Quelbe African Lady Dancing

Word of the Week: Quelbe

  • Quelbe, quelba, quilbay 1 (n): A kind of African dance possibly of Congo origin, comprising songs, drumming and dances performed by women.
    • As late as 1940 on the hills in Charlotteville at nights one could hear the music of Congo women playing what villagers called Congo-drum (marli doun-doun) and tambour-bamboo…and dancing quelbe reputed to be a very wild erocitc dance for females only.

The tone of the drums has always been a system used for corresponding by numerous African people. The quelbe dance which is possibl of Congo origin was a staple in Charlotteville Tobago a village nestled in a bay on the north of the island.


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Source: Dictionary of the English/Creole of Trinidad & Tobago by Lise Winer.

Featured Image by Kwasi Ansong Bamfo on Unsplash

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