Kwe Kwe traditons in Guyana

Guyanese Association of Barbados Inc

Excerpt from STABROEK NEWS article Waning traditions

By Al Creighton  | FEATURES, SUNDAY| Sunday, August 9, 2009


One of the strongest and most amazing of these traditions is also one of the most misunderstood, trivialised and disparaged.  This is the kwe-kwe (queh-queh) tradition performed in song and dance.  Despite the depth and range of this as well as its extended social contribution to the Guyanese psyche, it is often given superficial treatment.  The songs and the dance are popular, but it is less known as a social institution.  Furthermore, it is viewed as vulgar because of sexual content in some lyrics and gesture.

The kwe-kwe is a wedding custom; a pre-nuptial rite indigenous to Guyana.  Although of African derivation, there is no known equivalent in African society and it is a practice that evolved in Guyana.  But as a tradition and a social institution it is a good example of…

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