Saturday, January 19, 2008

Playing yuh self - Trinidad Carnival 1950's

The keepers of our past...

The still of the masquerader sitting on the back of a donkey during Trinidad and Tobago's carnival was filmed by an American visitor from 1956-7 according to Ray Funk. It shows the track to the Queen's Park Savannah's stage, and how masqueraders played their mas as they marched across the stage recorded with a 16mm home movie camera.

Recently, a discussion on the preservation of Trinidad carnival stressed that footage such as the sample may have been taken by members of the society who were wealthy enough to own recording devices, and there is the likelihood the spools of film may be tossed in some cardboard box gathering dust from the grandchildren of people who filmed the festival over fifty years ago. Thanks to Ray Funk, the archivist of Trinidad and Tobago's Steelband, Calypso and Carnival, he is preserving a collection by seeking out finds as with this footage.

The youtube is a commentary by Ray Funk, Allyson Hennessy and
Holly Betaudier on local television.

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