Front Cover
 Table of Contents
 Back Cover

Title: Jamaica journal
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00090030/00080
 Material Information
Title: Jamaica journal
Series Title: Jamaica journal.
Abbreviated Title: Jam. j.
Physical Description: v. : ill. (part col.) ; 31 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Institute of Jamaica
Publisher: Institute of Jamaica.
Place of Publication: Kingston
Publication Date: March-April 2007
Frequency: semiannual
Subject: Periodicals -- Jamaica   ( lcsh )
Genre: periodical   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: Jamaica
Dates or Sequential Designation: Began with Dec. 1967 issue.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00090030
Volume ID: VID00080
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 01797964
lccn - 75027862
issn - 0021-4124

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
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    Table of Contents
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    Back Cover
        Page 81
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Full Text


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In energy conservation, like in cricket,
sticking unswervingly with the basics will
get results.

Conservation Basics:
* Turn off lights when not in use
* Always buy energy efficient appliances
* Carpool
* Replace incandescent lighting with compact
fluorescent bulbs.

* Use natural light whenever possible.
* Turn off lights near windows when daylight is
* Use solar water heaters
* Install low-flow showerheads, and low flush toilets.
* Learn to read the meters so that you can keep track
of what you use and spend.

Stick to it and lower your utility bill as well as
the country's national oil bill.

Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica



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Jamaica Journal VoL 30 No. 3
MahfWApril 2007
Kim Robinson-Walcott
Assistant Editor
Shivaun Heare
Editorial Committee
Petrine Archer-Straw
Rupert Lewis
Wayne McLaughlin
Verene Shepherd
Edilorial Assistant
Latoya Pennant
Deaig and Prodldion
Image Factory Limited
Faith Myers
Advertising and Sales
Tamara Wiliama-Martin
Mapo Pritenr Limited
fmnaia fanour is published by
thelnstitue of Jamaica
All correspondence and subscription
request should be addressed to.
Institute of Jamaie
10-16 Last Street, Kingston, Jamaica
Telephone. (876) 922-0620-6
Fax: (876) 922-1147
Email: loj.jamnmaiinfochan.com
Website www.instituteoflamaica.org.jm
Bak Issues
Most bac issues are available. List sent on request.
Entseries available on miuofilm from:
ProQuest Information and Learning
Periodicals Acquisitions
P.O. Box a136, Ann Arbor, M 481061346
Telephone (734)761-400
Individual copies J$600/US$10; a subscription for
three Isues is available from the institute of Jamaica
for JSL80M/US$32 inuding shipping and handling.
Cheque payable to the Institute of Jamaica.
Articles appearing in Jamaica journal are abstracted
and indexed in Historical Abstracts and America:
History and Life.
Vol. 30No. 3
Copyright 2007by th itue s of amaica
ISN 0021-4124
Cover or conlentsmay not be reproducd in.~tile or.
in part without the written permission of the Institute
of Jamaica.
Cover The Haby Barrington Watson (2007).
Collection the artist.





Historically, sport has not been an
important subject in the fine arts. The
only exceptions to this rule have been
the elite sports of horseracing, shooting
and hunting in all forms. Even then,
these works were rarely accorded
the same status as'serious' art, such
as works with religious or historical
subject matter, and were considered
'genre' works. However, during the
twentieth century the range of suitable
artistic subjects changed dramatically:
new audiences brought new tastes
and the old hierarchies collapsed.
Starting with the Impressionists, who
championed "the painting of modern
life" as the most important mission of
the artist, visual artists have delved
ever deeper into the worlds around
them. It is natural that artists would
turn to sport as a subject: like dance

and theatre, it is physical, elemental,
dramatic, ritualistic and often
beautiful. It also touches the souls
of peoples all over the world. With
the advent of photography, film and
mass media, our sporting stars and
the sports they play -have become
iconic images of contemporary life.
National identity and national pride
are intimately bound up with the
games we play and watch. In fact,
sport has never before had the global
prominence that it enjoys today.
For its part, Jamaica has achieved
success in sport out of all proportion
to its size and, as part of the West
Indies cricket team, has enjoyed
considerable success against the other
cricket-playing countries. Barrington
Watson, a Jamaican artist famous for
his draughtsmanship and love of the

human form, has turned his passion
for sport into an artistic form. Here
he discusses his paintings in the
exhibition Cricket, Lovely Cricket: The
Cricket Paintings of Barrington Watson
(National Gallery of Jamaica, 10
March-28 April 2007) with Dr Jonathan
Greenland, executive director of the

What is the 'shock attack'?
There have been a lot of great
fast bowlers: Australia had Lillee,
Thompson and Larwood, England had
Truman and Statham, India had Kapil
Dev, and the list goes on. But I think
the West Indies cricket team was the

ABOVE Shock Attack I, 1983 (Collection: Mr and Mrs
P.H.O. Rousseau)
RIGHT Square Cut, 2006 (Collection: the artist)




LA k

X. `~eL



first to introduce four fast bowlers.
The opposing batsmen were always
subjected to extreme pace. And this
was called the 'shock attack'. The West
Indies had a period where they had
many of the very best fast bowlers in
the world, including Marshall, Garner
(who held all the records), Hayden,
Walsh, Ambrose, Roberts and Holding.
And so we could play four fast bowlers
at any given time. During this period
we dominated cricket.

Why did you choose to depict the
shock attack?
I am interested in cricket as a game. It
is a very special game, a subtle game.
I used to play when I was a young
man. I was an opening batsman
and wicketkeeper, and I came to
understand the game very well. When

I am making a painting, I always try
to find the more subtle aspects of it. I
arranged the composition so that it
created the tension and the anxiety
that the batsman would experience
- without actually representing the
batsman or the ball.

The painting [Shock Attack I1
certainly captures the anticipation ...
Well, I can feel it and I know it having
been a player and having been an
opening batsman. You have no choice
but to deal with these situations: every
opposing team starts their fastest
bowlers with the new ball. Moreover,
having watched the game from the
stand, you can see six players behind
the wicket. The composition as you
see it is interesting, because it is a
left-hand batsman, so you have three

High Five, 2000 (Collection: Mr and Mrs Vinrod

slips on the off side the first, second,
and third slips and two leg slips on
the other side, plus the wicketkeeper.
I guess I enjoy, fear and anticipate
along with the batsman. If you go to
a cricket match, that's what you enjoy.
If you know about the game then you
can see all these little subtleties. You
know what I heard on the radio this
morning? Somebody called in and
asked: "What is a slip?" The answer
was, "When somebody tries to catch
the ball and they fall over"!
However, we have been talking
about the Shock Attack painting I did in
1983. The first Shock Attack was done
in 1962. I took it to an exhibition in
Canada and I lost it, or rather, I sold
it. But I wasn't completely satisfied
with it and I wanted to do it again.
I didn't get back to it until 1983. I
did a study for it, and then the large
one that you mention. They were
pretty well received. Since then, I
have done another version of the
same composition which was given
to John Major, the prime minister of
Great Britain, as a gift from the West
Indies Cricket Board. He was a great
cricket lover. This was a much smaller

Could you describe your relationship
with cricket in general?
I played both cricket and football I
found cricket a little slow, especially
when I was young and my energy level
was high. But I always liked cricket. I
started playing for the Sunlight Team
for Kingston College. I went on to
play for Melbourne Club, which had
some very good Jamaican and West
Indian players in those days, players
like Kentish. I probably could have
gone on and tried for the West Indies,
but I was more interested in art than
cricket. When I was studying art at
the Royal College in England, Garfield
Sobers and Collie Smith were playing
over there. One day they were coming
to play a match with the team I played
for, called the Antilles. That's when
they had the motor car accident that
Collie Smith died in.

What is the best aspect of cricket for
The Antilles team was rather like the
West Indies team: We travelled around
England and played in competitions
and so on. So I used to have a lot of fun
at the weekend. But I couldn't take it
too seriously because I had other work
to do.
However, cricket, as they say, is
a gentleman's game, and it should
be played by gentlemen, and also by
people who understand the subtleties.
If it is played for five days over a test
and it ends as a draw, then the players
must understand what it was played
for and the reason for it it doesn't
matter if there is a conclusion, as such.
I like the subtleties of the game. And
it is character-building as well. I like
to see the young people playing it, it
teaches respect and intelligence.

Is the great era of West Indies cricket
No, it is going through a phase, but
it will be back. A lot of games are
creeping in, like basketball, not to

mention football. Being involved in
a sport is a very important part of
existence. Life is not just about being
a businessman or an artist. That's why
the sports programmes in schools are
so important: learning how to be part
of a team, how to lead, how to accept
your position in an organisation,
how to win, how to lose. In any sport
you have specialities: for example,
a wicketkeeper has to master the
position and master the responsibility.
As well as teaching specific things
like hand-eye coordination, a crucial
aspect of most sports. A good
example is Brian Lara: his technique
is not the best but his hand-eye
coordination is fantastic. He can
see what the ball is going to do and
respond accordingly.

It is interesting that you were a spe-
cialist batsman and a wicketkeeper,
two positions right at the centre of the
Yes, because I am one of those people
who doesn't ever want to be out in
the cold. When I started at Kingston

College in the wicket, I would connect
with everybody, talk to the slips,
the batsmen, the bowlers. I had a
wonderful relationship with one of the
bowlers: I would signal to him where
he should bowl depending on the
particular batsman and the wicket.

Nowadays, there is a lot of talk about
the abuse or sledgingg' that goes on in
cricket. What is your position on this?
I think sledging may have started
in Australia and South Africa, but
there has always been banter. The
wicketkeeper or a slip will mumble
something that is not nice to the
batsman, and this can affect his
concentration. After all, cricket is
intensely psychological. However,
the business about race hangs over
everything and, in general, abuse is the
worst part of cricket. I don't approve
of it. I believe one must play better
than one's opponent and beat him
fairly. Nowadays they seem to have

Shock Attack II, 2000 (Collection: the artist)

microphones on the wicket. That is
how they caught out the South African
player recently who made the racist
comments. So technology may put an
end to it all.

An unusual thing about cricket is that
all the English-speaking Caribbean
countries play as a single team.
The islands have local competitions,
but the great thing is that the West
Indies play as a unit. Whenever they
play, all the Caribbean islands can
come together to support them. But
they have been through a very bad
patch recently, and so everybody has
suffered together too! They have a
good team and they will do well

During your career you have done a
number of paintings of athletes.
When I entered the Spanish Biennial,
the title of the exhibition was Sport in
the Fine Arts. For that exhibition I chose
the painting The Athlete's Nightmare:
it is another subtle aspect of the
profession of the athlete. Having been
involved in many sports, I know that
the athlete is sometimes his own worst
enemy. When an athlete gets onto a
field of sport and has twenty to thirty
thousand people watching him, it can
be a nightmare. You're not sure if you
are going to do very well or very badly.
So what you have to do is block out the
crowds and concentrate on your own
self. But it takes a lot. And that's why
not too many stars come out of any
group of athletes. You'll always find
that there is one person who knows
how to hone in on himself or herself
and be the kind of person that he or she
can be.

In cricket, as in many sports, there is
a strong element of physical danger to
be overcome.
This is what we find in Shock Attack I.
What we see in Shock Attack I is what
the batsman feels: there is the ball
coming at you. And you have to play,
to make the shots. There are shots that
can be made for each ball, but if you
can't employ the right strategy at the
right time, then'bang'.

You have done a new Shock Attack;
could you talk us through this?
This is Shock Attack III. In the first Shock
Attack, I tried to capture the tension at
any given point of time in the whole
game. Shock Attack II tries to show
the bowler in action as he delivers one
of these 'shockers'. Shock Attack III
represents the batsman facing the ball
as it is coming at him at one hundred-
odd miles an hour. It is frightening
to him because he knows that people
have been hit on the head and all over.
In fact, nowadays they wear a lot of
protective armour to prevent serious
damage. But many people have been
hit and injured. That is what I try
to zoom in on. When the batsman
sees that ball coming, it looks like a
whirlwind. Hence the circular motion
of the rainbow. The batsman is trapped.

What happens next?
He goes. He is out. Caught in the slips.
I was tempted to put some more slip
fielders in the composition, but the way
the composition is, I didn't need them.

So you have the slips, the bowlers, the
batsmen; are there more paintings to
I have others I want to paint and I
probably will paint: someone being run
out, a bowler delivering the 'yorker'.
The yorker was Michael Holding's
favourite bowl: as the batsman lifts the
bat, the ball goes underneath. And
a couple of the classic shots: the 'on-
drive' and the 'cover drive'. These are
two very difficult shots. As a matter
of fact, as an opening batsman I never
managed a cover drive to the boundary.
I couldn't. It takes excellent timing.

What would you like viewers to get
out of this exhibition?
For those who don't know cricket, I
want them to get the feel of cricket
- to understand the game. For those
who know a lot, I want it to continue to
remind them of the beauties of cricket.

Your working method seems to
include imaginatively understanding
the experience of the participants.
Where do the ideas come from?
Ideas come to you. This series started

with Shock Attack, but I wanted to look
at some other things, including cricket
shots like the hook and the drive.
Being something of a workaholic, I am
always thinking about these things
and working on them in sketches.
You won't always see the sketches
in public, but I do them. Finally,
for the completed work, I have the
composition set in my mind and then
sketch all the figures individually.
And then I put them together. You
can see some preparatory sketches and
watercolours in this exhibition.

I am sure you are familiar with the
book by C.L.R. James, Beyond the
Boundary, in which he considers
how the colonial powers imposed
their culture on the West Indians,
including games, and the colonised,
in turn, beat the colonialists at their
own games. Is there an element of
this in Shock Attack?
Yes, I suppose so. I don't think that can
be avoided. We grew up learning from
the famous batsmen like Hutton. In
fact, we used to imitate them as boys,
saying, "I'm Don Bradman," etcetera.
You'd use them as your inspiration.
But then the student surpasses the
teacher and so on. It is the same in the
political arena.

Many of the works in this exhibition
are action paintings, and it can be
hard to capture motion in a static
medium like painting. Do you have
any artistic influences in this regard?
Well, yes, but in a different sense.
The other day I gave some lectures in
Florida, and someone asked me, who
was my greatest motivator? And after
thinking of my friends and the teachers
that I have had, I had to say, my father.
Because he opposed me, or I opposed
him, when I was a youngster. When I
was fourteen or so he wanted me to do
something like law and I defied him: I
didn't want to do law, I wanted to make
art. Well, I knew I had to do well at art
because I wanted to show him. And
not only him, but all the other people
who thought that art wasn't a real
profession. I knew even then that one
can make a career out of art as long as
you do it well and are honest.


Can you talk us through High Five?
I saw a photo in the newspaper one
day. And I thought I would reconfigure
it for fun. I liked how it worked: it
depicted Walsh and Ambrose both
of whom are very tall and Marshall,
a very short fellow, but one of the
fastest bowlers of them all. Marshall
is reaching up to high five the other

two. I found it highly amusing, and
the cameraman who took the picture is
a good one. It's like an offshoot from
Shock Attack, but it is a key aspect of
cricket like the painting Tea Time.
Tea Time is one of my most successful
works: it depicts the whole West Indies
team coming off the pitch at tea time.
Painting works of sports is like sports

Shock Attack III, 2007 (Collection: the artist)

photography: it is an art in itself. It
takes a very good photographer to
capture moments in time that evoke the
full nature of the sport. +

All images provided courtesy of the
National Gallery of Jamaica

Cricket, Painful Cricket


'THREE PARADIGMS'- A Book Commentary


Cricket World Cup 2007 will have been
a wide-open affair. Cricket Australia's
Team Australia runaway favourites
from before their victory at the previous
staging in South Africa (2003) faltered
as March/April 2007 loomed. Team
Australia's aura of invincibility has
evaporated, a casualty of a string of
defeats by England and New Zealand
in the one-day game. These losses
are not wholly or mainly caused
by injury to key players. So, South
Africa, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka,
England, New Zealand, even the
Australians themselves, may equally
have ended up parading the trophy
after the final match. The West Indies
will have stood among those with
a chance, despite the fact that home
advantage has never been decisive in
this competition; in fact, it has not so
far been won by any home team.
One has, now, to wonder what
England's capture, by a short head,
of the Ashes Series in 2004 really
meant? Did the retaliatory battering
inflicted on England in the 2006 Ashes
simply disguise the fact that Team
Australia is actually an ageing, over-
the-hill outfit? Australia's very need
so emphatically to recapture those
Ashes may have been their last hurrah,
masking a decline from which only
time and not even a possible triumph
in World Cup 2007 will finally deliver
Of course, Australia's cricketing
ascendancy was never going to be
permanent dominance, whether
military, political or sporting, never is.
In cricket, such ascendancy is almost
always the product of destructive
bowling, even if great batsmen, or just
good, dedicated batting, also matter.
A Jason Gillespie, a Glenn McGrath
and above all a Shane Warne do not

come around on a conveyor belt, not
even one powered by Australia's first-
rate Cricket Academy and a driving
national will to sporting success.
My concern here is with the last
team, before Australia, to display such
cricketing supremacy. That was our
own beloved, now pain-inducing, West
Indies. There they (actually we) were
lording it
at thbe top
ot orld
for % hat
Inl~mt han e
seemedd an

eternity to
others. To
the unwary
among us,
was more
natural. And
it was going to be for ever. Talented,
even great, batsmen would keep on
coming from ever smaller islands.
And, from what looked like a deep
well of tall and strong young men, fine
pairs of pulverising pacemen would
forever surface. The spin skills of
Ramadhin, Valentine and Lance Gibbs
drifted from the collective memory.
God, nature, luck had made us to
be rulers of the cricketing universe,
following our long, racialised 'bat and
ball'-playing apprenticeship during

which it appeared that every lesson
essential to survival and then triumph
had been well learned. When England
defeated the West Indies in a test
at Sabina Park in 1989, using black,
Caribbean-born bowler Devon Malcolm
as the destroyer, English colleagues and
neighbours beat gloating paths to my
fence and desk alike. They had suffered
in silence for too many years: their cups
of joy ran over. They were to suffer a
ii ile longer, as it turned out.
Then suddenly, somewhere in the
nervous, nail-biting 1990s, it all fell
a part, and we could no longer rest
assured that our men, now boy-men,
would defeat the likes of Zimbabwe.
Those whom the UK popular press
had, through gritted teeth, called the
"Calypso Cricketers", as they made
their way to or from this or that
series whitewash blackwashsh' to
some in the British Afro-Caribbean
community), were now languishing
down there with Zimbabwe, and
with Bangladesh and Kenya, well
away from any team in the big or
even medium league. My own last
face-to-face encounter with the West
Indian cricket team was on a day
of atrocious batting at Kingston's
Sabina Park when Brian Lara's men
lamely surrendered the final game
of a series, resulting in our first ever
home series defeat by an India with a
pace attack that was barely better than
average and just one spinner of any
The word 'awful' seriously
understates the current condition of
West Indies cricket. While this should
not be said lightly, the condition
is demonstrably a reflection of the
palpable crisis of our region and in
our individual nation-states. It is a
crisis of deep-seated unpreparedness


that has left us, like Ethelred of old,
completely unready to function
successfully in the present fast-moving
and unforgiving capitalist world, as
currently articulated by the vogue
word 'globalised'. No Caribbean
person can too long refrain from some
more or less angry, sometimes self-
righteous or just 'know-it-all' finger-
pointing. How can we avoid blaming
our current crops of West Indies
players, or our administrators, or our
cricket commentators, not to mention
ourselves, manifesting as spectators-
cum-supporters who have joined vocal
and scribal artist David Rudder to
"Rally, Rally Round the West Indies"
- while enduring excruciating and
seemingly unending pain.
But why blame the commentators,
who merely watch the action from
pavilion or armchair and then hold
forth with a greater or lesser quantum
of sense, or style or, Jah permitting,
foresight, not to mention insight? Yet,
even had their commentary combined
insight and foresight, would our
commentators have had any significant
impact on the destiny of West Indies
There have been excellent and
deep-thinking Caribbean commentators
on our cricket, going back to Pelham
Warner, Learie Constantine, C.L.R.
James, Prime Minister Michael
Manley of Jamaica, and more recently,
Professor Hilary Beckles, Dr Christine
Cummings, Michael Holding, Dr
Akshai Mansingh, Dr Fazir Mohammed
and Professor Clem Seecharan. In this
article I am confining myself mainly
to a discussion of the work of Hilary
Beckles was, himself, a good
enough cricketer in his youth to
earn, as I recall, a trial with a major
English county. As a commentator, he
is in excellent company, and knows
himself so to be. He tells us of Pelham
Warner, "white colonial Trinidadian,
who published Cricket in Many Climes,
in 1900",' articulating more clearly
than had any other the power, the
predicaments and the paradoxes of
the interaction of colonial cricket and
empire. Beckles recognizes Michael
Manley's massive A History of West

Indies Cricket2 as "magisterial".3 Like all
of us, Beckles is mesmerised by C.L.R
James's writings on cricket. It is known
that one of C.L.R. James's purposes in
going to England in the early 1930s was
to assist Learie Constantine with the
writing of his first book Cricket and I,
while the latter lived in Nelson, playing
league cricket in darkest Lancashire.
James on cricket affords two published
sources of joy: first is that incomparable
masterpiece Beyond a Boundary.4 There
James managed studies of the impact
of the evolving game of cricket on
the social structure of metropolitan
England and the peripheral colonial
social formation of the British
Caribbean, while weaving together
wonderfully these connected stories
and places. The other James cricketing
joys are to be found in the treasure
trove edited by Anna Grimshaw
called, simply, Cricket: C.L.R. James.5
It contains a short essay, "Kanhai:
A Study in Confidence", that is of
awesome playfulness and stupendous
seriousness. (Homo
sapiens, sapiens,
homo ludens, if you
will.) Can it not be
asked what would
have happened if
Shakespeare could
have read C.L.R. James
on cricket? Would the
Bard not have waxed
thus, "Knows he ought
of art, philosophies, nay,
life itself, who knows
not cricket's heights
and depths"?
The appearance
of Clem Seecharan's
Muscular Learning: Cricket and Education
in the Making of the British West Indies
at the End of the 19th Century6 is
recent and so has not yet been noted
by Professor Beckles. It represents a
deepening of our understanding of the
processes by which the game of cricket
was integrated into British colonial
educational practice, constructing
us Caribbean people into individual
and collective subjects of its allegedly
'gentlemanly' ideology and, of course,
into cricket lovers to a man and to
many a woman.

Professor Beckles's major
publications on cricket resemble
what plebeian British football (soccer)
professionals term 'a game of two
halves'. The professor does not
entertain so lowly, so soccer-generated,
a metaphor, and speaks more grandly
- while borrowing an ageing history-
of-science metaphor of West Indies
cricket being framed by and within
three powerful cricketing paradigms.
My perceived 'first half' is the
extended historical moment occupied
by the first and second of Beckles's
three paradigms. This covers the
game's introduction into our region
by white British military types during
the Napoleonic War at the turn of the
eighteenth century. These chaps knew
what was what. They knew that cricket
was not a game for blacks. They were
in no doubt that non-gentlemen could
never be more than 'players' /lowly
'professionals' in this ennobling sport,
the pursuit of which was correctly the
domain of the English public-school-
produced gentleman.
S They certainly knew
that black men would
Ss never do much more
in cricket than the
retrieval from the bush
beyond the boundary
of those beautifully
white-struck balls. This
paradigm also covers
the time of the game's
growth regionally,
leading to our parade
of brilliant individuals
from Christiani to
Collie Smith, through
to the likes of Learie
Constantine (later Sir Learie and,
later still, Peer of the Realm, Lord
Constantine), George Headley and
the Three Ws Worrell, Weekes and
Professor Beckles says that it was
under this first paradigm that the
earliest regional tours were forged,
and within which came forth the first
West Indies team proper: the 'test' team
of the late 1920s. His two most recent
cricket books explore and document
landmarks of precisely these facets of
our game's history. The First West Indies

Cricket Tour: Canada and the United States
in 1886 reprints, with commentary and
illustrations, a journal kept by Laurence
Fyfe, captain of a party of fourteen
West Indians mainly businessmen
- from Jamaica, Barbados and British
Guiana. The journal documented their
cricket tour to Canada and the USA in
1886. It cannot be right to describe the
earlier of these two books as anything
less than beautiful. A Nation Imagined:
First West Indies Test Team The 1928
Tour" is a richly researched and
documented text in which Professor
Beckles clearly identifies this team
as a key cultural foundation for the
emergence of the modern West Indian
national consciousness. This book
should be recognized and treated as the
fundamental text in Caribbean cultural
history that it undoubtedly is. It is
enhanced by its unusual format.
Professor Beckles's second
paradigm held sway later in the 'first
half' of our West Indian game. It took
hold in the early to mid-1960s and was
inaugurated by the arrival into the
captaincy of the West Indies test team of
African-Bajan intellectual and cricketing
all-rounder Frank Worrell (later Sir
Frank), one of the celebrated Three Ws.
This marked the formal elimination of
a crippling racist discrimination as a, if
not the, dominant force in shaping West
Indies cricket.
who died
young, oversaw
a period of West
Indies cricketing
maturity and 4
triumph which
was one of the
factors in making
my time as a black
emigrant in racist
England endurable,
while political
and cultural
engagement, and
access to London
theatre, bookshops
and book fairs made it fulfilling. This
was the period of apparently 'natural'
West Indies domination of world
cricket. Tony Gregg, a South African

captaining England, spoke of making us
"grovel" as a pre-condition to defeating
us: the West Indies won all the matches
that were not rained off in his particular
series. Beckles's books on that thrilling,
up-full 'half' have titles such as An
Area of Conquest: Popular Democracy and
West Indies Cricket Supremacy9 and (co-
edited with Brian Stoddart) Liberation
Cricket: West Indies Cricket Culture."'
There is also the long historical view
supplied by Beckles in volume one
of his The Development of West Indies
Cricket, significantly subtitled The Age
of Nationalism." Beckles's message then
was that the abundant lessons of our
cricketing mastery should be applied in
other spheres of our regional life-in-the-
world. These expansive books appear
free of any premonition of impending
Cricketing revolutions define our
past cricketing achievements and
current problems. The first relevant one
was led by the previously mentioned
Sir Frank Worrell, who harnessed
mental ability, racial and regional pride,
and raw physical talent. It worked like
a dream. Then came Australia in 1975-
76. Our team was blown away, shot to
pieces by the pace of that great duo,
Thompson and Lillee. The Caribbean
response was another cricketing
revolution which converted disaster
into mere blip. This time it was led by
Clive Lloyd, who had the
sense to mobilise jointly
our brawn and our brains.
The long all-conquering
outcome rested on our
S four-pronged pace attack.
Then came the Kerry
Packer revolution,
ruthlessly bringing
commercialization and
professionalisation to the
gentleman's game
worldwide. When the
dust settled, the Lloyd
formula was still effective
for the West Indies.
No other cricketing
nation appeared to have
the fast-bowling talent to emulate us,
and our batting and fielding talents
were also still first-rate. An Australian
coach was part of the mix. (A successor

Australian now too long employed
as team manager must soon be
acknowledged not to be working this
time around.) When our batting failed
during our ascendancy, the bowling
repeatedly powered us to victory.
Curtly Ambrose's 6 for 24 which
dismissed England for 46 at the Queens
Park Oval in 1994 was the most famous
The present total humiliation of the
West Indies cricket team represents the
second of the 'two halves' of the game,
and the time of the sway of Professor
Beckles's 'third paradigm'. As far as I
know, it came without warning from
any of our commentators. It came like
those Caribbean natural disasters at
Port Royal and Mount Pelee.
Granny say, in de broad
day light, even de white
o' she skylight went out.
Can't pray to no priest nor no leader
an' God gone an' darken the day!
That is how our leading proet-seer
Kamau Brathwaite renders it. My
schoolbook said much the same about
the Port Royal earthquake: "The day
opened brilliantly fine, the sun shining
from a cloudless sky. And nobody knew
of the coming disaster." That is how I
remember the words.
Professor Beckles faces up manfully
to the current disaster of our cricket
in volume two of his Development
of West Indies Cricket, subtitled The
Age of Globalization.12 These volumes,
incidentally, have been praised as
possibly "the most important book
on cricket ever written" by Wisden
the informed will know that Wisden
is recognized as the 'Bible' of cricket.
Hindsight is a wonderful thing, and
Beckles even implicates fellow cricket
historian, Michael Manley, in this
largely post hoc enterprise.
The multiple revolution that
unhinged West Indies cricket was
quietly carried out by the rest of the
cricketing world, especially Australia
and South Africa. What have been
the thrusts that toppled West Indies
cricket? International refereeing has
been brutally biased, and too little
has been made of this factor by our
gentlemanly commentators; Lara has

been a constant victim of it. Another
supposed thrust was that which largely
drove our players from English county
cricket; though admittedly, coming
from an unsuccessful team they would
not be great crowd pullers. Another
thrust definitely used cricket rulebook
changes to blunt what they had ganged
up to call "intimidatory" West Indian
But the genuinely fatal thrust
was that carried out by the armoured
divisions who attacked us with the
expertise developed in their new cricket
academies. Their very professional
young men rely on information
technology and banks of personal
computers to enhance their game and
undermine ours: our batsmen have
been 'worked out'; batting errors that
are repeated rather than eliminated lead
to easy dismissals. Practice by our rivals
is constant and it is informed, focused,
directed. The powerful insights of
Professor Beckles's work on the decline
of West Indies cricket are to be found
here in The Age ofGlobalization. He
has studied what the Australians do,
and how the English travel with their
supporters to places like Barbados to
raise English morale. In England, by
contrast, West Indies supporters are
a disappearing breed: those of the
generation of early migrants are either
dead, or 'returnees' now back in the
Caribbean or settled in Florida. The
children of those long dead or returned
West Indian migrants who used to
make the Oval and Lords pulsate to
the sound of drum and voice now
support British football teams or watch
The task now is to rebuild West
Indies cricket. We must not try to
rearrange deckchairs on the iceberg-

1. Hilary Beckles, The Development of
West Indies Cricket, vol. 2: The Age of
Globalization (Kingston: University of the
West Indies Press, 1998), xv.
2. Michael Manley, A History of West Indies
Cricket (London: Andre Deutsch/Guild
Publishing, 1988).
3. Beckles, Age of Globalization, xiv.
4. C.L.R. James, Beyond a Boundary (London:
Stanley Paul and Co., 1963).
5. Anna Grimshaw, ed., Cricket: C.L.R. James

stricken Titanic. Retaining the services
of the deeply undisciplined Brian
Lara as captain for so long cannot
have been helpful. We need a captain
who can provide effective
leadership in the key matters
of achieving total focus and
personal life-consuming
devotion to the cause of
sporting excellence.
If only Brian Lara had
been more like a Geoffrey
Boycott or a Malcolm
Marshall, practising his
cricket instead of indulging
his golf. He would now have
been able to put technique in
the place of failing reflexes
in judging length and
direction, and would even
have given the impression of
knowing more about where
his stumps were more of the
So! Weh fi do? Cricketing academies
are expensive enough for us to wonder
if our budget runs that far. So what
can we actually afford? We must pick
a young team of our best and brightest
and put them under contracts that
require them always to do the correct
thing technically in all departments and
to practise incessantly in that direction.
We have no flair to lose at the moment.
'Mango han', even if urban life had
not also taken that from us, would no
longer be enough. Soft living and fast
food may also have fatally damaged
the backs of our fast bowlers: in my
childhood it was white fast bowlers
who were constantly 'breaking down'
- those like Fred Trueman who came
from mining communities were the
exceptions. Constant practice is what
increases the percentage of direct

(London/New York: Allison and Busby,
6. Clem Seecharan, Muscular Learning:
Cricket and Education in the Making of the
British West Indies at the End of the 19th
Century (Kingston: lan Randle, 2006).
7. Hilary Beckles, The First West Indies
Cricket Tour: Canada and the United States
in 1886 (Kingston: Canoe Press, 2006).
8. Hilary Beckles, A Nation Imagined: First
West Indies Test Team -The 1928 Tour
(Kingston: lan Randle, 2003).

hits on stumps from all distances,
directions and angles. We must equip
a comfortable mobile viewing suite.
Beckles can direct us as to where to
find the footage on

should contract
the skills of, say, a
Michael Holding,
a Dr Mansingh or
a Dr Mohammed
even on a part-
time basis to assist
our youngsters to
develop their own
appreciation and
analysis of cricket
to their own benefit.
1 -"-\ ~: Our cricketers must
be contractually
obligated to watch
footage of matches
their own and
the performances of others so that
errors and their sources can be spotted,
analysed and eliminated by practice.
They must be taught to'pick' bowling
actions, including the body language of
the 'slower ball'.
Dropped catches, poor shot-
selection, murdered stumps, inability
to pick deliveries, erratic bowling
that ignores line and length, and
run-squandering no-balls must all be
eliminated. We must research the state
of pitches and the skills and weaknesses
of opposing teams.
We must enforce dedication and
eliminate the prima donna (or one
don) behaviour. We have to nurture,
not squander, our talent. The teams
that are now regularly and often
comprehensively beating us are not
better than us. They are only better
prepared and directed. 4

9. Hilary Beckles, An Area of Conquest:
Popular Democracy and West Indies Cricket
Supremacy (Kingston: lan Randle, 1994).
10. Hilary Beckles, Liberation Cricket: West
Indies Cricket Culture (Kingston: Ian
Randle, 1995).
11. Hilary Beckles, The Development of
West Indies Cricket, vol. 1: The Age of
Nationalism (Kingston: University of the
West Indies Press, 1998).
12. Beckles, Age of Globalization.



Cricket is more than a sport it is a game which teaches all the essential lessons
of life. For Jamaicans, it is even more so: it was one of the critical elements which
provided the basis on which the fledgeling nation moved from colonialism to
national independence.
Cricket has been Jamaica's national sport for over one hundred years, and it has
been chronicled in millions of words. Younger readers, however, will not remember
the days before 1962 when it was the only organised game known to the over one
thousand communities scattered across our 11,000 square kilometres of land.
First, we must note that the modern form of organised cricket started in Europe
in the late nineteenth century when the concept of sport (and cricket in particular)
was seen by the British as an essential part of the education process. Among other
attributes, it prepared men for war, taught them loyalty, not to complain in the face
of adversity, and to remember that misfortune on day one does not preclude victory
on day five.
More recently, sports in general were regarded as trifling entertainment and a
means of harmlessly dissipating the energies of youth. Sport has now become one of
the world's major growth industries; and cricket is now played at the test level on a
non-stop, year-round basis. In addition, serious cricket is no longer only an affair of
several days, but has attracted millions of new fans by spectacles of fifty-overs-a-side
and twenty-overs-a-side, in a format marketed as 'ODIs' (one-day internationals).
Good cricketers are now so well paid that the Indian master, Sachin Tendulkar, is
among the wealthiest men in India. Most serious test cricketers are millionaires.
Among the tasks undertaken by the second edition of the book City of Kingston
Souvenir is the selection of an all-time Jamaican eleven. The list excludes many
excellent cricketers. Among them: R. Karl Nunes, the first captain, opening batsman
and also wicketkeeper (1928) of a West Indies cricket team; J.K. Holt, senior, the first
renowned Jamaican batsman, whose career spanned the first three decades of the
twentieth century; J.K. Holt, junior, his son, who became vice-captain of the West
Indies team and who scored 172 against British Guiana in 1947; hard-hitting, high-
scoring batsmen like Ken Rickards, Neville Bonitto, Ken "Bam Bam" Weekes and
Easton McMorris who scored a record eight centuries in regional first-class cricket
(1959-70). Even the most classical of wicketkeepers, Jackie Hendricks, the West
Indies captain/wicketkeeper/batsman Franz Alexander, and the demon fast bowler
Roy Gilchrist cannot be included.
We now look at the basis of selection of these elite men of the bat and ball. The
City of Kingston Souvenir's All-Time Jamaican Team is, in batting order:

1. Allan Rae, vice-captain
2. Christopher Gayle
3. George Headley, captain
4. Lawrence Rowe
5. "Collie" Smith
6. Jeffrey Dujon

7. Maurice Foster
8. Michael Holding
9. Patrick Patterson
10. Courtney Walsh
11. Alfred Valentine



Allan Rae spent his entire life as a
cricketer. His father, Ernest Rae, put
him in pads on the Wolmer's High
School cricket team before he was a
teenager, with the pads almost touching
his shoulders. He duly punished the
bowlers. He only played 15 tests and
scored 1,016 runs, but it was his sheet
anchor roles that powered the Windies
to its first series victory in England in
1950. In the famous second test victory
at Lords he hit 106, and in the final
victory-sealing fourth test he hit 109.
Rae, on his international debut,
became 'immortal', scoring 111 and 128
versus Barbados in 1947. In his long
first-class career, 1947-59, he amassed
4,798 runs, and his test average of 46.18
is surpassed by very few, as were his 17
first-class centuries.

