Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Divided by Death and Life

The wall at Lapeyrouse Cemetery in Port of Spain, Trinidad that separated the dead from the living. For two days straight, the constant pulsating rhythms from music trucks may have awoken many spirits from their peaceful rest.

This is Trinidad and Tobago on a Carnival Tuesday 2007, and the mood is quite a somber one. Masqueraders and spectators are wandering around in search of the Carnival Jumbie who can cast the dancing spirit unto them. People are walking rather than wailing, chipping rather than wining.

This year, many large bands offered an all inclusive which included amenities such as a Drinking Bar, Food stall and Toilet facilities. These were all mounted on a convoy of trucks, and carnival band members were protected in line by a security renegade holding an unending rope. And this was aimed to filtered out any stormers who may have disrupted the private street party in a public surrounding. Whether this took a huge bite from the profits being made by street vendors, all inclusive bands were clearly the winners.

Smaller Carnival Bands were less laxed, and steelbands seemed exhausted from playing or just tired by waiting in queue to cross the stage at some competition point located far and wide. This five minute video will give you a synopsis of the festival as it begins with the Traditional Fancy Sailors. You should note the particular dance which these old mas men still do. Larger bands such as Tribe seemed lost in their direction, and a smaller Sailor band with a steelbands were more inviting with their baby powder fights and their masqueraders dodging for cover.

There was the Desperadoes flagman who was accosted by a young woman for a brief wine, and a couple in Hearts that worked in the wine a little longer. There were the elaborate Fancy Indians, Blue Devils and dirty oily Imps. Big Mike had his followers of many female masqueraders, and a young man played himself to a Soca tune blaring off a Music truck. Finally,the Exodus steelband concluded the day's event. See last Lap clip 2006, the end of the Carnival event

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I can relate to most of your statements about carnival. Like your video clips. The observation about junior kings and queens not graduating to the senior category is so true. Guidance.


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