History of the Caribbean Dance and Music

We also see here intermingling of African and European traditions, but it is also a battleground for disputes, struggle amp. discord within dominions replete with racial issues (Higman, 2007). The earliest traces of this dynamic cultural fusion and conflicts can be found at the time when transportation of the slaves started from Africa. The trend continued in the slave community who utilized dance and music as a manifestation of their resistance against slavery. It remained an essential feature during the reconstruction of the community within the restrictive boundaries of chattel slavery. To the Europeans, however, African music, dance and related cultural forms took on threatening meanings as they reminded them of the mysterious, unknown other aspects of the slaves and their refusal to be treated as dehumanized personal possessions. The rebellion and obeah practices of blacks also made the whites feel insecure (Higman, 2007).There is another aspect to Caribbean music and dance- it is used for resistance, cultural expression and community differences in a racially strained society. At times, Caribbean music takes the form of a social critique and means of protest, particularly the performance called CALYPSO during the carnival. But the Caribbean music is always about dancing. One finds the rhythms obsessive, vivacious and full of joy. Music was the main characteristic of the newly emerging British black identities and was a unifying factor for the black community. The synthesis of cultures and cross-overs – from Two-Tone to R amp. B- encouraged the development of a lively and vigorous multicultural urban culture in British cities. But it is also an expression of resistance, music reinforced the freedom movement of the black community in Britain by linking it with the wider global struggle against racism and injustice (Ellingham et al, 2000).The dance cultures of these islands have become very fascinating and intricate due to the multifarious influences of diverse cultures from various parts of the world.