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Thursday, January 31, 2008

IP Mas Costume Collection Schedule

I believe the folks over at Island People Mas are gloating over the smooth costume collection process this year; good for them!

Hi everyone,

We would like to make sure you know that Island People Mas costume collection is currently in progress and will end this Saturday 2nd February at 5pm. All costumes not collected by that time will be forfeited and all monies will remain non-refundable. If you are a foreign masquerader arriving after this time, you must send an email to requesting that your costume be held for you until 6pm on Sunday 3rd, after which, costumes will no longer be distributed.

If you are not currently registered but have changed your mind and want to be a part of the fun, you may come to the Island People Mas distribution center in the Jean Pierre complex on Saturday 2nd February between 5pm - 7pm to check if there are costumes remaining.

TIPS FOR FAST COSTUME COLLECTION: As you have probably heard, costume collection has been running very smoothly this year. But here are some helpful tips to make your experience as enjoyable and fast as possible:

1. The busiest time of day is from 5-7pm. We are open from 11am so try to avoid these hours if possible.

2. Rush hour traffic starts from about 3:30pm. Collect your costume earlier in the day to avoid traffic on the roads.

3. Please have your friends/family wait for you in one of our lounge areas while you collect your costume.

4. The entrance to our distribution center is on the West side of the Jean Pierre Complex, next to the Stadium.

5. Please try on your costume when you reach home (not while in line) and if you are in need of adjustments, please visit our adjustment center at our Mas camp located at #11 Stone street from 12pm-6pm.

6. If you have any questions, please visit our Information desk as you enter.


1. Please provide a Valid ID (or copy of a friends valid ID for their costume) in order to collect your costume.
2. Please provide an official Island People Mas Receipt or email print out in order to collect your costume.
3. Final Payments on all costumes must be by CASH or Local Debit Card only.
4. Black Widow Spider - Special Instructions:
Black Widow Spider Costume Distribution will be held at 1A Maingot Drive , St. Lucien Rd , Diego Martin (next to KFC) between the hours of 10:30 am - to 5:00 pm from Monday 28th January to Friday 1st February.


The V.I.P Lounge - Jean Pierre Complex
Please use the main entrance of the National Stadium, and follow signs to your right for Secured Parking. If you have questions during the days of costume collection, please call 868.625.6121


We are open from 11:00am to 7:00pm Monday, 28th January - Saturday, 2nd February


Monday 28th January

* Cheetah
* Dragon Lizard
* Kingfisher Bird
* Lion and Lioness

Tuesday 29th January

* Cheetah
* Dragon Lizard
* Kingfisher Bird
* Lion and Lioness

Wednesday 30th January

* Great Egret
* Zebra
* Portuguese Man-O-War
* Red Tiger

Thursday 31st January

* Great Egret
* Zebra
* Portuguese Man-O-War
* Red Tiger

Friday 1st February

* Polar Bear and Brown Bear
* Crocodile
* Silver Fox
* Overseas

Saturday 2nd February

* Overseas
* Sale of uncollected costumes 5pm to 7pm

Costumes not collected before 5:00 pm on Saturday 2nd February will be sold and all monies forfeited. Uncollected costumes will go on sale from 5pm to 7pm on Saturday 2nd February.

Thank you, we look forward to seeing you next week.

Island People Mas

Afrobella's Interview with Sandra Hordatt

One of the blogs on my list of "must read" is Afrobella's; when I did the roll call you would remember I listed it there. My hair is all natural now, so I have a personal attachment to any and all information dealing with the subject of natural hair care. Afrobella interviewed Sandra Hordatt for tips on Carnival Makeup and very graciously wanted me to share this interview with you ladies getting ready for mas!

Here is an excerpt, for the full interview please visit Afrobella's Blog:

Afrobella – I think the biggest concern for Carnival is getting your makeup to stay on. You glue on all these face jewels and glitter and then you’re jumping and waving in the blazing hot sun for hours. How do you make your look last through the sweat and the heat?

Sandra – I say focus on your eyes. Obviously you’ll be sweating a lot, so your foundation will probably melt. Make sure you wear sun block, and just do a really dramatic eye and it should last all day. So your first layer should definitely be sun block, then use a good creame to powder foundation. Set that with a loose powder. Then go out with your compact for touch-ups, those oil absorbing sheets, and a nice lip gloss. Good to go.

