On Carts and Horses

Now that the silly season is over, the year has been spared, the halls undecked, the paychecks spent and the A-groups robbed, it seems a good time to lay out something I’ve been thinking about for quite a long while. I touched on it last week in my article about the sport of Junkanoo, but I didn’t elaborate; so here’s the elaboration, for what it’s worth.

These days, when we think or talk about Junkanoo in public we have a tendency to think and talk about things that are in fact incidentals. If we describe it to people who have never seen it, chances are we’ll talk about the costumes. We may mention groups and performance, and we’ll probably talk about the way in which all of Bay Street rocks when a big group comes down the road.

We talk about the costumes. Or the B-52s. Or the brass section. Or the choreographed dancers. Or the bellers. Or the bleachers, for heaven’s sake, or the tickets, or the way in which the fans respond. Rarely do we talk about the heartbeat of the thing.

Rarely do we talk about the rhythm drum.

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