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American Folklife Center Collections: Trinidad and Tobago

This guide provides access to ethnographic resources documenting expressive culture in the nation of Trinidad and Tobago at the Library of Congress.


Alan Lomax Collection, Manuscripts, Brown Girl in the Ring, 1997 Bound catalogue of song games of Trinidad & Tobago from T&T folklore Archive 1970. Alan Lomax collection. Library of Congress American Folklife Center.

American Folklife Center collections documenting the peoples of Trinidad and Tobago represent the diversity of their expressive culture in Trinidad and Tobago and in the United States. Among its unique recordings are the Melville Herskovits and Frances S. Herskovits Trinidad recordings, the Joseph E. Hall Calypso Recordings, as well as recordings and photographs by Alan Lomax.

Alan Lomax Collection: 1962 Caribbean Folksong Recording Project

In 1962, the pan-Caribbean political movement stirred Alan Lomax, Antoinette Marchand Lomax, and Anna Lomax to document the varied music and dance genres found in the West Indies, including Dominica, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Carriacou, St. Lucia, St. Barthelemy, Anguilla, Nevis, and Trinidad.

Their search for stylistic similarities would eventually manifest in the books Cantometrics and Brown Girl in the Ring.

Audio recordings and photographs have been made available by the Lomax Digital Archive:

Manuscripts and coding sheets made during this trip are now available online as part of the Alan Lomax Collection, available as part of the Library of Congress digital collections.

Collections of Interest

The following materials link to fuller bibliographic information in the Library of Congress Online Catalog. Links to digital content are provided when available.

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Collection of digital video, sound recordings, and photographs documenting a concert by Major League Tassa in the Library's Coolidge Auditorium as part of the Homegrown concert series sponsored by the American Folklife Center. Major League Tassa, and accompanying dancers, from Queens, New York present rhythms used for processions, the Diwali holiday, and weddings, along with contemporary tunes performed at clubs, sports bars, and social events in the New York City area. All of the members of Major League Tassa are Trinidadian Americans in their twenties and thirties. (Event date: January 31, 2008)