Afrobella – Is there any one look you’re really loving for this Carnival season, or does your inspiration come strictly from the costume the person is wearing? What’s the hottest makeup trend in Trinidad these days?

Sandra – Each costume inspires a different look in terms of color and theme. But I know, me personally — for Carnival Monday and Tuesday, I love glitter on the eyes. MAC and NYX have some fantastic glitter liners that are really easy to use.

Afrobella – Do you do airbrush makeup? I realize that’s become increasingly popular in Trinidad, among women who want to cover scars and stretch marks. What are your thoughts on that?

Sandra –I do airbrush makeup… I think it’s excellent for covering up scars. But on older skin it can be very… turkey-like. With the airbrushing you have to pull the skin taut. I don’t know if you can visualize what I’m talking about. Half the time you’d be better off with a good cream to powder foundation and a sponge.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

One of these things looks somewhat like the other...

One of the ladies who collected her Isis B costume was quite unhappy with the headpiece, added to which is the fact that she was told no ear-rings came with the costume when the ear rings can be clearly seen on the website and in the closeup photographs I took at Cascadia where the costumes were displayed:

Headpiece as advertised:

Headpiece on collection:

Look carefully, the ear rings are on display:

The headpiece is definitely smaller, as an entire row of coque feathers was left out and the coque/rooster feathers to the top of the headpiece is much sparser than what is advertised on the website. Now, I have no problem paying for something when I know I am getting exactly what I paid for. But paying the high prices for these costumes and being shortchanged in the end is getting a bit tiresome.

When a masquerader makes a deposit on a costume come registration, they enter into a contract that they are paying for what is advertised. Seems like only "certain" sections are indeed getting the exact costume as advertised while others take creative license and change the design to suit without giving the masqueraders an option to accept or deny the changes.

Last year I was SHOCKED when I saw the section Majorette on the road and the large back pack that was displayed on the website was reduced to an infantile version. If I were in that section someone owed me a refund!!

From my observation it is the "special", "private" or "outside" sections that are guilty of this practice (I hear no complaints about Monique, Gail or Lana's sections) and I think TRIBE's management needs to step in and do some quality control. These private sections must be held accountable for giving the masquerader exactly what they advertise. I cannot even begin to express my displeasure over what I have seen of "Silver Mist" on Carnival Jumbie's blog, but will withhold further comment until I actually see what masqueraders in that section get in their box today. Several of my friends are in that section and I would hate for them to be disappointed with the final product.

So, shame on the designer of Isis B who has robbed masqueraders of a full, glorious headpiece AND the ear-rings they should have gotten as part of the package!


Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Island People Section Lineup

1. Black Widow Spider

2. Cheetah

3. King Fisher

4. Polar/ Brown Bear

5. Red Tiger

6. Silver Fox

7. Crocodile

8. Great Egret

9. Lion /Lioness

10. Zebra

11. Dragon Lizard

12. Man O War

Island People Costume Distribution.

Blogger ~cb~ went to Island People for costume collection yesterday and the following is her account of the process, which by several reports so far has been a smooth operation:

Okay, so after rushing the fellas I was going with, because they were taking FOREVER, we reach to the Jean Pierre Complex around 12:15. As soon as we walked in, we were approached by this young fella who showed us which way to go and offered me further help by explaining what was what. I followed the guys to the cashier as one of them had to pay a balance and saw two other people waiting there in line while three others were being served (there was a cash only station available, so maybe to move faster you might wanna walk with cash instead of LINX).

As I walked into the cashier's room, I bounced up a friend of a friend who was upset because she was told that Frontline Kingfisher would not be distributed until Wednesday. So, one time I start to breathe hard , but I could not help but notice that everyone was extremely apologetic when they realized that I had just heard the news that my costume was not ready. That's a massive improvement from last year, so I did not make any noise. I handed my refund form to one of the Island People employees and continued with the guys to their collection.

Anyways, I went to the next side and again, lots of smiles and offers to direct us.

Like I said, Fastrak was empty, so the guys were sent to the Fastrak side, and since I was standing with a folder in my hand more offers to provide me with assistance. I said that I would have been Fastrak, but was only just told that I wouldn't collect until Wednesday. "Didn't you get a call?? We made calls to everyone. Are you an overseas masquerader?" I was then told that overseas masqueraders were omitted from this mass calling. BUT, to IP's credit, the young lady said it was her fault because she had delegated the responsibility to someone else, and didn't follow up. She then assured me that she would be there to hand me my costume on Wednesday, and continued apologizing for the duration of the guys' collection.

