Essay - Trinidad Carnival John S.) Trinidad Carnival: the Greatest Show on...

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Trinidad Carnival

John S.)

Trinidad *****:

The Greatest *****how on Earth

***** Trinidad and Tobago Carnival, celebrated the week before Ashe Wednesday every year, is am*****g ***** largest and most popular in the world. Accord*****g to the Trinidad and Tobago official website, this annual event is unrivaled in the world. "There ***** no experience on earth to compare with Tr*****idad *****, the oldest and greatest of them all, the mother ***** ***** Carnivals, often imitated, never equaled" (Trinidad & Tobago Official Website). It would be hard to argue with that. Out of a population ***** a little over one million, over 100,000 p*****rticipants dress up in masquerades, "s*****ging, dancing, and miming" thus keeping the tradition going strong through to the present day (Hill 3). Rich in history ***** a reflection of its history, ***** Carnival cont*****ues to evolve to the present ***** with such additions as Peter Minshall's dancing mobiles. A symbol of freedom, and a celebr*****tion of ***** from slavery, the ***** and Tobago Carnivals are significant to island ***** a celebr*****tion ***** freedom ***** is deeply rooted in ***** culture of the nation, however Carnival is not merely a celebration but also an outlet for commentary on the important issues affect*****g Trinidad.

Trinidad's history has had a great influence on its Carnival, as ***** influence of history ***** the *****s has continuously shaped the Carnival. Trinidad was discovered by Columbus in 1498 and ruled by Spain for *****00 years as an extremely "underdeveloped" possession (Cowley 9). In ***** late 18th century, Charles III decided to "rejuvenate" the colonies and invited Catholics to settle the colony resulting in French planters bringing slaves ***** work on new estates (Cowley 9). This policy, enacted in 1783, helped to *****cre*****e ***** small ***** ***** the islands, yet the island remained sparsely populated, but this did help to entrench a ***** ***** in ***** (Cowley 1985). The French held "elaborate masked balls" and despite the British takeover in 1797, the French culture ***** dominant (Gilkes 2003). This ***** culture was the result of ***** slaves being born in French islands and having a combin*****ti***** of an African, *****, ***** Caribbean amalgam ***** ***** was not diluted with the arrival of new ***** ***** Africa (***** 10). *****se developments beginning in 1783 marked "a development of great consequence in the history of the island and to the institution ***** carnival" as the his*****rical development set the stage for ***** creation of Carnival in Trinidad (Hill 7).

As ***** began to develop as a multicultural *****, the social conditions behind ***** population growth ***** influence the origins of *****. As tight regulations kept social and racial cl*****ses separate, those of African descent would create a p*****rallel society that reflected the culture of the white elite class (Cowley 11). ********** would use *****s to express discontent ***** social divisions, an example being ***** Sh*****d Estate Revolt of Christmas 1805 as festivals during holidays would be an opportunity ***** cultural *****d political expression. The ***** ***** event,


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