From the Tryon Palace Website:
What is Jonkonnu?
Jonkonnu, (pronounced John Canoe) is an African American holiday celebration with roots that can be traced back to Jamaica and to the slave ships from West Africa. When Africans were captured and sold as slaves, they brought with them many of their religious, ceremonial, and festival traditions. Jonkonnu was one such Christmastide tradition that blended West African and English holiday traditions into a celebration in which revelers would dress in masks and multicolored clothing, and then form a parade that led them from house to house. During these festivities, the participants could set aside their daily toils and enjoy themselves with the celebration.