Carnival is much more than 2 days!
Annual Canboulay Riots re-enactment that takes place Carnival Friday morning in Port of Spain, Trinidad.
Photo by Maria Nunes
It’s carnival in Trinidad & Tobago and this month we’re celebrating our African heritage and its lasting impact on our food landscape and culture!
Carnival in Trinidad & Tobago is often mistakenly thought to include only the Parade of the Bands on the Monday and Tuesday before Ash Wednesday and the preceding fetes (calypso/soca parties).
During the weeks and months leading up to the street festival (often described in the past as “street theater”), numerous competitions and events take place which showcase the depth and breadth of the cultural expression that is Trinidad & Tobago Carnival.
The historic routes, unique artforms and enduring ancient rituals make Trinidad & Tobago’s Carnival like no other carnival on earth. Beyond the contemporary “bikini and beads” mas (costume) movement, our carnival has always been known most notably and historically as a deep cultural expression of a people coming to life in many different forms - steelpan, calypso and soca, stick fighting, the Moko Jumbie, Jab Molassie, Jab Jab, Pierrot Grenade, Midnight Robber, artisan costuming and more.
Historically, our mas (costume) band leaders were revered as artisans in their respective rights. And though today this type of artistry appears to have been eclipsed, it is still alive.
And this month we highlight and celebrate our carnival artform in its entirety and our African heritage and its lasting impact on our culture!
Malika & Jamila
All Photos by Maria Nunes. Music by the Late Great Mighty Shadow. Song: Stranger, Trinidad & Tobago Road March 2001.