Bmobile Booth

Shortly afterwards, the fellas were done, they signed their checklists and made their way to the "extras" stand and were about to leave me, when I told them that I was still waiting for my refund.

Checklist for Ladies

I went back to the Cashier's area and signed off that I'd collected my refund and all was good to go. Again, the smiles and apologies for my having to return. The entire process was really quick. I think my costume was the only one with a delay. I saw some Lions being collected. And, well the King Fisher males got the "okay" from the guys I was with. I left there within the half hour, but that's because I had to get the refund, but was moving back and forth between the Cashier's area and the Collection area. Even with having to pay a balance, for the guys it was no longer than 20 minutes total. I'm very impressed that IP made such a vast improvement. Cheers to them. Now, that was for lunch time. I guess the true test is when you try to collect at 5:00pm...

Male Gooody Bag

Contents Inside of the Bmobile Knapsack
Animal print satchel
Notepad/calendar/address book
Mouse pad
Bmobile Lanyard/Lariat
KY Warming Gel

Sample of female Goodies

Thanks to ~cb~ for her lovely photographs and great review!! I cannot wait to see photographs of the King Fisher Frontline cosutme!

Ronnie and Caro Costume Distribution

click for large view

Harts Costume Collection

The hubby went to collect his costume at Harts yesterday and I of course tagged along to survey the proceedings. Much to surprise we showed up at Harts mas camp and there were NO LINES!! There was a separate window for “fast track” (persons paid in full) and windows for the two sections being distributed that day.

The line up for collection

It took all of five minutes for him to pay via linx, collect his costume box and goody bags, then go around back to have an employee check that all the costume pieces were there. The only delay we had was the stop for free lucozade and pop corn that was being distributed. The whole vibe at the mas camp was uber casual, no stop points for signing off anything. And of course no booklet with lots of details, just a simple flyer telling masqueraders where to meet the band.

Complimentary Gatorade and Popcorn

Spoils from the mas camp

I have to say the goody bag left much to be desired, but I guess it is a great improvement over the years I played with Harts and all I ever got was a key chain and cup! The contents of the small plastic handle bag are as follows:

4 caplets of Panadol Multi Symptom
Mini Colgate Total Toothpaste
Holiday Cashew Nuts
Dixie Crackers
Raisin Nut Crisp Crackers
Exotica Trail Mix
Irish Spring Body Wash
1 pack of Andrews
*Orville Redenbacher’s Popcorn

(Not given in the Goody Bag but distributed at the free popcorn table)

Alas, no KY Warming Gel as was given in TRIBE’s and Island People's male Goody Bags!!! Keep in mind this is the masculine version of the bag, I will see what loot the females get on Friday.

"Goody Bag"

costume - Geronimo

Over all the hubby is pleased with his costume, except he says the headpiece is somewhat “flimsy”, not as sturdy as the one he had last year. So I am guessing we shall be in Samaroos looking for items to embellish it some more. The costume distribution process at Harts left me with a bit of nostalgia for the good old days when things were so simple; just show up at the mas camp, collect your costume and go, no procedures to follow. But I guess as with anything in life, things do change one day!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Pssst, all who playing in Silver Mist

You MUST read Carnival Jumbie's blog!!!!

click this link:

Silver Mist.... NOT!!!

Synopsis of TRIBE Costume Collection

I have to say, the costume collection process with TRIBE is serious business, it is so organized that it is unnerving at times. Upon approaching Cascadia two tents set up in the car park greet you and masqueraders are then advised to collect numbered chits according to their status; those still having to pay off a balance get yellow chits, fast track gets the grey chits. Fast track isn’t as fast as one would imagine, but still it beats having to sit among the masses under the tent before being called to the first station.

The first station is when you are seated inside the lounge/bar area of the Cascadia hotel, the same place where costumes are displayed.Masqueraders are called in groups of ten, and are seated before being called to station number two.

For fast track masqueraders station number two is a breeze. The TRIBE staff verifying receipts and identification move very quickly, so the line keeps moving at a brisk pace. After your pink slip is signed, it is off to a separate line to collect your costume. Those having to pay off a balance are sent to a different location, however.

Collecting your costume is meticulous; each piece of the costume is examined and checked off by a staff member, who also tells you where each item belongs on your body. Once you have agreed that everything is received as it should be you have to sign for having collected all parts of the costume. At this time if anything needs to be adjusted you can fill out a form requesting such.

