Saturday, 21 April 2018

Jamaican Romance

A 14-part playlist of Jamaican Romance slideshows from real life and fiction.

Monday, 2 April 2018

Harbour Street and the Birthing of Jamaican Cuisine

DRAFT-Harbour Street and the Birthing of Jamaican Cuisine

"The Birthing of Jamaican Cuisine" could have been the title of the trip "A Walk Along Harbour Street" that the Jamaican Historical Society hosted on January 28, 2018 along Harbour Street, Kingston.

Charmaine McKenzie gives the group an orientation. 
At far right is a member of the Parade Garden's Benevolent Society.
The tour was led by food historian and past president of the Jamaica Historical Society, Charmaine McKenzie, accompanied by Professor James Robertson of the UWI, Mona History and Archaeology department. Archaeologist at the Jamaica National Heritage Trust (JNHT), Audene Brooks, was also on the walk. As we went along, residents of Parade Gardens Community Benevolent Society joined the walk, attired in their society's logo shirt; their participation added to the general knowledge learned about the area. The community is a recipient of development projects through the Planning Institute of Jamaica's Community Renewal Programme (CRP).

GraceKennedy grew out of the 
mercantile culture on Harbour Street
Ms McKenzie set the tone by allowing us to paint a mental picture of Harbour Street in the late 1860s. Under her direction, the smooth concrete wall of Ocean Boulevard melted away and brought 1.5 Km of shoreline right up to Harbour Street, from where hundreds of narrow wooden finger piers jutted into the water, along the length of the street. This era was a dramatic time for mariners as the age of sail was giving way to the age of steam.

Kingston was the a major seaboard of the Western Atlantic and vessels from as far as Belize used the harbour as a transhipment port.

The following point was not included on the tour, but in 1863, during the USA Civil War, a confederate ship was provisioned in Kingston Harbour, which led to the UK paying a fine for breaching the treaty that ended the American War of Independence.
Plaque at Flamstead outlining the breach by
UK Navy of USA relations over provisions (food and water).

Seamen wanted...needed...refreshment, and eateries on Harbour Street opened, closed and changed hands frequently. It seemed to have been difficult to be profitable in this business.

There were two main kinds of eateries. The public table and the dining room. In both examples there was a table d'hote, a daily menu that was prepared for patrons. The concept of a restaurant had not yet arrived in Kingston.

A former dairy establishment that would have had a cold room
that may have offered storage to food shops
The public table was a cookshop where anyone could order and eat their meal at a long table with benches. The dining rooms were in private clubs for members and certain visitors. Sometimes the dining rooms were attached to a guest house or to a hotel. Some eateries with public tables also made it known that they catered to travelling ladies, which would suggest that the environment was not crude and did not invite a certain kind of patronage.

The menus of both were plain European style food, such as cuts of stewed meat and products made from wheat, but by the 1870s the records show that the item rich creole soups and stews was being celebrated and served in some establishments. Also, more local bakers had developed proficiency in the skill and were offering new products. Naturally, having an abundance of sugar cane products and locally grown spices the creole dishes gradually gained notice. These Jamaican creole dishes were a blend of imported food and food that was grown in Jamaica using European stovetop and oven cooking techniques. This was before the infusion of Middle Eastern and Asian food influences.

Ms McKenzie has viewed the manifests of ships that came into Kingston Harbour and noted that there a large volume of consumer goods constantly came into Kingston, much of it remained in Jamaica. Among the goods was a lot of food stuff, and a lot of ale, wine and spirits, and these would have been offered at the eateries on and around Harbour Street.

A former cold storage operator on Harbour Street
Important to the eateries was the preservation of food such as meat and vegetables. During this period, businesses that had cold rooms had ongoing arrangements with cookshops to store food overnight. These included meat, butter, milk and vegetables. This would have been before the age of electrical refrigeration, when packed ice was brought in from polar regions. Electrical refrigeration services were in demand on Harbour street up to the mid 20th century as on our walk, we observed three buildings that housed refrigeration businesses and also the Gold Street power station, all of which operated on Harbour Street up to a few decades ago.

During this period, the eateries were owned by Europeans and some Middle-Easterners, but the cooks were Jamaicans, and increasingly, so were the patrons, many of whom were originally from rural areas.

McKenzie's walk pointed out the location of some public tables. Mrs McDougall ran respectable rooms and a public table where the Air Jamaica building now stands. She made the newspapers when she pulled her gun and successfully tackled spies who tried to destroy documents belonging to one of her house guests, a Haitian military general!

