The Tuk Band

The tuk band is always a delight to watch. They dance and play at all of Barbados’ major cultural events.

Although the tuk band is indigenous to Barbados, there are some elements which were influenced by some African and British traditions.

The tuk band tends to be small and dances to and plays a special type of music called tuk music. They normally play behind the Barbados landship but it is not uncommon for them to play independently and be equally as enjoyable.

The Tuk BandWhen they play alone without the landship, they are almost always accompanied by Barbadian folk characters such as:

  • shaggy bears
  • green monkeys
  • mother sally
  • the steel donkey

Tuk music

Tuk music is indigenous to Barbados and combines British military and African instruments to produce a unique and up-tempo rhythm.

Instruments used in tuk music

  • a kittle used for the rhymical patterns
  • a tin-flute or an old-time penny whistle
  • a snare-drum
  • a bass drum which is used for the ground rhythm
  • a flute which gives the melody
  • a triangle


Carrington, Sean, Addington Forde, Henry Frasier, and John Gilmore. A-Z Barbadian Heritage. 2nd ed. Oxford: Macmillan Caribbean, 2004.