Hermitage Blog

Colours of Christmas

The Colours of Christmas come with Moko Jumbies walking on long sticks with big strides,  on 10-foot tall stilts, and covered in a patchwork of bright billowing fabrics bedazzled with small flashing mirrors woven into their fluttering garments. They dance to the music of the fife and home-made guitars, swinging their legs with such improbable balance that they appear almost careless. Their faces are masked and they look over the crowd, and down from their heights, with the painted grins of a grotesque.

There is a story that the Moko Jumbies walked across the sea and came to Caribbean to chase down the wicked. They were so tall they could see evil from afar and their giant strides could cross over any trouble. They came from Africa like redeeming spirits, splashing over the Atlantic ocean, coming from the horizon.

The sounds of Christmas come with the herald of the big drum, its resonance coming up over the hillside. And the string bands follow while masqueraders, wearing multi-patterned garments wrapped in skirts of ribbons and crowned with peacock feather headdresses dance along in quadrilles with wooden hatchets and whips. 

The colours of season come with a full house, holiday guests and visitors, all friends who’ve come to celebrate the end of the year and the start of another one, a new one, that begins with the Christmas winds blowing, scudding clouds, open skies and white horses racing across a lively sea. December flutters, like the costumes of the village performers that dance up the road, all set against the backdrop of clear blue skies and the rhythm of the Caribbean.