Since my earliest childhood, I heard of this slave ancestor who had been killed after having buried the jewels of its masters underground, at their request, at the foot of a cheese maker. and one who was pushing at the back of our property seemed always vigilant keeper of a never again found treasure.
It was also the story of this family which could not only take a Caribbean basket full of jewelry during the eruption of Mount Pelée. When taking place in one of the ships of the company Girard, who had to take a lot of claims to Fort-de-France, the captain gave the order to leave all packages to the ground; only passengers could take place on board. One of the women, desperate to see his cart abandoned on the beach, proposed fifty francs to one of the sailors if it brought him. Half an hour later, she regained her well, to not have separate... All members of the family could meet half of the promised sum, the deck-hand was content to twenty francs, but if he had the curiosity to open the basket, he would have discovered with amazement that he had what would have seemed to be the treasure of Ali Baba.
It is as well as for me, as a child, the jewel in gold was not an element of adornment, but rather a security assurance, a remedy in case of need, a priceless guarantee.
I don't in wore little, apart from the Creole rings Mr Frido me had developed when it had pierced my ears. One day, I had lost a side into the sea during a swim. grandfather, saw me arrive home with one side, forbids me to come see it as long as I would not have my two earrings. He went so far as to give the money to my mother, and seeing that it was not buying them, he did travel to Fort-de-France, to me a pair.
When I was born, my father employers had offered me a pair of pins 'baby' and the small chain, with the Medal of the Virgin that my godmother had given to me, had been blessed by the priest. MOM put me in the neck, only on Sundays and feast days. Itself was that his alliance, however my father was anxious the beautiful chain of watch and cuff buttons that he had inherited from a grandfather. I can see again, leaving the gold to his pocket watch, the posing gently in the Palm of his hand for the hour and replacing it with gestures of infinite elegance.
I watched with eyes full of admiration of my schoolmistress beautiful bracelets and especially the magnificent ring her fiance had given him before leaving in dissent. Much later I learned that he had never returned because he was married to his war godmother!
Madam Adée necklace-chou was four to five times his neck. It was said that it had purchased grain after grain from a young age and had them put on a string by a jeweler of Fort-de-France. Strands of hair were locked up in a giant, ornate medallion of birds and flowers of gold. The father of her children disappeared at sea, she not carried more than its 'Creole', any black wire that she had patiently wound covering gold.
Honor of Zéphirine, were its pins. It was everywhere, before her dress on her cap of madras to retain her headscarf; She wore the arm a beautiful ring that she had found in a gutter, a great rainy day in Saint-Pierre. Told quietly that she had been a famous 'matador', she had poise.
Mr Totor ring scared me, she was in the form of animal head with black eyes which seemed to fix you wickedly. They said it was 'mounted' 4 and that he had gone to enforce labour abroad. Also, no lady he resisted, and could not count the number of children he had on the island. His smile discovered two rows of gold teeth. He wore a ring to the ear and it was, it seems to 'remove the moods' and also preserve of deafness.
Regularly arrived, by boat, jewelry, an Italian dealer, as there were many in the trade. He went from door to door, offering his valuable goods. He traveled through the countryside on foot, with his small suitcase. Each was purchases in secret, and it was on the occasion of the communal or religious feasts that we discovered the news, and then it had the conversations for several days. We lived doors wide open, because he had no fear of thieves.
Came the Carnival. Our group of friends decided to wear the traditional costume, fat Sunday. At that time, it did not junk jewelry, people who had gold, them were willingly, pulling perhaps pride to see doors by younger, resplendent of freshness and cheerfulness.
Wishing to give a surprise to my parents, I say nothing of the project, carefully hid clothing and jewelry, madras, the bottom wire and shoes. In the greatest secrecy, a neighbor para us and when I saw myself in the mirror, I was dazzled before so much beauty. This costume was going to delight to my complexion of sapodilla, a slight vanilla fly gave me a little naughty look; all jewelry, reflecting the light of this beautiful day, made darker and deeper my capresse eyes, and smell... the peculiar smell of the madras interwoven with that of vanilla me intoxicated as would an alcohol.
I imagined the surprise of MOM, her joy to see her so beautiful girl...
Alas! It was a real disaster. My mother was outrage, neither angry nor harsh. She was pained, a huge penalty, dating back from the depths of ages, without words, without gestures. I will never forget his eyes, I was reading everything this madras, this typical dress accounted for her pain, hurt pride of feminity ambition and even excessive spreading of jewelry could erase.
I rushed to my room to remove everything, and since I did more carry the creole costume, nor any kind of transvestite.
Many years later, my mother told me that all his life, his grandmother had worked hard so that her two daughters wear hat and are civil servants. They admitted that his reaction had been excessive, but so sincere!
I replied that these costumes direct were also the mark of creativity and optimism, never in default of our ancestors, which, with initially that two pieces of coarse cloth, arrived in design, these masterpieces (all jupechemise or comforter with skirt and shawl) who have made and will long be still admired by all, by highlighting our Caribbean type so well.
Words and stories communicated to notebooks
1. they were: Ruby, Topaz and diamond.
2. in 1940, many Caribbean joined the free French forces making English Islands, clandestinely, aboard the gums.
3 matador: 'courtisane' deemed Saint-Pierre, before the disaster. 4. «(...) IV - The Protegements: but using just as much, if not more, what is known in the country of the 'protegements '... But in most cases, the protegements are jewellery, medals with chains of the same metal, meaning that if the chain is silver, the medal must be money, etc. For men, used rings to kitten. The jewel whatever it is bought on the prescription of an Emeritus Wizard, a "Mentor", who has assumed the intention for which it wants to have a 'protegement '. "" When the jewel has been acquired, it is delivered to the Mentor, which the "monte" according to the rules of his art and then makes his client. The protegement can be also formed by a bag containing medals, amulets, dried herbs or various powders. Everything is wrapped in a sheet of blank parchment, on which was written a prayer or any other formula frequently written in macaronic latin. The bag is suspended from the neck by a string of "Macfarlane", because this plant to spread diseases. "Excerpt from magic to the West Indies of Eugène Revert.