by Kenneth Lans; Cheryl Lans Book : Biography
Mini Blagues from Trinidad by Kenneth and Cheryl Lans, Charleston, SC, Cheryl Lans, 2010. The little anecdotes by Kenneth Lans will be nostalgic to many of the Trinidadians who grew up on the island from the 1940’s on as they reminisce about their upbringing during that period. Part one of the book describes the social and economic situations on the island at that time, the housing, comradeship of relatives and neighbours, the educational system, the pranks of school boys, in addition to the lifestyle, job opportunities and life in the Trinidad Oilfields in the 1950’s. The folktales in Part two, use animals to show the politics that existed among the different groups. There is jealousy, back biting, (carnivering), and even death in order to be the dominant figures in an environmentally safe forest. Some stories are modernized with the incorporation of computer technology. The Snake Bottle story also illustrated the antidotes used for protection from snake bites. The last blague, the Otto’s Family Tree, is written in the “Creole dialect” which gives a fitting end to the stories. Also, of importance, is the French folktales, Petit Jean stories, which show the influence of France in their colonies of Martinique, Guadeloupe and Dominica in the 1920’s. The many illustrations and pictures in the book show that it was well researched and the numerous footnotes enhance it. Kenneth and Cheryl Lans have recorded a part of Trinidad’s history that is not well known. It should be essential reading for anyone interested in the history of Trinidad and Tobago.
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