After you collect your costume and goody bag, it is off to another station to collect your ID and Drinks/Food bands. At this stage things move very quickly, even as you are giving a brief instructional on what the bands are for, what days to wear them and that sort of thing. The member’s guide is also given to you at this point, and this contains all the vital information you need. Once again, you must sign for receiving your bands and then it is all over!

Depending on what time you arrive at Cascadia on your designated collection day, this entire process can take as little as ten minutes or as much as an hour! For all those collecting today, and this week, I hope your costume meets all your expectations! From what I have seen so far, the costumes are looking absolutely gorgeous!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Mystique Masqueraders ...New Pick Up Date

Seems like not all Mystique Masqueraders got the following email from TRIBE:

Dear Mystique Masquerader,

Please be advised that we have rescheduled your pick up date to:-

Saturday 2nd February
between 1.00 p.m. & 7.00 p.m.

(Mystique Masqueraders Only)

Please email if you need any further details, or contact our Hotlines at

353-7983 or 353-7978,

Monday – Friday 9:30am-9:30pm

See you then
This SUCKS for Mystique masqueraders, who were due to collect tomorrow; Carnival Saturday is the WORST day to collect (I have been there before!). Not to mention that date is crunch time for any costume adjustments or matching up accessories and the like. I know many PISSED Mystique masqueraders who are very upset at these new developments!

Hope it all goes smoothly when collection time comes around and a special collection point is designated for the Mystique masqueraders so that they will not have to "fight up" with the overseas masqueraders en masse!

Million Dollar Business of Mas

On November 21st I wrote about "The Myth of the Mas Millionaire" after this quote from bandleader Mike Antoine:

'I don’t know of any

bandleader who has

become a millionaire

out of it. We are all struggling like

anybody else.’

—Big Mike Antoine, Legacy bandleader/designer

At that time I scoffed at Big Mike's notion that bandleaders are "struggling", as a consumer I know quite well that the price of my costume is not tantamount to the cost of making it , nor do I believe that the sponsors do not contribute heavily to all the niceties that come as part of our "ultimate experience"; many mas men are indeed millionaires!

Today the Sunday Express explores the business of mas and the fact that some bands will gross in excess of 10 MILLION DOLLARS after Carnival 2008; the article is long, but a VERY interesting read:

Mama, dis is business!
In the 2008 edition of Trinidad Carnival, some of the popular mas bands will gross in excess of $10 million

Sunday, January 27th 2008

KLENWORTH JONES, a journalism student at COSTAATT, looks into the books of the men who make mas.

Carnival comes with a price tag that changes for the better or for the worse-depending on whether you are consumer or producer-every year.

In the 2008 edition of Trinidad Carnival, some of the popular mas bands will gross in excess of $10 million. It is a moot question how much of this is profit and whether or not the taxman knows the answer to this question. What, however, is not in dispute is that for some individuals, mas has become a multi-million-dollar enterprise. The average cost of a costume for a female masquerader is approximately $3,200 whereas for male masqueraders the figure is in the region of $2,600. When one considers that the top-end bands can have in excess of 3,500 members and, that apart from the proceeds from the sale of costumes, there are multiple streams of revenue flowing into the bands, the picture becomes clear. Profit maximisation, one sees, is the name of the mas game.

Some popular mas bands now offer complete packages for their members, which typically include meals and snacks, air-conditioned rest and relaxation buses, all the alcohol that you can drink along with your costume. On its website, one of them, Tribe, describes its focus as "providing the ultimate Carnival experience for masqueraders by producing a superior product."

A number of bands now use the medium of the Internet to advertise their costume designs and register masqueraders as well as to sell their concept of the mas experience. Here is a listing of what two of the popular bands, Tribe and Island People, offer in their all-inclusive packages.


- Fully-stocked premium bars with unlimited supplies of ice-cold alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks

- A variety of food (breakfast, lunch, snacks, dessert)

- Private security team

- Complimentary shuttle service to the band (for latecomers)

- Goody bag (Carnival essentials and souvenirs)

- Tribe 'cool-zones'

- On-site paramedic team & ambulance

- Mobile restrooms

- Roaming photographers and, of course,

- a costume!


- Breakfast on Tuesday, lunch, munchies, finger foods & cutters both days.

- Premium drinks and cocktails on custom-made bars strategically placed throughout the band.

- The security detail has been revamped and increased to provide a more comfortable environment for all masqueraders.

