Tuesday, October 17, 2017

‘Hiroona’ – early literary landmark*


Last month the History Department at The UWI, St Augustine, organised two weeks of activities under the general theme of celebrating the First Peoples of the nation and the region. In this context, I want to notice the appearance of a new/old literary work about the struggles of the “Black Caribs’’ (Garifuna) of St Vincent.
Hiroona (a version of the Kalinago or Island Carib name for St Vincent), written by H N Huggins in Trinidad in the late 1800s, is a very long epic poem: 9,410 lines in rhyming couplets, divided into 487 stanzas (verses) and 12 cantos (books). The UWI Press deserves congratulations for publishing it, and so does its editor, a US-based academic (Desha Osborne) who has contributed a valuable introduction and annotations.

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