Education Among the Indigenous People

As far as can be determined, the original inhabitants of the West Indies were the Amerindians.1 The two main tribes living in the Caribbean islands and Guyana were the Arawaks (Tainos) and Caribbean. Because of its strategic position between the islands and South America, Trinidad and very likely Tobago2 were inhabited by both Caribs and Arawaks. As a race, these people can be considered extinct in the West Indian islands. They fell victims to European colonization. There are people in Trinidad3 and Dominica4 who claim direct descendence from the Caribs. In Guyana and other parts of South America, however, one can find survivors of this race of people. The extent to which their culture has survived from the time Europeans came to the West Indies varies considerably among the countries of the Caribbean. Whereas there are minimal traces of Amerindian civilization in Trinidad and Tobago, the culture of some tribes has remained intact in the remote areas in countries like Suriname, or have attained varying degrees of preservation such as the Indians or indigenous peoples of South, Central and North America.

From records kept by European explorers and missionaries, and from contemporary descriptions of life among the Amerindians, it is clear that the indigenous people of the West Indies had no formalized educational system as we conceive it nowadays. As in tribal societies throughout the history of the world, the Amerindians had a fixed set of patterns for rearing their children, passing on to them their culture and introducing them into adult life.

In the history of the world, a formal system of education for a large percentage of a population is a 19th century phenomenon. Human beings everywhere have always passed on their knowledge to subsequent generations. Among the most primitive tribes, one would find some arrangement for passing on the accumulated wisdom and experience of the group and for introducing the young to the practices of the adults.

Women in Amerindian groups had special tasks and responsibilities. In addition to domestic chores such as preparing their staple food, the cassava, bringing water from the rivers and weaving cloths and mats, the women cared for the children. The closest approximation to formal education was the father's instructions to the boys in the use of tools and arms, and the lore, rites and religion of the group. These instructions were particularly formalized by caciques or chiefs with respect to their own sons.

With the arrival of European explorers and colonizers came the missionaries. The aim of these missions was to christianize the Amerindians. Little attempt was made to understand the Amerindian's own religion and culture. Although the educational effort of the missionaries was intended to be rehabilitative, they have to share the blame with the explorers for the destruction of the indigenous people of the West Indies. One early European traveller wrote, "As far as my observations lead me, the only benefit the Indian has yet derived from the effort to Christianize him is that he has learnt to steal, indulge in strong drink and wear ill-fitting clothes."5

One can say that schooling as we know it was first introduced in the West Indies by these European missionaries among the Amerindians. As far back as 1503, the Spanish Crown ordained that Amerindian children in each village in Puerto Rico should be brought together twice a day in a house next to the church for the chaplain to teach them to read and write, to make the sign of the cross and to learn the prayers of the church. A cathedral school was founded in San Juan, Puerto Rico in 1512. In islands and territories where there was a long period of Spanish settlement, there were instances when the sons of Amerindian chiefs were sent to the Spanish estate owners to learn something of the ways of the white man.

These first European attempts at schooling for the Amerindians were intended to christianize the Amerindian, "to save him from the evils of his natural state and afford him the benefits of Christianity," but the zeal of the missionaries was not matched by the wisdom and sociological techniques needed to change the lifestyle of a people in a relatively short time. In order to educate the Amerindian to a European way of life, the missionary deprived him of the education and knowledge which would have afforded him survival in this environment. Most of all, the education he received from Europeans caused him to lose respect for himself and reduced his capacity for functioning in the environment and society that was being forged around him.

The educational thinking that guided the action of the Europeans who subjugated the Amerindian peoples in the West Indies during those early years of colonization had little room for notions of preserving native culture, or building an educational system on prevailing indigenous practices. The European colonizers were convinced of the superiority of their ways of life, and naively thought that they were helping the Amerindians they met in the West Indies by imposing their own cultures. This was the thinking that inspired the activities of the missionaries. They were doing God's bidding by saving the native from himself.

Christianizing the Amerindians also suited the purposes of those Europeans who were bent on economic exploitation of the Amerindian peoples and their lands. Psychologically broken and dehumanized, the native Amerindians would become easily tractable tools in the hands of economic developers and exploiters. The missionaries offered the Amerindians the cross, the developers threatened the sword. Those who refused the cross, received the sword.6

The original inhabitants of Trinidad and Tobago have disappeared from the face of this twin-island society. Traces of Amerindian civilization in contemporary society are very faint. Very little attempt has been made to preserve those traces, even after independence when new nations are wont to revive or affirm the cultural origins that distinguish them from their colonial masters. The arrangements for cultural transmission that operated among the aboriginal people of Trinidad and Tobago have not exerted any visible influence on the present educational system.