- LTB (Locate the band) Service

- Shuttle to the band-all day Monday and Tuesday.

- On Carnival Monday, the band will be departing from the Hasely Crawford Stadium at 10 a.m. and at 7 a.m. from Cipriani Boulevard on Carnival Tuesday.

- Sacha Headley and Food Express Ltd will be providing masqueraders with meals prepared so as to be tasty, lean and healthy.

- Unlimited drinks, unlimited fun, unlimited good times.

- Seven 40ft. trailer trucks powered by sound systems from the top DJ's in Trinidad and Tobago.

- Moving bathrooms with exceptional powder room service and amenities.

- Survivor packs / "goodie bag".

Other popular mas bands such as Trini Revellers, Legacy and even Rosalind Gabriel's children's band offer variations on the same theme, but nowhere does this new-dimension mas experience come cheap.

The real elements which factor into the production of a mas band will amaze you. What you see is definitely not what you get. No longer does the production of a Carnival band involve eager enthusiasts giving life to artistic expression in a make-shift shed in Woodbrook or East Port of Spain. It has developed into a very complex business enterprise. The management structure is complete with accounting; marketing and legal elements and the level of commercial sophistication required can rival or even surpass many traditional corporate entities.

It is useful to undertake here a more detailed examination of this developing phenomenon.

Management Structure

Traditionally, the mas band was controlled by a bandleader; names like George Bailey, Stephen Lee Heung, Peter Minshall and Raoul Garib come immediately to mind. Together with a group of designers, these men usually came up with a theme, conceptualised the mas, designed and constructed costumes and coordinated the activities of the mas camp until the wee hours of the morning in the pre-Carnival season. Today, the so-called "bandleader" is but a manager, a front man, a mere figurehead, the real driving force behind the band being the "band owner." The term is usually applied to a financier or group of financiers who hire a cadre of professionals to run the day-to-day affairs of the band. Let us hear what a member of the management committee of one of the big bands has to tell us.

The band, he says, is owned by a popular businessman, of Independence Square in Port of Spain. The band's management committee includes a bandleader, public relations officer and a team of designers. For this Carnival, the band will consist of 22 sections, down from 35 in 2007. The band itself will produce one section in 2008, the other 21 being franchised out to various section leaders who will each pay the owner a sum in the region of $70- $80,000 for the privilege. According to our source, in the final cost to masqueraders are included the cost of inputs such as security, music (live bands and deejays), raw materials for costumes and cost of design and labour, all of which are very high. Inevitably, the cost of "a costume" is adjusted to reflect these expenses.

Traditional-style band management is also very much alive but is seen mainly among the medium and small bands. Very much in the mould of his mentor Minshall, Brian McFarlane continues to be very heavily involved in the creation, design and management of the current holders of the Large Band of the Year title although a committee is charged with the logistics that precede the band's appearance on Carnival Monday. Among the successful traditionally organised bands, Trevor Wallace and Associates and The Kallicharrans from San Fernando are two of the names that stand out.

The reasons why traditional bandleaders hold on to the traditional Carnival arrangements are as varied as the people themselves. Those close to McFarlane say that the love of drama and the opportunity to tell a story through the medium of mas are what, in the main, drive him. This is not to say that there are no commercial considerations, but the mas product on Carnival days reflects the substance that the bandleader inputs.

Sources of income

Apart from the money generated by costume sales, there are multiple sources of income available to bands. A customer service representative for Island People Mas confirms that the band itself does not produce mas but that "independent contractors" pay a fee for the right to produce a section using the Island People brand. Usually, the general design is done by the band and the cost of inputs is borne by the franchisee but these arrangements are always negotiable. Written contracts spell out precisely the responsibilities of each party and detail a schedule for payments.

For Carnival 2008, the most expensive packages are from the band Tribe. Interestingly, the costumes were completely sold out in record time. The prices ranged from a low of $2,250 for a basic male costume to a high of $4,499 for a basic female costume. Add-on pieces such as wings or boys' shorts for women could increase the price by as much as $499 depending on the section.

For this Carnival , Island People Mas has a limit of 12 sections, each with a maximum of 300 members who will pay on average $3,200 for the experience. A quick calculation shows that in this year alone the organization will gross in excess of $10 million.

But masqueraders are not the only contributors to band income. The band owners also generate income from other sources. Both sources to whom the COSTAATT Star spoke concede that corporate sponsors contribute heavily to the major bands, in cash or kind. One of them explains that the management team of the band goes after companies to provide drinks, meals, music or cash in exchange for the display of their product or their name or both at band events or for exclusive association with the mas band.

