Barbados Slides 1. Context TOC
Woodrow W. Denham

 

Introduction

Context

 

Natural History

 

Human Culture

  

Introduction

The Introduction to The Season of Gilbert and Joan, in the St. Lucia section of this Caribbean Collection, presents a comprehensive introduction to our work in the Caribbean. The body of that book also contains a great deal of detailed additional information that pertains specifically to our work in Barbados. West Indian Green Monkeys: Problems in Historical Biogeography, here in the Barbados section of the Caribbean Collection, presents the results of our research with the African monkeys that live in Barbados, St. Kitts and Nevis. It deals with the natural and social history of those monkeys since the settlement of Barbados by Europeans in 1627, and by implication with the people whose activities have impacted upon the monkeys. The photographs cataloged here complement both.

I took these photographs in Barbados between 1985 and 1988. Together they constitute a collection of visual material that I hope has some aesthetic merit. More important however is its potential value for teaching and research. Most of the twenty-three sets of photos are broad and deep enough to give you a solid visual introduction to some particular aspect of life in Barbados in the 1980s. I have included 601 photos here. That is by no means all of my photos on any topic, but it is enough to provide a kind of “statistical summary” of life in the island. I have not included just a few pretty pictures of some topic such as the sugar industry. Rather, I have included 75 photos dealing specifically with Sugar Production and Sugar Factories, 12 with rum production, 46 with the Crop Over festival that marks the end of the cane harvest, and many others that deal with specific aspects of the sugar industry such as the limestone cap on the island, land use patterns, chattel houses, monkeys as agricultural pests, and so on, well over100 photos that have a direct or indirect bearing on the sugar industry. The same is true of other broad topics such as the geology and botany of the island, the fishing industry, and so on.

The photos are susceptible to analysis from many perspectives by people ranging from school children to ecologists, sociologists and historians. The 26 photos of Barbados from the Air comprise a nearly complete visual circuit of the island, thereby enabling you to learn a great deal about population density, settlement patterns, vegetation cover and land use patterns, urban sprawl, and related matters. The 35 photos from Graeme Hall Swamp, including the air photo that opens the set, give you some idea of how the swamp looked when the Barbados Museum was just beginning its work to preserve it. You can obtain a good impression of the great ecological diversity of the island from a careful analysis of several sets including Barbados from the Air, Limestone Cap, Graeme Hall Swamp, Plants, Monkeys, Villages and Smallholdings, Sugar Production and others. Human economic and cultural activities are featured in sets dealing with Villages and Smallholdings, Sugar Production, Sugar Factories, Rum, Wind Power, Beach and Reef Fishing, Sea Fishing, Mahogany and Basketry, Bridgetown and Tourism. The vigorous cultural life and the enormous sense of fun and good cheer that characterizes so much of life in the island are depicted in small part by the sets from Crop Over and the Oistins Fishing Festival.

These photographs feature the “little people” of Barbados and things that are important to them. The “big people”, the movers and shakers who appear daily on radio and TV and in the newspapers, are entirely missing. I deliberately emphasize the ordinary folks who make the island function on a daily basis regardless of who happens to hold political power for the moment. Certainly the “big people” have large scale, long term impacts on the society, but on a daily basis they may be likened to insects crawling around on a tree that just sits there stolidly, doing whatever a tree does to persist for decades or centuries.

In a small island that has been massively impacted by humans since sugar production began in 1640, it is virtually impossible to separate natural history from human cultural history. I have made that distinction with some trepidation in organizing these photos, but it reflects at most a difference in emphasis rather than a distinction in kind.

I include brief introductory comments with each set of photos only to introduce you to what you are seeing, not to explain the contents.

 

Context

Down to the Islands (22)

With four obvious exceptions, all photographs in this set were taken through aircraft windows at altitudes ranging from 29,000 to 41,000 feet. Generally speaking it is a miscellaneous collection of beautiful islands and clouds. The set showing the Bahamas enroute from San Juan to Miami were taken at 41,000 feet, facing northeast from a window on the right side of the airplane. The seafloor detail – sand, reefs and cloud shadows - is remarkable. The six photos in the Bahamas set appear here in their correct sequence from southeast to northwest. I have never attempted to identify the individual islands depicted here.

Slide#

Location

Caption

BDSa01

Boston

Departure for the Caribbean

BDSa02

San Juan

Eastern Airlines service to the Caribbean

BDSa03

San Juan, Puerto Rico

Sometimes it doesn’t work

BDSa04

San Juan, PR

Plane has a problem

BDSa05

Bahamas

Fluffy clouds

BDSa06

Dominican Republic

Interesting very high cloud over the DR

BDSa07

Bahamas

Thunderstorm

BDSa08

Barbados

Thunderstorm

BDSa09

Barbados

Rainbow

BDSa10

Bahamas

Northbound from San Juan to Miami

BDSa11

Bahamas

Northbound from San Juan to Miami

BDSa12

Bahamas

Northbound from San Juan to Miami

BDSa13

Bahamas

Northbound from San Juan to Miami

BDSa14

Bahamas

Northbound from San Juan to Miami

BDSa15

Bahamas

Northbound from San Juan to Miami

BDSa16

San Juan, PR

Peeking out

BDSa17

US Virgin Islands

Cloud cap

BDSa18

St. Croix

Made the day Baby Doc Duvalier was driven into exile from Haiti.

