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Tobago Heritage comes alive at Whim Hard Court

Published: 
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Linda and Julius, played by Tasha Frank and Teneriffe Mapp follow Sandy, played by Andell Franklyn, to the hills. Photo: Casandra Thompson-Forbes

Despite the inclement weather on Monday night, many supporters made their way to Whim Hard Court to experience the Spring Garden/Whim/Union/Mary’s Hill (SWUM) Community Council’s 2011 presentation of the Tobago Heritage Festival. SWUM portrayed the traditional Wake and Bongo in their stage production, We Come From Far Sandy, written by Rodhil Clarke. Within the play SWUM described the traditional Wake and Bongo as the grieving and mourning process of coming to terms with death, and providing support and companionship to the bereaved.

The play, titled We Come From Far Sandy, told the story of Linda and Julius played by Tasha Frank and Teneriffe Mapp, slaves from neighbouring plantations, who fell in love and struggled to be with each other despite all odds, finally running away to live in the hills with Sandy, whose role was played by Andell Franklyn. In their struggle, Micah—played by Antonio Franklyn—who had been paid by Massa Reid—played by Raulston Brathwaite—to kidnap freed slave and plantation owner Jake—played by Julian Nichols—was accidentally shot and killed. Micah’s wake was the main event of the story.

Playing of cards and other board games, drinking of rum and coffee, vulgar dancing, drumology and the singing of hymns were all featured prominently in SWUM’s presentation. Area representative for Black Rock/Spring Garden/Whim Claudia Groome—Duke and chairman of the Tobago Heritage Festival Committee Wendell Berkley were taken by surprise when they were invited to join in the dancing.
The Tobago Heritage Festival continued last night at Store Bay.