GOOMBAY .THE AUTHENTIC CALIPSO OF BAHAMAS . BY LUIS SALAZAR CUENCA #Music #Goombay






Bahamians to be. Its good that h has placed this on line as sadly many of our folks are not featured as they should be. To give some clarification: Goombay is really a dance that originates from the Africans way of "dating" or pairing off. A large fire was lit and young men and women would make a circle around the fire. A goombay drummer would play by placing it between his legs in a sitting position. The goat skin drum which was made of a wooden drum covered by cure goat skin stretched over one end with the other end being left open. The drum was normally heated by the fire before it was played. One person a woman would enter the inner circle and dnace in front of her choice a man. Those in the cirle wouild encourage her to "show her motion". If he liked her he would respond to her "motion". They would join and eventually marry. This would contiyne until the pairing is over. This was not open to nonwhites but magistrate Powles was able to witness a ring play and wrote of it is his book around 1700's. Goobmay is more focused on the sound of the drum. Junkanoo is practiced all over the Caribbean and The Bahamas (which is not geographically a part of the Caribbean). The form of Junkanoo that is practiced in The Bahamas coe from the African celebration of "First Fruits"! The Africans gave back to God their first fruits by "rushing" onto Bay Street from Over-Da-Hill beginning "four day" in the morning! At sunrise they would return to their different areas. They "rushed' using goat skinbeing played by carrying it on the shoulders by a strap and beating it in a sideward position. The drum was accompanied by cowbells, whistels and horns made of conch shells. Wome were not allowed and masks and tall hats were part of the "dress". They carried things like cassava, yams, potatoe, sugar cane, sponges, bananas and the likes. All representing first fruits. The present day celebration is a transformation that has eveloved into a parade that still has element of tribalizism and first fruits. The sound has become more vibrant while the movement is less of a rush. The colours and creativity has been a multifaceted representation of the rainbow. Calypso like Junkanoo is found over the same area as it is also a heritage brought here by the Africans from the western part of the continent. This is a musical genre that has story telling as it base. In the Bahaas the sound is different as it is in every island nation. It functions on two levels at times. There may be an undelying story or the story may have a dual meaning. Political satire is quite ofetn the subject including current eventsatte. luis Salazar cuenca

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