Ms. Davis' macaroni and cheese, coleslaw, fresh island fish, and get this, homemade bread! Mmm-mm! That's what Grandmama Anna Pearl used to call "some good eatin'!" I never visit Nassau any more without my husband and me visiting Ms. Davis' place to order the delectable cuisine with which she graces her plates. There are innumerable great local restaurants at the Fish Fry andPotter's Cayas well as throughout Nassau; but must admit that Ms. Davis place holds a special place in my Nassau travel memories.
As you can readily see, I am a deep lover of Junkanoo; yet more than the immense, colorful showtime spectacular on Bay St every Boxing Day (Dec. 26th) and early New Year's morn, I particularly relish the People's Rush that takes place on Labour Day (first Friday in June), Independence Day (July 10th), Fox Hill/Emancipation Day (first Monday in August), and the Joe Billy/Blind Blake Festival (usually taking place the first weekend in December.) The large groups aren't out in such massive numbers and the competition for the big-money prizes isn't quite as intense. These are more the grassroots, ancestry-celebrating rushes where the people are not separated from the Junkanoos by barricades and varied level of ticket prices. The rhythm and power of the ancestry are in full evidence in the music, the dance, the brass sections, and in the mighty drums, cowbells, and whistles that distinguish Junkanoo as one of the mightiest ancestral celebrations on the planet. When their favorite group rushes by, many of the folks on the sidelines rush right on the side of and/or behind the group. And like another New York-based Junkanoo lover, Ms. Sugar says, "You can feel the rhythms of their very souls!"
Junkanoo carries its own special culture, color, and deep-souled rhythm also in that many of the mobile art masterpieces lift and celebrate the African roots of Junkanoo as well as the spiritual linkage to the African diaspora. In prominence in the music are the ole time gospel refrains ("Negro spirituals"). The local food is in tasty evidence on the side streets and beaches close to where the rushouts take place; in fact, some churches and organizations utilize the celebratory occasion of the smaller Junkanoo rushouts to host cookouts where the local fare is available to any hungry soul.
Junkanoo is truly replete with the celebration of ancestry and spirituality. The ancestral celebration in the artwork of Junkanoo is exhibited in the One Love Junkanoo group costume from the Emancipation Day Rush in Fox Hill Village (one of the historic sites of the slave and freed African settlements in the country.)
Here are some of my own Junkanoo videos plus ones available on Youtube that display what I term "the Joys of Junkanoo".
Click on the following link for a little video hors d'oeuvre of a Junkanoo performance at a former Junkanoo in June (now called Junkanoo Summer. As you can see, they rocked da place big time! (If you can't automatically view the action, you'll need the Windows media player (free) or a Quicktime player. You can get a version of the latter gratis at:
Experience One Family's Moves and Junkanoo Grooves
Independence Day Rush--(for Windows Media Viewers)
Sample of one of the showtime spectacular Junkanoo Rushes
Junior Junkanoo Rushout - C. C. Sweeting High School;
note the ancestral spiritual symbol of the Black Christ
Roots Junkanoo Group rushout for Emancipation Day 2007
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