Archives for 22 Mar,2016

You are browsing the site archives by date.

Beaches

There are splendid beaches of fine white, gold and black sand in Martinique. The water may be still or rough, but the temperature is always a 27°C average!
NB : Depending on the currents and winds, Sargassum algae may be present. It is impossible to anticipate which beach may be affected, but there are always clear and accessible bathing areas.

Read More

Rum

There are two different types of rum:
– Agricultural rum, which is high quality spirit, obtained by a process of crushing sugar cane, fermenting it and distilling it.
– Traditional or industrial rum which uses molasses, a sugar production residue
The production of rum is booming and the Martinique spirit has the reputation of being one of the best in the world.

Read More

History

Martinique (Matinik, Matnik or Lamatinik1 in Martiniquan Creole) also nicknamed “the island of flowers”2, is an island of the Lesser West Indies (or Windward Islands), a unique territorial community and outlying European region located in the Caribbean. It is part of the French West Indies (and has been since 1635, the year the first French colony was established by Pierre Belain d’Esnambuc).
It owes its current name to Christopher Columbus, the first European to discover it on 15 June 1502. It was then called Madinina3, Madiana or Mantinino4 by its inhabitants, the Kali’na5, who referred to a mythical island where the Tainos of Hispaniola lived. The name evolved according to the pronunciations to Madinina and Mada and finally, under influence from the neighbouring island of Dominica, it became “Martinique”. In Carib language, the island is also called Ioüanacaéra (ioüana, “iguana” and caéra, “island”) that is, “iguana island”. 6,7.
Martinique is located in the volcanic arc of the Lesser West Indies, in the Caribbean Sea, between Dominica to the north and Saint Lucia to the south, around 450km to the north-east of the coasts of Venezuela and around 700km to the south-east of the Dominican Republic.

The first inhabitants were the Arawak Indians who had to flee the new arrivals, the Caribbean Indians. These were in turn decimated by the European soldiers, a short time after the arrival of Christopher Columbus in 1502, on St Martin’s day. Called Madinina, “the island of flowers” or Jouanacaera, “iguana island”, Martinique became French in 1635, and was managed by the Company of the American Islands, created by Richelieu. Slavery was then established with the creation of the Black Code. Thousands of black slaves were brought mainly from West Africa. Slavery continued until 1848, the year of its abolition in France. On 24 February 1848, the July Monarchy was overthrown. François Arago, Minister of the Navy and the Colonies, admitted the need to emancipate the Blacks, but wished to postpone this issue until the permanent government took over. Under the pressing intervention of Victor Schoelcher, Under-Secretary of State for the colonies, a series of decrees was promulgated on 27 April 1848. The first abolished slavery but provided for a two-month period from its promulgation in the colony. It also provided for compensation for the former slave owners. In 1848, as General Commissioner of the Republic, François Perrinon brought the first decrees of the abolition of slavery to Martinique. He refused to swear an oath to Napoleon III out of attachment to the republican ideal.
Colonisation succeeded the slavery regime until 1946. The post-war communist leaders Aimé Césaire, Léopold Bissol and Georges Gratiant won electoral victories in Martinique. They brought a proposed law to the National Assembly. The issue was debated in Parliament, with an illustrious rapporteur, the young MP and Mayor of Fort-de-France, Aimé Césaire. This parliamentary debate resulted in a vote for the departmentalisation law of 18 March 1946, the date on which the island became a French overseas department.

Excerpts: Wikipedia

Read More

Music

French west indies Gwoka is a combination of music, songs and dance, which has been listed as intangible cultural heritage since 2014.
All the ethnic and religious groups Martinique practice Gwoka, which marks daily events and festivities, as well as cultural and pagan events.
Max Diakok, a Guadeloupean and Gwoka advocate, speaks about his heritage.
Gwoka is a way to honour our ancestors who were not always in the limelight, although they deserve to be thanked for saving Gwoka traditions from oblivion. Gwoka danses and music were despised until the 60s, and banned under slavery, listing Gwoka as a national heritage il a way to honour our forefathers posthumously and remember all those who didn’t hesitate to perform dances and songs at great risk. All these people are in my thoughts.
(adapted from “Extrait Outremer 1ere”)
“Zouk”, a federating but overlooked part of French culture.
Many metropolitans see zouk as coconut trees and Hawaiian shirts as the “Compagnie Créole” band and Francky Vincent are the only local artists the French know and dance to. In actual fact, zouk, invented 30 years ago by Jacob Desvarieux, “Kassav’” band-leader, is highly technical music, with a strong identity. Incidentally, Kassav’ is the French group which holds the record number of overseas concerts.
(Adapted from: Rue 89)

The spice chronicles
Zouk music usually comes up when people are asked about music from the Antilles, however, it is far from being the only style in the islands. Gwoka in Guadeloupe, for example (known as Bèle in Martinique) are rhythmical music styles, which originate from African beats and are played with traditional African instruments, tambourines, for instance. In contrast with the preferred theme of Zouk music, which is love, Gwoka is an emancipated, conscience-generating African heritage, promoting identity, African roots and solidarity while resisting oppression and fighting alienation. Most songs have an important message to convey, rather than a sweet and sickly love story. The icon of Gwoka is the band Akiyo, which wrote and interpret the cult song “ jilo jilo ay ay ay, léssé mwen alé jilo, kité mwen alé jilo, kité mwen pati jilo; an ka pati an ka voyagé, pétèt an jou an ké rètouné”
Source : la chronique Epicée 21 12 2015

Links
Mnen sé la biguine Rony Théophile

GWO KA made in pointe a Pitre

la Medecina Zouk La Se Sel medikaman Nou Ni

Read More