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 among ***** largest and most popular in the world. According to the Trinidad and Tobago official website, this annual event is unrivaled in the world. "There is no experience on earth ***** compare with Tr*****idad *****, the oldest and greatest of *****m all, the mother of ***** 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, and miming" thus keeping the tradition going strong through to the present day (Hill 3). Rich in history ***** 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, and a celebr*****tion of ***** from slavery, ***** Trinidad and Tobago Carnivals are significant to isl***** ***** a celebr*****tion ***** freedom ***** 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 affecting Trinidad.

Trinidad's history has had a great influence on ***** Carnival, as the influence of ***** ***** ***** years has continuously shaped the Carnival. Trinidad was discovered by Columbus in 1498 and ruled by Spain for 300 ***** 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 ***** incre*****e the small ***** of the islands, yet the island remained sparsely populated, but this did help to entrench a French culture in ***** (Cowley 1985). The French held "elaborate masked balls" and despite the British takeover ***** 1797, the French culture remained dominant (Gilkes 2003). This French culture was the result ***** the slaves being born in French isl*****s and having a combin*****tion of an African, French, and Caribbean amalgam ***** ***** was not diluted with the arrival of new slaves from Africa (***** 10). ********** developments beginning in 1783 marked "a development of ***** consequence in the history of ***** 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 island, the social conditions behind ***** population growth ***** influence the origins of *****. 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 *****s ***** express discontent with social divisions, an example being the Sh***** Estate Revolt of Christmas 1805 as festivals during holidays would be an opportunity ***** cultural and political expression. The most ***** event,


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