Education Among the Europeans

The original purpose of the Europeans who came to the West Indies was to find an alternative route to eastern countries like China in order to get spices and other precious commodities. A large number of Europeans subsequently swept across the Atlantic in search of gold and other precious metals. For these original purposes, the Europeans, particularly the English, did not think it necessary to settle or raise families in the West Indies. It was only when sugar became the main concern because of the high prices it secured, that they established settlements and colonies. As adventurers and exploiters, the Europeans did not bring their wives to the West Indies, nor did they marry the indigenous Amerindians. They nonetheless produced children that were left in the care of their native mothers. The European men rarely assumed any responsibility for them.

In the early colonization of the West Indies, there were so few European children that there were no schools for them. Sugar cane plantations demanded more permanent attention than gold or silver mining, however, and many Europeans were looking for new lands to live in because of dissatisfaction with life in their homeland.

Thus, during early colonial times, schools for whites hardly existed. The education of the children of the whites was generally given by tutors. In Trinidad and Tobago, the tutors came from England, as they did in other British colonies. Like so many of the English who came to work, whether as estate managers or merchants, the tutors were not of high moral character nor educational attainment. During the prosperous times, the salaries the teachers received were attractive when compared with what they would have received in Europe. Many tutors were persons who, for one reason or the other, failed to succeed in the United Kingdom and were venturing forth to seek fortune in the colonies. Reports7 indicate that due to their own low level of education, their adventurous spirit and the general disinterest in education and refinement in the colonies, these tutors got little respect from their pupils or the colonial society at large.

The more wealthy planters employed these tutors to prepare their children for later entry into some educational institution in the mother country, not for living in the colonies. This preparation was applied more to the boys rather than the girls because the boys were sent abroad to the United Kingdom, but the girls, for whom education was not considered as necessary, continued to receive their education at the hands of private tutors at home. This feature of West Indian education was to continue throughout the entire colonial era and to some extent, even after the territories' independence. It is estimated8 that in the year 1770, three quarters of the children of planters growing up in Jamaica were sent overseas for education.

It should be noted that during the time of great prosperity in the colonies, only the wealthy planters could afford to have private tutors at home and then send their children abroad for education. This means that there was a considerable number of children who grew up with very little education. The upbringing of those who did go abroad for education suffered from the lack of close parental supervision. Absenteeism has been one of the plagues of West Indian society—absentee proprietorship for the proprietors who left their estates to be administered by paid managers, and absentee parenthood for the children who were sent away from their parents for education.

Those who were sent abroad to be educated were generally children of rich planters. They generally received very generous allowances which they squandered. Since they lacked the close guidance of their parents, they easily acquired habits of loose living. Those who returned to the West Indies brought with them their profligate style of life which, in many cases, was the only thing they really learned while in the United Kingdom. Drinking was particularly prevalent among the English- educated sons of rich planters. Their contribution to the upliftment of West Indian society was very meager. Very little in the education they had received in the United Kingdom could help them to live productive lives in the colonies. Their education alienated them from the society to which they returned.

Whatever attachment they may have had for the West Indian environment was dispelled by the time they returned. During childhood, they were taught to see England as their mother country, and after spending their formative adolescent years there, they could not help but see England as their home and the focus of their interests and aspirations.

They took no pride in living in the West Indies, and made no effort to improve the quality of life there. This alienation of young West Indians, among whom there must have been some talent or potential, was a major factor in the sluggish social development of the West Indies.

The economic and political conditions that existed in the West Indies during early colonialism were calculated to promote individualism rather than a sharing and socially conscious society. This individualistic behavior of the West Indian white militated against the development of any of the public enterprises. They would not unify, even to build roads and bridges, although the economic advantages of doing so should have been obvious. One can imagine how difficult it must have been for the civic authorities to get support for the building of schools since the material returns to such an enterprise would have been even less clear.

