Paramin

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View of the Caribbean Sea from Paramin,Maraval,Trinidad & Tobago

Paramin is a village located on one of the highest points of western area of the Northern Range in Trinidad, Trinidad and Tobago, which forms part of the Maraval area. It is a sprawling, steep and mountainous village whose residents have traditionally been farmers, producing herbs like chives, thyme and parsley, as well as vegetables like tomatoes and yams.

Many of the original residents of the area are descendants of the French Creole migrants to the island following the Cedula of Population (1783) and the surnames reflect this heritage: Constantine, Fournillier (Fournier), Isidore, Laurent (Lawrence), Romany, etc. Following the Cedula of Population, Paramin was peopled by French Creole immigrants from Martinique, Guadeloupe, Grenada (La Grenade), Dominica (La Dominique), St. Lucia (Ste. Lucie), etc. It was later also populated by Cocoa Panyols from Venezuela in South America who aided in establishing the cocoa industry. The Cocoa Panyols are an Hispanic (Latino) ethnic mixture of mainly European (Spanish and/or French), Amerindian and African ancestry. Because of French influence most of the villagers in Paramin speak/spoke French Creole or Patois, in addition to English; French Creole or Patois was spoken by most residents in the 1960s. Some of the early settlers in the village were runaway slaves from the Maraval (Negre Marron Caves) and Diego Martin Valleys (Camp Marron or Cameron).

The area is also home to two specific music genres—Crèche and Parang. Both are specifically played at Christmas time. They reflect the French and Spanish influences of the island mixed with Afro/Caribbean beats. Parang has seen a large resurgence in recent years where we are seeing mixes with both Soca and even Chutney music with lyrics in English. The Maraval Folk Choir, known for both Crèche and Parang, produced a Crèche album in the 1970s, and the Paramin Folk Choir produced one in 2004.

The area is predominantly Roman Catholic, and the primary school and the Church that serve the area are Catholic. The Church still offers a well-known French Creole or Patois mass on Dimanche Gras, the Sunday before Carnival.

Paramin Genealogy:

• Joseph Isidore (Popo Fernand)

Botanical Gazette, 1885