The Awe-inspiring Music
Junkanoo music on the island of Grand Bahama arouses awe because the music is stirring. The music brings the costume, dancers and the entire parade to life. It makes you want to move your feet to every beat. The music section consist of different instruments such as, horns, clappers, drums, bugles, and whistles, conch shells and cow bells. The drums enhance the music and makes it superb. The drums are made of either goat skin or sheep skin and fifty five gallon metal barrels. The metal barrels are normally created by welders and the sheep skin and goat skin are obtained from local farmers. In order to make certain that the sound is perfect Junkanoo groups in Grand Bahama put a lot of effort into choosing songs that will be played on the parade. They normally choose songs that are relevant in order to capture the crowd’s attention. Junkanoo music is unlike any other music, you can feel the rhythm as the participants ‘rush’ on the streets with their musical instruments. Junkanoo is uniquely Bahamian, it’s our way of life. Once you’ve experienced Junkanoo you’ve experienced the Bahamian culture.
To The Beat
Dance! The bedrock of Junkanoo. The dancers bring innovation, creativity and energy to the group with their enthusiasm. Costumes, shimmery that gives the dancers the look to match the energy. These dancers spend months and long hours at the shacks decorating their costumes with outline assistance from group designers and long months of practicing routines, all for the enjoyment and the approval of the judges. The dancers are ready and in sync with the music, for most individuals it’s the love and passion for Junkanoo.
Costumes Then & Now
(Sponge & Natural Vegetation Costume in Olden days)
In the olden days junkanoo costumes were less sophisticated than the costumes of today . The original junkanoo parade was made up of hidden slave faces: using flour paste, face painting and wire masks held by a stick. On their body the slaves wore a fabric costume skirted with strips of rags, later altered to the usage of sea sponge and other natural materials such as vegetations on a meshwork to be worn over the physique. As time passed Fringed paper came into play as a raw material for Junkanoo costumes creation. Now a days, Cardboard is used in costume making, along with crepe paper, aluminum rods, tire wire, contact cement and lots of glue decorated with sequins, and rhinestones.
( Platinum Knights Junkanoo Group on Grand Bahama)
How to make a Junkanoo Costume
The best part about Junkanoo is the beautiful and colorful costumes that the groups wear. These costumes are judged and the best one wins the costume competition. Before a group decides to make a costume, they first begin to think of a theme.Once their theme is thought of they purchase their materials such as crepe paper, cardboard, aluminium rods, tie wire, contact cement and paste. To create a Junkanoo costume, an individual would have to take the aluminum rods and tape it onto the cardboard. Afterwards the cardboard is painted white completely. The individual then glues the crepe paper on the costumes. Feathers, glitter, small decorative balls and so much more can be added to the costume to enhance the beauty of the costume. Although this process could take weeks, even months to be completed, its all worth it when they see their beautiful costumes on Pioneers Way.