ACE / CBMR Repatriate French Antilles Recordings

ACE and the Center for Black Music Research jointly presented the recordings, photographs, and notes made by Alan Lomax in the French Antilles in 1962 to the Conseil Général de la Guadeloupe on July 9, 2007. The materials had been collected in Dominica, Martinique, St. Barthelemy, Guadeloupe, and St. Lucia in June and July 1962. The official repository of the 30 hours of digitized sound recordings, 300 images, and one linear foot of photocopied manuscripts and correspondence is the Mediathéque Caraibe, a multimedia library devoted to the Caribbean, located in Basse Terre. The Mediathéque’s extensive holdings and excellent staff and facilities make it a key resource for the entire Caribbean region.

The formal presentation of the heritage materials took place at the Résidence Départementale (Bas-du-Fort, Gosier) and were presided over by Mme. Odile Brousillon, who introduced Georges Brédent, President of the Conseil Général, and the other speakers, Dr. Rosita Sands (CBMR), Jeffrey Greenberg (ACE Board Member), Bertram Lyons (ACE Dissemination Manager), and Dominique Cyrille (Lehman College). Representing the Mediathéque was its Director, also Adjunct Director of the Council on Cultural Affairs and Cultural Patrimony and its Curator of Music, Gustave Michaux-Vignes. Anna Wood gave a multi-media lecture and Rosita Sands made the official presentation of the materials to the Conseil Général on behalf of ACE and the CBMR. Cocktails and a program of Guadaloupean gwoka music and work songs by a group from Morne-à-l’Eau followed.

The event was part of the fourth annual Séminaire d’Ethnomusicologie Caribéenne 2007, which focused on safeguarding and promoting intangible cultural heritage in the Caribbean. UNESCO Caribbean and from the Conseil Générale de la Guadeloupe, the Centre des Musiques et Danses Traditionnelles de la Guadeloupe, and the Ministére de la Culture (France) were represented, Also present was the Gwoka festival founder, Félix Cotellon.

Originally posted: July 9, 2007