Kumina drumming — from the Congo to Jamaica

We start this week’s exploration of Caribbean music with kumina, a Jamaican expression of African religion that has been present in the islands since the 1850s when, after the official end of slavery in the British Empire, enslaved Africans and indentured immigrants arrived from the Congo. The Kumina drumming battery includes includes a wide variety of drums such kbandus, as well as scrapers, shakers and “catta sticks,” which beat out the rhythm. Note that kumina emphasizes the 1st and 3rd beat of the phrases while other Jamaican music, connected to reggae, usually pushes the 2 and 4. For real! More about Kumina.