Exuma, the musician or magician?

by Hunter Kinder

One of the reasons I was initially interested in blogging on the Bahamas was the culture.  I learned a bit about the culture from one of my favorite musicians who is from Cat Island in the Bahamas; he goes by Exuma.

He was born on February 18, 1942 and was active musically in 1962 up until his death on January 25, 1997. His music can be described as a blend of Junkanoo, Calypso, and Ballad.  Junkanoo is a tradition  in the Bahamas in which music is paraded down the streets of towns on Boxing day (which is the day after Christmas when bosses give presents to their employees and vice-versa), New Years eve and in the summer. Calypso is a genre rooted in Afro-Carribean music originating in Trinidad and Tobago.

One of the first things apparent in hearing Exuma’s music is his soulfulness.  Not only is it present in his voice, but also his lyrics.  He talks about Obeah which is a term used to refer to folk magic, sorcery and religious practices derived from West Africa.

To learn more on Obeah: http://www.obeahrituals.com/

Exuma has opened my mind not only as a listener of music, but also as an observer/learner of culture and religion.


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