Inclement weather may have threatened the unfolding of the infamous Moriah Ole Time Wedding, a favourite signature event of the Tobago Heritage Festival, but it certainly did not dampen the spirits of patrons, who were determined not to miss it and braved the weather to attend.
Adding her own inimitable flavour and dimension to the proceedings, was Tobago’s own well-known cultural icon, Dr Eastlyn Mc Kenzie, a woman of drama and flair, who kept patrons informed and entertained on all the intricate cultural aspects of the event.
Sharing vital and informative anecdotes and history of the Village of Moriah, Dr Mc Kenzie explained the three stages of the Wedding, which includes the Church Ceremony, held at the Moriah Moravian Church and the dresses of yesteryear, which were worn by ancestors in the days of slavery, as they imitated the Colonial Masters.., complete with the scissors-tail coats and top hats worn by the men.
“This is drama…this is theatre…a re-enactment of old styles and traditions…she explained.
The second phase saw the Wedding Procession hit the streets, in an explosion of colour, flair and intricate dances, as the men and women in all their regalia and beautiful period ensembles, as well as the Bride and Groom…, executed the steps of the ‘Brush Back Dance’ to the enjoyment of on-lookers…, all the way to the next stop, where all would partake of the ‘Cake and Wine.’
Following this, in full glory, the Procession descended on the Moriah Recreation Grounds, for an exhilarating and exciting portrayal and re-enactment of Tobago’s rich cultural traditions, experienced days gone by, complete with other dance forms, to include the’ Reel and Jig’ and the ‘Heel and Toe.’
Chairman of the Moriah Heritage Committee, which hosted the Event, Mr Winfield Carrington, elaborated on the Production, which he advised was entitled, ‘Mouth Open Torry Jump Out.’
While Mr Wendell Berkley, welcomed all to the 3rd Event of the Tobago Heritage Festival 2014 and the beginning of the extended Tobago Experience.
Mr Berkley described the Wedding as a signal event, which speaks to tradition, dance, music and ritual. “As we celebrate the Wedding….as we celebrate the Tobago Heritage….family is important and dear to Tobago and we should all unite, because we are all one family.”
Secretary of the Division of Community Development and Culture, Dr Denise Tsoiafatt-Angus, commended the Moriah Heritage Committee, for their commitment to this Moriah Event. She noted that she is heartened to see the involvement of young people, as she especially commended the Village of Moriah for “passing on the baton and leading the way.”
The Secretary advised, “that the Tobago House of Assembly considers the Tobago Heritage Festival as the flagship of expressions of Tobago’s culture and in this regard, over the last few months, training programmes of the Division allowed the young people to learn and become sufficiently proficient, in executing the day’s activities so as to ensure that we become more beautiful .”
Dr Tsoiafatt-Angus again revealed her Division’s intention, to recognize and award all the villages, which have participated each year, for 27 years, of the life span of the Tobago Heritage Festival.