Saturday, February 18, 2012

Jonkanoo, Gombey, New Orleans Indians, & The Philadelphia Mummers Costume Traditions

Edited by Azizi Powell

The purpose of this post is to present videos that showcase the similarities between the costume traditions of the Jonkanoo & Gombey paraders in the Caribbean and the costume traditions of the New Orleans Mardi Gras Indians, and Philadelphia Mummers in the United States.

The Caribbean videos are presented first because my research suggests that the Mardi Gras Indians developed their costume traditions from the Caribbean costume traditions and the Mummers developed their feathered fancy dress costume traditions from the Mardi Gras Indians costume traditions and/or the Caribbean costume traditions.

Visit "Jonkanoo, New Orleans Indians, & Mummers Costume Traditions" for information of these traditions, as well as more videos of those traditions. Also visit that same post for information and videos of possible African, European, and North American Indian sources for those traditions.


Video #1: Roots New Years Day Junkanoo 2010 [The Bahamas]

Junkanoo or Nuttin, Uploaded on Jan 6, 2010

Video #2: Bermuda Gombey Documentary - "Behind The Mask" Official Trailer (2008) [Bermuda]

Uploaded by aklathan on Sep 28, 2011

This feature length film captures and documents the ongoing history of the Bermuda Gombeys, one of Bermuda's oldest Folklife traditions. Running 88 minutes in total it was designed to supplement Bermuda's education system; its narrative chapters split into detailed sections covering every aspect of the Gombey culture, instruments, dance, costumes, training, history and traditions.

A Special Edition version was released in 2010 with subtitle options included and Bonus Features accessible from the DVD menu.

Synopsis: Historically, the Gombeys were not viewed as a respectable art form by the island's ruling class. Slaves were allowed to dance only once a year and did so in masks in order to protest, without fear of retribution, the injustices done them by their slave masters. Incorporating elements of African, Native American, Caribbean and British cultures the Gombeys have evolved into the colorful, uniquely Bermudian art form beloved by locals and tourists alike. From archival texts and insights of our foremost historians to the memories of the oldest living Gombey Masters, from the hearts and minds of today's Captains to the youngest Gombeys carrying the tradition into the future...

Behind the Mask explores the past, the present and the future of this proud and resilient heritage, and is a celebration of all these exceptional Bermudian tradition-bearers.

For more information on Bermuda culture, heritage and the Bermuda Gombeys, and to purchase the film visit the website of The Department of Community and Cultural Affairs Bermuda.

Video #3: 7th Ward Creole Hunters, Mardi Gras Indians, 2009 [New Orleans, Louisiana, USA]

Uploaded by anotherapple on Mar 8, 2009

Big Chief Jermaine Cooper Bossier and his 7th Ward Creole Hunters on Mardi Gras 2009 in New Orleans.


Click for more musical sound files & videos of the New Orleans Mardi Gras Indians.

Video #4: Ferko String Band 1989- At The Strutters Ball [Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA]

Uploaded by 69mets86 on May 22, 2008

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