Officials pleased with growth of Crop Over Heritage tour


Barbadians are becoming more interested in learning about their heritage and how their ancestors lived, producer of the Crop Over Heritage Bus Tour Alison Sealy-Smith has said.

Speaking to Barbados TODAY on the sidelines of yesterday’s tour, Sealy-Smith disclosed that the response to the event now in its fifth year was overwhelming.

“I think heritage tours in Barbados are growing. But we were surprised right from the very beginning when we first started with culturally enhanced heritage tours in 2012. We were surprised then by how passionately people responded.

“We had this kind of myth that Bajans don’t care about their own stories and we are ashamed and so on. What we have found from 2012-2017 since we have been doing these heritage tours and I don’t know if it’s just the way the NCF does them or if we were wrong in the first place and Bajans do want to hear about their past, but it has grown,” she said.


The acclaimed actress was particularly pleased that new presentations used to bring the historic stories to life appeared to be a hit with participants.


“What we are trying to do is to put a face, put something real to it. We all know that slavery was bad, it was humiliating, people died and so on. It’s hard to imagine it. But then when you see it being played out that’s a completely different thing.

“On our walking tours, we didn’t just tell you about King Dyal, we showed you King Dyal. We didn’t just show you Rachel Pringle. She probably looked a lot different than in the pictures that you see. I think it’s the coming alive of it. I personally think we were wrong in saying Bajans don’t like to hear about themselves. It’s just you have to give it to us in a way that we can appreciate. We may not want to sit down and read it in a history book… but when you show people that it’s not boring… we like that,” she explained.

The tour took hundreds of Barbadians on an entertaining and informative journey, telling them bittersweet stories of molasses and rum.

The tour commenced at Cavans Lane, The City, a former burial ground for slaves.


Minister of Culture Stephen Lashley and Morris Greenidge in conversation during the tour.

Participants first observed a minute of silence for the African slaves who died before a brief introduction from lead tour guide Morris Greenidge.

The presentation on the slaves’ arrival was so captivating, especially the monologue by young Saniyah Braithwaite, that it left some members of the crowd dabbing tears.

The tour then went on to Sunbury Plantation, St Philip for the party at the Great House.

Some of the crowd getting ready to tour Sunbury Great House.

From there it was on to Foursquare Rum Distillery, where the crowd learnt the story of the evolution of the rum enterprise.

The next stop was the Newton Plantation, a former burial ground for enslaved blacks.

The tour then concluded at an old Bajan Rum shop in The City. (DB)


7 Responses to Officials pleased with growth of Crop Over Heritage tour

  1. Ossie Moore June 6, 2017 at 12:44 am

    Awesome ! Now that’s what I like to see a heritage tour instead of heritage prizes being given to who can cut and load the most canes . . . . what’s left of them.

    And while on this topic , in this day and age of the smart phone , social media and internet live streaming , Barbados is still going years back into slavery days by giving out ” plantation prizes ” for who can cut and load the most canes.

    Now what kind of stupid message are they sending to the youth of Barbados . .. . that there is a future in cane cutting in Barbados ?

  2. Bobo June 6, 2017 at 7:00 am

    Ozzie Moore –what’s the difference between a 21st century high tec. Engineer–working at full speed to get his project functional — and some one cutting canes wither the same idea—sacrifices and success is the name of the game— —
    Live and learn

  3. Jennifer June 6, 2017 at 7:53 am

    Bonus is the same – off shoot from cane cutter prizes.

  4. Ossie Moore June 6, 2017 at 9:56 am

    Bobo ! To answer your question :

    ” What’s is the difference between a 21st century high tec. Engineer–working at full speed to get his project functional — and some one cutting canes wither the same idea ” . . . . . . is that the ideology being taught to the bajan youth ?

    Well the difference is that the Engineer is WHITE and the canecutter is BLACK.

  5. Helicopter(8P) June 6, 2017 at 2:08 pm

    Giving the normalcy of life back then in the 18th Century, you could find on any Saturday night commonly and locally referred to as Sarda night, a slave worker from as far as Mangrove walking towards the north to Black Best along cart roads and dusty marl trails going to see the love of his life dressed in his finery of some stringed beads, flour bagged knicker- bockers and coconut straw hat. Coconut oil would have been used to moisturize his skin and make his bright and shiny Mandingo skin give his pleasurable appearance to the opposite sex.

  6. Ralph W Talma June 6, 2017 at 2:46 pm

    Thank you @Helicopter(8P), it is pleasing for me to appreciate the visualisation of your words above. Well done. But, why is my Island seemingly consumed in making everything rigidly Black and White? Other independent Nations today went through the same dastardly era, but have moved on. Why can’t we?

  7. Belfast June 6, 2017 at 11:52 pm

    What is so Heritage about a black Barbadian visiting a plantation great house? Only the maids , butlers a a few house servants were allowed in the Plantation great house,up to a few years ago. Any other fellow visiting the great house, for whatever reason, had to adopt a docile looking stance outside the back door, with his cap in his hand.
    But who cares? Sunbury Great house usually make a mint providing Heritage Barbadian with massa food.
    And by the way, I would like to see a day go by, when I do not have to look at the Minister smiling like a cheshire cat in the media.


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