Gimistory off to a rousing start

Every story has a beginning, and this year’s Gimistory started off under a picturesque sea grape tree in West Bay Public Beach. 

The annual storytelling festival, which continues throughout the week at all the districts of the Cayman Islands, proves year after year that the traditional oral art of sharing stories is far from dead. After all, everyone loves a good story. 

As well as some familiar faces, some young and upcoming voices have been added to the mix this year. 

The West Bay show was hosted by master of ceremonies Quincy Brown, who sang, joked and shared tales with the audience as he introduced a wide range of storytelling talent. 

This year, there are performers from the Cayman Islands, Guyana, Trinidad, Jamaica, Ireland and the United States. 

The West Bay audience was treated to an evening of entertainment provided by the Cayman Islands Folk Singers, Lady Rabia, Michael Khan, Priscilla Pouchie, Ken Corsbie, The Storycrafters, Amina Blackwood-Meeks, Black Sage and David Bereaux and Friends. 

The show changes every night, so Mr. Brown encouraged the audience to attend the performances in the other districts. 

As ever, the appetites and thirst of those who sat through an entertaining evening of stories and music were slaked with a helping of fry fish, frittas and swanky, and each district vies to provide the best food. 

Gimistory – or its more formal name, the Cayman Islands International Storytelling Festival – has been running since 1998. The free festival takes place on beaches, as it did in West Bay Saturday night, in parks and in private backyards. 

Throughout the week, storytellers also will be visiting schools. 

The next show will be Monday evening at Captain Ned Miller’s Yard in North Side. Wednesday night’s show will be at Nurse Josie’s Senior Center in Bodden Town, and there will be two shows Thursday night – at Gardenia Court in Camana Bay and at Public Beach in East End. Friday night will be the Sister Islands’ turn with performances at the Little Cayman School and Heritage House on Cayman Brac. Saturday is Duppy Story Night, with ghostly tales being told at Smith Barcadere in South Sound. Shows begin at 7pm. 

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Jamaican storyteller Amina Blackwood-Meeks warns of the dangers of escalating conflicts in her tale of how fights between village dogs can go out of control.

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Opening act The Cayman Islands Folk Singers demonstrate that stories can be told through song, too. – PHOTOS: NORMA CONNOLLY

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Aunt Sookie and Ivan Farrington share a tale of a trip of New York.

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Quincy Brown was the master of ceremonies.

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Father, mother and son team The Storycrafters blended dance, song and storytelling.
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