The Gombey costume is heavily influenced by the Native American tradition. A decorative apron worn over fringed, tasseled leggings and props such as the tomahawk are reminiscent of traditional Native American celebratory dress.
One of the strongest influences on Bermuda's Gombeys is from the West Indies. In fact many of Bermuda's original Gombeys originated from St. Kitts, and still today many can trace their lineage back to the West Indies The modern "Indian Dancers" of St. Kitts are similar to Bermuda's Gombeys but do differ in their movements and drum beats.
British Military Music
A British military music influence is very apparent in a Gombey performance. Gombeys play their base drums and snares with sticks and the captain of the Gombey troup uses a military-style whistle to give "commands" to his dancers.
The Christmas Mummers of England historically entertained neighbours with song, dance and "folk drama". In a similar tradition, the Gombeys first used masks, costumes, and props to enact pagan rituals. Later Biblical stories were enacted.
(Source: "Gombey", Louise A. Jackson, 1987)