Gold Street power company
At another point on the walk, near Spectrum Management Authority, another owner is recorded to have tried several kinds of food related businesses, but he seems to have failed and moved further away from the harbourside, where presumably, rent was cheaper.

Public building going up on the former Myrtle Bank Hotel
property where there was a dining room for members only.
The public tables were dynamic places, as anyone could sit there, and there were frequent culture clashes and the rowdiness of which seamen are famous.  There is a newspaper account of a court case where a seaman had delivered racial slurs to a Black Jamaican. The ending of that story was not told on the walk, but the courtroom, which was also on Harbour Street at the time, was packed on the day that the matter was heard. Jamaicans were exerting their rights as free men .

When the tour passed High Holborn Street, the group observed that tram rail lines that still rise above worn asphalt. Across the road two towers rise. One will be a new government building and the other the headquarters for GraceKennedy, which incidentally is the parent company for a popular household food brand.

The residents of Parade Gardens, who were born in the mid 1960s, and also archaeologist Brooks, spoke about the fresh water well that is within the boundaries of what was the Myrtle Bank Hotel. That property will shortly be a government building. The group hopes that the new development will preserve and celebrate this fresh water well that had continually served seamen from the Taino era until the early 1900s.

The new home of GraceKennedy now under construction.
The era that was discussed by Ms McKenzie ended just before the Kingston earthquake of 1907, and which caused so much destruction that it changed the built environment of Kingston forever.

The buildings may have gone, but the business of the harbour continues, and with that, refreshment for seamen.

Saturday, 20 January 2018

The Archipelagaic Kingdom of Jamaica

The Archipelagaic Kingdom of Jamaica

Jamaica creates 21st century dynasty

Kingdom of Jamaica on Biteable.

Friday, 12 January 2018

Stories inspired by Jamaica 1655 - 1661

These videos are for my personal, non commercial use and intended to amplify a storyline inspired by  the history of Jamaica. I do not own the photos used and did not get permission to use them.

Creating the Coat of Arms of Jamaica 1 on Biteable.

The administrator and the entrepreneur on Biteable.

They were brothers on Biteable.

Esquivel and Bartolomo on Biteable.

Slideshow 1 on Biteable.

Never Broken Down - 2 on Biteable.

Tuesday, 2 January 2018

Fight or Make Do?

Fight or Make Do?

The administrator and the entrepreneur on Biteable.

Having read extended first account dispatches and commentary of the period of history of Jamaica 1509 to 1692, I ask of myself what I should make of it and if the times call for me to take any action.
The most hurtful part of the new information, for me, is the acceptance of a 7% agent commission by governors of the island to handle business on behalf of the company that had a licensed monopoly on the trade of enslaved persons. With that structure in place, the society could not possibly have matured from rampant adventurism to civilization. Indeed, the enslaved persons had no choice but to fight it out or adapt and make the system work for them. I am grateful, and humbled, that many chose the more honourable route of fighting. 

For those who did not fight, but chose to use other means to survive and thrive within the context that they found themselves in, they helped to build society that somehow, progressed and has made a positive contribution to the progress of humanity. I hesitate to apply judgement on them

Slideshow 1 on Biteable.

Characters with their birth years and nationalities
From circa 600AD to 1662 The Tainos living on Jamaica for more than 1,000 years
1470 Juan de Esquivel, Spanish conquistador
1484 Bartolome de las Casas, Spanish haciaenda owner
William Jackson, English, pirate
Cristobal Arnaldo de Ysassi, Spanish Jamaican administrator
Juan Lobolo, African Jamaican maroon chief
1617 Edward D'Oyley, English naval officer and administrator
Richard Guy, English naval officer, planter, politician
1633 Thomas Lynch, English naval officer, administrator, planter
1629 Charles Howard, English military officer and politician and landowner
1635 Henry Morgan, Welsh buccaneer, privateer, planter, politician, administrator
1636 William Beeston, English planter, mercantilist and administrator
1639 John Vaughn, English landowner, peer, administrator
1639 Hender Molesworth, English administrator, planter, mercantilist

In 1509, Juan de Esquivel, a 39 year-old Spanish man living in Hispaniola was assigned administrative responsibility for the island of Santiago. The authorities wanted Esquivel off the island of Hispaniola, as the influential 28-year-old, Bartolome de las Casas, an owner of a hacienda worked by enslaved Taino people, reported him for his abominable cruelty against the Taino community.
Esquivel had arrived as crew on the second voyage of Columbus and had readily engaged in atrocities against the Taino people that was encouraged by his boss Columbus.
Esquivel had successfully established two settlements in Hispaniola, but the reports against him by Bartolome could not be ignored. Esquivel lasted four years as governor of Santiago, before he was again removed from office, but those four years left a long legacy.
He founded the town of New Seville which was a stable and growing settlement for another 150 years; and a harbour on the south coast of the island bears his name. Through poetic justice, the island of Santiago reverted to a modernised version of its original Taino name and became Jamaica.
Esquivel was removed from office in 1513, but remained on Jamaica for the rest of his life.

