This chapi (hoe) was used by enslaved people on the farm to dig canals to plant seeds in. At night they used it as a musical instrument. Kèncho tells us he has been playing this chapi since he was a little boy in the 1970s.

“I thought I had lost my chapi. When I came back from Holland my father was renovating the house and that’s when I found it back. My father said: ‘It’s your chapi, do you remember?’ I said yes! I hugged my chapi and took it home. I was so happy to have found my old instrument. And so I kept it up until now. I used this chapi for presentations and workshops.”

“I am sure it has been used as a farm tool because you can see the marks on the iron, which means it has bumped into stones, rocks, iron and everything you could find underground. As a kid my elders showed me how to work the land and how to sing a rhythm while planting seeds. We would dig the canal, move backwards and sing a song ‘ho dji ho dja ho sanakamina ko dja’. At ‘dja’ the hoes hit the ground together, everyone steps back.”

“The song is a combination of Papiamento and Gueni. Ho dji ho dja is thanking God. ‘Ho sanakamina ko dja’: I am on the road of work.”

“At 'dja' the hoes hit the ground together and everyone steps back.”