Archive for the ‘Traditional Carnival characters’ Category

Indians of America

The beginning of  life

I had major issues over this work as if my representation avoided the greater meaning of the beginning of life, if so, I am strangely fascinated by man’s void in an universe so vast, untouched by man’s creation, no world such as this may exist….

Indians of the Amazon

In composing the traditional carnival character of the fancy Indian, I thought of the Indian native to the Americas and attempted at first to make a garment, then I made a moccasin shoe using a square piece of cloth. Overall, I felt as if I was mocking a culture. But as I thought of the Indian, I thought too of the continent and the migration of its peoples from the tip of south America across to Russia.

Look ah cascadura* In composing the traditional carnival character of the fancy Indian, I thought of the Indian native to the Americas

Then I thought, if this planet was a rock which separated to form land masses, the formation of the sea may have occurred when an ice comet collided and disintegrated the side of the planet where the Pacific ocean exists and struck where it is the deepest. In the catastrophic explosion, the moon may have been a fragment caught in the gravitational pull, and the craters left behind filled with the remains of the comet, ie, water. The water then became contaminated by the fusion ** of molten rock which made it salted. As the water boiled, the water evaporated and condensed over the plates, and the sun’s energy produced living plasma through the process of photosynthesis.

Mocking Bird

In the American Indian culture, ceremonies involve creating the movement of an eagle
An American Indian Chief

* Sulfur and sodium
** The cascadura is a fresh water catfish native to Trinidad

The Stilt Walker on a ladder

The Stilt Walker

In this study of the stilt walker or in Trinidad Old Mas, “The Moko Jumbie” I was concerned over my safety. Toppling over and falling for art would be a header. Yet the concept was to camouflage myself behind a bush as would an African Stilt-Walker to see and warn of foreboding danger.

On a ladder In preparation

The high lookout

The Jab Jab

The Diable Diable with a decorative mirror breast plate and foot bell tassels


The traditional carnival character Jab Jab or Diable Diable. The costume follows the traditions of the Medieval jester. The Jab Jab carries his whip and competes by the art of cracking it and combating a rival in physical whip fights.

Jab Jab cracking his whip

Imps – A nation of many

Imps and colorful devils

Winged imps

In the category of traditional carnival devils, this character is called an imps. The imps paints his body with black tar, white, red or more popular seen in blue paint. He carries a whistle, haunts  and berates spectators as he canvases for money by doing tricks, namely fire-throwers. The dance is a slow side to side hop accompanied by band instrumental performers who use Crix biscuit tins as the sounding drum.

The Bookman character is  similar although he carries a larger devil headpiece and a book listing the names of those carnival masqueraders whose deeds have earned them a free ticket ride to hell.

The Cow Band character – Traditional Carnival

The loose cow

The traditional character generally rampages through the crowd and acts like a bull, an imps keeps him at bay with a whistle and whip

The garment can be made from burlap or dry fig leaves, the latter should not be worn incase it is lit. Cases have been reported.

Fancy King’s last carnival step

The sailor with his fire stoker. Where dem udder King sailors, is war still in Iraq cause me ain’t see only is me like here

My bladder bust, me pelt behind wall and pee* river like Caroni and is only two Man Guinness ah drink cost meh meh whole month salary….

In traditional carnival, the Fancy king sailor wears an elaborate head-piece, a decorative symbol on the back of the shirt, and bell bottoms trousers. The uniform is copy of the American sailor based in Trinidad during the second world war. It is also the time the oil steel drums was invented into the musical instrument Trinidadian call the steel drum. An important aspect of the sailor is his arsenal of baby powder and his or her sailor dance.

* A common site during Trinidad carnival are men urinating on walls, and women over drains

Feinin – White bat

The traditional bat character

White bat off a wall

The first study outdoor

This is the traditional bat, in the study, I had hoped, if I was more flexible, that arching my back further may have worked along the lines of what I thinking of. I also wanted to hang upside down from a tree branch, but it risk falling and causing injury. Wrapping the cloth around my body also gave me beans.