung by Indian acting and singing legend Amitabh Bachan, prominent in a Phagwa scene in the movie Laawaris.
A different twist to the music was added by the Ravi Ji-led organisation the Hindu Prachar Kendra. This Hindu body, based at Longdenville in Central Trinidad, introduced Pichakaree singing to the stage.
Pichakaree gets its name from the pichakaree gun, the device used to squirt abir on revellers. Pichakaree has been gaining momentum in the past decade as a vehicle for the Hindu-Trinidadian voice to address social and political issues. This new genre of singing also explores festive songs and there is a category for the theme the Kendra chooses for its celebrations.
Most of the language used in Pichakaree singing is usually performed in the English of T&T’s local dialect and is sprinkled with Hindi and Bhoujpuri words. This appeals to the contemporary generation and somehow gets the point across faster in social commentary songs.
The Kendra Pichakaree singing competition that takes place on the day of the festivities at the Divali Nagar site attracts many competitors and this year Mohip Poonwassie the 2005 champ will be facing a serious challenge for the top spot.
The key ingredient
The key element in Phagwa is abir. Children of the 1960s and 70s, who witnessed a revival of Phagwa because of the drive of the Maha Sabha, will remember red as the significant colour being used in celebrations. However, since Phagwa is a spring festival, more colours were gradually introduced to local celebrations, such as bright blues, greens, shades of yellow and even black.
Abir is sold as crystals containing a vegetable dye. The crystals are immersed in hot water to dissolve them and the mixture is then cooled before being poured into devices for spraying.
Ingenious T&T minds have developed a pichakaree pump using PVC pipes that can blast a spray of abir as far as ten metres. Others may use a squeeze bottle or a soft drink bottle with hole drilled in the cap to spray the coloured liquid.
Abir is supposed to wash off clothing. There are those, however, who add the secretions of the banana plant or the juice from a ripe cashew to the mixture to create a permanent stain on fabric.
Another recent addition to T&T’s celebration is the use of gulal or coloured powder. Gulal is popular in India, especially in the Punjabi city of Chandigarh. Gulal represents the ashes of Holika and is usually smeared on revellers. Gulal has an almost fluorescent colour and in most instances acts to provide a powdery mask to the masses celebrating.
Posted by jebratt ::
Tuesday, March 14, 2006 ::