The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #77798   Message #1391830
Posted By: Azizi
28-Jan-05 - 07:43 PM
Thread Name: What are jubal hounds?
Subject: RE: What are jubal hounds?
This probably has NOTHING at all to do with 'jubal hounds'

But, FYI:

There are many meanings for the word 'Juba' in Africa and among pre-20th century African Americans and other people of African descent in the 'New World'.

"Juba" is the capital of Bahr el Gebel State and headquarter of the Bahr el Jebel Province. It is the historic capital of Southern Sudan.

In the 17th, 18th century "Juba" also found as "Guiba" was considered to be a spiritual dance {Caribeans} that originated in West or Central Africa. The dance 'Juba' became a very popular secular dance among enslaved Africans in the Caribbean and in the US South.

The term "Pattin' Juba" refers to the practice of making percussive sounds by slapping your thigh & chest with your hands. {think doing the 'Hambone'} In some instances, the "Juba beater" was an actual drummer or might refer to the person pattin Juba. These terms probably came from the Juba dance.

I also recall reading that "Juba" was a name for an African king, but can't put my hands on that source material.

"Juba" was used in 17th & 18 century and then less often as a name for [usually] males of African descent in the Americas. The name "Cuba" was also used [think Cuba Gooding Senior & Junior}, though I understand that 'Cuba' started out as a female name. It's possible that the personal names 'Juba' and 'Cuba' [and the name of the Caribbean nation?] may have come from the Akan {Ghana, West Africa} female day name "Adwoa"' pronounced ah JEW-ah and meaning 'female born on Monday'. The male form of that name is "Kwadwo" {which was transformed in the South to the name "Quack"}.

Akan day names are personal name given for the force that rules the day a male or a female was born, similar to the concept of astrology sun signs.

This somewhat familiar African American social dance rhyme is an example of the use of "Juba" as a personal name:

Juba this and Juba that
Juba skinned {killed} a yella cat*
Juba up and Juba down
Juba all around the town.
Jump Juba!

* In his 1922 book, 'Negro Folk Rhymes' Professor Thomas W. Talley writes that "skinning' {or killing} the cat was a dance step...

Bessie Jones in the now classic book 'Step It Down' written with Bess Lomax Hawes on African American {Gullah} children's rhymes says that in the old days "Juba" was said to be an African ghost. Ms. Jones says that African Americans came to see "Juba'as a way of saying 'gibblets' {parts of the chicken's intestines}. While I don't doubt that this is what some folks believed, I don't think that is the real meaning of the word.

I consider it a fortunate coincidence that the African word 'Juba" sounded so much like the words 'jubilee' and 'jubilant". IMO, "Juba' took on the hopeful, upbeat coloring of those two words, though they have almost certainly have different origins.

Ms. Azizi