Cockpits in Martinique
Cock fights, a tradition inherited from the first Spanish settlers, take place in cockpits. These rustic arenas surrounded by steep staging bring together a large number of enthusiasts and some tourists attracted out of curiosity.
The cocks that fight in these duals are real athletes, pampered, trained and massaged with herbs by breeders specializing in fighting cocks. These gallinaceous ‘gladiators’ fight armed with spurs to hit the breast.
Fights takes place in a succession of assaults, of volte-face, of dodges and of displays of feathers to intimidate the opponent.
They are not a killing, but the expression of men’s pride! Cockfights are a metaphor for the conflicts that underpin society. Having cocks fight makes it possible to smooth over human tensions.
Of course, many bets are placed during the fights that take place in the course of an afternoon, paid immediately the fight is over, everyone keeping their word. Honour, respect and cordiality are the values that govern these gatherings.
Cockfights take place every day except Fridays in Martinique.
This album will take you to the heart of Martinique’s main cockpits. Enjoy your visit.
Text: Mireille Mondésir
Photographs: Robert Charlotte ContreJourStudio
Department for Cultural Affairs
History à la carte, 1528-1856 : the collection
The maps presented in this album come from the private collection of Mr. Jeffrey Bodington donated to the Martinique Archives in 2007.
This American living in San Francisco fell in love with Martinique and came every year for more than ten years.
He was a collector of old maps and decided at the start of the new century to pursue this interest by collecting maps of Martinique and of Guadeloupe and of other islands in the archipelago.
This exceptional collection is composed of original maps from the 16th to the 19th centuries, including many rare items, and its comprehensive nature means that it completes the map collection already available in the Martinique Archives.
Through this gift, Mr Bodington has offered a real archival treasure to all those who are even remotely interested in the history of maps of the West Indies and notably in the history of Martinique.