At any festival of note in Barbados - or nowadays possibly greeting you at the airport - you’ll most likely see the infamous tuk band. Many of the characters within it are drawn from the island's folklore.
Mother Sally was traditionally a masked man dressed as a woman, but is now an unmasked woman. She has a well-padded behind, displayed with plenty of enthusiasm, much to the delight of the crowd. The band itself consists of a tin flute or penny whistle, a snare drum and a bass drum (known as a bum-drum). The tall fellow is the "tilt man".
You are of course welcome to join in, if you dare. The man in the blue shirt was just passing and couldn't resist! The tuk band also make appearances at festivals and fairs across the island.
This band was at Oistins for a food festival. The tilt man (by the way, that's not a spelling mistake, traditionally that is how the man on stilts was referred to) pulled off some amazing stunts and definitely had the best view of the night.
The name "tuk" band is thought to derive from the Scottish word to beat an instrument and may have links to the fife and drum marching band of an 18th century British regiment. Why not experience the joy and verve at first hand? Click the link below to find some suitable dates and prices at Coconut Court!