The music which has travelled with us from Africa through slavery and emancipation and has evolved through to today's Fungi Music, has been chosen as the official music of the Virgin Islands. “Fungi” is the local name for folk music. The word means a “cook up” or combination of. According to local history, fungi music has its roots in our African Heritage. When uprooted from their motherland, our African ancestors took with them as much of their culture as they could. They brought with them the “Bamboula drum” and their dances.
Fungi music evolved in the Virgin Islands during slavery, and was later passed on from generation to generation. After emancipation in 1834, regional scratch (fungi) bands began forming. These bands played for holidays and festivals. The different forms of scratch (fungi) bands are: Bamboula, Quelbe and Cariso (carried like so). They remained the dominant form of music expression through the early 1930’s.
Many local fungi artists are self-taught musicians. They use “ukes” made from sardine tins and flutes made from pumpkin vines and papaya stems. Some popular local fungi bands include: The Spark Plugs, Romeo and the Injectors, The Lover Boys, The Originals, The Lashing Dogs, Leon and the Hot Shots, Egbert and the Serenaders and the Lashing Dogs.