Junkanoo: a celebration of freedom, Bahamas-style

I was captivated by the transformation of Yoruba, Igbo and other West African masked spiritual traditions, having survived the middle passage and the inhumanity of slavery, into the festive contemporary pageantry of Junkanoo. Having studied West African dance myself, I recognised the fluid and cadenced  moves of the dancers, as they pulsed to the syncopated rhythms of a variety of brass instruments and drums fashioned out of recycled barrels. There was a palpable joy. both in the procession and the stands of spectators, as no one was immune to the spirit of the occasion. To me it seemed a testament to the power of the human spirit to rise up and create beauty with art, despite the origination of this tradition in the abomination of the slave trade.