In periods of high prosperity, however, some public spiritedness was shown. Bequests were made for churches, in particular, and sometimes for schools. Unfortunately, those bequests were often mismanaged. The best known bequest for educational institutions in the West Indies was from Christopher Codrington, a Governor of the Leeward Islands who bequeathed two plantations in Barbados to the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel to establish a college. Codrington's wish for the college was that, "a convenient number of professors and scholars be maintained there, who are to be obliged to study and practice physics and chirurgory as well as divinity, that by the apparent usefulness of the former to all mankind, they may both endear themselves to the people and have a better opportunity of doing good to men's souls, whilst they are taking care of their bodies." Codrington's worthy dreams were not fulfilled, however, because of the overall disinterest in things intellectual and educational. At the beginning of the 19th century, there were no more than twelve students.

In Jamaica, too, considerable sums were left as bequests to develop educational institutions, but these were not spent with any care or planning. Public effort in education was minimal and inconsistent. Although schools were founded for whites, most of them ceased to exist from neglect or lack of support.

The absence of any literature produced by the West Indian colonial elite during that time is significant evidence of their disinterest in education. In spite of the literature flourishing in Europe during early West Indian colonization, almost no literary work was created by the planter class. Even books published in Europe were seldom read. Bookshops hardly existed. Few newspapers were published. Those that came to light died an early death and were mainly for commercial advertising of goods and vital plantation information like rewards for fugitive slaves.

Thus both the formal education of whites given by private tutors and the informal education that could have been provided in the press or published literature, were in a deplorable state in early colonial times. The education that some youths received in Europe did not greatly benefit West Indian society.

Contemporary education in Trinidad and Tobago, therefore, grew out of very inauspicious beginnings. The three salient features in education among the whites during early colonialism in Trinidad and Tobago were that education was not highly appreciated, little of it was provided, and the little provided was not meant to serve the society of Trinidad and Tobago.

Education Among the Africans

The people who make up the largest percentage of the West Indian population came from Africa from as far back as the early 16th century. They were brought mainly from West Africa as slaves by European colonizers. They were to provide forced labor for work on the plantations in the island colonies when the stock of local labor was irrevocably depleted due to the cruel and fatal treatment of the indigenous people by the European colonizers. These African replacements of the indigenous labor force belonged to tribes from places that are now known as Ghana, the Gambia, Nigeria, Dahomey, Ivory Coast and Senegal.

The earliest Africans to come to the West Indies would have already been exposed to a "lingua franca" from their trading encounters with other Africans with different tribal languages, and between Africans and Europeans, mainly Portuguese, in and around their "castles" and trading posts set up on West African soil. This "lingua franca" contained both African and European features and it borrowed and adopted more European items as the African newcomers came into contact with more Europeans on the plantations in the West Indies.

As a means of suppressing any rebellious intention, the slave traders and plantation owners separated members of a tribe from each other as much as they could, but the slaves succeeded in communicating with each other through certain widespread African tribal languages and the "lingua franca" that developed into Creole languages. These Creole languages with different European associations are now widely spoken throughout the countries of the Caribbean, but they originated on the West African coast as an outcome of the encounter of the two continents—Africa and Europe.

The slaves were bought and sold as property of the plantation owners. At the purchasing point, whether on the West Coast of Africa or the West Indies, members of families could be sold to different traders or estate owners. In general, family ties were not preserved and strong family relationships were not allowed to be developed. Children who were born of a particular woman would grow up in the earlier stages of their life nurtured by that mother. The child was, however, always regarded as the property of the plantation owner and could be sold and removed to another estate at the owner's wish.

The earliest education among the Africans of the West Indies would be the informal instruction that children would receive from their slave mother. The closest approximation to formalized education conducted on the plantations was the system that owners practiced of putting a group of young children into the "day-care" of an old woman. This old woman usually functioned as a midwife to slave mothers and would be entrusted with the care and surveillance of these small children while their mothers went to work in the fields.

This bringing together of a number of children at a fixed place in the care of a woman who was not their mother, could be considered a formal educational situation institutionalized on the plantations during the period of slavery. It could be seen as an adaptation of the tribal education process through which the very young Africans would have been reared in their earliest years in their African villages. The old woman continued the tradition and practices of her African society in infant initiation, socialization, indoctrination and graduation through "rites of passage."

On the estate, the fundamental aspect of this initial education by the old woman would be the imparting of the language used by the Africans among themselves and between Africans and Europeans. The principal curriculum activity of this day-care school conducted by the "old woman" teacher was the telling of stories. As in most societies during times that predated television, the movies and radio, storytelling was a popular pasttime and widely practiced cultural activity. More importantly, it was a major medium of communication or transmission of the folklore, technical knowledge and wisdom from one generation to another. Old women, mothers and some males who were recognized for their special talent would have been extensively engaged in this pasttime or art form of the early African people in the New World. The "Nancy Story" which is a well-known Caribbean cultural pattern, got its origin from among these early African newcomers to the Caribbean and southern U.S.A.

