To the beat of the drum
The sound of beating drums rang through Bridgetown as members of the Barbados Cadet Corps Drummers paid homage to their African heritage in rhythms and patterns on Tuesday.
The event was a highlighted by a special 18-minute synchronized drumming parade held in tribute to the ancestors. It began in Independence Square and climaxed in Queen’s Park with a response to a drum call made in South Africa at 6 a.m. , which is 12 p.m. Barbados time.
This year’s Global Day of the Drum also paid special tribute to the late Secretary General of the Barbados Association of Non-Governmental Organizations Roosevelt “Ty” King. The well-known community worker passed away last November at the age of 60.
Founder of the Global Day of the Drum Ian Douglas pointed out that the musical instrument had been banned in the 1630’s in Barbados, saying the move had created what he called “the missing drum analogy”.
However, while emphasizing the importance of the drum, he highlighted aspects of the Barbadian language, in particular drum retention words such as “brum” and “brax”, as direct drum reflections.
He also drew a link between the instrument and the Crop Over festival, which has its origin in the sugar harvest, while expressing hope that the drum would be recognized in Barbados once again.