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Gombeys dance on Boxing Day

  • Boxing Day Gombeys: Places Gombeys,  Devonshire Parish (Photographs by Akil Simmons)

Bermuda’s Gombey troupes took to the streets today for their traditional Boxing Day performance.

Neighbourhoods across the island were greeted by the sounds of drums and dancers.

Places Gombeys danced across Devonshire this morning and H&H Gombeys performed in the Crawl Hill area of Hamilton Parish.

Dozens of revellers crowded My Lord’s Bay Lane in Hamilton Parish this morning to watch the troupe perform.

One spectator, who asked not to be named, said: “This is the Bermudian spirit. This is who we are.

“It’s important that we keep this, pass it on to our children, because it’s a unique part of our culture, a beautiful part of our culture.”

Gombey troupes perform at events throughout the year, but come out in force on Boxing Day.

The root of the performance comes from Africa - “gombey” means “rhythm” in Bantu.

The Bermuda Gombey tradition started with slaves, who were allowed to gather on holidays, especially Christmas.

Gombeys were banned in 1761, but the tradition survived and the ban was later lifted.