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The Country Of Brazil Essay

1557 words - 6 pages

Within Brazil and the Caribbean lies a racial mixture of cultures. Since the 1930?s the people have, overall, enthusiastically adopted the notion that racial and cultural mixture defines this regions national identity (Tiesel 44). This region consists of a very historic background, which has shaped the beliefs and customs of celebration, music and dance. The following paper will outline and discuss both the history and the mixture of cultures.First off I would like to discuss some of the brief history. Sugar cane was brought to the ?new world? by Christopher Columbus on his second voyage in 1493 (Wagely 99). The introduction of this new crop brought about dramatic change the Caribbean. During the 1600?s the Caribbean sugar industry thrived. The native people of Africa?s western coast were targeted for slavery. The plantation owners needed slaves who could handle the work to keep sugar cane maintained. The African people were captured from their homes and brought to the Caribbean and America where they were sold. While in the Middle passage, from Africa to the Americas, millions died from the terrible conditions. This horrible journey could take months. When they reached the plantations the work was unbearable to withstand. This painful piece of history would add a new dimension to the rich African culture.Why is this paragraph here? How does it relate to the overall objective of your paper? Why is it necessary for you to tell me this? Another cultural aspect that you can find here is the music, which played a very important role during and after the slavery era. For example the slaves in the Virgin Islands used a form of song, Caruso, to pass messages among each other, without the slave owners or the overseer?s knowledge (Wagely 14). Because the plantation owners did not want them practicing their African beliefs, they combined Caruso with European influence. This form was known as Quelbe which is the official music of the Virgin Islands. This music helped make plantation work a little less unbearable. A little farther south of the Virgin Islands in Trinidad and Barbados, Calypso was used to express personal feeling about slavery.There are several versions of the origin of calypso which emerged as an identifiable genre towards the end of the nineteenth century. Calypso represents a mixture of several folk songs in African tradition (Fryer 114). There are a few theories to where the word calypso originated. The Carib word ?caieto? meaning a joyous song and the French patois ?carrousseaux? from the archaic French word ?carouse? meaning a drinking party or festivity (McGowan 8).The calypso style of music began around the time of the French settlement in Trinidad during the late 18th century. At this time this type of music was not yet pronounce ?calypso?. In a good calypso song the lyrics would grasp three main dimensions. The first is extempore. If the individual could produce lyrics at the spur of the moment it was greatly admired by the...

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