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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Jamaican Nine Nights Performances

Edited by Azizi Powell

This is Part III of a three part series on Jamaican Night Nights music and dance. Part III provides videos of staged Nine Nights music & dance performances.

Part I of this series provides information about Nine Nights and videos or sound files of actual Nine Nights wakes. Click http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2012/08/jamaican-nine-nights-wakes-music-dance.html for Part I of this series.

Part II of this series provides information and videos of dinki mini dancing. Click http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2012/08/jamaican-dinki-mini-dancing.html for Part II of this series.

The content of this post is presented for cultural, folkloric, and aesthetic purposes. This series is not meant to be a comprehensive portrayal of Jamaican Nine Nights (Set Up) music & dances.

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FEATURED VIDEOS

Example #1: UWI Singers 'Nine Night' (Part 1)



Uploaded by podimusicus on Jun 4, 2008

Watch this parodied dramatization of the Jamaican 'Nine Night' where relatives, friends, neighbours and even strangers come together to comfort each other after the death of a loved one. It is now the culminating ninth night and even the bless├ęd mournful must eat and ,especially, drink.

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Here's an excerpt from a longer quote about Nine Nights which provides information about this type of singing:
"Although the concept is African derived, the proceedings at a [Nine Nights] wake have a strong European Christian influence. Special hymns (sankeys) are sung emphasising the soul's journey to heaven. The singing is done in a style known as 'tracking', where someone will call out one line of the sankey at a time, and then the rest of the gathering will sing the line together."
Source: http://www.real-jamaica-vacations.com/jamaican-traditions.html

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In the United States, "tracking" is also called "lining" a song.

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Example #2: UWI Singers 'Nine Night' (Part 2)



Uploaded by podimusicus on Jun 4, 2008
-snip-
Here are several comments from this video's viewer comment thread:

wat does the guy say at 3:37 there about that cause they audience to laugh?
-ddankis, 2009

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captains bakery junk a bread.
-lorin80, 2010

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Is not 'chunk' dem seh...is 'junk'. And I do remember my mother rebuking us boys (and me especially) about "junking' de bread when wi cut off one big rahtid 'slice' an it lean no hell.
-LoveMusicBadin, 2009

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Captain's Bakery .....something something...(Captian's Bakery is a favourite for Jamaicans..if you are not Jamaican)
-LoveMusicBad, 2011
-snip-
There are other portions of that performance in which the audience laughs, but unfortunately, no explanations are given in the comments about what prompted that laughter.

As an aside, the processional style at the end of this performance reminds me of the processional style that is shown in this video of West African Dozo Hunters: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8NoKr3p8v7g "Sekouba Traore". That video is included in this pancocojams' post: http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2012/07/shared-aesthetics-west-african-dozo.html

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Example #3: Gerrehbenta Part 1 of 2



Uploaded by jstuttgart on May 16, 2010

Gerrehbenta takes its name from two of the major traditional rites practised in Jamaica. "Gerreh" in Hanover and "Dinki-Mini" which uses the musical instrument, the 'Benta', from St. Mary

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Example #4: Gerrehbenta Part 2 of 2



Uploaded by jstuttgart on May 16, 2010

Gerrehbenta takes its name from two of the major traditional rites practised in Jamaica. "Gerreh" in Hanover and "Dinki-Mini" which uses the musical instrument, the 'Benta', from St. Mary.

-snip-
Here are two comments from this video's viewer comment thread which were written in 2012:
"This is much too sanitized. Compare with real exponents of Dinky Mini. Best thing is the music, very authentic but not the dancing. In this clip, the two shirtless males probably come closest to the real thing and it is a pity that they weren't given a chance to develop their performances. There is also too much unnecessary separation of the male and female dancers. Dinky Mini is a highly sexually charged thing and this hardly comes across.
TheLegin01; 2012

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@thelegin1 they are academics so a stylized version would be expected. That said I think its a decent attempt of replicating the original. The true folk performers I fear may all be dead. So we have to accept this. It is afterall admirable to immortalize these folk performances
-jstuttgart, 2012

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RELATED LINK
For more video examples of Caribbean folk dances, click this page of my cocojams website: http://cocojams.com/content/caribbean-folk-dances. A link on that page leads to a cocojams page on Caribbean folk songs.

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENT AND THANKS
My thanks to the musicians, singers, and dancers who are featured in this post. My thanks also to the producers & uploaders of these featured videos.

Thank you for visiting pancocojams.

Viewer comments are welcome.

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