Jing Ping

Jing Ping is the name for the traditional Dominican music bands… it consists of 4 musicians: a syak syak player, a boumboum player, a tanbou player and an accordionist (sorry not sure about spelling).

The syak syak or gwaj is on the left, a metal tube with seeds inside that is shaken as well as rhythmically hit or grated as the same time.

The accordion, which is next, is a instrument that is used elsewhere and was probably incorporated from the French colonialists. Here is it played by Roselia who learned to play the accordion as her talent when she went up for, and won!, Miss Wob Dwyet in 2008.

The tanbou is a hand held flat drum which is player with the back of the hand.

Finally, the boum boum, which is on the right hand side, is the long pipe which is blown into, creating a sort of low horn sound.

Together they form a jing ping and these bands either play by themselves or for people performing cultural dances. It is an acquired taste but I came to love it during my time in Dominica.

The band playing here is noteworthy for several reasons. First, it is the Capuchin cultural group, from my village. But more importantly it is an all women band and it is rare to see women in jing ping, let alone an all female band.

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