Gombeys



Apple#409

A little unfair perhaps to report so little of the special culture we encountered on Bermuda: so just a few more snapshots.

The town crier, Ed Christopher, is a giant of a man, with a stature grandified by his traditional uniform including triform hat, and a snazziness glorified by gold-trimmed hems and a golden bell which he dingdongs to great effect. A bit of an Ainsley Harriot in character, exuding joy as he interacts with all and sundry.



His job on Saturday was to MC the Gombeys event in Queen Elisabeth park, Hamilton: the Gombeys are Bermuda’s traditional drummers and dancers in rainbow costumes, with tassles, mirrors, bells and feathers, attractively splendid like jungle birds in full display at the height of mating season.

And boy can they hold your attention while they stamp and whirl and and tempt and threaten … this was a pre-Christmas lunchtime show for the tourists I guess; we sauntered along to see the spectacle after reading about it in the paper, but before long were shaking and rattling and applauding with the lively crowd.



Another spectacle that amused us repeatedly was the Bermudian fashion for businessmen that includes long shorts and long socks with their suit jacket and tie, instead of trousers. I wish I had dared ask the old chappy at the airport for a snap; the British equivalent would be the Scottish kilt, I suppose, which never fails to startle when seen on the High Street on a market day, so to speak. “If you feel a little underdressed” the advertisers insist, “try adding a handkerchief square in your top pocket for a splendid finish”. Hilarious to the outsider, although undoubtedly very sensible in a hot hot summer climate. And very good for showing off curvingly handsome calves and sturdy knees. (TBH, to me it looks like they have simply forgotten to finish dressing, but obvs that reveals my stupidity.)

@2018 by Anna Bosatta