Saturday, April 6, 2013

Proverbes Créoles de Guadeloupe

Zagaya, Proverbes créoles de Guadeloupe, préface par Guy Lasserre, Madrid: Ediciones Castilla, 1965.

Excerpt from Ellen M. Schnepel’s In Search of a National Identity: Creole and Politics in Guadeloupe:
In Guadeloupe, a number of priests participated in the Creole revival, thus continuing the association or tradition of priestly involvement with intellectual endeavors in the New World. Among the native priests were Père Robert Germain, who wrote an early grammar of Creole (1976); Père Colbac, who advanced his unique Creole orthography that was neither etymological nor phonemic, but a complex opaque mixture of the two; Père Ezelias, who instituted a novel Creole liturgy that included prayers, chants and hymns; and a few other priests who preached in Creole. Perhaps the best known is Père Barbotin, a French priest who resided in Guadeloupe from 1951 until 1989, when he was transferred to French Guiana. Using the pseudonym “Zagaya, » he collected Creole proverbs (1965) and later documented the rich folklore and traditional life of Marie-Galante where he lived, principally in the town of Saint-Louis. Dictionnaire du créole de Marie-Galante (1995) was the fruit of Père Barbotin’s long and exacting ethnographic research. The dictionary provides an authentic vision of the lexicon of Marie-Galante, where traditional rural life remains much more intact than elsewhere in the Guadeloupean archipelago, while it cites examples of the particularities in the Creole of Marie-Galante compared to the Creole of Guadeloupe.

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