Exploring StCroix’s Unique Cultural Heritage with Karen Thurland


Thurland has once again achieved an impressive feat by presenting a comprehensive publication that sheds light on the rich cultural heritage of St. Croix, including historical events and captivating photographs. Her latest book, titled “Masqueraders Musicians and the Old Time St. Croix Christmas Festival,” is a result of five years of extensive research, interviews, photography, and collaborative efforts with local individuals and their families. Thurland’s commitment to delivering quality information and engaging narratives is evident in her latest masterpiece, which promises to be a delightful read for all audiences.

As a distinguished author who began her writing career in , Thurland will be holding a book signing event at Undercover Books situated in Gallows Bay on Thursday from p.m. to : p.m. The event presents an excellent opportunity for readers to connect with the author and gain more insight into her work while acquiring signed copies of the new book.

, which was shot during his visit to the island. Thurland’s latest work presents a comprehensive and insightful account of St. Croix over the past century.

In commemoration of her grandfather, Peter G. Thurland Sr.’s centennial birth anniversary in , the author embarked on a research project that culminated in her sixth published book. Her literary pursuits revolve around St. Croix, with contributions from oral histories, personal interviews, and other resources, including family photos, the St. Croix Landmarks Society, the Fritz Henle collection, and the Whim Library. The latest edition is a culmination of years of extensive research, facilitated by the generous contributions of various sources, including photographs captured via a reel from Thurland’s father’s visit to the island in . With its thorough and discerning analysis, this book offers an intricate depiction of St. Croix’s history and evolution over the past century.

the Virgin Islands, showcasing the unique cultural heritage of the area through their music. Additionally, the book features anecdotes from individuals who have experienced the transformative power of Quelbe music firsthand. This comprehensive work highlights the significant contributions that Quelbe musicians have made to preserving and celebrating Caribbean culture and illuminates how the genre has evolved over time. Overall, it serves as an indispensable resource for those seeking a deeper understanding of the rich cultural tapestry of the Virgin Islands and the role that Quelbe music has played in shaping its identity.

the Mighty Sparrow. The Virgin Islands’ rich cultural heritage is exemplified by the legacy of musicians like Ernest Galloway, who have imparted their knowledge and skills to others through mentorship and teaching. Galloway, a renowned calypsonian from Watergut in Christiansted, has left an indelible mark on the Caribbean, the United States and Canada with his music. His fascinating career is chronicled vividly in the book, which highlights his achievements such as being the only Virgin Islander to perform at Carnegie Hall in New York and his induction into the Calypso Hall of Fame. Galloway’s iconic song Archie Buck Mih Up recorded in Trinidad and Barbados, and played in Europe by the Mighty Sparrow, serves as a testament to the enduring influence of Virgin Islands’ music around the world.

In New York, there is a heightened sense of enthusiasm amongst the populace for stories that recount the past, particularly in relation to the Festival and its various themes and creative expressions. According to Thurland, who has studied the subject thoroughly, the Festival first emerged in . Within the chapter entitled Masquerade Memories, one can find an assortment of photographs and recollections that are certain to delight aficionados of history. These memories hearken back to the early s, during which time masqueraders were a common sight during Easter Monday, Christmas Second Day, Old Year’s dances, and Lantern Parades in Christiansted, among other occasions. Participants fashioned their own costumes in order to resemble the characters they wished to portray.

her team restored the festival to its former glory, incorporating new elements and expanding the celebration.

The Old Time St. Croix Christmas Festival chapter holds a wealth of memories from generations past, recounting the festivities that stretched back to the final years of Danish rule before World War I. According to the book, this early incarnation of the festival spanned from December to New Year’s Day. Although the tradition lapsed for some time, it was revived in through the tireless efforts of the St. Croix Women’s League, spearheaded by the second vice-president, Hilda England. With the backing of St. Croix Administrator David. C. Canegata, England and her team not only reinstated the beloved event but also added new components and extended the revelry further.

Learninng Outcome

In conclusion, the St. Croix Festival is a truly unique celebration that showcases the creativity and culture of the island’s people. With its roots in masquerade traditions dating back over a century, the festival has evolved into a diverse array of events that bring together locals and visitors alike. Whether it’s watching the colorful parades, sampling local cuisine, or enjoying performances by local musicians and dancers, there’s something for everyone at the St. Croix Festival. Thurland’s Masquerade Memories chapter provides a fascinating look at the festival’s history, and is sure to be treasured by anyone interested in the island’s rich cultural heritage.


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