Archive for the ‘Carnival’ Category

The Pharaoh in Trinidad

carnival 1959

Ray Funk in an email writes,  Trinidad’s Ministry of Tourist put up on Youtube yesterday the pioneering film of Carnival for 1959, Carnival in Trinidad. The quality of the images isn¹t great but the film has a fantastic detailed look at Carnival 1959 with Children¹s Carnival, a dance concert, Dimache Gras, Jouvert, and carnival Monday and Tuesday.

It is split in three parts. I tried to go through it slowly and match it to
the various bands listed in the xerox I got from the National Archives of a
1959 Carnival booklet to create the index below.  Because of the ability to
start and stop and the time code on Youtube, I have tried to create the best
index I can. I am sure some of you will recognize folks you know, further ID
bands, etc. Please send me additions and corrections.
Government Information Services presents
Carnival in Trinidad
Produced by Wilfred A Lee & Co. Ltd.
Youtube presented in three parts
Part One 9:20 minutes
0:10 three paper mache masks of devil
0:20 designer (George Bailey?) looking through books, plains Indian designs
Mas Camps
0:37 designer (George Bailey?) putting Indian headpiece on
0:55 bull head
0:58 papoose
1:10 King Tut sarcophagus
1:20 Egypt mas construction sphinx
1:38 pan being heated, pounding on pan
1:53 robe for the goddess of the cult of the cobra
2:10 bleachers on the Savannah
2:23 lighting for the Savannah
2:37 steelband in background on the Savannah
2:30-4:20 Children¹s Carnival
3:27 Sioux Indians
4:08 Bookman
Dance Performance
4:20 french dance troupe from Guadaloupe
4:38 limbo dancer
5:26 folk dance troupe
5:38 Dimache Gras
Queen of the Carnival
6:20 Winner kissed by Minister of Education
7:00 Man-Goes
7:17 Pan on road at jouvert
7:30 Tokyo banner
7:55 pan
9:00 fancy clowns
9:05 sailors
9:19 pan
Part Two 8:08 minutes
008 robbers
009 Charlie Chaplin
0:24 Timber Jacks (K. McFarlane) or Lumber Jacks (Samuel Brown)
0:34 Govt Self Help Housing Schemes (Odfrell Rudder)
1:02 sailors
1:15 fancy sailors
1:28 outer space
1:40 memories of Guadacanal and Okinawa
1:50 CeeBees
2:20 Hordes of Atilla the Hun (Valmont Jones)
2:23 pan
2:36 Splendour of Byzantium (E. Lyons)
3:00 Indians
3:24 stokers
3:41 Fancy sailors
4:00 The Crees of Canada (Harold Saldenah)
4:24 pan band in Indian costume
4:36 Amazons (Lyle Achrill)
5:21 Rulers of Persia (Odgell Rudder)
5:40 Ali Baba (1001 Nights ­ Kelvin Rochard)
6:40 African mas
7:10 The Feast of Belshazzar (Ivan McWilliams)
Part Three 7:26 minutes
0:07 The Vanquished Slendour of Russia (Errol Payne)
0:28 Latin band
0:38 Conquistadores (Bobby Ammons)
1:00 brass band
1:02 The Crees of Canada (Harold Saldenah)
2:12 Relics of Egypt Menes-C (George Bailey)

Thank you Ray

Aubrey Beardsley at J’ouvert carnival 2009

Oh lawd, God give you dat


Copyright © 2009 Richard Bolai
A J’ouvert masquerader uses a classic Aubrey Vincent Beardsley illustration to take back the power of women whose likely parody are portrayed during carnival, Trinidad West Indies. Posing at Alice Yard, Port of Spain.

The artist Adele Todd decided this j’ouvert to bring out a costume with a different twist. And by all means it was a ghastly large erect prosthetic penis attached to her pelvis. The costume was designed so that her manhood could swing, poke, provoke and tease any passerby who contemplated its girth. The reaction to this Aubrey Beardsley the examination of the harald were a mix of exultation by women and awe by men who felt necessary to compare themselves to it. The experiment Todd said was the underlining ttaboo which both women and men feel about sex, and of their inner urge expressed openly on the street by treating it. the penis as a symbol of fertility, pleasure and ritual respect.

