The wuk-up. Barbados most well-known product, next to flying fish, Rihanna, and, “Bajan” cherries.
For all it’s popularity and willingness for some bajans to get scabby on the dancefloor, there still remains an air of mystery around the wuk-up. How do you differentiate a wukkup and a wine? Are Bajans the progenitor of the wuk-up? Is there such a thing as the perfect wuk-up and does it really grant mystical powers?
I’m here to clear the air on wuk-up and wuk-up culture.
The History of Wuk-up
According to Dr. Stefan Walcott, the wuk-up (aka wukkup) is probably an offshoot of a traditional dance that originated in Sub-Saharan Africa, where versions of the wuk-up are still practiced today. Contrary to popular belief, Bajans are NOT the only Caribbean island to wuk-up – and other islands such as St. Kitts and Nevis, Anguilla, St. Martin, etc have been known to wuk-up too.
What is a Wuk-up?
A wuk-up is closely related to the wine. The actual difference between the two has been hotly debated, with some arguments including cursing, name calling, and bringing up “ya mumma”. Unfortunately, most of the definitions are unclear, vauge, or frustratingly technical. Let’s look at Dr. Walcott’s attempt to clear the air on wuk-up:
“The Wuk-Up occurs in a duple-metre environment…The hips sub-divide the main pulse, either in half (Bajan dub, Soca <120 beats per minute), or in quarters (Bajan dub, Soca <120 beats per minute) or with the pulse (soca>135 b.p.m).”
A simpler (and more understandable) definition of a wuk-up is:
“ A dance done by gyrating one’s waistline, with heavy emphasis on the forward and backward motions”
Whereas wining concentrates on the movement of the waist, a good wuk-up concentrates on moving your bumper/batty/butt.
The hallmarks of a good wuk-up include:
- Soca music
- Fast movement of the hips and waist
- Back and forth movement with the hips and waist
Wuk-up do’s and don’ts
- Don’t juk/stab your partner so hard that they fall. You will end up without without a wuk-up partner.
- Do remember that you will need your crotch after Kadooment Day. Don’t overdo -wuk-up responsibly.
- Don’t wuk-up on someone who obviously doesn’t want to be wukked on. T. No wuk-up means no wuk-up.
- Do wuk-up, have fun, and enjoy yourself in the bacchanal!
Wuk-Up Instructional Videos
Wuk-up isn’t something that can be fully explained in words…so check out the following videos for examples on how to wuk-up.