Traditional Bajan Music


This photograph shows drummers and flute players in a local band playing traditional folk music in a parade in Barbados, with a large crowd in the background. The parade is part of the five-week summer Crop Over festival, the most popular and colorful festival in Barbados. Its origins can be traced to the 1780s, when Barbados was a prolific sugar producer. At the end of each season, there was a huge celebration to mark the culmination of another successful sugar cane harvest, the “crop over” celebration. The photograph is from the collection of the Columbus Memorial Library of the Organization of American States (OAS), which includes 45,000 photographs illustrative of life and culture in the Americas. Many of the photographs were taken by prominent photographers on OAS missions to member countries. The OAS was established in April 1948 when 21 countries of the western hemisphere adopted the OAS Charter, in which they reaffirmed their commitment to the pursuit of common goals and respect for each other’s sovereignty. Since then, the OAS has expanded to include the countries of the English-speaking Caribbean as well as Canada. The predecessor organization to the OAS was the Pan American Union, founded in 1910, which in turn grew out of the International Union of American Republics, established at the First International Conference of American States in 1889-90.

Last updated: March 25, 2015