Many of North Carolina’s enslaved communities participated in a Christmas season celebration called Jonkonnu (Johnkannaus, John Coonah, John Canoe). Outside of North Carolina, Jonkonnu was primarily seen in the Caribbean. Though Jonkonnu celebrations varied from place to place, they usually involved dancing, music, singing, and men dressing up in costumes of rags, animal skins, masks, and horns. Jonkonnu provided brief respite from the difficulties of enslaved life, as well as temporary relaxation of the strict slaveholder-slave relationship. (UNC School of Education, “Jonkonnu in North Carolina”)
UNC School of Education. “Jonkonnu in North Carolina.” Learn NC: North Carolina Digital History. http://www.learnnc.org/lp/editions/nchist-antebellum/5456 (Accessed November 20, 2012).
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Jonkonnu, Civil War Era NC, accessed October 2, 2022, https://cwnc.omeka.chass.ncsu.edu/items/show/647.