Joshua Bartholomew 2022
Shortknee masqueraders, dressed in colourful baggy shirts, knee-length pantaloons, mirrored tunics, head coverings and face masks, menacingly stomp through the streets, chanting catchy refrains and throwing powder into the air as they move to the rhythms of their “woolos” or foot-bracelets of tinkling bells. Dating to the mid-1900s, this traditional mas originated in the village of Chantimelle, St. Patrick, but is popular in the bordering rural parishes. All dressed in identical costumes to disguise their individual identity, they stomp through the streets at Carnival in their characteristic serpentine movements followed by a cloud of powder dust. Retire!
The Proud of my Heritage ICH fieldwork teams were able to interview, learn and document the Shortknee practice by visiting Captain Chantuelle/Hennessy Jeffrey (85 years old) & Hensley Jeffrey, Captain Andy Purcell “Lakay”, Lionel Alexander, Alister Thomas, Davis Richards; and Mask Makers David Lewis and Frank Bartholomew. Some threats perceived are the centralized structure and diluted practice in Grenada’s territory, lack of visibility and a stronger competitor as people feel more appealing the Djab-Djab practice which is performed during the same Carnival season in August.
Photo Credit: Proud of my Heritage - ICH Team/Zone No.2