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Rituals of Power & Rebellion: The Carnival Tradition in Trinidad & Tobago, 1763-1962
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Top Customer Reviews
"RITUALS of POWER and REBELLION"
November 26, 2001
A masterpiece of social history, Dr.Liverpool's book, "Rituals of Power & Rebellion -The Carnival Tradition in Trinidad & Tobago 1763-1962" is an invaluable addition to the scattered body of literature available on this topic. Hollis "Chalkie" Liverpool, has successfully managed to put into context, the social, political, economic and cultural forces which inadvertently came together to create the greatest show on earth. Rituals of Power & Rebellion is an in-depth study of the development of Trinidad carnival. It reveals that what appeared to be simply a musical bacchanal, was in fact the struggle of an oppressed people to maintain their cultural identity in a land of foreign domination, class struggle, economic deprivation and political strife, The Trinidad carnival provided an outlet for the maintenance of sanity and a powerful weapon to resist oppression & injustice.
Dr. Liverpool has done the people of Trinidad and Tobago a tremendous favour by making this book available for posterity. He has set a standard in a West Indian context, that is rivaled only by Dr. Williams' "Capitalism & Slavery" and Walter Rodney's "How Europe Underdeveloped Africa" in terms of his documentation of historical events. The extensive research that went into the writing of this book is beyond impressive and the fact that is was written by a son with the caliber of "Chalkie" as opposed to a foreign observer is a credit to West Indian scholarship.
This book should be read by anyone interested in the history of Trinidad and should be compulsory reading for students of West Indian history at the University level. To a griot and historian, I say Chuba Dubai.
J. Michael De Gale
Prof. Hollis "Chalkdust" Liverpool,
Rituals of Power & Rebellion. The Carnival of Trinidad and Tobago 1763 - 1962. Chicago: Research Associates School Times Publications and Frontline Distribution Int'l Inc., 2001. ISBN 0-94839-080-8
Dr. Hollis "Chalkdust" Liverpool has a natural talent for writing. The roots of the Carnival tradition, the history of calypso, the music, the dancing, and the masquerading date back to the place of origin, the homelands of the Africans, in the Western regions of Africa, before the period of slavery and forced migration to Trinidad. In the 18th and 19th century in Trinidad, the lyrics, the melodies, the tunes, the call/response style, everything related to calypso, were eventually affected by the Spiritual Baptists' arrival to Trinidad from the US. The Shango music and the African style of dancing from Africa were brought to Trinidad and Tobago by the slaves, and as a result of adaptation to their new environments, the Africans produced "the calypso". The Carnival and the calypso cannot be separated, for the Africans created their new style of masquerading and singing to vent their anger and frustrations from their oppression during their period of enslavement. "Rituals of Power and Rebellion" and the sequel "From the Horse's Mouth" are two books that go together and deserve recognition not only for the literary style, but for their authenticity as historical texts that shed light on a topic that few historians have discussed before. It is true that texts prior to these scholarly books were Eurocentric in their outlook.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book is a total literary perfection. Dr. Liverpool does justice to the past, present and future of the history of our culture. Well done. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Rosmo
I love the history and it a great read for anyone who wants to understand the history of Caribbean Carnival.Published on October 2, 2013 by Cee
This book is a product of copious amounts of research, and the primary source materials quoted are invaluable to any scholar or aficionado of Trinidad cultural history. Read morePublished on October 21, 2005 by C. Taylor