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Coordinator for the African Awareness Activities at the Charles F. Broome Memorial Primary School, Heather Cave explaining to students the role which the manual cane grinder played during the?? late 19th century. (A. Miller/BGIS)

A chance to see African artefacts and gain a better understanding of the lessons taught during African Awareness Month is what over 90 students from the Charles F. Broome Memorial Primary School experienced today when they visited the museum.

Along with their teachers, the five to six-year-olds from the Infants Department toured the African Gallery and saw a variety of implements, instruments, clothing, food and housing used by African people in their continent and more particularly, during the enslaved period in the Caribbean.

Coordinator of the tour and Infants Teacher, Heather Cave, in giving the rationale for the tour explained: "It was about meshing the information given in class to the artefacts in the museum. We showed them how the African way of life was linked to Barbados and the Caribbean…and how because of slavery we are who we are today

and a lot of the food that we eat, the clothes [which] we wear and the instruments [which] we play are directly linked with the life of the Africans."

Pointing out that the students showed a keen interest in the artefacts, Ms. Cave said: "We recognised that the information sunk in because they (the children) were able to answer questions that were directly related to the things they saw. They are very keen and they remembered a lot.

"By coming here today it helped to cement all the experiences that they would have had and all the information that they would have been exposed to. They are now more aware…because that is what we want from them to be more aware of what happened, how it affects us today and how we can maintain this legacy that we have inherited."

Charles F. Broome hosted its first ever African Awareness celebration this year, and according to Ms. Cave though it was done on a small scale – involving only the Infants Department – it was a success.?? She pointed out that as part of the Social Studies class the children looked at "Transportation" and the journey by African slaves and how they were moved to the Caribbean.

"It was a journey that they made but not one of choice. It was inflicted upon them…forced upon us…but then we showed them (the children) how, although it was a bad thing, something good came out of it…and then the journey continued…they journeyed here…brought with them their skills; their knowledge and they passed on the

things that they knew. And, that is why we do things the way we do… even the way we speak, is a result of that."

The Infants teacher added that next year should see the entire school on board with more aspects of African life depicted during African Awareness Month.

joy-ann.gill@barbados.gov.bb

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