Baggawire betrayed Marcus Garvey

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Baggawire betrayed Marcus Garvey

Postby capullo » Thu Oct 28, 2010 12:47 pm

baggawire (bag of wire) was garvey's driver. he betrayed garvey for rice and peas. he was called like this because after he went crazy he walked around dressed in old tyres. after time the wires came out of the tyres, hence his name.

that's all information i have from records, books and this board. i wonder what really the story is? what did he do to garvey? what was the betrayal about?
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Re: Baggawire betrayed Marcus Garvey

Postby steve rice » Thu Oct 28, 2010 1:07 pm

he caught fire i know that much
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Re: Baggawire betrayed Marcus Garvey

Postby Mackeral » Thu Oct 28, 2010 1:54 pm


"Race First" by Tony Martin has been recommended from several sources regarding study of Marcus Garvey and the UNIA as the best book on Garvey. I have not read it myself, so I don't know if it mentions bag-a-wire or not. Maybe someone else on the board has?
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Re: Baggawire betrayed Marcus Garvey

Postby zonard » Thu Oct 28, 2010 3:10 pm

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Re: Baggawire betrayed Marcus Garvey

Postby johnnyB » Thu Oct 28, 2010 10:29 pm

In his interesting and deeply documented "Negro with a Hat" author Colin Grant never mentions Bag-a-wire.Instead Barry Chevannes in his book "Rastafari-Roots and Ideology" talks about Bag-a-wire as a myth,not being more precise on the kind of betrayal he perpetrated against Garvey.
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Re: Baggawire betrayed Marcus Garvey

Postby peter » Thu Oct 28, 2010 11:53 pm

oh yes, bag-o-wire. as featured in so many tunes but always with the same minimal info given for us reggae fans 30 40 years later from the other side of the world to make sense of it.

as i understand it although he didnt go down in the history books, he was a real person for sure. he used to roam the streets dressed in bags sown with wire. (i dont know the technical name but like a woven sack perhaps used for coffe beans or similar. i think santa might use such a bag) anyway hence the name bag-o-wire. he was an outcast and people (kids and that) used to tease him, calling him bagawire and throw stones at him. he would just point his finger at them and walk away saying nothing just pointing his finger. the story goes he was a garveyite previously (garveys driver?) but betrayed him by pointing him out to his enemies. garvey then but a curse on him. and from that day he was to roam the streets and pointing his finger was all he could do.

the rice and peas bit comes from when garvey formed the peoples political party his opponents responded by handing out free foods, rice and peas, to get the sufferes votes.

thats how i understand it anyway. sorry if not put in the best english. hope it makes sense and helps anyway. good to hear people out there listen to the lyrics and try to understand them. all the best.
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Re: Baggawire betrayed Marcus Garvey

Postby Ruffneck » Fri Oct 29, 2010 2:20 am

And what's the story on the woman Mother "something" (won't even try to put the name that for example Johnny Clarke mentions in "Marcus Garvey" in writing) who is often accused of selling out Marcus Garvey in companionship with Bag-a-wire?
Last edited by Ruffneck on Fri Oct 29, 2010 2:24 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Baggawire betrayed Marcus Garvey

Postby Ruffneck » Fri Oct 29, 2010 2:21 am

Double post, sorry
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Re: Baggawire betrayed Marcus Garvey

Postby Natty Dread Magazine » Fri Oct 29, 2010 9:17 am

Madda Muschette... Part of the popular "anancy stories" bout Gavey that are pretty interesting. Madda Muschette is supposed to have worked for Garvey as a secretary or something. A betrayer too, like Bagawire. But this betrayal thing has never been clearly established. These anancy stories bout Garvey are mostly to be found in reggae songs, such as the incredible Marcus Moshia Garvey by Big Youth (on the Marcus Garvey version). He quotes so many of them, like the " no one else shall enter " refering to the door of the oval prison of Spanish Town, the weird " certain place in Cross Road is said to be a car park... so it is baby ! " and the dreadful : " and there will be a false leader he (Marcus) said " (a reference to Joshua, aka Michael Manley).
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Re: Baggawire betrayed Marcus Garvey

Postby drwatts53 » Sun Apr 15, 2018 7:47 pm

Last edited by drwatts53 on Mon Apr 16, 2018 2:59 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Baggawire betrayed Marcus Garvey

Postby Ranking Glasses » Sun Apr 15, 2018 8:53 pm

The focus on these 2 characters, whom I can't find any mention of in my books on Marcus Garvery, is a distraction and shows how little many Jamaicans and artists knew about the life and the work of the great man. Similar to the lack of knowledge of Haile Selassie. Many people are better read and more knowledgeable nowadays.
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