Negroes playing upon calabashes published in A. Churchill, ed., A collection of voyages (London, 1704), vol. 2. In this black and white engraving, the draughtsmanenhances the costume and instruments in an ethnographic style. The picture gives an impression of exoticism and primitive happiness or joy. The bare-breasted woman dances to the rhythm of the calabash used as percussion.
This colored print , or watercolor, is a depiction of ofAfrican American life during the 18th century. Plantation slaves are dancing and playing musical instruments. The artist , John Rose, was a South Carolina plantation owner. The painting was probably made around 1785-1790, and may depict a scene somewhere on the Coosaw river, in the area of Beaufort. The central male figure holds a long walking cane. The two women in the center are dancing with scarves or bandanas, or playing gourd rattles (maracasses) enclosed in a net into which hard objects such as shells or bones have been woven. On the right a man plays a 4-stringed banjo; another uses sticks or bones to play a small drum. The picture of slave life in this painting is bucolic and idyllic. The background shows a river with two canoes (?), and a group of larger buildings, including the manor or mansion house, outbuildings, and a row of seven slave cabins at a short distance from the former. Rattle: faire un bruit en entrechoquant des objets
"Negro Dance.“ Library of Congress c. 1836, Trinidad Dance and dancing was important in the life of the enslaved, and people normally dressed in their best clothes. The instruments include a "drum, made of a barrel (tonneau), covered at one end with a piece of dried goat's skin (peau de chèvreséchée), and a . . . shak-shak, formed of a hollow calabash, in which some shot or stones are enclosed."