Bamboula to the Bayou, with Bomba in the Mix: Drumming, Dancing & Singing Afro-Caribbean Cultural History


On Friday, March 31, at 6:00pm, anthropologist Halbert Barton (Long Island University) will lead the lecture/workshop “Bamboula to the Bayou, with Bomba in the Mix: Drumming, Dancing & Singing Afro-Caribbean Cultural History.” This participatory dance/music lecture/workshop on the cultural history of Puerto Rico’s bomba and plena in an inter-island, circum-Caribbean context. 

The event—co-sponsored by the Center for Multicultural Affairs, the Department of Modern Languages and Cultures, and the Latin American and Caribbean Studies Program—will take place at the Nelly Goletti Theater at Marist College (in Poughkeepsie, New York).

Description: Performance ethnography based on ongoing research that explores how a Kongo-derived dance-music complex (from work-songs to worship styles) links historic Afro-Dutch communities in the Lower Hudson Valley, to a sea-faring, mariner-mediated commerce that connected Lower Manhattan to ports of call that loaded rice in Charleston, cotton in Mobile, cane in San Juan and Port of Spain, Port-au-Prince to New Orleans, and up the Mississippi-Ohio River Valley to Appalachian hemp plantations where fibers were threaded that fastened it all securely. We will introduce some basic Central West African Kongo cultural and philosophical principles that are key to deeper appreciation, understanding, and enjoyment of Puerto Rican bomba and kindred genres (from calypso to bluegrass, and beyond) throughout the circum-Caribbean.

[Image above: “Drum Player” by Tanya Torres; courtesy of the artist. See more of her work at]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s