The Bookman literally – Viey La Cou

The Hand of (The Bookman) thebookmann’s name is absent from the list to enter the gates of bacchanal


An illustration of Bookman or Gownman from the Heritage Library of Trinidad and Tobago

The Bookman or Gownman is a feature of devil mas portrayals. The costume consists of Tudor-style pants, or embroidered gown made of velvet and satin, with a pleated or fluted bodice and a cape festooned with a biblical scene.


Detail of the cape

The bookman carries a pen and a large book where he writes the names of prospective souls for the devil. The bookman is the principal character in the devil band characters, the others are the imps and beasts. Known as the Ruler, he performs in dance by a waltz-like movement with intermit bowing. The musical accompaniment may be a orchestra of trumpet, saxophones, bass or drums playing conventional tunes.


The headpiece is an oversized mask with mounted horns and the mask that mirrors the face of (Lucifer) himself

The series of these photographs are characters from traditional Carnival in Trinidad and Tobago. Sadly it is a vanishing Art. (Elements of the text from the Heritage Library of Trinidad and Tobago)

The Bookman out of newsprint called “Rights of Passage” Alex Kahn and Sophia Michahelles Artists in residence, CCA7 See the complete project

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