Tobago Heritage Festival Essay

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The Tobago Heritage Festival, first celebrated in 1987, is a living archive of Tobago cultural legacy. Initiated by noted anthropologist and native Tobagonian, Dr. J. D. Elder, who was at that time the Secretary of Culture in the Tobago House of assembly. It is an annual event, held from mid-July to early August, created to preserve the unique cultural traditions of the island.
In the year of its inception there were three aims of this festival:
1. To develop an event in Tobago by which the island could be easily recognised locally, regionally and internationally.
2. To assist in the preservation of the islands indigenous art forms and the heritage which has slowly been disappearing.
3. To sell Tobago as a holiday destination and to develop an event which would contribute to the islands social, cultural and economic development.

Each community highlights their own unique cultural elements such as folksongs, food, dance, myths and drama, provides an opportunity not only for the social interaction of the islanders as well as their foreign guests, or, the much-needed boost in economic activity to the communities that such activities create. In its opening year, five villages participated: Bucco to the West, Charlottesville and Roxborough to the East, Moriah to the North and Les Coteaux located in Central Tobago and is still
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It is therefore an excellent archival resource with regards to the life and times of the Tobagonian past. While functioning as an archival resource, the Heritage Festival is by its very nature meant to entertain, taking folk elements such as folk songs, dances, stories, food and traditional rituals and presenting them in a manner that is both stimulating and

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