Baby John

In the Venezuelan town of Curiepe, the festival of San Juan brings flags, drumming, and processions

Photograph by Jose Carlos Gonzalez

In the small town of Curiepe, east of Caracas, the festival of San Juan, celebrated during the summer solstice in June, is a tangible reminder of the survival of Afro-Venezuelan heritage under slavery. The figure of St John as a little boy is paraded through the streets to the sounds of drumming and chanting, while Roman Catholics and Santarismo adherents alike wave red flags and handkerchiefs in his honour.