The organisers of the annual Kambule re-enactment channelled the energy of their ancestors this year to ensure the event took place yesterday.
Against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic and a state cancellation and the rainy weather yesterday, the event took place at National Academy for the Performing Arts (NAPA), Port-of-Spain.
“Carnival lives in the hearts of the people…that celebration of emancipation has never been able to be killed,” playwright and director Pearl Eintou Springer said during the event.
On Tuesday, the National Carnival Commission (NCC) announced that it was not putting on the event.
“We were invited to be part of the am Taste of Carnival and then we were disinvited,” Eintou Springer said.
Eintou Springer told Guardian Media that they were prepared to host the event this year even before NCC’s invitation and with the help of their sponsors, they were able to put on yesterday’s production.
“We thanked them for the fact that they loaned us the bleachers that we have there and we do what we have to do,” she said.
In a smaller event and at a different location than the usual Piccadilly Greens, just after 5 am, the 1881 reenactment began.
Starting with the governor’s ball and going through a series of events, including featuring various protest mas that emerged in the 19th century as a statement against sexual violence and absent fathers.
There were also portrayals of the time through the Jammettes Confrontation, Dame Lorraine Ball and Young King and Queen which celebrated the talents of the young people in the community.
Then the reenactment of the ancestors’ fight began with Who is the Devil, the arrival of Captain Baker, who beat and arrested stick fighters.
Cariso Jane sang on behalf of women while preparing the community for battle.
“Let me tell you about Captain Baker, he’s a real bad police you hear, he come here from quite England to say we Kambule ban, well he in for a big surprise, Baker you and your boys eh so wise, because for we right we well intend to fight, santimanitay,” Cariso Jane sang.
Eintou Springer said afterwards she believes women in this country need to channel the similar type of energy that the characters yesterday exuded now more than ever.
“Here in T&T, our women need to take more of their ancestral role,” she said.
She added, “Culture and the arts are ways of transforming and saving our young people, I don’t know when we will recognise that in this society and make proper provisions for these young people so they will have a sense of self.”
To keep the youths interested, the playwright also included current topics in the reenactment such as the controversy over Nicki Minaj’s claims that her cousin’s friend’s sexual prowess was affected by the COVID-19 disease.
Patron Kamaria Cupid-Wilson brought her toddlers to the event.
“Paying homage to my ancestors, I decided to carry on the tradition,” Cupid-Wilson told Guardian Media.
There was another show scheduled for yesterday evening and another one tomorrow.