BDSa19

Antigua

Complex point

BDSa20

Eustacia

Whole island

BDSa21

Saba

Whole island

BDSa22

Dominica

Coastline

 

Barbados from the Air (26)

These photographs accumulated over a period of several years in the mid-1980s. Hence quality varies depending on weather, time of day, clean or dirty aircraft windows, etc. The set makes a complete circuit of Barbados, beginning at the northwestern tip of the island, continuing down the west coast to Bridgetown, then across the south coast to land at Grantley Adam Airport. It resumes the circuit on takeoff, following the southeast and east coasts until the plane turns northwestward across the interior of the island and heads out to sea over Six Men’s Bay near the northwestern corner of the island. All of the photographs appear here in their correct sequence around the island with the possible exception of BDSb03 and BDSb04 whose order may be reversed. Although the photos contain very little detail, they say a great deal about population density, settlement patterns, land use patterns, cliffs and gullies, reforestation in the second half of the 20 th century, urban sprawl, and related matters. An air photo of Graeme Hall Swamp that is missing from this sequence appears below as the first item in the Graeme Hall Swamp dataset.

Slide# Location Caption

BDSb01

North Coast

Approaching St. Lucy from the north

BDSb02

West Coast

Southbound along the west coast toward Bridgetown

BDSb03

West Coast

Southbound along the west coast toward Bridgetown

BDSb04

West Coast

Southbound along the west coast toward Bridgetown

BDSb05

West Coast

Southbound along the west coast toward Bridgetown

BDSb06

West Coast

Southbound along the west coast toward Bridgetown

BDSb07

Bridgetown

Deepwater harbour

BDSb08

Bridgetown

Cruise ship in deepwater harbour

BDSb09

Bridgetown

Careenage and the central business district

BDSb10

Bridgetown

Careenage and the central business district

BDSb11

Bridgetown

Racecourse

BDSb12

Bridgetown

Holiday Inn Hotel

BDSb13

South coast

Eastbound, descending to land at the airport

BDSb14

South coast

Eastbound, descending to land at the airport

BDSb15

South coast

Eastbound, descending to land at the airport

BDSb16

South coast

Eastbound, descending to land at the airport

BDSb17

Airport

Grantley Adams International Airport – arrive and depart here

BDSb18

Southeast coast

The Crane

BDSb19

Southeast coast

Satellite communications antenna

BDSb20

Southeast coast

Northbound, climbing

BDSb21

East coast

Ragged Point Lighthouse

BDSb22

East coast

Northbound, climbing

BDSb23

East coast

The Wash

BDSb24

Scotland District

Linear settlement along ridge in Scotland District

BDSb25

Northwestern interior

Approaching Six Men’s Bay

BDSb26

Six Men’s Bay

Northwest coast – the circuit ends here

 

Air Links (18)

This set introduces the commercial aviation industry that connects Barbados with the outside world. By the 1980s, tourism from the USA, Canada, England and Europe had become the island’s most important source of foreign revenue. Similarly, air links to those destinations enabled Bajans to travel widely. I took most of these photos at Grantley Adams International Airport (GAIA). During the high season, a British Airways Concorde arrived once a week to deliver hyper-wealthy tourists from London, and pick up the previous week’s group. Air Guyana leased the TU227 from the Soviet Union as part of its dependence on Soviet foreign aid, and used it on flights from Georgetown to Barbados and Trinidad. Every day year round British West Indian Airlines (BWIA) landed with passengers from the major international destinations listed above, and other Caribbean islands including Trinidad and Jamaica. I took the close-up BWIA photos while teaching courses in Caribbean Anthropology and Natural History in Barbados for the University System on New Hampshire (USNH). Many thanks to BWIA for their assistance and cooperation.

Slide# Location Caption

BDSc01

Grantley Adams

British Airways Concorde on final approach to Barbados.

BDSc02

Grantley Adams

Concorde main gear touches down amidst the sugar cane.

BDSc03

Grantley Adams

Concorde nose gear about to impact.

BDSc04

Grantley Adams

Concorde departing, with afterburners on.

BDSc05

Grantley Adams

Concorde departs for London.

BDSc06

Grantley Adams

Air Guyana TU227 leased from the Soviet Union.

BDSc07

From Oistins

BWIA Lockheed L1011 approaching Grantley Adams Airport

BDSc08

Near Barbados

Flying into Barbados on Nancy’s birthday, sitting with L1011 flight crew

BDSc09

Grantley Adams

L1011 passenger compartment

BDSc10

Grantley Adams

L1011 taxiing to terminal

BDSc11

Grantley Adams

L1011 taxiing to terminal

BDSc12

Grantley Adams

L1011 parked

BDSc13

Grantley Adams

L1011 unloading

BDSc14

Grantley Adams

L1011 unloading

BDSc15

Grantley Adams

USNH student group

BDSc16

Grantley Adams

Terminal scenes

BDSc17

Grantley Adams

Terminal scenes

BDSc18

Grantley Adams

Terminal scenes

 

Bellairs Research Institute (9)

Bellairs served as our home away from home during our visits to Barbados between 1978 and 1988. During that period it was a marine biology research station affiliated with McGill University in Montreal, PQ, Canada. The faculty and staff had a broad range of interests exceeded only by those of the visiting natural and social scientists from around the world who used the excellent accommodations and research facilities regularly. We stayed there with all of our USNH students, most of whom had never previously traveled outside the United States. Bellairs had an active sea turtle research and preservation program at the time, and the turtle in the last photo is representative of it.

Slide# Location Caption

BDSd01

Holetown

Seabourne residence

BDSd02

Holetown

USNH student group

BDSd03

Holetown

Unloading the luggage

BDSd04

Holetown

Dormitory and laboratory

BDSd05

Holetown

Library

BDSd06

Holetown

Seabourne residence

BDSd07

Holetown

Inside Seabourne residence

BDSd08

Holetown

Inside a laboratory

BDSd09

Holetown

Sea turtle at the laboratory

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