19 Pages

The salad: Younger players and the trick as a tactic of resistance

WithWilliam Tantam

This chapter looks at the salad as one of a multitude of ‘tactics’ through which young, poor, working-class men enhance their reputation among their peer group through tricking their older, wealthier, middle-class opponents. For the young men on the football field, the salad was similarly an opportunity through which to express the man’s own skills in navigating within the hierarchical system that reproduces inequalities. While the broad colonial British values transmitted alongside Christian education taught obedience to hierarchy and the veneration of imported white religious symbols, Anansi tales encouraged ideas interlinked with African ritual survivals and resistance to imposed value systems. The salad and the kill operated to allow the protagonist autonomy in an otherwise limited space for manoeuvre. The analysis of the trick on the football field contributes to the long-standing and deep-rooted symbol of trickery and tricksters in Jamaican society.