Work songs, fight songs, religious and ceremonial songs contributed to the original “calypsos.” In the 19th and 20th centuries, as today they were a medium through which the ordinary, but talented man (or woman) could satirize and ridicule those in power (who over 20 years old doesn’t remember Pam and the bed wetting?), or highlight social injustice, political drama or the irony of life. Calinda (Kalinda) is a martial art, as well as kind of folk music and dance in the Caribbean which arose in the 1720s. Calinda is the French spelling, and the Spanish equivalent is calenda; it is a kind of stick-fighting commonly seen practiced during Carnival in Trinidad and Tobago. There, Carnival songs are considered to be derived from calinda chants and "lavways". Though it is more commonly practiced as a dance because of the violent outcome of stick fighting, its roots are still that of a martial art originating from Africa, and stick fights still occur in Trinidad. They also have been formalised into annual Carnival competitions. Kalenda is one name assigned to an Afro-Caribbean form of stick fighting as practiced in Haiti and entering the United States through the port city of New Orleans.
It is also practiced in other parts of the Caribbean, such as Martinique. The well-known Cajun song "Allons dancer Colinda" is about a Cajun boy asking a girl named Colinda to do a risqué dance with him; probably derived from the Calinda dance which was reported to have been performed in New Orleans by Afro-Caribbean slaves brought to Louisiana. Similar forms of this martial art exist elsewhere in the Caribbean. For example, in Barbados it is commonly referred to as stick-licking or stick science. (See Bajan stick licking)The kalenda is accompanied by tamboo bamboo and bottle & spoon which were the main instruments that poor ex-slaves could have afforded before they developed the steelbands after tamboo bamboo was banned. It is also interesting to note that the African drum was temporarily banned in Trinidad by the colonialists leading to ex-slaves developing the Tamboo Bamboo. The older kaisos from before calypsos started being recorded were sung in a French-African dialect (patois) and were mostly stick-fighting songs or kalendas as they were then called that were sung by the ex-slaves during stick-fighting competitions.
In fact many of the very first kaisonians were also stick-fighters who fought and sung to show their prowess in the stick-fighting ring and to attract the admiration of the opposite sex. Victor Matrix G-149. Native Trinidad kalenda / Jules Sims Native Trinidad kalenda (Primary title)Victor catalog Ou belle Philomène (Alternate title) Jules Sims (vocalist), Male vocal solo, with chorus and tamboo bamboo band West Indian (Trinidad) Language: Trinidad Creole Master Size: 10-inch The alternate title appeared in a contemporary Port-of-Spain newspaper advertisement. 9/11/1914 (Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago)1MasterVictor 67033 10" disc "Native kalenda with bambu drums." Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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