News

Olive Lewin makes her final journey today

By Richard Johnson

Saturday, April 27, 2013    

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NOTED Jamaica musicologist, anthropologist and educator Dr Olive Lewin will be buried in Hayes, Clarendon today following a service of thanksgiving at the University Chapel in St Andrew, starting at 12 noon.

Lewin died at the University Hospital of the West Indies on April 10 following a long illness.

On Thursday night, a giant portrait of Lewin projected on a screen gazed down at the proceedings as the life of the late icon was celebrated at the Louise Bennett Garden Theatre in St Andrew.

The traditional music and practices, which Lewin made her life's work, was on full display as a full moon hovered overhead.

The Jamaican Folk Singers, which she founded decades ago, led the singing of sankeys, folk songs and traditional revival hymns and dances.

A table set with a traditional 'Home Sweet Home' kerosene lamp, a vase with crotons, Bible, a container with salt and the obligatory alligator bread graced the stage as performers took the small but appreciative audience through an interactive song and dance associated with a traditional 'set up'.

The list of performers included the St Ann Senior Citizens' Council, the Akwaaba Drummers, The Moore Town Maroons and the Trysee Cultural Group from St Ann.

The proceedings became more interactive when the St Mary Cultural Group took centre stage. They brought Dinkimini to the event. This ritual and dance is traditionally performed for 'crossing-over' ceremonies when one has made the transition from this world to the next.

In keeping with the interactive nature of the event, the group ventured into the audience to encourage attendees to join them on stage. Among those making it to the stage were Culture Minister Lisa Hanna, who took her opposition counterpart Olivia 'Babsy' Grange with her to be part of the experience.

Folklorist Amina Blackwood-Meeks and Lilieth Nelson guided the proceedings which were witnessed by members of Dr Lewin's family, former Prime Minister Edward Seaga, and playwright and journalist Barbara Gloudon.

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