This essay interrogates the jamette's influence in the movements of contemporary women masqueraders. The jamette is important since she tapped into the potential of corporeal expression once colonial authorities felt it unfit for women to sing the popular kalinda songs of the late nineteenth to early twentieth century. The essay examines the history of the term jamette and how it eventually encompassed the debased traits of a certain type of woman in mid-twentieth century Trinidad. I theoretically frames how jamettes, recognizing that their anatomies were considered debased by the elite, acknowledged how effective their socially sanctioned, “primitive” physicalities were in inciting insubordination. Despite being abhorred by society, the jamette's legendary deeds became influential to the performance of contemporary women masqueraders. Finally, I theorize her movements, which I termed jametteness, by employing the writings of feminist writer Toril Moi.
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Samantha A. Noel; De Jamette in We: Redefining Performance in Contemporary Trinidad Carnival. Small Axe 1 March 2010; 14 (1 (31)): 60–78. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/07990537-2009-044
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