Spain did little better than ignore the island for another 130 years. It was therefore ripe as a target, and William Jackson - who had a license from his government to pillage Spanish possessions in the Caribbean - scored easily on March 25, 1643.
Jackson anchored in Kingston Harbour and his party of 500 men captured the south coast town of St Jago de la Vega. After the conflict was resolved, more than two score of Jackson's men decided to stay on, as they said Jamaica was a terrestrial paradise.

Eleven years later, in 1655, a poorly organised military force of the revolutionary Commonwealth of England Scotland and Ireland, made a last ditch attempt to redeem their disastrous campaign to capture Hispaniola by going after the weakly defended Jamaica. They followed Jackson's game plan and captured St Jago de la Vega, then a town of 400 houses, some were armed. Boosted by the victory, the island was then quickly militarized by them.
Combatants of that period whose exploits have had a lasting impact on Jamaica were: soldier Thomas Lynch who was in his early 20s; Edward D'Oyley, a naval officer in his 40s; Richard Guy, a military official; the maroon leader John Lobolo and the Spanish administrator Cristobal Arnaldo Ysassi (Isasi).

Soldier Thomas Lynch and buccaneer Henry Morgan were also involved in power struggles that caused them to face down each other over the ensuing 20 years.

Some historians say that Cristobal Arnaldo de Ysassi's family held the rights to the entire island of Jamaica, and he was determined not to lose his birthright. Largely through his personal efforts, over the course of three years he fixed himself the target of bringing the island back under Spanish control.
Important to his plans was the support of the maroon people who lived across three pelincos in the hinterlands of Jamaica. The maroons were Africans who had, through their own efforts, self liberated themselves from bondage, but Ysassi somehow believed that they were still sympathetic to the Spanish cause. Unknown to him, his ally - and a man who he described as key to his plans - Juan Lubolo, had been courted by a British military officer, Richard Guy, and had switched allegiances.
After losing three pitched battles, and being attacked by both maroons and British, Ysassi last saw Jamaica in 1658 as he departed the north coast by canoe for Cuba. This born Jamaican then disappears from the public record. D'Oyley had met Ysassi's forces and defeated him at Ocho Rios 1657 and again at Rio Bueno in 1658.

Of the other combatants of that time, Guy went on to become a moderately wealthy planter using enslaved labour, and was also a member of the House of Assembly. He married, and his grave can be seen in Guanaboa Vale.
Lubolo's influence and leadership saw him being recognised as a Colonel by the authorities. A peace treaty was signed in 1660 between Lubolo and the governor, granting his palenco peace and privileges for ever. In 1664, however, he was ambushed and killed by another maroon group, but his leadership has been immortalised by the naming of the Juan de Bolas Mountains, the Juan de Bolas River and other place names in central Jamaica.

D'Oyley advanced professionally, and made the transition from being a fighting man to administrator. Between between 1657 and 1662, he was officially in charge of Jamaica. His actions defined the development of the society. He:
-Dispossessed the remaining groups of Taino people by transporting them to Central America;
-Invited the pirates in Tortuga to relocate their headquarters to Port Royal as a strategy to prevent other nations from taking Jamaica as a prize;
-Selected and appointed eleven military officers and one civilian to make up the first House of Assembly. At the end of his commission, he left Jamaica.

Thomas Lynch, the solder who was a part of the invading force of 1655, was chief of staff to D'Oyley. At about age 30, Lynch was appointed Deputy Governor from 1663 for one year. He was also Chief Justice and Provost (Chief Sheriff) of the island. In other words, he was the police and the judge.
Lynch appointed a 24 year old Englishman, William Beeston, as his deputy and sent him on official negotiations with the Spanish for the return of British prisoners.

