Mabel "Cissie" Caudeiron

Mabel Boyd was born into what was considered to be one of the elite families of Dominica but from early years was a rebel in the cause of the promotion of popular Dominican culture: the music, songs, dances and folkways of the mass of the people. Her background gave her the opportunities of a good education and training in music. As a pupil of the Convent High School she was always involved in plays and concerts and later composed many Creole songs highly influenced by the beguines of Martinique.

"Cissie", as she was called from childhood, left the island for many years during her marriage to a Venezuelan, S. Caudeiron, and she raised her family in that South American country. She returned to Dominica in the early 1960s with renewed energy and determination to continue her earlier work for the greater recognition of Dominica folk heritage and traditional culture. She worked ceaselessly towards this end in the remaining years of her life.

Given great support by the Chief Minister, Edward Le Blanc, she helped to organize the first National day celebrations of 1965. She founded the Kairi Artistic Troupe, the first group of its kind to be formed in Dominica, which represented the island abroad. Locally she researched and wrote articles on such subjects as the heritage of music, dances and traditional dress. She raised the national perception of folk culture from being seen as a retrograde pastime of the poor to being a dynamic crucible of creative expression of which all Dominicans should be proud. The trail which was blazed by Mabel Caudeiron had provided a vital foundation for the cultural renaissance of modern Dominica.

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