Eintou Springer’s Kambule – A Synopsis
The play reminds us of the roots and history of Carnival and the bitter struggle that masqueraders waged in defense of their right to cultural expression.
The British colonial administration, through its police chief Captain Baker had determined to stamp out the Jammette Carnival of Port of Spain’s working classes. After a vicious attack on the masqueraders in 1880, communities across the city put their differences aside and planned to deal with Baker and his men. In the forefront were the stick fighters, the warriors of the mas. Their historic defeat of the Baker resulted in a Commission of Enquiry and the right of the people to their celebrations.
We celebrate Carnival today because of the fearless actions of these African Ancestors. In honour of their sacrifice, Eintou has decided to use the Kikongo word for procession, Kambule as the title of her play.
In the words of the Playwright
My play Kambule pays tribute to our warrior ancestors of The Mas and brings their achievements to the attention of the entire society. The Carnival that we now take for granted was fought for by the former enslaved of the barrack yards, not only in Port of Spain but also in the East and South of the island. The riots of 1881 in Port of Spain were however the most significant.
In the light of the bombardment of all our youth with alien images and cultures, ‘Kambule’ says to our young people that you have much to claim and you have much of which you can be proud! Kambule reminds us that the African created a great deal despite enslavement. In the gayelle of existence, those ancestors fought inch by contested inch to clear a space for the manifestations of their culture; those manifestations whether remembered or forged in the crucible of the environment to which they had been forcibly transported.
Let us remember, as we face renewed assaults on The Mas in the form of bikini and beads and the growing trend towards the importation of costumes, that there is much to defend. Cultural Resistance should not be a phenomenon of the past.
Theatre and the Arts have a seminal role to play in rekindling ancestral memory and creating the positive self-image necessary both to deal with the now and to prepare ourselves for the challenges of the future.
I have dedicated this play to the pioneering work and research of Dr. Hollis Liverpool, the Mighty Chalkdust. It is just one of the offerings of my lifelong commitment to promoting and protecting the culture of the people of Trinidad and Tobago.
I hope that this production will stimulate the interest of the powers that be to making Kambule available to all young people across Trinidad and Tobago.
Ashe … Eintou
Cast of Kambule
Pierrot 1 Muhammad Muwakil
Pierrot 2 Sterling ‘Gamma’ Kent
Boisman/Maitre L’Ecole Keon Francis
Chantwell Ken Alexis
Cariso Jane Camille Quamina
Baby Doll Dara E. Healy
Miss Edna, Elder Eintou Pearl Springer
Chibale: Kayode Charles, Ajani Healy, Shomari Healy, Iremedi Charles
Xavier Phillp and Drummers
The Mayaro Tamboo Bamboo Section
Creative and Technical Team
Director/Playwright Eintou Pearl Springer
Production Management Idakeda Group
Coordinators of Performing Groups Norvan Fullerton
Stage Manager Patrick Cambridge
Sound Engineer/Lighting Technician Victor Donawa
Costume and Props Mistress Jennifer John
Check out the event invitation on our Facebook page, keep checking the site for more updates on Kambule 2010 and as always …
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