This mix of Afro-Bahamian music and dance began with the slaves who were given three days off at Christmas. This is when they performed Junkanoo.
Junkanoo went into decline after slavery was abolished and became all but extinct in areas of the caribbean where it once flourished. The Bahamas alone kept the memory alive and is now the only country to continue the tradition in an annual festival of national significance.
In the past they used Junkanoo as a way of letting off steam. Nowdays Junkanoo is an organized parade through the main streets of Nassau. The music has changed little since the early days with goatskin leather drums, cowbells and whistles, and improvised homemade instruments such as bike horns, wheel rims and conch shells.