The politics of Britain changed. In 1660, the United Kingdom was formed and crown favourites were given appointments in colonies. Lynch gave way to a politician Edward Morgan who was Deputy Governor in 1664. Lynch did not have a good relationship with Morgan and he was charged with slander. At least one writer wonders if it was because Lynch wanted to marry a black woman. Morgan's daughter later married fellow Welshman, and the most powerful man in the Caribbean, Henry Morgan, and he left Jamaica, for a while.

The first push to exploit the economic agricultural potential of Jamaica, using a system of enslaved labour, came with Thomas Modyford who, at age 42, was appointed Deputy Governor, arriving in 1664 with 700 planters and enslaved persons. This influx propelled the sugar cane plantation economy into exponential growth mode. Modyford was all about the money and granted privateering licenses, giving 1/10 to the crown and notoriously keeping 1/15th for himself. Lynch did not have a good working relationship with this boss and was relieved of his appointments. Not being a planter or merchant but a mere public employee, Lynch returned for a desk job in Britain.

Modyford's granting of a lucrative privateering license to Henry Morgan in January 1671, led to diplomatic grief for his country and the downfall of his career. Unknown to him, England and Spain had signed a peace treaty in June 1670, and Morgan's pillaging of Panama some months later was an affront to that agreement. Modyford lost his job and was imprisoned for a year.

Thomas Lynch was then knighted in 1670, married Vere Herbert, and appointed as the first Lt Governor of Jamaica. On his return, he continued the policy of issuing licenses to privateers for three years, 1671 to 1674. Henry Morgan was in Britain from 1672 to 1674, was never arrested, and his explanations for his actions were accepted.

In 1674, 36-year-old John Vaughn, a friend of the court, was appointed Lt Governor with the mandate to eradicate the business of privateerism. Concurrent with this, Henry Morgan received a knighthood and accompanied Vaughn to Jamaica where they were joined by former Deputy Governor and friend of Morgan, Modyford. The planters and merchants in Jamaica celebrated the return of Morgan, and Vaughn soon realised that that his authority was curtailed by the former outlaw's great influence across the Caribbean.
Administration of the island over the next four years can be described as untidy, at best. Vaughn was corrupt and debauched; Henry Morgan was a drunkard and was secretly collaborating with the French to attack his old enemies - and now allies of his government - the Spanish.
In 1678, Vaughn was recalled and 49-year old military veteran and shrewd politician Charles Howard was sent out as Lt Governor. Howard had been a supporter of the revolution, but with the restoration of the crown, easily reverted to being a royalist. He openly flaunted the ban on privateering and was eased out of the system, departing Jamaica after two years in 1680, leaving Henry Morgan again in the position of Lt Governor (Acting). Morgan personally undertook to increase the number of big guns around Jamaica from 60 to 100. In addition, he declared martial law twice in response to perceived threat of the French.

In 1681, a new constitution was adopted in the UK for the governance of Jamaica. It was said to be "royally responsive" but insisted on the value of a local assembly to pass laws. It also depressed privateerism by strengthening the local militia and making the planters dependent on the crown for security. Both Vaughn and Lynch entreated the crown to appoint another governor, which was done on acceptance of 50,000 pounds raised from the planter class in Jamaica. These "negotiations" resulted in Morgan being removed as Lt Governor and also his commission as Captain General being revoked. Morgan's arch nemesis, Thomas Lynch, was appointed Lt Governor and Captain General, in 1682. A few months later Lynch's wife and son died on an island in the Atlantic on their way to rejoin him in Jamaica.
As governor, Lynch immediately implemented the new order. He also removed Morgan, his brother and other associates from the Jamaica House of Assembly.

Lynch carefully mentored two other men who went on to get the governorship of Jamaica, Hender Molesworth, a merchant 30 years his junior, and administrator William Beeston, who was two years younger than Molesworth. These two men were to become extremely powerful and wealthy. They were each in turn, chief military officials, slaveholding planters, and agents earning 7% from handling transactions on behalf of the Royal African Company, which had a monopoly on the trade in enslaved people.

Lynch married the 17 year old Mary Temple from in 1684 and died a few months later. He was buried the day after he died in St Catherine. His grave can still be seen. His daughter by Vere, Philadelphia, went on to marry a wealthy planter/enslaver in Barbados.

Molesworth became acting Lt Governor in 1685, and the same year had to contend with a yearlong war waged by Africans in Jamaica who had gained freedom by their own efforts. In addition to this, he pursued other policies that included annihilating the fledgling settlement of Scotsmen on Golden Island off the shore of Guyana.

