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

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Trinidad Carnival

John S.)

Trinidad Carnival:

The Greatest Show on Earth

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

Trinidad's history has had a great influence on ***** Carnival, as the influence of ***** ***** the *****s has c*****tinuously shaped the Carnival. Trinidad was discovered by Columbus in 1498 and ruled by Spain for 300 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 to work on new estates (Cowley *****). This policy, enacted in 1783, helped ***** ********** the small ***** of the islands, yet the island remained sparsely populated, but this did help to entrench a French culture in ***** (Cowley 1985). The ***** held "elaborate masked balls" and despite the British takeover in 1797, the French culture ***** dominant (Gilkes 2003). This French culture was the result ***** ***** slaves being born in French ***** ***** having a combinati***** of an African, *****, and Caribbean amalgam ***** ***** was not diluted with the arrival of new slaves ***** Africa (***** 10). ********** developments beginning in 1783 marked "a development of gre*****t consequence in the history of the island and to the institution ***** carnival" as the historical development set ***** stage for the creation of Carnival in Trinidad (Hill 7).

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


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