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NOTHING LIKE THE RHYTHM-POWER OF JUNKA ENERGY!


TEEN JUNKANOOER RUSHIN' ON BAY ST. ON LABOUR DAY


JUNKANOO - THE TRUE FOUNDATION OF BAHAMIAN CULTURE


COULD WATCH JUNKANOO FROM SUNRISE TO SUNSET
WITHOUT A MINUTE OF REST


BAHAMA PAPA RUSHING HARD

EXHAUSTED JUNKANOO RUSHERS

Master cowbell maker, Tony Bellot (right) with his assistant, Devon. The artistry of Junkanoo people is unlimited. A welder by trade, Tony, who rushes with Barrabas and the Tribe, has taken cowbellilng to another dimension by actually inventing a cowbell machine. You go, Junkanoo man! Now you not only have the triple cowbells interacting with the goombay drums and other instruments during Junkanoo, but when Tony and/or Devon dances by with this new Junka invention (created from a bicycle frame), you have cultural history in the making. Talk of this cowbell machine has reached as far as New York City, as I heard a Junkanoo hornplayer animatedly discussing this new Junka invention as the Bahamas-New York Rushers were preparing for a performance last fall.

Tony, whose company is appropriately titled "Lotta Bells" (242/364-6961), furnishes custom-made cowbells to the Junkanoo community. He finds himself swamped with orders during the pre-Junkanoo period, as cowbells and the goatskin drums are a loving couple that are never far apart during the Junkanoo parades. Another great resource for a variety of Junkanoo cowbells is Dr. Philip C. Huyler (242/322-1602) who also hails from a family with a long tradition of Junkanoo involvement. Thanks to the folks at the Junkanoo art museum, Doongalik Studios (www.doongalikstudios.com), for referring me to Dr. Huyler where I almost missed my plane back to the city as I hurriedly purchased my first set of cowbells, a cultural item that had been on my wish list for quite a spell but which I'd never quite been able to put a finger on during my quick cultural getaways to Nassau.

Wish I'd known they were sold right at the Junkanoo in June festivities, since we went there last year to enjoy the Junka rushouts and that super-tasty Bahamian seafood. Well, next June I'll get a second pair either there, from
Dr. Huyler's convenient offices, or from that would-you-believe-it cowbell machine inventor, Tony Bellot. You go, cowbell man! Well, can't wait to see where Junkanoo ascends in the new millenium. The ex-slave ancestors who introduced this mighty culture and kept it going must be truly smiling :) in amazement from Spirit!


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