Dublin Core




Kumina continues to be recognized and preserved as a unique and distinct facet of Jamaica’s African Heritage. It is still an integral feature of worship ceremonies especially in the eastern region of the island where it is practiced and passed from generation to generation.

As a musico-religious form, Kumina involves not only music and dance, but also animal sacrifice, possession, libation and “sharing of bread” with the ancestors and the attendees at the ceremony.


The African Caribbean Institute of Jamaica/Jamaica Memory Bank

Items in the Kumina Collection

Kumina Play

The drum is played by both males and females
The Playing Cyas

Mastery of this drum, especially the “heeling” technique (pressing of heels against the skin of the drum to vary tone) requires intense training to be able to produce the precise rhythms to attract, control and appease the appropriate spirits.
Kumina Seal

The seal is specially designed by the Spiritual Leader, who is directed by the ancestral spirits or the Nkuyu. It is a moderately sized circle with inscriptions, numbers, letters and images. Candles and bottles of soda are sometimes added as in this…
Kumina Table

Kumina table showcased in an exhibition on Kumina at the offices of the African Caribbean Institute of Jamaica/Jamaica Memory Bank in May 2002
Kumina Play

Rum, vital for curing skins and appeasing the nkuyu is kept close.
Gathered Around the Center Pole

The spirits travel down the centre pole and into the ground; from the ground they enter the back of the drums and emerge into the physical world by means of the drum heads which face each other within the space of the center pole