Culture of Guinea Bissau

The music of Guinea-Bissau is usually associated with the polyrhythmic gumbe genre, the country’s primary musical export. However, civil unrest and a small size have combined over the years to keep gumbe, and other genres, out of mainstream audiences, even in generally syncretist African countries.

The calabash is the primary musical instrument of Guinea-Bissau, and is used in extremely swift and rhythmically complex dance music. Lyrics are almost always in Guinea-Bissau Creole, a Portuguese-based creole language, and are often humorous and topical, revolving around current events and controversies, especially AIDS.

The word gumbe is sometimes used generically, to refer to any music of the country, although it most specifically refers to a unique style that fuses about ten of the country’s folk music traditions. Tina and tinga are other popular genres, while extent folk traditions include ceremonial music used in funerals, initiations and other rituals, as well as Balanta brosca and kussundé, Mandinga djambadon and the kundere sound of the Bijagos islands.

Matriarchy
In the Bolama archipelago, a matriarchal or at least matrilineal social system has survived to the present day[3], although it is currently being eroded by globalization and Christian missionary influence.

In this system, women choose husbands who are compelled to marry them, and religious affairs are controlled by a female priesthood.