On its website Island People Mas has listed its major sponsors in three categories, gold, silver and bronze. The lone Gold Sponsor is bmobile. Moneygram International Money Transfer stands alone as a Silver Sponsor while the Bronze Sponsors include Carib Brewery, makers of Stag beer; Angostura 1919 Premium Rum; Fernandes Black and Blue Waters. The list of major sponsors also includes some major corporate heavyweights, Telecommunications giants Cable and Wireless and Digicel, beverage distributors such as A.S.Bryden, Blue Waters, Coca Cola Ltdand S.M.Jaleel and Company Ltd.

Also featuring on the list are cloth stores Jimmy Aboud and Queensway. All these companies pay large sums to the band owner for the opportunity to be associated with the brand, not simply on the two Carnival days but also at all of their associated events.

Associated events represent a major source of income for the bands and more precisely, their owners. Over the years, the

associated events have become more sophisticated and their numbers have also increased. The packages offered and the way in which they are marketed reflect to a large extent the sophistication of the organisers.

The heavy input from sponsors and the huge patronage of these concept events have made them significant money spinners.The events can commence as early as July or August depending on the date of the next year's Carnival.

Private members only band launching, a public band launching and all-inclusive Carnival fetes are staged, with the brand featuring prominently. On its website Tribe Mas boasts that its 2007 ultra all-inclusive Carnival fete, Bliss, was the first large public event to use electronic tickets.

This new technology eliminates the scalpers, "stormers" and the producers of counterfeit tickets, ensuring that all or almost all of the profits are enjoyed by the producers of the event. The cost per ticket ranges between $300 and $700 and large contributions from major sponsors mean owners rake in sums in ranges that may surprise the taxman.

The multiple sources, of income that flow into the hands of popular mas bands have not entirely escaped the eye of the taxman. All the bands that are registered as business entities are required to pay corporate taxes. For those which gross in excess of $200,000 yearly, VAT registration is mandatory.

Bandleaders also pay full import duties and taxes on raw materials and imported pre-assembled costumes. In addition a public notice on the website of the Inland Revenue Division (IRD) strongly advises all bandleaders, music arrangers, disc jockeys, fetepromoters, calypso tent owners, landlords and caterers who intend to make in excess of $200,000 for the Carnival season to register with the Value Added Tax Division.

The Taxpayer Relations Department of the IRD outlines the procedure for accessing tax breaks for investments in cultural activities. The investor must be registered with and certified by the Culture Division of the Ministry of Community Development Culture And Gender Affairs. Approval of the investment is given and this approval of particular investments accompanies the tax return of the investor. The tax rebate is 150 per cent of the investment up to a maximum of $1 million.

The items that qualify for this tax relief are determined by the Culture Division. A call to this government agency revealed that cassettes, DVDs and music CDs from local artistes receive a concession on import taxes and duties. The tax rebates on investments in cultural activities are limited to investments in the performing arts. Officials at the IRD confirm that these claims are being made but were unable to quantify the number of people who access this facility on an annual basis.

The export of Trinidad Carnival is by no means a new phenomenon. Carnival a la T&T has long since been exported to several of the large metropolitan cities of the Diaspora and Trinidad-style Carnivals are now held in Kingston, Jamaica on the Easter weekend; in Bridgetown, Barbados; in Notting Hill, New York, Miami and Toronto. There the Trini experience is reproduced on some usually reduced scale and, not surprisingly, all the big names, Tribemas, Trini Revellers and Legacy, keep reappearing. One suspects that once expansion of the local Carnival peaks -current economic buoyancy suggests later rather than sooner-the large bands that have mastered the business of carnival will turn their full attention to the expansion of the export market for the mas.

In the meantime, however, mas making in Trinidad remains a very profitable enterprise for the new breed of Carnival entrepreneur. Amid the buoyancy of the current economic conjuncture, people with money are making more of it in ways and on a scale that the average man on the street would have never considered possible. I guess one could say, using an expression that was once very popular with the man in the street that the money men are making a small mas with the mas.


Saturday, January 26, 2008

Butterfly Bliss....

If I were playing in Butterfly Bliss I would have my face painted like this:


Get Your Free Bmobile SIM Cards .....

