April 2nd, 2019
Edrin Symonette: LuCayaN Evolution Redux
Works by Edrin Symonette.
Friday, November 20, 2015 from 6-8pm.
Saturday, November 21, 2015 from 12noon-3pm.
The Lukka-Cairi or Lucayan Indians were the original inhabitants of the Bahamas between the 7th and 12th centuries A.D. A subsidiary of the Taino tribes found in Hispaniola and Cuba, they migrated north east, occupying The Bahamas and Florida.
Within the settling of the Bahamas, Long Island became one of their key destinations, yielding many lime stone cave systems and other conducive geographical elements.
Essentially Long Island became to the prehistoric Lucayan Bahamas, what New Providence is to a modern day Bahamas. Archeological digs conducted over the years within these islands, has yielded a large number of Lucayan artifacts, particularly on Long island.
The idea of Long island being a pre-historic metropolitan was intriguing, particularly because of my own family ties. Both Grandparents being originally from the settlements of Roses and Beres respectively.
My grandmother’s physical attributes specifically, being Indian in nature, prompted speculation on the survival of a small group of Lucayan Indians surviving eradication. The concept of The Lucayan Evolution hypothesizes the survival and evolution of these aboriginal Bahamians, within a modern Bahamian context.
These works seek to explore a hypothetical reality, one in which Lucayans have evolved and flourished in a modern day Bahamas, absent of Columbus. By creating masks using modern Afro-Bahamians I am able to create a hypothetical creolization, combining old (Lucayan) with new (African).
With this melding of traditions the significance of body decoration as a means of visual communication, becomes plausible; creating a conversation through time. Exemplifying the necessity of tradition and culture with regards to identity.
By examining the similarities of both cultures we are able to facilitate a better understanding of our own Afro-Bahamian identity, or even perhaps a Neo-Bahamian unified by traditions and ideals.