Archives for 22 Mar,2016

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Beaches

There are splendid beaches of fine white, gold and black sand in Guadeloupe. The water may be still or rough, but the temperature is always a 27°C average!
NB : Depending on the currents and winds, Sargassum algae may be present. It is impossible to anticipate which beach may be affected, but there are always clear and accessible bathing areas.

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Rum

There are two different types of rum:
– agricultural rum, which is high quality spirit, obtained by a process of crushing sugar cane, fermenting it and distilling it.
– traditional or industrial rum which uses molasses, a sugar production residue
The production of rum is booming and the Guadeloupe spirit has the reputation of being one of the best in the world. There are six distilleries on the island, some of them can be visited, and rum can be directly purchased from them: BOLOGNE.CARRERE. ESPERANCE. DOMAINE EVERIN. REIMONENQ. DAMOISEAU.
The island of MARIE GALANTE has three distilleries: BELLEVUE. BIELLE. POISSON

Beauport house in Saint-Louis and the museum of rum in Sainte-Rose will provide you with all the possible information concerning the history and the distillation process of this fine spirit.

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History

Just like other Antilles islands, Guadeloupe was probably occupied by pre-ceramic Amerindian groups from 3,000 BC, as indicated by the recent discovery of traces of slash and burn agriculture on the Marie-Galante island. Around the beginning of the first millennium groups of agro-ceramic Amerindians, the Arawaks, migrated from the north of Venezuela towards the Antilles. Later, probably around the XVth century, people migrated from the Guyana plateau towards the Antilles. The people were named the island Caribbean or Kalinago and were described by Spanish chroniclers, when they arrived in the Petites Antilles.

The late period shows evidence of contacts with the Taïnos from the Grandes Antilles. Based on a controversial theory, the Arawaks would have been massacred by the Caribbean immigrants, described by the Spanish chroniclers as aggressive and practising cannibalism..
The Caribbean immigrants christened the island Karukera (the island of beautiful waters in Caribbean language); they were the main inhabitants of the islands until the middle of the XVIIth century, up to the arrival of the French in 1635, but long after the first Europeans settled
Modern history starts in November1493 for Guadeloupe, when Christopher Columbus sights La Désirade and then Marie-Galante during his second voyage and sets foot on the island of Basse-Terre on November 4. He takes note of the presence of fresh water, especially the Carbet waterfalls. He names the island Santa Maria de Guadalupe de Estremadura in memory of a Spanish monastery where Christopher Columbus made a pilgrimage after his first expedition to the New World in 1492 to show gratitude for his discovery. From 1502, the archipelago of Guadeloupe is indicated precisely (all five islands) on Cantino’s planisphere, indicating its importance as well as the European navigators’ thorough knowledge of the islands. At the time, Guadeloupe was populated by Caribbeans, an Amerindian population, present on the island since the VIIIth century.

The war between settlers and Caribbeans ended in 1641 with the Caribbeans, whose ranks were depleted by disease and previous conflicts with the Spanish, being deported to the Dominican islands.
In 1671 all French ports are open to slave trade. European religious rituals, based on military practices, are considered as more regulated and ordered than those of the Amerindians. Soldiers are sent to Guadeloupe for 36 months to strengthen the island and receive land once their service is completed. The rich coffee, cotton and sugar cane planters were looking for cheaper labour, based on the Barbade sugar cane planters’ success.

Choosing black people as slaves was connected with geographical factors, the climate, for example, but mainly religious, such as the Pope’s agreement. In order to maintain their level of prosperity, planters needed slavery to become an institution. Sugar production, divided between the British and the French, yielded large profits and taxes in the British and French kingdoms. Fortification work took place under Louis XIV’s rule with Vauban as a surveyor and British backing.
A rich and hierarchical society, based on military and religious principles developed and thrived.
Black slaves, of various origins had to contend with language and cultural problems which led to the development of Creole culture and language

Source : Wikipedia

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Coffee and chocolate

The adventure begins between 1720 and 1723, the story is quite unique in the annals of the coffee bean.
Gabriel Mathieu de Clieu, a French naval officer posted in Martinique, introduced the coffee plant locally, but it thrived in Guadeloupe where the soil is better adapted to its growth.
The “Côte-sous-le-Vent” cru, is considered as one of the best coffee beans in the world.
It was naturally named Guadeloupe Bonifieur coffee.
Several coffee making plants can be visited, and the history of coffee explored.

Chocolate – originally a Mesoamerican word – is typically a more or less sweet food preparation made of cocoa seeds, roasted or ground to form a liquid paste from which the oil is extracted to make cocoa butter. Chocolate is a is combination, in varying amounts, of cocoa paste, cocoa butter and sugar, spices can also be added, vanilla, for instances, or vegetable fat.
Originally consumed as xocoatl (spicy drink) in Mexico and Central America, chocolate became more widespread over the industrial revolution.
Among other features, the Écomusée (ecological museum) offers a guided tour of the art of growing cocoa plants, the origins of chocolate and its artisanal fabrication as well as a chocolate tasting experience.

(Wikipedia)

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Music

Guadeloupe Gwoka is a combination of music, songs and dance, which has been listed as intangible cultural heritage since 2014.

All the ethnic and religious groups Guadeloupe practice Gwoka, which marks daily events and festivities, as well as cultural and pagan events.

Max Diakok, a Guadeloupean and Gwoka advocate, speaks about his heritage.

Gwoka is a way to honour our ancestors who were not always in the limelight, although they deserve to be thanked for saving Gwoka traditions from oblivion. Gwoka danses and music were despised until the 60s, and banned under slavery, listing Gwoka as a national heritage il a way to honour our forefathers posthumously and remember all those who didn’t hesitate to perform dances and songs at great risk. All these people are in my thoughts.

(adapted from “Extrait Outremer 1ere”)

“Zouk”, a federating but overlooked part of French culture.

Many metropolitans see zouk as coconut trees and Hawaiian shirts as the “Compagnie Créole” band and Francky Vincent are the only local artists the French know and dance to. In actual fact, zouk, invented 30 years ago by Jacob Desvarieux, “Kassav’” band-leader, is highly technical music, with a strong identity. Incidentally, Kassav’ is the French group which holds the record number of overseas concerts.

(Adapted from: Rue 89)

Zouk music usually comes up when people are asked about music from the Antilles, however, it is far from being the only style in the islands. Gwoka in Guadeloupe, for example (known as Bèle in Martinique) are rhythmical music styles, which originate from African beats and are played with traditional African instruments, tambourines, for instance. In contrast with the preferred theme of Zouk music, which is love, Gwoka is an emancipated, conscience-generating African heritage, promoting identity, African roots and solidarity while resisting oppression and fighting alienation. Most songs have an important message to convey, rather than a sweet and sickly love story. The icon of Gwoka is the band Akiyo, which wrote and interpret the cult song “ jilo jilo ay ay ay, léssé mwen alé jilo, kité mwen alé jilo, kité mwen pati jilo; an ka pati an ka voyagé, pétèt an jou an ké rètouné”
Source : la chronique Epicée 21 12 2015

links
Mnen sé la biguine Rony Théophile

GWO KA made in pointe a Pitre

la Medecina Zouk La Se Sel medikaman Nou Ni

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