Topics: Caribbean, Africa, Atlantic slave trade Pages: 3 (887 words) Published: December 6, 2013
Cultural retention
Cultural retention is the act of retaining the culture of a specific ethnic group of people, especially when there is reason to believe that the culture, through inaction, may be lost. Many African-American, European and Asian organizations have cultural retention programs in place. African retention in Trinidad and Tobago is an e.g. of cultural retention.

The tradition of Sunday markets in Trinidad is a result of the agricultural knowledge brought to the Caribbean by the enslaved Africans. Subsistence farming was popular apart from the regular work they had to do on the plantations. The enslaved Africans were allowed to grow and harvest their own food supply on the little plots near their huts. These huts were located on the periphery of the estates and they were attended to on Saturdays or Sundays. The excess produce was traded in at the Sunday markets. The women were mainly sellers/traders during the era of enslavement, as well as the post‐slavery period. This mimicked the markets in West Africa where the gender division of labour is evident.


African cultural retention is also prevalent in the diet of Trinbagonians. Foods such as yam, dasheen, eddoes, bananas, plantain and ochro are common in Africa. Other foods include benee (sesame seeds) in bene balls, Guinea corn or sorghum, maize in cornmeal foods like kuku, oil down, yam, cassava, breadfruit and ackra.


Remnants of African languages are prevalent throughout the Caribbean. Our creole expressions such as “you all” or “all yuh” is an expression which derives from our West African language heritage that makes clear distinction between the singular and the plural. In Standard English “you” means second person singular and second person plural, so the “all” is understood and is not necessarily expressed verbally. West African languages do not make a...
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