Origins: You are Kalinda
Every year, while the Carnival season is ripe with lively Soca music, lighthearted gatherings and people making permanent memories, gayelles spattered all over Trinidad are preparing for a much more organic, spiritual ritual.
Stick fighting stands as a singular aspect of the lifestyle that is Kalinda. For those who subscribe to the teachings, every rebellious and protective attribute within the Trinidadian spirit is rooted in the sanctity of Kalinda.
More than a dance, more than a show to enjoy, stick fighting is a spiritual, ancestral experience for anyone brave enough at adhere to the Kalinda lifestyle.
Hundreds of years later, stick fighting is still seen as primitive and unimportant. This year the National Carnival Commission (NCC) cancelled all stick fighting events after the bois men protested over not being paid.
Rondell Benjamin and Jamie Philbert of the Bois Academy remind Trinidad and Tobago the importance and the inherent value of Kalinda and stick fighting.