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 among the largest and most popular in the world. Accord*****g to the Trinidad and Tobago official website, this annual event is unrivaled in the *****. "There ***** no experience on earth to compare with Trinidad Carnival, the oldest and greatest of them all, the mother of ***** 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 p*****rticipants dress up in masquerades, "singing, dancing, and miming" thus keeping the tradition going strong through to ***** present day (Hill 3). Rich in history ***** a reflection of its history, the 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 freedom from slavery, the Trinidad and Tobago Carnivals are significant to isl***** ***** a celebr*****tion of 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 affect*****g Trinidad.

*****'s history has had a great influence on its Carnival, as the influence of history ***** the years has continuously shaped the Carnival. Trinidad was discovered by Columbus in 1498 and ruled by Spain for *****00 ***** as an extremely "underdeveloped" possession (Cowley 9). In the 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 ***** *****cre*****e ***** small ***** ***** the islands, yet the island remained sparsely populated, but this did help to entrench a ***** culture in Tr*****idad (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*****tion of an African, *****, and Caribbean amalgam of culture 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 isl***** and to the institution of carnival" as the historical development set the stage for the creation of Carnival in Trinidad (Hill 7).

As ***** began to develop as a multicultural *****and, the social conditions behind ***** population growth ***** 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 ***** of the white elite class (Cowley 11). Africans ***** use celebrations ***** express discontent with social divisions, an example being ***** Sh*****d Estate Revolt of Christmas 1805 as festivals during holidays would be an opportunity ***** cultural and political expression. The most ***** event,


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