Lawd a massi, oonu know from when mi waan tackle de subject of Kumina and lazy, but this week mi declare wid mi bright self ah culture week, and ah culture it ago be, mi just waan mek oonu know sey mi bite off more dan wha mi can chue, as wha Lieutenant sticthie did sey to chicken chess pon a stereograph cassette whey mi have from how long now….and by that mi mean sey mi lazy fi gi oonu de full hundred but gi-ing oonu I will…aye sah….
KUMINA!!, is a Jamaican expression of drumming, dance and songs. An honoring of the ancestors and a festive and buoyant way of sending on the dearly departed onto their new home. Kumina is played regularly at wakes (set up or nine nights), and this is still done in Africa today, which only goes to show that mama Africa is always with her children still teaching. The main instruments used in Kumina are the playing khas or caste, the kbandu, and the cattah tick (scatter stick). The Playing Khas is the smaller drum, but it is the story-teller, it weaves all sorts of complicated rhythms, and depending on how skilled the drummer is, will captivate the attendees so much that the atmosphere will seem like something out of this world, charged by the sound of the drums, people will be moving in a frenzied state, doing things that they would not be able to do other wise in their daily lives. The kbandu, which is the larger drum, is low pitched in its accent and gives a steady beat, very hypnotic, and sensual almost seductive. The scatter stick player kneels or sits behind the kbandu drummer and with sticks in each hand steadily knocks from right to left in synchronicity, creating a captivating sound. Both drums are made from Goat skins, and the drums has to be fed (sacrificed on and given blood and rum to entice the spirits to come) and consecrated before they can play kumina.
Under a spiritually prepared shed (the ground is concecrated) the two drummers face each other, with cattah tick man seated behind the kbandu drummer, someone playing a greater with a knife will also be there and also a shakas player (shake shake), all these players along with the songs creates a vibrant and magnetic sound that can call people to come from miles. Whenever Kumina is Played in any area all dances are locked off, they cannot compete. The drummers and dancers are usually barefooted. In the eastern part of Jamaica, Saint Thomas, Kumina which is said to have come through the middle passage with the slaves who came from Zaire or what is known as The Congo’s today, is played very often and there are people there who has, even until today retained the original Kikongo language. The opening Songs to Kumina are most often sung in this language and it is something to be heard.
Spirit possession is always present at Kuminas, the hypnotic rhythm along with the knowledge of the drummer who is in command of the playing khas to invoke and dispel the spirits, ignites a atmospheric spiritual energy that rivals the sounds of nature in all its glory. Lightning and thunder lighting up the skies, while the sea rushes up to shore in one big whoosh!..the wind lifts up her skirts and dances with the people who interacts through songs and dance with the ancestors. Jamaican white rum is spewd in the air to welcome… Tata Benjamin, Count C, Mama Lay, Melda Minott, Queenie, Engie Scobie, Uncle Papa, Bongo Roy (mi know him), Congo Tony, Bongo Carl, Bongo John, Bongo Brown, Bongo White, Sheppie, Massa Smitty, Bongo Earl Bongo Walters, Bongo Whittingham, Bongo Wallace….and many more..these are some of the names of spirits who are regulars on the Kumina scene, and as you can see the Bongos are popular among them.
Often times the Kumina will become so intense that the possessed will “Tek Grung”, fall to the ground and possibly stay there for days or months, while they are being taught spiritual things by the spirits that chose them. People attends to them and care for them until the spirits decides to leave, this almost happened to me but I to plead with them to release me, It could never happen to me again. Kumina is very much a part of our Jamaican culture, and has been for a very long time, it is misunderstood and the practitioners do not discuss it with non practitioners, but it is something that we should be proud of.
When a woman prepares a dish which others find unpalatable, she says that she prepared it to suit her own taste…Yoruba Proverb
[…] drumming began and the yard began filling up with people coming to enjoy tonight’s Kumina, read here. The Kumina being held was a celebration of sorts for the person who was keeping it. He was a […]
[…] had done a blog on Kumina sometime ago, read here to familiarize yourselves with Kumia and its origins and background and place among Jamaicans […]
I love it, Ty, loveeeee it!!!
See another cool Jcans video of set up music and dancing
Evening i enjoyed the videos. Would like to experience the kumina live. As the drum beat the rhythym make my foot move n head nod lol
Di true Rastafarians from up in di hills a some serious drummers and chanters too..nyabinghi are some of my favorites…they usually have a yearly meeting at the arena, where they all come down from the hills…di music sweet too…proud to be Jcan…
Binghy nice Ty but it nuh have no spirit
Some a do old rasta dem can read too…dem bad pon it too…lol
Anuh you alone
lawd here mi people…love it bad…kumina sweet… most times when we helping the spirit crossover a di set up yaard…nobody no leave till the sun come up…the caller, usually a woman will dictate when you can start leave… the songs are the best part about kumina…the songs are rich…the drumming is wonderful…the drummer can control your heartrate depending on how he beats…the drum have to be washed in rum and the drummers hands have to be washed in rum before playing… I have seen where the drummer gets up and the drum still playing…there is always candles lighted and alcohol,… Read more »
not a god video but this is Quenie, great kumina queen and was very close to Edward Seaga along wid Obeah man Capo when they were alive…she is singing in the Kikongo language
Yes I have friends in revival who use to jump poco with him, dem sey him can wheel, lol and dance wid de glas ah wata pon him head
I like that save face proverb at the end. I would love to go to a kumina event.
Obara, you know that former Prime Min. Edward Seaga is well verse in the traditions of St. Thomas? His thesis was built on it, he at one time did recordings of kumina and other styles – mostly from what you’ve described.
Another great read.
Reblogged this on Embracing Spirituality.
