The National Cultural Foundation
St. James, Barbados
The Calabash and Heritage Games series broadcast on the National Cultural Foundation’s (NCF) social media platform have been getting raved reviews from viewers.
The calabash series features two of Barbados’ calabash carvers Ras Isage Burnett and Adrian Compton who demonstrate step-by-step their process of harvesting, design and creation of hand-crafted products from the indigenous calabash plant. It also features commentary fromDr. Nancy Jacobs and Dr. Anthony Richards on historical and botanical references for the plants in Barbadian heritage.
While the Heritage Games series explores the rich history of two traditional board games of Barbados: warri and potta both of which are traced back to African origins. It features wood craftsman Franklyn Harwood, currently the only artisan actively producing and promoting these games in Barbados, and also actively teaching the games to the public. The importance of such traditions in Barbadian culture are explored with folklorist Addington Forde and demos of both games are played.
NCF’s Senior Cultural Officer Andrea Wells said: “The reception to calabash has been very, very positive. We have gotten numerous queries from people who have seen the series and who have already been placing orders with them.”
Wells added that the NCF felt the need to produce the two series in order to preserve part of Barbados’ heritage.
“It is important to document it not only to preserve the practice but to speak about the history and origins in order to give some information about it that persons may not know. There are a lot of these heritage traditions that we decided to document since there are still part of our landscape even if not as vibrant,” Wells said.
Wells explained that the NCF remains committed to being “strict guardians of Barbados’ heritage”.
“There is great value in warri came causes people to have fun, develop camaraderie and also to lose in a sportsmanlike way to understand though you are losing you are enjoying the time and the exchange. We do these series so that the older folk can reminisce but also to help our younger generation to learn about our heritage and reimagine it the 21st century,” she said.
To view the Calabash and Heritage Games series log on to NCFBarbados on You Tube and Facebook or thencfBarbados on Instagram. (PR)
Written by: Toni Yarde