This is quite an in depth topic, so I will have to go in parts and before I get to the meat of the matter, I just need to set the stage.
So let's imagine for a moment.....
Can you imagine if a Black Trini or other another Black Caribbean native went to Southern Germany or Switzerland, studied the manufacturing process of Lederhosen, and took an old, outdated pair of Lederhosen from the 1940's back to the Caribbean and marketed, reproduced them, and tweaked them here and there?
Can you subsequently imagine the outrage if this same fictional Black Caribbean native then began to seek patents on modified lederhosen and mass market them as a Caribbean invention for up to 10x MORE than the price of traditional Bavarian lederhosen!?
The Bavarians would be in an uproar!
This ficitonal scenario is somewhat analogous to the recent handpan phenomenon, while the real life scenairio where steelpan is being culturally misapropriated and exploited by Europeans is something that is willfully ignored and disregarded by many in the handpan community.
The only real difference in these two scenarios is that Europeans never had to endure the Trans-Atlantic slave trade and colonization under the domination of negroes!
Were the shoe on the other foot so to speak, and Europeans in the position of the negroes and vice versa, I would dare say that this fictional scenario of a Black Trini patenting a tweaked out pair of lederhosen and being able to charge 10x the amount of the original lederhosen on the world market would be permitted and the norm, quite frankly.
Slavery and colonization of the negroes itself was a game changer in every way! One way it changed the game is it forced a beaten down, oppressed population of West Indian negroes in T&T to start being resourceful with discarded materials and invent the steelpan in order to escape the tyranny and misery of colonial oppression.
It is safe to say that all things that negroes in the West create (steelpan, jazz, hip hop, reggae, etc) are open and subject to expoitation by Europeans, but anything exclusively European is generally closed for the most part to negroes.
Look no further at the handpan community by and large, and this much is clear.
But for historical reasons due to the legacy of slavery and colonization, this ficitonal scenario of the Caribbean business man patenting a version of lederhosen and mass marketing them as a CAribbean invention would never be allowed to come to pass!
On the contrary, in keeping with my assertion that things created by negroes are always open and subject to exploitation by Europeans, the steelpan is another perfectly fitting example! It is an open playing field for the Handpan Mafia and other unscrupulous makers to exploit as they please obviously.
Racism unfortunately, plays a role in every aspect of human activity and music is certainly not an exception. Just because racism does not affect Europeans in the negative way it does negroes on a daily, constant, never ending basis, they as the beneficiaries of ''white privilige'' reap the rewards of the suffering of negores to this very day and have historically as a group.
Therefore, there is a strong sense of entitlement present in huge swaths of the handpan community which is largely comprised of Europeans or those of European descent, a sense of entitlement that allows many of them like the trolls here to claim with impunity and a straight face that the handpan is a ''Swiss creation''. Regardless of the fact I have proven that this is a bold faced lie in previous posts.
But I learned a long time ago that life is not fair, and I am reminded of this cold, hard fact everyday. This does not prevent KaribPAN from enaging in socially conscious, ethical practices when conducting the business of pan, however!
Our integrity speaks for itself!
Concerning handpans, a phenomenon that I witness among many self proclaimed handpan enthusiasts is the tendency for them to more often than not, put on a ''tuning expert'' hat when discussing various instruments from various makers.
Keeping in line with the strong elitist attitude that is prevalent among many such self proclaimed handpan enthusiasts, these individuals naturally feel that they know best about all things handpan/handpan tuning. They operate from a completely subjective point of view while touting themselves as ''experts''.
Considering the fact that the handpan in its modern reincarnation is less than 20 years old and there are still yet many more innovations to be made regarding the instrument as far as tuning techniques, shell crafting and geometry, etc, it is unwise to think that a new, one dimensional handpan maker who just began tuning within the past 15 years (the approximate age of the reincarnated handpan) has the edge over a steelpan tuner, who has been tuning pans PRIOR to to the modern reincarnation of the handpan. This is elitism at its worst and it is quite prevalent. Just read through the comments on the previous blog posts, NONE of which were made by traditional pannists, and my point will become clear if it is not already.
In order to make my point even more clear, I will highlight some DISHONORABLE mentions from the comment boards in order to illustrate my point!
First, we have ''Todd G.'', who provides opportunity after opportunity for me to dismantle piece by piece, the lies of many of the other handpan trolls whose sentiments he echoes.
Todd G. states that: