Ah ain’t go lie, this costume is cool. It has wings that move up and down and it seemed this was being manipulated by the masquerader with the use of a button. How clever. I’ve noticed a growing trend in huge costumes which upon site have the wow factor. But I wonder about what seems to me (IMHO) like a stagnation of “mas technology”. What is that you ask? Well, a crucial aspect of Trinidad carnival is that we wear mas. Although several non-Trinis refer to floats (which really comes from people in costume on top a flatbed truck – like the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade) what we have is mas which comes from masking, and the African tradition of wearing the mas, becoming the spirit embodied in the mas. How innovative are we as 21st century mas people if the technology has only gotten so good as welding more iron and making it move up and down.
Last weekend at Caribana I spotted the masquerader above pulling her costume forward foot by foot. She was tired and it was just too heavy at the end of the route to pull by wearing the harness, so she took it off and grabbed the straps and she was pulling it along bit by bit. I wondered how come no one from the band was helping – security, the customary handlers they have with bigger costumes. So I pitched in to help her out with a couple pulls. Boy was that sucker heavy! It was ridiculously heavy! And this is from someone who walks miles with 30-odd lbs on her back. I’m surprised, and I wonder why the challenge to make lighter costumes hasn’t been met yet.
I would like to see engineers, architects, physicists, and artists working together on how to improve bigger, better lighter mas to be carried by the masquerader rather than predominantly on wheels. Some Trinidadian mas men have been able to accomplish this with medium sized costumes (relative to these gigantic things) but maybe we can do more.
Okay enough of my rambling. Next time less talk more photos
And a footnote: I attempted a google search from my job today using the words “Caribana bands”. I wanted to see a list of the bands that registered. The site that comes up at the top of the searches seems to be the sensible choice: www.caribanatoronto.com/masbands. However, it was blocked because the site is listed as “lingere/bikini, entertainment. Ha! Go figure culture people. Dat is we culture: lingere/bikini, entertainment. Wow. Deep.