Haiti’s Minister of Culture Supports Rara Festivities in Léogâne


Minister of Culture Josette Darguste recently went to Léogâne where she had an important meeting with the Union of Rara of Léogâne (URAL) and the Organizing Committee of this national cultural festival, which corresponds to Lent and Easter. This year, Léogâne will receive special financial support for the continuation and preservation of its traditional Rara festivities as well as greater visibility.

This year, the Léogânais celebrate thier Rara under the theme “Rebwazman se zafè rara.” The Martelly / Lamothe government has decided to give the festivities greater visibility, a sign of a commitment for this dynamic festival [in the] development of the identity of Haiti. [. . .]

Accompanied by the Director General of the Ministry, of members of his personal office, of Adviser to the President of the Republic, Albert Chancy [et al were welcomed by] members of the Organizing Committee and those of the URAL to the sound of drums, bamboo and wind line of group “Rara Modèle d’Haïti”. Paul Allande, member of the Committee, summarized historically the Rara cultural phenomenon that dates back to pre-Columbian times. Rara, according to him, is nothing other than the continuation [. . .] to honor our consciousness [as Haitian] people, of the festive rites practiced in the chieftainship of the Indian Queen Anacaona [. . .].

The mayor of the municipality [. . .] explained that the theme “rebwazman se zafè rara” found its justification in the fight for the recovery of the Environment [. . .] stressing that President Martelly had requested government teams involved in the implementation of these activities, special attention for the Rara bands that perform with instruments made with waste or natural elements (bamboo, vaccinia, cornet, graj).

Minister Darguste strongly deplored the introduction of wind instruments in the Rara music (trumpet, trombone, saxophone), [saying that] “The Haitian people must ensure its cultural survival” and inviting groups to exhibit—during parades, costumes, and rituals of Rara—traditional [ways and instruments] for a better expression of the Haitian culture. [. . .] The neighborhood Trouin (attached to the town of Léogâne), who jealously guarded the traditional flavor of Rara will receive dignified treatment of this effort, following the instructions of President Martelly. Repair work is underway on the roadway of the High Street to allow good circulation of processions and crowds whose safety will be ensured by agents of the National Police.

The Minister insisted that the visibility given to Léogâne this year did not mean the sidelining of other localities and regions with more or less strong tradition Rara. It is, according to her, an opportunity offered to Léogâne to sell themselves under the colors of the specificities of its Rara and its unique qualities.

For original article, see http://www.haitilibre.com/en/news-8189-haiti-culture-cap-on-the-rara-festivities-in-leogane.html

See photo above (and an in-depth article about Rara, in French) at http://www.radiotelevisioncaraibes.com/nouvelles/haiti/lorsque_tombent_les_masques_du_rara.html

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