Members of St.JanCo, “the St. John Heritage Collective,” has invited the public to join them for holiday masquerading at 7 p.m. Sunday. The group will meet in front of Mongoose Junction in Cruz Bay before commencing a route that will take masqueraders through Cruz Bay.
Masquerading is a spiritual, political, and cultural art form practiced in the U.S. Virgin Islands (formerly the Danish West Indies) for hundreds of years. It is a Creole tradition that blends African, Indigenous, and European practices and mythos in the Caribbean context.
Those taking part can sing, dance, and parade through the streets donning homemade masks and costumes. Throughout the Caribbean region, masks are traditionally made from a variety of materials including wood, wire mesh, papier mache, cloth, vegetable materials, shells, or animal skins. Those who are short on time and materials can stop by the Bajo el Sol Gallery in Mongoose Junction for a plastic face mask form to decorate at home with paint and other supplies.
Marlon Pickering will lead the serenading. For this mas, participants will perform holiday classics, including local favorites such as “Mama, Bake the Johnnycake Christmas Comin” and King Obstinate’s “How will Santa get Here.” A full playlist is available on St.JanCo’s Facebook page and everyone who wants to take part listen and get familiar with the music and find a bit of Caribbean holiday cheer.
More information is available by sending email to firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 340-474-9570.