Hooked By The Bahama Junkanoo

in #showcase-sunday11 months ago (edited)

Thirty years ago I was taken to a mental wonderland when I heard this music and versions of this type of music. Now that I look back at that time in my life it almost seems like what I would guess a possession might feel like. The sound definitely got my attention and has kept it. In the beginning it was hard if not impossible to find drumming, especially when I didn't know what I was looking for, I had never seen or heard such music. There wasn't much on the internet at the time if anything, matter of fact there wasn't much of an internet at that time.

The first time I heard the rhythms we were in the Bahamas for an evening of awards and accolades with about 300 others. Everyone was dressed in gowns and Tuxedos and the evening was going along normal for such an occasion until the cultural entertainment came through the double doors with a blast of drums, conk shells and toy horns playing wonderful high energy pounding rhythms. I started bouncing in my seat. I tried to stay in a proper lady-like position but my body would not be still. After a few minutes the gentleman next to me who was part of top management started bouncing with me and soon everyone around our table of 10 was on their feet bouncing with the next table to follow. Within 10 minutes all 300 people were up dancing, laughing and making conga lines around the great ballroom. My body felt like pure joy, if that's possible to understand.

I have since learned this specific type of rhythm is called Junkanoo. Thirty years ago to hear it you would have to travel back into the hill of the Bahamas, a place that was highly recommended NOT to go by most travel books. If you are interested in why this specific music is called Junkanoo and what they wear when playing in their parades I address that here: https://steemit.com/photography/@willowwisp/junkanoo-part-2

Here is a sample of the Junkanoo rhythm.

In 2004 I went back with a couple of my drumming friends to learn the Junkanoo and we were allowed into off-limit huts where an entire year is taken to prepare the costumes for the Boxing Day Parade which is the day after Christmas and the New Years Day Parade contest. The competition last eight hours. The route going around the block is about a mile long and starts at a large fire surrounded by 50-gallon goatskin drum faces getting ready for their debut . The smaller drums are snare drums they hold somewhat under their arm and play with their hands. I was told the route is done eight times with judges walking amongst the group members listening for synchronicity, clarity, and power.

More audio and photos from a Junkanoo parade and the basic beat.

Nothing is motorized. Every float is hand carried with people underneath.

Junkanoo has added a new section to their band family. I'm going to describe it as bells on the chest. They have also added two days a year for another public display, one during the Labor Day holiday and the other occurs during the last two weeks of July. These two new celebrations look like they are more about the music and family celebration than the floats and costumes.

I have enjoyed putting together this post using old photos and some from the internet. Listening to the music again and remembering how much it has been a part of my journey has made this a #sublimesunday for me. Thank you @coff33a.


It's a cool sound. Happy vibes. Some fancy attire as well. That's one natural buzz looking at that stuff...

OK, I like that..."natural buzz"! Your getting the idea of what I felt...it was natural and I was buzzing.

I did want to mention I edited out the last video and placed it with the correct one that I meant to have there. Not sure what I did wrong (again) but anyway it's a better representation of what I wanted to show.

THAT was fun to listen too.

I couldn't believe the folks in that church?.... in the first vid were just standing still !

It might have been because it was a funeral. Not everyone likes the sound. My step-mother didn't like the rhythms at all but she basically liked opera.

Oh ! ha ha ... well.....

I have always thought wanting to move with the rhythmic beats was somewhat primal. I guess not for everyone.

I think it is neat that something like this has stayed with you all of this time!

I still like to hear and play the rhythms but I don't get the body buzz or visual hallucinations I did in the beginning.

Well a few more drinks and some ganja might take care of that LOL.

You're right but only if you're listening if you're playing you have to be present ( I have to be present I should say) unless playing in a drum circle then I can kind of zone out if you're not holding down the rhythm for the others.
I'm used to playing for dance class or performing and there is no zoning out on that for me

Posted using Partiko Android

Congratulations @willowwisp! You have completed the following achievement on the Steem blockchain and have been rewarded with new badge(s) :

You got more than 1750 replies. Your next target is to reach 2000 replies.

You can view your badges on your Steem Board and compare to others on the Steem Ranking
If you no longer want to receive notifications, reply to this comment with the word STOP

Do not miss the last post from @steemitboard:

SteemFest⁴ commemorative badge refactored
Vote for @Steemitboard as a witness to get one more award and increased upvotes!

A bright and colourful festival! it’s amazing how all those massive floats are carried by hand!

Posted using Partiko iOS

Coin Marketplace

STEEM 0.16
TRX 0.03
JST 0.039
BTC 10724.57
ETH 347.43
USDT 1.00
SBD 0.95