28. Gombey Dancers, Bermuda

Gombey dance troupes are icons of Bermuda and the Gombey dance goes back to at least the early 1800s – a vibrant blend of African especially Senegalese, Native American and Caribbean traditions.   During the Slavery period in Bermuda, Afro-Caribbean’s who were slaves in the island introduced many Caribbean traditions that influenced Bermuda’s version of Gombeys.

I was in Bermuda as part of deep-sea diving and when on land was fascinated to see the Gombey dancers and their utterly unique costumes while foot- tapping to the Gombey percussion rhythm.

The captain of the troupe carries a long swirling whip and wears a long cape. Gombey capes are decorated with embroidery. The other Gombey carry bows arrows, shields and tomahawks. Each dancer has a towering headdress usually topped with peacock feathers, symbolizing pride and strength

Every Gombey dancer conceals his/her identity with a uniquely painted mask, some with traditional patterns, others more innovative. Though Gombey dancers are more often men, I was told women are not uncommon these days in the troupe

Bells, mirrors to ward off evil and multi-coloured tassels further embellish their costumes. The rhythm is infectious and the sight unforgettable.


Original:  Oil on canvas ; 12 x 12″  (305 x 305 mm) ;framed

Limited Edition Print : Available as Giclee print on finest quality paper or  canvas. International shipment

Sizes available: 8 x 12″(203 x 305 mm); 12 x 16″(305 x 410mm); 18 x 24″(457 x 610 mm); 24 x 32″ (610 x 813mm)

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Will post rolled up  in  a tube with Certificate of Authenticity, number of the print and artist’s signature.