Nine Nights – Caribbean funeral traditions in the UK

Nine Nights – Caribbean funeral traditions in the UK: educating visitors on Caribbean funeral traditions and how Caribbean people celebrate the life of the deceased. The film won an award in the Documentary Category at the Nottingham International Microfilm Festival 2015



This exhibition explores Caribbean funeral traditions – the time between a person’s passing to their funeral via an uplifting short film and exhibition. The film won in the Documentary Category at the Nottingham International Microfilm Festival 2015, and the exhibition features objects shown in the film, including a spade and boots from the burial, photographs of the deceased and a hipflask of rum. Rum is poured on the grave as well as drunk by family and friends.

Jane Tyska-staff 3/11/06 Tribune News Funeral director Louis Charbonnet, (center, rear) escorts the casket of Ethel Anna Herbert from Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in New Orleans after her funeral on Feb. 11. Herbert's story received national attention after she was airlifted out of the Superdome alive, but wound up missing for almost six months. Her daughter tried to give a FEMA representative her mother's medication with her name on it, but they declined to take it. Herbert died in route and wound up in the morgue in Baton Rouge, where she had been since Sept. 5. Her family is now speaking out for the remainder of Katrina's missing.

The film and exhibition shows how the life of a deceased loved one is celebrated in the nine days leading up to their funeral via feasting, dancing, singing and playing games, such as dominoes. On the ninth night, the deceased’s spirit (or ‘duppy’ in Jamaican patois) leaves their body at midnight and the funeral can take place the next day. In Caribbean culture a loved one’s passing is one of the most social and celebratory events in their life, as this is when their life, achievements and stories are shared between family, friends, neighbours and colleagues, so the notion that this should be a happy reunion, rather than a sad occasion is reflected in the exhibition.


  • December 6, 2016 - December 7, 2016