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goat skin
high pitch
artistic presentation
horn section
main ingredient
Fitness The Soul Of Junkanoo
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Fitness the Soul Of Junkanoo

This cultural event which celebrates the freedom of a people who were once slaves. This celebration is held during the Christmas and New Years, a time when slave masters gave their slaves a two days holiday from the plantation, to enjoy with their family and celebrate. The name of this parade comes from a African Tribal Chief name, "John Canoe." This parade is not only popular locally, but internationally as well.

It has evolved from group wearing mask and newspaper pasted costume, to organized groups, with intricate costumes designs, prizes, and themes which enhances the beauty of groups presentation. The display of costumes, banners, drums, dance, rushing, music and artistic presentation all over the world.

The Soul

But the Soul of this event has not changed, and its main ingredient must improve for the event to move to the next level. The rushing must improve, the person gesture, of how he moves his legs, movement of hand and the shaking of heads and the swinging of bodies, along with the constant pounding of the drums or the shaking of cowbells.

As the rhythm and exuberance reaches a high pitch, their muscles begins to flex as the perspiration flow, leaving a glowing shine on the competitors physique. Depending on the energy exhibited, the spectator will explode in a wild frenzy of appreciation.

Sporting Event

At the beginning of the first quarter, all groups begin their planning and training for this magnificent event. They must find a sponsor, create a theme, raise money among themselves if they do not have a sponsor and start construction of costumes, banners and musical instruments.

Harmonizing of Instruments

During the month of August and September, groups begin to practise and synchronize their music. The drum section must decide what type of drum they plan to use, that will give them a special blend of pounding pulsation. The amount of Goat Skin, Cow, Sheep, or Snare will all give them a different sound.

The same process followed with the Horn section. Depending on the song, they will decide how many trumpet, saxophone, whistles and bugles. The Cowbell has evolved to include many changes, from one cowbell to adding two or three bells joined to one shank.

The Set-Backs

This event has suffered major setbacks over the past few years. Competitors have died because of fatigue or being out of shape. It appears that the government along with the groups must apply rules, governing the physical conditioning of each participant, in this event. There is no other event in the Bahamas where the locals support is one hundred percent. We are now teaching school children the basics of this event.


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