March 19, 2013

Pilgrimage to Balliceaux this Saturday

The Ministry of Tourism, Sports and Culture will host the annual Pilgrimage to Balliceaux as part of the activities for National Heroes and Heritage Month, this Saturday, departing from the Cruise Ship Terminal at 9 a.m.{{more}}

A release from the Ministry says “the yearly pilgrimage takes the time to remember The Exile and its impact on culture in St Vincent and the Grenadines. At the end of the second Carib War, the British rounded up as many of the Black Caribs as could be caught and transported them to Balliceaux. Many of these first citizens of St Vincent and the Grenadines died there while the British made the decision on their deportation and found the ships to effect that purpose. The numbers recorded by the British say 5,080 men were put on Balliceaux. However, only 2,248 persons were alive to be put on the ships to go to Roatan. This is to say that half of the people taken to Balliceaux died there. Then, of those who set sail into exile, only 2,026 survived that journey.

“The Exile is responsible in a significant way for loss of the Garifuna language, dances, and other cultural expressions here in St Vincent and the Grenadines, the place that is the motherland of the Garifuna people. The Ministry of Tourism, Sports and Culture continues to work assiduously to retrieve these lost treasures,” the release said.

Although admission to the pilgrimage is free, the Ministry said tickets are extremely limited.

Persons interested in participating in the pilgrimage may visit the Department of Culture on Granby Street, upstairs the Methodist Building, opposite the Seventh Day Adventist Church, to collect tickets.