The question here is not whether Gayle
should open the Jamaican innings, but

whether he deserves to be recognized
as Jamaica's second greatest batsman
(after the immortal George). His record
certainly suggests it. With 4,259 test

runs, he is Jamaica's most prolific test
batsman, and with 9,826 runs at the
first-class level, he is not only Jamaica's
leader, but among the top in the world.
His first-class average of 43.86 runs
has been surpassed by very few, and
his innings of 317 puts him in that
unique minuscule band of test triple
In ODIs, he has been among the
world's top five for the past four years,
and is often the world's number one all-
rounder. His achievement of 5,696 runs
with a top score of 153 not out from 156
innings, does not say it all. As a bowler,
he plays a key role, having taken 53 test
wickets, 101 in first-class competition
and 134 in ODIs. He is usually the only
spinner on the Windies team.

If ever a nation owed hero worship to
a non-military warrior, Jamaicans owe
this to'Mass George' the man who
announced to the twentieth century
that the black man had arrived, and
could perform at the highest level, meet
with royalty and never seem out of
place. Before Headley, cricket had been

a white man's game in Jamaica, and the
team selection for the West Indies did
not extend too far outside a restricted
social circle. This was so in every field
of twentieth-century activity, until the
eighteen-year-old Kingstonian spanked
a century against Lord Tennyson's XI
in that historic visit to the West Indies
which preceded the first West Indian
test overseas tour in 1928. Headley, the
hero of the Tennyson series, was not
picked and England proceeded to give
the West Indies three thrashings by an
innings plus.
In 1929, on the first English test tour
to the Caribbean, a similar debacle was
not unlikely. But the selectors selected
the twenty-year-old, who proceeded to
score the first century ever scored by
a West Indian in a test match 176. In
the third test he became the first West
Indian to be 'immortal' 114 and 112
- and in the fourth test, became the
first to score a double century 223.
His total for the tour was 707 and his
average of 88 runs was unheard of.
It was the first time that the
society had recognized a black man
as the number one in any field in the
history of Jamaica. This was far more
important than the fact that West
Indies also recorded its first ever test
victory (the third test in Guyana) in
that most exclusive, most cultured
and most British of sports. Headley's
achievements were only just beginning.
The acknowledged prince of
batting, Australian Don Bradman, was
contemporary with Headley. When
told that Headley was termed "the
black Bradman", the Don reportedly
countered, "Or perhaps I should be
called the white Headley."
It was not only the world of cricket
which was turned on its head, it was
the entire concept that sons of Africa
could not be accepted on social terms,
could not perform consistently at the
highest level, could not stand up to the
mental and psychological pressure
demanded by international competition
over a period of years. George Headley,
born in Panama to a Jamaican woman,
reared in Rae Town by his aunt, was
the Atlas on whose shoulders the entire
achievements of Africa's sons in the
twentieth century would come to rest.

The Trinidadian scholar C.L.R.
James would say, "What do they
know of cricket, who only cricket
Headley became the first West
Indian to be a match winner in
professional cricket in England,
amassing a mammoth 9,921 runs in
first-class competition at the amazing
average of 69.86 runs per innings. His
test career was shortened by World War
II (1939-45), but even so he managed
2,190 test runs at an average of 60.83,
one of only three men to have a test
average of over 60 runs. Among his
many firsts, his two centuries in the first
test at Lords in 1939 was special the
first man to be 'immortal' at the home of
cricket. True to the Victorian ideal that
cricket trains the mind for greatness, his
three sons are all university graduates.

The 'showpiece' position in cricket
is number four (two wickets down).
The selectee is Rowe, a man whose
elegance is matched only by Sir Frank
Worrell of Barbados. Despite playing
only thirty test matches, he had a
knack of creating records. In 1972,
versus New Zealand, he became the
first man to score a double and a
single century (214 and 100 not out)
on a test debut. In March 1974, he
spanked the English test bowling for
302, the first triple century by a West
Indian against England.
While his test career was shortened
to 30 tests and an average of 43.55,
his first-class production was heavy
- 8,755 runs from 149 matches with 18
centuries and taking 118 catches.



"Collie" Smith's story is a sentimental
fairy tale. Of humble beginnings,
he came under the influence of a
Methodist pastor (Rev. Hugh Sherlock)
and later, at Kingston College, an
Anglican bishop (Rev. P.W. Gibson). He
remained a clean, religious, fun-loving,
explosive cricketer until his death at age
twenty-six in a car crash in Britain.
On debut against Australia in 1955
with the West Indies being demolished,
he spanked 44 and 104 in the first test.
His brief career spanned 26 tests, 1,331
runs at an average of 31.69 runs. But
he was also professional for Burnley
in the UK, and in less than four years,
aggregated 4,031 runs in 70 matches at
a very good average of 40.31 runs.
Many feel he was a better bowler
than batsman and his first-class bag of
121 wickets at 31.02 runs per wicket
is proof. His test haul of 48 wickets
at 33.85 entitles him to gain a space
reserved for all-rounders.

At his retirement from cricket, Dujon
had scored more test runs than any
other Jamaican 3,322, with a highest
score of 139 and an average of 33.22.
But his selection also rests on his
wicketkeeping abilities, which saw him
as history's second highest glove-man.
He took 267 catches in tests and 447 in
first-class matches.
It was the good fortune of the West
Indies to have his services during the
heyday of some of the world's greatest
ever bowlers Holding and Roberts.

He came into the team as a batsman
as the career of wicketkeeper D.A.
Murray was declining in the January
1982 tour of Australia. In his first
match, the third test, he took seven
scalps from the bowling of Anderson
Roberts, Michael Holding, Colin Croft
and Joel Garner the famous all-pace
attack. The combination would last for
the decade which saw the Windies as
unstoppable world champions.
His selection is unrelated to his
belonging to the Wolmer's High School
string of West Indian glove artists
- R.K. Nunes, F.C.M. Alexander, Jackie
Hendricks and, now, Carlton Baugh.

FOSTER (1943-)
Maurice Foster stands supreme as the
only batsman to score 13 centuries in
West Indies regional competition (Clive
Lloyd and Roy Fredericks with 10 each
are second). When it is considered that
Jamaica only began regular annual
competition with the Islands in 1966
when the Shell Shield was inaugurated,
and that Foster retired from interna-

tional cricket in 1978, the quality of his
performance was obviously supreme.
His test career was brief 14
matches, 24 innings, 580 runs at an
average of 30.52. But it is his first-class
efforts which gain him selection. In that
arena he played 112 matches, scoring
6,731 runs, with a highest score of 234,
compiled 17 centuries and 35 half-
centuries at a magnificent average of
45.17 runs.
He was a genuine all-rounder and
while he only took 9 test wickets, he
was devastating in first-class matches,
hauling in 132 scalps at an average
of 30.72 runs per wicket taken. He
skippered Jamaica from 1973 to 1978.

There was no method of measuring the
speed of bowling when Holding was
terrorising the world's batsmen from
1975 to 1985. However, there seems to
be a consensus among the players that
"no man ever bowled faster than Mike
Holding" the "whispering death",
they called him.
It was the era when Kerry Packer
would revolutionise the game by
starting limited-over games and paying
good money to have the world's best on
show. Holding was one of the first stars
of this new form of cricket, and took
142 wickets in ODI competitions at an
excellent average of 21.36.
In the test arena, his haul of 249
wickets at 23.68 was one of the world's
highest before the era of non-stop
cricket, and it remains one of the best.
In first-class matches, he played for
Derbyshire, Lancashire, Tasmania and


in the regional West Indies competition,
taking 778 wickets at an average of
23.43 amazing. His batting was
often useful when the Windies were in
difficult straits and needed the tail-end
to hang on. He scored 3,600 first-class
runs, reaching the half-century mark on
fifty occasions.
If his speed is often mentioned, his
style cannot be forgotten. His rhythmic,
lithe, seamless action was said to be
the most elegant sight in cricket. It
earned him the title "the Rolls Royce of

Courtney Walsh is the youngest
selectee, the only one born in
independent Jamaica and the most
recent Jamaican to have captained the
West Indies (along with R.K. Nunes and
F.C.M. Alexander).
In an extraordinarily long career,
1985-2005, he took more test wickets
than any man before, reaching that
zenith when he took victim number 434
at Sabina Park, and went on to become
the first man to take 500 wickets in tests,
retiring with the world record of 519.
In his 132 tests, he became
legendary (with Curtly Ambrose)
for long opening spells of over ten
overs, and a seeming total immunity
to physical injury. His test average of
24.44 runs per wicket is a challenge
for any bowler as he was lethal up to
his final match. In first-class cricket he
was even more successful, representing
Gloucestershire. He played 429
matches, and took no less than 1,807
wickets at an extremely economical
average of 21.71 runs per wicket.

Many believe that Roy Gilchrist sent
down the most lethal deliveries of any
bowler, but he must be passed over
for Patrick Patterson, who once took 9
wickets for 88 runs against Australia
- one of cricket's great feats.
In a brief career of 28 tests,
Patterson took 93 wickets at an average
of 30.9 runs per wicket, but in his first-
class career, he took no less than 493
wickets at 27.5 in 161 matches, a world-
class performance. He represented
Jamaica, Lancashire and Tasmania and
also played in the modern era his
ODI record of 59 matches, 90 wickets at
24.51 puts him with the very best.

Val's story is a fairy tale. An unfortunate
youth who saw the game of cricket as
a diversion from a seemingly bleak
future, he had never played a first-
class match when he was selected for
the 1950 Windies tour of England. He

was not yet twenty, and the selectors
appeared mad. That is, until his very
first test match when the left arm
spinner destroyed the English batting at
Old Trafford, taking 11 wickets for 204
runs. Windies lost the match.
In the second test, he came
good again, continuing his famous
partnership with Trinidad's Sonny
Ramadhin, taking 7 wickets, and, by the
end of the tour, he was immortalised in
a calypso with the refrain:

With those little pals of mine,
Ramadhin and Valentine.

By the end of the tour he had taken
a record 33 wickets and the Windies
had won its first test series. He went
on to become the first West Indian
bowler to take 100 wickets in tests and
ended his career with 139 wickets at
an average of 30.32. The lithe, lanky,
bespectacled Jamaican was equally
successful in the Birmingham League
where he played first-class cricket and
achieved a total tally of 475 wickets at a
very economical average of 26.21.
Among West Indies slow bowlers,
he is second only to Guyana's Lance
Gibbs, who once held the world record
for most wickets taken. 4*

Anthony S. Johnson's City of Kingston
Souvenir, 1802-2006: Facing the
Twenty-first Century was published by
ISKAMOL (Kingston) in 2006.

All photos courtesy of the author.




We have all sought for intimations of
excellence and beauty in our heroes, in
our friends and in our lives. We have,
from our earliest years, yearned for
the least manifestation of that heart-
stopping beauty of form, of sentiment
or of mind; that final paragraph of
Solomonic wisdom. Many have found,
very often, nothing but ugliness and
grief. At the same time, those who
have had experiences of excellence
and beauty are so often disappointed
because the traces do not endure: the
happiness and joy of the time are not
captured on the imprints of memory.
I believe that the Jamaican batsman
Lawrence Rowe, at his best, which
he often unfurled for our inspection,
achieved a kind of perfection and
beauty not bettered, indeed not
approached, since his time more than
twenty years ago. Through this essay I
want generations of cricket lovers yet
unborn to know of those experiences
and, therefore, of the possibilities
that cricket holds in store for them. I
wish also to recharge the memories of
those who experienced the beauty of
Rowe's batting; but in doing this it is
essential to discuss the substance of his
batting. In a real sense this is a personal
Rowe's batting embraced in its
singular way an aesthetic history
of the sport: it was a composite art
of the feline grace of Ranjitsinji, the
languorous ease of Worrell and the
regal majesty of Hammond, embracing
cricketers from different times and
places. But it was more than these: it
embraced paradox as well. His batting
was correct yet never stale; well-
mannered yet vibrant; unarrogant yet
dominant. Even so, we have not fully
appreciated the phenomenon that we

had and the loss that we have endured.
His batting was a revelation to the
aficionados in the bleachers, to the
corporate weekenders in their boxes,
and even to those for whom cricket
resided on the fringes of their interest.
During the early months of 1969,
I was told of a young cricketer then
under consideration for the Jamaica
national team whose batting was of a
quality "to die for". Since I respected
the source of the opinion and was
myself willing to make sacrifices for
such reputed quality, I seized the first
opportunity to become acquainted
with this exciting prospect: I went
to watch him practise at Sabina
Park. Some aspect of quality was
immediately obvious. His stance at
the wicket was a picture of ease; it
was upright yet relaxed, with the bat
seeming to be a natural extension of
his arms. The bat was held and not
gripped, and it faced down the pitch,
and not towards mid-on or other such
regions natural to a closed face. He
picked up his bat beautifully, lightly,
and naturally brought it down in line,
synchronised with foot movements
that were unhurried. He played the
ball with obvious ease. This was a
mere glimpse, clearly not enough to
make a determination, but enough for
me to decide to watch him in a more
challenging arena. I wanted to see him
score runs.
It was unusual but not unique, in
those days, for me to turn up for the
trial matches. If my attendance at the
trial match at that time was unusual,
my experience of Lawrence Rowe
on that day was equally unusual.
He scored fifty-one runs but did
not bat consistently well, as I recall.
Yet I enjoyed the innings, because I

could discern through the fog of his
mistiming his exceptional quality. It
was the extraordinary coordination of
eye, hand and foot, of the visual and the
mechanical, in which Rowe's batting
was grounded, and yet mistiming did
not conceal his quality. This too seemed
a paradox. But there were explanations,
which I arrived at only a couple years
afterwards. Rowe's technique was so
finely tuned that the least delay or
hesitation in his judgment of line and
length, or in the pick-up of his bat, or
in the adjustment of his feet, would
disturb the execution of his shots,
and so the deviation from perfection
was amplified. Some batsmen whose
style was less finely integrated, others
whose style was the absence of style,
would not suffer the same fall from
grace. However, the mistiming did
not completely hide the lineaments of
his style. So I saw in the context of a
match the contours of his technique, the
anatomy of his style.
Lawrence Rowe was of a compact
build, with a height slightly below
average and a low-slung anatomy
which gave him a relatively low
centre of gravity, normally associated
with hookers and cutters; he was
only 173 centimetres tall. Here again
was a paradox. Rowe did indeed cut
and hook, but he was elegant also, a
quality normally reserved for the tall:
Graveney, Worrell, Stollmeyer, Woolley,
Majid Khan. Rowe had the late cut, the
square cut, the drive, the pull and the
hook. He played off the front foot and
the back foot, and he played off his
legs, forward and fine. He had perfect
balance. In flight it seemed that he

SOURCE: Michael Manley, A History of West Indian
Cricket (Andre Deutsch/Cuild Publishing, 1988).

k 1,CE

nrar '--r- __


could not be brought down; certainly
the range of his weapons meant that
he could not be seriously contained, at
any rate for long periods. But Lawrence
Rowe was not all style.
Bradman, the phenomenon of
cricket, said with penetrating wit,
"I saw much better batsmen than I
was ... They just kept getting out."
Bradman was perplexed that despite
all their native talent, elegance and
quality, these batsmen were frequently
dismissed for low scores. His view,
shared by many, was that a batsman's
obligation was to make as many
runs as possible, to get dismissed as
infrequently as possible. As far as he
was concerned, they could keep their
quality, he would keep his runs. But
behind this superficial analysis lies
the great truth that he understood:
batting requires not just brilliant
strokes and skilful defence but also the
virtues of concentration, ambition and
mental strength. These virtues, or a
combination of them, will produce the
runs that we all wish to see. Cameos of
entertainment are inadequate. Rowe
was no Bradman, but there were rich
veins of form that could be found in the
geography of his career. He was not just
a show pony.
Batsmen who score heavily and
consistently, even over short periods,
are usually accumulators, grafters and
not those with silky styles. Rowe was
an exception, to the extent that there
were three periods in his career when
he scored heavily over several matches
or a series, so that one could not only
gain a glimpse of his special quality
but pay extended visits to the arena of
his skill and art. The first period was
in 1972, and it included three matches,
two for Jamaica against Guyana in the
Shell Shield competition and against
the touring New Zealanders, and one
for the West Indies against the tourists.
The second period coincided with the
test series against England in 1974, and
included the match for Jamaica against
England. The third period was in 1978-
79, when he played seven matches for
the West Indies in the Packer series, in
Australia and the West Indies.
In that first period of rich form,
Rowe scored four centuries in

succession, and these included two
double centuries, one of them in a test
match where he also scored another
century, the first and only time that
someone scored two centuries on his
debut in a test match. All these runs
were scored at Sabina Park, so that
Jamaicans had an unparalleled feast of
the most sublime offering. His driving
was particularly brilliant. It was not
wild but controlled brilliance that
we enjoyed, for Rowe's impeccable
technique guaranteed that the bat was
never far from the pad. In the innings of
214, he batted without error for hours,
and the image I retain is of a sculpted
figure, left leg forward, slightly bent,
back curved convex upwards, and arm
and bat curved in a complementary
geometry. And yet when the need
arose, near the end of his second
century when the captain was planning
to declare at any moment, Rowe
quickened his pace and, in a final sortie,
chipped and drove the ball straight to
the boundary through an inviting space
to give him that unique achievement,
ending with 100 not out.
In the second period, his 302 in
Barbados stands out, and yet his
innings of 120 at Sabina Park in the
first test against England was in its
own but different way memorable. He
had scored a century for Jamaica in the
match against England just before the
test match. Now, two years on from his
feats against the New Zealanders, Rowe
established for me that he had what it
took to be ranked in the highest class.
His poise was never disturbed, nor did
his beauty of stroke lose its patina, but,
more than anything, he maintained
these virtues while scoring heavily
again, so that the high noon at which he
began against New Zealand could be
seen to be still aglow. The recollection
of that innings is the pervasive sense
of ease that it purveyed, bordering
on the casual, and yet incorporating a
wider range of stroke than had been
seen on previous similar occasions.
The late cut and the pull were more in
evidence now, so that his rate of scoring
remained high. His frenetic partner,
Fredericks, was no quicker than he, and
indeed was less sound: Rowe's innings
was unblemished. He did miss a leg

side shot that led to his lbw dismissal,
but this was widely felt to be an
incorrect decision.
The memory that spills over from
that second period, immediately, is
of thousands of spectators queuing
early outside the cricket ground for the
second test in Barbados in 1974 on the
promise of seeing something that might
never have been seen before and might
never be seen again. It is astonishing
that so many thousands, many more
than the ground could hold, would
have sensed that some such feast was
in store for them. It was not so much
the runs for which the crowds turned
up in anticipation. The runs are never
guaranteed; it was the batting for which
they were queuing. Of course, on the
previous evening Rowe had scored 48
not out, not a big score, but it was an
innings of the most exciting promise.
His 302 in Barbados was not so much
an innings, more a historic event, as I
have recalled. In that innings, Rowe's
natural beauty of stroke was seen
clothed in the most brilliant of raiments,
but the brilliance that was added to him
possessed no gaudiness, no violence,
no vulgarity. The hook and the cut
featured hugely in that innings: we
noticed the way in which he displayed
different aspects or colouring of his
game in the two test matches under
consideration. His skill extended even
beyond these displays.
In the final test of the series he
scored 123 in the first innings on a pitch
often found in Trinidad, but unlike
any that he had encountered in the
three previous tests. That pitch took
spin, and it was essential to be very
well organised defensively to be able
to cope with the turn that would be
encountered. Rowe did this brilliantly,
by exhibiting for all to see that skill was
a significant part of the gifts that he
possessed. At the end of that series, he
was a complete player.
Rowe's high noon did in fact wane,
and it was not to be for another four
years before we would see him mining
another vein of form, but a vein not
quite as rich as the previous ones.
He played a few times for the West
Indies up to 1981, and even scored a
century against New Zealand, but the

Packer matches in 1978-79, although
not test cricket, may be included in
the catalogue of Rowe's outstanding
performances for the West Indies.
These matches included the best in the
world. In the second of these matches
he scored a brilliant 175 in Australia,
and in the last of them, in Antigua, he
scored 135. Seven years after he first
burst upon the scene, Rowe was still in
his 'rocking-chair' posture, whistling
sweet melodies as he drove noiselessly
through the off-side, right leg slightly
bent, back arched one way and arm
with its extension (the bat) arched
the other way. In the mind's eye, I
see always a sculpture worthy of the
Rowe's achievements and career
do not fit the parameters of greatness.
Although he scored centuries in New
Zealand and in Australia, where he
also had some other decent scores, he
did not produce nor was consistent
enough abroad. When he was forced
to leave cricket he was still in his early
thirties, with enough achievement
behind him, and sufficient maturity to
launch himself into a final phase when
the longevity of his career might have
assured him of greatness. He certainly
had natural ability in more obvious
abundance than any other post-war
West Indian batsman whom I have seen.
That he did not achieve the status
of greatness could be explained by ar-
guing that he was accident-prone; that
his effortless superiority got in his way
during lean times; that there was not
enough mental toughness; or, to say the
same thing in different words, that the
aesthetics of his nature and his expres-
sion made him oversensitive to the ills
and arrows and discomforts of normal
life. I would like to explain away the
issue by positing that the pantheon of
greatness was not the one for which
Lawrence Rowe was destined. He be-
longed much more to the Apollonian
than the Dionysian world; that is, he
lived in a world of order, proportion,
harmony and pattern, and not in one
that subscribed to the irrational and to
the importance of the will and of power.
Rowe's contribution to cricket and to
our culture in general must be assayed
in the alembic of Beauty.

The indelible imprint on my
memory of Lawrence Rowe is of a
continuous flow of beautiful lines and
arresting movements as he glided out
to the wicket to take guard in a posture
of relaxed but attentive ease, and then
to accomplish that almost magical
coordination of the visual and the
mechanical so that we could not see
where repose ended and action began. I
want to emphasise that my recollection

SOURCE: Anthony S. Johnson, City of Kingston
Souvenir, 1802-2006: Facing the Twenty-first
Century (ISKAMOL, 2006).

is not of a particular occasion, but the
aggregate of all the times that Rowe
charmed us with his special gift. It is
the sum of his career; it is his legacy to
us that I try to pass on in mere words.
This, too, was a kind of greatness. 4o


Lucas Cricket Club



The Lucas Cricket Club played a
very important role in changing the
course of the development of cricket
in Jamaica in the late nineteenth and
early twentieth centuries. The story of
cricket in Jamaica had started from the
days of slavery.' By the late nineteenth
century, the game was established as a
pastime of the predominantly white or
near-white elite comprising planters,
merchants, colonial administrators and
British military officers who played
on open estate lands, pens, and at
military barracks. Blacks watched the
game from the periphery of elite cricket
then went back to the canefields, the
village plains, the urban streets and
lots, where they, some have suggested,
mimicked (one could imagine mocked)
the whites they had seen, but, perhaps
more accurately, adopted and adapted
the game to their particular material
and cultural circumstances. Here we
saw the precursors of 'bowl-fi-bat' and
'ketchie-shubbie', the genesis perhaps
of calypso cricket acts of which may
now serve more to frustrate than to
delight West Indian fans.
While the black masses honed their
skills in these plains and streets, some
of their fair though not necessarily
just -'social betters' formed exclusive
cricket clubs, ostensibly for the purpose
of playing organised sport, but more
frequently in practice for the exercise
of arranged drinking. The standard of
play among these clubs was poor, even
if the players were not. A match played
in 1892 between an Asylum team led
by J. Van Cuylenberg (an Englishman
and an administrator at the Kingston
Asylum) and a team of Englishmen was
typical of the social matches of the late
nineteenth century:

Back Row: Wooley (Umpire), E. Gi. Iull, Dr. J. J. Cameron, C. S. Morrison
J. K. Holt, It. iE Rusel (umpire).
Middle Row: A. E. Motta, F. L. Pearce, (captain), Ca'pt. T. B. Nicholson
M. M. Kerr.
Front Row: H. Shannon. L. Nelson, t. Hutton.

The match was not distinguished
by, nor was it expected that there
would be, any brilliant playing.
It was simply a friendly match
entered into by either side, not so
much with the object of winning
as with the intention of passing a
pleasant time.
The English team made 52 all out in
their first innings and Van Cuylenberg's
team made 42 in reply; after which,
an adjournment was then made
to the refreshment tent and this
seems to have had a fatal effect on
Mr. Hutton's team for when they
again took the willow in hand they
only made two runs for the eleven

The break seems to have affected
Van Cuylenberg's team as well, as they
lost 5 wickets to make the mere 14 runs
needed to bring the scores level.2
The poor level of play was evident
when the first Jamaican teams were
selected in the late nineteenth century.
These early Jamaican teams were
predominantly white, but thoroughly
inept. In their first inter-colonial
tournament in British Guiana in
1896, they were heavily beaten in two
matches, and only spared in the third
because of the intervention of rain.
It was to be a temporary reprieve,
as a stop in Barbados on their way
home provided the opportunity for a
comprehensive defeat to their hosts by

an innings in just over a day: a result
which ensured that the embarrassment
of Jamaica's first foray into regional
cricket was complete.
The Jamaica Cricket Challenge
Cup which was commonly referred
to as the Senior Cup was established
in 1897 in the aftermath of the British
Guiana tour. According to Dr J.M.
Gibb, captain of the Kensington C.C.
at the turn of the century, some of
the participants on the tour
decided upon their return to
form the Senior Cup for the
improvement of their cricket.3
However, the competition
was initially very exclusive:
it was competed for by the
Kingston C.C., Kensington
C.C., Garrison C.C., St George's
C.C., Melbourne C.C. and
the Mandeville C.C. which
were all upper- and upper-
middle-class clubs. The
desired improvements in the
standards of Jamaican cricket
would not come about until
the mass of black Jamaicans
were given the opportunity to
develop their talents in formal
settings and be represented in Back R
the national team. Mid
Middle l
By the beginning of
the twentieth century, such
opportunities had begun to
open up. According to Arnold Bertram,
Thomas Burchell Stephenson, one of
the founders of the Jamaica Union of
Teachers, "pioneered the introduction
of cricket to the elementary schools
of Kingston".4 The development of
district teams was a significant step
in the development of cricket for the
rural black masses. A number of these
teams sprang up in the late nineteenth
and early twentieth centuries. Some
upwardly mobile blacks were afforded
the opportunity of playing cricket
in secondary schools and at the
Mico College, where the men were
urged to take part in school athletics,
including cricket.5 Some merchants
and entrepreneurs also encouraged
the spread of the game by organising
cricket teams for their workers.
With all of these developments
taking place, it was inevitable that black

working-class cricketers unwelcome
in the prejudiced domains of white and
coloured upper- and middle-class clubs
- would soon seek to form their own
clubs. The formation of the Lucas C.C.
in 1895 was thus very significant: the
Kingston-based club, founded by Dave
Ellington, a busman, provided a home
for these cricketers. J. Coleman Beecher,
a Garveyite who wrote a book on
Jamaican cricket in the early twentieth

ow:- J. Mullings, C. H. Burton, R. K. Herbert, A. M
G. C. Linton.
Row:-C. R. W. Chandler, C. F. Poole, F. L. Pearce (c
E. A. Poole.
Front Row:- Cecil deCordova and R. D. HonibalL

century, claims that "the birth of the
Lucas C.C. [was] the most important
event in the history of the development
of the island game".6 The words of
another commentator tell us why this
may well be true:

No game could become the game
of the country unless it was a game
enjoyed and played by the masses.
The Lucas C.C., under the able
captaincy of Mr. Ellington, had
amongst its members a large num-
ber of men who formerly did not
belong to any particular club, and
who, perhaps, belonged to a dif-
ferent class than those of the other

Very significant is the implication
here that the Lucas C.C. played a
fundamental role in the development
of Jamaican identity in the sphere of

cricket by making the sport the "game
of the country". Perhaps sensing this
important role, many benefactors
- including members of elite clubs and
the colonial authorities came to the
aid of the Lucas C.C. in its formative
years. The club owes its name to one
of them R. Slade Lucas, a cricketer
who led an English team to the island
in 1895. Originally named the Jamaica
C.C., the club was re-named the Lucas
C.C. in 1898 in his honour, as
he had donated equipment
to it.8
The introduction of cricket
into the elementary schools
of Kingston provided the
foundation for the growth
of the club, as in these early
years the Lucas C.C. drew
heavily on these schools for
its membership.9 The Calabar
Elementary School was one of
the most important of these as
it provided many of the early
Lucas cricketers.10 This is not
surprising, as T.B. Stephenson
was the headmaster there,
and he organised a cricket
club for pupils to play cricket
6. after school. An entrance fee
. Byng,
of threepence and a weekly
subscription of one penny
were charged; this was to
help to purchase equipment
and to teach the boys responsibility.
This school club provided an important
introduction to a formal cricket
structure for these lower-class blacks,
many of whom "had used only coconut
bats and knitted balls before they joined
the club"." One person who played
for the Calabar Elementary School
team and for the Lucas C.C., and who
later went on to play for Jamaica and
the West Indies, was the great George
Initially, the Lucas C.C. was given
the status of second-class club (in
this case not a social distinction, but
one based on playing standards), and
did not participate in the Senior Cup.

SOURCE (pp. 20-21): H.C. MacDonald, History
of the Kingston Cricket Club (Kingston: Cleaner Co.
Ltd., 1938). Reproduced courtesy of the National
Library of Jamaica.

Instead, it competed against other
second-class clubs and occasionally
in friendly contests against first-class
teams. Through its performances in
these games, the Lucas C.C. made a
convincing case to be admitted into
the Senior Cup which happened
for the 1902 season.'3 This was a
momentous event, as for the very
first time cricketers from Jamaica's
black lower class were competing in
the highest level of club cricket in the
The success of the Lucas C.C. in the
Senior Cup was almost immediate: in
1903, its second year in the competition,
the club were runners-up. The
following year they went one better
for their first hold on the title a feat
they repeated in 1905 and 1906. If it
were not for the earthquake of 1907
that caused the cancellation of that
year's competition, the Lucas C.C.
may have won for a fourth consecutive
year. Lucas won again in 1911, and
consecutively from 1913 to 1915.
The success of the club helped
to increase the popularity of cricket
amongst the black masses of Jamaica.
Eustace Smith, the captain of Lucas
C.C. for the 1906 season, described the
impact of the club:

Day after day the attendance of the
public at popular cricket matches
grows larger and larger, despite
other attractions of the day. Cricket
has made vast strides up to the
present, and its fascination is grow-
ing stronger and stronger with all
The fact that there was such
an increase in popular interest and
attendance at cricket matches illustrates
the impact of Lucas's success on the
self-esteem of Jamaican blacks in the
early twentieth century. Winning, and
winning against white and coloured
teams, must obviously have been very
important to them, and provided telling
blows against the notions of inferiority
that they were labelled with.
The impact of the Lucas C.C. was
felt not only in Kingston: the club
became renowned islandwide and
helped to popularise the game in
the rural areas. On a trip paid by the

Lucas C.C. to Black River, St Elizabeth
in 1905, a member of the Lucas team
"was of the opinion that the visit of the
team from the Lucas would do a great
deal towards creating fresh interest in
cricket in the parish, as he had been
informed that the grand old game was
dying out".' A report from Frankfield
(rural Clarendon) in 1914 said that the
Frankfield C.C. was "determined to
do all in their power to resuscitate the
grand old game". They planned an
exhibition match to do so, and among
the players invited were J.K. Holt, G.
Sayles, and S.C. Snow all black Lucas
players who had by this time played for
Jamaica (see below)."1
The success of the Lucas C.C. (and
black cricketers from other clubs) was
not welcomed by all members of the
society: some members of the elite
complained about the attitudes of their
players and supporters.7 In 1905, the
Gleaner had this to say about some
Lucas supporters:

At times, the conduct of these
men is simply disgraceful. Every
means short of actual assault or
interference is used to intimidate
and fluster players on an opposing
side: yelling, waving of hats, and
all kinds of pantomime gestures
are indulged in when a catch is
about to be made with the hope of
distracting the player's attention
and frequently the language used
is of such a character that were
the'barracker' heard in the public
thoroughfare, he would be arrested,
taken before a Justice of the Peace
and fined.'

Despite these sentiments, the elite
who controlled cricket in Jamaica were
forced to change the way in which
they organised the Jamaican team.
With the desire to improve Jamaica's
cricket came an increased emphasis on
merit and performance in the selection
of players although skin colour and
social class remained important criteria
for the appointment of the person who
would lead them. When an English
team led by R.A. Bennet toured Jamaica
in 1902, S.C. Snow of Lucas was
selected to play for the Jamaican team.
By the beginning of 1905, when the

Lucas C.C. had won their first Senior
Cup championship, five Lucas players
were selected to represent the "All-
Jamaica" team against another visiting
English team led by Lord Brackley.
They were M. Moiston, L. Nelson, H.
Shannon, J.K. Holt and Sayles. Holt
was unable to play, however, because
of illness. Nelson, Holt, Moiston, and
Shannon were also selected to play
against Trinidad in a match later that
year; and in 1909, when a team from
Philadelphia visited the island, Holt,
Shannon, and Nelson were again
included. By the end of the first decade
of the twentieth century, working-class
black cricketers from Lucas had become
a fixture in the Jamaican team.
These cricketers became stars and
heroes to the black Jamaican masses.
It is interesting that B. Jolly, in an
entry to the Daily Gleaner's "Jamaica
Memories" competition in 1959, chose
to recall these two features of S.C.
Snow of Lucas: "[He was] a very great
cricketer in Jamaica ... he was a very
black man.""1 The cricket prowess of
this "very black man" obviously made
a lasting impression on Jolly, and no
doubt on many black Jamaicans as well.
Shannon of Lucas also became a star
and was described as being "always
a favourite with the crowd".20 At a
match against the Philadelphians in
1909, in which he was the last man out
after batting entertainingly, he "was
lifted to the pavilion gate by his huge
band of admirers".21 The presence and
performance of these Lucas cricketers
(and other black cricketers at the time)
led to larger attendances at Jamaica
matches, as the masses turned out in
greater numbers presumably because
they were able to identify more
closely with Jamaican teams that had
representatives from their classes.
The Lucas C.C. certainly played a
very important pioneering role in the
development and democratisation of
Jamaican cricket in the late nineteenth
and early twentieth centuries. Its
members competed successfully at
the highest levels of cricket in Jamaica
and, in so doing, helped to invalidate
notions of black inferiority that had
been invested with a great deal of
currency by certain sections of the

society. In this assessment of the
significance of the Lucas C.C. at this
critical juncture in Jamaica's cricket
history, I will grant the last word to one
of the club's own, T.A. Aikman, the
club's honorary secretary, who, at the

club's annual general meeting in 1913,

Look at what the Lucas CC [has]
done for cricket... Time was when
of Jamaica's 700,000 or 800,000

inhabitants, the game was enjoyed
by a few, but the Lucas club [has]
popularised the game to the extent
that at present it [is] played by all

1. Douglas Hall, In Miserable Slavery: Thomas
Thistlewood in Jamaica, 1750-86 (Kingston:
University of the West Indies Press, 1999),
2. Colonial Standard and Jamaica Despatch, 16
February 1892.
3. Daily Gleaner, 23 January 1905.
4. Arnold Bertram, "Jamaica's First Black
Cricketers", Sunday Gleaner, 17 July 2005.
5. C.B. Davenport and Morris Steggerda,
Race Crossing in Jamaica (Westport: Negro
University Press, 1929), 10.
6. J. Coleman Beecher, Jamaica Cricket 1863-
1926 (Kingston: Gleaner Co. Ltd, 1926), 38.
7. Daily Gleaner, 3 November 1904.
8. Bertram, "Jamaica's First Black Cricketers".

