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Caribbean Poetry:
Barbados

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Culture:  Spiritual Baptists

The Spiritual Baptists, also known as 'tie heads,' are members of a religious organization whose roots go back to Africa.  Bishop Granville Williams brought the movement to Barbados in 1957 after spending 16 years in Trinidad, where the Spiritual Baptist movement originated. 

Members wear colorful gowns (each color represents a particular quality) and wear cloths on their heads.  The meetings involve a great deal of movement, singing, hand-clapping, and foot-stomping -- aspects which come from African religious traditions.  Bishop Williams once said, "We can take 'Abide with Me' and make you dance to it" (Wilder 74).  The text further explains that this is "No mean feat, as this Anglican hymn is traditionally sung at funerals and notorious for its dreariness" (74).

 

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