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Arts & Culture : Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival Last Updated: Feb 13, 2017 - 1:45:37 AM

‘Ophie and the Webbsites’ and ‘Tuff Skins’ Bring Rake ‘n’ Scrape Music to Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival
By Gena Gibbs, BIS
May 12, 2015 - 12:45:26 PM

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Ophie and the Webbsites. (BIS Photo/Gena Gibbs)

NASSAU, The Bahamas - Exposing Bahamian Rake ‘n’ Scrape artists to the international stage gives residents and visitors a full understanding of what it is to be a Bahamian.

A group from Arthur’s Town, Cat Island, the Webb Family – called ‘Ophie and the Webbsites’ -- brought Rake ‘n’ Scrape to Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival this weekend.

Cleophas Webb said his family has played Rake ‘n’ Scrape from the time he was a child; he learned it from his father and grandfather, and all of the children play. It’s regularly played in Cat Island for weddings and parties, he said, because it’s all they have – that sound of fusion of European accordion, African goatskin drum, and the saw for “that scratchy sound and the African feeling.”

Junkanoo Carnival he said “is a fantastic idea and I am privileged to be a part of it because as you know this is a part of history that is being done right now. I’m so excited about it.”

Cleophas Webb of the ‘Ophie and the Webbsites’ band. (BIS Photo/Gena Gibbs)

Franklyn Williams of the ‘Tuff Skins’ band, also from Arthur’s Town, Cat Island, shared the stage with ‘Ophie and the Webbsites,’ and said he has Rake ‘n’ Scrape in his heart.

“To be truthful, the first time this music was broadcast on the airwaves of The Bahamas was on Charles Carter’s Young Bahamian Show. I, Frank Williams, was there and we revived this music. We love this music,” said Mr. Williams

“The sad thing about it, our people couldn’t really appreciate our cultural thing. They can’t. I would like to see more Bahamians appreciate our music because it’s authentic, it’s the music from way back when, we do it and we would always do it.”

The Saw. (BIS Photo/Gena Gibbs)

Mr. Williams also added words of encouragement to the organizers of the Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival.

“It’s a great idea, it’s a great idea. It proves that we can come together and we can portray our culture, which is the greatest thing. I’m proud of it, I’m very proud of what they’ve done.”

Franklyn Williams of the ‘Tuff Skins’ band. (BIS Photo/Gena Gibbs)

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