A profligate member of the nobility, Christopher Monck, was appointed governor in 1687, and one of the notorious actions of his tenure was to oversee the heroic funeral arrangements of Henry Morgan in 1688.
Morgan was given full military and state honours, including a 22 gun salute - one more than is given to royalty - and was buried in Port Royal. His grave disappeared four years later with the earthquake of 1692. He died without issue leaving his wife, who was also a relation, Mary Elizabeth age 48.

Monck died in office at age 35 and Molesworth was again acting Lt Governor. Molesworth married Thomas Lynch's widow Mary in 1688/9, and he also died in the post in 1689. Mary then returned to England.

In 1689, Major General Francis Watson was commissioned as Lt Governor of Jamaica, a year later enslaved persons on the Sutton plantation in Clarendon staged a war which resulted in an enlargement of the maroons in central Jamaica. Watson was the last of the Lt Governors with his term ending in 1692.


Sunday, 19 November 2017

Whole and Undivided 2

Whole and Undivided 2

In Marine's family, there was no change in the household business and operations unless her mother was comfortable with it, and she was a traditionalist on every matter except fashion where she was respected for being able to step up to higher levels.

Marine and her siblings enjoyed the admiration of their peers on her clothes that were usually up-to-season and not just name brand, but on the matter of anything else, change was a no-go. At this time they were a family of five. The three children were: Marine the youngest at age 14, her brother age 16, and half-sister age 17 and six months older than her brother; the children shared the same father.

Sundays were her mother's simmer down time. After dinner was cleared, Marine's mother would go out on the back patio and care for her orchids while taking part in two to three consecutive social media conversations by voice and text with her sisters and cousins. If she was not doing this, she was at a social event with her husband, Marine's stepfather. Today was a stay-at-home day and Marine decided to broach the changing her paediatrician. She was the youngest and had been able to learn from her siblings' very different approaches to their mother.

Their brother, for the past year, had simply been doing what he wanted without asking. It started when he decided that he was not going on to Grade 12 but wanted to open a body art business. The matter settled with him being sent to a college overseas for a year to pursue certification as a physical therapist. Her half-sister usually capitulated to everything and went along with the plans that were set for her, as the unspoken suggestion of being returned to her mother easily crept into the aura of a room like smoke when there was a fire raging outside the door.
    "Mum, I want to change my doctor."
    "What? Why would you want to do that? Everything is perfectly fine. A doctor! Where did you even get the idea?"
Her mother did not look up from sending a text, then giggled softly at something that she was reading on screen.
    "I don't think that I should still be going to a baby doctor."
    "Your doctor is quite capable for you right now, it's not like you need a gynecologist."
    "Fine, I'll ask Dad."

It was a card that Marine, or any of the children, rarely played as it sent her mother into a dark mood when they even remembered that they had a natural father.
    "Is there a problem that you want to tell me about Marine? Just come out and say it. I am always open with you children, you are always free to contact your father. We have joint custody even though Leon and I are look about everything for you children. But, if you wish to call your father, go right ahead. Why do you want to leave your doctor Marine?"
    "I need someone who is not going to look at me like a small child, and I do not feel comfortable being the only teenager in an office of babies and toddlers."

Her answer had allowed her mother to quickly think through the matter, and she seemed to have settled it in her mind as a suggestion that had worth. Her composure returned, she smiled and opened her hands.
    "OK baby girl. I understand, I should have suggested it before, so I will make an appointment with my doctor and we will go. She might be able to recommend a more powerful acne medicine."
    "I don't want to go to your doctor Mum. I want my own doctor and I want it to be someone who also knows about neurosurgery."
Marine's sister and brother both went to their mother's GP.
    "What is really going on here Marine? We have a family doctor. If you are moving from your pediatrician, and it is too early for a gynae then ...."
    "I have my own needs."
Marine's mother went into fortress mode. Her eyes scanned the balcony to make sure that no one else, not the servants, not the other children, not her husband was hearing. She needed to lock this discussion down for the sake of her child, and for some reason, winning this conversation seemed to be important to Marine.

    "I seemed to have been forgetting that you are growing up my daughter. If you want your own doctor, I will allow it. A woman doctor, mind you, I am not letting you go to any male doctor as a 14-year old."

Marine's hand shook, just a little, as she held out a business card. Her mother took it quickly and scanned the name.

    "Where did you get this Marine?"
    "I went to the office?"
    "I googled neurosurgeon Jamaica and saw that this office was in the plaza where I do Math tutorials, so went walked across the corridor and got it."

