Sunday, November 21, 2010

Is the media killing Trinidad and Tobago's folklore?

By C. Felix

Gone are the days of old when granny used to put us to sit in front of her while in her old creaking rocking chair, with either a pipe or a whip in her hand, to tell stories of old tradition to life.
What ever happened to
Papa Bois, La Diablesse, Mama Dlo, the Soucouyant with her fiery flamboyant skin, Ligahoo and Douens? Miserable little tricky back footed, faceless bastards who used to lead children into the bushes till they were lost.
Many of the young people who may be reading this would be lost as to who or what I am referring to. However, before the advent of reality shows, internet, play station 2, I pods, cell phones, social media etc, this is how we ‘old folks’ used to intrigue our imagination.
It’s a shame that the dominant media have taken over our culture to such a huge extent that our valuable old time stories are being swept under the carpet with very little hope of return. In addition to the imagination, fascination and scariness those stories brought. They also brought a sense of togetherness amongst friends and family alike who would listen attentively to granny speak while a bake roasted on an opened fire.
This was how families used to interact no so long ago. Even though people might complain about the alleged demonic influences accompanied with our local folklore, the fact of the matter is, these stories opened the door way for discussions and conversations amongst family members. I dear you to have an intellectually bonding conversation with someone chatting on Facebook, Twitter or BBM. 

What is the local media doing to keep the flames of folklore burning? Definitely not enough, because the media hardly ever bother to do a feature story on Trinbagonian tales from long ago by interviewing the last remaining elderly souls that actually remember a good local
Soucouyant story. No one even bothers to do docu-series on proposed titles like “The search for Papa Bois” or “I think my neighbor is a La Diablesse” to cement some sort of culture and imagination in the minds of our youth. Coincidentally, thanks to the media, our Trini youngsters can clearly  identify a Zombie, Santa Clause, the Tooth Fairy and the Boogieman to name a few; all of which by the way are conjured from foreign folklores brought to us by the media.   
Sad to say Uncle Papa Bois and Aunty Mama Dlo that your time has unfortunately passed and you are hardly remembered in the fragile fading minds of those like me. 


Anonymous said...

Actually I am a teenager and as much and I love my technology, I love the folklore much more! Not all young people are being lost to technology.

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Sekhet Neb Amunwah said...

Papa Bois and Mama Dlo are very real deities my friends. Our ancestors called them and worked with then and so can you, in Sussex Britain,Afrika and many other parts of the world they are called by different manes. For more information on the Gods of Afrka rebirth on TNT seek out; The Ouroboros Society.