Musical Band in John Canoe (Jonkonnu, JonKanoo) Festival, 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, Band of the Jaw-Bone John-Canoe (See also image Belisario05), this illustration shows one man playing a conventional Western drum, a "Bass drum" while another plays the "Gumbay" (also called a Box or Bench drum); the latter is a "small square wooden frame over which a goat's skin is tightly strained and is supported by a tattered urchin." A rasp is played by the man on the left; it is "simply the lower jaw of a horse, on the teeth of which a piece of wood is passed quickly up and down, occasioning a rattling noise." For background on the artist, see Belisario01.