An evening in Guanima is a treasury of folktales from the Bahamas that was written by Patricia Glinton-Meicholas

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Lateisha Pratt LI42

Friday 25th May, 2012


     An evening in Guanima is a treasury of folktales from the Bahamas that was written by Patricia Glinton-Meicholas, a fellow Bahamian from Cat Island, Bahamas. This book consists of many short stories that contain Bahamian customs. Some Bahamian customs originate from our African ancestors and are still used today. Two stories that widely show an abundance of Bahamian customs are “Miss Annie” and “The Gaulin Wife”. In these two stories there are things such as lifestyle, foods, dialect, places, songs, proverbs, obeah, transportation, celebrations and plants that can be seen as Bahamian customs.

     The short story “Miss Annie” was taken place in Cat Island. I can tell because the author identifies the setting as “Port Howe” which is in Cat Island. There are places such as Society Hall, St.Peter’s Church and Zion Baptist that can also be traced back to the Bahamian island known as Cat Island. There is also mention of the blue holes which are found in Andros.

     There are also some plants mentioned in this story that are found in The Bahamas, such as, croton, bougainvillaea and allamanda. The allamanda and bougainvillea plants can be found almost anywhere on the islands because they are the most common of three listed.

     One of the most common Bahamian customs found in both stories is the food. There were a whole lot of Bahamian dishes listed in the short story “Miss Annie” such as steamed chicken, peas and rice, fried plantains, roast potatoes, coconut tart, potato bread and limeade. Some classical Bahamian pastries or treats were listed in “The Gaulin Wife” such as benne, johnny, coconut and peanut cakes.

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     The use of proverbs is another Bahamian tradition that was used a lot back in the old days. Mostly old Bahamians recited them. There are examples of them in both stories such as “jumped the broom” which meant to get married. That custom was adapted from our African ancestors. “Once fish on hook, man don’ need no bait” meant that once whatever you desired was yours, you wouldn’t have to try anymore to keep it. “Listen boy, you guh pick ‘til you pick needle wit’ out eye”meant that the boy will pick and pick until he messes with ...

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