9. Coleman Beecher, Jamaica Cricket, 38.
10. Daily Gleaner, 15 January 1913.
11. Noel White and George Headley, George
'Atlas' Headley (Kingston: Institute of
Jamaica, 1974), 5-6.
12. Ibid., 6.
13. Coleman Beecher, Jamaica Cricket, 38.
14. Daily Gleaner, 1 October 1906.
15. Daily Gleaner, 2 October 1905.
16. Daily Gleaner, 5 January 1914.
17. See Brian Moore and Michele Johnson,
"Challenging the 'Civilising Mission':
Cricket as a Field of Socio-cultural
Contestation in Jamaica 1865-1920," in
In the Shadow of the Plantation: Caribbean
History and Legacy, ed Alvin Thompson
(Kingston: Ian Randle, 2002), 364-65.

18. Daily Gleaner, 28 April 1905. Also cited
in Moore and Johnson, "Challenging the
'Civilising Mission' ", 364.
19.Jamaica Archives 7/12/120, Jamaica
Memories of B. Jolly.
20. Daily Gleaner, 16 February 1909.
21. Jamaica Archives 7/154, H.L. Plummer's
Scrapbooks. A very interesting source
of material was the scrapbooks of H.L.
Plummer a cricketer who lived and
played in the late nineteenth and early
twentieth centuries. He compiled clip-
pings from various newspapers over
a number of years. After his death, his
daughter donated his scrapbooks to the
Jamaica Archives.
22. Daily Gleaner, 15 January 1913.

A History of Cricket in Jamaica, 1870 to the Present


In 1979, the then Department of
History (now the Department of
History and Archaeology), University
of the West Indies, Mona, established
the Social History Project (SHP).
The objective then, and now, is to
encourage the study of Jamaica's
social history in the period following
Emancipation (from 1838).
The SHP is committed to the
dissemination of research findings.

secondary schools

Secondary schools were very im-
portant in the development of or-
ganised cricket in Jamaica. Sec-
ondary schools such as the Col-
legate School, Jamaica High
(Jamaica College), Wolmer's, Yor
Castle and Titchfield formed
cricket teams and pla ed com-
petitive cricket.

Jamaica College Team 1912

This has occurred largely through the
publication of monographs and the
hosting of workshops and symposia.
The SHP has also committed to
extending its outreach to the wider
Jamaican community; and it is with
this in mind that it launched its
Touring Exhibitions Programme in
The exhibition "A History of
Cricket in Jamaica, 1870 to the

Collegiate School c.1890

These schools catered to the
white and coloured upper and
middle classes, and played an im-
portant role in the socialisation of
the scions of these classes. They
were an important medium in the
spread of middle class Victorian
values and in the perpetuation of
the 'cult of the elite'.

Manq of these schools hired
Engish coaches to help in
the preparation of the boys.
These schools also hired Eng-
lish masters to help inculcate
the Victorian values necessary
to make their charges into gen-

Wnlmor'c Cehnnl Team e1900

Present" is the second produced by
the SHP. Researched by Dr Julian
Cresser, the exhibition traces the
development of the game from the
earliest elite clubs in the middle of
the nineteenth century, through the
growth of black and coloured middle-
and working-class teams, and into
the more democratic modem era of
the sport in which women's cricket
and gender-integrated blind cricket
occupy a place on the national and
regional agenda. In doing so, the
exhibition shows how the cricket
sphere in Jamaica has functioned as
a mirror reflecting the issues being
played out in the wider society.
The exhibition was launched at
the National Library of Jamaica in
October 2006. It was displayed in the
Main Library of the University of the
West Indies in early 2007. It is being
mounted in Devon House during
March and April, after which it will
travel to a number of other parishes
throughout the island as the region
hosts World Cup Cricket 2007.


Ventriloquising the Caribbean



Staceyann Chin is a Jamaican artist currently living in New York. She has performed poetry at the Nuyorican Poets' Cafe, the
Apollo Theater, and in Russell Simmons' Def Poetry Jam on Broadway. Chin's three one-woman shows, Hands Afire, Unspeakable
Things and Border/Clash, ran at the Bleeker Theater in 2000, 2001 and 2005 respectively. She has also performed at several venues
in Europe and is the subject of the Danish film Staceyann Chin. Her printed works include two chapbooks, Wildcat Woman and
Stories Surrounding My Coming, and inclusion in the anthologies Skyscrapers, Taxis and Tampons, Poetry Slam and Role Call.

Here she discusses her work with Kelly Baker Josephs.

For readers who are not familiar with
you or your work, how would you
describe yourself?
I am an activist who happens to write.
The more vain part of me wants to be a
writer, but I'm an activist first. I am a
black, Jamaican lesbian living in New
York City, which qualifies me as an
immigrant. I am... half-Chinese and
half-black 100 percent of Jamaican
descent. I am a performer, who writes.
I perform my work... So my work
ranges from one-woman shows, to
workshops, to the Broadway show that
I've done, to performances for TV for
such shows as HBO and the Apollo
show and all that stuff. That's what
pays the bills, so to speak.

You began with, "I'm an activist who
happens to write", which makes me
wonder what tensions you experience
between the two activities. Do you
find yourself, or others around you,
creating a hierarchy between the two?
As I said, in my vainest hours I want
most to be a writer. I want to be a
writer of the calibre of Zora Neale
Hurston or Toni Morrison or even
the dead white poets the Eliots and
the Pounds I want to be a writer.
But I also love the stage. I feel like
something amazing happens to me
when I'm typing away and the poem
looks just right. And then, something
else happens to me when the poem
that I thought was right becomes even

more right and it is being created in
performance. And ... given to the
audience in an entirely different way.
So the tensions are, I think, formed
by the very elitist view of art and
literature that Isays] if it is accessible
to the mainstream, if it is understood
by the mainstream, if it is loved by the
mainstream and I'm not claiming that
I am any of those things, but because
of the show [DefPoetry Jam] I am
more mainstreamed than the average
underground artist traditionally
speaking, if it is of ethnic origin (and
the word ethnic, I have problems with
it.. .), if it is of non-white origin and
it does not use the literary devices or
the structural devices of the so-called
romantic languages, if the institution
does not find it complicated and
enigmatic, then it is not good writing.
I think the tension lies in how the
institutions view literature. Which is
interesting, because I don't necessarily
find the works of Toni Morrison
- except for maybe Paradise to be
inaccessible to the masses; but they are
very, very well written. It is difficult to
read her work and not be amazed by
the beauty and the skill of her pen.

That leads right into my next
question: which authors have
influenced your work?
I think my first influences were the
dead white poets. One of the first
poets I fell in love with was T.S.

Eliot. I love The Love Song of J. Alfred
Prufrock. I am a literary student of
the Caribbean: of the University of
the West Indies; of Mount Alvernia
High School for Catholic girls; of the
Shortwood Teachers College for ladies.
So the literary work to which I was
exposed growing up was very old,
very dead, very white. Of course, we
always had the black female writers,
but that was [just] a course that you
had to take. It wasn't embedded in
literature, in the kind of base literature
that we were doing. Shakespeare
and Jonathan Livingston Seagull and
William Wordsworth's "how oft upon
my couch I lie" [in] "The Daffodils".
My first experience with literature and
writing was very much embedded in
British English literature which was
very white and very male and often the
works of men who died many, many
years ago.
And then, I went to the university
and got exposed to the likes of a
woman called Lorna Goodison. Fell in
love with her work. Fell in love with
the works of such writers as Professor
Edward Baugh, and that is where I was
introduced to Toni Morrison. And I
was introduced to the works of Zora
Neale Hurston and Alice Walker and
Jamaica Kincaid. Just all these fierce
writers. So I took every women writers
course, every black writers course,
every contemporary voice coming out
of wherever. I took Caribbean writing


courses, and then that's when I began
to see bits of me.

Did the exposure to those "bits"
of you in those texts inspire you to
make the transition from reading to
creating poetry?
I always loved literature. I always
loved the sound of words and how
they poeticise themselves against each
other in speech and in poetry and in
novels. I read for hours as a child. I
would disappear, and I would read
and read, and I would get in trouble
for reading. I remember being in very
poor circumstances at one point in my
life and reading by candlelight and
by lamplight and by twilight and just
being upset at the night because it had
come and that meant I couldn't read as
much as I wanted to, as much as I could
with the freedom of the sun. But then
I went to university and became aware
that there were books and poems
which more clearly reflected me. So I
started to pursue reading those kinds
of works. And then, I wanted to be a
writer. It just seemed so romantic and
noble and amazing and effective to be
a writer.
Throughout my life, though, I
have always kept a journal. But I
never saw that as writing. I always
saw it as venting. A space to vent. I
wasn't really making art so much
as I was talking to a book, because I
didn't have anybody else to talk to in
a lot of ways. I knew that the term
'writer' was very attractive to me.
But I never thought that I could do it.
I never thought that I had the talent
for it. I always thought I was more
of an academic. Back then, I wrote
lots of papers, essays and I critiqued
other people's work. And they were
published in magazines. And, now,
I look at one of the magazines in
which an essay was published, where
I looked at women in love in the
works of Lorna Goodison, and they
had my picture and at the bottom
was the question, "How do you see
yourself in ten years?" And it's been
about eight years now. I answered,
"I suspect I'll be maybe lecturing in a
university somewhere and I'll maybe

write a poem or two on the side...
you never know." So this is a little
crazy for me.

You certainly have been writing a
lot more than "a poem or two on the
side". Many Caribbean writers have
relocated to North America and Eng-
land to enable their writing. Why did
you leave Jamaica?
You know, it's illegal to be a lesbian in
Jamaica. It hasn't been decriminalised
yet. So I left Jamaica because of that.
I left Jamaica because I was a lesbian
and I wanted to live as an out lesbian
and the safety issues around that. I
don't want to take that risk. And it just
makes it twice as hard to find a woman.
Like, "Oh come and be killed with me."
That's romantic. So I said I'm going
to go to New York. And I came to
New York and discovered the tensions
around blackness and whiteness here.
I wouldn't be considered white in any
way because I don't have white blood
in me, nor am I phenotypically white.
But in Jamaica, I am more fair-skinned
than the [majority] of the population,
and by virtue of that I assume all the
privileges that whiteness has here;
in Jamaica, I get those privileges.
So being lesbian kind of took those
privileges away. So I came here and
discovered that being black having
the one drop was just as tragic as
being half or even three-quarters
or even an octoroon or whatever
they want to call it. And for a whole
year I was here and very
tortured and very
"I don't know
what I am going
to do", and I
used that year
to ground myself.
To chase women
and what not. Then
I walked into the
Nuyorican Poets Caf6
and that's when it
happened. It was like
a light went on in my
head. I thought, "This
is the perfect fusion
between activism and

How are the two connected in
performance poetry for you? Why do
you see it as "the perfect fusion"?
Because you get to write things, you
get to be a writer, you get to construct
metaphors and sentences and poems,
and you get to write down things in
an artistic way, in a creative way, and
at the same time you get to say those
things in places where people listen.
So the activism is very grounded in
speech here. Not necessarily in going
to marches although I do do those
things as well but often I will speak
at those marches or perform at them.
And there are conferences. As soon
as I found the poetry, everything else
about activism found me. The Asian-
American Writers Workshop found me
and the Caribbean writers found me.
The lesbian organizations found me.
The black societies found me. Because
when you're out there in that way
S.. I started

everywhere, in almost every caf6. I
did a one-woman show at the Bleeker
Theater and that did very well and
the press liked it and, before you
know it, I was everywhere. I did a
performance for the Apollo as an
amateur performance and that went
very well and it just went a little crazy.
Everywhere I went people seemed to
be responding to me.

Do the different aspects of your
identity Asian, Jamaican, lesbian,
black influence how people respond
to you and your work?
I'm not oblivious to the fact that I am
a Jamaican woman with a Jamaican
accent, a very thick Jamaican accent,
and phenotypically, I have the body
that people consider a good body in the
marketing of beauty. It's so amazing
because I wore my hair to agitate. And
the minute I made the crossover to
popular, all of a sudden people were,
like, "Oh we love your hair, it's great,
it's fabulous." But the people who
don't know who I am still look at me
and laugh at my hair. Kids still snicker
in the subway. It's an interesting

dichotomy, I think. Because I walk
into a room where nobody knows
that I am the poet, that I am that poet,
and people are, like, "What the hell is
wrong with her hair. Why doesn't she
do something with it?" So I know the
exoticism is very much there. And it
plays an interesting part.

So, there are different communities
that are "finding" you and requesting
your presence or performance at
conferences or events. Do you feel
the exoticism you mention is the
cause of this? Do you feel you are a
bridge between these communities?
I feel like an octopus where I have
tentacles in so many places. I'm Asian
because I am of Asian descent. I'm
black because I'm of African descent.
I'm a lesbian, so I can deal with all
the different communities of the
LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual and
transgendered] community, and I
speak about issues of transgenderism
too, so a lot of people allow for that
in that community. I'm a writer, so I
can go into a writing workshop and
teach that. I'm a performer, so I can be

entertainment for IBM in their cultural
afternoon. I am Caribbean, so I touch
that as well. I'm biracial, so places that
just talk about a dual identity, or even
a double minority identity, we can talk
about that as well.
I don't know if I so much bridge
communities as I provide... I guess
you could call it a bridge. Except, I don't
find that there is a huge crossover. I
don't find the Asian group is joining
with the LGBT group. Although they
do that a lot in colleges; they pool
resources to get me there. So I guess
it could be a bridge. To me the idea
is so egotistical. To think that you, as
an individual... I think that maybe
the phenomenon of who I am helps to
bridge... but that has nothing to do
with me. Because I could be a black
straight girl doing poetry and the
bridge probably wouldn't be there in
the same way. But it isn't some huge
ability on my part and a lack of ability
on her part that she doesn't bridge or
that I bridge. It's very interesting to
me, because I dance from leg to leg,
and in one moment I feel like I have
all these places that I belong to and the

next moment I feel like I really don't
belong anywhere.

You're very comfortable with sharing
that type of insecurity, that type of
ambivalence, in the cyberjournal on
your website. Why do you keep a
journal online?
A lot of white straight history is
allowed into the canon. Even the idea
of the canon is very white and straight
and I feel like the web gives us the
place where we can write our own
histories. Whether they're relevant or
irrelevant. I don't send out emails to
people with my cyberjournal entries
in them; I chose not to do that for a
reason. So it is only the ones who want
to come. And that's what I like about it.
The net gives you a way to grow
maybe longer and wider fingers. I feel
like I began writing in a journal and
I feel like that's the basis of my work;
it's just me and the words struggling to
find out who I am and what it means.
And if you read the journal articles,
none of them are very creative in that
kind of very constructed way. I read
some of them and they do feel like it's a
stream of consciousness almost...
And my computer has replaced
the journal the leather journal in my
hand, so to speak. And once it made
that transfer, my journal became an
electronic thing. I store it on the net
the way that I used to store it in my
backpack. And people come and look
at it the way they used to come and
look at it at readings. My world has
never been about privacy. When I was
a kid, everybody knew my business all
the time.

Both your work and your journal
expose your "business", so to speak.
Does your creative process evolve
from your writing in your journal?
Do you use your journal as a type of
drafting exercise?
No. The kind of half-poems that exist
in my journal never go anywhere else.
There are no copies of them anywhere
else. If my website crashes ... that's it.

With the immediacy and the
ephemerality of the journal, do you
think this type of technology makes

your interaction with your audience
different from poets of previous
The T.S. Eliots and the Pounds and
John Donne and even writers like
Virginia Woolf and early writers
like Dickens, the importance of that
world is becoming increasing small
in the face of what the media is doing
with documentation right now. The
media as we know it now has eclipsed
the amount of documentation that
there ever was in the writings of the
Shakespeares and the John Donnes.
The amount of writing that they left
behind is minuscule in comparison to
the writing that is going on right now
on the web, in self-publishing... You
see what I'm saying? So a hundred
years from now we might be studying
the genres called written literature as
opposed to audio literature. I bought
Nikki Giovanni's new book. And it
came with a tape of her reading those
poems. Which means that it's changed
the way we interact with literature
now. Literature is no longer a book
that you sit and open and read and go
from there. They have electronic books
now that you can order. If you don't
want to read the book, you can listen to
the book on tape. And you can listen
to the author reading the book or you
can listen to actors reading the book.
It's changed! So for people to say you
are literary and therefore respected
because your writing is in a book, I
think that's changing and it will
change more before my life is over... if
I have the natural length of my life.

Your work has certainly explored this
availability of multimedia outlets.
You have an extensive website, you
publish, you perform live and on
TV, and there is the Danish film
Staceyann Chin. Could you describe
how that came about?
I was actually invited to Denmark
by an art organisation, along with
four other girls, to do an across-
Denmark slam. Ulrik Weevil
was the photographer and video
guy; he was supposed to find the
interesting moments and document
the experience. We did maybe four
shows in Denmark and one in London.

Ulrik started spending a lot of time
with me he would come after we
had performed, or maybe on the train,
and he would hold the camera at me
and ask a whole bunch of questions.
It was very strange to me. And at the
end of our term there, I said to him,
"You have to send me a copy of the
documentary that you've made about
our trip there." And maybe a couple
of weeks passed and he called me and
said, "I'm not making the documentary
any more. I told them I'm keeping the
footage for something else. I would
love to make a film about you. Your
story is just so interesting that I think
I want to document it." And I said,
"You probably don't have enough."
This was maybe my first year of being
a poet. So, he met me in different cities
over the course of a year or so I went
to Denmark a couple of times, he came
to my house in New York, he would
maybe come to some of my gigs with
me and that's how we did it. And a
year and a half later, he mailed me a
film, a half-hour portrait of me. And
it shocked the hell out of me because I
thought the centre of the story was my
being lesbian and fierce; and he took
the story to the centre of the story of
my mother and I.

The film, like your poetry, does
engage much of your life story. In
the film, you offer the following
description of poetry: "Poetry is
about an exchange of intimacies.
Poetry is constantly exchanging one
intimate detail for another. And
performance poetry more so, because
the person who is doing the poem,
the person who is saying this is what
happened to me, is right there in front
of you. So there is a level of intimacy
that you don't get from a book."
Sometimes, however, you seem to
step outside of your own persona, for
example, with the Puerto Rican girl in
"Going Home". Are you not always,
then, sharing your own intimacies in
your poetry?
That was one of my earliest poems, and
probably one of the only poems I ever
experimented with. And the other
poem, "Grandma", in Skyscrapers. I
think with those two poems you can

track where my head was; because
poems that are written round about
the same time kind of seem alike
- whether in style or content or
whom I'm addressing or whatever.
That week that I wrote both those
poems, somebody's grandmother
had passed away, and I drove with
them to Massachusetts, and I didn't
know the woman at all, and I was
in the middle of the church sitting
there and thinking, "I don't know this
woman and I'm at her funeral," and
that's where that poem came from
- "I never met her / but I know her"
- and the whole memory of my own
grandmother and her own life and
... those two women from two such
different places came together for me in
that moment, in that funeral. I thought,
"I'm so far away from my grandmother
and oh, I miss my grandmother
so much," and these people were
going through the "oh, I miss my
grandmother so much" too because she
died; and that's what fused.
I don't think you'll find any other
poem in my work where it's not
autobiographical. And [those two] are
kind of autobiographical because I just
used more of my licence as a writer. I
almost never mess with the facts of
the story. And if it's about me, then
I never do it. You won't find it in my
one-woman shows and you won't find
it in my recent works. Because I feel
like my own story is convoluted and
crazy and dramatic enough. For me to
add to it takes away not just from the
authenticity, but... from the power
of it. Because when you present a
story and can say this is all true, it's an
entirely different response from when
you say, "Oh, I made up some parts
and then I didn't make up some parts."

Many Caribbean writers use
autobiography in their art. Why do
you think autobiography plays such a
major role in Caribbean art?
I think that communities of colour,
in their writing particularly
communities who have rejected the
canonised way of writing and of
expressing and of documenting things
when you don't see yourself, your
first instinct is to write yourself. I
don't hear my accent in performance

on mainstream American TV, and
mainstream American TV is the TV of
choice in Europe and the TV of choice
in the Caribbean and the TV of choice
in Asia and the TV [of choice] maybe in
Mars. American mainstream television
is kind of almost the media of the
world. Which means that when I look
at those faces, I don't see a lot of me, so
I have a burning desire to write that
into whatever the canon is.

And how does the Caribbean
community respond to your art? How
are your performances in Jamaica?
Did you see the articles in the Gleaner?
Let me get them for you. There is an
article called "Jamaican Poet Shines on
Broadway" and there is no mention of
my being a lesbian. None. Not even
one. But this recent one is all about my
queerness. It's interesting. It seems
they use whatever they want to use,
depending on what they want to say
about me that day.

Do you think you sometimes get
an easier reception because of your
gender? That Jamaicans are more
accepting of lesbians than of gay
I feel the male preoccupation with
having two women in their bed [is]
not talking about lesbianism. So when
people go, "Well, men are very easy
with the women," no. In fact, they have
no moral compunction about women
who share their bed. Nine, ten women
could be in their bed and everybody
could be touching everybody, but that's
not lesbianism, that's not queerness.
Queerness has to do with perpetuating
relationships between two women
exclusive of a man, and I think that
men are even more vicious about that
because they feel excluded... With the
men they feel like he's letting down
manhood, but it's a kind of outside-of-
themselves response. But I think with
women they feel personally indicted.
"How dare you make a statement so
complete as to say to me I can never
ever be with you sexually." I think
that they're even more vicious with
that. People say it all the time, but it's
two different things. They're okay
with two women in their bed if the
women are there for them. But they

are not okay with two women in the
bed exclusive of themselves. When I
say exclusive, I mean they can't watch,
they can't participate. I mean that it
happens and they don't even know that
it happens. They don't want to know
that such a thing is happening.

Unlike Jamaica, New York has con-
sistently received your performances
positively. You started with slam.
What is slam? How has that scene
shaped your performances?
I think it requires definition very
clearly. You have to be either fighting
against an identity or fighting for an
identity. It's a very predictable kind
of art, I guess. Like the poem "Don't
Want to Slam" that talks about all
the things that I don't want to do, but
actually does all the things that it says
I don't want to do. It's kind of like
the chicken and the egg. Or kind of
proving the point by using the point:
I don't want
to join the staged revolution
don't want to be a part of
some spotlight-slamming solution
don't want to go to Austin or
simply because I think I have
the rapidly moving metaphors
smashing off the Nuyorican walls.

You use the moment to say I don't
want to write fancy metaphors by
showing off that you can write fancy
It's an art that requires dealing in
that way, in that very precise way, with
identity. Issues of race and sexuality,
and issues of voicelessness and
visibility, and all those things, these are
the topics that come up most frequently
in slam. So, if you're Puerto Rican, then
maybe you do a Puerto Rican poem, a
poem that speaks about your Puerto
Ricanness. Or you do a poem in a
very Puerto Rican way that says, "I'm
not just Puerto Rican." It's a spectator
sport. It requires sensationalisation
and dramatisation. It requires that, or
it doesn't work in that space.

Is slam poetry gendered in the way
that dub poetry was gendered?
The world then, it was very gendered.
And women are, as with all things,

forging ahead in different ways
now and walking into spaces that
we weren't necessarily in. I don't
necessarily find slam to be so. I have
found that women have dominated
the winning, but I think that there is
an equal presence of men and women.
The poetry that is existing right now
in the performance way is a kind of
poetry that taps very deeply and very
strongly into the emotional aspect of
our lives. And, historically speaking,
women have always been encouraged
to delve into the emotional. We're
allowed to cry, "Where is my soul?"
and men are more like, "This is my
soul!" not very pleading and begging
and crying. And, you know, that stuff
works in slam.

You have been one of the women
"dominating" the winning in slam
poetry, and your accomplishments
in slamming led to DefPoetry Jam.
What are the issues that you feel are
attendant upon you now with the
success of Def Poetry Jam?
Success! Everybody keeps throwing
that word at me.

Well, I'm not saying your personal
success, if you don't wish to think
of it that way, but the success of Def
Poetry Jam.
You know, DefPoetry Jam is such a
small part of my life and my life is
such a small part of DefPoetry Jam. I
think that they are two circles that
kind of cross over and it's very busy
in that crossover section. But there is
this whole other thing that has to do
with my one-woman show, and my
book I'm writing it and I have a good
agent and he's working with me. But
I have a whole lot of pies going on in
this industry and I'm trying to make
room for all of them while I go off to
Scotland for a month followed by eight
weeks in London. And Amsterdam is
calling me and Australia is calling me,
and I want to do that stuff, but I want
to complete my run with Def Poetry
and ... carry this project to as far as I
think that I need to; but I really, really
just want to go and do my stuff. I'm
ready to put my backpack back on my
back and go to towns like McMinnville,
Minnesota, or Altoona, Pennsylvania,

or Indianapolis or Bradford. All these
little towns that nobody knows about.

Why is that so appealing after
It feels like I'm taking something that
those people don't know about to them.
I feel like on Broadway, the audience,
I don't think that I was new to them.
It was good for them to come and be
entertained by me. But I get to answer
questions in McMinnville. I get to
talk to people who really believe that
Jamaicans don't speak English. I get to
change those perceptions. As opposed
to people seeing me for five minutes
on stage for an evening and the doors
are blocked off and a car picks me up
and I go away; or they see me for two
minutes and they want an autograph. I
want the autographing frenzy to stop.
I want people to ask me real questions,
and I want to ask them real questions,
because I think the autograph just
interferes with that freedom to ask
those questions. +

All photos "-.., .. d,i ., ... -, ..4 .-;L, .i"' Chin.

Yardies and Dons




INTRODUCTION Successful ClItCl-priSO Cl-illle corrupts Lindsay, was born in Jamaica. A radical
Ili the era of glohalisation, that is, the critical iristitutioris Of the state and Muslim cleric by the name of Sheikh
since the 1980s, Caribbearl -arid the political process. Thus, a qLliCk Addullah el-Faisal who Wa', aCCLISCd Of
partiCt-11,11-1VJMllaiCall Cl-illlillJI SLll-VC-V of its economic, social and instigating terrorist attacks oil the UK
rlct\ orks have SOL111111 to e-XplOit the political COJISetll-ierices su ... csts that ill and inciting racial hatred was alSo boro
iricreaSed oppoili-i iii ties for trade ill the lari-laicari coritext, crime preserits ill Jamaica.
ille,,al ,oods, eSpecialk dru-s. I-hiS \,ct-\ important developraerital issues. There are various expressioll" Of
has meall ,hiltiiig from bcirig Sirripl\ Development partnerships with arid this riew cooperation. BritiSh police
pi-odl-lC('l--0XpOl-terS of carmahi,, to clirect \ ithiri the region must therefore pav Officers have taken up very Seriior
jllVoIV(2l1l(21lt ill 1111-ilti-PrOCILICt Offerill"S greater atteritiorl to this issue. commands ill a riumber of couritrieS
ill the ivtail trade ill the major markets. I let-(, the problem of Jamaican such as St Lucia, Jamaica, arici Trinidad
rhev ha\ e thus becirrie more orgaiiised transriatiorial crime, including aspects arld Tobago, and before that iii St Kitts
,ind trarisnahorial ill character. of its impact ill Jamaica and on arld Nevis. Contrary to the fears of
Trawriatiorial crime neh\ orks jarriaicaris abroad, are described, and some British and Caribhuari official,,,
rlow preSci-it both the Carihbeari arid eleirlerits of ar c\planation of this these appointments ha\ e, to dale,
its major tradirig partriers with Some phenomciioi-i pro\ ided. An attempt is taken place without 111V diSSCIlSioll
seriOLIS problelw-. There are ecommic, made to identif v the external forces that in the form of pi&li refercricc, to a
Social ai-id political dimerisioris to attract trarisOational criminality such is Irecolonisation' of the regiori arid
theSe problems. For example, the the seductiveliess of the hiterriational or a racialised disCol-li-se. Ra[her,
(uric-ler)estimateLl aflIlLial cost of dl-Ll(' Mark(2tS, and the objective features the\- are langely viewed paj 11ii as all
treating the direct effects of violclit of file Jamaican corlditiort that facilitate admissioll of the failure oil out' Part
crimes ill Jamaica is the eqUivalerit of arid drive this development. The to effect the necessary\ post-coloriial
approximately 4 percent of its GDP.' aiiahsis is at best skeletal, or, put more trarisformation and professiorialisatiort
Researcher,; at file World Bank estimate cautioLlsIv, partial. of out- police services, arid 14701 I/ d S
that if Jamaica, Haiti, the Domirlicai-i worth-\ cooperation that is appropriate
Republic arid (I'll-varia were to reciLice TRANSNATIONAL CONNECTIONS ill a coritext of globalisation and the
[1-leir homicide rates to the level of Ili recel-iL time,;, particulark, shice 2004, obviously transnational cliaracter
Costa Iica, that iS, to approximalck, cooperatiol between the UK all(.] the of hi(fli-end crime in out- respective
8 illciderits Per 100,000 cjhzells thiS CaribLleaii oil matters related to crime Countries. Crime in the Caribbean is
Would ViCld Cot, them GDP grow0i of coritrol arid security\ has interisified. seen as having an impact ill the UK,
5.4, 5.4, 1.8, arid 1.7 respectively.'As a This increased cooperatiorl ha and crime in the UK has a PrOfOU11LJ
corisequerice, the of lligh- occurred ill the coritext of hicreased impact in the Caribbean.
ei-id trarisnatioOal crime reinforces the drm, traffickim, to the UK from [lie Caribbean national,, o to the UK ill
mar-iiialisaLiori aiid eXCILlsioll Of Pool- Carihbeari, with increased Lie of the search of opportunities. Hli', illClUdC!,
Jamaicans ill Jamaica and abroad. l3v commercial airlir)CS fOl- tlli.,' Purpose, Some of out. citi/ells vllo are attracted
their SLICCCSS, the high-profile crimilial arid with ii-iflairituaton, diSCLl`,SiOlT' by [lie ille"al opportulities. It is incleecl
rietworks reiriforox the ne-ative of this ill the Britisli press identif6m, primarik, the overseas &111' Market,
stereotypirig ald stilgraoltiSatiori of Jamaicans, as file mairi offenders. that attract our profe,,Siorial crimirlal"
11 -iori bombim-, Of Jul 2005 to those Shores. 'Some have become
the lar"er social "roup) to which thev The Loji(
[)clori,,. Abroad t1iiS is irivariali1v their lllaV IldV(2 ShIllt-lIaLed cxerci S(1111 Of [lie VCIT SUCCCsSfUl ill(IeCcl, SO SLlCCe';,,lLlI
race arid iiahorialitv, and at home it imagination regarclim, Ihe prospect that thev have dedicated Much Of their
is their social clas" or, rather, class of a lie\\, arld more troiiblirig kirid of activity to promotirig relatioris betwoo2ii
alwavs lamaicarl SeCl-ffih threat to the UK.
Ori"ill It is, Said that 111ollev Tlie file I\\ 0 C01-111triCs, J11101111 file
Seel's political illfluclicc. This is also irivestigatiorl of the bomhirig,, rovealed VOtillg people ill Kirl,,Stori', irloer-citv
true of ci-iminalk accli-iii-ecl \ caltli. that orie of the Liotribers, Gei-mairie collialtillitieS. For Some till-le, ille I-ilik-

up Crew symbolised this success. At
the time of his arrest, Owen Clarke, the
leader of this group, was described in
the British press as having run a "multi-
million pound cocaine empire spanning
five countries and supplying every
major city in the UK".3 The Posses
were even more successful in the USA.
According to FBI estimates, in the early
1990s, the weekly earnings of some
of major Jamaican Posses in the USA
were as follows: Shower, US$4 million;
Spangler, $3.5 million; Jungle, $2.7
million; Dunkirk, $2 million.4
The impact of this magnitude of
criminal success in the UK and other
developed countries on the Caribbean
is no less devastating than its impact
in the developed countries themselves.
These transnational organised
crime networks are able to use their
criminally acquired wealth to corrupt
critical institutions including the police,
and their leaders quickly become
models of success for the large numbers
of urban marginalised and alienated
youth. The security challenges that we
now face are partly the consequences of

Globalisation may be regarded as "the
widening, deepening and speeding up
of worldwide interconnectedness in all
aspects of contemporary life, from the
cultural to the criminal, the financial to
the spiritual".5 Thus, for example, since
1985 there has been a threefold increase
in international trade.
This process that is characterized
by an increasing volume and velocity
of trade and movement of capital
also applies to trade in criminalised
commodities and criminally acquired
capital that seeks laundering outlets. A
huge global underground economy led
by the trade in illicit drugs has matured.
Jamaican crime networks have sought
to exploit these opportunities, and
in the process have transformed
themselves and have become significant
transnational players in the major
international markets.
Transnational organised crime may
be seen as a rather perverse kind of
globalisation from below. Driven by
the rational pursuit of wealth and other
values, Jamaican organised crime has

penetrated the mainstream of the global
underground economy.
Jamaica figures prominently in
Caribbean transnational crime because
it has certain competitive advantages
- some of which have already been
highlighted by Anthony Maingot:6

* It is a major producer of ganja with
a brand that is associated with a
high-quality product. The brand
is well known and promoted via
music and popular culture.
* It has been integrated into the major
international drug markets since the
* It is located in one of the major
sea lanes to North American drug
* Its coastline is largely unprotected.
* It has strong trading links to the
main drug markets.
* It has a large diaspora in the main
markets (relative to the local
The movement of people to and
from these countries has been / is
relatively free.
The risks are low due to the high
levels of police corruption.

