According to Hollis “Chalkdust” Liverpool, PhD, the Pierrot Grenade is a form of mas that combines the French Pierrot and the Yoruba Egungun. From French Pierrot (before 1838), to Pays Roi (1838 – 1880s) and finally the Pierrot Grenade in the 1880s-1890s. The Pierrot, dressed in a long elaborate suit of satin strips with a head covering, often bells on the ends and a whip represented the King of Dahomey (or Country King in some instances). He inflicted a tongue lashing on adversaries and when two Pierrots met a fight would ensue with whips and an entourage armed with bottles and stones backing each one. Similar to the Midnight Robber, the Pierrot Grenade of today will strip your dignity with words not with lashes.

 

Pierrot at Canboulay 2010, Picadilly Greens, East Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, WI

Children portraying Pierrot Grenade, Downtown Children’s Carnival, 2009, Queens Park Savannah, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad

6 thoughts on “Le Pays-wo (Pierrot Grenade) (BdC 7/36)”

  1. What I had in mind is a bit different. I will try to find out what the ones I had in mind are called. Now I think about it, they were more like the ones who are from Tobago, rhyming and and “speechifying” and ending with ‘draw your sword Mr. Fiddler’

    Even though I knew some of what you are enlightening us with, it feels good to be reminded of it. Of course there is plenty to learn still.

    There is a midnight robber at the Horniman’s (not sure of the spelling) museum in London that could well do with some more information.

    You all are doing great.

  2. In the second link above, there is a description from the National Library (NALIS) that seems to describe something else that I have photos of. Those have short pants with bells and whips. What you’re describing here, with those words, reminds me of a famous Pierrot Grenade (he was featured in the Guardian newspaper) who’s name I can’t remember now. His outfit was like the ones pictured here. Will post alternative “Pierrot” photos soon.

    L

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