Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Praise for ‘Out of Africa’

By Gary Darmanie Wednesday, February 25 2009

Defending Large Band of the Year leader Brian Mac Farlane appears set to make it three victories in a row with his historical presentation Out Of Africa.

In stark contrast to the feathers, bikinis and bright colours of other popular large bands, Mac Farlane used more subtle tones of browns and reds, black and white with a dash of stronger hues in his costumes which provided spectators with a visual

 relief from the wining frenzy. They showed their appreciation at South Quay, Queen’s Park Savannah and other judging points in Port-of-Spain with loud applause for the portrayal which looked at the ancient tribes of Africa. 

His masquerade featured huge masks, painted faces, huge skirts and spears as he captured the spirit of the Zulus, Masai warriors and desert dwellers of North Africa. Sections included the “JuJu Priestess”, the “Elephant Masked Dancers” (with their personalised African dance to cross the stage), “the Corbeaux”, the “Marriage of the Rashida Bride and Groom” and the “Black and White Zulu”.                                                                

Mac Farlane however saved the best for last, as the final sections showcased large khaki-coloured costumes with black paintings displaying “Africa, her people, her glory, her tears.” The masqueraders in this section were only women. The faces painted on the costumes were those of orphans whose parents died from Aids, reflecting Mac Farlane’s message about the high rate of HIV/Aids in sub-Saharan Africa. These portraits were painted by children from the St Michael’s Home, the Cyril Ross Nursery and the St Jude’s Home for Girls.

Mac Farlane told Newsday at South Quay yesterday that his inspiration for the band came from God and from the fact that “we are living in an empty society and need values and discipline as a nation.” 

He added that Out of Africa was also perfectly timed since South Africa will host the football World Cup 2010 in South Africa and given that the United States now has its first African- American president, Barack Obama. The slowdown in the economy did not affect Mac Farlane as he was able to attract 1,200 masqueraders the largest his band has ever been. Mac Farlane won the Band of the Year title in 2007 and last year with the presentations’ “Earth” and “India” and expressed confidence that he can make three in a row this year.


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