Thursday, August 13, 2015

The Faces of Carnival

The final event for us this year at Grenada Carnival was Pretty Mas on Tuesday afternoon.  This is the formal 'competition' parade where all those traditional feathery and ultra colourful costumes come out to play.

We've been discussing our overall impressions of Grenada Carnival but to be fair the only other carnival we've attended was in Sint Maarten back in May.  I would say that I definitely preferred the more grungy aspect of the Grenada J'Ouvert - less frenzied and less organized than SXM.  However, the main parade in SXM was super-impressive and more enjoyable since the players were marching and showing off for the whole route rather than in Grenada where there are competition stops where all the charm is turned on, but the remainder of the route is a bit dead for them.  Finally, we did not participate in any event in SXM that compares to Monday Night Mas (other than J'Ouvert) but for the sheer fun of the event we would participate again.  We only had one incident where someone made us feel unwelcome and it was a fleeting moment, other than that we had no problem and enjoyed the friendliness of this island nation to the max.  We were well-prepared with nothing for pick-pockets or "tiefs' to help themselves to - money tucked in bra for me, cheap camera in hand and no bag or pocket contents available.  The best decision we made was to go to Port Louis Marina for the duration of Carnival which put us right on the doorstep of all the fun.  Add to that, so many boats came to the Marina that the social rounds continued with time in the pool, happy hour and impromptu get-togethers on the dock.

This time I decided to try to capture some of the faces of Carnival.

Young and old - all have a place the participate in carnival.

Before the parade begins, everyone makes their way to their appointed places.

Street vendors prepare their stalls and coolers for the onslaught.
The first few groups represented various popular tropical drinks.

Students and visitors to the island participate as well.

Bright sequins, feathers and fabric filled your gaze.

This guy took his role pretty seriously, as did many.

The top marching song this year has a line in it, "There's a jab on Sesame Street", which these kids gleefully marched to.

These were the only police to be seen, and they enjoyed the show as much as everyone else.

These three, from one of our neighbouring boats, stuck together like glue for the event.

As did these kids - standing as close together as possible.

This troupe from Guave stomped their ankle bells and shook talcum powder on the crowd - all in an effort to ward off evil spirits.

There is loads of tradition here that I don't understand, but these must definitely hark back to the masquerade tradition.

You can imagine the litter on the streets, but even the utility poles get in on the act.

The Comancheros Steel Pan Band and their mad players were super impressive.


Like a proud African princess this young lade has her 'stink-eye' look down perfect.

Are we bored yet?  What you can't see/hear are the massive speakers behind her thumping out the Soca.

Check out the feathers glued to her eye-lashes!