||The cultural practices and beliefs of the Caribs and West African descendants are the underpinning factors which has shaped the characteristics of SVGs present day culture and society. The following are the major cultural highlights of this unique society.
Back in the days, carnival was a time when troops of people, dressed like devils and angels, gave battle. All of them dressed in flamboyant costumes sparkling with sequins, clusters of feathers and silk. Today, carnival, although still highly traditional, has become a fashionable celebration of costume parades, street parties, beauty pageant shows and concerts of calypso, steel band and soca music.
Music has always been an integral part of Vincent culture. Calypso and soca are the major sounds however, reggae, rap, R&B and a variety of other North American music can be heard throughout the islands. Calypso music is a blend of African and French styles developed as a form of social satire and commentary. Songs make fun of local politicians, point out social injustice and describes love affairs. The lyrics were traditionally improvised by the singer, but today most singers memorize written lyrics. Soca music is a faster, more dance oriented version of calypso.
Artisans in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, particularly in Bequia, construct wooden scale models of traditional schooners and Bequian whale boats. The boats are made exactly to scale, panted in traditional colours and outfitted with sails and rigging. Bequians are known to be dependents on trading, therefore the art of boat building has become a natural industry.
Fishing is very important to the lives and livelihood of the people in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Vincentians have adopted many methods of fishing including hand line, seining, spear fishing and the hauling of fish pots. Agriculture on the other hand was the major economic sector during our past and is still the main dominating sector of the economy today -- bananas being the single most valuable export commodity. This sector provides a high percentage of the total employment in St. Vincent.
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