Traditional Carnival Characters: from Past to Present
Carnival today seems to be dominated by the 'Bikini and Beads' mas, but what of the traditional mas of yesteryear? Each year during events such as Traditional Mas competitions and J'Overt celebrations, we see examples of traditional characters parading the streets of Port-of-Spain. However, much of what is described today as Traditional Mas can best be described as modernized versions of the original. But how did the Dame Lorraine, The Midnight Robber and other characters come into being? What is the History behind these characters?
During the Carnival season there are frequent visits by people from all walks of life to the Carnival Institute, asking for just such information. It was in response to these many queries that the idea of writing a book on Traditional Mas was born. We are currently in the process of photographing Traditional Mas, conducting interviews with past and present practitioners of traditional mas as well as consulting other sources to learn more about this fascinating part of our heritage. This book, Traditional Carnival Characters: from Past to Present aims to look at these and other topics pertaining to Traditional Mas:
- The connection between the Neolithic Revolution and the tradition of masking.
- What is masking and what purpose does it serve?
- A look at the history of traditional mas.
- The history behind some Traditional Carnival Characters
- Traditional characters then and now
The book will also come with a DVD.