Band Leader and designer Brian Mac Farlane launched the costume collection for his Carnival 2009 presentation “Africa, Her People, Her Glory, Her Tears”, at the stroke of dawn yesterday morning against the forested backdrop of Edith Falls Trail in Chaguaramas.
It’s the story of one African woman named Manzandaba who set off on the back of a great bird and travelled across to the spirit world in search of stories to bring back to her children. The stories are about the ceremonies, traditions and family life from the age when First Man and First Woman walked the Earth. In return for those stories from the King and Queen of the Spirit People, they asked her for a picture of the future.
What she saw was a morbid glimpse of the disease and destruction yet to come and umillo (a fire) that devoured the people and the villages.
Her husband Zenzele creates a painting of an Africa rich with traditions and bleak future with a generation of lost children. The terrifying picture causes the King and Queen of the Spirit People to fall silent and become sombre. But they reward Manzandaba with a shell that whispers stories and a necklace of lion’s teeth to thank Zenzele.
The sections of “Africa, Her People, Her Glory, Her Tears” were revealed at a location that was kept secret until yesterday morning, where persons adorned in body paint, patterned clothing and headpieces made from dried palm leaves paraded with paintings of the costumes.
There are 19 sections to the band.
The costumes are created from natural materials that echo the African theme with masks, feather headdresses, leather, talismans, cotton tunics, woven and wrapped skirts and pants. The costumes move and flow with the masqueraders’ motions and balloon and come alive in the wind.