Moko Jumbie in Grenada

Moko Jumbie can be seen amongst the Carnival celebrations in Grenada. You can find the Moko Jumbie on the street on Carnival Tuesday, and also during Soca monarch on Fantastic Friday, and Kiddies carnival .


Origin

The word "Moko" is African meaning artificial or superficial. The word "Jumbie" refers to a ghost or spirit and is derived from the Congo word, Zumbi, meaning departed spirit. A Moko Jumbie is a large superficial scarecrow that scares away spirits. The Moko Jumbie acts as a defense against enemies or evil. Their tall appearance gives them the look of giants, standing tall against their enemies - a tower over evil. In African culture and tradition, the Moko Jumbie is regarded as a protector of villages, watching over the village to protet from evil.


Community

The parishes of St. John and St. Marks are the homes of the Moko Jumbie. Young children are taught the art of walking on stilts to develop their skills in playing Moko Jumbie. Both boys and girls play Moko Jumbie.


The Moko Jumbie masquerader

As a masquerader, the Moko Jumbie is an example of a stilt masquerade. The Moko Jumbie masquerader walks on stilts. The stilts are made from wood, and elevates the height of the masquerader to as much as 20 feet tall. Buckles are used to tie the stilts to the knees of the masquerader.


Clothing of Moko Jumbie

The Moko Jumbie wears loose clothing that allows air to pass through the clothing. Skirts are long sleeved, and pants are long. In the past, the women wore long skirts, but today both men and women wear long pants that cover the stilts. The clothing is often very colourful. In the early years, the Moko Jumbie wore masks that covered their faces, However today, the Moko Jumbie do not wear masks.


Parade

The Moko Jumbie can be seen towering over other masqueraders in the street. It is quite courteous to allow space and distance for the Moko Jumbie to move safely through the streets and crowds. The Moko Jumbie is a very lively masquerader and tends to put on a very flamboyant display and show of prowess.

Photo credit: Pure Grenada





30 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All