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FOLKLORE, JAMAICA

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by Krishna Reynolds.
(24k, bits of coloured cloth cover the dancer from head to foot), Horse, Cow, House, the Devil, Bellywoman (Pregnant woman), Policeman, Actor Boy. They dance to the beat of drums (gumbay, congo) and other instruments like the bango, fife, and kitchen grater.




DINKY-MINI

Dinky-mini is a group dance and song ritual held to cheer the family of a dead person. Dinky-minis, African-derived traditions, were an integral part of the mourning process in rural communities. Nowadays, however, dinky-minis are performed mainly at cultural stage shows.

(27k) is a Muslim, East Indian celebration. It is the annual observance of the murder of Hosein, the grandson of the Prophet Mohammed. From its inception, it became secularized with the Hindu joining their Muslim brothers in organization and parade. There are nine days of mourning, mercia (eulogy) and meditation while people build Tazia (bamboo and paper replicas of a tomb). On the tenth day, the Tazia is taken on a street procession led by a Tasa drummer playing martial music and followed by sword-, stick- and horse-dancers and 100s of 'mourners'. Other Jamaicans would also build Tazias and the process of creolization began. Hosay is the most popular of the Indian festivals celebrated in Jamaica. The Clarendon Hosay, celebrated in August, is an attractive experience....(Adapted from: L. Mansingh, A. Mansingh, Skywritings #89)

  • Little Theatre Movement
  • Sistren Theatre

In the face of what many call cultural colonization by the United States and others, it has been becoming increasingly important to record and preserve our folkloric traditions. Dr. Olive Lewin, ethnomusicologist and Director of the Jamaica Folk Singers, 'has put so much of her energy ... into the development of the Jamaica Memory Bank a national repository for the oral history, folk wisdom, musical and literary tradition of hundreds of ordinary Jamaicans...'(Brian Heap, Jamaica Memory Bank Committee, Skywritings #87).
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