Wednesday, September 29, 2010 - 5:00pm


An evening that exposes audiences to two of the most celebrated forms of popular expression in Jamaica - Kumina and Rastafari. While Rastafarians are an iconic symbol of Jamaican resistance across the world, Kumina is less well known. Kumina is an African-derived spiritual tradition that is most commonly practiced in the eastern parishes of St. Thomas and Portland. The kumina rhythm is also considered to be one of the primary roots of reggae, the internationally celebrated musical form popularized by Rastafarians.

The evening will consist of two parts. First, seven master drummers and dancers from Jamaica will discuss and perform kumina rhythms and dances. This will be followed by the screening of a documentary film, BAD FRIDAY: RASTAFARI AFTER CORAL GARDENS, directed by Deborah A. Thomas and John L. Jackson, Jr. and produced by Deborah A. Thomas, John L. Jackson, Jr., Junior “Gabu” Wedderburn, and Junior “Ista J” Manning.

BAD FRIDAY: RASTAFARI AFTER CORAL GARDENS, focuses on a community of Rastafarians in western Jamaica who annually commemorate the 1963 Coral Gardens "incident," a moment just after independence when the Jamaican government rounded up, jailed and tortured hundreds of Rastafarians. It chronicles the history of violence in Jamaica through the eyes of its most iconic community, and shows how people use their recollections of past traumas to imagine new possibilities for a collective future.


This program is made possible thanks to the Center for Africana Studies, the Department of Anthropology, the Department of Music, the Annenberg School for Communication, and the Cinema Studies Program at the University of Pennsylvania.

Cinema Studies Program
209A Fisher-Bennett Hall ⋅ 3340 Walnut Street ⋅ Philadelphia, PA 19104 ⋅ (215) 898-8782