Blogger cb, who arrived in Trinidad yesterday, has left this tip for "the newbies":
Oh! for those flying in and wanting cell phones, bmobile is giving out free SIM cards at their booth in the airport (right as you walk out of Immigration--for the newbies).

Also, there are some inexpensive phones on sale, for those who just want something for their time here:
Nokia 1600 - TT$224/US$38
Nokia 2610 - TT$324/US$54
Samsung C165 - TT$324/$US54.

Put the Paws On you!

Here is an idea for those of you in Island People; you can use Paw Print stencils to create designs on your face, legs, stomach or even on your butt cheek!

Print the stencils out on Bristol board, then use a sharp exacto knife to cut out the stencil. You trace the edges and cut out the black parts. To make the designs smaller, you can reduce the size before printing. I have done this to create stencils for a birthday party where I was doing facepainting on the kids and the stencils held up well over multiple uses.

Use non toxic body paints or even glitter to fill in the stencil, or for the more creatively inclined use spirit gum and fill in the stencil with gems, jewels or crystals! Use the flat back gems that you would use as face jewels.


Alternately you can also buy temporary stick on paw print tattoos, which sell online or at costume and sports shops, the caveat in purchasing online is that some stores require a minimum purchase . You can find them in plain black, coloured, crystals, glittered and beaded. They even come in mini sizes that you can use to dress up your nails:

Friday, January 25, 2008

Mineral Make Up for Myths and Magic

Makeup artist Jamie Rampersad has customized specific shades of long lasting mineral eye makeup for each of TRIBE’s sections. Masqueraders can find her products displayed at TRIBE’s distribution centre in the Cascadia Hotel. You cannot miss the tent; it is the one that features beautifully made up faces for each section. There are three shades of eye shadows blended to match each costume, and each pot costs $40.00. The booth will be at Cascadia from January 23rd to February 1st, so you have a chance to get make up to match without having the guess work of wondering if a particular shade of eyeshadow will complement the costume.

To see more of Jamie’s work visit her Facebook group or her website.

PHOTO CREDIT: Jamie Rampersad of Joli Mineral Make up

Oodles of Goodies!!!

TRIBE's Goody Bag this year is a great improvement over last year's. First off the actual bag has been upgraded along with the goodies; this is what is included:

Water Bottle
Plantain Chips
Fruit and Nuts Snack
Orville Pop Corn
TRIBE Mouse pad
Senvia Magnet
Sharpie Marker/Key Chain
Mini Neutrogena Sun block
Digicel Lariat
Opi Nail polish
Perfit Sanitary Napkins
Soft and Dri Mini Deodorant
Crest Mouthwash
Herbal Essences Shampoo
Herbal Essences Conditioner
Revlon Cuticle Trimmer
*TRIBE Calendar
*Members Guide
25% Off Coupon for sneaker discount at Sports and Games
*Nestle Fitness Cereal
Glitter (came in costume box)

*items did not come in the Goody Bag but were distributed afterwards.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Harts Secret Section

So it is not only TRIBE that has a secret section, however this one is labeled as a "private" section by Karen Hart and it is called "Dance With Me". Apparently this section is reserved for Karen Harts' masqueraders every year and is not available for registration through the mas camp.

Did you choose the right section ?

For those who care where their section is placed in the band, last year I gave you "The Dummies Guide to Choosing the Right Section in TRIBE" my tips were :

1. Pay attention to the sections that are always placed closer to the rear of the band; from my observation the same designers have been bringing up the rear for the past three years. If you have the TRIBE booklet it lists each section and the designer of the costume. Learn those names!

2.The "Big 3" designers in TRIBE, Lana, Monique and Gail always have a section to the front of the band and one that ends up closer to the back. Case in point, Monique had three sections in 2007, Fancy Sailor #1, Dame Lorraine # 12 and Fireman #15. Gail's sections were Warrior Spirit #4 and Jamette #13. Lana's sections were Jab Molassie #5 and Dragon #6.

3. One of Monique's sections is always section #1. In 2005 it was Mojave, 2006 Nylon Pool and 2007 Fancy Sailor. So if you are playing in Lady of the Lake, Black Magic or Amalthea chances are your section will be first!

4. If your section is hugely popular and it is larger in numbers than other sections you will not be placed first. I have noticed that these sections are placed in the top 5 however.

5. Sections are not placed according to how quickly they sold out, Fireman was one of the first sections to go and sections that did not even sell out up until the close of registration were placed before Fireman.

