Guyana-born award-winning cultural ambassador, natural lifestyle consultant and master drummer, Menes De Griot, came back to his country of birth this past weekend to celebrate Easter in the Kweh Kweh tradition on the Essequibo Coast. According to Menes De Griot, the event is to “keep our tradition heritage and culture alive.”
Joining in the celebration is Essequibo’s number one cultural icon, Leary Mc Kenzie and his group Afida, and singer Syd Hooper of Linden, saxophone player Wilbert Saxie, Guyana’s legendary pan player, tuner, pan maker and arranger, Frank “Nigerian” Lynch, and John Miller on drums. Menes De Griot, who has performed throughout the world promoting and lecturing on Guyana’s culture, has received many cultural awards including one from the Ifaorisa International Organization of Trinidad and the Guyana Cultural Organization of Canada. He continues a 17-year tradition as part of the Medgar Evers College of New York’s tribute to the ancestors.
Kweh Kweh is a type of dance and drumming usually associated with wakes and pre-wedding ceremonies that originate in West Africa but are still practiced primarily in Guyana. It includes libation, the bridegroom’s visit to the bride to be`s home for a blessing and to be accepted by the family, finding his bride, taking her to the circle of elders, family and friends, dancing, drumming, giving of a dowry, and story-telling.