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

The Trinidad and Tobago Carnival, celebrated the week before Ashe Wednesday every year, is am*****g the 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 is no experience on earth ***** compare with Trinidad *****, the oldest and greatest of them all, the mother ***** all Carnivals, often imitated, never equaled" (***** & ***** 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 h*****tory and a reflection of its history, ***** Carnival continues to evolve to the present ***** with such additions as Peter Minshall's dancing mobiles. A symbol of freedom, ***** a celebration of freedom from slavery, the Trinidad and Tobago Carnivals are significant to isl***** ***** a celebr*****tion ***** 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 ***** important *****sues affect*****g Trinidad.

Trinidad's history has had a great influence on its Carnival, as the influence of ***** through the ********** has c*****tinuously shaped the *****. Trinidad was discovered by Columbus in 1498 and ruled by Spain for *****00 years as an extremely "underdeveloped" possession (Cowley 9). In the late 18th century, Charles III decided to "rejuvenate" ***** 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 incre*****e ***** small ***** ***** the *****ands, yet the island remained sparsely populated, but this did help to entrench a ***** culture in ***** (Cowley 1985). The French held "elaborate masked balls" and despite the British takeover in 1797, ***** French culture ***** dominant (Gilkes 2003). This French culture was the result of the slaves being born in French isl*****s and having a combin*****tion ***** an African, French, and Caribbean amalgam of ***** was not diluted with the arrival of new ***** from Africa (***** 10). ********** developments beginning in 1783 marked "a development of ***** consequence in the history ***** ***** isl***** *****nd to the institution of carnival" as the historical development set ***** stage for the creation of Carnival in Trinidad (Hill 7).

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


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