The White-tailed Sabrewing (Campylopterus ensipennis) is a large hummingbird that breeds in northeastern Venezuela and Tobago. It was thought to have become extinct in Tobago after hurricane Flora in 1963, but the population has now largely recovered.
This species is now featured on Tobago’s environmental posters under the nickname “Campy”. This bird inhabits mountain forests. The female White-tailed Sabrewing lays its two white eggs in a relatively large cup nest on a low branch, often near water. The White-tailed Sabrewing is 12 cm long and weighs 10 g. The sexes are similar, but the female is duller. The black bill is 25 cm long and slightly decurved. The adult male is bright green with a shiny blue throat and a white moustachial stripe. The three outer pairs of feathers of the tail are white and the shafts of the outer flight feathers are thickened and flattened which gives the distinctive feature of the sabrewings, their English and genus names. In this case, both parts of the scientific name refer to this feature, Campylopterus and ensipennis being derived from the Greek and Latin respectively for "bent wing". The food of this species is nectar, taken mainly from undergrowth flowers. Male White-tailed Sabrewing perch conspicuously and defend their territories aggressively against other hummingbirds. This large species is fearless and inquisitive. The call is a rolled chinzink.
Steelpans (also known as steel drums or pans, and sometimes, collectively with other musicians, as a steel band or orchestra) is a musical instrument originating from The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.
Steel pan musicians are called pannists. The modern pan is a chromatically pitched percussion instrument (although some toy or novelty steelpans are tuned diatonically, and some older style round the neck instruments have even fewer notes), made from 55 gallon drums that formerly contained oil and like substances. Drum refers to the steel drum containers from which the pans are made; the steeldrum is more correctly called a steel pan or pan as it falls into the idiophone family of instruments, and so is not a drum which is a membranophone.
The pan is struck using a pair of straight sticks tipped with rubber; the size and type of rubber tip varies according to the class of pan being played. Some musicians use four pansticks, holding two in each hand. This skill and performance has been conclusively shown to have grown out of Trinidad and Tobago's early 20th century Carnival percussion groups known as Tamboo Bamboo.
The pan is the national instrument of Trinidad and Tobago. Since Pythagoras calculated the formula for the musical cycle of fourths and fifths, Steel Pans are the only instruments made to follow this configuration. French planters and their slaves emigrated to Trinidad during the French Revolution (1789) from Martinique, including a number of West Africans, and French creoles from Saint Vincent, Grenada, Saint Lucia and Dominica, establishing a local community before Trinidad and Tobago were taken from Spain by the British. Carnival had arrived with the French, and the slaves, who could not take part in Carnival, formed their own, parallel celebration called canboulay. Stick fighting and African percussion music were banned in 1880, in response to the Canboulay Riots. They were replaced by bamboo sticks beaten together, which were themselves banned in turn. In 1937 they reappeared, transformed as an orchestra of frying pans, dustbin lids and oil drums. These steelpans are now a major part of the Trinidadian music scene and are a popular section of the Canboulay music contests.
In 1941, the United States Navy arrived on Trinidad, and the panmen, who were associated with lawlessness and violence, helped to popularize steel pan music among soldiers, which began its international popularization. The first instruments developed in the evolution of steelpan were Tamboo-Bamboos, tunable sticks made of bamboo wood. These were hit onto the ground and with other sticks in order to produce sound.
Tamboo-Bamboo bands also included percussion of a (gin) bottle and spoon. By the mid-1930s, bits of metal percussion were being used in the tamboo bamboo bands, the first probably being either the automobile brake hub "iron" or the biscuit drum "boom". The former replaced the gin bottle-and-spoon, and the latter the "bass" bamboo that was pounded on the ground. By the late 1930s their occasional all-steel bands were seen at Carnival and by 1940 it had become the preferred Carnival accompaniment of young underprivileged men. The 55-gallon oil drum was used to make steelpans from around 1947. The Trinidad All Steel Percussion Orchestra (TASPO), formed to attend the Festival of Britain in 1951, was the first steelband whose instruments were all made from oil drums. Members of TASPO included Ellie Mannette and Winston "Spree" Simon. Hugh Borde also led the National Steel Band of Trinidad & Tobago at the Commonwealth Arts Festival in England, as well as the Esso Tripoli Steel Band, who played at the World’s Fair in Montreal, Canada, and later toured with Liberace and were also featured on an album with him.