Sunday, August 23, 2015

Viv Lawoz! Vive La Rose - Saint Lucia Flower Festival Hits Rodney Bay

The Queen is revived by the scent of the Rose

Last night I attended a first in history event - the Lawoz Seance - a part of a tradition that dates back to Colonial Times, came to Rodney Bay - right between the two malls - Baywalk and JQ Rodney Bay Mall.

I was working - taking photographs for the Cultural Development Foundation where I work. Well, that is the kind of work I really enjoy! The atmosphere, as you'll see in the photos, was just fantastic!

Young, Teen, Moms, Dads and Grandparents all enjoying the drama and fun.

This is the first time I've been at a Seance - which is basically an event that each Lawoz group holds in their own communities to raise funds and have  a lot of fun doing so!

The Lawoz and the Magewit (Marguerite) are what we call the Flower Festivals - they have their origin as a parody of the Colonials but also as friendly societies for 'ordinary' people of Saint Lucia. They traditionally 'war' with each other by competing with songs that make fun of and deride each other. Members of the groups take on various roles such as nurses, doctors, police, magistrates, army, princesses and princes and each year a Lawoz (La Rose) Queen and King are crowned - La Wa and La Wen

Many Saint Lucian's don't actually know much about these beautiful and fun traditions or about their more serious history, so the CDF through the creative persuasions of our Director of Events and Production Drenia Frederick, has now brought the celebration to Rodney Bay for 2 years. The reception by the public is nothing short of raptuous - crowds gather and stay transfixed by the merriment and dramatic occurrences, such as persons being arrested for stealing sweeties or wearing the wrong colours: Lawoz colours are pink, red and might get away with some other colours thrown in but don't wear blue or purple whatever you do! That's Magewit's colours and its sure to end you up before the Magistwa (Magistrate) paying a fine!

A few pictures here - please do take a look at the full album on flickr and feel free to repost with credit to the photographer and preferably a link back to flickr or here

Viv La Rose!
'Put a little something on it' Eager patron of the Lawoz Food Stalls
Members of Mamai la Caye
The Percussion section
Well known writer, poet, carnival band leader and artist Adrian Augier pays his fine for wearing the wrong colours

The Policewomand dances with a lovely Lawoz patron
Young Boy grins - not sure if he was arrested for wearing blue or stealing sweets...or both!
The Doctor is called in to revive a fallen reveller
One of the young Chantwelles
One of the older beauties
another of the young Chantwelles
Dennery King and Choiseul Queen celebrating

Viv Lawoz! the youngest patron dancing away!

Dance Class led by Calypsonian, Dancer, educator 'Batchelor'

Calypsonian and Traditional singer 'Ready'
Young and Young at Heart enjoy the evening
How to 'tief a sweetie right in front of the Police!
Please take a look at the full set of photos here: Lawoz Album