Telling Tales: Caribbean Storytellers

 

Telling stories is a longtime Caribbean tradition brought here across the Atlantic with rich West African folkore. Karibbean-moments2BKaribbean revisits some of the best storytellers from the West Indies.

Stories help us to remember our history and preserve important memories from the past that we would otherwise forget with time. Storytelling strikes a sense of nostalgia for the listener engaging their senses and pulling them into a world of enchantment. Telling stories is one of the most ancient forms of art, dated back before civilization, it is as old as mankind.

Why is it so important to preserve this classic art form?

What may seem to be an easy task to execute – clever storytelling takes years if not decades to master.
Stories must be collected over a period of time and the storyteller must first share the tale with their family members and immediate peers to ensure the account is accurate. What starts out as a few friends sharing spoken-word at a local center, eventually expands into an event with over 100 people. The traveling storyteller then shares the good news with neighboring cities, then into other states, and eventually the tale is shared on a global platform. The story is usually short, simple, and made to be understood by people of all ages – young and old, so it can be easily recounted even after the storyteller is gone.

How can we retain the longevity of storytelling in modern times?

In this day and age, any one can be a good story-teller. Most popularly rappers, preachers, school teachers, and mothers are the most recognizable vessels for rich and vibrant tales of love, life, and valuable lessons. The stories shared helped direct us toward what the future holds. Through story-time people can exchange dreams, conceptualize ideas, and share their own experiences on how to live a better life. Comedy is one of the easiest ways to share a story. Once you can make someone laugh, you can create a memory that remains with them for a lifetime. Evoking emotion is the quintessential element of good story-telling.

Who is the Mother of Caribbean Folkore & Storytelling?louise-bennett

In honor of Women’s History Month, Moments of a Black Queen would like to pay homage to the Folklorist, writer, and artiste Miss Lou. Born Louise Bennett on September 7th, 1919, the Jamaican folk-art teacher played a significant role in the promotion of Caribbean culture through her lectures and performances. She gained International popularity that earned her respect in the UK, Canada, and her native island Jamaica. Among her most renown recordings are: Jamaica Folksongs-Folkways 1953, Jamaica Singing Games 1953, the Honorable Miss Lou 1981. In August 6, 2001 on Jamaica’s Independence Day Louise Bennett-Coverley received the Order of Merit award for her distinguished contribution to the development of culture. She is remembered through her one son and several adopted children. Miss Lou is a quintessential female pioneer in Caribbean storytelling and performing arts. 

More links to Caribbean Storytellers:

 

 

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