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The Bèlè, a cultural practice to discover during a trip to Martinique

The origins of Bèlè

The Bèlè is a cultural practice rooted in the Martinican culture. It originated in 1860, following a desire for emancipation of the slaves of Martinique. 

The Bèlè, musical culture of Martinique

By crisscrossing the island behind the wheel of a vehicle offered by a car rental agency Martinique, you can discover the different forms of Bèlè (North Atlantic, Caribbean or North South). Following the emergence of a new genre in the late 19th century, the practice of Bèlè was rehabilitated to prevent it from falling into disuse. 


The Bèlè is identified above all with its unique dance steps. Initially, drum strokes will give rhythm to the dancers. Two sticks hitting the back of the drum will then give the rhythm of the ti-bwa.

To successfully practice Bèlè, the dancer is obliged to be to the sound that is to say respect the measure.

After, it will refine all with free gestural approach. Still very present in rural areas, the Bèlè addresses various themes of life of the slave, including combat, work or holidays. 


Like dance, music Bèlè settled on different stages. The lavwa or the lead singer on the scene first and will be followed by the answer, the choir will reply to him.

Only after the arrival on the scene that the players of instruments called "tamboyé" will provide the tempo. The Ti-ti bwa bwatè or player will give the main rhythm. It will be immediately followed by the rate given by the bèlè drum.

Musicians, singers and dancers will then create a rhythmic dialogue that will be the same core Bèlè. The Bèlè is an exceptional musical wealth rooted in the traditions of Martinique. With a formula car rental Martinique, you can explore other resources specific to the identity of the island during your stay.

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