JUNKANOO


The Predators, Junkanoo, Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands

The Predators, Junkanoo, Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands

 

Junkanoo is the quintessential celebration of the Turks and Caicos islands, a street parade of masquerades of colorful costumes, goatskin drums, jangling cowbells, raucous, shak-shak and other rhythm instruments. Junkanoo is one of the few examples of the Turks and Caicos culture.

 

 

The Predators, Junkanoo, Providenciales, Turks and Caicos IslandsJunkannoo brings out feelings of excitement and exhilaration as a cacophony of horns, whistles, drums and cowbells are heard long before the brightly coloured procession appears in view with their wild uninhibited and hypnotic dancing. The term "rush" is given to all-out dancing in the streets where everyone joins in ("jump up") and it becomes a unforgotten festival of revelry, amusement and frivolity for everyone.

Junkanoo, comparable to New Orleans Mardi Gras and Carnival in Rio, is typically staged in the early hours of Boxing Day, Provo Day and again in the small hours of January 1st. However, in the Turks and Caicos, you will see Junkanoo performed at special events throughout the year.

 

The Predators, Junkanoo, Providenciales, Turks and Caicos IslandsMaking costumes are a "Labour of Love". The Islanders, school children, teenagers and residents will spend months creating their vivid imaginative costumes out of colourful crepe paper, sequins, jewels, feathers, cardboard, wire mesh, wood and glue. The key is colour - in every line and shade. Some of them are masterpieces but typically after Junkanoo, these costumes are hauled away as garbage.

The Predators, Junkanoo, Providenciales, Turks and Caicos IslandsJunkanoo is believed to have begun during the 16th & 17th century. The slaves were given a special holiday at Christmas time in which they could leave the plantation to be with their families and celebrate the holidays with African dance, music and costumes. Some credit should be given to the catchy name which came from Joh Canoe, a legendary West African Chieftain.

The Predators, Junkanoo, Providenciales, Turks and Caicos IslandsAfter Emancipation the descendants continued this tradition and today Junkanoo has evolved from its simple origins to a formal more organized parade with sophisticated costumes, themes, music and incentive prizes. There are two popular Junkanoo groups on Providenciales, "The Predators" and "Wefunk ".

If you would like to contact The Predators or would like further information on Junkanoo in Turks and Caicos Islands, you may call Tanka at (649) 241-0864.

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