Just north of the town of Sauteurs (in Grenada) is the monumental steep cliff face of Leaper’s Hill. It is said that the native Caribs had settled in vast numbers in Grenada before Columbus discovered the island. The Caribs practiced a largely sustainable livelihood of fishing, hunting, and farming, until the English invaded and disturbed them in 1609 and the French in 1638. A French colony was established in 1650 through the trade of knives, hatchets, glass beads, and brandy for the Chief. A year later, the Caribs would have none of the French domination and hostility erupted; the French were given orders to get rid of them. After a costly and bloody struggle the remaining Caribs were driven to the north of the island and forty or more Caribs jumped to their deaths off Leaper’s Hill rather than surrender to the French and their domination. Tradition has it that some Caribs survived the fall and swam to safety.
Caribleaper is my way of describing my multiple Caribbean heritages. The spirit of the Caribs who leapt into the Sea – that still carries their name (Carib-bean)- is ever present in the region’s peoples of whatever shade and ethnic makeup. We are peoples with the amazing ability to negotiate a multiplicity of space(s) between the devil and the deep blue sea, as is evident throughout our history.
I am part of this Caribbean tradition of resisting,negotiating limbo spaces, fighting back and refusing to give up. This is reflected in my writings, with its distinctive “caribleaping” tendencies. My writings do not dwell in exactitudes; it refuses to be pinned down; in true limbo, Anansi, and Kali traditions it is capable of bending backwards over and forward under, of experiencing multiple somersaults in multiple directions; it does not pretend to give quick answers to our complex lives and contexts. I merely highlight the sharp, contradictory and complex nature of faith and faithfulness and the need for a multiversity approach to theologising.