6. If the President or some other notable celebrity, Dignitary or Official is playing in your section you will be in the top 5, if not section #1. In fact the section order might even be switched to accommodate these persons.

7. Peter Elias section will NEVER be in the back, somehow he is always in the top 10!

OK so lets see how good I was in predicting which sections would be in the top five and which would be last....

The big 3 designers, Lana, Monique and Gail are leading the first half of the band with Lady of the Lake, Black Magic, Butterfly Bliss and Mystique.... this year they are also bringing up the rear of the band with the last three sections. The designer of Luna, who has had a back seat position for the past three years has now moved up several notches and Silver Mist, Leasel Rovedas section took a leap to #8 !! I guess it was because that section was VERY popular.

As I predicted Black Magic, THE hot section for 2008 is in the top 5 . As it is possibly the biggest section in the band the top spot went to Monique's other section Lady of the Lake, in position number ONE.

The surprises for me are Peter Elias, demoted to number 14, I was wrong about him. And Goddess of the Chase, a first time section leader right up there in second position!! I am guessing some celebrity(local or otherwise) might be playing in that section, who knows.

I hope everyone is happy with their section placement, I know I am! If you are not, well, hopefully you are forewarned and forearmed for 2009 in guessing which sections will be where in the lineup!

Harts Distribution Schedule is UP!

Check the website for dates and times , the hubby is collecting first!

Soca Music For Download!

Here are some downloads for you guys getting ready to journey to Trinidad in a few days , it is sure to put you in the mood and bring you up to speed on all the hottest soca music for the season.

The first is a mix from Private Ryan:

Just letting you all know that a brand new soca 2008 mix made by Private Ryan of Detrimental is available for download at

This mix was made for all those who are going to be in Trinidad celebrating carnival, and for those who want to get familiar with all the new hits for 2008.

Please enjoy it at your convenience and feel free to leave any comments. Note that the mix is one long track that is almost 2 hours long as it has fit all the tracks currently in heavy rotation.

Look out for the entire Detrimental crew Jase, Dj Kevin, Private Ryan and Brenty on the road on the REd 96.7 truck in Tribe this year, and also look out for the best of carnival 2008 mix coming out after carnival mixed by yours truly Private Ryan.

And D'Bandit's POD CAST

Anyways it's time to get ready for Trini Carnival, safe trip to all those flying out over the next little while.

Remember to download mypodcast for the plane ride down at

The new mixes should be up by Friday Jan 25th. That's right the annual, no talking, ah just fooling around in meh basement, getting ready for the road, mixes...will be up most likely by Friday evening-ish :)


Wednesday, January 23, 2008

TRIBE Section Lineup!!!!!!

1. Lady of the Lake

2. Goddess of the Chase

3.Black Magic

4. Green Water Spirit

5.Butterfly Bliss

6. Mystique

7. Autumn Sprite

8. Silver Mist

9. Mystical India

10. Water Nymph

11. Isis

12 Sun Goddess

13. Luna

14. Myths of Babylonia

15. Titania

16. Amalthea

17. Pixie Dust

Pulse 8 Distribution Schedule

click to enlarge

Island People Distributuon Schedule

Island People has updated their website with the distribution dates and times.... but there is no VENUE listed as to where it will take place! ( but I hear is the Jean Pierre Complex)

click for large view

TRIBE Secret Section

I know many of you would have noticed TRIBE's distribution schedule listing a section called "Green Water Spirit". I have heard that section is for the sponsor Heineken, so I am guessing it has been reserved for their folks.

So, what are your feelings on this "secret section"? For me it does not bother me one way or the other as Harts used to have a Carib section when I played with them and as a masquerader you would only see the cosutme on Carnival Tuesday. That is of course if you were not part of the Carib posse lol. And I did notice Pall Mall, another TRIBE sponsor, had costumes for their "people" last year:

If I were a big sponsor and wanted to have a section specifically for my people and the band was cool with that why not? That is the trade off for having a Heineken Cool Zone truck and Heineken on the road instead of STAG!! Anyway for those who missed out on TRIBE because the band was sold out quickly, or those in another section who feel they should have all options for choice or even those not playing with the band what do you think about Green Water Spirit?

Are you in favour of private sponsor sections?
No, all sections should be open to the public
Yes, the sponsors should be allowed a section if they want
No, this is another form of exclusivity and discrimination
Yes, but only if I can register in it too!
I do not care either way as long as I have a cosutme.
Free polls from

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