It was a blow to her mother to realise that her daughter can walk from the tutorial classroom to a doctor's office in the same business centre. She thought that she had her daughter's every second mapped out and under supervision. She touched her forehead, it was wet, probably sweat from the afternoon heat, but she felt cold.
    "I'll check it out."
    "That's the one that I want Mum."
    "Leave the matter there for now Marine. Let's talk about this later. You don't have a health crisis, so let it rest for now."   

Marine assented.

Whole and Undivided

Whole and Undivided

Marine checked her shared bedroom door, it was locked, no one in the family could barge in. Then she closed the curtains, even though their condominium was on the 10th floor, and no other buildings were close enough for peering eyes.

Her menstrual cramps would ease in another ten or so minutes because she took her pain tablets after breakfast, the acne breakout on her cheeks made her aware that pus was building up in the pores, and it would get worse as the temperature rose during the day, but it was the headaches that were the most concerning of her ongoing discomforts. 

Cramps and acne she shared with her friends, complaining and consoling each other's adolescent maladies and engaging in a morbid past time of discussing remedies and palliatives.

It was the third pain, the headaches, that were frightful to Marine, because she could not share those beyond the secret circle of her mother, her father, Auntie Lips the hairdresser, and her pediatrician. At 14 years of age she still went to a baby doctor as her parents did not want to expand the small circle of people who knew.

Her vanity mirror was wide and had a built in tubular lamp that had the luminescence of natural tropical daylight. Although it was a clear ten o' clock morning, Marine turned the lamp on, and sat down before the mirror. She pushed aside Auntie Lips' carefully sewn in hair piece that covered the last area where the human skull fused into one casing - the area that we call the mole - and looked at the dome of growing bone that was causing her pain.

The tests that were done years ago were conclusive. Marina's bare skull in the centre of her head would grow into a horn during adolescence, and over the past year, it had started. Auntie Lips had been filing down the horn as it emerged, in addition to stitching down a hair piece that lay flat over the extruded bone.

From she started kindergarten, Marine had learned how to keep her bare skull bone as a secret. Her mother would have hidden it from her father as well, had the doctor not insisted that he had a right to know. The year that she started her period, her doctor and her mother made her aware about the coming growth and she had accepted that as well without thinking about it. But now that it was here, and Marine was sure it was responsible for the intense headaches, she had been thinking about it a lot.

    "Live with Integrity"

Her class had had this phrase drilled into them from the first day of secondary school. It was an attempt to encourage the students to have an internal regulator that would stop them from being cheats and sociopaths. It reminded them that their online activities and their unique national identifier would find out deception, and that mistakes will follow them through life. It was a voluntary call to action, a word to the wise.

Marina accepted the code and followed it, she did not practice cheating and she simply told the truth on any matter that would come up and face the consequences. But concealing the growing horn on her head was a different matter, that was a secret outside of the integrity code.

"What if I made it a semi-secret?" Marine wondered.
A "semi-secret" would mean expanding the knowledge to her big brother and sister, her grandparents, her aunts and uncles and cousins. What were the consequences if they knew?
"Semi-secret" could also be her best friends at school and club, she had three to four really close ones.
Wouldn't they understand and defend her? She also felt sure they would, they were decent people.

"But is that what living with integrity means?"

Marine used her cell phone to take a selfie photo of the bone. She had to snap quite a few times until she captured one that was in focus and bright enough to examine how it really looked.

It was not pretty.

She wished that, at least, the bone would have been a noble ivory or a shiny enamel like a tooth, but it was a grey, brown, tough horn. It seemed better after all to keep it covered up.

Marine fixed back her hairpiece and thought again about the word integrity. From she was a young girl she had had a lot of exposure about self-pride, racial pride, national pride, they repeated that everyone was special in their own unique way. Her family treated her, and each other, with respect and gave care and attention - love.

In the media, society was at pains to tell young people about the dangers of bleaching and that at school, bleached students would suffer consequences. The schools could not force students who bleached to stay at home until their skins regained their natural colour, but they found creative ways to discourage the practice. Students who wore weaves and extensions suffered the emotional distress of having it cut off and confiscated at the nurse's station, so no one wasted time and effort or bravado to style themselves for life in institutions in that way. The same applied for the age old breach of nail polish and makeup.

But here she was, with a cosmetic solution for a natural condition that was not contagious and not dangerous.

If I was born to grow a horn, then perhaps I should have my horn if I wish, Marine thought.