About Us

 

With years accumulated as section leaders and big band builders for some of the leading bands in Caribana, we've pooled the experiences gained to provide well designed and crafted costumes, that tell the story of our theme with beauty and grandeur.

The Canboulay Riots being the origins of carnival in Trinidad is where we draw the inspiration for the content of our costume designs, using elements of the old in portraying the new.

In recent times carnival has become the most significant day for the masquerade. The re-enactment of the Canboulay Procession in the "foreday morning" recalls when the slaves were roused by the planter to douse the fires in the cane fields to save the crops. Hence, Cannes Burlees or burning of canes.

Canboulay is important because it grounds us in the history of the masquerade which our ancestors used as an opportunity for self expression in song, dance, creative mas making, and street theatre.

From this field, George Bailey, Harold Saldenah, and Peter Minshall, some of the greatest designers of mas , emerged, giving birth to such designs as the Bats, Clowns, the Dragon mas, the Molasses Devil and the Pierrot Grenade.

Along with the masquerade, the musical expression of the steel band, evolved directly out of the Canboulay.

The banning of the goat skinned drums by the authorities, led the freed Africans to turn to the Tamboo-Bamboo which is the beating of different lengths of bamboo on the ground, to create percussive sounds. Oil drums also gave the inventors the option of playing a melody. To lyrically tell their story of injustice perpetrated against them, the chantwell, leading the band in song was the forerunner of the Calypsonian.

Today, soca in some ways, has distanced itself from its roots. There are limitations placed on the great steel band invention to the margins of the festival, as electronic sounds, to take over the mas. Canboulay Carnival strives to strike a balance between the old and new.

To this day, Peter Minshall and other great mas-men continue to return to the Canboulay for inspiration. In our 2011 presentation, we will explore the Canboulay to re-create and re-interpret the origins of mas for this and future generations.

 


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