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Ms Leona Brady Watson, Legendary Cariso Master

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TRIBUTE TO LEONA BRADY WATSON -- HON. VICTOR O. FRAZER (Extension of Remarks - August 1, 1996) [Page: E1424] --- HON. VICTOR O. FRAZER in the House of Representatives, Wednesday, July 31, 1996

"Mr. Speaker, Leona Brady Watson was born on the island of St. Croix. At the tender age of 3, she began her education, which involved walking from Estate Two Friends to Frederikdsted where she attended St. Patrick's School. After finishing the third grade, she journeyed to the United States, and completed her formal education there."

"Upon returning to St. Croix in the late 50's, Mrs. Watson came home with a special yearning for her culture. She spent many years learning about what was a dying art in the Virgin Islands, the art of cariso, from the elders, particularly the ones on the north side of the island and the Frederiksted area. Leona was able to attain and maintain our delicate culture through their stories, soups, and music of days gone by. Leona continues to be honored by various cultural organizations as a tradition bearer for her untiring contribution to the cultural growth of the Virgin Islands, and the knowledge of the history of our beloved homeland."

"Some of Leona's famed works include: Quoted in 3 published books; actress in the film, The Story of Cariso, nationally acclaimed; performance in numerous stage shows, on island and abroad; participated in the 24th Annual Festival of American Folklife, the Virgin Islands; program sponsored by the Smithsonian Institution and the Virgin Islands."

"Leona is also a highly respected herbologist who has been asked most recently to participate in cultural exchange between Africa (Senegal), China and Switzerland." 

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