Trinidad Stick Fighting (2019)

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Stick Fighting, also known as Kalinda, is a martial arts tradition deeply embedded in Trinidad’s heritage through our African ancestors. This age-old practice has its origins in Central and West Africa, as well as among the Oromo people of Ethiopia. Additionally, Gatka, another form of stick fighting, was introduced to Trinidad by indentured labourers from Southern Asia.

These intense stick fighting battles unfold within the confines of a “gayelle,” as seen in Moruga. The victor is determined by the fighter who draws first blood, while the battle is accompanied by the rhythmic “carray” dance. Leading the charge is a skilled chantwell who guides the lively call-and-response lavway.

This stick fighting match occurred in Moruga Village February 2019.

Shot, Directed and Edited by Shari Petti (@sharipettiii)