One of the best ways to experience Turks and Caicos culture is to attend the 4th annual Maskanoo in Grace Bay on December 26th.
The Turks and Caicos Maskanoo is a lively evening event that is free to attend. It includes a parade from Salt Mills Plaza to Regent Village, dancing, live stage performances, cultural and art items for sale, and local food vendors. Expect to see brightly coloured costumes and lively dancing. It’s a loud event, so if you are sensitive to noise, bring some ear plugs!
Maskanoo is in part influenced by a masquerade tradition that blends African culture with the costumed balls that were held in the slavery era by the Bermuda salt rakers who worked in the salt ponds on the islands of Grand Turk, Salt Cay and South Caicos.
The Turks and Caicos Maskanoo also pays homage to Junkanoo, which is a cultural event celebrated every Boxing Day (December 26) in many towns in the Bahamas and includes street parades and music.
The Bahamian influence on Maskanoo is due in large part to the historic ties between the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands. In addition to close geographic proximity and a tradition of trade and cultural exchanges between the two countries, the Turks and Caicos were first annexed by Britain in 1799 as part of the Bahamas, and remained part of the Bahamas until 1848. In more recent years, the Governor of the Bahamas was also the Governor of the Turks and Caicos from 1965 to 1973.
Maskanoo is one of the holiday season’s highlights on Providenciales, so plan to attend and enjoy a fabulous cultural event.