Folklore of Trinidad and Tobago

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Folklore of Trinidad & Tobago

Trinidad and Tobago, with its diverse cultures, is also rich with folklore stories and superstitions that have been passed on from generation to generation. However, some stories are not unique to one island, such myths as the soucouyants or the art of stick fighting is equally shared by Tobago as well. Folklore is intertwined with everyday life and entertainment, as seen in the “Best Village” competition, where folklore truly comes alive in the theatre productions. Since the “stories” are passed on from generations, sometimes true experiences become myth and myth becomes legend with possibly a stretch of the truth here and there for added effect. Some are remnants of a time where there were no street lights, houses were far apart, the forest was your backyard and darkness was everywhere. Of course, where there is darkness, evil lurks and some people read “bad” books. To travel at night you would chance to meet one and it was up to the person to know what to do for protection, be it a prayer or a particular action etc. From personal experience I haven’t had much encounters, probably because there were lots of street lights and I never hunted. But my father, uncles and older cousins who hunted, had lots of experiences. Were they stories they made up? Well in my opinion no one would go in the forest to hunt to make up a “story” to come back and tell with such clarity, that it remains in the mind, years afterwards not forgotten and clear as day. However, I must mention the unique stories that Tobago heralds and yearly appears in the forefront of the Heritage Day Festival. Tobago has its own: legendary persons, such as Sandy (the slave revolutionist), Fisherman Brush, and Gang Gang Sara (an African witch); myths (such as Soucouyants or Old Hags); superstitions (such as fairy-maids); and folk tales that are based on hunting experiences that developed into stories, such as Brer Nancy and Brer Goat. Tobago also has its own share of...
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