Who we is? JUNKANOO
On our last Disney Cruise, we visited Nassau, the capital of the Bahamas. A popular land excursion in Nassau is the Atlantis Paradise Island Resort. Although my family considered stopping at Atlantis, we prefer to do cultural tours in our Ports of Call, so we booked a cultural excursion in the city.
We started our journey by visiting the largest fort in New Providence, Fort Charlotte. The Fort was built in 1788 and features moats, dungeons, underground routes and 42 cannons. Although the fort has never seen battle, the condition of the fort make the tour more interesting! The sweeping views are also STUNNING. The lovely views of the city as well as the bright white fort makes for a lovely sight-seeing visit.
Our next stop was Educulture Junkanoo Museum founded in 2000 by Arlene Nash Ferguson. Ferguson has been participating in Junkanoo parades since the age of four and has served on the National Junkanoo Committee for over 20 years. The Educulture Junkanoo Museum is hosted out of Ferguson’s childhood home. Our tour visit was guided by Arlene’s husband, Silbert! Junkanoo is a tradition started by slaves to celebrate the three day holiday they were given around Christmas.
Silbert was a joy! He is a Junkanoo costume maker and met Arlene when she commissioned lavish and heavy costumes from him. Her costumes are now on display in the museum. During our time at the Educulture Junkanoo Museum, we saw traditional junkanoo costumes like the ones the slaves would have made as well are Arlene and Silbert’s more contemporary and exquisite designs. Silbert also taught us now to make music like they do during Junkanoo! We went back to his costume workshop and used cowbells, drums and whistles to make an organized commotion of vibrant music. Honestly. It was pure fun.
When Silbert heard it was my birthday, he sang, let me lead the parade out of his workshop and even let me try on one of Arlene’s gorgeous costumes. At the end of our visit, he let everyone try on a Junkanoo headpiece. He sent us off with a warm smile and gave me a Bahamian brand of beer called a Kalik. The Kalik brand is named after the sound a cowbell makes during the Junkanoo parade *ka-lik, ka-lik*.
Our last stop of our travel was Fort Fincastle and Queen’s Staircase. Although we didn’t get the opportunity to explore Fort Fincastle more, Queen’s Staircase was amazing.The 102 step staircase took over 16 years to complete. It is really a stunning opportunity for photos and reflect on the history of Nassau.
This city is beautiful. It’s hard to depict the beautiful culture in just words and pictures. Every inch is covered with color and fun. My heart hurt a little to leave this vibrant and historic town behind. I love the attitude of the Bahamians, and I can say with full confidence, this was one of my favorite Ports of Call ever.
Our excursion was offered by Disney Cruise Line. To book this excursion on your next cruise, visit disneycruise.disney.go.com and search “Nassau Forts & Junkanoo Discovery (N30).