In spite of the overwhelming harshness and brutality of slavery and the plantation system, the survival of African people in the Caribbean and the Americas can be attributed in part to the efficiency of their own informal education system, and in part to the accomplishments of the mothers, old women and other story tellers who passed on the culture to the young. It is pointed out that such stories and folklore constituted a major piece of the limited "baggage" that the captured Africans could take with them on their fated journey from the west coast of Africa across the middle passage of the Atlantic to the unknown shores of the Caribbean and America.

Like the people themselves, these folk tales have withstood the ravages of time and have lived on through several ages. On analyzing these "Nancy stories," one would identify skills and traits in many of the personages such as "Anansi the Spider" that may have been necessary or useful for survival in adverse situations and the hostile society in which the slaves and even the freed Africans had to struggle. Significant similarities can be seen in the traits of the characters in the Anansi stories9 and the "Quashee" stereotype that typified the attitude of the plantation owners and overseers to the slave workers.

A formal education system did not exist for the children of slaves on the plantations. In general, the European planters felt no concern for their African workers other than for their physical capacity to carry out the tasks assigned them in the fields or factories. These tasks required no fundamental formal education. The slaves would simply be shown how to carry them out in a short training period, and be sent out to work under close and constant supervision.

A few possible exceptions exist to this almost total absence of effort by the white estate owners to impart some education to their slaves. The conditions of slavery and plantation life did vary somewhat among the different European colonizers. In the Spanish colonies, for instance, slaves had to be taught the Catholic religion and be baptized within a year after arrival on the plantation. However, these Spanish colonies were notorious for their cruel treatment of the slaves. On the plantations themselves, slaves who were assigned to work in the great house would have found more opportunities for learning the basics of a literary education. More humane masters or mistresses in the estate houses took time to teach their house slaves the rudiments of the European language. In this situation, many house slaves were able to learn how to read and write. In the instances when a male slave and a female slave were allowed to live with children as a family on the estate, or when a father maintained some parental association with his children, a child would have received more education and guidance from his or her parents. It is reported that Toussaint l'Ouverture, the great Haitian liberator, was taught by his father to speak, read and write the French language.

The daily routine for the children of the slaves was very similar on all the estates. From birth to about 3 or 4 years of age, they would remain in the care of their mother. The education of the slave child would begin on his or her mother's lap, where she would try to impart to her offspring her own knowledge, particularly what she remembered or learned about her native country or that of her ancestors. At the age of 5 or 6, the children would be put in the care of an old woman who would continue the education of the young along very similar lines as the mother, but with more orientation to adult life on the plantation and to survival in the harsh society. At about 8 or 9 years of age, the children generally took care of themselves, with minimal supervision by the old woman, mother or plantation officials. They moved about the plantations in the areas that they would have learned were permissible, and played in the bushes and uncultivated parts of the plantations.

The plantations could not afford to have idle hands around, however. The work apprenticeship period began at about age 11 for both boys and girls. They would be placed alongside adults in the various work groups, both in the fields, factories and great house. As the children grew older and acquired the skills needed on the plantation, they were given full adult tasks and functioned completely as slave workers.

With the almost total absence of any formal education for slaves—and even for whites—during the era of slavery, an apprentice system existed on the estates that provided informal training for the African population. The slaves were the critical factor in the plantation economy that prevailed in these territories during the period. Success in projects depended on the productivity of the slave work force. The owners and overseers could not help but understand that training of the work force was necessary to increase productivity. Children of 5, but generally 11 years of age were assigned to adult gangs and learned the necessary skills from their elders or headmen of the gang. Learning by doing was the method by which a slave worker would acquire new skills for more specialized operations on the estate. Certain tasks like that of the boilerman, on whom the quality of the sugar produced depended, were highly rewarded and sought after by the slave workers.

The successful running of a sugar estate involved a wide variety of operations and tasks. Except for the supervisory assignments, the vast majority of these tasks were performed by the slave labor force who had to learn them by watching others or by direct apprenticeship with more experienced slaves. The high profits earned by most of these sugar estates during the boom years of the sugar era can be attributed to a significant extent to the efficiency with which the slave worker acquired the skills needed on the estates. The skillful slaves and those who were highly specialized were deeply treasured by overseers and owners who would often defend them in courts and make all efforts to avoid their arrest as this would mean a severe loss to production on the plantations.