There is a powerful material
substrate and clear rationality to this
American agencies estimate that in
the year 2000, some 100 to 120 metric
tonnes of cocaine valued at US$4 to

US$4.5 billion were transshipped to the
US via Jamaica.' In 2005, the volume of
illicit drugs transshipped via Jamaica
was estimated at 10 tonnes.8 These data
seem too volatile and may suggest that
there are problems with the estimates
provided by some of the agencies but
not necessarily with the trends. With
the softening of the US cocaine market
and the corresponding decline in the
volume of drugs transshipped to the
USA via the region, Jamaica's share of
the general drug trade has declined.
In 2004, Jamaica accounted for 11
percent of all the cocaine seized in the
region (see Figure 1). Moreover, its
(transshipment) share of the cocaine
entering the USA had fallen to 2
While the market share of the
trade in hard drugs that is claimed by
Jamaican traffickers has declined, this
is accompanied by a modest resurgence
of the ganja trade as evidenced by
increased seizures since 2002. Ganja
production and exportation (estimated
from the volume of the drug destroyed
at the point of production and/or
seized during attempts to export it)
increased for some three decades
after Independence but suffered a
decline thereafter. However, during
this period the volume of cocaine
transshipments grew. A cycle has now
been completed, as since the early
2000s, ganja exportation has increased
while that of cocaine has declined. In


4% bAl I/VOAS


\LTHFRI-\\[) 60%


\00( 0,

.WM W-

2004, Jamaica accounted for 49 percent
of all reported cannabis seizures in the
region (20,952 kilograms) (see Figure
2). Similarly, as the demand for cocaine
in the USA market softens, Jamaican
traffickers have turned to new markets,
particularly to Europe where demand
for cocaine is strong. This is no different
from the response to the softening of
the ganja market in the USA at the
end of the 1980s when the Jamaican
dealers sought new markets in Canada
and the UK. These shifts in patterns
of drug trafficking described above
demonstrate the resilience of the trade.

crimes have become the subject of an
uninformed racialised discourse.'0
There are echoes of this in Guyana,
and considerable potential for a similar
racialisation of crime in Barbados." If
criminal victimisation is racialised, and
politics is based on racial mobilisation
as is the case in Guyana and Trinidad,
then high crime rates are likely to
intensify the already existing political
tensions. In Jamaica, while colour
issues remain problematic, it is class
that is the principal social fault line.
The political parties express popular
sentiments and must be responsive to

Sl ()I T11 51/A 490%i

This kind of illegal entrepreneurial
activity is strongly associated with
violence, and in some settings, may
even lead to political instability. The
armed conflict in Colombia is, for
example, fuelled by drug money. In
the Caribbean context, drug violence
may be politicised, and even ordinary
predatory crimes may also generate
political instability. This may occur
when these crimes travel along
the social fault lines in a society. In
the case of Trinidad and Tobago,
ordinary criminality is perceived to
be increasingly racialised; interracial

their constituents. Crime as race/class
victimisation adds emotional intensity
to the competition between the political
Organised crime is at the heart
of the Jamaican crime problem. This
phenomenon has emerged during
the last twenty-five years first in
Jamaica and later in some of the other
Caribbean territories. It has deep and
powerful local roots in the growth of
marginalised inner-city communities,
where it finds considerable social
support, in the incapacity of the
state to protect the people in these
areas, and in the corruption of
state bureaucratic and political

administrative officials who facilitate
their access to state contracts.
Organised crime has, however,
blossomed and become a powerful
force in Jamaican society, because it has
successfully exploited the opportunities
in the international underground
economy. These resources have
assisted its professionalisation and the
diversification of its income streams,
and enhanced its ability to corrupt
the police, to strengthen its social
support base and to favourably alter its
relationship to the political parties and
the state. Thus, by their open displays
of wealth and power, the leaders of
organised crime have become models of
social success. They have become living
symbols that crime pays.
Organised crime is Jamaica's main
crime problem because:
* It advertises the success of crime.
The mansions and expensive cars
of the dons are like billboards that
seductively attract others.
* It commands considerable means of
* It has been able to use its criminally
acquired wealth to corrupt some of
the key institutions of the country.
* It has made a successful business
not just of crime but of violent
It has tarnished our image as a
people. (The foreign media have
helped immensely in this regard;
the worst criminals in the UK and
USA are treated as what they are
a small group, relative to the
population, of unrepresentative

The opportunities in the global
underground economy, and,
specifically, the illegal opportunities
that the demand for drugs in the
developed countries creates, are open
to all. However, not everyone is able to
exploit them. The Jamaican networks
have been able to do this, because of
the advantages noted above. Mass
migration to the UK and the USA
provided them with the linkages that
are necessary. It is estimated that there
are some three million Caribbean-
born persons living in the USA, and

according to the 2001 census, there were
some 250,000 Caribbean-born persons
living in the UK. Sixty percent of this
latter group are Jamaicans.
Thus migration has proved to be a
double-edged sword for the Caribbean.
Our nationals first went to the UK
in large numbers at a time of great
need, that is, during World War II,
and have added considerable value to
the different aspects of life there as,
indeed, have Caribbean migrants to
the Americas. The Caribbean has also
benefited in that the waves of migration
since the 1940s have served as a release
valve for unemployment and urban
overload. And today these migrants
or their descendants remit significant
sums to their relatives in the region. But
as would be expected, these migrations
have been socially disruptive.
Those who migrate are usually
in the age range where they have
family responsibilities; indeed, these
responsibilities motivate migration.
Family disruption thus follows, leaving
behind the problems of child neglect
and delinquency.
The early waves of migration
involved mainly men. Later, in the post-
Independence period, women joined
the ranks of emigrants. Caribbean
researchers have shown that the impact
of the loss of the mothers has been
much more devastating on the children
than the earlier male migrations. It
should not be surprising that loss of the
nurturant parent should result in high
rates of delinquency. Indeed, in many
instances the loss of the mother has
been preceded by the loss of the father.
The children that were left behind
in the 1950s were left largely by their
fathers and were left mainly in the rural
areas with family members usually
with supportive grandparents.12 Since
the 1980s, the pattern has been quite
different. Now there are more migrant
mothers and less support from the
extended family.
For the period 1955-60, some
100,000 adults migrated from Jamaica,
leaving behind approximately 140,000
children (95 percent of the children
of migrants were left behind).'3 Given
the size of the Jamaican population at
the time (1.2 million), this must have

presented quite a problem which may
have had a lagged effect on our crime
rates. This pattern continued in the
early post-Independence period. British
immigration laws have since become
more humane allowing more children
to accompany their parents. Thus in the
1990s, children accounted for some 50
percent of all legal migrants. However,
the social disruption had already
occurred, and has continued with
migration to the USA which follows
the old practice of not permitting the
children to migrate with their parents.
More recently, we have been faced
with the problem of the children left
behind by drug couriers who are
imprisoned abroad, especially in the
UK.4Although the numbers are small,
the impact is profound, because this
problem, like so many other social
problems, is concentrated in the inner-
city communities which are populated
by gangs that readily become substitute
Meanwhile, the children born of
Caribbean migrants who are somewhat
alienated from their new society also
present some challenges. An interesting
study by Mary Waters found that as
the children of Caribbean migrants to
the USA lose their Caribbean identity
and become assimilated into American
society, they tend to lose their resilience
to racism, their drive to become
educated, their commitment to hard
work and to making the necessary
sacrifices to save all of which are
critical for success in that country.'5
They do not become Americans
(which results in positive outcomes
for other migrant groups that are
white). They become black Americans,
that is, a lower status group, and
are consequently demotivated and
alienated by their collective experiences
with racism.
Similarly, in the UK it seems that
the children of Caribbean migrants are
not as focused on social success via
education and hard work as were their
parents. Neither are they as resilient
to racism. As is the case with their
American counterparts, their experience
and understanding of racism as black
Britons appears to have led to an
anticipation of social failure via these

conventional means. Perhaps this
explains, for example, the notoriously
poor educational performance of black
British (not Caribbean) youth in the UK
and their apparent disinterestedness in
taking low-paying jobs. The latter are
not perceived as markers of the dignity
associated with work, but rather as a
signifier of their low racial status, and
more importantly, as their submission
to structural racism. This type of
situation or perceived conundrum
can be powerfully criminogenic as it
is often presented as a choice between
a disadvantageous conformity and a
chance at social success via crime or
what Robert Merton called innovation.16
The pathways to socially approved
innovations, including entrepreneurial
solutions, are not always widely open.
Thus both groups, that is, the
alienated generation of British-
Caribbean or American-Caribbean
youth and the equally alienated urban
Jamaican and Caribbean youth, now
meet in the UK, in North America, and
in Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and
the other Caribbean territories. All are
moving across national boundaries
without strong family or national
attachments, and without strong
commitment to conventional norms.

The UK and other host countries have
sought to deport Caribbean nationals
who have been involved in criminal
activity. Deportation is but a new word
for what has been an old practice by
Britain and other European countries.
It was called transportation, and was
a form of punishment that was used
as a means of removing undesirable
subpopulations from their countries
and colonies. These undesirables
included, but were not exclusively,
criminals. In the West Indies, Maroons
and incorrigibly recidivist runaway
slaves were subjected to this treatment.
As noted by Barnes, Chevannes
and McCalla, between 1990 and 2005,
some 33,268 persons were deported to
Jamaica. The main deporting country
was the USA which accounted for
some 60 percent of all 'deportees'.
The UK accounted for 27 percent of
these deportations.17 It has, however,

been progressively deporting a greater many respects circumscribes and limits are not criminals but persons who

proportion of the persons returned to
Jamaica. For the period 2001-2005, the
UK accounted for 43.3 percent of all
'deportees'. This shift is highlighted in
Figure 3 above.
The quantitative estimates
suggest that as a percentage of the
population of deported persons, the
truly dangerous criminals are few. A
significant proportion of all deportees
were convicted of either drug-defined
or drug-related crimes. For the period
2001-2004, approximately 38 percent
were deported for drug-defined
offences. On the face of it, these are
not violent criminals: those who were
convicted of violent crimes with
the exception of robbery accounted
for some 11 percent of all of the
deportees.18 But the impact of these few
on our small societies should not be

Globalisation not only shapes some
of the fundamental socio-economic
processes in our countries, it also in

our public policy options. Indeed, much
of the current debate about economic
and social policy is about the degree of
freedom for sovereign policy-making.
There are a number of issues that
warrant consideration.
First, with regard to the problem
of deportations, as is noted in a recent
report that was commissioned by the
World Bank, "it is in the self-interest of
the United States, the United Kingdom
and Canada to avoid returning convicts
to environments where they are likely
to offend again ... Drug dealers are
likely to make use of the connections
in both countries to promote further
trafficking... Exporting criminals
may only strengthen the transnational
criminal networks."" To avoid this
outcome, the deporting countries could
share some of the costs that attend
the resettlement and rehabilitation of
these convicts. This claim is grounded
in the mutual security interests of the
deporting and the receiving countries.
To this must be added another claim:
just under one half of all deportees

violated the immigration laws of the
deporting countries. During their stay,
many contributed to these countries
as productive persons. Their claim
is grounded in that fact. It is an
even stronger case for the deporting
countries to assist their resettlement.
It is a just claim, but one based on
morality, not an appeal to self-interest.
Second, it may be worthwhile
for the UK and USA to consider the
Dutch approach to the control of drug
trafficking. The Dutch authorities
estimated that in 2003, between eighty
and one hundred couriers per day were
passing through the Schipol airport in
Amsterdam. By 2005, this was cut to ten
per day.20 The focus was on seizing the
drugs, not punishing the couriers. The
idea was simply to make the business
unprofitable. Initially, couriers were
not imprisoned but instead, simply
deported. This contrasts with the
approach adopted by the UK which has
resulted in a large number of Jamaican
women in its prisons. Perhaps there
should be some punishment of this

crime, but such punishment need not
be a long period of incarceration. Fines
would make these trafficking projects
even more unprofitable.
This approach is called by
the Dutch "100 percent control".
It contains elements that may be
considered objectionable: 100 percent
control implies that all are suspect.
Membership of a group, not individual
conduct, makes one suspect. But it
is intended as a temporary state of
affairs. While the tactic is employed, as
noted above, those found trafficking
in relatively small quantities of drugs
are not imprisoned. It is considered
a success once the ratio of traffickers
to ordinary passengers has declined.
At this point, 100 percent control is
terminated and those caught trafficking
in drugs are punished. The UK and the
USA have imposed the inconveniences
associated with 100 percent control
on Jamaican travellers, but in contrast
to the Dutch, the drug couriers are
imprisoned. This policy has persisted
even after there has been a dramatic

decline in the number of couriers who
use the airlines. This policy should be
Third, it is very important to
transnational security that close police
cooperation is preserved. Its new
dimensions should be seen not as short-
term and based only on the defects
of the Jamaica Constabulary Force,
but rather as a new, more open and
mutually beneficial arrangement. This
cooperation could be further deepened
by also having Caribbean police officers
serve terms of duty in the UK and the
If the short-term measures are
to be really worthwhile, some of the
underlying structural problems will
also have to be tackled. In the UK,
greater effort will have to be made
to integrate the black minority into
the mainstream of British society
via the creation of new avenues for
entrepreneurial success since this, not
access to the professions or the award
of titles, appears to be the litmus test of
their acceptance as equals in the society.

Indeed we may speculate that it is
partly as a result of the failure to do this
that the more successful drug dealers
are socially accepted among the youth.
A major obstacle to further opening
up such opportunities is the colonial
mindset which, when applied at the
individual level to black immigrants
to the UK, assumes that they have no
business competence and will only
waste any resources that are made
available to them to develop business
enterprises. These misconceptions
may be counteracted by the numerous
examples of successful legitimate
Caribbean entrepreneurship in the USA
and elsewhere; but most of all, they
will be undermined by the successful
development of the Caribbean. o

This essay is an edited version of a lecture
that was delivered in Birmingham, UK,
in late 2005. It was intended for a general


1. F Francis, G. Gibbison, A. Harriott and
C. Kirton, "Crime and Development: The
Jamaican Experience" (typescript, 2004).
2. UNODC/World Bank Group, "Crime
and Violence in the Caribbean: Trends,
Costs and Policy Options" (draft
report, 2006), 64 (Figure 4.22). These
estimates do not take into account the
economic contribution of the proceeds
of drug trafficking and other enterprise
crimes. Such estimates would allow for
estimates of the net economic effects.
3. See Rosie Cowan, "Head of Cocaine
Empire Convicted", Guardian, 12 June
4. A. Maingot, "The Decentralization
Imperative and Caribbean Criminal
Enterprises", in Transnational Crime in
the Americas, ed. T. Farer (New York:
Routledge, 1999), 158.
5. D. Held, Models of Democracy. Stanford:
Stanford University Press, 1996), 340.
6. Maingot, "Decentralization Imperative".
7. Reported by the Minister of National
Security, Government of Jamaica, the
Hon. Dr Peter Phillips in a speech at
the Mona campus of the University
of the West Indies. This speech was

published in Jamaica: The Way Forward
-Presentations at the Political Leadership
Forum 2005 (Kingston: Sir Arthur Lewis
Institute of Social and Economic Studies,
8. UNODC/World Bank Group, "Crime
and Violence", 20.
9. UNODC, World Drug Report 2006, 88.
10. East Indians, for example, regard
themselves as the victims of black crime.
And yet the evidence as presented in
scholarly papers does not suggest this.
Indeed, the available evidence suggests
that while East Indians may suffer
higher rates of property crime, there is
no significant difference in the rates of
violent victimisation, including rape, of
East Indian and blacks.
11. However, at present, the discussion in
Barbados centres on tourist victimisation
without any references to race. 'Tourist'
is not simply a code word for whites;
rather, the discussion is deliberately
not radicalised. Discussions of criminal
victimisation are more likely to become
racialised if local whites are victimised.
12. R. Davison, West Indian Migrants
(Oxford: Institute of Race Relations,
Oxford University Press, 1962), 68.
13. Ibid., 71.

14. A. Henry-Lee, Women in Prison: The
Impact of Incarceration of Jamaican
Women on Themselves and Their Families
(Kingston: Planning Institute of Jamaica,
15. M. Waters, Black Identities: West Indian
Immigrant Dreams and American Realities
(Cambridge: Harvard University Press,
16. R. Merton, "Social Structure and
Anomie" (1938), in Classics of
C, '.-;...'...:,,. ed. J. Jacoby (Prospect
Heights, Ill.: Waveland Press, 1994).
17. Annmarie Barnes, Barry Chevannes and
Andrea McCalla, "A Study of Criminal
Deportation", unpublished report
prepared for the Ministry of National
Security, Government of Jamaica, 2006.
18. Headley estimates the proportion of
deportees from the USA to Jamaica
during the period 1997 to early 2003
to be approximately 16 percent of all
criminal deportees. Those deported for
migration offences are not included in
this population.
19. See UNODC/World Bank Group,
"Crime and Violence", 95.
20. Ibid.

Still Dancing on

John Wayne's Head


Tek us outa dis Babylon
We tired fi live pon capture lan
-Count Ossie

Deejays Josey Wales, Clint Eastwood,
Dillinger, John Wayne, Bandolero, Lady
Apache and Trinity.' Carlos Malcolm's
"Bonanza Ska', Derrick Harriott's
Crystalites instrumentals the
Undertaker songs, Bob Marley's "I Shot
the Sheriff" and "Buffalo Soldiers",
and Peter Tosh's LP Wanted Dread and
Alive. Rhygin's poses as Wild West
gunslinger in the film The Harder They
Come. Lee 'Scratch' Perry's cowboy
mixes "Django', "Clint Eastwood" and
"Van Cleef". Yellowman's "Wild Wild
West", Bounti Killa's "How the
West Was Won" and Super Cat's
"Scalp Dem".
Jamaican popular music has
a history of absorbing motifs
and soundtracks of Hollywood
Western films, which provide
distorted images of Native
American culture. At the
same time, aboriginal peoples
around the globe have felt a
kinship with Jamaican reggae
music's spirituality, messages
of resistance against Babylon,
outcry against poverty, praise
for natural lifeways, and use
of Nyahbinghi drumming.2
As reggae ambassadors have
carried the message and music to
locations distant from Jamaica,
some musicians and poets such
as Freddie McGregor, Big Youth,
the Meditations, Michigan and
Smiley, Toots and the Maytals,
Culture, Mutabaruka, Oku
Onuora, and Jean Binta Breeze
- have had the opportunity of
developing a genuine "culture

connection" with indigenous peoples
by either performing at events with
First Nations artists or by playing
on Native American reservations.3
Likewise, indigenous reggae bands
have emerged from Greenland to the
South Pacific.4
Arguably, of all musical entities
from the Jamaican diaspora, The Fire
This Time (TFTT, 1992-present) and
Indigenous Resistance/Indigenous
Reality (IR/IR, 2003-present) have
carried out the most sustained and
sincere effort of fostering cultural,
musical and political collaborations
between African peoples, Jamaicans,
"Blakk Indians", indigenous peoples

and other cultures of resistance.5 These
two interrelated artistic and social
action collectives, first founded in
Ottawa, Canada, and Rio de Janeiro,
Brazil respectively, have created dub
music anthems by blending Jamaican
roots, jazz, hip-hop, junglist and
futuristic sounds with interviews
of Blakk Indian artists and activists,
indigenous poetry, singing, and
traditional chants. In the process,
they have worked with some of the
best sound mixers, including Lee
"Scratch" Perry, Adrian Sherwood,6
Mark Stewart, Bobby Marshall of On U
Sound, Chuck D of Public Enemy, Mad
Professor, Augustus Pablo7 and Asian
Dub Foundation's Dr Das.8
Members of the TFTT and
IR/IR collectives are quick to
declare that even though they
have travelled extensively and
worked in partnership with
many artists and social reform
workers of indigenous groups,
such as the Mohawk, Mapuche,
Kuna, Aymara, Okanagan,
Quechua and Krikati, they are
not trying to proclaim a "We are
the World" pop music message of
unity. Yet, their audio recordings,
films, books, Web projects and
community development projects
have taken them to Jamaica,
Costa Rica, Panama, Guatemala,
Nicaragua, Paraguay, Peru,
Bolivia, Columbia, Ecuador,
Chile, Brazil, Nova Scotia,
Australia, Vanuatu, Fiji, the
Solomon Islands (and other small
islands of Oceania), Tonga, West
Papua, New Guinea, Senegal,

Blakk Indian Quechua woman and children
of Bolivia


South Africa, Mozambique, Zimbabwe,
Ethiopia, and US locations including
Detroit, San Francisco, and the Supai
Village at the bottom of the Grand
Canyon in the American Southwest.9
TFTT and IR/IR explicitly
attempt to "move away from certain
stereotypes we feel exist toward
indigenous peoples" in both Jamaican
and North American societies.
Referring specifically to their work
with Jamaican poet Oku Onuora on
the track "Ohtokin" (CD Basslines and
Ballistics), they assert:

On one hand there's a generally
sympathetic viewpoint of indig-
enous people. Yet at the same time,
the preference is for them to be
regarded as quaint, exotic, and in-
capable of independent action with-
out the aid of famous rock stars like
Sting. Or they are dead or dying.
The image of indigenous people as
dead or dying very much suits the
agenda of those who perpetuate
brutalities against communities, es-
pecially if those indigenous people
are on land that has minerals or oil
or anything valuable that people
want. People have a fascination
with the spiritual aspect of indig-
enous cultures, but most of the time
these same people don't want to
address the hardcore issues, such as
indigenous land rights... They will
exalt the indigenous respect for the
Earth, buy dreamcatchers, and go to
indigenous ceremonies, but at the
same time, they don't want to hear
about land claims, traditional lands
stolen, or indigenous activists...
who are in jail.'o
A listener will hear, on TFTT
and IR/IR dub tracks, messages
delivered in Jamaican English, Spanish,
Mohawk, Greenlandic, Punjabi,
Portuguese and other languages.
Nyahbinghi drumming mixes with
traditional Bellonese chants of the
Solomon Islands and Tonga. Among
many others, their collaborators have
included Jamaican-British dub poet
Benjamin Zephaniah, Santee Sioux
poet John Trudell," Mohawk musician
Don Patrick Martin, the choral group
Eagleheart Singers, Kwak wak'awakw

poet Krystal Cook, South African poet
Sandille Di Keni, Greenlandic poet
and theatre performer Jessie Kleeman,
Okanagan novelist Jeanette Armstrong,
and USA-based alternative bands
Soma Mestizo, and Michael Franti and
Based on interviews with a
Jamaican member of both collectives,
this article documents the ambitious
projects of TFTT and IR/IR, arguing
that Jamaican reggae and dub music
have been utilised, in this case, to
build a foundation for actualising
the kind of "harambee" (working
together in unity) principle that reggae
proclaims. Their experimental films,
documentaries and cyber publications
stress the importance of conducting



research into untold histories, reading
conscious literature and creatively
generating social transformation
through direct action. Moreover, TFTT
and IR/IR expand the dub medium
to foreground the importance of
egalitarian collaboration between
men and women activists and creative

TFTT and IR/IR do more than
accomplish the demolition of Western
music orthodoxy. They facilitate,
through a dub aesthetic, an alternative
musical and cultural alliance of peoples
still impacted by conquest, slavery,
genocide and imperialism." Although
their productions include dub music
and spoken-word audio tracks, CDs,
vinyls, short films, MP3 videos,
Understanding the Connections between
Black and Aboriginal Peoples (a book of
travel narratives and reasoning on
Blakk Indian culture)," the booklet
IR9: Indigenous and Black Wisdubs:
Indigenous and Black Pinll-.'.!hy and
Political Thought, online Kona Warrior
comic/graphic novels, a photography
book on the Mapuche people of Chile,
and a comprehensive multimedia Web
page, the 'dub' pulse is at the epicentre
of every project. The collectives attempt
to "revitalise indigenous resistance
around the world" by "incit[ing]
freedom of speech through the sound
of dub".'6 Although TFTT and IR/IR
incorporate an array of musical styles,
several tracks from the earlier audio
recordings mix Rasta drumming or
dub reverb with indigenous singing,
poetry or polemical conversation:
Basslines and Ballistics, Dancing on John
Wayne's Head and Still Dancing on John
Wayne's Head."
TFTT and IR/IR take the concept
"Word Soun Ave Power", so
pervasively expressed in Rastafari and
reggae culture, to mean much more
than the ability of utterance, vibration
and musical riddim to effect societal and
spiritual change."1 Dub is an attitude,
an empowered orientation towards
the world and a model for ethical
partnerships. TFTT and IR/IR endorse
self-sufficient recording strategies that
are not dependent on expensive or

elaborate recording studios. "It's not
the quantity of equipment you have in
the studio, but how you use what you
have, alongside the spirit and feeling
you put into your music. One of the
things we feel made dub music great
was the fact that it came from folks like
Lee "Scratch" Perry and King Tubby,
[who created] incredible sounds with
just a few tracks." The collaborative
projects between IR/IR and Asian
Dub Foundation's Dr Das have made
use of this "minimalist approach". For
instance, the IR/IR track "Krikati"
was recorded "deep in the Brazilian
jungle on the territory of the militant
Krikati Indians", who knocked out
power lines after a series of failed
negotiations with the government
over Krikati land claims. According
to TFTT and IR/IR, the Krikati had
a troubled history of disputes with
cattle ranchers who simply murdered
indigenous people and confiscated
land for cattle grazing.19 The IR/IR
dub track samples in the voices of
those involved in the insurgency. The
ability to use dub remixing technology,
the internet and limited equipment
is "especially essential in light of the
situation of many indigenous people
who are fighting struggles in remote
TFTT and IR/IR thoughtfully
express their relationship to dub music:
"We have always listened to dub. The
first record we ever bought was a dub
record."21 They continue:
Dub music in its natural form is a
challenge to conventional music.
Dub is experimental, unpredict-
able. You can never repeat the same
dub mix twice. Dub music has a
lot of space in it, where you can be
inventive and insert whatever you
like. In this space, we have tried to
be inventive and add indigenous
chants, indigenous oratory, politi-
cal commentary... coded political
messages. We always heard the con-
nections between Nyahbinghi, the
one drop of reggae, and the tradi-
tional North American indigenous
music ... Dub music presents the
perfect framework to present these
musical links.2


As both dub producers and
long-time sojourners in indigenous
cultures, TFTT and IR/IR have
also theorised the relevance of the
silences in dub music to consciousness
transformation and resistance work.
Interestingly, while most critics and
fans of dub have discussed the noise of
the musical form its innovations in
layering sound effects a few astute
critics have attempted to describe
the subtle but crucial dimension of
silence in dub music.23 TFTT and IR/IR
rethink the power of dub silences in
connection with their understandings
of the importance of silence in some
indigenous settings: "You can have
a piece of dub that in the middle of
the track, there is complete silence.
We especially love this, as it's very in
tune with the importance of quietness
in many indigenous philosophies."24
A recent IR/IR track, "Indigenous
and... Sacred", recorded on a South
Pacific island, "honours the traditional
lifestyle and wisdom of the indigenous
people in this community, a lifestyle
that is based on ... an appreciation
and respect for nature. This track
was created in a very, very quiet and
unobtrusive way."'

erl "11 in -'Con- T,

Out of the continuing desire
to serve as a conduit for solidarity
between indigenous and black people,
the relatively new label and collective
IR/IR has recently carried forward the
dub message to Brazil and Oceania,
where they have made new films not
yet released in the Americas, and
some of their best-sounding and most
conscious tracks to date. Collaborating
again with Asian Dub Foundation,
IR/IR's "Galdino", a 7-inch vinyl
release, addresses the horrific Brazilian
case of the 1997 murder of the Patax6
Ha-Ha-Hae Indian Galdino Jesus dos
Santos, who was drenched in gasoline
and set on fire by a group of wealthy
teenagers because they thought he was
a homeless person.26 The simple but
powerful contrast of Vanuatuan society
with Westernised society, "Through
the Eyes of One Who Paints with
Earth", mixes a traditional Tonga chant
by Epeli Hau'ofa (a.k.a. Boso) with
dub music and spoken-word vocals
by Michael Franti and Carl Young
(Spearhead). The IR/IR dub attitude
can be, by turns, either a burn-down-
Babylon "fiery dub" or a self-reflexive,
meditative dub.

During the 1990s, TFTT produced three
short films and other short videos on
the indigenous and African connection;
the films were In the Beginning, At
Least Native Americans Know... and
Dancing on John Wayne's Head. IR/IR
has completed two films more recently
with indigenous people in Brazil and
Oceania, including IR6, a documentary
similar in approach to the TFTT dub
documentary Dancing on John Wayne's
Regarding the short, experimental
film In the Beginning, members of
TFTT and IR/IR explain that they had
noticed that even though evidence and
legends have supported the idea that
Africans had reached the Americas
before Europeans arrived, there were
virtually no visual representations of
what the meeting between Africans
and indigenous peoples of the region
might have been like. Although the
film is "loosely based on the historical
account of an emperor from Mali,

Abukar, who left Africa with a
huge flotilla of ships to explore
what lay on the other side of the
ocean"28 and never returned, the
power of the exquisitely beautiful
film resides in its dignified
representation of the meeting of
the African and indigenous as
juxtaposed with the urban chaos
of modern Toronto. Featuring
a narrative spoken in Mohawk
by a woman storyteller, with
English subtitles and inter-titles,
and a hauntingly powerful dub
soundtrack, the film shifts from
scenes of the encounter between
the African sea-voyagers and
the indigenous people of "Turtle
Island" (Canada/North America),
the initiation of a peaceful,
intimate relationship between the
African leader and the daughter
of the indigenous tribal leader
(all performed in mime and silent
gesture), and the turbulent and
alienating present-day Canadian
city. Historical and contemporary
realities merge in these scenes
as members of the early-
period African and indigenous
community find themselves in the
concrete city of towering, sterile
buildings. The evocative film is
filled with memorable images,
such as that of a Mohawk activist/
warrior who draws in graffiti a
chalky, ghostly Great Tree of Peace
on a concrete wall, a Six Nations
symbol for harmonious social
TFTT and IR/IR productions
conspicuously foreground the
vital importance of consciousness-
raising books, thoughtful
reflection, and the contributions
of writers to intercultural social
justice movements.

We are always on the lookout
for young people reading on
their own initiative ... [T]he
system is more comfortable
seeing young people of colour
with guns as opposed to books.
We used to pose the question
to people, "Name us ten videos
where you see young people of
colour with guns." The people

would have no trouble naming ten
videos quickly ... Then we would
flip the question and ask them,
"Name us ten videos with young
people of colour, especially street-
wise kids, with books reading
them on their own initiative as op-
posed to being forced to as a way to
make it in the system." At the time,
no one could tell us the name of one

So TFTT filmed At Least Native
Americans Know ... at a library
next to the Aboriginal Friendship
Centre in Toronto, Ontario. It
featured Mohawk activists, a
Mayan woman from Mexico, a
Rastafarian from the Bahamas, and
an activist from Sri Lanka reading
and sharing books on Black Power
movements, indigenous history
and religions, Central American
resistance struggles, Jamaican dub
poetry (Echo by Oku Onuora), and
Cardinal and Armstrong's book The
Native Creative Process. "In real life,
all these folks love reading, and
we filmed them reading hardcore
dub books. We wanted to show
streetwise young people of colour
comfortable in an environment
full of books, using the book as a
potential tool against the system."29
The strong appeal of this film
depends on the audio intensity of
the energising, rapid-fire junglist
soundtrack and the visual intensity
of the quick-sequence images of
people studying together, book
jackets, conscious public art, graffiti
writing, and historical footage.
Dancing on John Wayne's Head,
a documentary film narrated by a
founding member of TFTT, covers
much of the same ground as the
book Understanding the Connections
between Black and Aboriginal
Peoples: The Links between African-
American, Black, Native American and
Indigenous Cultures. The filmmakers
document the TFTT journey (to
Peru, Bolivia, Supai Village at

Stills from TFTT films In the Beginning (top,
second), At Least Native Americans Know...
(third, fourth) and Dancing on John Wayne's
Head (bottom).

the base of the Grand Canyon in the
USA, the city of San Francisco, and
Fiji), including reasoning sessions
with musical artists/activists (such
as the socially committed vocalist
Michael Franti and John Williams
of the Arizona reggae band Native
Roots), educators, Blakk Indians and
indigenous people of the American
Southwest. As in nearly all TFTT
and IR/IR productions, generous
space is allotted to positive images
of womanhood and interviews with
Dancing on John Wayne's Head
records two of the most memorable
moments in the years of TFTT
work. One of the moments was the
impulsively fortuitous trip in the back
of an open truck to a community of
the Quechua Indians. These Bolivian
Blakk Indians live in a small coca-
leaf farming, mountaintop town in
the Yungas region. Although fully
assimilated to the indigenous lifestyle
and mode of dressing, several members
of the Quechua community have
African features. TFTT seeks to find
communities that demonstrate this
kind of cooperation, interdependence
and intermarriage between Africans
and indigenous peoples.30
The most moving part of the film
Dancing on John Wayne's Head, however,
and one of the most momentous of
any of the TFTT and IR/IR recorded
interviews, is the footage shot with
Havasupai activists and reggae fans
Monyaka and Benjamin Jones in
Supai Village, where six hundred
members (one hundred families) of
the Havasupai live. After reading a
Reggae Beat article about the legendary
concert that Wailers keyboardist
Tyrone Downie and Bob Marley's
mother Cedella Booker played for
the Havasupai in the early 1980s,
and talking to Akiba Tiamaya, a
Blakk Indian Sundancer, about Roger
Steffens's show in tribute to Bob Marley
that often includes film footage of the
concert, TFTT decided to travel by
mule, and then by helicopter, down
the mile-high Grand Canyon cliffs to
Supai.31 The extraordinary Havasupai
connection with Jamaican reggae
music, spirituality, worldviews and

particular songs/poems is palpable,
as Monyaka explains the Supai
identification with African peoples
and Bob Marley: "We feel really close
with the music, with reggae, because
we're struggling, we're striving just
as much as the black, our brother, has
been afflicted by the white government
that has attempted to take over their
land [and exterminate African and
indigenous tribes]." Monyaka recounts
this moment:

I walked into a room once where
there was an eighty-year-old listen-
ing to Bob Marley sing, and she was
in tears .... The song "Redemp-
tion Song" was on. I said, "What's
wrong?" She said, "I like these
words. It reminds me of the prayers
of the old people, the way they used
to pray. It reaches down into the
soul, the spiritual soul, way down
in there."32

Dressed in a Rasta tam and
speaking a remarkably good Jamaican
patois and Rastafari idiom (which he
learnt solely from listening to reggae
music), Benjamin Jones beautifully
expresses how he "become aware that I
am Rasta", as he explains the impact of
uranium mining on his environs.

