Charlestown Primary School
Nevis 
The Palm Is Gained With Effort 
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Culture plays an important role in the little Island of Nevis. In the months of July and August, Culturama is held, which is a popular festival filled with lively events. Culturama is celebrated on the weekend of Emancipation day which began in 1974 to help Nevisians reconnect with their culture. Some of the crowd favourites include the Talented Teen Pageant, the Junior Calypso Show and of course the Troupes and Parade.

Every year the Charlestown Primary School takes part in all three events. During the course of the school year the Culture Department prepares our children for these events.

Every Friday afternoon, the students of the upper grades participate in various extra curricular activities, which aids in relaxing their minds after a packed week of academics. In this way, it is ensured that culture is kept alive.

These activities include masquerade, drama, dance, drumming, chess, music, art and playing the steel pan.
The masquerade which has been a part of our culture for centuries was passed down by our ancestors. This is a form of dance where the students dress in colourful costumes made up of ribbons, bells, ruffles, tiny mirrors and peacock feathers. They perform many different dances for example; the limbo.

For drumming, the students beat on drums skillfully created from dried, stretched goat skin and hollowed out tree trunks. The beats and rhythms that echo from these drums are a tradition out of Africa.
During music, students learn to play stringed instruments such as the guitar, banjo and mandolin while others play inviting tunes on the steel pans. The steel pan is a
form of music which originated out of our fellow Caribbean country, Trinidad.

It is important that the students know their cultural background and traditions that were passed down from generation to generation.



 

 
 
 
 

A mix of African and European background, masquerade is an admired facet of our culture. Dressed in brightly patterned long-sleeved shirts and trousers and embroidered with ribbons and mirrors, the masquerade performers dance a mixture of traditional African and European dances. Their costumes are also topped off with head pieces which are decorated with peacock feathers.

 

A student who participates in the masquerade club writes....

...Masquerade is fun. "Boy we need to get dis ting right", as Douginns always said. When we practice it's fun because most of my friends are there. Dancing is very fun because we do all sorts of funny moves but still, we are serious about performing. It is fun when we perform, especially knowing that our parents are watching us dance. When we dance for events such as Black History Programme and other big occasions I feel frightened but then I relax because masquerade is the best thing in the whole world!
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
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