The Jamaica Journal Volume 35 No. 3 Features Ranny Williams
The latest issue of the Jamaica Journal Volume 35, No 3, featuring the life and work of one of Jamaica’s finest sons of theatre, Ranny Williams, has hit the streets.
The Jamaica Journal, the flagship publication of the Institute of Jamaica, also contains informative and scholarly articles on Colon Man & The Panama Experience, and The Sculptural Legacy of the Jamaican Taino.
In the article, Ranny Williams Life, Work & Legacy, Alma Mockyen chronicles the seminal work of this dedicated son-of-the-soil. Williams, better known as Maas Ran, is regarded as an integral part of Jamaican theatre.
A cultural stalwart in his own right, Maas Ran left a legacy unmatched in the cultural field. The author quoted Vivia Betton, Jamaica’s Consul-General to Toronto who wrote in 2005 that his work assured that our people’s language became acceptable to us and others. According to Mockyen, “this led to expression of independence and freedom not only in his literary work, but also in our collective psyche. A free people must be able to express themselves in their own way to do so with confidence”.
Colon Man & the Panama Experience article by noted Caribbean author, Olive Senior, focuses on the emigration of poverty stricken West Indians who fled harsh economic times for a better way of living in various countries via the Panama Canal. The construction of the Panama Canal in 1904-1914 saw the greatest overflow of 150,000 to 200,000 West Indian migrants from Jamaica and Barbados leaving for employment.
‘Going to Colon’ became a style and ‘Colon Man’ or ‘Panama Man’ became the iconic image, satirized or glorified, as part of the West Indian epic, said Olive Senior. She stated that returnees from Panama were first called Colon Man after the Caribbean port city where the boats landed with thousands of emigrants, who braved rough seas, harsh weather condition on over-crowded vessels for an opportunity to work. The author concluded that the same situation obtains today
“with many of our workforce leaving for the US & Canada for better opportunities. Nothing much has changed over the years, just the destination.”
The Sculptural Legacy of the Jamaican Taino article by Joanna Ostapkowicz looks at the valuable, carefully crafted wooded sculptures spanning centuries of use. “These uniquely crafted pieces reveals a rich artistic legacy that has much to contribute to our understanding of Taino ritual, belief and aesthetics,” Ostapkowicz observed. In this article the writer speaks to the time, labour and skill involved in creating these masterpieces.
The publication can be purchased at leading book stores, pharmacies and the Institute of Jamaica’s Gift Shop, 10-16 East Street, downtown Kingston
The Jamaica Journal was first published in 1967. Each issue covers a wide range of topics—history, literature, science and the arts that appeal to students, researchers and other academia. Its contributors over the years includes Prof. the Hon Rex Nettleford – O.M., the Hon. Edward Seaga, Dr. Carolyn Cooper and other noted academia’s.