One of the most appealing aspects of
the projects of TFTT and IR/IR is their
unreserved commitment to women's
issues and their acknowledgement of
women's contributions to liberation
and solidarity movements. Okanagan
activist, novelist, poet, teacher,
recording artist and sculptor Jeannette
Armstrong and Metis architect and
flautist Douglas Cardinal collaborated
on a series of philosophical dialogues
and photographs published as The
Native Creative Process."3 The book has
profoundly influenced the practices of
TFTT and IR/IR, especially Cardinal's

TOP TO BOTnoM Blakk Indian artiste Michael Franti
from the band Spearhead; John Williams, Native
American reggae artiste of the band Native Roots;
still from the TFTT film Dancing on John
Wayne's Head a lamaican member of TFTT
collective; Monyaka, Havasupai activist and reggae
fan; Benjamin Jones, Havasupai reggae artiste and

statement about the crucial connection
between men and women:

Here is the wisdom of our elders.
As an individual you are both male
and female. Men and women are
very powerful working together. As
a man, if you allow yourself to be
sourced by women, to be coached,
to learn from them, to take the con-
tribution that they are, then partner-
ship is very powerful.4

Almost all of TFTT and IR/IR
projects foreground women's voices,
emphasising egalitarian exchange and
re-evaluating power relations between
the genders. TFTT and IR/IR attempt
to counteract the resistance in both
mainstream society and within social
movements to the woman's voice: "We
have come across many, in our opinion,
brilliant anarchist or anti-authoritarian
women of colour who have so much
to offer, and yet not only does larger
society try to shut them up but even
some social movements have kicked
them out or tried to silence them."35
In the online comic books/graphic
novels, the protagonist is a militant,
indigenous martial artist woman,
Kona Warrior, who defends Aymara
coca leaf farmers under attack from
the governments of Bolivia and Peru.
The film In the Beginning (narrated in
Mohawk by woman storyteller Raven
and featuring Coast Salish chants by
Kelli White on the soundtrack) portrays
the daughter of the indigenous chief as
a woman with allegiance to her people
but receptivity to the African travellers.
Dancing on John Wayne's Head devotes
ample attention to interviews with
Blakk Indian women.36 In the short film
Revolta, the camera alternates between
scenes of a strong woman practising
martial arts punches and kicks, an
abused young woman being consoled
by her friend, women working in the
marketplace, and the warm reception
that the abused woman and her friend
receive at the Fiji Women's Crisis Centre.
A Jamaican founder of TFTT and
IR/IR has acknowledged his respect
for such Jamaican performance poets
as Afua Cooper and Jean Binta Breeze,
who have addressed the indigenous
heritage of the Caribbean islands and

contemporary struggles of First Nations
people in Canada and elsewhere. In
Understanding the Connections between
Black and Aboriginal Peoples, the
author "Raging BlakkIndian Dub"
refers positively to Cooper's poem
"Christopher Columbus"37 which
describes indigenous genocide. He
also acknowledges Cooper's comments
made in a conversation with him:
she said, "I don't think I can speak of
the history of the Caribbean without
making reference to the original
inhabitants, who in the case of Jamaica
were Arawak people. For me, as an
individual who has a deep sense of
history and place, acknowledging and
recognizing these people who were
in these places before the African

presence is vital." He declares,
moreover, that Breeze "was a very
important inspiration" for some of
the early CDs, particularly Dancing
on John Wayne's Head and Still Dancing
on John Wayne's Head. "[Breeze] has
beautiful dub words to say about the
importance of humility and honouring
the indigenous people on whose land
we might be."38
TFTT participated during its
formative years in the International
Feminist Book Fair in Montreal and
in gatherings of indigenous artistes
where women performers were
present. TFTT dub tracks frequently
feature women artistes whom they
have met during these sojourns or on
internet forays. TFTT met Pura F6 and
Jessie Kleeman at "Beyond Survival",
a mid-1990s international conference
for indigenous artistes, where
Kleeman was performing with the
Silamut Theatre Group of Greenland.39
Kleeman was "a huge reggae fan".
TFTT and Kleeman shared an interest
in the Inuit Circumpolar and the rights
of indigenous people who live in the
Northern Hemisphere. When TFTT
heard Kleeman's "amazing, versatile
voice", they "said we should do the
first Greenlandic dub poetry record,
so we did".40 TFTT and IR/IR recorded
with musician Ole Kristiansen in the
"northernmost studio in the world
where we could hear the sound of
wolves and sled dogs howling during
the arctic night". This collaboration
took place during a prolonged
TFTT and IR/IR stay in Greenland,
where they worked with Kleeman
on new IR/IR lyrics (including the
recent track "Eagle Screaming Red
Sky Alight"). IR/IR calls the track a
"meeting of [Kleeman's] indigenous
mythology, radical street politics" and
vocalist Christiane D's "beautiful dub
mystical interpretation".41 The lyrics
call for a rebirth out of ashes of the
North American post-9/11 and war-
mongering, Iraq-ravaging society. As
the song notes, the revolution must also

TOP TO BOTTOM "Journey to Sosolakam" from IR/IR
comic book Kona Warrior 2 by artist Dandarub;
TFTT collective member with indigenous coca leaf
farmer of Bolivia; Akiba Tiamaya, Blakk Indian sun
dancer of San Francisco, California

TOP IR/IR artwork: photo of Oceania and painting
(digital montage) by laabi.
BOTTOM Still image from TFTT film Dancing on
John Wayne's Head.

include the forging of a new society
that validates and enables women:
"within the revolution, we create
TFTT and IR/IR especially deem
crucial their dub tracks featuring
vocals by African-American women,
such as scholar and spokesperson
Angela Davis and former Black Panther
Assata Shakur. The TFTT and IR/IR
collaboration with Davis has resulted
in two tracks: "Sisters and Brothers"
and the remix "Black and Native
Unity". Davis imparts the advice: "I
think it's really important for us as
black people to try to stand together
with our American Indian sisters and
brothers. During slavery a lot of our
ancestors were able to escape and set
up Maroon communities because there
were Indians that showed them where
to go."43 The TFTT collaboration with
Shakur has resulted in two TFTT dub
tracks: "I Love tha Future", featuring
music by Michael Franti of Spearhead,
and "Reluctant Warrior", with mixes by

Asian Dub Foundation.44 The excellent
video juxtaposes the Shakur track with
images of harmonious Blakk Indian
communities in Bolivia, police- and
state-inflicted brutal violence against
indigenous and black communities,
jailed leaders such as Leonard Peltier
and Mumia Abu Jamal, and women
warriors fighting in armed struggle.45
TFTT and IR/IR greatly appreciate
the position of women like Shakur,
stating that "people like Breeze and
[Shakur] are crucial to the creation of
our work".46
TFTT and IR/IR also support those
male-initiated projects that create new
ways of looking at power between the
sexes, such as Benjamin Zephaniah's
anti-domestic violence poem "She's
Crying for Many":

She is flesh of me flesh
I am bone of her bone
So please stop kicking her
Beg yu leave her alone
... Dat's me sista yu beating

The poem notes the complicity
between the abuser and the police,
who dismiss domestic violence cases
as less important crimes.47 Other TFTT
and IR/IR audio tracks, such as the
previously mentioned "New Ways
of Looking at Power", "Aboriginal
Hitchhike Rape" and "We Need a
Woman's Army", were all initiated by
men. TFTT and IR/IR recognize that
"rape, domestic violence, sexual abuse

[are] still happening on horrific levels
in a world that is purportedly 'safer
and more equal' for women than in
previous eras".48

The collectives TFTT and IR/IR craft a
hypnotic, militant dub music intended
to transmit a supershock to the forces
of global devastation. But most impor-
tantly, for TFTT and IR/IR, "dub" is a
comprehensive and enlarged term that
refers to their aesthetic and musical
sensibilities, philosophical orientations
and activist participation in African
and indigenous coalition-creation.
TFTT and IR/IR hold Audre Lorde's
wisdom as axiom: "[A]s we come more
into touch with our own ancient, non-
European consciousness of living as a
situation to be experienced and inter-
acted with, we learn more and more
to cherish our feelings and to respect
those hidden sources of our power
from where true knowledge and, there-
fore, lasting action comes."49 However,
in their quest to connect with ancient
sources of African and indigenous
wisdom and self-knowledge, these col-
lectives focus on dub-centred, tangible
modes of interpersonal communication
and social action that facilitate present-
day change and the defence of land
claims. 4

The research for this article was made
possible by a FIPI grant from the office of
the Dean of Graduate Studies, University
of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras. I wish to thank
members of collectives The Fire This Time
and Indigenous Resistance/Indigenous
Reality for generously participating in two
years of casual e-mail conversations and a
summer (2005) of extensive interviewing
via internet. At this point in time, it is the
political stance of the members of these
collectives to refrain from being identified
by name in publications or publicity
materials. In the article, I respect their
preferences for being referred to solely
by the names of the collectives/recording

All images provided courtesy of TFTT and

1. See Werner Zips, "Ragga Cowboys:
Country and Western Themes in
Rastafarian-Inspired Reggae Music",
Ir. Fr,1p;., iiw Religions: Syncretism and
Transformations in Africa and the America,
ed. S.M. Greenfield and A. Droogers
(New York: Rowman and Littlefield, 2001),
163-81; Lloyd Bradley, Bass Culture: When
Reggae Was King (New York: Viking, 2001),
288; Carolyn Cooper, "'Lyrical Gun':
Metaphor and Role Play in Jamaican
Dancehall Culture", Massachusetts Review
35, nos. 3 and 4 (Autumn-Winter 1994):
2. See Neil J. Savinshinsky, "Transnational
Popular Culture and the Global Spread
of the Jamaican Rastafarian Movement",
New West Indian Guide/Nieuwe West-
Indische Gids 68, nos. 3-4 (1994): 259-81;
Stephen Feld, "From Schizophonia to
Schismogenesis: on the Discourses and
Commodification Practices of 'World
Music' and 'World Beat' ", in Music
Grooves, C. Keil and S. Feld (Chicago:
University of Chicago Press, 1994), 73; Sw.
Anand Prahlad, Reggae Wisdom: Proverbs
in Jamaican Music (Jackson: University
Press of Mississippi, 2001), 62-63. Native
American literary and cultural studies
note the sacred connection between
the breath, word, prayer, chant, song,
heartbeat, drumbeat, movement, dance,
power and medicine in the ceremonial
context. Rastafari and reggae also value
this sacred connection. See Paula Gunn
Allen, The Sacred Hoop: Recovering the
Feminine in American Indian Traditions
(Boston: Beacon Press, 1986); Robin Riley
Fast, The Heart of a Drum: Continuance and
Resistance in American Indian Poetry (Ann
Arbor: University of Michigan Press,
1999); K. Lincoln, Sing with the Heart of a
Bear: Fusions of Native and American Poetry,
1890-1999 (Berkeley and Los Angeles:
University of California Press, 2000).
3. "Aboriginal" and "indigenous" are used
as generic terms of reference, while "First
Nations" refers specifically to indigenous
peoples of Canada and "Native American"
refers to indigenous peoples of the
continental USA. See Catherine Elston,
"Culture Connection Brings Jamaica to
Arizona", Reggae Report 8, no. 2 (1990): 20
and 27; Culture Connection, "Reggae on
the Rez", Reggae Report 8, no. 2 (1990): 21;
Bruce Weber, "Reggae Rhythms Speak
to an Insular Tribe", New York Times, 19
September 1999, 1, 26.
4. For a limited study of indigenous reggae,
see Neal Ullestad, "American Indian Rap
and Reggae: Dancing 'To the Beat of a
Different Drummer' ", Popular Music and
Society 23, no. 2 (Summer 1999): 63-90.
5. A Jamaican founding member of both
collectives provided information for
this article. TFTT uses the term "Blakk
Indian" to refer to people/societies that

share African and First Peoples' ancestry
or culture. The interviewed member of
TFTT was also involved in the production
of several other reggae-influenced
performance poetry recordings previous
to the formation of TFTT. Of particular
note is the 1989 audiocassette The Death of
John Wayne: Various North American Indian
Poets, produced in Ottawa, Canada.
6. During the 1980s, British producer-
engineer Adrian Sherwood brought
together avant-garde punk artists, roots
reggae artists and deejays (such as toaster
Prince Far I, Congo Ashanti Roy, and
Roots Radics drummer Style Scott) for a
series of experimental albums on his On-
U Sound label. He has often collaborated
with TFTT and IR/IR. See Andy Schwartz,
"Reggae after Marley", in Reggae and Latin
Pop: Hot Sauces, by Billy Bergman, with
Andy Schwartz, Isabelle Leymarie, et al.
(Dorset: Blandford Press, 1985), 49.
7. For a discussion of Augustus Pablo's work
as a sound mixer, see Bradley, Bass Culture,
8. Britain's Asian Dub Foundation mixes
junglist and dub tracks with traditional
East Indian instrumentation. Asian Dub
Foundation's Dr Das explains: "Our hope
for the future is that people will disrespect
borders, disrespect boundaries within
their communities. We're not talking
about hippie notions or liberal notions
or multi-culturalism. We are not saying
to people, 'Oh, disregard your origins,
and do not be proud of what makes you
different.' We are saying, 'Yeah, be proud
of what makes you different, but also be
proud of what you've got in common.'
Create links, create music." Jason Landsel,
"Rise Up Chanting", BLU Magazine 2, no. 9
(2000): 40-42.
9. Recognised in Canada by an ImagiNative
Festival Award for new media work, their
innovative Web page documents their
tremendous projects
10. TFTT and IR/IR, e-mail to author, 29 July
2005. Oku Onuora's dub track "Ohtokin",
recorded by TFTT in Kingston, Jamaica, is
based, in part, on the Mohawk capture of
a planned golf course site and resistance
against the town council of Oka, Quebec,
the police and the Government of Canada,
as reported in articles published in Oh-
Toh-Kin: Publications of Native Peoples'
Resistance (Vancouver: n.p., n.d.).
11. "Rant and Roll" Santee Sioux poet John
Trudell performs rock and roll, heavy
metal and blues-influenced poems
that fight "the industrial ruling class"
presiding over the USA. A leader in the
American Indian Movement during the
1970s, Trudell, in 1979, burned a US flag
at a protest outside FBI headquarters.
The next day a fire consumed his Nevada
home, killing his pregnant wife and their
three young children. The fire was ruled

accidental by the US Bureau of Indian
Affairs, but Trudell continues to believe
that the fire was purposely set. See John
Marchese, "A Sioux Poet Whose Fiery
Protests Now Come Packaged in Jewel
Boxes", New York Times, 19 February
1995, sec. 2, 32. See also Trudell's audio
recording Johnny Damas and Me (Ryko, 1994).
12. US San Francisco Bay Area-based Michael
Franti creates music and spoken-word
tracks that meld rap, reggae and soul music
in an attempt to incite social activism. "My
aim through music is to enrage, enlighten,
and inspire." See "Michael Franti and
Spearhead, 'Dawning' ", BLU Magazine 2,
no. 9 (2000): 61.
13. The phrase "dub lyricism" is borrowed
from Linton Kwesi Johnson, "Jamaican
Rebel Music", Race and Class 17, no. 4 (1976):
14. TFTT and IR/IR caution against
romanticising alliances, however, since
"various forces such as colonialism,
miseducation, different historical and
spiritual experiences and practices
have prevented black and aboriginal
people from completely understanding
each other's political perspectives and
agendas", and these factors can, at times,
add some strain to the alliance-building
process. See Raging BlakkIndian Dub,
Understanding the Connections between Black
and Aboriginal Peoples: The Links between
African-American, Black, Native American
and Indigenous Cultures (Toronto and San
Francisco: The Fire This Time Publications,
2002), 184.
15. Raging Blakklndian Dub, Understanding
the Connections is sold online through
Blitz and distributed in bookstores by AK
16. TFTT and IR/IR, e-mail to author, 13 June
17. Of particular note on these CDs are the
tracks "Ohtokin", featuring Oku Onuora
(Basslines and Ballistics), "At the Barricade
Dub", featuring one of the best dub mixes
by TFTT (Still Dancing on John Wayne's
Head), "Reluctant Warrior", featuring
activist and exile Assata Shakur (Still
Dancing), and "Oka (In the Beginning)",
featuring haunting vocals by Tuscarora
and Puerto Rican singer Pura F6 (Still
Dancing). TFTT, Basslines and Ballistics
(Maya Music Group and Extreme 1995,
compact disc XCDUB 7001 2); TFTT,
Dancing on John Wayne's Head (Filter/
Dorado Records and Extreme, 1995,
compact disc XCDUB 70022); Still Dancing
on John Wayne's Head (Filter/Dorado
Records and Extreme 1998, compact disc
XCDUB 7003).
18. This phrase, so commonplace in Jamaica,
hardly needs definition. See John P.
Homiak, "Movements of Jah People: From
Sounscapes to Mediascape", in Religion,
Diaspora, and Cultural Identity, ed. John W.
Pulis (Amsterdam: Gordon and Breach,

1999), 117n2; Prahlad, Reggae Wisdom, 19;
John Pulis," 'Up-full Sounds': Language,
Identity, and the Worldview of Rastafari",
Ethnic Groups 10 (1993): 285-300.
19. TFTT and IR/IR, e-mail to author, 29 July
20. TFTT and IR/IR, e-mail to author, 2 July 2005.
21. Ibid. See also the IR/IR booklet IR9:
Indigenous and Black Wisdubs: Indigenous
and Black Philosophy and Political Thought
(TFTT, 2006), available from
22. TFT1 and IR/IR, e-mail to author, 2 July 2005.
23. For a discussion of the effect of silence
in reggae musical structures, see Luke
Ehrlich, "The Reggae Arrangement", in
Reggae International, eds. Stephen Davis
and Peter Simon (New York: Knopf, 1983),
52-55; Dawes poetically notes the impact
of the more dramatic sound "drop-outs"
and silences in reggae dub. See Kwame
Dawes, Natural Mysticism: Towards a
New Reggae Aesthetic in Caribbean Writing
(Leeds: Peepal Tree Press, 1999,2004), 112-33.
24. TFTT and IR/IR, e-mail to author, 2 July
25. TFTT and IR/IR, e-mail to author, 28 June
2005. Other beautiful "Pacific Dub" IR/IR
tracks "Mako Haka Hahine", "Te unga
Tuai", and' TL ,r.ua a a angeahe" use dub
as a meditative medium that may promote
healing and reconciliation after a period of
"divisive conflict in the Solomon Islands"
(recorded at Newsounds Oceania Studios).
26. See "Justice at Last for Murdered Indian",
2003, http://www.survival-international
27. TFTT and IR/IR, e-mail to author,
13 June 2005. The new film IR6 was
recently aired on Vanuatuan television
(islands near Australia), and will have its
North American premiere at Toronto's
ImagiNative festival. IR6 features a
dub soundtrack that mixes traditional
indigenous chants from the Solomon
Islands with Nyahbinghi drumming
rhythms and futuristic electronic sounds.
Individual musical tracks, some of
the most mellifluous and lyrical ever
produced by TFTT and IR/IR, may be
downloaded from the TFTT website.
28. Raging BlakkIndian Dub, Understanding
the Connections, 50; also see Ivan Van
Sertima, They Came before Columbus: The
African Presence in Ancient America (New
York: Random House, 1976), 29.29. TFTT
and IR/IR, e-mail to author, 8 July 2005.
30. In Bolivia, the camera focuses mainly on
the performances of Daniel Barra and
his granddaughter, who are traditional
Saya music players, singers and dancers.
Saya music, played on drums and other
percussive instruments, combines African
and indigenous instrumentation, rhythms
and movements.

31. Filmmaker Jo Menell and Tyrone Downie
were interviewed by Roger Steffens on his
Reggae Beat radio programme about the
Havasupai concert experience, and reports
of the Havasupai-Marley connection were
published in Reggae Beat magazine, and
in Malika Whitney and Dermott Hussey's
Bob Marley: Reggae King of the World (San
Francisco: Pomegranate Books, 1982),
127-28. See also Roger Steffens, "Seventh
Annual Bob Marley Memorial Special",
Reggae Beat, audio tape #393, 1 of 3, side A,
10 May 1987, side A; Roger Steffens, "Fifth
Annual Bob Marley Memorial Special",
Reggae Beat, audio tape #289, 2 of 3, 12 May
1985, side A (KCRW 89.9 FM Santa Monica,
community service for Santa Monica College).
32. Transcribed by author from the film, but
also excerpted in Raging Blakklndian
Dub, Understanding the Connections, 15.
33. Prior to the publication of the book,
founders of TFTT facilitated a recording
of dub poetry performed by Jeanette
Armstrong and the Mad Professor, the
title track of the audio recording Till the
Bars Break.
34. Douglas Cardinal and Jeannette
Armstrong, The Native Creative Process:
A Collaborative Discourse between Douglas
Cardinal and Jeannette Armstrong,
photographs by Greg Young-Ing
(Penticton, BC: Theytus Books, 1991),
100. Cardinal has created an indigenous
Canadian mode of architecture with his
"curvilinear" buildings designed after
nature, exemplified by his remarkable
designs for the Canadian Museum of
Civilization, in Hull, Quebec, and the
National Museum of the American Indian
in b-hng~tori DC. He has received
the Order of Canada award. Jeanette
Armstrong, born on the Penticton Indian
Reserve in British Columbia, is the
founder and former director of En'owkin
Centre and was the first director of
En'owkin International School of Writing,
a native creative writing school. She
frequently speaks publicly on indigenous
issues, and she has published the novel
Slash (1985). See http://www.ucalgary.ca/
35. TFTT and IR/IR, e-mail to author, 29 July
36. Bridget Walker, Creole Amelie Prescott
and Akiba Taimaya.
37. Performed on the audiocassette Poetry Is
Not a Luxury (Maya Music, 1987).
38. TFTT and IR/IR, e-mail to author, 29 July
39. On Pura F6, see http://www.purafe.com/
index.html. This site also discusses the
Blakk Indians of New Orleans and Native/
African fusions in American music.
Christiane D performs vocals for the IR/
IR and Kleeman lyrics on the IR/IR track

"Eagle Screaming Red Sky Alight", with
mix by dub producers Adrian Sherwood,
Omar Perry and Pandit G of the Asian
Dub Foundation, and sound remixes by
Soma Mestizo master mixer Herman "Soy
Sos" Pearl.
40. TFTT and IR/IR, e-mail to author, 29 July
41. TFTT website, on the IR/IR page "Lyrics",
42. This track features sound mixes by Adrian
Sherwood, Asian Dub Foundation's Pandit
G, and Soma Mestizo's Soy Sos, with
vocals by Christiane D, Omar Perry (ADF),
and Chuck D. http://www.firethistime.com.
43. "Sisters and Brothers" is on the TFTT CD
Still Dancing on John Wayne's Head; "Black
and Native Unity" is on the forthcoming
IR2 release.
44. The track "Reluctant Warrior" has been
remixed by Asian Dub Foundation for
their CD Community Music; in "Elvis
Never Meant Shit to Me", Asian Dub
Foundation remixes "Reluctant Warrior";
Dred Prez also remixed the track for the
soundtrack of Tania Cuevas Martinez's
documentary film on Mumia Abu Jamal.
45. In 1973, on the New Jersey Turnpike,
New Jersey state police stopped a car in
which she and two others activists were
riding. In the shooting that subsequently
occurred, activist Zayd Shakur and one
state trooper were killed. Shakur was
shot in the back. Later Assata Shakur was
convicted for the death of the officer and
confined to prison with a thirty-three-year
sentence. After six years, with assistance,
she escaped from prison and went into
exile in Cuba, where she has been granted
political asylum. US officials continue
their effort to return Shakur to a US
prison. See http://www.assatashakur.org.
46. TFTT and IR/IR, e-mail to author, 29 July
47. Zephaniah's moving a cappella
performance of the poem may be heard on
the TFTT website. As Darren J. Middleton
notes, Zephaniah has been involved in
women's refuge centres and community
housing and workers' cooperatives.
Darren J.N. Middleton, "Chanting
Down Babylon: Three Rastafarian Dub
Poets", in This Is How We Flow: Rhythm in
Black Cultures, ed. Angela M. S. Nelson
(Columbia: University of South Carolina
Press, 1999), 74-86, esp. 83; also see
Benjamin Zephaniah, Big Boys Don't Make
Girls Cry (London: Upright, 1984,12" vinyl
audio recording).
48. TFTT and IR/IR, e-mail to author, 9 July
49. Audre Lorde, "Poetry Is Not a Luxury",
in Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches
(Freedom, Calif.: Crossing Press, 1984),
36-39; see also the audio recording Poetry
Is Not a Luxury (Maya Music, 1987 and 1990).

Green lizard, Anolis garmani


The Jamaican Folklore and

Natural History Video Series

There are very real, but often
overlooked, associations between
natural history and Jamaican folklore.
The Jamaican Folklore and Natural
History Video Series records some of
these associations, demystifying and
elucidating science, by explaining
everyday Jamaican life. Enthusiasts
of both natural sciences and cultural
studies will enjoy the series.
The video series, released on DVD,
consists of six short documentaries
each ten to fifteen minutes long.
The first video, Love Bush and Wild
Pines, recounts the special place that
love bush (scientific name Cuscuta
Americana) has in Jamaican culture. It
has been used both as a love charm and
to predict the success of relationships.
Love bush, although
classified as a parasite, is also
used in traditional medicine.
The video also contrasts
the parasitic love bush with
the epiphytic and beneficial
wild pines which are often
mistaken for parasites due
to their habit of growing on
The second video, Crab
It, highlights the Jamaican
pastime of crab hunting
which is conducted in

the rainy months of the year when
crabs are plentiful. It then focuses
on several crabs commonly found in
Jamaica, including the bromeliad crab
Metopaulias depressus, the fiddler crab
Uca spp, the mangrove tree crab Aratus
pisonii, the sally lightfoot Graspus
graspus and the blue swimming crab
Callinectes sapidus.
The third and fourth videos are
on Crafty Plants. The first of the two
features plants producing seeds that
make beautiful jewellery, such as the
red bead tree Adenanthera pavonia (not
to be confused with the poisonous John
Crow bead vine Abrus precatorius), the
horse eye vine Mucuna sloanei and the
cacoon vine Entada gigas. It also focuses
on the art of basketry and on plants
such as wicker Philodendron spp and
thatch Thrinax multiflora, Coocothrinax
jamaicensis or Sabal jamaicensis that are
used to make baskets in Jamaica. The
second part showcases the highly useful
plants, banana Musa spp, bamboo
Bambusa spp, calabash Crescentia cujete
and coconut Cocos nucifera.
The penultimate video, Frightening
Flora and Fauna, concentrates on animals
and plants that Jamaicans fear based
solely on superstition. Often these

plants and animals are persecuted and
reviled, but in some cases they are
afforded informal protection from harm
due to the folklore surrounding them.
Included in the video are such animals
as lizards, frogs and owls, and plants
such the silk cotton tree Ceiba pentandra,
crotons, and the night jasmine.
Last but not least is the video
Nature's Christmas Blessings which
features Jamaican plants and animals
identified with our Christmas rituals.
These include decorative plants such as
poinsettias, conifers, the maypole Agave
sobolifera and Christmas candlestick
Leonotis nepetifolia, and food plants such
as sorrel Hibiscus sabadariffa, gungo
Cajanus cajan and pimento Pimenta
dioica. At Christmas time we are also
visited by migrant birds such as the
American redstart Setophaga ruticilla
and the blue-throated warbler Dendroica
The video series is a result of a
joint project of the Natural History
Division of the Institute of Jamaica
and the Natural History Society of
Jamaica, funded by the Environmental
Foundation of Jamaica. The project
culminated in March 2006. The videos
have since been regularly aired on
local television stations. In
addition, copies have been
distributed free of cost to
schools, environmental
clubs and libraries. These
appealing videos should
certainly spark cultural
pride and a renewed interest
in our unique Jamaican
plants and animals. +

Natural History Division




'Spanish Jars' of Jamaica



Hundreds of large, heavy,
earthenware jars with unique
features are today found
predominantly in Jamaica as
well as other islands in the West
Indies and are frequently referred
to as Spanish jars. They are also
found in Argentina; the USA; the
Canadian provinces of British
Columbia, Ontario, Nova Scotia,
and Newfoundland; also in Ireland,
England, Scotland, Denmark,
Germany, Italy; Java in the East
Indies; Norfolk Island in the south-
western Pacific; Australia; and, given
time, will undoubtedly be found
in other countries. They are found
on terrestrial as well as submerged
shipwreck archaeological sites. They

are found in gardens, on patios
and verandas, outside and inside
entrance-ways of private, commercial
and public buildings, and in
museums. In Jamaica, they are an
important and visible component of
the island's heritage landscape.
Questions have long been asked
about the jars: How old are they?
What is their origin? What were they
used for? How did they get to where
they were found? What was the
purpose of their unusual features?
We can only provide the briefest
outline here and refer interested
readers to a previously published
article for a more protracted
treatment of the historical and
technical aspects.' However, we will
provide a complete catalogue of all

known oil producers' stamps found
on the jars to date as well as include
additional material not covered in the
above-mentioned article.
We introduce our present
discussion by pre-emptively stating
that the jars, as shown in Figure 1,
are not Spanish, but were produced
in the Montelupo and Impruneta
regions near Florence in the Italian
province of Tuscany. They originally
contained table-grade olive oil from
the region of Lucca, just north of Pisa,
and were designed specifically for the
export of the oil to England (although
they had many secondary uses). They
arrived where they are found (with

FIGURE 1 The so-called 'Spanish jars' of Jamaica.

the exception, of course, of Italy),
via England, from at least the late
seventeenth century through to the
latter half of the nineteenth century.
And finally, the eighteenth-century
British Royal Navy was responsible
for the presence of virtually all of the
Tuscan jars in Jamaica.
Proof of all this will become
apparent in the above recommended
article. However, we will attempt
to give an abbreviated background
here. First, we must turn to England,
which played not only a central role
in the global dispersal of the jars, but
indeed their very existence in their
eventual form.

Olive oil has for millennia been
produced in all those warm
climate countries surrounding
the Mediterranean Sea, including
Portugal on the Atlantic coast of
the Iberian Peninsula. Perhaps
the Phoenicians, and certainly the
Romans, first brought olive oil to
England. However, it was some
centuries after their departure before
it was to become an established part
of the traditionally conservative
English diet.
Some of the earliest documented
evidence of a small amount of the oil
being imported into England for local
consumption appears in the relazioni,
or reports, drawn up by the Venetian
ambassadors to England at the end
of their tours of duty. Two, which
survive from the reigns of Edward
and Mary, are those of Daniel
Barbaro and Giacomo Soranzo. In
1551, Barbaro informed the Venetian
senate that England imported some
olive oil but could easily replace
those imports with locally produced
butter and rape seed oil (a low-grade
oil for the 'fulling' of wool), imported
from elsewhere (that is, the Low
Countries). In 1554, Soranzo reported
much the same thing.2
The latter half of the sixteenth
century subsequently saw the
introduction of raw vegetable
salads in England and table-grade
olive oil with vinegar as a salad

dressing rather than as a substitute
for butter for which there was
virtually no domestic market.3 The
Tuscan product was more popular
than the Spanish or Portuguese oil,
which was later described as "rank
and bitter" purportedly due to the
species of olive used and the Iberian
methods of harvesting the olives and
producing the oil which incorporated
damaged and fermented fruit.4 The
superior French oil rarely appeared
on the English market primarily
due to the frequent wars between
England and that country.
We know very little as to the
type or size of container in which
the imported Tuscan table oil was
contained in the sixteenth century.
However, we can presume that
much of it came in earthenware
jars of some description. Certainly,
we know that Italian olive oil and
wine were traditionally contained
in earthenware amphorae in ancient
times. In the late fourteenth century,
Francesco di Marco Datini, a
prosperous merchant and banker of
Tuscany with agricultural properties,
makes numerous mentions of
"oil jars". From these references,
we can deduce that unlike the
ancient amphorae, the jars were flat
bottomed and had a large mouth at
that time.5
A century after the Venetian
ambassadors' reports, Englishman
Thomas Blount, in his 1656
publication Glossographia, defined
the word 'jar' as to be "most usually
taken for a vessel of twenty gallons
of Oyl".6 By this, we know that oil
jars of the same capacity as our
Tuscan export jars were well known
in England by the mid-seventeenth
century. Only two years later, in
1658, Philips was to define "Jarr of
oil" as "an earthen vessel containing
from 18-26 gallons".7 The wrecking
of HMS Stirling Castle in 1703, from
which sherds of Tuscan export oil
jars were recovered in the 1970s,
gives us the earliest firmly dated
physical evidence of the jars.8 Thus,
it would appear that the connection
is complete. Blount and Philips
were both most certainly referring

to Tuscan oil jars as we know them
and, if we take Blount literally, they
pre-dated 1656 by some considerable
time as by then, as he implies, they
were quite familiar to the general
The domestic market for Tuscan
olive oil was to continue to grow
in leaps and bounds in England
and her North American colonies
throughout the eighteenth century
and into the nineteenth century
and was frequently advertised for
sale by the jar, or by the decanted
gallon, in newspapers of London,
Quebec, Halifax, Boston, New York,
Philadelphia and Williamsburg
during that period. Almost without
exception, "Jar oil" was associated
with the Tuscan region of Lucca in
the advertisements.9

In 1509, Spain founded a colony in
Jamaica which was to remain for 146
years, and it stands to reason that a
range of Spanish pottery should be
found here (and indeed has been).
The Spanish are known to have used
large earthenware jars (tinajas) for
their ships' water supply and various
food items,10 and there is certainly
potential to find the relatively large
tinaja (pronounced 'tin-ah-ha') in
Jamaica, Cuba, Mexico, Florida
and wherever else the Spanish may
have had settlements." We would
particularly expect to find them in
Jamaica as Long, in 1774, refers to
their use ashore as water containers
during Spanish occupancy.2
However, the shape, detail and
fabric of the Spanish tinaja was
considerably different to that of our
Tuscan oil jars (compare Figures 2a-c
with Figure 1).
Figures 2a-b are details from
an engraving by Theodore De Bry
(c.1590) depicting slaves working
at a Spanish sugar mill "in the West
Indies". The illustrations of tinajas
are quite accurate except for being
shown oversized. Note that the bases
of the jars are so small that they are
illustrated resting in square holes
in wooden frames to stabilise them.

FIGURE 2A-B De Bry engraving
FIGURE 2c The numerous jars in the background
are tinajas recovered from the Manila galleon
Concepcion wrecked in 1638. Note that they are
squat, globular and have proportionately small
mouths in comparison to the Tuscan jars in Figure 1.
The style remained unchanged for centuries.

This explains their lack of survival
intact as they were very top-heavy
and unstable. The method of carrying
(shown in Figure 2b) was identical
to that used with the Tuscan oil jars
when full.
The traditional confusion
of the Tuscan jars with the all-
encompassing label 'Spanish jars'
so often used in Jamaica dates to at
least the latter nineteenth century
and quite likely much earlier. In
1893, Major M. Martin wrote, "even

occasionally ... [can be seen]... an
old earthenware jar, with the [initials]
F and Y, which mark it as dating
from the times of Ferdinand and
Ysabel and hailing perhaps from old
Castile".13 It is obvious that Martin
had never actually seen a jar. To
date, of nearly seven hundred jars
we have examined, none have been
found bearing the initials "FY", and
it is suspected that the oft-repeated
rumour originally referred to "IF",
a common initial stamp on Tuscan
jars (see IF-1 in the stamp catalogue,
p. 61). In any event, the queen was
referred to as Dofia Isabel in Spain,
not Ysabel. Even in this, Martin was
incorrect. However, he managed to
perpetuate the misconception that
the jars were Spanish. The jar initials
"IF" have in the recent past (1992)

been claimed to represent Isabella
and Ferdinand. This was without
considering that the king's name, or
in this case, initial, always preceded
that of the queen, and that the
royal initials were never placed on
common utility ware. To take it bit
further, Isabel died in 1504 and upon
the occasion, Ferdinand's title as King
of Castile was relinquished, Isabel's
claim to the throne having priority
and his, as king, only having validity
so long as she lived. This occurred
five years before the Spanish colony
was even established in Jamaica.
Incidentally, jars with the IF-1 stamp
can be dated to at least between 1770
and 1778, having been recovered
from Royal Navy ships wrecked
during that period.
In 1988, the internationally
respected National Maritime
Museum in Greenwich, England,
mounted a major display
commemorating the four hundredth
anniversary of the Spanish Armada
(1588). Quite amazingly, among the
items catalogued and displayed as
relics of the Armada, and represented
as sixteenth-century Spanish, was
one of our eighteenth-century Tuscan
oil jars. It had been loaned by the
Museum of London, which had
it catalogued in their collections
as Spanish. On the basis of this
rather obscure exhibition catalogue
entry, in 1998, a UK archaeologist
published an article in the prestigious
Ceramics Review expounding upon
the connection of the jars and the
Armada. Unfortunately, because
these misconceptions are published,
they cannot be erased, and many
readers will be misled by them for
centuries to come.
The use of the term 'Spanish
jars' in Jamaica was also illustrated
by Cassidy in 1961 when he wrote,
"The Spaniards also used for storage
huge earthenware jars.... These,
and later ones like them, are called
'panya jaws' (his interpretation of
a Jamaican colloquialism for Spanish
jars; our emphasis).'4 The Tuscan jars
were certainly "later" and, in some
respects, "like" the Spanish jars.

Intact jars found in Jamaica today are
almost without exception Tuscan. (A
comparatively few large jars were
produced locally in more recent times
but are easily distinguishable.) Also,
a very few jars which we identify as
eighteenth-century French "Biot" jars
were reported in Jamaica in the early
1960s. These last were most likely
taken from prizes captured by the
Royal Navy and eventually ended up
in private hands.
In 1655, the English captured
Jamaica from the Spanish and Port
Royal subsequently became the
primary base for the Royal Navy in
the West Indies, and this is how we
explain the presence of the hundreds
of Tuscan oil jars in Jamaica and
elsewhere. Outside of England,
and Italy itself, the jars are found
wherever England had either military
or colonial interests, but in the case of
Jamaica, the Royal Navy was mainly
responsible. Why?
In 1665, Samuel Pepys,
instrumental in major naval reform
occurring at the time, was appointed
surveyor general of naval victualling.
Shortly afterwards, he officially
introduced olive oil primarily as
a substitute for butter on English
warships operating in warm
climates.5 Initially, the navy was
loath to accept that the supposedly
fragile earthenware jars were the
best containers onboard a warship
and for several years attempted to
use oak casks for the oil. However,
wooden casks gave them trouble.
Unlike water, wine or spirits, oil was
more viscous and did not penetrate
the oak to any great depth, causing it
to swell and therefore seal the cask.16
In addition to the problem of leakage,
oil would not remain fresh in casks
for any extended length of time due
to the fact they were not completely
airtight.17 Also, oak gave the oil a
disagreeable flavour. It was probably
in the last decade of the seventeenth
century that the navy conceded that
the traditionally proven airtight and
leak-proof earthenware jars were
the best container for oil. We know
this because they still shipped oil

to Jamaica in casks in 1689,18 and
oil jar shards have been recovered
from HMS Stirling Castle wrecked
in 1703,19 thus neatly bracketing the
1690s. Subsequent to 1703, Admiralty
records only speak of jars as oil
containers. Tens of thousands of jars
of Tuscan olive oil were sent by the
navy to supply their ships, and shore
establishments, in North America
and the West Indies over the ensuing
years and particularly during the
wars with the American colonies.20
The navy ships' pursers were
responsible for the return of all
empty casks, bread bags and oil
jars to naval stores. If they failed to
return a jar, they would be debited
two shillings sixpence, which was
a reasonable amount of money in
the seventeenth and eighteenth
centuries.21 The empty jars would
then be sold by the shore-based
storekeepers, on behalf of the
Victualling Board, to the general
public who would find other uses
for them.22 Throughout Jamaica, they
were primarily used to contain fresh
water, particularly in the vicinity of
Port Royal, Kingston and Spanish
Town where it was frequently in
short supply due to the impurities
in the water of the Rio Cobre, the
concentration of population and the
heavy demands of the navy's ships."
Initially, and until more
permanent arrangements would
be made, local commanders-in-
chief of naval outposts appointed a
storekeeper from one of their ships
to see to the receiving, warehousing,
and distribution of supplies. It was
not until 1721 that a permanent naval
storekeeper was stationed at Jamaica,
followed by Antigua in 1730. These
were supplemented by naval stores
facilities at Martinique (1776-82)
and then Bermuda (from 1795, for a
century and a half), Haiti (1797-98),
and Barbados (during the periods
1690, 1776-82, and 1805-16).24
Apart from Jamaica, Tuscan jars are
currently recorded from Barbados
on this list. It is very likely they
will be found on the other islands


Body Forms
There are three distinctive Tuscan jar
body forms: ovoid, bi-conical and
ribbed bi-conical, shown in Figures
3a-c. Although there are variations
of feature detail, those illustrated
here exhibit the feature types most
commonly associated with each body
form. Note the rim profiles, the shape
of the arcuate or crescent-shaped
brows, and the oil producer's white
slip painted marks (on the ovoid jar)
or impressed plaque initial stamps
(on the other two) beneath the brows.

