Guadeloupe curiosities, tradition and legends
Grande Terre, Basse Terre
Observing the two islands that constitute the Guadeloupe is to think that the assignment of names is due to something different than the morphological aspect, Basse Terre is the largest and mountainous, Grande Terre is the smallest and almost flat. The two names, awarded by the French colonists, refer to the winds that sweep these two islands. The trade winds that blow from the north-east are impetuous ( large ) and affect in a direct way the large flat land, but are hindered by mountains that rise to the west spyin' weakest ( low ) on Basse Terre.
The Gwoka is a traditional music of the Guadeloupe accompanied by songs and dances. The music is performed with the Ka (drum traditional), who was born in the period of slavery in the 18th century. From this music the slaves created a true means of communication based on dance seen that to them was not allowed to speak in public. The Gwoka is not only music, but it must be considered as a life style, a way of being that is developed only in the island of Guadeloupe. Despised a time, today, this cultural aspect of Guadeloupe and has become popular thanks to the "Gwoka's revolution" 1970-1990 and today it is also taught to children from a very early age.
This style of music is carried out with two drums, a larger and more serious and a smaller, more acute. The Gwoka is composed of seven rhythms.
- The Kaladja: symbolizes the struggle and pain
- The Lewoz: is a pace warrior, which expresses the desire to fight
- The Toumblack: rhythm of joy, love, for fertility
- The Graj: created to stimulate the work of agricultural production
- The woule: slow
- The Padjanbel: and the dance of the cutting of the cane
- The Mennde: last rhythm arrived in this country with the advent of the Congos band
Each year in Guadeloupe unwinds the Festival Gwoka to Sainte-Anne in the month of July, this is a musical event important that attracts many people of the caribbean and many tourists.
It is a celebration that takes place in the city of Pointe-à-Pitre which refers to the propitiatory rites to life that have remote origins. In the feast are invited all those who want to participate and who have, in some way, somehow, to propitiate the fertility male and female, then pregnant women with their husbands, children, brooders, oysters, etc..On this occasion the participants wear garments traditional Creole extremely colorful and showy, women in particular, and have large and long robes, lace cover showy heads and adorn jewelry, fans, etc.
The feast begins with the celebration of the S. Mass that takes place in the cathedral of the city, which ended the celebration starts with a parade at the exit from the church according to a precise ritual, first the children, then the brooders and so on. The groups that come out and parade will stop with pleasure to be observed and photographed by the multitude of people who expect outside Dopo che finalmente tutti sono usciti, si forma un corteo che a piedi si porta nella grande piazza del municipio. Here is the true feast within a fenced area where, on the one hand there is an orchestra and by the high a stage that hosts children. Adults that animate the feast they enter the area and begin to dance to the beat of the music that draws local tunes. The dance turns in an orderly manner and with slow pace, several groups were formed that with their moves draw specific choreographies.
In the West Indies, people have a special relationship with their dead, where the pain of separation from the loved person immediately leave space to joyful evocation of the life of the deceased, in practice, the funeral is a joyful moment where the vigils are an opportunity for a large gathering of family, friends and acquaintances of the deceased.
In Guadeloupe, Saints and a moment of celebration and meeting. On this occasion, families gather at the cemetery, cleaning the graves, the riverniciano if necessary, i.e. keep them in a more general sense. As night falls, the graves are covered with numerous candles red and white to evoke the memory of the deceased.The view of these cemeteries and illuminated countless candles and absolutely magical. The cemetery of Morne a l'Eau already surprising for its tombs with white squares and black, and one of the most beautiful to admire on this occasion, because it develops as a amphitheatre located on a hill.