Drummer at the Burning of Vaval

Category: People


Photo and caption by Heather Hamilton

On Ash Wednesday, the people of the Caribbean island of St. Barthelemy burn the effigy of Vaval, the spirit of Carnivale, to mark the end of the excesses of Carnivale and the beginning of Lent. Twin drum bands compete as the pyre is lit and sparks fly, their primal rhythms setting the crowd to dancing.

Location: Shell Beach, St. Barthelemy, Caribbean


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