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Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Registration for Traditional Characters has begun...

Has anyone registered as yet for the Traditional Carnival Characters with TRIBE? Registration for costumes such as Fancy Indian, Bat and Jab Molassie (traditional) started yesterday and I was wondering who playing in the ole time mas? My husband was close to registering for Cow Mas but in the end he decided he wanted to be a Fancy Indian, but he is the only person I know who wanted to play a traditional character.

With all the talk about getting back to our roots and playing Ole Time Mas, do you really think people will be willing to merge the Ole Time Mas with the new all-inclusive concept of today' large bands and play in any of these costumes?

I hope we do get to see some traditional characters on the road, I really want to see the Fireman and Old Time Sailor leading their sections!

Recycling costumes..

No, I am not talking about bands borrowing a costume design from years past, changing the colour, adding a few more beads and throwing it back out there thinking our keen eyes won't notice that was so and so's headpiece from 2005! The thing is I have so many costumes from all the years I have been playing mas, neatly stored in boxes that will never see the light of day again that I think I should do something with them!

After spending all this money and obsessing over the right costume, in the end it just spends an eternity packed away in someones garage! So I was thinking of ways that I can bring those costumes back to life:


  • Monday wear! Why should we wear our costumes for only ONE year, who says that we cannot use our 2006 costume as Monday wear for 2007? Since lots of people only wear the bra and belt (which most people still have intact after Carnival Tuesday) I can fit right in. When people see me in a different costume on Monday to the one I will be wearing on Tuesday they will think I am two band/two section H.O.!!!!
  • Donate the costume to a friend who wants to "storm" the band on Tuesday. With a few alterations last year's costume can fit in perfectly for the next year's Carnival. Since all the bands seem to be using the same costume design over and over no one will even notice! Just add a different colour feather or change the beads on the bra and you good to go. Security will be non the wiser and you can jump up in the band all day, you might get a few funny looks from those who know you don't belong in the band (like me) but once you in a costume no one will really throw you out now will they!?
  • Strip the bra and make a bikini! I am sure we all have different types of bikini bottoms stuffing our underwear drawer after Carnival. I don't know about you but I don't wear those bikinis anywhere but the beach. If you have the time or just feeling bored one day, sit down and carefully remove all the sequins and beads from the bra. Since everything is hot glued on half of them should have fallen out by the end of Carnival Tuesday anyway so your job is THAT much easier. After you are done you have a matching bikini top for the underwear!
  • Decorate the house with your headpiece. Untop of the stereo at our mother's house is the usual place most headpieces end up. But why not take it a step further, frame the headpiece, hang it on your wall and call it "modern art". Wow all your friends with this unique piece of artwork that you brought back from the islands.
  • Wear it for Halloween. This only applies to those living in countries that celebrate Halloween if you live in Trinidad people will want to know if you gone mad wearing your Carnival costume in October! Slap on a boa and call yourself a Las Vegas Show Girl or add a piece of fabric to the front of the belt and you are a belly dancer! I mean those uses are what the costumes are sold for at Neckelmanns anyway, it's just that some mas designers got a brilliant idea that they can buy the costume from Neckelmann's and pass them off as Carnival costumes! Imagine Necklamnns now has a CARNIVAL SECTION, the following is from their website:
"We are proud to offer our new carnival collection. This collection is a result of many years of providing the costumes to many International and American carnival bands.
Our Carnival line is ONLY available in orders of 20 or more.
The Pictures below are of our ready design carnival 1 style. No plus sizes and no alterations except for color combinations are offer for this particular style."
Now we know why certain bands cannot offer plus sizes or alterations!

  • Use the costume for your kid's craft projects. I mean really, when your child needs to make art or greeting cards for school just look to your costume for materials. Sequins, beads and feathers are all there, why waste it? And on that note you know how kids always have to make a costume come Carnival time for school? Make your child the diva or dude of the class, channel your inner Mack and rework that costume into something divine for the little ones. Future Front line H.O.s in training!
  • Make a feather duster from your headpiece. I got this idea after I saw the costume Benin in Harts, I swear one of the headpieces looks just like a feather duster which got me to thinking all headpieces have feathers and therefore they can be used for dusting! Well not my headpiece since I have a hat next year, but I have enough old headpieces with feathers to make perfect dusters!
  • Wear the costume to international Carnivals. Seriously, wear your old costume and fall in a band for Miami, Labour Day or Caribana, get as much mileage from that costume as you can! And worse yet if you going to another island's Carnival like Cropover, people will think you area front line H.O. when yuh bruck out your Trinidad costume, because you know our costumes set the standard that others strive to be. Why pay money for a costume to jump up in a band for these Carnivals when you have a perfectly good costume lying home in a box?!
  • Christmas Tree decorations! Yes with so many beads, baubles and feathers on your costume you have enough supplies to decorate your Christmas tree Carnival style. Imagine the headpiece to the top and all manner of beads hanging from every branch, I like it too bad, I feel I doing this for sure come Christmas!

Well that's all the uses I can think of for now, but feel free to add creative ways to recycle your old costumes and I will add them to my list!
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