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Art and Music


Often misunderstood, the culture of Guinea-Bissau is actually very rich and expressed in many different ways.
The arts and crafts are essentially made up of everyday objects that aren't actually meant to be sold as souvenirs. Weaving is very widespread and is done anywhere and at any time: outside, in the street, etc. Kitchen utensils (like bowls, spoons and ladles) made of calabash are also very popular. The artisans of Guinea-Bissau are also specialists in making instruments and especially percussions
Religious and secular art is represented by masks and large statues of sculpted wood used as mascots during festivities. Unfortunately, a lot of them were burned by Westerners during the time of colonisation at the beginning of the 20th century.


The music genre of Guinea-Bissau owes to the polyrhythmic gumbe melody that was principally exported to the province. The chief musical instrument of the area is calabash that is accompanied with intricate dance music rhythms. Gumbe is referred to any kind of music that is played within the country, but particularly concentrates on the folk music ethnicity. Tina and tinga are the folk music played during funerals, or other relevant rituals.
The other relevant music prevalent in the Bijagos islands is Balanta brosca, kussundé, Mandinga djambadon and the kundere musical tunes. Several bands came into existence specifically the bands of Africa Livre, Chifre Preto and Kapa Negra that had a turbulent connection with the so-called dictatorial government of the province. The fado song gained much popularity in the regions like Brazil, Angola, Mozambique and Cape Verde but had no effect on the area of Guinea-Bissau where Gumbe has already made its place. Some of the famous bands that originated here were Cambança, Super Mama Djombo, Cobiana Djazz, M'Ba Bolama and many others.
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