Piaye Cultural Activist Died Singing


RESIDENTS of Piaye in Laborie are mourning the loss of one who has made a sterling contribution towards the development of culture in the community.

He is Clifton “Doudou” Joseph who died at the age of 93 last week.

Joseph is a founder member of the Piaye Cultural Group and Folk Dancers which has fascinated the region with their extraordinary performances.

Because of his passion for culture, Joseph was able to instil his strong values into his family, many of whom are now members of the Piaye Cultural Group.

Earl Paul, his nephew said Joseph died singing.

“While on his dying bed at the hospital he was still singing,” Paul said.

Paul who is also a member of the group described Joseph as a master singer and dancer, adding that he was one of the best in Saint Lucia.

“He was a very good dancer. He even danced in slow motion and made people stare at him. He also had a unique voice which everyone enjoyed hearing,” he added.

Paul said while growing up in Piaye as a child, Joseph was the only one he knew who had a passion for singing Creole songs and folk dancing.

According to Paul, Joseph took much pleasure in teaching young people of the area how to sing creole songs and dance to folk music.

“He was always close to his drums…and always singing to himself,” he said.

Joseph’s sister, Angela Etienne, described her brother as a very friendly and loving individual, who had culture in his blood.

“I never saw him angry…I don’t even think he beat his children,” she said.

She said he had a special style of dancing which impressed everyone. “Singing and dancing were the things he loved doing the most,” Etienne said.

Bert Flavien, a drummer in the group said Joseph will be sorely be missed by the group and residents of the area.

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