Last week Wednesday the Artists Coalition of Trinidad and Tobago (ACTT) launched The Guild of Masters under the patronage of President Prof George Maxwell Richards with the unveiling of a 30-foot Cedros hosay tadjah at OWTU on Henry Street. The guild is an institution created to rescue disappearing traditional local skill in a period where we’re experiencing the death of our Golden Age generation.
We’ve lost more than 18,000 of 20,000 genius elders in the last 10 years. Because our political leadership hasn’t seen it fit to document, collect, curate, and transmit T&T’s legacy, dozens of traditions disappeared in the last decade.
ACTT estimates there are 144 traditions in danger of disappearing. These include skills like the engineering behind the best carnival King and Queen costumes pre-1985. There’re about four artisans who have that knowledge left. A casual glance at the quality of our current king and queens is evidence of the collapse — not only in imagination but artisan skill. This is a direct result from our nation’s refusal to institutionalise Legacy. Read the rest of this entry