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

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Trinidad Carnival

John S.)

Trinidad Carnival:

The Greatest *****how on Earth

***** Trinidad and Tobago *****, celebrated the week before Ashe Wednesday every year, is among the 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 to compare with Trinidad Carnival, the oldest and greatest of *****m all, the mother ***** all Carnivals, often imitated, never equaled" (***** & ***** Official Website). It would be hard to argue with that. Out of a population of a little over one million, over 100,000 participants dress up in masquerades, "s*****ging, dancing, and miming" thus keeping the tradition going strong through to ***** present day (Hill 3). Rich in history and a reflection of its history, the Carnival continues to evolve to ***** present day with such additions as Peter Minsh*****'s dancing mobiles. A symbol of freedom, and a celebration of ***** from slavery, the Trinidad and Tobago Carnivals are significant to isl***** as a celebr*****tion ***** freedom that is deeply rooted in ***** culture of the nation, however Carnival is not merely a celebration but also an outlet for commentary on the important ********** affecting Trinidad.

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

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


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