Re-enactment of June 1st, 1797 Public Meeting

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Lights…Camera…Take me back to 1797!

The isles of the Bliss Institute for the Performing Arts were packed, literally, as students, teachers and other guests took to the floor to watch as the National Institute of Culture and History (NICH) and the National Kriol Council (NKC) brought to life the June 1st, 1797 Public Meeting.

re-enactment2Kriol was the official language inside the Bliss as Mistress of Ceremonies; Silvaana Udz narrated the events of the morning. National President of the NKC, Myrna Manzanares, also the playwright of the  re-enactment, shared Kriol folklores dating back to the times of mahogany camps and had the crowd chorusing in “Missa Maatin Leaky Ol’ Dorey”“I Gahn da Malantee” and “Get yo Crokus Beg, Mengo Time!”  The rhythm of Dgumbe and Djembe drums played by Emmet Young and Mose Shaeet filled the galleries as it complemented the spirit of the actors.

Nu Generation Dance Company directed by Joseph Stamp-Romero commanded the stage as they brilliantly weaved humor and drama into the script. Actors did the play justice with no shortage of Kriol proverbs, jokes, and gestures. They would be discredited if not mentioned:

Franklin Murillo Tania Ford Oleana McCauley
Krishawn Diego Philip Ramsey Gorlee Marin
Kayla Arnold Wilford Felix Duane Moody
Ryan Davis Sheldon Bodden

re-enactment3Bredda David Obi, a long standing Kriol activist, was also a part of the mix and unveiled the Kriol council’s flag. Grace Simpson, president of the NKC Dangriga Branch, along with Manzanares showcased the beautifully multi-colored flag on the Bliss stage after fifteen years of trying to revive Kriol culture. Step by step Bredda Obi explained each symbol and color that decorated the flag. The white circle represents the never-ending cycle of life, the fourteen leaves embodies the twelve blacks and two whites that stood their ground in the June 1, 1797 Public Meeting and the djembe and dgumbe drums signify the rhythm of Kriol culture. As for the colors, yellow stands for culture and represents spirituality. Brown represents the shades of the Kriol people; red symbolizes the blood spilt by their ancestors; black shows the origination of mankind and the beautiful people of Africa; and lastly green denotes growth.

Written by Kimberly Timmons

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About KREM
The idea for the KREM Radio station originated in early 1979 while Rufus X and I were visiting New Orleans. There was a New Orleans deejay I liked, by the name of Sister Love, and one day Rufus and his cousin, Sam Wiley, who was our host, showed me the building where the radio station which featured Sister Love was located. It was quite a modest, one flat structure, much smaller than the three story Albert Cattouse Building from where the Belize government monopoly station – Radio Belize – was broadcasting.

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