John Canoe (Jonkonnu, JonKanoo) Costume, Jamaica, 1837

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This record was last updated on 13 May 2016

Image Reference

Isaac Mendes Belisario, Sketches of character, in illustration of the habits, occupation, and costume of the Negro population, in the island of Jamaica: drawn after nature, and in lithography (Kingston, Jamaica: published by the artist, at his residence, 1837-1838).

Captioned, Jaw-Bone, or House John-Canoe, Belisario writes that "along with Koo-Koo, or Actor Boy [see image reference Belisario03] this is the most conspicuous of those who annually attract public notice. He dresses in a pseudo military style and in common with the whole John Canoe fraternity, he is always masked with a profusion of dark hair, which is suffered to fall in large wild ringlets over his face and shoulders, giving his appearance an extraordinary and savage air . . . The house is usually constructed of pasteboard and colored papers,"