Escaped slaves who formed communities in the mountains. Known for fierce fighting spirit and raids against whites, freeing slaves.


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Speak Kromanti


Religious practice: Obeah


Syncretic mix of Christianity, African ritual, and Black Messianic Judaism


Marcus Garvey, a “prophet” predicted the return of Jesus


Lij Tafari Makonnen, “Ras Tafari”, emperor of Ethiopia was seen as the fullfillment of Garvey’s prophecy.


Musical style: nyabinghi, african drumming


Popular Jamaican style with roots in rural folk traditions.


First Jamaican style to be extensively recorded.


Light hearted and humorous, depicting daily life. 


Rarely love songs.


Acoustic instruments such as guitars, and banjos, harmonicas fiddles, flutes, and whistles, bamboo clarinets, and the rumba box.


Urban, danceable sound.


Influenced by rock and roll, highly syncopated, fast and danceable.


Music of the unemployed, rebellious youth called rude boys of the 1960’s in the urban slums.


Slower beat and heavier bass than ska, with emphasis on vocals and harmony.


Built on the platform of rocksteady’s vocal lines.


Expounded on the Rastafarian ideals often related to black liberation. 


Made famous by Bob Marley and The Wailers.

Bob Marley

Most famous Reggae superstar.


Symbol of pride for the poor. 


Embraced Rastafarianism


Famous for his dreadlocks


Call and response and improvisation singing style


Slow or fast, 2 beats per measure with a syncopated feel


Linked with carnival


Highlighted the oral abilities of the performers


Depended much more on lyrics than rhythm or melodies

Steel Pan

Key instrument of Trinidad music


Traditionally made from 55-gallon oil drums


Blend of African and European rituals and beliefs


Based on the lwa, ancestral spirits with their own instruments and music. 


Catholic saints are associated with spirits of specific natures




French Caribbean fertility festival, closely related to vodou


Starts after Ash Wednesday


Popular style of Martinique and Guadeloupe


Early 1980’s


Joyful party atmosphere and dance beat

The Garifuna

Syncretic group of mixed African and Ameridian descent with almost no European cultural influence.


Garawon drums made from hardwood and deer skin


Religion revolves around evocation of spirits and ancestors


PUnta, suggestive courtship dance, 6/8 meter


Modernly known for Punta Rock