Originally, all Tuscan oil jars were
encased in willow wickering,
which afforded a certain amount
of protection against impact and
provided loops by which the jars
could be lifted (similar to the Spanish
practice in Figure 2b). Also, all of
the jars originally had a series of
white lines painted upon them,
which often do not survive well as
they were painted with a chalky
emulsion of kaolin clay after the jars
left the kiln. A typical set of the lines
is shown in grey in Figure 4. These
lines were simply guidelines for
the contract wicker-workers,
and they were required, without
exception and at risk of penalties
for non-compliance, by statutes
of the Tuscan oil merchants'
guild and potters' associations.
The lines were necessary to
ensure two things: first, that the
six vertical multi-stranded load-
bearing chords were properly
spaced to support the weight
evenly (on average, more than
265 pounds); and second, that
the oil producers' marks or
stamps beneath the brows were
not obscured by wickering.
The secondary, lightweight,
horizontal and vertical strands
that filled in the gaps and tied
it all together were not critical
and taken for granted. There
was some variation to this
arrangement on the large ribbed

jars. However, the objectives were
the same.

There were four sizes of jars: quarter,
half, whole (or full-sized), and the
ribbed jars would be considered
Only full and half sizes have been
recorded for the ovoid jars to date.
All three sizes exist for the bi-conical
jars. The ribbed jars are all large. Half
jars are uncommon, quarter jars are
quite rare.

We make special mention of lids
because they seldom survive and,
if found, may not be recognized for
what they are. We currently have
record of approximately seven
hundred intact jars and perhaps an
equal number or more of broken
ones, but only five lids. The lids were
of the same earthenware material as
the jars. With relatively thin outer
edges, they were thickened toward

FIGURE 4 Typical lines on oil jars
FIGURE 5 The London Daily Advertiser, 23 May
1740, carried an ...'.. r,-..,. ,i- ..*I,,r-,- "Fine Lucca
Sallad Oil, neat as imported, in Whole jars, Halfjars,
and Quarter jars". FIGURE 4

the centre and had three central
depressions providing a grip for
two fingers and a thumb. They were
sealed with a substance (probably
pine pitch) which would have
proved to be tenacious, particularly
after having several months to
harden. A number of jar rims exhibit
scores where a metal tool has been
used to prise the lid free, much as
we would use a screwdriver to open
a tin of paint. This would have been
the cause of many lids being broken.
A jar's internal lid ledge is arrowed
in Figure 4.

Precise dating of material from
terrestrial archaeological sites is
frequently difficult, and this certainly
applies to the Tuscan oil jars. The
difficulty is exacerbated by the
robustness of the jars, and their
consequent long life in secondary
usages. Observe, as an extreme
example, that jars are currently used
as garden and patio decorations in
Jamaica up to three hundred years
after they were produced.
Jars recovered from Royal Navy
shipwrecks, however, are a different
matter. We know that at the time
of the wreck, they were being used
as originally intended, as olive oil
containers; we can also surmise
that they were probably produced
in Tuscany no more than, say, two
years prior to the wreck, because
that was the shelf-life of the oil.
But that in itself does not solve the
entire problem. It only gives us a
reasonably positive date for those
particular jars from that particular
wreck. Jars identical in every respect
may be recovered from another
wreck which occurred ten or more
years later because a particular oil
merchant may have been in business
for up to four decades.
For the present, and until more
data can be collected, dating can
only be in terms of generalities
based upon circumstantial evidence
and logic. We can only say that one
feature is earlier or later than another,
but we cannot assign a precise year
to the changeover.

Thus far, only three stamp designs
have been located which fall into
the category of elaborate stamps.
They are figurative and have no
readily discerable oil producers'
initials. The figurative elements are
the prominent identifying features
and, as a consequence, these will
be referred to as 'Lion', 'Eagle', and
'Coronet' stamps.
Only the Eagle stamp can
be given a rough date, having
been found in an early-1740s
archaeological context at the French
fortress of Louisbourg, Cape Breton,
in Nova Scotia. Another badly
weathered example of the same
stamp, as well as single examples
of the Lion and Coronet, have
been recorded in Jamaica without

FlGURE 6 The elaborate Lion stamp. Stamp height
7.5" (190mm).
FlGURES 7A-a The Eagle stamps: (a) is the partial
stamp from the Fortress of Louisbourg in Nova
Scotia; (b) is a complete but badly weathered Eagle
stamp photographed in Jamaica by the late Ray
Brandon ... o h;,i r. i. ,,- Tl' F i C'-. i ,
rowed, stamp ir, .a ,,."T ,.I.. 'r, -,,
FicuRE 8 The Coronet jar stamp. The entire design is
a crude stylisation of a Florentine lily surmounted
by a coronet. The coronet, or demi-crown, worn by
the Grand Duke of Tuscany, is represented by the
elongated oval containing three dots and the points
immediately above the oval. The two items arrowed
are additional stamens which appear on virtually
all depictions of the Florentine lily. Stamp height 5"

FIUR 7 8

Producers' plaque-type stamps
are believed to have been used
from about 1730 until 1797, when
Napoleon's armies occupied Tuscany
and trade with England was cut off
until 1815. The majority, however,
seem to date to the latter part of the
eighteenth century. Plaque stamps
were produced by pressing a thin
wafer of moist clay onto the master
stamp, trimming it and then pressing
it onto the jar before firing. Stamps
impressed directly into the clay of the
jar body appear to have come into
use at about the beginning of the last
quarter of the eighteenth century and
co-existed with the plaque stamps.
We have attempted to represent
here, in one form or another, every
single plaque and directly impressed
oil producer's stamp that we
currently have some record of. We
have endeavoured to relocate as
many as possible of the uniquely
stamped Jamaican jars reported by
Dr J.W. Lee and R. Fremmer25 more
than four decades ago in order to
photograph them. However, even
when found, many examples are
so badly weathered and worn that
photography and reproduction
through print can be extremely
difficult. Therefore, if a Lee rubbing
or sketch, even though it may be
quite poor, gives more detail than
a modern photograph, it has been
used. Also, for some stamps we have
no illustrations at all but only listings
or reports. During the course of our
searches, we have discovered many
stamp designs unknown to either Lee
or Fremmer.
Oil producers' guild records
which might list their members
by name and the years they were
active have yet to be located in the
Italian archives. If they exist, and are
eventually found, the listings would
potentially help us to date more of
the jars with more precision.

Where similarity of stamp
designs occurs, no matter what the
initials, this seems to indicate that
the jars came from the same pottery,
and the stamp designs were probably
executed by the same person.
Therefore, if we can date one of the
designs, we can assume the similar
one is of the same approximate
Pottery stamps (as opposed to
producers' stamps), which came
into use in the nineteenth century as
producers' applied stamps were being
phased out, are not illustrated here
as none have been found in Jamaica
to date. They appear on the rim or
shoulder of a jar but not beneath the
brows (where painted producers'
initials continued to be used) and are all
directly impressed. *

There never seems to be enough space
left to give adequate thanks to everyone
who contributed to an academic article,
particularly since this study began some
twenty-five years ago and many, many
people, from all corners of the globe, have
been involved. Therefore, we can only list
a few of the Jamaicans who have helped,
and we trust that a group 'thank you' to
all the others will be accepted as a token
of our gratitude. The late Dr James W.
Lee deserves special mention as it was
he who inspired us to continue the work
he began in the 1950s. From Jamaica, we
also wish to especially thank those who
went that extra mile to help us Mr and
Mrs "Bob" Betton; the late Raymond
Brandon; Trevor Clarke; the late Tony
Clarke; Ernest Cover; Maurice and Valerie
Facey; Michael Gardner; Joya Hairs; Sheila
and Tony Hart; W. "Billy" Hopwood;
Mrs Joan Josephs; George Lechler; Mrs
Lora Myers; and Mrs Sonia Helwig-
Spies. Our Italian connection was Mrs
Margaret Zaffaroni, formerly of Jamaica,
who visited the Montelupo Museum in
Tuscany, photographed their jars, and
photocopied a huge amount of Italian
published material for us.

Key: In the captions, Freq. =
frequency or numbers in which
the stamp appears (for instance,
'rare' will indicate between I and
5 examples found thus far and
the numbers are given); Loc. =
location % here the stamps are
found; Jam. = Jamaica, etc.; lars=
the type of jar on % which the stamp
is found (Bf = bi-conical full-sized;
Bh = bi-conical half-sized; Bq = bi-
corucal quarter-sized, R = Ribbed,
and Of = Ovoid full-sized), Ht.
= height of the stamp (some will
be given as ranges due to minor
variations): NM = no measurement
is available.

Note: All ot the photographs m this
catalogue of oil merchants' stamps
are by Anthon\ R.D. Porter, with
the following exceptions: BC-3
and FL, Yorktown Visitor Center:
CB and TMh-2, Dan Bruce; DD-1
and VL, J W. Lee; TC drawing by
1. Cotter.

(AF 2) (AG) (AL-i)

(AL-2) (BC-1) (BC-2) (BC-3)

SNo illustration
(BCF) BG-1) (BG-2) (BM)


No illustration

No illustration

(AF-1) (AF-2) (AG) (AL-1)
Plaque. Oval. Triple-barred cross above. Plaque. Oval. As AF-1 except A is Plaque. Rounded oval. Double-barred Plaque. Oval. Double-barred cross
Roundel between initials & group of tilted more to the left & has a V-shaped cross above, dot between initials, above, V-shaped crossbar in A,
three below. A has straight crossbar, crossbar, indistinct motif below. ,I-.i -, J. Lee.) mushroom-shaped motif below.
Freq. -Rare (1) Freq. Rare (1) Freq. Rare (1) Freq. Rare (4)
Loc. -Jam. Loc. Jam. Loc. Jam. Loc.- Jam.
Jars Bf Jars- Bf Jars- Bf Jars- Bf, R
Ht. 4.25" (108mm) Ht.- 4.5" (114mm) Ht. -3.25" (83mm) Ht. -4" (111mm)
(AL-2) (BC-1) (BC-2) (BC-3)
Plaque. Distorted Heart. V-shaped Plaque. Round. Motifs above, between, Directly impressed. Round. (Rubbing, Directly impressed. Heart.
crossbar in A. & below initials. J. Lee.) One, perhaps two, roundels Freq. Rare (4)
Freq. Rare (1) Freq. Rare (1) between initials. See (VB). Loc. am., USA
Loc. am. Loc. -Jam. Freq. Rare () Jars- Bf
jars- Bf Jars- Bf Loc.- Jam. Ht. -1.625" (41mm)
Ht. -3.375" (85mm) Ht.- NM Jars Bf, Bh
Ht. -2"(51mm)
(BCF) (BG-1) (BG-2) (BM)
Plaque. Round. Motifs as seen. Small F Directly impressed. Round. Triangular Variant. Identical to (BG-1) except No details. No image. Listed by Lee in
centred beneath BC. dot between initials, larger. Round. 1992 during a visit to Jamaica.
Freq. Rare (2) Freq.- Uncommon Freq.- Rare (3) Freq. Rare (1)
Loc. am. Loc. Jam. Loc. Jam. Loc.- Jam.
Jars- Bf Jars- Bf jars Bf ars- Unknown
Ht. NM Ht. 1.75" (44mm) Ht. -2.125" (54mm) Ht. -NM
(CB) (CF) (CM) (CMC)
Plaque. Oval. Stylised combination olive No illustration. No details. Listed by Plaque. Oval. Dot between initials, Noted by Lee (c.1970s) as "illegible".
tree/cross on mound (Mt Olivet). Xs R. Fremmer in article "The Origin of double-humped lower motif divided Location then was basement of Jam.
above & below initials. Triangular dots Spanish Jars" (Star, 30 May 1964, 7-8). by vert. line terminating in small cross Inst. Recent search by A. Porter was
within C and to right of B above, two dots in spaces below humps. unsuccessful. Unconfirmed.
Freq. Second most common Triple-barred cross at top.
Loc. Jam., UK, Jakarta, Holland Freq. Rare (3)
jars Bf, Bh, R Loc. Jam.
Ht.- range, 3.875-4.75" (98-120mm) Jars- Bf
Ht. -4.5" (114mm)


(AG) (AL-1)

(CP) (CS) (DB-1) (DB-2)

(DD-1) (DD-2) (FB) (FL)

(FM) (FZP) (FZP&Co) (G?B)


(GSC-1) (GSC-2)

(CP) (CS) (DB-1) (DB-2)
No details. Photo unsuitable. Upper part No details. Listed by Fremmer in Directly impressed. Balloon-shaped. Plaque. Oval. (Rubbing, J. Lee, c.1970.)
of jar on Virginia plantation reported by newspaper article (1964) Small point at top of border. This is the only illustration we have of
(C.... .n; ,I 1 .; ,,, -.,,. Freq. Rare 1) this badly weathered stamp. Possibly
F,:,: : ,,- rLoc. -Jam. double-barred cross above initials.
Loc.- USA Jars- Of Freq. -Rare (1)
Jars Bf Ht. 2.5" (64mm) Loc.- Jam.
Ht. -NM ars Bf
Ht. -4"(102mm)
(DD-1) (DD-2) (FB) (FL)
Plaque. Oval. Anchor, with stock forming Plaque. Oval. Scrolls with dots on Plaque. Oval. Star-shape above. Dot Plaque. Triple-barred cross above,
double-barred cross, centreline. between F&B. V-shaped motif below. tree form below, dots to right & left of
Freq. -Rare (1) Freq. Rare (1) Freq. Rare (1) initials.
Loc. Jam. Loc. am. Loc.- am. Freq. Rare (1)
Jars- Bf Jars- Bf Jars- Bf Loc.- USA
Ht. -NM Ht. -4.25" (108mm) Ht. -NM Jars-Bf
Ht. -NM
(FM) (FZP) (FZP&Co.) (G?B)
Plaque. Oval. Stylised olive tree dividing Plaque. Oval. Plaque. Oval. Badly weathered. "Co." Plaque. Oval. Middle initial (arrowed)
the initials & sitting on a mound (Mt Freq. Rare (2) stands for Compagnia. Horizontal line indistinct. Double-barred cross above
Olivet). Loc.- Jam. separates FZP and & Co. Opposing initials.
Freq. Rare (5) Jars Bf scrolls at bottom, upper motifs Freq. Rare (1)
Loc. am. Ht. 4.625 (11 Omm) indistinct, but similar. Loc.- Jam.
Jars Bf Freq. -Rare (1) Jars Bf
Ht. -4.625" (110mm) Loc. Jam. Ht. -4.625" (110mm)
Jars Bf
Ht. -4.625" (110mm)
(GC) (GF) (GSC-1) (GSC-2)
Directly impressed. Round. Triangular dot Plaque. Oval. Dot between initials. Directly impressed. Balloon-shaped Directly impressed. Round. Elongated
between initials. Freq.- Rare (1) border, cross above, triangular dot in centre.
Freq. First most common Loc. am. Freq. Uncommon Freq. Uncommon
Loc. am., UK, Newfoundland Jars Bf Loc.- Jam. Loc. -Jam., USA
Jars- Bf, Bh, R Ht. 3.625" (92mm) Jars- Bf Jars Bf, Bq
Ht. 1.75" (44mm) Ht. -2.125" (54mm) Ht. -1.75" (44mm)

No illustration

No illustration









(GS) (IB) (IF-1) (IF-2)

(IF-3) (IN-1) (IN-2) (LAT-1)

(LAT-2) (LAT-3)


(GM-1) (GM-2) (GM-3) (GM-GC)
Plaque. Oval. Stylised olive tree dividing Plaque. Rounded. (Drawn from a Lee Plaque. Oval. Stylised two-leaf olive tree Plaque. Oval. Double-barred cross above.
the initials & sitting on a mound (Mt Ai.lhl I. ,h Coleman.) Lower section similar to stamp (FM). Pair of small crosses ,.. .-l..ih i1. i. 1960s.) GC
Olivet). Pairs of small crosses above & badly eroded & no detail is discernable, beneath initials, producer may be same as stamp (GC).
below initials. See CB for same design. Freq.- Rare () Freq.- Rare () Freq. Rare (1)
Freq. Semi-rare (6) Loc. -lam. Loc. -am. Loc.- am.
Loc.- Jam. Jars- Bf Jars- Bf jars- Bf
Jars Bf Ht. -4.25" (108mm) Ht. 4.75" (120mm) Ht. -est. c.4.25"-4.5" (108-114mm)
Ht. 4.25" (108mm)
(GS) (IB) (IF-1) (IF-2)
Plaque. Round. (Drawn by R. Coleman, Plaque. Oval. Neatly applied. Horiz. Plaque. Oval. Stylised Florentine lily. Left Plaque. Oval. (Sketch, J. Ashdown which
from a Lee rubbing.) elongated crosses above & below, cartouche 5 supplicants, right cartouche does not show existing dot between
Freq. Rare (1) triangular dot between initials. crosses at Calgary? Olive branches initials.)
Loc. am. Freq. Not uncommon, surround. (Drawing, R. Coleman.) Freq. -Rare (3)
Jars Bf Loc. am., UK Freq. third most common Loc. am., UK
Ht. 2" (51mm) Jars Bf, R Loc. Jam., UK, USA, Argentina Jars Bf, R
Ht. -4" (102mm) Jars Bf, Bh, R Ht. -4.25" (108mm)
Ht. 4.94" (125mm)
(IF-3) (IN-1) (IN-2) (LAT-1)
Plaque. Oval. Variant of IF-2. (Sketch, J. Plaque. Oval. Bottom motif unclear. Plaque. Oval. Variant of IN-1. Note the Plaque. Balloon-shaped.
Cotter.) Compare with (IN-2 & IF-2 and 3). different motifs above & below. Compare Central heart border, cross above,
Freq. Rare (2) Freq.- Rare (5) with (IF-2 & IF-3). surrounded by Xs & diamond shapes. V-
Loc.- UK Loc. -Jam., UK Freq. Rare (2) shaped crossbar in A.
Jars Bf Jars Bf Loc. -Jam., UK Freq. Not uncommon
Ht. NM, but assume similar to (IF-2). Ht. -4" (102mm) Jars Bf Loc. Jam., USA
Ht. -4" (102mm) ars- Bf
Ht. -4.25" (108mm)
(LAT-2) (LAT-3) (LM) (LRM)
Plaque. Balloon-shaped. Central heart Plaque. Oval. L&A divided by tree. Cross Plaque. Rounded. Olive tree dividing Plaque. Oval. Extremely badly weathered
border, cross above. Slanted crossbar in A. above. Xs either side ofT. initials. (Rough sketch by J. Lee in 1960s.) jar. LR over M. No other motifs
(Drawn, R. Coleman from a Lee rubbing.) Freq. Reasonably uncommon Freq. Rare (1) discernable.
Freq.- Rare (1) Loc. am. Loc. am. Freq. Rare (2)
Loc.- Jam. Jars Bf, R Jars Of. One of only two stamped ovoid Loc. am.
Jars Bf Ht. -5" (127mm) jars in our study. Jars Bf
Ht. 3.375" (86mm) Ht. c.3.75" (95mm) Ht. 2.56" (65mm)


No illustration
(NB) (NS) (PP) (SE)

(TC) TM-1) (TM-2) (TM-3)

(TMF-1) (TMF-2) (VB) (VL)

No illustration


(IF-1 & SE)

(NB) (NS) (PP) (SE)
Plaque. Oval. Anchor separating initials. Plaque. Round. No details. Listed by Fremmer in Plaque. Round. Only found in
Anchor stock in form of triple-barred cross. Freq. Rare (1) newspaper article (1964) combination with IF-1. See IF-1 &SE below.
Freq. -Rare (5) Loc.- Jam. Freq. Rare (3)
Loc. am., USA Jars- Bf Loc.- Jam.
Jars- Bf, Bh Ht. -2" (51mm) Jars- Bf
Ht.- 3.5" (90mm) HHI.- 1.75" (44mm)
(TC) (TM-1) (TM-2) (TM-3)
Plaque. Round? (Sketch of badly Plaque. Balloon-shaped. Triple-barred Plaque. Oval. All same details asTM-1 Plaque. Rounded. (. Lee rubbing.)
weathered stamp, J. Cotter.) Poss. motifs cross above, triangular dot between & except double-barred cross above. Appears to be a dot between initials.
above & below initials, small Xs beneath each initial, mound Freq. Rare (4) Top motif appears to be facing crescent
Freq.- Rare (1) w/small anchor-shape below. Loc.- Jam. shapes with a dot above & below. This is
Loc.- UK Freq. Relatively common jars Bf, Bh repeated at bottom of stamp.
Jars Bf Loc. am., UK Ht. -4.75" (120mm) Freq. Rare (1)
Ht. -2" (51mm) Jars- Bf Loc.- Jam.
Ht.-4" (102mm) Jars-Bf
Ht. 3.5" (89mm)
(TMF-1) (TMF-2) (VB) (VL)
Plaque. Oval. Triple-barred cross above, Plaque. Oval. Smaller variant ofTMF- Plaque. Round. Possibly 'UB'. Other Plaque. Oval. Initials divided by anchor,
dot between T&M, indistinct motif 1. Double-barred cross above, dot examples show partial border applied in stock in form of triple-barred cross.
below, between T&M, indistinct motif below. exactly same off-centre manner. Perhaps (Photo, Lee.)
Freq. Not uncommon Freq. Uncommon due to uncommon by same person. Two roundels or dots Freq. Rare (1)
Loc. -Jam., Australia, UK, Scotland. jar size. between initials. Loc.- Jam.
Jars- Bf Loc. -am., UK Freq. Uncommon Jars Bf
Ht. -4.25" (108mm) Jars- Bh Loc. -Jam., UK Ht. 4" (102mm)
Ht. -3.75" (95mm) Jars- Bf, Bh
Ht. -1.5"-1.75" (40-45mm)
(VMF) (VP) (WC) (IF-1 & SE)
Plaque. Balloon-shaped. Double-barred Directly impressed. Round. No details. Supposedly held by Museum Combined. See individual stamps.
cross above, dot between V&M. Freq. Rare (3) due to uncommon jar of London. Not located. Freq. Rare (3)
Freq. Rare (1) size. Freq. Rare (1) Loc. -am.
Loc. am. Loc.- Jam. Loc.- UK Jars- Bf
Jars Bf ars Bh ars- Bh Ht.- Overall, 7.5" (190mm)
Ht. 4.375" (111 mm) Ht. 2.625" (66mm) Ht. NM

1. R.A. Coleman, "Olive 'Oyl' and the
Eighteenth Century Royal Navy",
in The Age of Sail, vol. 2 (London:
Conway Maritime Press, 2003),
128-43. (A copy of this publication
has been deposited in the Jamaica
National Library by the present
authors and may be accessed
2. D.M. Palliser, The Age of Elizabeth:
England under the Later Tudors, 1547-
1603 (London: Longman, 1983), 284.
3. In 1608, the first leader of the
Jamestown, Virginia, settlement wrote
of "sallet oyle [salad oil] wch I brought
wth me out of England for my private
storee. From "A Discourse of Virginia
per Edward Maria Wingfield",
Lambeth Palace Library, MSS 250, ff.
382-96. Our thanks to Bly Straube of
Jamestown Rediscovery (APVA) for
bringing this early reference to our
4. A. Rees, "Rees's Manufacturing
Industry", a selection from The
Cyclopedia, or Universal Dictionary of
Arts, Science and Literature (1819-20)
(London: David and Charles Reprints,
1972), 4:59; and Encyclopaedia Brittanica
(1858 edition), 16:494.
5. Origo, however, gives a fourteenth-
century Tuscan oil jar (Orcio del'Olio)
a capacity of "32 metadelle", or
about eight gallons, the jar and oil
weighing a total of "85 pounds". (This
approximates the export 'quarter' jar
described later.) I. Origo, The Merchant
ofPrato, rev. ed. (Middlesex: Peregrine,
1963), 24.
6. Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd ed.
(Oxford: Oxford University Press,
1989), 8:193.
7. Ibid. Both Blount and Philips refer
to Winchester or "wine" gallons by
which oil was measured, and which
are equivalent to the modem US
gallon. The full-sized Tuscan jars
do indeed range in capacity from
approximately eighteen to twenty-six
gallons. The Royal Navy counted the
more generous twenty-five gallons
to the jar in order to calculate ship's
tunnage. Public Records Office, Kew,
8. J. Cotter, formerly Canterbury
Archaeological Trust, United
Kingdom, personal communication,
9. Author's (Coleman's) unpublished
database of eighteenth-century
newspaper advertisements of olive oil
and its containers primarily extracted
from an unpublished sampling survey
of foods and their containers by Olive
Jones and others of the Material
Culture Unit, Parks Canada, Ottawa.
10. J. Bankston, trans., Nautical Instruction:

AD 1587, by Diego Garcia de Palacio
(Bisbee, Ariz.: Terrenate Research,
1988), 146. Palacio lists items to
equip a sixteenth-century Spanish
ship including various jars; Sir C.
Markham, ed., The Voyages of Pedro
Fernandez de Quiros (Cambridge:
Nautical Research Society, 1904), 1:35,
65-66; F.C. Lister and R.H. Lister,
Andalusian Ceramics in Spain and New
Spain: A Cultural Register from the Third
Century BC to 1700 (Tuscon: University
of Arizona Press, 1987).
11. When the Spaniard Alvaro de
Mendana y Neyra departed Callao
on the coast of Peru in 1595, his four
ships carried several hundred tinajas
of water. The small fleet contained
between 350 and 400 people intended
as Spanish colonists in the Solomon
Islands. Upon approaching the island
of Santa Cruz, after six months at sea
and having sailed nearly the breadth
of the Pacific, Mendana's flagship
San Geronimo still had more than four
hundred jars full of water. After only
a few weeks at the island of Santa
Cruz, Mendana's men were at the
point of rebellion and demanded
that they abandon the settlement. In
attempting to reason with the men,
the chief pilot, Quiros, pointed out
that the ships were in poor condition,
their provisions were nearly gone, and
"the jars for water are diminished in
number, as many of them have been
broken" (see Markham, The Voyages).
In 1986, this writer (Coleman)
walked over the site of Mendana's
encampment at Santa Cruz. No signs
of broken jars were visible. However,
other archaeologists had been there
before me.
In the early 1990s, this same
writer found hundreds of broken
tinaja sherds along the shore-lines at
Umatac and Meritzo on the island of
Guam which was a Spanish re-supply
base for Manila galleons bound
from "New Spain" (Mexico) to the
Philippines in the seventeenth and
eighteenth centuries. The unstable jars
were apparently broken as they were
brought ashore to replenish ships'
water supplies.
12. Edward Long, The History of Jamaica
or General Survey of the Antient and
Modern State of that Island... etc., 1774
(reprint, Frank Cass & Co., 1970),
2:23-25 and 3:577 for mentions of
jars in relation to early water purity
problems in Jamaica.
13. Major M. Martin, et al., Port Royal
and its Harbour (Kingston: Aston W.
Gardner and Co., 1893), 9.
14. F.G. Cassidy, Jamaica Talk: Three
Hundred Years of the English Language in

Jamaica (London: Institute of Jamaica,
London, 1961), 84.
15. Pepysian Library, Magdalene College,
Cambridge University, MS 2867, f.416.
Later, this was extended to include
North America, the East Indies, and
any exceptionally long voyages such
as to the Pacific.
16. The Navy Victualling Board warrants
to supply olive oil to Jamaica for
the use of Royal Navy ships in 1684
and 1689 called for the casks to be "8
hooped" (double the norm) indicating
a leakage problem. Public Records
Office, ADM:110/1, Out Letters,
17. A. Rees, "Rees's Manufacturing
Industry", a selection from The
Cyclopedia, or Universal Dictionary of
Arts, Science and Literature (1819-20)
(London: David and Charles Reprints,
1972), 4:59; and Encyclopaedia Brittanica
(1858 edition), 16:494.
18. Half-hogsheads (31 gallons) and
runlets (181 gallons). Public Records
Office ADM110/1.
19. The late D. Lyons, formerly with
the National Maritime Museum,
Greenwich (NMM), personal
communication, 1986, and J.P. Cotter,
formerly Canterbury Archaeological
Trust, personal communication, 2002.
20. In the seven-year period between
1750 and 1757 alone (five of which
were years of peace), the Victualling
Board issued 71,688 gallons of olive oil
to the fleet for use in North America
and the West Indies. N.A.M. Rodger,
The Wooden World: An Anatomy of the
Georgian Navy (London: Fontana Press,
1988), 83.
21. Public Records Office ADM30/44,
Purser's precedents.
22. By a notice dated 11 December 1789,
the commissioners for victualling
advertised empty jars for sale at the
Deptford naval dockyard. London
Times, 4 January 1790.
23. Long, History of Jamaica.
24. R. Morriss, The Royal Dockyards during
the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars
(Leicester: Leicester University Press,
1983), 3-5.
25. Dr James W. Lee, a former resident
of Jamaica and founding president of
the Jamaica Archaeological Society,
compiled extensive lists of more
than 360 Tuscan oil jars between the
late 1950s and mid-1970s. He very
generously turned all his unpublished
data on the jars over to Coleman in
the late 1980s. The late Ray Fremmer,
a resident and collector, published
articles concerning the jars in the
Jamaican newspapers during the early
1960s in which he listed a number of
stamps he was aware of at that time.

A Jamaican in

Jim Crow America


Though jailed in America on
charges he conspired with the
Mafia to murder a business
rival, and called 'nigger' by his
rivals in the banana trade and
by the whites who unloaded
bananas from his ships in
Baltimore, Alfred Constantine
Goffe never lost his affection for
the USA.
One of the Jamaicans who
battled Americans for control of
the international banana trade
in the late nineteenth and early
twentieth centuries, Goffe, along
with his brothers, began the
Lanasa and Goffe Steamship
and Importing Company in 1906
with Antonio Lanasa, an Italian-
American merchant.
"There are two prominent
Men in the shipping world
today whom Jamaica and
Jamaicans are bound to respect
... A.C. Goffe and Marcus
Garvey," the Daily Gleaner
reported in 1920.
Loved by some and loathed
by many more, Goffe, a black
man, was a big landowner in
St Mary, a hotel owner, and a
banana millionaire at a time
when black people were not long out of
slavery. Goffe's mother, Margaret, had
been a slave.
A black man in a business
dominated by whites, Goffe, his
brothers, and his business partner,
Antonio Lanasa, coordinated the
growing and purchasing of bananas in
Jamaica and the chartering of a fleet of
steamships to deliver the fruit each year
to the USA, and, once there, the sale
and distribution by railway of millions
of bunches of bananas to cities across

America. The firm, which had offices
in Port Maria and in Baltimore, was an
unusual collaboration between black
Jamaicans and Italian-Americans. It
defied racial prohibitions of the time.
At its height, the firm was one of the
largest exporters of tropical fruit to
the USA. This won it praise in the
American press.
"The company is one of the largest
importers of and dealers in foreign
fruits, not only in Baltimore, but in the
East," the Journal of Commerce said of
Lanasa's and Goffe's firm in 1909. The

firm was a good example of what could
be accomplished, the journal said, by
"a competent organisation ... under
the direction of men of ability and
Yet, despite plaudits from the
press, their rivals at the United Fruit
Company, the US firm that dominated
the banana trade, dismissed them
as 'dagoes' and 'niggers'. Their
enemies celebrated when the two
found themselves jailed in Baltimore
in 1908, charged with conspiring
with the Mafia to murder Joseph Di
Giorgio, the head of the Atlantic Fruit
Company, the second largest importer
of Jamaican bananas after the United
Fruit Company. Lanasa and Goffe had
the third largest firm and had been
working hard to grab the second spot
from Di Giorgio.
"BIG TRIAL, Arrest of Mr. Alfred C.
Goffe in Baltimore," shouted a headline
from the front page of the Daily Gleaner
on 19 January 1908. "A Startling
Charge, said to be connected with Black
Hand outrage." The story made the
front page of newspapers in the USA
as well. "Plot to Murder Told," the
Washington Post reported. The New York
Times, too, covered the story. "Goffe," it
reported, "is said to have connections
occupying prominent places in England
and other countries."
It was not beyond possibility
that Lanasa and Goffe were guilty of
plotting to murder a banana business
rival. The stakes were high. Americans
were very fond of bananas and ate
tons of them each year. The banana
business was a rough and tumble trade,
with battles in boardrooms, and battles
with knives and guns on wharves in
Baltimore and Boston and Port Antonio
and Port Maria.


But Joseph Di Giorgio, the
self-proclaimed "Banana King" of
Baltimore, was not killed when seven
gangsters from the Black Hand, the
early Mafia, dynamited his Baltimore
home at midnight on 10 December
1907. Di Giorgio was not home, nor
even in the country at the time of the
bombing. He was in Jamaica on banana
business, and had been there for two
The first arrests in the case came
within days of the bombing, during
the Fisherman's Feast, a festival put
on each year by Italian immigrants in
Baltimore in honour of Madonna del
Soccorso, a saintly figure they believed
protected them from the devil.
Seven Sicilians were charged
with the crime, among them
twenty-six-year-old Salvatore
Lupo. Lupo, the ringleader of the
Black Hand gangsters, decided
to cut a deal with the state's 2
attorney's office.
Under Lupo's deal, the
gangster would only have to
serve eighteen months in prison
in exchange for his testimony. The
authorities did not want the small
fish. They wanted the big fish, or
in this case the big banana. Lupo
told them what they wanted to
hear: Antonio Lanasa and A.C.
Goffe had masterminded the
whole thing. Lupo claimed that Lanasa,
in a conversation at his home at which
Goffe was present, had announced, "If
we kill Joseph Di Giorgio, I will be the
Banana King of Baltimore."
The developments came thick and
fast. In January 1908, a little over a
month after the Di Giorgio home was
bombed, thirty-six-year-old Lanasa and
forty-four-year-old Goffe were arrested
and charged with conspiring to murder
Di Giorgio. They were imprisoned in
Baltimore's Central Police Station.
"I am a British subject and if you
lock me up," Goffe threatened chief of
detectives Captain A.J. Pumphrey, "I'll
have a fleet of English warships in this
harbour." Pumphrey told the Jamaican
he should do what he had to because
to jail he was going. "Have to let them
come," Pumphrey said, "for I am going
to lock you up."

