Skip to main content

View Diary: Black Kos, Tuesday's Chile: Fat Tuesday celebration (134 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  Yay! Great as always (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Denise Oliver Velez, high uintas

    Now, if someone can tell me what "jock-a-mo fee-no ai na-ne" means, my day will be complete...

    The problem with going with your gut as opposed to your head is that the former is so often full of shit. - Randy Chestnut

    by lotusmaglite on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 04:56:55 PM PST

    •  There is a big debate about that question (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lotusmaglite, high uintas, a2nite

      Here's one set of theories:

      Jocomo is basically a name – and it's the only contestable part of what I'm writing because its origin is uncertain, even in Creole.

      I see from the long thread that many of you have different meanings for Jocomo.
      - Giacomo (from the Italian)
      - Junkamo
      - Jester or Jokester (Dr. John said this on the sleeve of one of his albums)
      - John Jolly (apparently a famous former Big Chief tribe leader)

      I find it hard to accept that Jackomo is 'Jester' despite Dr. John's huge reputation. The French, the Cajuns and the Creoles would all refer to a jester as a "fou", or as a "buffon" (buffoon in English) as the court of Louis IV did. Even the Joker in a deck of playing cards isn't called a 'Joker' but a 'fou'. If further proof be needed, not one of the Creole dictionaries or lexicons I refer to above cite the word Jockomo for 'jester'.

      I don't think it can be Junkamo either (just doesn't sound right), nor John Jolly - wasn't he a genuine Cherokee Indian who lived in Houston, not a Black Indian from New Orleans? In fact, I've read letters between John Jolly and Sam Houston in 1837, written when Houston was the beginnings of a township when John Jolly was seeking protection of Native American rights and traditions.

      I can see three possible alternatives. That Jocomo or Jackomo was a name is obvious, but it may have been a derived name.

      It may have been Jacques, to which 'mot' was added affectionately meaning "Small Jack", or "Dear Jack" or "Our dear little Jack" – much as Pierrot is used for Pierre, and Jeannot for Jean.

      Or it could be 'Birdman' – the 'Jaco' is Creole for a perroquet (parrot) and some of the Black Indian costumes are of men completely covered in feathers with a pseudo beak – le Jaco – easily turned into Jaccomo.

      Or it could have been a monkey suit, from Jaquot (a monkey) but this is less likely because Jacquot is Creole for monkey in other Creole speaking parts of the world rather than in Louisiana.

      Anyway, I hope we can all agree that Jocomo, whatever its origins, was a NAME.

      Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

      by Denise Oliver Velez on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 05:29:10 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thank you! (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        high uintas, Denise Oliver Velez

        I love that song, and the link is fantastic. I love learning about the origins of such things - songs, sayings, cultural memes, etc - that are so deeply ingrained in popular culture yet go unexamined.

        Ta-daa! You made my day :)

        The problem with going with your gut as opposed to your head is that the former is so often full of shit. - Randy Chestnut

        by lotusmaglite on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 05:40:35 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site