Hello Carnival Enthusiasts!

About Town with Mas Legends

I’ve been wanting to talk about wire bending for ages, but I hadn’t found the appropriate material. Two weeks ago I had the serendipitous gift of a meeting with an elder who made that a reality. I talked recently with Mr. Narcenio “Señor” Gomez at his home in Port-of-Spain. Señor Gomez is 81-years-old and he began learning the art of wire bending at age 10. Wire bending is one of the basic foundations of modern mas that transformed ideas and inspirations from mere images in one’s mind into carnival costumes on the road. Tomorrow I’ll give you some of Mr. Gomez’ steps on how it was done in the past and what they do now, but I just wanted to share a tiny bit about this great, dear gentleman.

About Town with Mas Legends

Mr. Gomez, as I said, has been involved in wire bending since he was a boy in Port-of-Spain. His parents were Venezuelan immigrants to Trinidad, hence his name. He and his wife have been married for the past 57 years and he has tons of children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. I’d like to be like these greats when I grow up because these folks are still active, busy and have an enthusiasm for life. Mrs. Gomez used to play individual mas as well, and she continues to play mas, but in smaller, sailor costumes. Mr. Gomez has built the frames for all sorts of costumes, designed and made mas for his and other bands, taught courses on wire bending in Trinidad & Tobago, the United States and in other parts of the Caribbean. He showed me photographs for costumes that competed in Barbados, the UK and the US that he had made.

About Town with Mas Legends

The walls of their apartment are lined with photographs, including a great one of Mrs. Gomez in a large Zulu costume and countless trophies, honors and awards for Mr. Gomez’ work. Here’s one fact I’m almost certain you wouldn’t know. Multiple King of Carnival title holder, Curtis Eustace’s costume last year D Midnight Messenger – the largest costume ever to compete in the King of Carnival competition – the eagle was crafted by Señor Gomez. So don’t sleep on the art form of wire bending folks. Despite all the modern mas technology, the fireworks, the fiberglass, the silk screen bending, the work of a craftsman like Mr. Gomez is still very relevant and needed.

Dimanche Gras 2012 Dimanche Gras 2012 Dimanche Gras 2012

The last thing Mr. Gomez said to me when we parted the other day was, “I want my legacy to be remembered.” And you know what folks, it will be, you mark my words.

Enjoy

L

About Town with Mas Legends

11 thoughts on “BdC 8/42 Señor Gomez – Wire Bending Legend of Trinidad & Tobago”

  1. God truly bless people like this with longevity to continue to contribute to the art form we call MAS. Truly beautiful. God bless he and his wife. SImply wonderful.

  2. What a masterpiece, produced by a great master of the art, and really these things should not be taken for granted. His legacy will live on. And thanks for bringing it to us.

  3. Great article, I wonder if anything is being done, officially that is, to document the work of master artisans, such Sr Gomez? A national treasure without a doubt!

  4. I love this article I my myself am a young wire bending from Barbados, I have never been to Trinidad but have work with Trinidadians coming to work for Barbados Crop-over and I have learn from them, I believe I am very good but still have lots more to learn the costumes in Barbados are not as big as those in Trinidad, I would love someday to meet some these great costume designers and learn a thing or two from them, I am 31 years old and have been working in the costumes and wire bending for over 10 years that’s peanuts compare to Sr Gomez, but I want to go and and continue to do costumes and get some international recognition as Barbadian wire bender and be as great as Sr Gomez.

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