Two Hours Of Video: Bermuda Gombey Festival

September 14, 2015

The island’s preeminent folk art was on full display on Saturday [Sept 12] as the Department of Community and Cultural Affairs hosted the annual Gombey Festival at the W.E.R. Joell Tennis Stadium.

At each festival, the Department honours an individual who has cultivated and preserved the tradition of Gombey music and dance, and this year’s recognition went to Mr. Allan Warner.

Through his lifetime, Mr. Warner has demonstrated a respect and love for his chosen cultural tradition. Mr. Warner has been a dedicated mentor to people willing to learn how to perfect the craft of costume making, dancing and drumming.

Bermuda Gombey Festival tweet

Mr Warner began drumming for Warner Gombeys at age 16. The Warner Gombeys, under the direct influence of Mr Warner with Captain Willis ‘Old Man’ Steede and Andrei ‘Mice’ Simons have taught traditional gombey dances depicting oppression, slavery and freedom to many young members of the group.

The Warner Gombeys under Mr Warner’s leadership have travelled to various islands and countries representing Bermuda in different events.

In 1995, he was the recipient of the Queen’s Certificate of Honour, ‘for keeping the Gombey tradition alive’ and was the first Gombey Captain to receive this honour. He is still performing and drumming today, mostly in hotels and on cruise ships under the Warner Gombeys.

In addition, the Festival also included performances by Gombey troupes —Warner’s, Place’s, H & H, Warwick, and Gombey Evolution — and you can watch almost 2 hours of footage of those performances below.

Place’s Gombeys

Gombey Evolution

Warwick Gombeys

Warner’s Gombeys

H&H Gombeys

click here banner Gombeys 2 2

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  1. Thanks for keeping our African Heritage, considering it was once banned by slave masters.