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Objects from our Past

Published:Sunday | March 18, 2012 | 12:00 AM

Jamaica has a rich history and as we we celebrate 50 years of independence, we take a look back at how we got here. With the kind assistance of the Institute of Jamaica, today we start a new feature - Objects from our Past - where we will highlight a total of 50 objects which are part of the Institute of Jamaica's collection. Today we feature two of these Objects from our Past. Check this space next Sunday for two more.


The Benta is a wide length of bamboo that has been manipulated into an instrument. A strip is cut away from the bamboo and is fastened at both ends of the wood. A dried, empty gourd, with a hole in it is rubbed along the strip to produce a low, heavy note while thin bamboo strips are struck on the wood to create a rhythm. This instrument is usually associated with the folk form Dinki Mini. The Benta is from the collection of the Jamaica Memory Bank.

The Bamboo Saxophone

The Bamboo Saxophone, a woodwind instrument, is an invention of noted
musician Sugar Belly (William Walker). Sugar Belly recorded several
albums of Mento and Calypso music including 'Linstead Market' and 'Sugar
Merengue' which were produced by the late Clement Seymour 'Sir Coxsone'
Dodd, CD, and Studio One.The Bamboo saxophone is from the collection of
the Jamaica Memory Bank.