Barbadoes Water


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Celtic-Afro-Caribbean Distilled Rum

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Barbadoes Water

  1. 1. BarbadoesWaterCeltic-Afro-Caribbean Distilled Rum 15th Caribbean Eastern Island Cultures Conference University of the Virgin Islands, St. Thomas Friday, November 19, 2012 Eva de Lourdes Edwards, PhD University of Puerto Rico College of General Studies English Department 1
  2. 2. Panel Session: Irish Indentured Labor in the Caribbean• Stewart, Virginia (Roanoke College, USA). “Historical Background to the Influx of Irish to the Early Colonial Caribbean”• Harris, Jo Ann (Georgia Gwinnett College, USA). “The Politics of Irish Indenture on Both Sides of the Atlantic”• Edwards, Eva de Lourdes (University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras). “Barbadoes Water: Celtic-Afro-Caribbean Distilled Rum”• Lawton de Torruella, Elena (Universidad del SagradoCorazón, Puerto Rico). “Black, White, and Red Legs: Moving Beyond Racialized Dichotomies” 2
  3. 3. Waving Fields of Memory Cañas de la Memoria TV Documentary Public Television(available in YouTubein 6 parts) Sugar cane cutter Cortador de Caña 1950-51 Rafael Tufiño 3
  4. 4. “Sugar’s ugly sister” (Parker 297)• Parker, Matthew. The Sugar Barons: Family, Corruption, Empire, and War in the West Indies. New York: Walker P/Bloomsbury P, 2011. In Print 4
  5. 5. A rum, by any other name ...• Rumbullion• Kill-Devil• Barbadoes Water• Rum• Aqua Vitae (Alchemy, for medicinal purposes)• Cachaça – Brazilian Portuguese• Rhum (French)• Ron (Spanish) – Aguardiente (burning water) – Cuba – Pitorro (moonshine) – Puerto Rico 5
  6. 6. SaccharumOfficinarum(Sugar of the Apothecaries)Karkara – SanskritSakkara – PakritSukkur – ArabicAzúcar – SpanishSucre - FrenchSugar – English (13thc.)“A kind of honey madefrom reeds.” Pliny the Elder(Aykroyd 6, 10) 6
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  8. 8. Guanche mummy (right) and stoneworkers exhibit (bottom) from Canary GuanchesIslands museum. The islands, north of the Tropic ofCancer, provided a good location forsugar cane cultivation, though not asoptimal as the Caribbean. 8
  9. 9. Sugar Cane, Treacle, Molasses, Rum New Guinea Barbados Plant origins 1637-1647 9
  10. 10. ... and a bottle of rum The first documented appearances of both the words kill-devil and rum surfaced in Barbados. In 1652, a visitor to theislands observed that “the chief fuddling they make in theisland is Rumbullion, alias Kill-Divil, an this is made of sugarcanes, ...” A 1658 deed for the sale of the Three HousesPlantation included in the sale “four large mastrick cisterns forliquor for rum,” which is the first known official appearance ofthe word rum in any of the islands. (Laws governing liquor hadpreviously been passed by the Barbadian assembly, but thesereferred only to “this country’s spirits.”). Barbados can also claim to be home to the oldest-knowncontinuously produced rum—from the Mount Gay distillery(Curtis 26). 10
  11. 11. Rum and Cognac 11
  12. 12. It was about rum, not tea 12
  13. 13. Pandora’s Box 13
  14. 14. Rum, Romance & Rebellion (1928)“the Scums, Dregs and excrementitious Parts[of the sugar-cane juice] which are separatedfrom the finer and more essential parts ...”and which were later found to be “of somevalue, for from the same being fermented anddistilled, is extracted a strong Spirit which theycall Rumm” Thomas Tenison, 1684 (Taussig 4) 14
  15. 15. • x 15
  16. 16. Distilling and Alchemy 16
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  18. 18. Thank youMolly, the serving girl at John Shaw’sPunch House, Manchester (founded1735), stands in front of two bowls ofpunch and holds a box of spices.An illustration from FS Stancliffe’sJohnShaw’s 1738-1938Manchester Public Libraries 18
  19. 19. The End 19