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Folkways of Bequia, St. Vincent & Grenadines

The Paget Farm Sports Cultural and Environmental Organization and R.I.P.P.L.E.S implemented a project to document for future generations, the oral history and traditional practices of Bequia.

Activities of this project included:

  • Organizing cheer-giving visits by the youth to elderly persons in their homes in Bequia and to videotape the elderly as they tell their stories;
  • Recording local traditions including farine production, corn grinding, salting and drying fish and whale, use of traditional herbal medicines;
  • Editing the video footage into a video illustrating the Folkways of Bequia;
  • Organizing a viewing of the video by the elderly and general community of Bequia.

"All the stories were interesting. Many of them had similar experiences growing up but the characters and the differences in their personalities brought out the stories with different angles. For example, Tantie Yule lived under the same harsh conditions like other islanders but she related how she became the first trained nurse on Bequia. Tantie Verlene spoke of her childhood days, courtship and marriage. She is a dynamic story teller. Mr. Farrel spoke about diseases and folk medicine and demonstrated how to grind corn. Uncle Maurice showed how to clean, salt and dry fish when he explained how people preserved their fish when there was no refrigerator.

The information gathered for this project will be sent to the National Archives and serve as a valuable research resource. Also it will be aired on the UNESCO sponsored Bequia radio Station as well as on the Agency for Public Information's television programme, so that the general public can enjoy local programming featuring people that they know and can connect to. We will explore the possibility of airing on Channel K45 as they have recently moved towards providing more local programming.

Since there are still so many other people to gather stories from, we are hoping to make "Folkways of Bequia" a series to be aired on local radio and television. We see this as a means of getting the youth of our island interested in the field of journalism. There is no shortage of ideas when it comes to what we can do with this important piece of equipment, the video camera: drama, news coverage, documentaries, special events."
- Raison Compton (President, Paget Farm)

Final Report [PDF 238 Kb]

Background information
Objectives, activities, progress reports, workplan, project proposal





Families come together for cassava pr

Baking th

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This page last updated: 12 March 2008