Identification. A Spanish explorer named Juan de Bermudez was the first one to find the uninhabited island and named it as Bermuda in probably 1503.
Location and Geography: The pastel shaded turquoise waters, pink sand beaches, limestone cottages painted in Easter Egg hues and lush foliage on low hills lies 570 miles southeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. The main island is surrounded by many small islets but they are bridged together.
Demography: About 60 to 70% of the island are Blacks. Europeans, Portuguese and some descendants of number of Native American tribes forms the remaining percentage. Many are brought as slaves to Bermuda from Africa and West Indies, some as Military personnel from U.S. Some are from Portuguese for working in agricultural industry.
Linguistic Affiliation: English is being spoken predominantly all over the Bermuda island and Azorean Portuguese is still being spoken and preserved by Portuguese descendants in Bermuda island
Culture: The Bermudian culture was inspired from African, Irish, Jamaican, Native American, Portuguese, Scottish and Spanish-Caribbean cultures and it is a combination of all these.
Influence of British and African lifestyle reflected in Bermuda Islands. There are many, from playing the sport cricket, country cottages and judge’s wigs. English Churches are some more proofs. Like Britishers, Bermuda’s citizens are well-dressed
Gombey tradition is notable one. This tradition is very much interactive. The Gombey is an iconic symbol for its art. Gombey is a folklife tradition developed eventually getting inspired from African, Caribbean and British cultures. Dancers are only male and the group is formed with 10 to 30 dancers. People round up the Gombey’s and start to dance for the Bermuda beat. Their costume plays a major role in this tradition. Each piece worn by the dancers portray different meanings and function.
Headdresses are adorned with peacock feathers. Peacock feathers symbolizes pride and strength of their culture. The towering headdresses add extra heights to the Gombey dancers. The headdresses are made more colorful with glitter. The stems are often dyed a variety of bright colours.
The person who is having whip in his costume is the captain of the Gombey’s troupe. Whip is a symbol of his leadership of the troupe.
Capes are generally in black but sometimes in red, purple, green or blue. The Captain of the Gombey troupe wears the longest velvet cape. Embroidery and other embellishments are added to the capes. The designs are classic representation of the Bermuda’s root culture folklore, those designs are customized separately for each dancer.
The word “Gombey” means “rhythm” in Africa. The infectious rhythmic beat is generated from various percussion instruments such as snare drum and goatskin bass drum and more.
Gombey’s faces are covered with hand-painted masks during their performance. The mask designs and looks were considered to be a reflection of dancer’s personality. The slaves were not allowed to dance until 1834, i.e., their independence. So, they have to mask their faces to hide their identity.
Tinkling sound of bell represents the movement of slaves from one place to another. On their each move, the bell sounds. They are attached the wrists and ankles of the Gombey’s dancers.
In the Gombey’s dance moves, all the elements in the costume creates a wonderful blurred multi-colorful visionary. Yes, that is truly a visual treat for the viewers with added tassels on their costumes.
Mirrors are used for reflecting the sun while they dance. And also, they have the belief that the mirror in their costumes ward off the evil spirits around.
Significant Bermuda Shorts :
Bermuda shorts were introduced by Britishers in the early 20th century. The shorts have varying lengths, sizes and colors in them. Most fashionable one. Bermuda shorts gave an identity to the Bermuda island. Men in Bermuda Islands usually wear these shorts with Knee-length socks.
Formal outfit generally includes a blazar, shorts with knee length socks for men in this country.
But there are some strict rules, Bermudas shorts should be worn with knee length socks and the shorts couldn’t be more than 6 inches above the knee. Jacket, tie should be worn along with shorts and knee length socks if it is any business meetings. Initially only Khaki trousers were in use later then experimented in new pastel colors.
Now, the Bermuda shorts are available all over the world.
The shorts were invented when the Military officers find so much difficulty in wearing full length pants in the hot tropical climate. The officers were allowed to cut their full-length uniforms till knee. That eventually became Bermuda shorts.