Kumar Mahabir

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Hosay in St Vincent

Hosay/Muharram, the Shia Muslim commemoration of the death of Hosein at Karbala  in 680 A.D., was last observed in the St. Joseph area in the 1930s. Informants can still recount the striking of brass cymbals, the beating of drums, the placing of ingredients into the taziya [imitation mausoleums] and the drowning of the taziya itself into a river (Personal interview with Dr. Earl Kirby, born 1922, St. Vincent and with Ms. Mary Ann Gopaul, op. cit.). 

Extracted from "Race retention and culture loss: South Asians/East Indians in St. Vincent By Kumar Mahabir.  This paper is based on an interview done in 1982 with a 93-year old Indian, Mr. James Woods of St. Vincent.  The interview was done with Mr. James Woods, born 1889, at his home in Richard Park, St. Vincent , on March 15, 1982 when Woods was 93 years old."

Friday October 30th, will mark the 125th anniversary of what historians describe as perhaps the bloodiest massacre in Trinidad and Tobago under British rule. On October 30th 1884, 22 Indians were killed and 120 others injured in a hail of police gunfire at two Hosay processions in San Fernando. Included in the casualties were defenceless women and children.

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