2008 – Caribbean Jumbie Jamboree

As remembered by David Williams…

This band was about the unity of Caribbean folklore. We realized that a lot of the folk stories that we have here in Trinidad, about Lagahoos, Lajableses, those things were similar throughout the Caribbean. So they say it might have had some African connection. In each country throughout the Caribbean it had the same or similar stories. They had different names, but they all had the same powers.

The older folks used these stories to frighten children to stay inside in the night and go to sleep. In those days it didn’t have so many streetlights, so all you had was the moonlight, and your Grandma start to tell you about the Lagahoo or the Soucouyant – shape changers who can turn into an animal form. It had people who would swear to God that they personally know people who turn into dog and cow and goat and donkey and will roam the streets of the village at night and terrorize the population. But a lot of the time it was done to keep the kids inside in the night. In those days children played all kind of games, and when it was time for them to come in they didn’t want to. So the older people tell them these stories.

I think the Lajables was keep the men inside too. The Lajables was a pretty women who come in the night, come and want you to take a walk with her. She want to walk you into the forest, and if you go with her you’re never seen again. The way you could tell a Lajables was that she was she was very pretty on top, but when the wind blew and her dress rose around her ankles you would see one good foot, and one cow foot. It had people who were sure that they hear something in the night, and in the morning they see one good footprint, and one cow heel print, and they know a Lajables had sheltered in their yard.

Because of the way society is going, I bet many children wouldn’t know about these characters today.

This band won at least 11 trophies, including large band of the year at St Joseph, medium band of the year open and schools at the Savanna, band of the year at San Juan and most creative band at Curepe.


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