A Final Farewell to the Festive Season

bahamas, abaco, green turtle cay, fireworks, new yearsAfter a month of holiday celebrations, including the Festival of Lights, Junkanoo and the appearance of Bunce, Green Turtle Cay said goodbye to 2014 and welcomed 2105 with a fireworks show, presented by the GTC Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department.

It was a beautiful display — and the perfect opportunity to try out the fireworks setting on my new camera.

 

The Wild Man of Green Turtle Cay

bahamas, green turtle cay, abaco, bunce, junkanooIt’s a unique Green Turtle Cay custom that dates back more than a hundred years.

At the head of the island’s vibrant New Year’s Junkanoo parade would be a canvas-draped wheelbarrow. Hidden beneath the tarp was “Bunce”, ostensibly a wild man caught in the pine forests of the Abaco mainland.

Those pushing the wheelbarrow would stop in front of a house and pass around a hat, taking up a collection for Bunce to get out and dance. They told tall tales about the capture of this violent beast and threatened that, should enough money not be contributed, they would set him loose within the settlement.

When enough money had been collected, the wildly costumed Bunce would jump from the wheelbarrow, lunging fiercely toward local children and amusing the crowd with his antics. Eventually, he was loaded back into the wheelbarrow, covered up and carted to another house, where the performance would be repeated.

At this year’s Junkanoo, Bunce’s appearance was somewhat streamlined. There was no wheelbarrow and no hat passed. But the effect was the same. As Bunce sprung from his hiding place, the little ones ran shrieking as the adults laughed and cheered.

Thanks to the Albert Lowe Museum for their assistance with this piece.

GTC New Year’s Junkanoo in Pictures

bahamas, abaco, green turtle cay, junkanooWhile Tom was busy shooting video of the New Year’s Day Junkanoo Rush, I was trying out my Christmas gift — a new camera. Here are some of the results:

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VIDEO: Green Turtle Slammers Usher in 2015

Tom and I were so excited to be on Green Turtle Cay for the annual New Year’s Day Junkanoo Rush. Here’s a terrific little video of the parade that Tom put together.  Hope you like it!

Related stories:  Rushing into 2015 in Green Turtle Cay, We Need More Cowbell, Island Roots Heritage Festival 2014, Island Roots Festival: Celebrating All Things Abaco, Our Junkanoo Wedding