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RediasporizationAfrican-Guyanese Kweh-Kweh$
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Gillian Richards-Greaves

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781496831156

Published to University Press of Mississippi: May 2021

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496831156.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM Mississippi SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.mississippi.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Mississippi, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSSO for personal use.date: 23 September 2021

“Beat de Drum and de Spirit Gon Get Up”

“Beat de Drum and de Spirit Gon Get Up”

Music, Dance, and Authenticity in Rediasporization

Chapter:
(p.95) 4 “Beat de Drum and de Spirit Gon Get Up”
Source:
Rediasporization
Author(s):

Gillian Richards-Greaves

Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi
DOI:10.14325/mississippi/9781496831156.003.0004

This chapter examines how the repertoire, form, content, and performance styles of traditional kweh-kweh songs and dances are performed and innovated at Come to My Kwe-Kwe to entertain, instruct, and educate the African-Guyanese diaspora in New York City. Accompanied by “found” instruments, synthesizers, djembes, and an assortment of percussive instruments, attendees sing traditional kweh-kweh songs, Guyanese folk songs, and musical genres from around the world. They sing using coded language, double-entendre, and unmasked (raw) speech to edify the community and facilitate inclusion. As attendees sing and dance in the ganda (performance space), they address diverse matrimonial topics, particularly sex. In fact, the volunteer bride and groom are expected to wine (gyrate) to demonstrate sexual prowess, or risk ridicule from the larger community. Some African-Guyanese-Americans disapprove of the musical innovations at Come to My Kwe-Kwe, but others view the changes as crucial to the survival of the ritual and the African-Guyanese community.

Keywords:   “found” instruments, ganda, wine (gyrate), Coded language, Double entendre

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