(St. Christopher National Trust) St. Kitts and Nevis – August 23, 2017: In the 1830s some thirty maroons led by a man named Markus, roamed the forested highlands of St. Kitts, occasionally raiding the plantations below. The story of “Markus, King of the Woods” will be presented at this weekend’s final session of the National Trust’s Dasani-Harper’s Heritage House Children’s Storytelling Series (August 26, 2017).
The Trust is delighted to have as its storyteller well-known composer, writer, poet and performance artist Creighton Pencheon who is preparing a dramatic retelling of the tale. The Saturday morning Heritage House Storytelling Series which is designed for children aged 6-12 years old, began on July 8th.
The sessions are held inside the National Museum, in a room that has been transformed into a fun storytelling space. Last weekend, the National Trust welcomed the new Director of Government House Mrs. Charisse Gumbs as its storyteller, sitting in for the Governor General who is recovering from a minor illness. Mrs. Gumbs shared the story of Betto Douglas, a woman who was enslaved in St. Kitts on the estate owned by the Earl of Romney.
In the 1820s at the age 52, she attempted through a court challenge, to obtain her freedom. Also joining last Saturday’s session was previous reader Jihan Williams who sat in with the children and helped explain some of the intricacies of the court system. The story lead to an interesting discussion about societal structure, privileges, colourism and morality.
The children as ever, were both engaged and engaging. In addition to Ms Willians and Mrs. Gumbs, the Heritage House Series has featured storytellers Schenidman Warner, Troy “Spuddy” Hendrickson, Dr. Kimberly Stewart and Trecia Greaux, and Deputy Prime Minsiter Shawn Richards. Earlier this month the children also particiapted in a Create-A-Story session with Early Childhood Education Specialist Jaya Relwani.
Thanks to our partners Caribelle Batik, Caribbean Journey Masters, Caribbean Reads, The Department of Youth, Gary’s Fruits and Flowers, Social Security and a number of private patrons, we are able to offer the entire series free of cost. All the sessions have been booked to capacity and the feedback from parents and children has been exceptionally positive.
Volunteers are already coming forward to serve as storytellers for the next series. Space for the final weekend is limited, so interested persons must register by Friday at 5:00 pm. We regret that we will be unable to accept late registrations, so to avoid disappointment, please get in touch as soon as possible. Contact the National Trust at: 465-5584 or firstname.lastname@example.org