These slave technicians were very privileged. They enjoyed special benefits like better slave quarters, more land for their own cultivation, and more wives. They emerged as a special class in the slave society and constituted a technical level in the plantation labor force.

During the early period of European colonization of the West Indies, therefore, there was no regular formal education for the slave population brought from Africa. In general, children were brought up, socialized and prepared for adult work on the plantations by their mother, the old woman caretaker and through an apprenticeship managed by the plantation's owner. The informal education that children received from their mothers or from the old women lasted a relatively short time, and from early adolescence they literally had to take care of themselves. In spite of this limited formal educational foundation, the African people who came to the new world did survive, and significant aspects of their culture were handed down to subsequent generations. Their culture, especially their religion, food, spirituality, drumming, singing and dancing, provided the comfort and strength to withstand the adverse conditions to which they were subjected.

The first efforts by the Europeans to organize some form of education for the slaves in the colonies came from the missionaries who sought to bring Christianity to these "African heathens." It is to be noted that soon after their arrival on the shores of the Caribbean, the Spaniards did set up Catholic missions to Christianize the Amerindian people. Protestant missionaries did not come to the British colonies until the 18th century. The Moravians were the first English missionaries to come to the West Indies and they settled in Jamaica, Antigua, St. Kitts and Barbados during the second half of the 19th century. The first of these Moravian missionaries was Z.G. Caires who, along with two companions, began preaching to slaves in Jamaica. The efforts of these missionaries constitute the first attempts by Europeans to provide some formal education to the slaves. Although the sole objective of this education was to "win the souls of these Africans," the preaching did impart some values, verbal comprehension and language facility in the official European language. Although essentially religious in character and intent, this form of education was resisted by the planters who feared that it could excite discontent and rebellion among the recipients.

In understanding the aims and philosophy of the missionary effort to provide some education for the slaves, it should be pointed out that these early missionaries to the colonies were not in fact opposed to slavery as an institution. It was the cruel treatment of slaves by some plantation owners that they opposed, and to which they directed their evangelical campaigns. Some would argue, however, that they should have concentrated their drive to Christianity more on the planters than on the slaves. Some missions themselves possessed slaves. Moreover, the Church of England, which was the established church in the British colonies, resisted the efforts of the Methodists to end slavery in the colonies. This stand by the Church of England obviously had the support of the planters.

In these early attempts by the European missionaries to bring some education or enlightenment to the Africans in the New World, it was principally the adult population rather than children to whom this education was directed because the fundamental intention was to spread the Gospel and "show the hapless victims of the dark continent the true way." Children would be present, however, in the gatherings of adult slaves to whom the missionaries preached. In some instances, the missionary would bring together a group of children to introduce the Bible and to teach the fundamentals of reading and comprehension in the official European language.

In spite of the policy of the Church of England, the established Church of the British colonies that ministered only to the white population, some individual estate owners took measures to attend to the spiritual welfare of their slaves. The Codrington estate in Barbados secured the service of a chaplain for the religious needs of the slaves, and he preached the gospel to them regularly.

Education Among the Indians

With the elimination of the indigenous people, the present population of Trinidad and Tobago is made up essentially of descendants of the three major ethnic groups that came to live in the islands—the European, the African and the Asian. Of the latter group, India is the country that is most represented, but a significant number came from China as well. After the abolition of slavery and the emancipation of the slaves brought from Africa, the plantations were left with dire shortages of labor as the freed Africans abandoned the harsh life and conditions of the estates and to seek employment in other forms of work and to pursue agriculture on lands outside of the estates.

To provide a labor force for the plantations, a scheme was initiated to bring people from India and put them to work on the estates under a system of indentured labor.10 The first of these indentured laborers from India arrived in Trinidad in 1845, fairly recent immigrants compared to those from Africa or Europe. By the time they arrived, the Creole society which was being formed out of the interaction of Africa and European immigrants was already taking definite shape and characteristics.

Thus, the foundations of the educational system of the country were being laid as these new additions to the population arrived. Missionary groups began to provide very rudimentary education for the Indian population. The Canadian Presbyterian missionaries were the first to provide schooling on a large scale for the Indians by using their church buildings or the front steps of these buildings as their classrooms. As in the case of the Africans, the missionary groups who started schools were providing education for the purpose of converting these non-Christian people to their religious faith. The first government- aided missionary school for the Indians was opened in San Fernando by the Presbyterians in 1871.

