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Arts in The Bahamas

Posted by Victor Minca on

Arts in The Bahamas

Straw weaving
Traditional crafts include straw work on islands,creating beautiful hats and baskets.
This skill was useful when Bahamians led subsistence lifestyles, with baskets being used for carrying fruit and fishing traps. Today, straw work and wood carvings are produced and sold to tourists in Nassau's Straw Market.

Canvas art
Beautiful landscapes and the vibrant houses and peoples of the Bahamian archipelago have inspired many artists, both native and foreign. Some notable Bahamian artists include Amos Ferguson (deceased), Eddie Minnis, Brent Malone (deceased), Jackson Burnside (deceased), Victor Minca, John Beadle and John Cox.

Coral and stone art
Hand carvings from coral art and natural stone are cultivated from naturally occurring reef break-offs, beach erosions, outcrops, and smooth rocks.

Junkanoo is a large contributor to the music of the Bahamas. It is a type of street carnival which occurs on December 26 (Boxing Day) and New Year's Day (January 1). This traditional celebration was started with an African slave by the name of John Canoe. Slaves were given a special holiday at Christmas time, when they could leave the work of the plantation behind and celebrate their freedoms.
The parades are characterized by spectacular costumes made of crepe paper and powerful rhythms beaten traditionally on goatskin drums (accompanied more recently with tom-tom drums or bongo drums) as well as rich brass bands and shaking cow bells. Bahamian music also incorporates other Caribbean forms such as calypso, Trinidadian soca and Jamaican reggae.
Calypso and Rake 'n' Scrape singers and bands such as Baha Men have gained massive popularity in Japan, the United States and elsewhere. Bahamian music continues to be enjoyed by the Bahamian public, with singers such as Ronnie Butler, the late "King" Eric Gibson, K.B, Macklyn, and the Brilanders.


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