A Little of New Orleans in Tobago

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Mardi Gras Indians at the Carnival Educative Arts Festival 2010

The Carnival Educative Arts Festival has replaced the traditional Tobago Carnival Caravan for a second year and the Mardi Gras Indians, a character of the New Orleans Carnival, will be taking part this year.

A presentation of the Division of Community Development and Culture, the festival involves the creation of a space that encompasses all aspects of Carnival (the Carnival Village) where learning and re-enacting will take place. This year’s theme: “Celebrating the Carnivalesque: We Traditions, We Beauty, We Culture.”

According to Cultural Officer Glenda Rose Layne, the structure of the programme includes:

  • Theoretical components – exhibitions, research documents, historical data, multimedia presentations and exposure to research and resource material that are appropriate for participants at all levels
  • Practical components – interactive workshops
  • Lectures – discourse by specialists in the different aspects of the art form (movement, history, characters, creative use of materials)

This year the Madi Gras Indians of New Orleans adds an international flavour to the festival. The troupe will be displaying their costumes, conducting workshops on costume-making and sharing performances with our traditional local Carnival characters

Students and community groups alike will be participating in the festival and all the junior participants will also be a part of the Roxborough Carnival Festivities on Carnival Sunday and then in Scarborough on Carnival Monday. Included in the festival will be the calypso and steel pan.

Itinerary for this year’s festival:

  • January 24-25 – Erection of set at Scarborough Esplanade
  • Monday January 25 – Arrival of Mardi Gras Indians from New Orleans
  • Tuesday January 26 – Opening of exhibition and performance theatre at Scarborough Esplanade 
  • Wednesday January 27 – Exhibitions continue at various booths.
  • Thursday January 28 – Morning Period workshop: Mardi Gras Indians at Fairfield Complex
  • Friday January 29 – Opening of exhibition at Roxborough Secondary

All activities will take place either on the Scarborough Esplanade or at Roxborough Secondary School Compound. For further information contact Department of Culture, THA at (868) 639-4453/6897.

Below – Pictures of Wild Indians Characters at Carnival Caravan 2007


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Onika Henry

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