Band of the Jaw-Bone John-Canoe
This lithograph shows three men playing instruments with a small child in front. Belisario described "one man playing a conventional Western drum, a Bass drum while another plays the Gumbay (also called a Box or Bench drum); the latter is a small square wooden frame over which a goat's skin is tightly strained and is supported by a tattered urchin. A rasp is played by the man on the left; it is simply the lower jaw of a horse, on the teeth of which a piece of wood is passed quickly up and down, occasioning a rattling noise." Isaac Mendes Belisario (1795–1849) was a Jamaican artist of Jewish descent and active in Kingston Jamaica around British emancipation in 1833. The image shown here, as well as others of “John-Canoes,” was drawn from life by Belisario in 1836. This lithograph is one of twelve originally published in three parts, four plates at a time. See also image Belisario05.
Isaac Mendes Belisario, Sketches of character, in illustration of the habits, occupation, and costume of the Negro population, in the island of Jamaica: drawn after nature, and in lithography (Kingston, Jamaica: Published by the artist, 1837-1838).
Belisario, Isaac Mendes
Image is in the public domain. Metadata is available under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International.
"Band of the Jaw-Bone John-Canoe", Slavery Images: A Visual Record of the African Slave Trade and Slave Life in the Early African Diaspora, accessed February 27, 2020, http://www.slaveryimages.org/s/slaveryimages/item/2318