Wednesday, April 08, 2009


THE WAY WE WERE: Carnival at Marine Square (now Independence Square) in 1919. Photo provided to Unmasked by Adrian Camps-Campins.

A well put together publication with pages of pertinent information for students, visitors and anyone else interested in the mas of Trinidad and Tobago is what you'll see as you flip through the pages of Unmasked.

The magazine, published by the National Carnival Bands Association (NCBA) was launched on April 3 at the Cascadia Hotel, Port of Spain. It explores the history and traditions of Carnival, more so mas, through photographs and articles written by members of the association as well as other people closely connected with the mas community.

From the magazine's cover, one is impressed by the Rainier Lange photo of reigning Queen of Carnival, Kadaffi Romney portraying "Manzandaba in Flight", which is an indicator of the quality contained inside. Past the greetings from NCBA president Owen Hinds and Culture Minister Marlene McDonald, there are plates with several photos tracing the evolution of mas provided by artist/postcard designer, Adrian Camps-Campins.

This debut issue contains an article on the history of Carnival as well as a piece exploring traditional mas complete with high quality photographs of characters such as the Midnight Robber, Sailors, Burrokeets, Dragon and more.

Other articles include a revisit of some of the most memorable kings and queens over the past decades as well as one on how Trinidad Carnival has influenced like festivals the world over and a look at the artistry of mas and how the dying art of wire bending has combined elements of structural engineering, architecture and sculpture to create the most fascinating costumes. There is also a series of interviews with key players in the mas arena including Stephen Lee Heung, Geraldo Vieira Senior, David Cameron and Rosalind Gabriel.

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