Bajans put on a show

Mother Sally whipped her blessings around the stage, three Tuk Bands clashed, children and their elders sang and danced, and top-notched Crop Over artistes revved up the crowd as Barbados threw a party last night.

The Bajan team met the challenge of being from the host country, displaying the culture to its own people and entertaining CARIFESTA visitors who have been moving around the island experiencing bits and shades of the same, by putting on a hyper show in the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre car park for Barbados night of the regional cultural extravaganza.

Barbados’ showing was themed Tuk is we Ting, a premise that gave the performers wide scope to delve into various theatrical demonstrations of this island’s unique art form that is one of the ingredients in the melting pot of intricate Caribbean culture.

Tuk is played by an ensemble that includes individuals on a double-headed bass drum, a snare drum, and a number of pennywhistles. According to the Barbados Tourism Management Inc. website, “the Tuk Band provided an acceptable musical alternative, whereby slaves beat their drums to mimic the music of the British fife and drum corps”, after British slave masters in Barbados passed a law in the late 1600s forbidding slaves to beat their drums, for fear they would be using them to communicate surreptitiously across plantations and incite revolt.

These dancers displayed a Caribbean flair that has become a staple of CARIFESTA performances.
Tuk Band members on pennywhistles.
Peter Ram teasing on stage
Hypasounds got the crowd hyper.
Gabby performed a cross-Caribbean piece, ‘That is my Culture’.
Crystal Cummins-Beckles

Haynesville Youth Group and Sing Out Barbados had welcomed the audience that had begun building before the 7 p.m. start.

Mother Sally came on stage and flounced around her Bajan ample rear. Various versions of this buxom lady can be found throughout the region as her prancing and gyrations are part of fertility dances passed down from the African West Coast, from whence the ancestors of many of today’s Caribbean people were brought.

No better way to kick-start the frenzied action after the cultural messages than to begin with Hypasounds, followed by the 2016 Pic-O-De-Crop Monarch, Aziza, then Adrian Clarke, the maestro Gabby, Crystal Cummins-Beckles, Peter Ram, and RPB.

Noticeably absent from Barbados’ cultural display was the hallmark Landship, but RPB and his merry band of sailors made up for this by taking the audience on the water to rock the boat.

Not content to entertain from stage, Peter Ram raised the crowd passion to another level by joining them on the tarmac.

Source: By George Alleyne

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