Bissau’s music is most often linked with the polyrhythmic gumbe genre, which is the country’s main musical export. Civil instability and other reasons, however, have kept gumbe and other genres out of popular audiences throughout the years, even in typically syncretist African nations.
The calabash is-main Bissau’s musical instrument, and it is used to create very fast and rhythmically complicated dancing music. The lyrics are nearly always in Bissau Creole, a Portuguese-based creole language, and are often amusing and topical, centered on current events and issues.
Gube is a unique style that combines approximately ten of the nation’s folk music traditions. It is often used generally to refer to any music of the country, but it most specifically refers to a unique style that fuses about ten of the country’s folk music traditions. Other prominent genres include tina and tinga, as well as ceremonial music used in funerals, initiations, and other ceremonies, as well as Balantabrosca and kussundé, Mandinga djambadon, and the Bissagos Islands’ kundere sound.
Residents living along the shore eat rice, whereas those living in the inland eat millet. Fruits and vegetables are often consumed in conjunction with cereal grains. The Portuguese promoted the cultivation of peanuts. Macrotyloma geocarpum (Hausa groundnut) and Vigna subterranea (Bambara groundnut) are also cultivated. The diet also includes black-eyed peas. The palm oil is being harvested.
Soups and stews are popular dishes. Yams, sweet potato, cassava, onion, tomato, and plantain are all common components. Aframomum melegueta seeds, as well as spices, peppers, and chilis, are used in cooking (Guinea pepper).
Flora Gomes is a well-known film director whose most well-known work is Nha Fala (English: My Voice). Mortu Nega (Death Denied) (1988), directed by Gomes, was Guinea-first Bissau’s fiction film and second feature film. (N’tturudu, directed by Umban u’Kest in 1987, was the first feature film.) Mortu Nega was awarded the coveted Oumarou Ganda Prize at FESPACO 1989. Mortu Nega is a Creole film with subtitles in English. Gomes directed Udju Azul di Yonta in 1992, which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in the Un Certain Regard section. Gomes has also served on the boards of directors for a number of African-themed film festivals.