News of the arrest spread quickly
through Baltimore. In the streets of the
city's Italian Quarter, the talk was of
nothing but the arrest of their Sicilian
countryman and his black business
As for people in A.C. Goffe's
homeland, they first heard of the
troubles of their countryman abroad
a few days after he was taken into
custody. The island's Daily Telegraph
newspaper splashed this headline
across its front page: "THE ARREST OF
Sympathy in His Island Home". There
was a great deal of anxiety in Jamaica,
the Telegraph reported, over the arrest

of the St Mary planter in Baltimore.
"The present standing of the Lanasse
and Goffe Steamship and Importing
Co. is," the paper said, "largely due to
his [A.C. Goffe's] undaunted courage,
business-like methods and unflinching
perseverance. There is not a man in this
community who does not extend to
Mr. Goffe the keenest sympathy in the
trouble that has come upon him like a
whirlwind. All are waiting anxiously to
hear further developments."
Outraged at the arrest of the
Jamaican in America, the Daily Gleaner
published a stinging condemnation
of the American justice system in
its pages. The editorial, written by
the paper's editor, H.G. de Lisser,

OPPOSITE PAGE Alfred Constantine Goffe
ABOVE Antonio Lanasa and wife Ciuseppa
RIGHT From Baltimore American, 12 May 1907

suggested a legal lynching was taking
place in Baltimore.
"At the present moment, as
everybody in this island knows,
a Jamaican gentleman of sound
commercial standing and good
reputation is in custody in America
... In this island the news was at
first received with contemptuous
amusement, but as Mr. Goffe is still
under arrest, we have begun to think
his position a very unpleasant if not
serious one... We feel indignant," the
Gleaner editor wrote, "that Mr. Goffe
should be thought to be the accomplice
of a rascally gang of Italian murderers."
Back in Baltimore, it was time for
Lanasa and Goffe to face the
judge. On 11 January, Lanasa
was ushered into the courtroom
at Baltimore's Central Station-
House from his police cell.
Directly behind him was Goffe,
bristling with indignation over
his time in jail.
"He showed plainly that he
had not slept a wink and that
the effect of his imprisonment
had brought him to grief,
chagrin and shame," the
Baltimore American said of the



SSteamship & Importing Co.

of Baeimre Oily
12 aul 14 E. Pratt StBrb
U1101111AI. k,"" a & .L I*r. a IlO %an



This Company commenced business
in March 1906 with one steamer fort-
nightly, and increased to two steamers
per week during the summer of 1907.
Importations. expected to be 50,000
to 60,000 bunches per week this coming
spring. Some of the largest Banana
Growers in the Island of Jamaica are
heavily interested in this Company.


Arrest of Mr. Alfred C.

loffe in Baltio0ore.

Said to be Connected With
Black Hand Outrage.
--- - -

Jamaican. "He carried himself erect,
and with eyes flashing, he glanced first
at the Justice... and then for one brief
instant, around the room."
Surrounded by a sea of white
faces, Goffe must have realized things
were looking black. It did not improve
his defence that he had arrived in
Baltimore from Jamaica on 10 December
1907, the very day of the bombing of
the Di Giorgio house. If Goffe was
innocent, then it was bad luck and an
unhappy coincidence that he happened
to arrive on that day. If he was guilty,
then it was a bad idea to be present in
town when the dirty deed was being
If he was going to win his freedom,
the Jamaican was going to have to
convince the court that he could not
have participated in a conspiracy with
Mafia gangsters, all of whom were
Italian and spoke no English. As he
spoke no Italian and the plotters spoke
no English, how, Goffe would have
to argue, could they have conspired
together without benefit of a common
"We expect that our clients are not
conspirators," Goffe's and Lanasa's
lawyer, William Purnell Hall, told
the court. Lanasa and Goffe had the
best attorneys money could buy. This
included US senator William Pinkney
Whyte, a former governor of Maryland
and former mayor of Baltimore, and
US congressman Harry Wolf. "We
will prove that they were conspired
against," William Purnell Hall told the
court. "The conspiracy against them is

one of the greatest that has ever been
directed against two innocent men."
The view in Jamaica that A.C. Goffe
was being lynched by the American
legal system seemed to have some
foundation after it was discovered that
Thornton Rollins, foreman of the grand
jury, was a vice-president of Joseph Di
Giorgio's Atlantic Fruit Company. It
looked more and more as if the Italian
and the Jamaican were the unwitting
victims of a conspiracy, not the
architects of one. Rollins later stepped
down from the grand jury, but state
prosecutor Eugene O'Dunne remained
convinced he had the bombing
masterminds before him.
"These two are the arch-
conspirators," O'Dunne bellowed,
pointing across the courtroom at Lanasa
and Goffe, "so I understand, and I think
it will develop at the hearing that all the
others were merely their tools."
As for Salvatore Lupo, the state's
chief witness against Lanasa and Goffe,
he was keen to put the Jamaican at the
very heart of the conspiracy. His written
confession, translated from Italian and
full of racial expletives, was read before
the court by the chief of detectives: "I
went down and found that the boat was
unloading," Lupo said. "There I met a
nigger [Goffe] ... then Tony [Lanasa]
asked the nigger [Goffe] if he would
give a thousand dollars to help out of
any trouble, and the nigger [Goffe] said
he would give ten thousand dollars." If
Goffe was no more than a'nigger' to an
admitted killer-for-hire like Salvatore
Lupo, what must the rest of white
Baltimore have thought of this Jamaican
in trouble in'Jim Crow' America?
Before Goffe's troubles began in
Baltimore, he had enjoyed an unusual
amount of freedom in the southern
city for a black man. This was, in
part, because he was rich. Though
he shared the same skin colour and
racial ancestry as African-Americans
in the city, that was all they appeared
to share. Goffe had little contact with
black Baltimoreans. On the other hand
he did number the city's most powerful
white citizens, people like Richard
Lynch of the Fidelity and Guarantee
Trust Company of Baltimore, among his
closest friends. While Goffe was able

to eat and drink at the best restaurants
in Baltimore, African-Americans could
not. African-Americans could not
stay in the city's hotels. Yet whenever
Goffe was in Baltimore he stayed
at the Kelly or at the Eutaw House,
hotels designated "white only". He
was allowed to come and go as he
pleased because his shipping business
employed hundreds of Baltimoreans
and brought a lot of money into the
city's coffers. To accommodate Goffe
and Lanasa, Baltimore's city council,
on one occasion, had allowed them to
break a contract with the municipality
after the two threatened to take their
business to another US city. In the end,
green mattered more than did black or
Maryland is a border state, not a
Deep South state like Mississippi or
Alabama. But its racial views in the
late nineteenth and early twentieth
centuries were, in many ways, just as
entrenched as those of its Confederate
allies. Baltimore was the first city
in the USA to pass a law making it
illegal for blacks and whites to live on
the same street Though the law was
later struck down, it was clear Jim
Crow segregation was alive and well
in Baltimore. The city council passed
hundreds of laws making it illegal for
African-Americans to attend the same
schools, travel on the same buses, eat
at the same restaurants or even urinate
in the same public toilets as whites.
Interestingly, brothels in Baltimore
were not segregated. Black and white
men were allowed to frequent the same
whorehouses as long as the waiting
rooms were kept separate and apart.
Life in Baltimore and elsewhere in
the American South in the early part of
the twentieth century, barely forty years
removed from slavery, was precarious
for black people. Between 1900 and
1906, 575 African-Americans were
lynched in the USA. In March 1906,
eight weeks after A.C. Goffe launched
his banana company in Baltimore,
a black man, Edward Watson, was
lynched by a white mob in Pocomoke
City, southeast of Baltimore. Five
months after this, whites in Maryland's
capital city, Annapolis, lynched another
black man, Henry Davis.

Still, despite the horrors that
African-Americans faced daily in the
USA, West Indians continued migrating
there. Large numbers began arriving
in the 1890s, and by 1903, American
newspapers had begun noticing them.
"Usually they come to this country
poor," an article in New York's Sunday
Sun said. "Many a young man arrives
at Boston or New York from Jamaica
with five or six dollars in his pocket
and not the slightest notion of what he
is going to do or where he is going to
look for a job." The West Indians, the
reporter observed, often gave up good
jobs in their home countries, and spent
"almost their last cent buying first class
steamship tickets and land in America
with a wife and a family, but neither
money nor prospects. Yet, somehow or
other they always make good."
Just how good things would turn
out to be for A.C. Goffe was not clear.
A fair and unbiased hearing seemed
impossible in a southern city like
Baltimore, with its slave past and Jim
Crow laws. Either unaware of the
dangers or indifferent to them, Goffe
struck a defiant pose in court, much to
the annoyance of the white reporters
covering the case.

"He dressed in a gray sack suit
and wore patent leather shoes and a
maroon tie, knotted with the precision
that comes from years of practice," the
Baltimore American noted patronisingly.
"His evident mortification at being
arraigned as a prisoner was exceeded
only by his manifest determination
to make a long and bitter fight to get
free and make good his stout denials
that he had any connection with
the dynamiting of Mr. Di Giorgio's
Strange as Goffe, a wealthy,
boarding-school-educated black man
must have seemed to Americans
in the 1900s, in Jamaica he was far
from an oddity. Goffe was born rich.
His grandfather, Robert Clemetson,
a 'free coloured', had emerged at
Emancipation a wealthy landowner
and businessman. Clemetson, like
many other free coloureds, had owned
slaves. Renting them out as labourers,
he made a great deal of money that he
invested in property. Crafty and canny,
Clemetson, in the years just before the
end of slavery, bought several St Mary
plantations at bargain basement prices
from white landowners nervous that
the end of the slave system would

bankrupt them. Robert Clemetson was
one of eight coloured representatives
elected to Jamaica's House of Assembly
in 1841. He was elected again in 1844.
Like Clemetson, A.C. Goffe's father,
John, played an important role in St
Mary's civic and commercial life. A
wealthy merchant and landowner,
he was also a justice of the peace, a
member of St Mary's municipal board,
a vestryman, and a churchwarden.
Owner of a shipping company and one
of Jamaica's largest dry goods stores,
John Goffe had sent his sons off to be
educated at English boarding schools
and told them to neither stoop nor bow
to white authority.
It was hard, though, for a Jamaican
not to have his pride pierced in the
world outside Jamaica in the early
1900s. Unlike any black man they had
encountered before, Goffe seemed to
bewilder the white reporters covering
the Di Giorgio case.
"He walked to the stand with a
quick, energetic step and gave his
testimony in a voice clear and emphatic
and in excellent English, with the

OPPOSITE PAGE From Daily Gleaner, 19 January 1908.
ABOVE Baltimore Harbour, 1928.

English accent that made bananas
sound like 'bahnahnahs'," the Baltimore
American reported, making fun of Goffe.
"He is a bright-faced Jamaican. He was
dressed in a well-fitting suit of gray
checked goods, that set off a well knit
figure and a light soft hat and carried
his gloves in his hands in approved
style." The press was having fun, but
the Jamaican was not. "This is the worst
thing that could happen to me," Goffe
said. "If money and influence will do
any good I certainly can bring it to
The Americans were not impressed.
All that Baltimore's chief of detectives,
A.J. Pumphrey, and the assistant state's
attorney, Eugene O'Dunne, wanted to
know was whether the Jamaican was
guilty of attempting to kill his banana
business rival, Joseph Di Giorgio.
Frustrated, the Jamaican decided to
threaten the Americans.
"The entire British government
will be brought into my case,"
Goffe warned, "and international
complications are sure to follow."
Complications did follow. Pompous as
he must have sounded, he was correct:
the British government did come to its
colonial subject's aid. A telegram was
dispatched to the Right Honourable
James Bryce, the British ambassador
to the USA in Washington, by Sydney
Olivier, governor of Jamaica:

It is reported in newspapers here
that A.C. Goffe under arrest at Balti-

TOP AND MIDDLE Sketches of (top) Antonio Lanasa,
(middle, I-r) Culgoro Monteleone, Alfred Constantine
Coffee, Joseph Catalano and Antonio Battistone
appearing in Baltimore American, 19 january 1908.
BOTTOM Black Hand suspects in Di Ciorgio bombing,
appearing in Baltimore American, 12 January 1908.

more for conspiracy to murder. Gof-
fe well known businessman of this
island and the charge against per-
son named, on the face of it, grossly
preposterous. If your Excellency
applied to, please give assistance to
him in your power, Olivier.

Ambassador James Bryce put the
British consul in Baltimore, Gilbert
Fraser, on the case. Fraser went to visit
with Goffe at the Baltimore police
station. The consul appointed George
Dobbin Penniman, a prominent
Maryland lawyer, and a group of other
top attorneys to represent Goffe.
The first order of business was to
arrange bail. The only way Goffe was
going to avoid another night in jail
was to come up with the ten thousand
dollars bail that had been set by Justice
Eugene Grannan. Goffe offered five
thousand dollars. The judge refused.
While the Jamaican was trying to
find ways to come up with the large
sum at short notice, Antonio Lanasa's
eighty-year-old mother, Anna, was
brought to the court to stand surety
for her son. Lanasa's bail was paid and
he was released from custody, but not

before Anna publicly berated her son.
Things were not quite so easy for Goffe.
He told the court that he had several
influential men Richard Lynch of the
Fidelity and Guaranty Trust Company
of Baltimore, Mr Stafford of the Empire
Coal Company, and Mr Whemer of the
Pittsburgh Milling Company ready
to stand surety for him, but needed
more time to arrange this. The judge
refused. It began to look as though
Goffe was not going to be able to get

A.sroo LANI^S
SA*.hwd l*Ul | *I T rl., 1s A 81on
7 7 s1.shr i .1TiI. A.,AAl An 81.3



Culgoro Monteleone Joseph Catalano John Scaletta Joseph Tamburo

11e 1n 1 *T*I..as

Antonio Battistone

someone to stand bail for him at all.
Justice Grannan waited awhile, and
then suddenly ordered that Goffe be
returned to his cell. Despondent, the
Jamaican broke down.
"Instantly he lost all his proud
bearing and his bold front," the
Baltimore American reported with glee.
"The mere thought of going to jail was
too much for his proud spirit and he
broke down entirely. Goffe laid his head
on the iron railing and wept hard at
the thought of once more going behind
bars. His whole frame shook with
sobs, and as his weeping proceeded
it gathered force, and in less than two
minutes he was hysterical."
Without men of influence on hand
to help free him, Goffe was ordered
returned to jail. Before he could be
taken to the cells, a voice from the other
side of the court was heard. Antonio
Lanasa's mother had put up her
Baltimore home as surety for the release
of her son. Now Mrs Lanasa said she
would stand surety, too, for "Fedy", her
son's black business partner. The bail
paid, Goffe and Lanasa were freed. Both
men would, though, have to return to
court the next week.
A week after they were granted bail,
on the afternoon of Saturday 18 January
1908, Lanasa and Goffe returned to
court. Attorneys for the two men said
they were confident they would not be
indicted as the state's attorney's office
had not come up with the key witnesses
that it said it would. Consequently,
the proceedings were postponed. The
Italian and the Jamaican were ordered
to pay a bond of two thousand dollars
apiece. This time there was no high
drama, no tears from the Jamaican, and
no octogenarian mother berating her
son and posting bail for a black man
to keep him from prison. This time the
influential friends Goffe had boasted of
stood up for him and stood his bail. The
legal dance went on.
Finally, eleven days later, on 29
January 1908, there was good news for
Goffe, and bad news for Lanasa. The
case against Goffe was dismissed, and
after a week and a half in custody he
was finally free. The investigation had
not produced evidence to prove that
the Jamaican conspired to kill Joseph

Di Giorgio. The news was not as good
for Antonio Lanasa. The court found
reason, it said, to proceed in a case
against him.
The question now for Goffe
was, should he remain in Baltimore
to support his friend and business
partner or should he leave the USA
as quickly as he could? Goffe chose
to leave Baltimore as quickly as he
could. Perhaps his decision was helped
by a letter sent to him by one of his
attorneys, William Purnell Hall. He
congratulated the Jamaican on winning
his freedom and told him he should
return to Jamaica as soon as he could
so that he could let his countrymen

know how poorly he had been treated
in America. "I think it is best for you
to go home and let your people know
how badly you have been treated,"
William Purnell Hall's letter read. "I
wish I could go with you to tell them in
person what you have suffered."
Free to leave the jurisdiction of
Baltimore for the first time in almost
a month, Goffe headed for New York,
where he boarded the first steamer
bound for Jamaica, the S.S. Prinz
Auguste Wilhelm. Hearing that Goffe
had been freed and that he would soon
be back home in Jamaica, the Gleaner
published a rousing editorial in tribute
entitled "The Jamaican in Difficulties".
"'I am a British citizen, and as such
cannot be left unbefriended.' That is
the thought of the Britisher in a strange

land." The editorial was written by
Gleaner editor H.G. de Lisser. "It would
be a disgraceful thing if a Britisher were
to be rescued from the consequences of
his own criminal or disrespectful acts,"
de Lisser conceded. He knew, though,
de Lisser said, that this Jamaican was
not guilty. "In Mr. Goffe's case ...
he knew he was innocent... for the
man is a countryman of ours, and
there is something in the feeling of a
common nationality which stirs in the
breast when life or liberty of a fellow
countryman is at stake in a foreign land.
We congratulate Mr. Goffe."
The Jamaican papers and A.C. Goffe
were keen to make what they could
of the Jamaican's misfortune abroad.
He had emerged, the papers said,
unbowed, unbroken and unscathed
by his experience in Baltimore. It was
good, Goffe told people, to be home
again, safe among his countrymen,
no longer a minority, a lone dark face
among white ones. He was, for a time,
the toast of the town. Tales of his trials
abroad, reported in the pages of the
island's papers, made Goffe a celebrity
for a time in Jamaica. He had stood up
to the racist Americans, people said,
and because he had been a success
in Jim Crow America, the Americans
could not abide it and wanted to knock
down what he had built up.
"The whole thing has been a deep-
laid plot," A.C. Goffe told the Gleaner.
"It is against the wish of the men in
the fruit business in America that any
Jamaican grower should have anything
to do with the export business," he
insisted. "The desire all the time is to
bust any recognized combination of
Jamaica growers out of the business ...
it is almost a matter of impossibility ...
for them to get me out of the business."
They did not get Goffe out of the
business, nor Lanasa. Though the
Italian was convicted of a charge related
to the bombing of the Di Giorgio home,
he was later released on appeal. The
two returned to the banana trade and
thrived, extending their operations into
other American cities. o

Leslie Gordon Goffe's book, When Banana
Was King, will be published in April 2007 by
LMH Publishing, Kingston.

Port Royal in Miami

For the first
time in the USA,
the public has an
opportunity to view
a large collection of rare
artefacts from the famous
city of Port Royal, much of
which sank under the sea
in a devastating earthquake
in 1692. Port Royal, Jamaica,
an exhibition jointly organised
S by the Institute of Jamaica
and the Historical Museum of
Southern Florida, is currently
on display at the downtown
Miami museum (16 February
3 June 2007). "The Historical
Museum," says its chief curator
Dr Stephen Stuempfle, "is
committed to partnering
with other institutions to
explore how events in the
Caribbean have shaped world history
during the past several centuries."
Once known as the wickedestt
city on earth", Port Royal has a past
far richer than pirates' treasures. For
centuries, Port Royal has been a focal
point of Caribbean and Atlantic history:
a cosmopolitan port and centre for
the African slave trade during the
seventeenth century, a major base of
the British Royal Navy during the
eighteenth and nineteenth centuries,
and a maritime town and world-class
heritage site today.
From its founding in 1655 until the
1692 earthquake, Port Royal was one of
the most important cities in the English-
colonised Americas. Comparable in
size to Boston, it was densely settled,
graced with lavish homes and imposing
forts, and extremely wealthy, due in
part to government-sanctioned pirate
raids of Spanish ships and ports. The

city was also known for its abundance
of shipwrights, blacksmiths, pewterers,
silversmiths and other skilled
"To fully understand English
colonial activity in the region, it is
important that we understand the
history of Port Royal. These objects
present a unique opportunity to
examine this history," says Wayne
Modest, director of the Museums
of History and Ethnography at the
Institute of Jamaica.
Museum visitors are able to see
over 150 unique artefacts illustrative
of life in Port Royal, such as an
intricately engraved tortoiseshell
comb case, a red clay pipe associated
with African craftsmen in the city, a
pewter plate made by local
pewterer Simon Benning,
Chinese porcelain, German
stoneware and Spanish
silver coins. Many of these
artefacts were recovered
through underwater
archaeology expeditions
carried out since the 1950s.
The Royal Navy era of
Port Royal's history has
been portrayed through
such items as a Spencer
Browning & Rust telescope,
pharmaceutical vials from
the naval hospital, and a
bust of Horatio Nelson, one of several
British naval heroes who served in Port
Royal during the eighteenth century.
Rare maps, prints, books and
manuscripts from the National Library
of Jamaica, the University of Florida
George A. Smathers Libraries and
the Historical Museum of Southern
Florida accompany this wide-ranging
collection of artefacts. Among the

many treasures are John Taylor's map
of Port Royal, with perspective views
of the city before the earthquake, and
two illustrations of ships at Port Royal
by the prominent nineteenth-century
British artist Joseph Bartholomew Kidd.
The exhibition also examines
community life in Port Royal today
through twenty-five black and white
photographs shot during the 1980s
by Jamaican photographer Maria
LaYacona. In addition, video footage
of efforts to research and preserve Port
Royal's heritage through underwater
archaeology is on display. *

LEFT TOP Pewter plate made by Simon Benning,
seventeenth century, 23.5 cm. Collection: Institute
of Jamaica.
LEFT BOTTOM Wine glass (broken), seventeenth cen-
tury, 9.5 x 4.4.cm. Collection: Institute of Jamaica.
TOP RIGHT Chinese porcelain "Lion of Fo", seven-
teenth century, 13.3 x 5.0 cm. This incense burner
represents a Lion or Dog of Fo, a Buddhist temple
guardian. Collection: Institute of Jamaica.
ABOVE Plan of Port Royal, by John Taylor, seven-
teenth century. Collection: National Library of
All photos Institute of Jamaica.




The following poems have been excerpted
from Jacqueline Bishop's collection Fauna
(Leeds: Peepal Tree, 2006) with the
author's permission.

There are 200 species and 50+ vagrants
on the island of Jamaica.
25 of the birds on the island
are endemic species;
21 endemic subspecies;
4 introduced species.
High levels of endemism on
Caribbean islands is the result
of geographic isolation.
Some of the birds that arrived
on the island, by chance, evolved into
new species.
There are 74 winter visitors
from North America, 18 of which
increase local breeding.
In addition to the 50 vagrants,
25 species are transients
or winter visitors, making this a
of migrants, transients and vagrants.

Finally I just gave up and became
my great grandmother,
packed my college degrees,
fellowships and travels abroad
into a suitcase,
left New York for Jamaica
to become
a seller of cow's milk,
woman smelling always of nutmeg and
who lived all her life in the same
everyone kin to you.
My hands would pull the thick
skin easily from green bananas
and I would love one man
for all but the first sixteen
years of my life.
I would become the woman
who could withstand
whatever life brought -
no tears shed in public -
and in the evenings
watering my garden
my twelve children about me,
pot of something cooking.

At first you cannot get used to it -
New York City and its constant turning,
cars up and down the roadways
which split the city into its languages.
You cannot get used
to the hum of the refrigerator,
blue glare and talking heads from the
sounds of sirens, horns, radios;
feet shuffling, restless
under the windowsill.
You complain to the other bedraggled
plant in the room
who, like yourself, is thirsting for the
soil of another country,
that New York City is not a place
where one should remain.
Still you find yourself one day,
head bent low and muttering,
in conversation with the revising poem -
the quiet of such moments;
the noise of the world fallen away.



Closet Drama


Ashley Cooperton, PhD (Harvard),
arrived at a Modern Language
Association conference in St Louis,
Missouri, to deliver a paper on the
closet drama Samson Agonistes, by the
English poet John Milton. He was an
acknowledged authority on closet
drama so called because it was an
ancient theatrical form more often read
like a poem rather than staged like a
Dr Cooperton was a severe looking
brown-skinned man in his late thirties
whose no-nonsense manner made him
seem as if he were not a willowy six-
foot-four and did not have long spidery
arms more befitting a basketball player
than the world's foremost authority
on a dead literary form. Any impartial
observer who knew his background
would have thought it improbable that
a man from his humble origins could
have risen so high he was born and
raised in the tiny rural Jamaican village
of Lime Hall, whose houses were too
small to even have closets and whose
residents neither knew nor cared
about John Milton. But Dr Cooperton
himself never had any doubts about his
He knew that he was gifted
with an analytical mind, a tenacious
memory and an inquisitive nature
that, combined with a love for
reading, would, over the years, make
scholarship of some kind his calling.
His Jamaican past had long ago been
encapsulated deep within his flesh and
sealed off like a benign tumour from
the academic creature he had become.
Not even a shred of his Jamaican
self showed on the surface, and to a
stranger he would have been easily
mistaken for just another citizen from
the global community of scholars.
He checked into the hotel,
freshened up in his room and went

strolling through the book exhibits to
see if there were any new monographs
on closet drama. As he made his way
down the carpeted aisle that ran past
the festooned publishers' booths,
he occasionally paused to exchange
greetings with colleagues he saw only
once a year at this convention. He
shook hands here and there, made
small talk on a limited range of subjects
- he was not a man to chat foolishness
just because it was thought to be polite
to do so his height and gravity of
expression lending him the dignified
ambassadorial air of visiting African
He was halfway down the
publishers' exhibits when out of
the comer of his eye a familiar face
detached itself from the background
clutter of scholars and publishers'
representatives and drew his attention.
It was a face from his childhood that he
had not seen for nearly thirty years, and
the sight of it triggered a surge of anger,
revulsion and longing. There it was,
the familiar coconut-shaped face with
a fleshy nose sectioned like a tamarind,
the bulbous forehead, the conical
chin indented with a dimple the
unmistakable features of Marguerite
"It is she!" he hissed furiously to
himself, grammatical to the bitter end
even in his interior monologue at the
sight of his boyhood nightmare, the girl
he had both hated and loved as long as
he could remember.
She had lived next door to him in
Lime Hall, where her mother kept a
small, rickety roadside shop. During
the summer holidays when he was
home alone, Marguerite Goldson used
to come over to his house, and finding
his mother and father gone, would
draw him under his bed and train him
to do nasty things to her.

During these teaching sessions she
used to call him Sissy Head a term
she knew he despised. Pinned against
his will under the bed, he often felt
towards her an odd combination of
sensuality and loathing. And there she
was now, after all these years, many
hundreds of miles from Lime Hall, a
vendor in a publisher's booth not ten
feet away from where he stood.
When they were children in Lime
Hall, she had been older, taller, stronger,
more knowing and bigger than Ashley.
But things were different now. In the
ensuing years, he had outgrown her
physically and was almost a foot taller.
Moreover, she seemed to be nothing
more than a bookseller while he was
Dr Ashley Cooperton, full professor of
English at a prestigious private college,
expert on seventeenth-century closet
drama and amateur historian who had
written an acclaimed monograph on the
history of the donkey in Jamaica.
It was one of those delicious
moments that immigrants rarely enjoy,
their field of battle being so distant
from the homeland that their victories
often pass unnoticed or, being self-
reported, are dismissed as braggadocio.
Standing there watching her greet
customers in the narrow bookstall,
Ashley could hear her screechy voice
singing, "Sissy Head, want to romp?"
from some thirty years ago. That was
the idiom she always used, and now, as
it did then, it struck him as a misnomer
for what they did under the bed. In any
event, no matter whether he said yes or
no, she would grab him by the scruff of
the neck and drag him under the bed
for forced nastiness.
He was right in the middle of this
reverie when Marguerite suddenly
turned and saw him looming as formal
and stately as a rare whooping crane
just outside her booth. Making a

cursory gesture of respect towards him
as befitted his status of professor, she
was turning away to her paperwork
when she stopped in mid-pivot and
swivelled around quickly to give him
another look, this one electrified with
"Ashley, is you?" she gasped,
taking a step towards him that was
almost a lunge.
He nodded, and in an instant, she
had him gripped in a clumsy embrace
to which he responded by going limp
like a prey helpless in the jaws of a

They exchanged greetings as old
enemies who meet in an unfamiliar
place will often do, their enmity
temporarily suspended because of the
strangeness of their surroundings.
"You a professor!" she exclaimed,
peering hard at his name tag, adding,
"When did this happen?"
"I've been a full professor for the
past ten years," he said stiffly. "I'm here
to give a paper on John Milton."
This revelation defined the
social gap between them with the
implacability of gravity that left him
inwardly gloating.

"I never knew you had become a
professor," she said. "Where did you
get your PhD?"
He sighed, the satisfaction
brimming up within him to the point
of overflow. He took a deep breath
and with a little hiss sent a poison dart
hurtling at her throat, "Harvard."
Half an hour later, he left her
booth after some stilted conversation
about the old days, and headed to a
conference discussion that he would
He arrived at the podium feeling
an exuberance that was dizzying.

Afterwards, members of the
discussion group came up to him and
congratulated him on an exceptional
performance. He returned to the quiet
of his room to take a nap and savour
the triumphs he had enjoyed today.
He lay in bed with the lights off and
the drapes drawn, relishing the victory
over Marguerite Goldson, savouring
every moment and re-living every
wrinkle and worry-line of her various
stunned expressions.
In the middle of this gloating
came a timorous tap on the door. He
got out of bed, padded to the door,
threw it open without looking through
the peephole and found Marguerite
Goldson standing there in all her
brazen glory.
"Want to romp?" she grated,
muscling her way past him without
even a "by your leave".
"What? What do you think you're
doing?" he sputtered as she shoved
her way roughly past him and into the
dimly lit room.
"Be quiet, Sissy Head!" she
growled, seizing him by the arm.
"I beg your pardon!" he said icily.
"I don't think you understand whom
you're addressing. You forget yourself!"
Her reply was to shove him towards
the bed, nearly toppling him over.
"Come," she said in a tone of voice
that was all too eerily familiar to him,
"is romping time, Sissy Head!"
"This is not 1978!" he squealed.
"This is 2007. My name is Dr Ashley
Cooperton. My name is not Sissy Head.
This is not Lime Hall. This is St Louis,
Missouri, United States of America.
You'll go to jail."
She was openly scornful. "Dr
Ashley Cooperton, my foot," she
sneered. "Poppyshow! You're my
romping kitten."
"No, I'm not," he cried, yanking
his arm away from her grasp. "I'm a
Harvard PhD. I categorically refuse to
go under that bed with you."
Without replying, she lunged at him
and tried to grab him in a hammerlock,
which used to be her favourite way of
subduing him when they were children.
But he was taller now, stronger, and

more wiry, and he managed to dodge
out of her reach.
They circled each other warily,
looking for an opening. Ashley felt
utterly ridiculous, like he was the centre
of a public spectacle, and as she groped
towards him, he panted breathlessly,
"If you do this, you'll be sorry. I'll file
charges. I'll call de police."
"De police!" she mocked. "What
kind o' talk is dat for a Harvard PhD?
Dat a Lime Hall talking!"
"Lime Hall what?" he bawled. "Me
no talk dem deh kind o' way again.
Me name Dr Ashley Cooperton! Me a
expert on closet drama! You know wha'
name so?"
She looked at him with amazement
before bursting into hysterical laughter.
He was so excited that he didn't realise
what he had said, but while she was
distracted by her own laughter, he
reached for the phone, taking his eyes
off her for a millisecond.
She lunged at him. Grabbing him
by the head, she wrestled him on the
floor and tried to pull him under the
bed. But this bedspring was too low
for them to both crawl under it so, still
holding him in a headlock, she levered
him violently towards the open closet,
crying, "If you can't catch Cuffe, catch
him shirt!" which was an old Jamaican
proverb that cynically advised using
the second-best if you couldn't use the
"Lemme go, you rass you!" he
"A who you a call rass?" she
sneered, tightening the python coil
around his neck until he felt the blood
pounding in his temples.
"Help!" he gurgled.
He woke up screaming in the posh
hotel room, drenched in his own sweat,
his heart pounding.
He was all alone. His name was
not Sissy Head. It was Dr Ashley
Cooperton, a world expert on closet
drama who had come from the small
rural village of Lime Hall in Jamaica.
From the bed on which he lay came
a long plaintive sigh of anguish like the
muffled wail of a small animal trapped
in its own burrow.

