Les Coteaux - Folk tales and Superstitions
The name Les Coteaux reflects the heritage left by the French in this part of Tobago.
Les Coteaux is full of historical sites and interesting places to visit.
The heavy reliance on sugar in this area has left behind old water wheels and the ruins of sugar mills.
One can still find persons in the area who make sugar from the sugar cane.
The legend of Gang Gang Sara, the African witch, has its origins in the latter half of the 18th century.
On a stormy night she was blown from her home in Africa across the sea to Tobago and landed quite safely at the village of Les Coteaux. From there she journeyed to Golden Lane in search of her family who had long ago been transported there as slaves.
She lived to a great age and is remembered for her wisdom and kindness. She became the loving wife of Tom, whom legend says she had known as a child in her native Africa.
After her Tom had died, wishing to return to her native land, she climbed a great silk cotton tree and tried to fly, not knowing that she had lost the art of flight as a result of having eaten salt.
To this day the names of Tom and Sara can be seen inscribed upon the head stones of their graves where they have lain side by side for close upon two hundred years.
There are many other stories and superstitions coming out of Les Coteaux. The village is known as the home of obeah (witch craft).
The stories told at the festival include tales of fairy maids, soucouyants (blood suckers) and Papa Bois, the goat man, who is said to protect forest animals.
There are ghost (jumbie) stories and tales of people who used obeah for various nefarious purposes (they always got their comeuppance in the end)