We continue to celebrate the ancestors and contemporary creators/performers of Junkanoo, including its dynamic Junkanoo Queens, with the debut of a "Junkanoovation",
SELAH, PAPA LOU2, and JUNKANOO received a spirited, stimulating review from e-book columnist, Julie Amari-Bandele, on the following webpage: Junkanoo e-book review In an e-mail regarding preparing the review, Ms. Amari-Bandele wrote:
I really enjoyed your book! When I clicked
on the different links, my daughter actually
abandoned the tv for once and ran over to
the computer. It was great since the only toy
that she usually will choose over the tv
is her miniature goombay drum..."
Hmm, sounds like a l'il Junkanoo queen in the making. :) Am glad that both the parent and her culture-loving princess found the work culturally appealing. Hope that you and the youth in your world will derive equal cultural enjoyment and delight from it.
SELAH.. is also one of the electronic literature features on this particular site.
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Now that that announcement for the month has been accomplished, let me say, Hi there and Welcome to the JUNKANOO SOULSITE--
You know, Junkanoo, with its mighty Spirit of rhythm and art, is full of ever-ascending creativity and innovation ("Junkanoovation"). Like Junkanoo expert, Fred Munnings, Jr., once said, "If Junkanoo doesn't move you, you're dead!" Well now, Fred, the way the power of the Junkamotions flow, even the culturally departed must surely arise from their island graves and head straight over to Bay Street on Boxing Day and New Year's morn.
Junkanoo can easily become a thrilling cultural addiction "quick, fast, and in a hurry", and once Junkanooitis takes a soul-hold, watch out, 'cause the only cure is another massive dose of a Junkanoo rushout as soon as possible. If you can't get to the Bahamas, a Junkanoo video or at least a little Junkanoo music might help to stem the fever a wee bit, but just enough to stabilize you until the next Junkanoo rush.
However, don't take my word for the intense joys of Junkanoo. I've got over a decade of being a dedicated Junkanoo woman and an avid collector of Junkanooana, so much so that you are greeted with a full-fledged Junkanoo exhibit in the entranceway of my cultural abode. Admittedly, I'm just a tad biased in Junkanoo's favor, wouldn't you say? The one to really ask, my dears, is Selah. And just who in the world is this Selah? --a brand-newly bred l'il Junkanoo mama who is now freshly and furiously hooked on Junkadelights for life.
Selah, in fact, plays a leading role in what I call that prime "Junkanoovation", the aforementioned first multimedia e-book debuting on Junkanoo. Now that colorful graphic you see above with the title, SELAH, PAPA LOU2, and JUNKANOO (created by my super-talented former student, poet/visual artist, Rakeiya Herdigein)--is the cover of this just completed electronic work, steaming hot off the cyberpresses.
Created for cultural youngsters and the ever culturally young in Spirit--(that's you, of course), SELAH, PAPA LOU2, AND JUNKANOO gives readers a diverse overview of Junkanoo through the art of Junkanoo storytelling, poetry--written and oral, Junkanoo music, artwork and video, and tempt-me-to-the-beach-and-the-Junka-boogie island graphics.
Book a seat in the comfort of your home or school, and journey with Selah and her parents, the Parkers, to Nassau during Junkanoo time,joining them on myriad Junkanoo adventures as they meet and relate to the Newmans, a vibrant Junkanoo family who, in turn, introduce them to the island's leading Junkanoo producers and performers.
End the journey with a view of Selah's Junkanoo photo album/slideshow, as her new friend, young Junkanoo goombay drummer, Papa Lou2, (Cyril Newman), pays an informal cultural exchange visit to her own home in Brooklyn. Just what traveling should be about, right?--mutual culture sharing, international respect, and smile-promoting memories that span a Lifetime. Like the phrase my friend, the late hotelier Sam Boynes, coined, "Service instead of servitude."
Now let me stop "talking" so you can mosey on over to the Junkanoo SoulShop to enjoy a tasty hors d'oeuvre of SELAH, PAPA LOU2, AND JUNKANOO.
and more than that,
it'll delight culture-loving you.
The next thing you know,
you'll be booking your own journey to Junkanoo!
After the cultural sampling, order the full serving of Junkanoo which can be delivered to your plate via pdf download, rtf, html, or disk by mail. And for born-and-bred Bahamian sisters and brothers, this historical Junkanoo e-book is a great way to acquaint stateside born kids to Junkanoo ancestry as well as to immerse yourself in your vibrant culture while away from home. Many of you have told me how much you miss Junkanoo! Although the Parker and Newman families are fictional characters--(after the months of laboring to craft this Junka e-book, they seem like real and quite lovable family); but, at any rate, the Junkanoo personalities are definitely live and in living Junkacolor there in Nassau. In fact, you probably know most of 'em. It's been my supreme joy as a Junkanoo journalist, poet, and publisher to become acquainted with them both in person and literarily.
Linda Cousins/Amasewa Okomfo
piercing the dawn,
I love how you move
up Bay Street
to the tantalizing throbs
of the goombay drums!*
*Excerpted from JUNKANOO MAN poem.
"If you don't move to Junkanoo, you're dead!" enthusiastically exclaims Fred Munnings, Jr., one of the leading experts on the Bahamas' culturally powerful Junkanoo carnival. "Junkanoo is one of the most infectious festivals in the world, " he continues. "In fact, it is beyond the physical and beyond being just a festival. Junkanoo awakens the spirit within not some, but all of us. It is communicating with the spirit." Truer words were never spoken. If you want to witness one of the world's most intense ancestral carnivals, then you definitely owe yourself a Junkanoo experience.
Celebrated in the Bahamas in the early morning hours of Boxing Day (December 26th) and on New Year's morn, Junkanoo is undeniably one of the world's most culture-rich ancestral carnivals. The Junka Spirit moves not only the body, but vibrates in the very core of the soul. As a playwright as well as longtime cultural traveler, I must say that Junkanoo is absolute theater in the streets. Let me tell you, you just can't help from being moved when da power of Junkanoo rushes through!
The spirit of Junkanoo was brought to the Americas by the African slave forebears who, while being forced to leave their beloved motherland, steadfastly, and I do mean steadfastly, refused to leave behind the ancestral culture deeply rooted in their genes. Junkanoo, as celebrated in the islands of the Bahamas, is said to have been named after a shrewdly powerful African leader, John Konny (or John Connu) from the Gold Coast of Ghana. (Word is, he was the same "High John de Conquerer" who was the reputed undefeatable "mythical" hero of the slaves in the States.) In some quarters, this name is said to be derived from the Quoja nation's revered supreme being, Canno, and also from the Jannanin, ancestral spirits who protected the people. Whoever,wherever, or however, the brother inspired a global diaspora tradition that shows no signs of stopping until the planet stops.
While celebrated in Bermuda and to a smaller degree in Jamaica, Belize, and formerly in North Carolina, Junkanoo has reached its most glorious cultural presence in the beauteous islands of the Bahamas, principally Nassau. It has now evolved into a colorful festival which lures thousands from across the glove to flock to Nassau, Freeport, and the Family Islands for the annual Junkanoo rushouts (lively marches). Featuring Goombay drums, cowbells, whistles, conchshells, brass, bicycle horns, and elaborately costumed dancers and musicians, Junkanoo is one of the most intense and spiritual world carnivals--one attesting the the positivity, power, and artistic prosperity of the African ancestral cultural tradition.
Junkanoo Soulsite Links
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