In Cayman’s early days, musical instruments consisting of a fiddle, cow skin drum, coconut grater and sometimes a banjo or guitar, which were played at special gatherings like ship launchings and weddings.
In this image, the late Boyd Hydes tunes up his fiddle for an upcoming kitchen dance, an event in which musicians literally played in the kitchen of the host’s house.
Boyd Hydes, Leighton “Duxie” Ebanks, Erskin Ebanks and Cleveland Ebanks were some of the more famous minstrels from the West Bay district, along with national icon Julia Hydes. They would propel listeners to rhythms and dance that prompted fun and laughter.
This image is from the book “The People Time Forgot” by George Nowak. Individual prints can be purchased at the Cayman Islands National Archive, profits from which are used to support projects of the Cayman Islands National Museum.