John Canoe Dancers, Jamaica, 1837

The “Red Set-Girls, and Jack in the Green,” are led by their “Queen” and wear dresses of the same colour. Their jewellery is not as elaborate as the Queen’s, but they always wear earrings and bracelets, “such lovers are they of ornaments.” The Jack-in-the-Green” wears a costume “composed of the leaves of the cocoa-nut tree, attached to hoops, diminishing in circumference to the top, which is crowned by a large bow with the addition of a couple of flags.” The image shown here, as well as others of “John-Canoes,” was drawn from life by Belisario in 1836.

John Canoe (Jonkonnu, JonKanoo) Dancers, Jamaica, 1837; Image Reference Belisario02, as shown on, sponsored by the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities and the University of Virginia Library.