Come and experience Kumina at Fi Wi Sinting 2013, Sunday 17th February 2013 at Sommerset Falls Hope Bay Portland. Visit our website at http://www.fiwisinting.com or follow us on facebook/fiwisinting
[…] https://embracingspirituality.com/2011/06/15/kuminia-pocomainia-a-little-madness/ […]
sharlene when yuh a go? mi waan go eena September/Hoctoberish….
dat me want fi experience
st thomas a kumina land
nuh body nuh haffi teach oonu kumina as de drum start play spirit come dung come teach yuh
hi, you lady inna de blue frock…i beg you passde dutchiepondelef hand side and show me some a dem move deh…cause i is here tolearn…me come late but i reach…hello…wonda a wihich part inna portland…granny a need u fi find dem people deh
i a go rite a ortland go find dem kumina people deh and tell dem straight…seh listen to me…me a go need unno fi gi me whe me ask fa…play de drum deh…
Obara yuh site a gi mi blue balls fi Yaaad mi nah lie…..lol
mi soon come peeps….
a whe morant bay deh again
bejiman downa…o benjiman downa…if u a de fya man…water deh ya fi cool you
Brown gal come talk bout Kumina in Morant bay pleaaaasseee!!
browngal, yuh use to go kumina?
soon come back, mi a go a shop
mi have kumina spirit, a morant bay mi come from
sing di sankey demmmmmmmmm……..Obara know how fi get me riled up and excited wid har posts dem cho man mi waaan sing and play jrum now and just vibe wid di rasta man dem!
kumina songs….bullyyyyy bullyyyyy, bullyyyyyy, bull dawg! oh what a bullyyy, bullyy, bullyyy bull dawg,and nutten nuh lass cyann find, oh landlord tief mi paocket knife, nutten nuh lass cyann find….benjiman downa, oh benjiman downa oh benjiman downa, stan up on yuh awda, if you ade fyah , oh you a de fya man wata deh yah fi cool yuh
Not too sure if a di same sankey……mek mi fine out
Only the righteousssssssssssssss I want to knowwwwwwwwwwwwwwohhh ohhhhhh!!!
i want to know if i’ll be welcome up there, i could not bear to be denied. i want to live up ther……a de song dat
one time mi did deh eena dance class wid Barry Moncrief a learn Kumina an mi seh mi couldnt stop dance all when dem dun drum mi foot dem wouldnt stop move…..
dem have a song weh dem sing: I WANT TO KNOOWWWOHH I WANT TO KNOWWWW (den di drum just BRAPPPP) when dancing kumina and when di drumma dem start fi sing and a drum and dem di dancers answer back……damnnnnn a suh mi know seh spirit a walk wid mi long time mi just neva know fi call him out!!!!!!! WOIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE Mi feeeel goood people!!! realllllllllllllllllllllllllllllly good! THANKS OBARA MEJI!!!!
gwan orispikkney,,,lololol, i am enjoying it
me say orisa…me dida answa u pon de odda thread anda tell u bout…Ancestor pon the auction block…me luv…what a wonda…unno memba sensemena de snake….
lol Maniac….practice mek purrfeck Prefect!!!! come now teacha mek wi have a dance off………
ok im loving this…unno call browngalhotgal ova yah so she a young gal she wi ketch de kumina quick..dont
tunny ketch cold pon grung…lololo…smaddy go tell browngal sey we ova yasso
none ha hounnu can dance kumina lika mi…ketch de bounty style patois!
students at Edna Manley School for Dance…I wish you tube was around when I was there.
bwoy Orisapikkney mi nah lie, dem move yah look a way….need nuff practice fi dem move yah
mek di dutty sour cratches gal dem gwaaan mek dem tunny ketch cowl pon dance hall grung!!!
RAYYYYYYYYYYYYY SHARLENE CHAT DA CHAT DEH AGEN!!!! NO DANCEHALL QUEENS ROUN HERE!!! STRAIT KUMINAAAAAAA KWEEEEEEENS AND BRUKKINS KINGS!!!!!! WOIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE
yes orisa…da amount deh will do…but hear wha….me need dis a video…a gwaan ketrch me practice….me naw tun dancehall queen….me a tun kumina queen….
kumina sweeta dan stone love
watch rex gwan orissapikkney
she will stawt fi wine go a grung eena di miggle a di ting wid har bokkle a white rum! lol
(im actually picturing this lol) Bwoy if mi did hab money mi woulda sen mi private jet fi unnu so wi can go Yard pon a cultural tour! mek mi call mi accountant and si if him can cut a check fi bout $75000…yuh tink dat will do?
No man Sharlenerose, nuh jelus sista…memba ah soh u larn enuh….wen u si Orisa dance, u wii larn to. Nuh soh?
Mi deh yah Sharlene….Mi wuda like si Orisapikkney….mi nuh have a clue…..mi seet pon tv but neba noe sey ah suh much involved inna it….THINGS AREN’T ALWAYS WHAT THEY SEEM……so friggin true
ohhh mi sarrry mi aries sistah…..lol mi aries to at least yuh honest….lol but watch mi stiff up mi back and cock off mi elbow dem and a skate weh pon one foot pon di diagonal yesssssss……
listen to me orisapikkney…me a aries…me born jealous….dont do that….dont come and rub it in my face…i will r be upset…for i am jealous…okkkkkayyyyy…a whe de one maniac
who waah si mi dance Kumina? and bruckings? sweeeeet sweeet stuff.
oh dear jesus…why me couldn’t experience this…me neva see nuttin like dis…when me a grow…not even one little poco church…right now me cross angry and miserable…right now me nuh mad bout it…me just rrrrrrrrr…inna me shabba voice…cho…kmt…sound like some whe me woulda like fi deh…me caan even memba one nigh night good…dem parents ya…me waan me rass culture