Culture Bahamas

  • Bahamas / Erikruthoff
  • Bahamas / Shalamov
Amy Adejokun
Amy Adejokun Expert destination Bahamas

Bahamas : Discover the country's culture


Bahamas Blue by D. C. Poyer and David Poyer (1992) Visions of the Bahamas by Angus Thompson (2010)


The Rough Guide to the Bahamas (2007)
Frommer's Bahamas 2010 (2010)
Complete Guide to Diving and Snorkelling in the Bahamas (2007)
Fodor's Bahamas 2010 (2010)


The traditional music of the Bahamas is the 'goombay', the word means rhythm in the Bantu language. This music has the same name as the goatskin used to beat out its rhythm. With no violin or drums, it was originally played with a comb and scraper. At the time of slavery, the music groups did not have enough money to make instruments! Today, these groups play saxophone and electrical guitar, as well as saws and goombay percussion instruments, but retain their original style. Traditionally, this music accompanies the Bahamian Quadrille and the Polka, another example of the mixture between African and European culture.

Bahamas : Discover the country's history

Historical dates

7th - 16th centuries: Numerous indigenous ethnic groups (Amerindians, Lucayans, Tainos and Arawaks) populated the archipelago and lived from hunting and gathering
12 October 1492: Christopher Columbus discovered the Bahamas when he landed at Guanahani (currently San Salvador)
1718: Captain Woodes Rogers, initially sent to hunt down numerous pirates and brigands (including the famous Black Beard), became the first royal governor of the British Empire
10 July 1973: Independence for the Bahamas, which adopted a new flag (blue-green for the sea, black for population and yellow for the sun). The Queen maintains her status as Head of State
1992: Hubert Ingraham becomes Prime Minister
1997: The elections brought the FNM to power again with Ingraham at its head
2003: 30th anniversary of independence

Bahamas : Stay up to date on the country's holidays and events


1st January: New Year - Festival of Junkanoo.
Mid-May: Festival of Caribbean music.
Mid-March: Kalik 7-A-Side Rugby tournament.
March: Pineapple Festival (Eleuthera).
April: Annual Family Island Regatta (sailing).
June: The Pineapple Festival on Eleuthera.
June - August (every week-end): Junkanoo Summer Festival.
10 July: Independence Day.
August: Emancipation Day (1st Monday).
Beginning October: Great Bahamas Seafood Festival.
12 October: National Heroes Day, commemoration of the discovery of the islands by Christopher Columbus.
December: New Year's Day Regatta (sailing).
25 December: Christmas.
26 December: Junkanoo Festival.

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