.. .. .o.
His paper on Milton was rapturously
received by his colleagues, and at the
end of the discussion session, he was
given a standing ovation. When he
had first walked into the room, he had
looked long and hard at the assembled
audience, hoping Marguerite was
among them. She was not there, and he
was disappointed.
He was aboard the shuttle to the
airport for the plane ride that would
transport him back to the small
prestigious private college at which he
was full professor of English when he
spotted her loading up her car in the
parking lot with her publisher's sample
He opened the window, waved at
her, and cried, "Goodbye, Marguerite,"
to which she replied respectfully,
"Goodbye, Ashley. I mean, Dr Cooperton."
All the way to the airport, he heard
her voice and saw her standing beside
the open trunk of her company car.
The memory filled him which such
joyless nostalgia that he almost forgot
himself and began weeping. He felt
as if he had suffered a grievous loss,
although he couldn't say what it was or
when he had actually lost it.
But then he remembered that he
was Dr Ashley Cooperton, and that the
world would not understand public
weeping from someone of his stature,
and for the rest of the drive to the
airport, he exchanged aloof chitchat
with an awed graduate student across
the aisle who spoke flirtatiously to him
with the rapt reverence of an adoring
devotee unable to believe her luck to be
sitting next to such eminence. *


Book Reviews

and Travails of Early Caribbean
Edited by Annette Insanally, Mark Clifford
and Sean Sheriff
Mona: Latin American-Caribbean Centre,
UWI / Sir Arthur Lewis Institute of Social
and Economic Studies, UWI / UNESCO
ISBN: 976-40-0066-5; xvi, 482 pp; J$1,650

Reviewed by Knolly Moses

This drive for self-improvement through
migration might truly be called our epic.
-Olive Senior

Panamanians playing dominoes on
Brooklyn's sidewalks in the 1970s
seemed vaguely familiar. The encoun-
ter meant little until Belizeans, Costa
Ricans and Hondurans I later met
sparked, well, my West Indian curiosity.
It came together one night when a San-
dinista spoke to me in a recognisable
patois. I had discovered the Hispanic
This was fascinating, adding a
new dimension to my idea of the
northernmost West Indian. More
importantly, it pointed to a history
insidiously neglected by my Caribbean
and New York education.
To add to what I have found since
is a new publication that forensically

traces West Indian intra-regional
migrations: Regional Footprints: The
Travels and Travails of Early Caribbean
Migrants, edited by Annette Insanally,
Mark Clifford and Sean Sheriff. The
book features a selection of articles
and interviews from a series of Latin
American-Caribbean Centre seminars
on intra-regional migration, launched
in 2000.
Prodigiously researched, this book
tells how long, how often, and to how
many places elsewhere in this region
Jamaicans and other West Indians have
gone in their yearning to do better. In
her introduction, Insanally refers to the
claim that West Indians have a migrant
mentality, and historian Franklin
W. Knight in his essay proffers that
such is fundamental to the Caribbean
experience. Elsewhere, Cornell-
based Jamaican historian Locksley
Edmondson has suggested that on a
per capital basis the Caribbean may be
the most migration-prone region in
the world. Indeed, North America and
Europe have attracted many of our best
and brightest, and the early Back to
Africa movement landed a few on that
continent. Regional Footprints, however,
examines shores that are closer.
Intra-regional migration started
with those indigenous to these beautiful
islands we now believe to be ours.
Africans and Europeans followed,
moving around for reasons of escape,
trade and conquest in the centuries after
1492. Today, CSME and cricket shuffle
us around even more, and a century
after Jamaicans first went to Panama,
our current government is still hoping
to secure them jobs there, this time in a
US$5.2 billion canal expansion.
Of course, Regional Footprints is not
only about Jamaicans. It is about all
West Indians, including the Garifuna
shipped from St Vincent to Belize
more than a century ago. It is quickly
apparent, however, that Jamaicans

have the largest footprints of those who
transnationalised in the region, and
elsewhere. No other West Indians have
gone after work, fame or fortune more
assiduously. This aggressive push to
access job markets anywhere preceded
globalisation and continues today, in
Cayman, the Bahamas, St Martin and
This book tells us in great detail
what happened when West Indians
ventured into Central America,
whose proximity alone could have
been a draw. But it was the work
there that was the magnet. In Costa
Rica the railroad, bananas and cocoa
beckoned. Then it was the ambitious
Panama Canal, started by the
adventurous French and finished by the
presumptuous Americans.
In Nicaragua, it was logwood,
mahogany and bananas. In Cuba,
sugar (121,000 Jamaicans went there
between 1902 and 1931), wood and
cotton needed workers. In San Andres
and Providencia, it was guano deposits.
Honduras and Belize offered work in
Over the last century and a half,
West Indians scoured the region
wherever opportunities emerged. They
moved on when jobs dried up, or,
more often, settled and created work
as farmers or entrepreneurs. While the
incentive behind all this was to work,
save and return home, many migrants
invariably remained and created
communities and institutions that
turned into colonies. Their numbers
grew, too, as they influenced and
collided with their host countries.
The 'barrel children' syndrome
must have started more than a hundred
years ago, as mothers venturing
abroad to work left their children
with grandmothers, aunts, and even
neighbours. The birth of today's higgler
could well have been in Lim6n, Costa
Rica, where the role was first played by

Jamaican women in banana production
and railroad building. They became
entrepreneurs to help sustain their men
by maintaining aspects of their culture,
starting with the creation of eating and
drinking places and dance halls. Some
brought back goods from home to sell.
The need to worship meant these
West Indians would first create churches.
Later would come the schools, lodges,
mutual societies, burial schemes, rough
organizations of labour unions and even
neighbourhood defence units. As the
book shows, by the time the Marcus
Garvey movement showed up in Cuba,
Costa Rica and Panama, West Indian
communities were robust enough to
deliver dozens of chapters.
West Indians quickly climbed the
economic ladder, often as proprietors,
wherever they migrated. Tight money
control and savings helped. Often,
however, it was from shared resources
through mutual support from a variety
of social ties in the lodges and mutual
societies they formed. Their social
networks and family ties, even the
pumpkin vine kind, determined where
West Indians travelled, and what kind
of opportunities they pursued.
Not surprisingly, the immigrant
experience was repeated in families.
Those who went to Cuba when the
canal was finished and after World
War I, turned out to be the sons of
immigrants who had gone to Panama
years before. Many ended up leaving
Cuba and returning to Jamaica in the
1920s and 1930s.
Some immigrants became itinerant
workers, skipping around for better
opportunities, higher pay or more inter-
esting work. It was not uncommon for
a labourer to become a railroad worker
and switch to cane-cutting when that
was available. Some became traders,
stevedores and carpenters after starting
off in a first job of another kind.
The Garvey Movement brought
a sense of belonging, offering
security and self-esteem. Garvey was
particularly attractive to West Indians
in the Spanish-speaking territories
because of the racism and xenophobia
they found. In Cuba, for example,
a 1933 law was blatantly anti-West
Indian, calling for all vacant and new
positions to be filled by Cubans, and

for discharges and reductions to be
made from only among foreigners until
50 percent of the labour force in all
industrial, commercial and agricultural
enterprises was comprised of Cuban
In Costa Rica, the first migration
of West Indians had demanded an
exception to its colonisation and
immigration law of 1862 that prohibited
Africans and Chinese from entering
the country. Later, in 1934, the Costa
Rican legislative assembly passed
a law that forbade the United Fruit
Company (UFC) from employing
coloured people on its Pacific Coast
plantations. Not only did they use West
Indian "criminality" as justification to
end the migration, but a government
commission obscenely suggested
sterilisation of those already there.
The UFC also proved ungrateful,
despite its earlier dependence on West
Indian labour on its banana plantations.
Garvey, in a seeming contradiction to
his politics, took an anti-strike position
to protect West Indian jobs at the UFC.
Not only did the US company agree to
exclude West Indians from its Pacific
Coast plantations after disease wrecked
the ones on the Atlantic, but the UFC
viciously destroyed the local economy
in Lim6n, dismantling infrastructure
and downgrading or eliminating social
services. West Indians in Costa Rica
after 1930 had to either legalise their
position and be assimilated, or leave.
The intra-regional migrations also
include movements between the islands
themselves. Trinidad and Guyana got
thousands from the Eastern Caribbean.
Suriname and Curacao were destinations,
too, as was St Croix. Jamaicans and
Barbadians were drawn to Cuba.
Jamaicans, to their credit, have
traditionally reciprocated the hospitality
they found elsewhere by welcoming
Cubans, Haitians and Latin Americans
who have sought haven here. The
first 6migr6s from this region to arrive
were mulattoes and white Haitians
fleeing the internecine warfare that
followed the 1804 revolution. Later, a
host of deposed Haitian rulers and anti-
government plotters took exile here
- hence the visit of black abolitionist
Frederick Douglas to Haitian ex-
president, Fabre Nicholas Geffrard,

whose legacy remains in a road
downtown named after him (Geffrard
Place) and his former house that until
recently was the business address of
Stanley Motta.
The intrigue and coup plotting
pushed the British to expel a large
number of Haitians from Kingston in
1865. With Jamaica politically agitated
at the time, it sometimes got a little
confusing when pro and anti elements
of one kind or another occupying this
island stood in each other's way. A
party of Haitians found with materiel
and ammunition destined for the
first free black nation was accused
of helping Paul Bogle's Morant Bay
Such rich nuggets of information,
of which there are plenty in this book,
make this work a gem. The personal
accounts in two chapters offer often-
moving memoirs of the joy, pain, and
optimism of these sometimes reluctant
immigrants. The self-esteem that work
brought, their sense of empowerment
at being able to remit money home
(now a great source of foreign exchange
for many West Indian islands) and the
conflicting process of assimilation are
robustly alive in these pages.
Patrick Bryan and Matthew J. Smith
painstakingly follow the 6migres from
Haiti to Jamaica, carefully noting the
ruptures their presence created and
how it helped to educate blacks who
were still in slavery. Bryan reveals the
stormy integration that French 6migr6s,
with names as familiar as Duquesnay
and Desnoes, faced early in Jamaica.
Lara Putnam's and Ronald L.
Harpelle's records of what happened
to West Indians in Costa Rica are
fertile transcripts of West Indian
grit, determination and adaptability.
(Harpelle notes elsewhere that between
1850 and 1950 as many as 500,000
West Indians passed through Middle
America.) Clinton Hutton is equally
incisive looking at the Jamaican
experience in Cuba.
Simon Clarke offers a lucid
description of the West Indian callaloo
in a historical look at his family
background. He speaks of his Jamaican
father leaving here at seventeen for
Costa Rica then Panama. Although
born in Panama, Simon was denied

citizenship there and later had to claim
this universal right in Jamaica using
his father's nationality. His Negril-born
grandfather had met his grandmother
in St Lucia, though her parents were
from Martinique.
With a Jamaican son, a partner
born in Birmingham of Jamaican
parents and an American son whose
great-grandparents were Barbadians, I
found the material in Regional Footprints
to be engaging and brimming with
Reading the news closely in
contemporary times, we find this
legacy still unfolding. Descendants of
the West Indians celebrated in Regional
Footprints now return often here and
elsewhere in the Caribbean to rekindle
ties and establish links. In 2006, Cesar
James Bryan, mayor of the Colombian
province of Providencia (470 kilometres
south-west of Jamaica) paid an official
eight-day visit here to do just that.

A third of his 100,000 citizens are of
Jamaican ancestry, with ripe retentions
of the food, folklore, worship and even
The diaspora that we come to
know intimately in this book is now
under immense scrutiny for intellectual
and academic as well as commercial
pursuits. It is a major part of historical
studies in many universities with
an interest in the Caribbean, and
Regional Footprints adds richly to the
once meagre archive of this body of
knowledge. Assembling the verbal and
written history of West Indians in one
place prepares the ground for other
scholars to begin detailed analysis of
what this diaspora within the diaspora
Insanally and her co-editors will
find immense gratitude from those
wanting to study what happened after
all the continents of the world poured
themselves into these islands, as C.L.R.

James put it to me once in an interview
shortly before his death. The analysis
by historians and non-specialist writers
alike is extremely useful, and deserves
further critical attention. The stories
in this book, whose every contributor
must be commended, will stimulate
writing about all aspects of Caribbean
existence these past two centuries.
Where the regional diaspora fits in
Caribbean social, political and economic
development, and how we make use of
the history Regional Footprints presents
us, is certainly gist for another book by
the editors or others close to this subject.
It undoubtedly lends something to the
notion many have of a global Caribbean.
For now, this is not only an exhaustive
and valuable start to recouping a
precious part of our past, but also an
immense help in defining the
philosophy of history that we need in
order to put our unique stamp on the
world. *

Mch.l D. U K ^ codi

DEPORTED: Entry and Exit Findings
of Jamaicans Returned from the US
Between 1997 and 2003
By Bernard Headley, with Michael D.
Gordon and Andrew Mac Intosh
Kingston: Bernard Headley
ISBN: 976-8192-98-4; x, 80 pp; J$600

Reviewed by Edward Seaga
Jamaicans have a well established
reputation as a migrant people.

Starting with migration to Central
America to seek work, they left
behind the economic distress of the
post-emancipation period in search
of better opportunities. This they
found in plantation agriculture and
the construction of the Panama Canal.
Later, Cuba was another destination
for sugar workers. Although a good
many Jamaicans stayed on as residents
in these host countries and established
a well recognized Jamaican presence, it
was not until the period of World War II
that an organised recruitment of labour
to work in factories and fields in the
USA occurred. This same pattern was
repeated in Canada and the UK.
Building on these, Jamaicans
created a strong base in many cities in
the USA, Canada and the UK where
they remained as residents.
Although the communities of
Jamaicans scattered abroad have
established themselves as hard-working
and ambitious people, earning real
respect, they have among them, as
should be expected, those who are

engaged in criminal activities. By
themselves, these transgressors would
not constitute a threat requiring any
special action by law enforcement
agencies, except that they are part of a
wider problem.
Over the past forty years, Jamaicans
have experienced an astonishing
growth in violent crime. The country
now ranks number one in murders
per thousand population in the world.
What began almost fifty years ago
as political rivalries, was heightened
after Independence with the advent
of a national ideological thrust,
initiated politically, which glorified
radical behaviour. This escalated into
militant conduct. These experiences
were not lost on the combatants.
After political stability returned, the
combatants became demobilised gangs
without a purpose. They turned to
drug trafficking at home and abroad
to maintain their lifestyles. Their
availability made them a useful
workforce for international traffickers
in marijuana and cocaine. The links

were established and Jamaica became
a prime route for narcotics to enter
overseas markets, notably the USA.
As the traffic grew, many gang
members secured travel permits to
migrate to drug-importing countries.
It was at this time that, in maintaining
the channels of imports and increasing
their territory, their activities reached
levels of notoriety which caused
the law enforcement agencies of
the host countries to crack down on
offenders and, indeed, enact new laws
with sweeping powers focusing, in
particular, on illegal immigrants as the
easier route for apprehension.
The crackdown has taken many
forms, of which wide-scale deportation
of offenders has been, perhaps, the
most commonly used method. The
wide sweep of new legislation has also
caught long-term illegal residents in the
USA not involved in drug trafficking,
and others guilty of marginal offences
such as oversight of immigration
requirements and traffic violations.
Prime drug traffickers have also been
caught. All have been bundled in
the sweep as lawbreakers subject to
deportation. This drastic approach
has escalated into an international
diplomatic confrontation, as well as
leading to a strategic development
on the crime front, leaving Jamaica to
cope with a deluge of deportees while
deepening its own involvement in the
fight against drug trafficking.
Professor Bernard Headley is very
well suited to explore the impact on the
society of this ongoing human traffic of
deportees forcibly returned to Jamaica.
His special area of academic expertise
is criminology and, as a Jamaican, he
well understands the sociology of this
not insignificant exodus. His deep
analysis of this diaspora of thousands
captures both human and inhuman
facets. His book is a first volume of a
much larger project which will require
follow-up studies. But it is sufficiently
informative to begin to spell out several
aspects of the main issue.
The book is a joint effort in which
the author is assisted by two qualified
aides: Michael D. Gordon, assistant
lecturer in sociology, and Andrew
Mac Intosh, a graduate student.
After exploring the demographics

of the deportees and their pattern of
migration, the team begins to delve into
the soul of the problem.
While the findings, for the most
part, provide valuable documentary
evidence to confirm what is known, the
documentation also shatters myths and
reveals surprising truths. It is known
that young males are the principal
characters among the deportees;
analysis of the data tells us that the
principal age group is 16-20 years.
It is known that the concentration of
deportees is in the New York area;
the book confirms and documents the
extent to which New York is the main
port of entry and activity. It is known
that the deportees have a record of
committing one or more criminal
offence; but the book probes further
into their criminal backgrounds,
separating the marginal offenders from
the hardened criminals, with surprising
results: roughly one-half of criminal
deportees were sent home after only
one conviction. This is where the
author finds the deportation process, as
practised by the American authorities,
lacking in sympathy and discretion to
deal with exceptional cases.
This rigidity is the result of a cluster
of draconian legislation which has
become increasingly incorporated in
law in recent years, reclassifying even
minor offences such as shoplifting,
drunken driving and unpaid
traffic fines as offences warranting
The author cites a number of pitiful
cases of over-extended detentions,
lack of prompt hearings, beatings
and abuses, all prior to deportation.
Some persons have even been
summarily deported without time to
say goodbye; others have been denied
basic civil courtesies. These are hardly
incorrigible practices. Indeed, they
plead for more humane treatment and
discretion within the law.
Professor Headley also raises the
question of deportees who have no
roots in Jamaica, having left as children
with their parents. What will be their
future? How many are without family
or close friends? How many become
part of a criminal underworld out of

This perspective is counterpoised
by those deportees who do have
roots, often wide criminal contacts.
Quantity is not the factor here. One
deportee with wide connections, or
an active record of felonious crimes,
particularly narcotics and homicide, can
destabilise a community in Jamaica, as
such deportees probably did in cities
abroad. This level of notoriety is
good grounds for deportation. But do
they continue to operate as criminals
once they are back home? This is the
deepest fear of most Jamaicans, who
see deportees as recruits to existing
criminal gangs capable of expanding
criminal activities. After all, with
12,036 deportees between 1997 and
2002, the numbers are fearful. But the
book explodes this bit of mythology by
analysing the data of 8,228 deportees.
This presents a different profile, as set
out below:
* some three-quarters of the criminal
deportees were convicted for sale
or distribution of ganja/cocaine, or
both, often small quantities;
* only 6 percent were convicted on
weapons charges;
* only 2 percent had convictions on
homicide charges.

The fearful profile of the deportee,
therefore, under analysis, holds
only for the few, not the many. As a
consequence, what we are left with
is a sociological problem of largely
young men who have been uprooted
and are unsettled. Presumably, more
work will be done to follow them as
they settle into Jamaican life in order
to determine whether, in the absence
of being involved in criminal conduct,
they become sociological liabilities, or
no real liability at all.
The final point is a question that
begs to be answered: if the deportees
are men who to a great extent are not
dangerous, why are such draconian
measures employed, and why uproot
them at all? A revealing statistic
underpins what, it is contended,
is one of the main objectives of the
legislation: to reduce the number of
persons incarcerated in the USA where
it is costing state treasuries as much
to maintain a prisoner as to finance a
college education, at US$25,000-$30,000

annually. But this reasoning could be
self-serving, considering that thousands
of drug peddlers, mostly small-time,
are being removed from cities by
deportation, a welcome exodus for
the authorities. Whatever the reason,
if the process was done in a humane
way, with adequate time to effect re-
establishment on a proper basis, it
would be far more acceptable and far

less cruel than the current exercise.
It would also be more acceptable
if maximum use was made of non-
custodial sentences, including extensive
probation, as American criminologists
suggest. This would ease the
congestion and costs without using
inhumane sanctions.
Professor Headley and his team
have exploded myths, soothed fears,

aroused indignation and provided
sound answers to many questions.
We encourage him and his team
to go further in deepening our
understanding in volume two. Perhaps
the Jamaican case, on deeper analysis,
will be more enlightening at home and,
perhaps, equally so to those abroad
who are obviously feeling their way in
the dark. *.

Stories from Jamaican Women in
New York
By Jacqueline Bishop
Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press, 2006
ISBN: 1-59221-344-8 (pbk); xxv, 204 pp;

Reviewed by Lorna Down

... the work of the artist is to continually
find ways to interrupt familiar perceptions
and interpretations.
-Dennis Sumara

"You migrating? U.S.?" Familiar
lines. A familiarity that in its own
way obscures the migrant's story.
What has been achieved in Jacqueline
Bishop's collection of stories or
more accurately, oral histories is the
disruption of familiar perceptions and
interpretations about those who choose
a landscape other than that of their
birth. Dennis Sumara's' claim that the

work of the artist is to continually find
ways to interrupt familiar perceptions
and interpretations, as that allows for
deep insights into human experiences,
is validated here. These stories, as
they re-present life in Jamaica and the
USA, clarify and ironically complicate,
especially for those of us who remain,
the troubling subject of migration.
On one hand, these stories, oral
histories, are all in some sense or
another about mother loss the why
and the what of it. They are about
understanding mother loss and, more
so, about daughters and mothers
reaching for connection with each other.
Yet in a broader sense these stories are
about the 'loss' of a mother country
- the reasons for this loss, but also
paradoxically the re-discovery and re-
possession of that country. Poignant,
occasionally funny, these stories of
struggle and courage evoke Jamaica
past and present, and they pulse with
life and hope for the future.
Bishop's collection of stories makes
a significant contribution to the rich
tradition of the immigrant's narratives,
from Claude McKay's nostalgic poems,
stories, novels and particularly his
autobiography A Long Way From Home
to the most recent haunting tale of
Donna Heman's River Woman. The
collection also recalls Sistren with
Honor Ford-Smith's Lionheart Gal life
stories of Jamaican women as they
speak to male/female relationships,
woman's sexuality, race, colour and
Born in Kingston, Jamaica,
Jacqueline Bishop, the writer/ collector/
editor of these narratives, migrated to

America some years after her mother
had done so. Her narrative of what
this had meant is the first story in the
collection. Her migration story acts
as a frame for all the other stories. It
is a history of mother loss, as a result
of the mother's migration. Bishop
recalls the anguish of that loss and the
attempts made for mother/daughter
reconnection in that new space of
America. Like that first story, many
of the other narratives address that
primary loss. In doing so, however,
they also speak to the loss of mother
country, and each narrative tries to
return home in different ways, to
heal the rift created through years of
separation. And ironically, like the
mother in that first story, each daughter
explains why it was the right decision
to leave and come to America.
Jacqueline's story details the angst
of mother/daughter separation and the
fragmentation of the family as a result
of the mother's departure. Mother love
becomes represented by the gifts sent
back home. Important milestones in the
child's life are missed: the graduation of
the daughter finds the mother in New
York weeping in her friend's car and
the daughter in Jamaica is left holding
the beautiful dresses meant to make up
for the mother's absence. Years later,
with mother and daughter reunited,
the gap remains. There is no making
up for those years of separation; there
is no bridging the gap caused by the
Most telling is another story
set within this story the murder
committed by the teen left behind after
the mother's departure. Bishop's story

evokes the phenomenon of the 'barrel
children' a phenomenon that was
also movingly explored in Heman's
River Woman. There is, however, no
condemnation of the mother, who is
seen as simply doing what she had to
do. A wry sympathy for both mother
and daughter fills this story.
The other stories Marjorie's,
Maxine's, Iris's can be read as an
expansion of Jacqueline's story, filling
in the gaps of this central story, even
though each one is individuated and
uniquely rendered. Marjorie's, in
particular, can be seen as a dialogue
between mother and daughter. Here
the mother explains, gives her side
of the story. She, too, has suffered
from mother loss the migration of
her mother being an internal one,
from a rural to an urban area. And
though that mother/daughter story is
eclipsed by that of the grandmother/
granddaughter, the sense of loss
when that relationship is displaced is
surprisingly omitted from the narrative.
So too are her feelings about being
separated from her children as they
were growing up. Yet her condensed
and abbreviated explanation "your
children are basically distanced ... I
try to keep ... my kids together, even
though I am not living on the island"
(p. 28) conveys most powerfully the
conflict and pain experienced by the
mother separated from her children.
Such feelings are also strongly evoked
in her cry for family: "Today my
children are scattered all over the place
because of immigration problems"
(p.28). Marjorie's story asserts that her
move to America was to improve the
quality of life for her children, yet she
does not question or include in her
narration how her absence had affected
this. This is, however, alluded to when
she states how she wonders sometimes
whether or not she had made the
right move in coming to America. The
answer, repeatedly asserted, serves
more than anything else to uncover
the centrality of that question for the
migrant. The response: a way to still the
disturbing note of that question.
The pattern of mother loss is
repeated throughout. Its absence in
Iris's and Merle's accounts marks its
importance, as that gap raises a number

of questions. The omission in Merle's
tale is particularly striking especially
because of the one-line reference to
her mother as the sole provider for the
family. In contrast to these accounts is
the devastation of such loss as captured
in Marsha's and, more so, Stacey-Ann's
stories. Stacey-Ann's cry, "As a little
girl I so wanted a mother" (p. 70),
emphasises the centrality of the mother,
absent or present, in the lives of her
children. Also emphasised in these
stories is the impossibility of capturing
those lost years. The attempt by the
mother to reach back across the years is
shown as futile. What strongly emerges
in many of these narratives is the
migrant dream, in effect, the American
dream of financial success and the
happy family.
In Part 2, the theme of mother/
daughter separation is presented from
a totally different aspect. There are, in
effect, in this section no narratives of
mothers migrating and leaving their
daughters. For example, when Rebecca
and Shawn migrate they migrate with
their parents; others like Anna Ruth
leave to further their studies.
Bishop in her overview describes
Part 2 as the stories of 'other' Jamaicans,
that is, Jewish, Chinese, Indian, white.
The usefulness of such a division is
not clear as these stories provide other
aspects, not confined to the privileged
in society, of the migration theme. In
fact, the narratives in this section seen
in tandem with those of Part 1 uncover
a specifically Jamaican sensibility.
These stories make clear that one is
shaped by one's mother country, that
there are sensibilities that have been
cultivated in that landscape ways of
relating, of identity. These Jamaicans
in Part 2 express the same longing for
home only differently. Their assertion
of a Jamaican identity perhaps emerges
from a discovery of otherness in a
landscape where similarities of colour
and race prove to be superficialities.
These narratives then bring into sharp
focus the construction of identity based
on such markers.
Through these stories we see, then,
what it means to be Jamaican, that in
fact, race, colour and class, even as
they mark positions of privilege in the
Jamaican society, are secondary to an

identity called 'Jamaican'. They recall
the assertion of a Jamaican identity in
Pluto Shervington's popular song in the
seventies, "I Man Born Ya" and Louise
Bennett's "Back to Africa". These
narratives re-construct 'home', and
though the reconstructions are filled
with contradictions and ambiguities,
they allow us a deeper insight into
what that 'home' signifies.
The narratives, as they 'write
back' to the mother country stating
reasons for leaving, expose, too,
Jamaica's problems with gender,
homophobia, discrimination,
employment and education. They
also shatter the Jamaican idealised
image of America. More importantly,
the voices of these women mark the
boundaries of the island and define
those who remain.
Bishop has provided us with an
important work, documenting as
it does the experiences of Jamaican
migrants. As in Lionheart Gal, the
unique voice of each woman is
rendered. And though there is a
common theme, the emphasis in each
of these life-stories is different. In some
instances it is the political involvement
of these women, in another it is the
question of homophobia in the island.
Yet these stories, as revealing as they
are, appear to be contained by the
interview questions posed by Bishop
to their narrators. And even though
those questions have been omitted, the
narratives remain strangely hemmed in
by them.
Moreover, the collection would
have benefited greatly from a more
careful crafting of the stories. Bishop's
choice to edit minimally permits a
certain intimacy between the tellers of
these histories and the reader. But the
stories lack the highly textured and
powerful nuances of well-told tales
which would have emerged had Bishop
employed her writerly skills to the
structuring of these histories. 4.

1. Dennis Sumara, Why Reading
Literature in School Still Matters.
London: Lawrence Erlbaum
Associates, 2002.


JACQUELINE BISHOP was born and raised in
Kingston, Jamaica, before going to the USA to
attend college and to be reunited with her
mother. She is the founding editor of Calabash:
A Journal of Caribbean Arts and Letters and is the
author of Fauna, a collection of poems (2006),
My Mother Who Is Me: Life Storiesfrom Jamaican
Women in New York (2006), and the forthcoming
novel, The River's Song. She teaches writing at
New York University.

RONALD A. COLEMAN is former Senior Curator
and Head of Department of Maritime History
and Archaeology, Queensland (State) Museum,
Brisbane, Australia. He was Project Director
of the 1980s excavation of HMS Pandora, the
frigate sent to capture the Bounty mutineers in
1791, during which Tuscan export olive oil jars
were recovered. Now retired, he continues
to research and publish on artefacts of the
eighteenth-century Royal Navy. He is cur-
rently a PhD candidate (Archaeology) at James
Cook University, Australia.

LORETTA COLLINS KLOBAH is Associate Professor
of Caribbean Literature in the English Depart-
ment, University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras.
Her articles have been published in Small Axe,
Anthurium, Image and Narrative, and Journal
of Commonwealth and Postcolonial Studies. Her
poetry appears in Poui, the Caribbean Writer,
and New Caribbean Poetry, an anthology edited
by Kei Miller.

JULIAN CRESSER is Acting Senior Research
Fellow at the African Caribbean Institute
of Jamaica. The title of his PhD thesis was
"Genesis of a Jamaican Team: Culture, Identity,
and Integration in Jamaican Cricket, 1880-1918".
He is the author of A History of Cricket in Jamaica,
1870-Present (2007), a Social History Project
publication. He is also a club cricketer, having
played for the University of the West Indies
and Lucas C.C., and presently for Boys' Town
in the Senior Cup.

LORNA DOWN is Lecturer in Literature and
Language Education at the Institute of
Education, University of the West Indies,
Mona. Her current research interests include
literature and education for sustainable

World Service Radio in New York, grew up
in London listening to what he thought were
tall tales about the achievements and exploits
of his great-grandfather, Alfred Constantine
Goffe. He discovered, on journeys to Jamaica
and elsewhere, that the truth about his ances-
tor who helped Jamaica become, at one time,
the world's largest producer of bananas was
much stranger than fiction. His book When
Banana Was King was published in April 2007.

JONATHAN GREENLAND is the Executive Director
of the National Gallery of Jamaica and a part-
time lecturer at the Edna Manley College of
the Visual and Performing Arts. He received
his doctorate in art history from the University
of Cambridge in England and has worked in
a number of places including the Brooklyn
Museum in New York City.

ANTHONY HARRIOTT is Professor of Political
Sociology and Head of the Department
of Government at the University of the
West Indies, Mona. He has written several
scholarly articles and reports on crime, crime
control, and policing in the Caribbean and
has published four books on these subjects.
He has presented research papers at academic
conferences in various countries worldwide.

CECIL GUTZMORE, originally from Portland,
spent over three decades in the UK as student,
worker, political-cultural activist and univer-
sity lecturer. Since returning home in 1997,
he has worked as a freelance training and
development consultant and has lectured at the
University of the West Indies, Mona. He has
also been a Gleaner columnist.

ANTHONY JOHNSON is an economist who
currently lectures at the Department of
Management Studies, University of the West
Indies, Mona. He is a senator, a former deputy
leader of the Jamaica Labour Party and its
current spokesman on education, science and
technology. His numerous books include J.A.G.
Smith (1991), Caribbean Leaders (1991) and City
of Kingston Souvenir, 1802-2006 (2006).

KELLY BAKER JOSEPHS is Assistant Professor of
English at York College/CUNY, and specialises
in world Anglophone literature with an
emphasis on Caribbean literature. Her fields
of research and teaching are Anglophone
Caribbean literature, postcolonial literature and
theory, literatures of the African diaspora, and
gender studies.

NEVILLE MCMORRIS is a retired physicist who
taught at the University of the West Indies,
Mona. He was Head of Department for many
years, and Dean of the Faculty of Pure and
Applied Sciences for seven years. His main
academic interest has been the history and
philosophy of science, and he has written
papers and a book on the subject.

KNOLLY MOSES has worked in communications
in the Caribbean and the USA for over thirty-
five years, including eleven years at Newsweek
Magazine as an editor. His articles have
appeared in the New York Times, the Washington
Post, New York Newsday, Elle, Family Circle,
Essence, Emerge and the Nature Conservancy.
His essay "Brooklyn Panyard" was recently

published last October in Men of the Global
South (2006), edited by Adam Jones of Yale

ANTHONY R.D. PORTER, freelance geologist,
worked with Alcan for twenty-seven years
as an exploration geologist, and has travelled
worldwide on assignments. He remains an
avid explorer and researcher. His publications
include the book Bricks and Stones from the Past
(2006) and numerous articles on Jamaican geol-
ogy. He received the Gleaner Company's Hon-
our Award for Science and Technology in 2001.

EDWARD SEAGA, ON, is a Distinguished Fellow
of the University of the West Indies, Mona. He
is a former prime minister of Jamaica (1980-89),
and the longest serving member in the history
of the Jamaican Parliament. His publications
include articles on revival spirit cults and the
emergence of Jamaican popular music.

ANTHONY C. WINKLER is the author of The
Painted Canoe (1983), The Lunatic (1987), The
Great Yacht Race (1992), Going Home to Teach
(1995), The Duppy (1997), The Annihilation of Fish
and Other Stories (2004) and Dog War (2006).
He is also the author or co-author of fourteen
textbooks for America's college-level English
composition market.

KIM ROBINSON-WALCOTT is editor of books and
monographs at the Sir Arthur Lewis Institute
of Social and Economic Studies, University
of the West Indies, Mona. Her publications
include Out of Order! Anthony Winkler and White
West Indian Writing (2006) and the children's
book Dale's Mango Tree (1992) which she
also illustrated. She was the regional winner
(Americas) of the 2005 Commonwealth Short
Story Competition.

From the foreword to
Jamaica journal 1, no. 1
(December 1967)

The Jamaica Journal sets out to act as a
magnet as well as a directional device. It
sets out to provide a 'home' in its pages to
all Jamaicans (and some non-Jamaicans)
who create whether in literature, art,
literary criticism or historical and scientific
thought. Merit, in the areas where such
merit is relevant to our Jamaican scene, is
the basic criterion for inclusion.
The Journal will address itself primarily
to Jamaicans.... And we hope that while,
on the one hand, our readers] shall not
feel that [they] are being fed esoteric and
incomprehensible stuff, [they] should not,
on the other, feel able to dismiss us for not
having aimed high enough.
Yet we must make dear that this
journal will not set out to 'impose high
standards' borrowed from other peoples'
achievements. Instead, we hope to explore
new directions of our own, new lines of
thought, to help in the essential task of
groping towards the creation of 'standards'
valid to our own experience.
Last, but by no means least, the
Journal sets out to publicise the work
of the Institute, and through articles,
reproductions and photographs to make
widely available to the Jamaican people
one of the few valuable legacies from our
past the wealth of historical and scientific
material collected and preserved at the
Institute of Jamaica.
In a lighter vein, the Journal promises
never to take itself too seriously. Human
values are important but not immovable.
We hope that all those who feel excluded
will realise that exclusion is part of the
editor's unfortunate task, that his [or her]
judgement is fallible but all that he [or she]
has to go by, that the rejected manuscript
or drawing forms as much a part of the
process of creation as the accepted one, and
that it is the process of creation as much as
the achieved result that this journal sets out
to encourage.
Finally, we set out to achieve simplicity,
vigour, clarity, relevance, whether through
words or pictures. No one can give the
absolute answer to these demands, but
we hope that all those who contribute and
all those who read will use these criteria
as a rough rule of thumb in accepting or
rejecting what we have to offer.
-Alex Gradussov, editor, 1967

INSTITUTION was founded in 1879. Its
main function is to foster and encourage the
development of literature, science and art, in
the national interest. It operates as a statutory
body under the Institute of Jamaica Act 1978
and falls under the portfolio of the Ministry of

Professor Alston "Barry" Chevannes

Executive Director
Vivian Crawford

Central Administration
10-16 East Street, Kingston
Tel: (876) 922-0620-6
Fax: (876)922-1147
Email: ioj.jam@mail.infochan.com
or info@instituteofjamaica.org.jm

Junior Centre
19 East St, Kingston
Tel: (876) 922-0620-6
Email: jcentre@instituteofjamaica.org.jm

Museums of History & Ethnography
Head Office: 10 East Street
Tel: (876) 922-0620-6
Email: mus.ioj@n5.com.jm or

* Fort Charles Museum, Port Royal
Tel: (876) 967-8438

* Forces Military Museum
(temporarily closed)
Tel: (876) 922-0620-6

* People's Museum of Craft & Technol-
ogy, Spanish Town
Tel: (876) 907-9322

* Museum of St James, Montego Bay
Tel: (876) 971-9417

Education, Youth and Culture. The Institute's
central decision-making body is the Council
which is appointed by the Minister.
The Institute of Jamaica consists of a central
administration and a number of divisions and
associate bodies operating with varying de-
grees of autonomy.

Natural History Museum
10-16 East Street
Field stations: Mason River Reserve &
Green Hills
Tel: (876) 922-0620-6
Email: nhd.ioj@cwjamaica.com
or nhd@instituteofjamaica.org.jm

Jamaica Clearing Mechanism
Biodiversity Website
Email: chm.nhd@cwjamaica.com

African Caribbean Institute of Jamaica/
Jamaica Memory Bank
12 Ocean Boulevard, Kingston Mall
Tel: (876) 922-7415/4793
Fax: (876) 924-9361
Email: acij@angel.com.jm
or acij@instituteofjamaica.org.jm

National Gallery of Jamaica
Roy West Building
12 Ocean Boulevard
Tel: (876) 922-1561 / 8540
Fax: (876) 922-8544
Email: ngalleryja@cwjamaica.com

National Library of Jamaica
12 East Street
P.O. Box 823
Tel: (876) 967-1526/2516/2494
Fax: (876) 922-5567
Email: nlj@infochan.com
Website: www.nlj.org.jm

The Institute of Jamaica

Fi tJ m ia C M A Y L MI E ieo I I T A

Ha dwarmm'






The Jamaican Giant Anole

The acn CGiantAnle is endemic to aica. t is locally called "'an lizait or' gua, an :
appenrt ~ seenceanhesiaeo helizad lhelislidy la~rhante dr fEealpP mly
300 mnllineann fron h slant theOipdfhet i, umipMaed ilheamuenat245 millie A series
ofdspis wn ma oea oa iqs r m necd and bolaoGine w a yds maby e~rf l irdllgs of md::..aica,
where they annonm in fested aae in ef i eoiam fm n se level to 1,200 mrm. Nomally a.:
igtk leagean colors tiey are capable f colow cnge and may appear in a dark wn or bla
phase. Apair of lizads male and enmale, may inhabit te sametree on a daily bits Usually fomd in
ees, they may descend fm the canoWp i torae in leaf lier fr cockoadc or cidea

Many amaicans epess fear of lizads. nd Anofis mai is paticulay taed as it is associated
with spqifr is said lhat duppies ta the form of gpin lizards duoin the day and as sch is
amsitdeed vey had lck t sIon e tem, and blWI tin emis to inMtile wd wialh( dd uknmi When
they are in heir dar colour phase, hey ae considend to be agglessw and Isae oided. In at,
ihese lizards do na bite or atack humans aind an e held in hand quit easily if Ipuned
Their sumM looks and pgete nature mae ke poplar agls for

nMd bty EIDh Bamis, m ooi
Nal aaiiy Daon ao i.. :
haUao rp ra : .; .. "..i
....:. ~ ~ .... :. : ..

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