Connect with us

Lifestyle

Big Rush: The History of Junkanoo

NASSAU, BAHAMAS – As we prepare for the this Junkanoo season, we want to first take a look at the origins of the staple cultural parade. 

Published

on


Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

NASSAU, BAHAMAS – ‘Tis the season to rush! After 2 years away from Bay, Junkanoo is set to return in just a matter of days. But, as we prepare for the this Junkanoo season, we want to first take a look at the origins of the staple cultural parade. 

What is the history of Junkanoo? A simple enough question, but, the answer, not so much. You see, this elaborate parade we admire each year, dates back to the 1800s when slavery still existed. Director of Edu-culture Bahamas, Arlene Nash-Ferguson, saying that according to British law, slaves were granted three days holiday during the Christmas time.

From leaves, feathers, shells, and sponges, to seaweed, straw and paper. Indigenous materials were used to create costumes.

In 1899, Nash-Ferguson says the street nuisances act was established to limit the time Junkanooers could parade through the streets.

In 1920, when prohibition was in effect in the United States, tourists would travel to The Bahamas to enjoy their libations. Nash-Ferguson says this propelled the festival to a new level.

However, she credits the Citizens Masquerade Committee with creating the foundation of the organized parades in 1948. In 1973, parades then became the responsibility of the government under the Ministry of Culture.

In 2004, former Prime Minister Perry Christie challenged the Junkanoo community to take ownership of the parades, thus establishing the Junkanoo Corporation of New Providence.

From era to era, the art of Junkanoo has continued to evolve. And, Nash-Ferguson says while she understands that things change, she does believe in keeping some traditions alive.

Comments

Trending