THE season of the Rose is upon us again – Viv Lawòz! And once again, the Cultural Development Foundation has teamed up with Corporate Partners and the Lawòz groups around the island to enable more and more people to enjoy the wonderful celebration that brings revellers of all ages – from toddlers to great-grand parents together in an age-old tradition.
Last Saturday the Rodney Bay Strip came alive between the Baywalk and JQ Rodney Bay Malls, both sponsors of the event: From around 6:00 p.m., traditional music by popular folk band Mamai La Caye filled the air and Jason ‘Bachelor’ Joseph led somewhat timid spectators, soon joined by members of the Lawòz groups, through a session learning a variety dances: Omans Duple, Maynan, Kwadril and Lakonmèt dances.
The Séance is a tradition that the Lawòz groups used to raise funds for the main event of the tradition: the Gwan Fèt. Here the groups dance and sing in an endless circle while on one side sit the Magistwa (Magistrate) and in the centre is a table bearing tempting sweets. The members of the group try to steal sweets and if caught by one of the ‘Police’ also circling the event, they are brought to explain themselves to the Magistwa who then fines them and puts the money in the kitty for the group’s savings.
The evening was a resounding success; crowds lined both sides of the street laughing, singing, dancing – some joined in the revelry fully including being arrested and paying their fines. Members of the groups ‘fainted’ ‘overcome’ by their exertions and were swiftly attended to by ‘Doctors’ and ‘Nurses’.
Even the Queen was overcome at one point and there were calls for someone to ‘Bring a Rose! She must take the scent of the Rose!’ And indeed, she was miraculously revived.
For those who missed this wonderful evening, the main event the Gwan Fèt Lawòz takes place tomorrow at Vieux Fort with a Church service followed by the Gwan Parade at 2:00 p.m joined by a visiting group from Martinique “En bel pa Lamantinwa”.