The proprietors of some estates to which the Indian workers were assigned also set up schools for the children. By 1873, 12 of these schools were in operation, and the estate owners also paid the salary of the teachers. Along with the schools set up by the missionaries and the estate owners, the children of the Indian workers could also attend the Ward schools that were set up by the government.

Because of the harsh life on the estates and the severe working conditions, attendance was very low at the schools for the Indian children. As soon as they were capable, children were put to work in the fields to supplement the family's meager income or cultivate their family plots. Due to the grossly unhealthy environment on the estates, the children were frequently sick and moreover, they had to walk long distances to a school. Absenteeism from the schools was due to a large extent to the irrelevance of the curricula and consequent disinterest of the parents. English, Catechism, Arithmetic and Geography were the main subjects, and some singing and sewing were at times included. The most significant improvement in the quality of education offered to the children of the Indian immigrants and the consequent rise in the level of attendance was the training and recruitment of local teachers.

In the early stages of education for the Indian population, the teachers were mainly Canadian women who were engaged in catechistic work. Outstanding students were gradually drafted into teaching as monitors. These pupil-teachers were given specific training in teaching on Saturday mornings, and went on to supplement the Canadian teaching force for the schools.

Formalized teacher training for the teachers in the schools for Indians was started in 1894 with the establishment of a Presbyterian Training School in San Fernando, mainly for male teachers. The course of studies was very similar to that of the normal schools in Canada, but all teacher trainees had to qualify in Hindi.

The Canadian Mission also began a secondary school for which pupils had to pay fees. This school, which later became Naparima College, was originally intended for the male children of the missionaries and the local assistants, but some children came from other families in the area. The Training College and Secondary School were initially one unit, but in 1899 the secondary school section was separated and it later secured affiliation as a government-assisted secondary school.

Some carpentry was also taught in the primary schools, but attempts at practical agriculture faced resistance from parents who objected to their children handling the hoe. It is understandable that even among the Indian population, agriculture was not a popular subject. Estate life under the system of indentured labor was grossly inhuman, and parents did not want to condemn their children to that form of existence. To some extent, indentureship had similar effects on the Indian population as slavery had on the African population.

A notable feature of the first attempts in the education of the Indian population in the island was the education of girls. Serious internal conflict was created for a educated Christian girl when the time came to be married and her parents exercised their traditional rights to find her a husband. Young educated girls who were given in marriage to a non-Christian or uneducated husband often returned to their parents causing grief both in her husband's family and her own. A Girls' Training Home was established in 1890 in which young Indian girls of about 12 years and above were tutored in "finishing school" fashion in the requirements of family life, essentially to provide suitable wives for the local missionary helpers.

Therefore, the early educational provisions for the first Indians to arrive in the country were essentially evangelical. In appealing to the Foreign Mission Committee (the local Presbyterian parent body for raising funds for school buildings), it was argued that "these buildings are therefore absolutely necessary for purely missionary work as well as for our schools."11


1. The term Indian is also used, but there are people in the West Indies who came from India. The latter are often called East Indians, and the indigenous people Amerindians.

2. It is reported that at one time the Arawaks of Trinidad captured the island of Tobago from the Caribs. A rare Arawak victory it was, for the Caribs were renowned for their military skill.

3. At the annual festival of Santa Rosa in Trinidad, honor is paid to the "Carib Queen" as the survivor in an unbroken chain of descendants.

4. In Dominica there is a group called the Black Caribs because of their distinctive culture. They are descended from runaway slaves and Caribs.

5. C.A. Lloyd, On the Potaro (Timehri, 1896).

6. The similarity in shape of the cross and the sword has grim symbolism. On "discovering" an island, an adventurer would often use a sword held at the blade to represent a cross. The point has often been made that upon landing in the West Indies, Columbus planted the cross as his first act. From that point on it was the Amerindian natives and later peoples from Africa and Asia who had to bear that cross for centuries.

7. John Steward, Accounts of Jamaica, and the Inhabitants (London: n.p., 1805) 165-166.

8. Ewards Long, The History of Jamaica, 3 vols. (London: n.p., 1774) 1: 510-511.

9. O. Patterson, The Sociology of Slavery (N.p: n.p., 1969) 180.

10. Before a system of indentured labor from Europe had operated, attempts were also made to bring such workers from China.

11. Sarah E. Morton, John Morton of Trinidad (Toronto: n.p., 1916) 367.