The Culture of the Bahamas

Bahamian culture is much like their island home’s atmosphere, warm, sunny and inviting. The locals have been friendly to visitors for centuries, and are eager to share their stories and give you tips for finding the best spots to explore on the islands. It could be attributed to the island life of relaxation and stress free zone, and the sunny year round weather, but it is also because of their culture. Since so many Bahamians are of descent of West African, whose ancestors were brought to the Caribbean and the Bahamas because of slavery, there is a large part of their culture directly linked with West African traditions.


Bahamian music incorporates other Caribbean music like Calypso, Soca (Trinidad), and Reggae (Jamaica) into their music. They use instruments such as the traditional goatskin drum, steel drums, and shake brass instruments such as the cowbell. If you decide to book your Bahamas vacation during Christmas, then you’re in for a treat. The day after Christmas, December 26, and on New Year’s Day, January 1, there is a festival called Junkanoo, which has been the largest contributor to maintaining Bahamian music and West African traditions. If you don't visit in time for Junkanoo, than try the famous Bonfire on the Beach activity for some Bahamian music and dancing next to the fire light.

Arts and Storytelling

The islands themselves heavily influence the arts of the Bahamas. Straw weaving is a form of art that is traditional amongst the Bahamians. Straw weaving can make baskets, hats, and even origami-like objects such as roses. This art form is truly a talent, and takes locals years to get the patterns of weaving down perfectly. Quilting is also a famous art form amongst the Bahamians, and has practiced it for many generations. Coral and Stone art is another form of art that the Bahamians have done for years. It is when an artist hand carves into coral art and natural stone that has been naturally detached from reef breaks, smooth rocks, or beach erosions. You can find many of these art works at the market, which will be the ending point of the Biking, Beach and Shopping Tour. Storytelling is a huge part of the Bahamian culture and history, especially before the television. All of the folklore that was shared to teach wise lessons, and is a custom that was highly influenced by the West African culture.


A huge part of the culture of the Bahamas is its passion for Bush Medicine. The Bahamians have practiced bush medicine for years, and are happy to educate visitors on the subject. They believe that there are nearly 100 types of plants on the islands that can be used as a trusted medical treatment. Plants on the islands that are said to have medical benefits are the Aloe Vera Plant, Crab Bush, Fig Leaf, Hibiscus Pepper Leaf, Pond Bush, and many more. Most resorts and hotels can introduce you to trusted locals who can take you on a hike to learn about and touch these bush medicines.

Language and Religion

In the Bahamas, Standard English is the common language used amongst the locals. Although, every once in a while there is Bahamian dialect twist on some of the words, and like every different country, use slang for certain words. For example, the word “yinna” is the Bahamian dialect for “you”. And for religion on the country, Bahamians are predominantly Christian, being 95% of the population of the Bahamas. Of course, that means they are of various denominations, such as Methodist, Baptist, and Catholic. It is a fact that there are more churches per capita that in any other country.