Read her personal reaction to the work on sexypink

Adele Todd on the streets of Port of Spain carnival Monday, Trinidad and inciting excitement from all members of the society

Women, women and security men – Carnival 2009


Copyright © 2009 Richard Bolai

Feathers, feather and high heels. women ruled the streets, Port of Spain, Trinidad

It didn’t matter where you walked sooner or later you bounced up a carnival band that made the streets impassable. Carnival bands were divided by many sections and populated by women of all creeds, heights and sizes. The harem were protected by a sea of security with some men imitating a SWATT tactic team.

Masqueraders please do not hang on to the truck

Carnival 2009 left you wondering what was the point, and an event that was forgetful to what you had witness on a rather light cool and drizzly Tuesday. Female masqueraders although took their time to look their best and one went a little further to catch the spotlight. The pair of stiletto heels she said were kept on for the duration of the day and then they were taken off once in a while to alleviate the pressure on her feet. All for vanity, all for looking good. No matter the disparity in gender, women ruled the streets and their bodies by shaking off any juvenile boy who tried to steal a wine.


Waiting patiently in queue members of Harts line up to use the portable toilets which moved along with the band, Along Mucurapo road, Trinidad. West Indies,

Harts had its share of revelry as displayed by this Hart-o-lite. She eagerly wanted to show that she knew it all, and that raising her arm you needed a flag along with a bit more vigor in music. But then, an imperfection in the road nearly tripped her. One wonders if she was trying too hard or were her bandy legs the cause of it- Bless her blue poom poom (hart).


A quiet sailor band member chipping towards Tragarete road, Port of Spain, Carnival 2009


Chipping: A type of march that resembles trotting in snow.

A storm quite tame – J’ouvert 2009

J’ouvert masqueraders at 3canal band and a masquerader who showed her manhood under her gown to the delight of many women and a few brave men who touched it

3canal’s J’ouvert began quietly and built up to a tame and orderly dawn revelry mixed with paint and mud. No one left unscathed as a light war of colour factions pelted globs of paint into the air. Some masqueraders ran for cover and others surrendered peacefully tempered by a rhythm section and an army of willing drones who inseminate sweat on sweat by an all out ritual wine.


Copyright © 2009 Richard Bolai

3canal’s J’overt procession tapering early Monday morning, Port of Spain, Trinidad

The calm before the storm


Copyright © 2009 Richard Bolai

A large trailer soon to be converted as a bar or food court to cater one of the many carnival bands, Port of Spain, Trinidad

On the streets of Port of Spain, many street vendors were putting up their tents and arranging a variety of drinks, food menus and snacks for public display as inviting as possible. Some had slept together with their possessions including pots of Pilau protected by a tarpaulin and by the carnival, try to make as much money gods. In other spots such as a body paint outlet, airbrush artists were preparing to casts masqueraders with their inner fantasies as motifs of animals, tonal beauties or street nudes to again push their illusions of themselves in public . Nevertheless, this is the calm before the storm and by tomorrow, clean white walls would have shared the human spirit in mud, paint, oil and temptation. The daybreak bacchanal called J’ouvert.

Desperadoes at low land


A pan tuner at the centre of the frame

If you travel around the Queen’s Park Savannah, you’ll notice that Desperadoes has taken up location on an car lot at one of the off swings in Belmont. The reasing behind this move is to provide a safer environment for visitors, international pan players and supporters of the Desperadoes steel orchestra.

Desperadoes’ home base is situated at the crest of Laventille hill. It has a spectacular view of Trinidad’s lowlands. Unfortunately the influx of criminal activity has spread closer the the pan yard and these measures are to cub and deflect any incidents during the carnival season. Nevertheless, true supporters of Desperadoes steelband will follow them no matter were they go,  be it high or low level.

Red Cross Children’s Carnival whining


Not to pleased to be photographed, a young masquerader brushes off the spotlight, Trinidad Children’s Carnival

At the Queen’s Park Savannah, the Red Cross children Carnival began promptly in the blazing Caribbean heat. This is turn sent the whining bug to attack the little masqueraders who fell victim to it. Children as young as four years old worked their lower bodies too low and too provocative in comparison to such dance moves many years back. One very young masquerader attempted to do what she saw others doing. A bit rough and jerky with her wine, but next year, who knows, her waist may rotate like a all greased up ball bearing.

Yet, in the atmospheric carnival bliss, the little masqueraders edged themselves onto the Queen’s Park Savannah stage and kicked in the symptoms of the wining virus to the delight of the audience. Dem sure is Carnival babies *

Little girls, follow the Wajang – Red Cross Children’s Carnival, Port of Spain, Trinidad

Carnival Baby : Any child conceived during Carnival, mostly on Monday then on Tuesday to be doubly sure