A historic monument with international appeal will soon be unveiled in Barbados. John Kidd and his family, organisers of the Holders Season, have erected a monument in memory of Yarico, an Amerindian woman who was sold into slavery in Barbados during the 17th Century by Inkle, the man she loved.
The monument will be unveiled by Prime Minister, Freundel Stuart, on Wednesday, January 21, Errol Barrow Day, at 10:00 a.m. at Kendal Plantation, St. John, where Yarico lived. Minister of Culture, Sports and Youth, Stephen Lashley, will address the audience.
The public is invited to witness the unveiling of the monument, which is expected to excite interest in this aspect of Barbados??? history and generate a positive impact on the island???s cultural/tourism product. It is expected to transform the Kendal site into a new attraction for locals and visitors.
The Yarico story was first recorded by Richard Ligon in his 1657 book: The True and Exact History of Barbados. In the publication, he mentions an Amerindian slave girl who told him the story of how she became enslaved. On that Ligon wrote: ???So poor Yarico, for her love, lost her liberty.???
In 1787, when George Colman introduced the story to the English public in the form of an opera ??? Inkle and Yarico – its instant popularity surpassed everyone???s expectations.
With the onset of the abolition of slavery, it was the right story at the right time, and the opera???s enormous success inspired countless other adaptations, which in turn added fuel to the growing debate on the ethics of slavery. Subsequently, this contributed to a major shift in the general perception of forced labour, and the inhumane treatment of those in bondage.
However, the Inkle & Yarico story disappeared for over 200 years, until it was rediscovered in the 1990s. The play was resurrected by the Holders Season in Barbados in 1997, and now John Kidd has further developed it into a major musical, which is about to be performed off the West End, in London.
Renamed Yarico, it is hoped that it will continue to have ???legs??? and become a world renowned production. The erection of the monument is not only to further this global awareness, but to cement it to its origins ??? Kendal Plantation, Barbados.