Once again another year of Carnival street parade activities have come to an end. Many people have been pleased with the results and many have been dissatisfied. The process of self definition and re – definition continues.
Looking critically at what has taken place, one can again see the fore runner forms being pushed aside for the current money making manifestations of ” Mas” . From the ” special events ” hosted to highlight ” Traditional Mas ” to the average Carnival event, there seems to be no longer any role for the Traditional Masquerader, whose role was and is therapeutic and healing to the soul of our Nation. Many old masqueraders were very much cognizant of their spiritual role, since most of them were given their masquerade and their role with their masquerade in the ” spirit ” . Many of these portrayals were communal / family oriented in nature. Many of these masqueraders required special rituals for preparation and portrayal. Many of them were accompanied by special chants and dances and envisaged scenarios of encounters with similar masquerades and the ritual response to the meeting of ” fellow masqueraders ” . Today all this seems to be receding to the background of the Carnival ” space “. Amplified, pre- recorded music is now the order of the day. Recklessness rather than responsibility manifests more frequently , and in many spaces, stagnation in preference to growth , innovation and development is the order.
In the light of all of these challenges , the editors of this site wish to salute and acknowledge conservers of our masquerade Tradition especially , Agba Narrie Apro, Darlington. “Boysie ” Henry and Patrick ” OGUNMUYIWA ” Anderson .
Over the past few years members of the orisa community have been returning to many ” mas ” centres and injecting their energies into these once sacred centers and spaces. We pray that this progress will continue to grow and that more elucidation of the spirit and role of masquerade in Trinidad & Tobago’s ” mas ” will be more forthcoming and positively highlighted.