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Africa’s Creole Drum

Africa’s Creole Drum

The Gumbe as Vector and Signifier of Trans-African Creolization

(p.137) Africa’s Creole Drum
Creolization as Cultural Creativity
Kenneth Bilby
University Press of Mississippi

This chapter explores the history of African creolization. Contrary to popular belief, the African creoles did not originate from Africa, but from Jamaican Maroons who were exiled in Sierra Leone in the 1800s. These Jamaicans, however, were actually descendants of the African slaves who were forced to live in the Caribbean in the 1600s. In their return to their ancestral land, they have managed to bring their creole culture with them, in particular, bringing a strange percussion instrument called the gumbe. With the introduction of the instrument into Africa, its use began to spread, giving birth to distinctive musical styles and practices across the continent.

Keywords:   gumbe, Jamaican Maroons, creole culture, African creolization, musical styles, Caribbean, Sierra Leone

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