Sunday February 26th, 2017
Junkanoo is a community celebration that culminates in a parade or parades of costumed dancers and musicians. The costumes are elaborate, intricate and outrageous. Some of the costumes are huge and heavy and would put those worn by the ‘ladies’ who dance in chorus lines in Vegas to shame.
The music is like rhythmic chanting with brass instruments, bells, whistles, rake ‘n’ scrape and drums made from 45 gallon barrels and other cylindrical stuff. The beat is infectious and even 63 year olds were banging their cowbells. My cowbell was supplied free by BTC (the cellphone company). It was OK, but after twenty minutes I had to go back to their booth and buy more minutes.
The Googlizer is not sure of the origin of Junkanoo. There is one team that thinks it came from John Canoe who was a West African prince who outwitted the British and became a folk hero OR it could come from the French ‘gens inconnus’, masked or unknown people. The origin really doesn’t matter. It is the equivalent of human fireworks accompanied by music.
Woody did drag his butt back from Man O War Cay but only long enough to root through the tickle trunk. He left wearing my pink hair and snagging a twenty out of ML’s purse. It is now 07:00 and no sign of Woody or the authorities seeking restitution, so far so good.
Like any community festival there are booths of overpriced stuff for the kids. The women from Fracas, Last Mango and DevOcean were belly up to the kid stuff and princesses they became. Most of the bling we bought or received was distributed to the local kids before we left. There was a food area with lots of local delicacies and BBQ animal bits.
We met Rose, a senior lady of the community who was gracious and friendly and was happy to talk with us for a time. We saw ‘a’ or ‘the’ motorcycle cop stop his bike and come over just to greet and shake the hand of an older gentleman sitting by a booth.
Like most places around the Bahamas when you buy a drink you get a DRINK. For $5 ML wanted Bailey’s on Ice. She got a 12oz plastic cup full of ice and Bailey’s. I went with the rum, seeing how it went with the Bailey’s I said “Rum and Ice with coke on the side”.
We were wiser last night and did not go at the advertised time of the Junkanoo. We went a couple of hours after that. This strategy worked well as we only had to wait a couple of more hours for the Junkanoo to begin.