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Friday, 12 November 2010

Going wild for Indian mas

LEFT: Saia-Ann Sultan portrays a Sub Chief.
RIGHT: Cherrese De Abreau in the Grass Dancer costume.
 Photos: Innis Francis
Over the years, San Fernando bandleaders have made a name for themselves in Carnival with the presentation of native Indian bands. So it was no surprise when, around midnight last Saturday, models manoeuvred authentic costumes from Lionel Jagessar and Associates at the Space nightclub in La Romaine. Around the Tepee was the theme chosen to depict the legendary mythology of the North American Indians, from the inception of time to when they were discovered by Christopher Columbus.
The band’s C2K11 presentation consists of nine sections predominantly comprising costumes with coloured feathers, designed into beautiful spectrums. The costumes are expected to attract much attention during the revelry on the streets of San Fernando come Carnival next year. The venue was somewhat inadequate for the launch, considering the elaborate and lavish costume detail, including feathered boas and huge headpieces. The mas couple—Lionel and Rosemarie Kuru-Jagessar—have 32 years of experience in bringing mas to the streets of the southern city.
Rosemarie is the reigning National Queen of Carnival, the title she copped with her portrayal of the Sacred Water Bearer Waka-Nisha, and was the first person in the history of Carnival to parade an Indian mas and win the national title. “Everything about our presentation, from the designs to wire-bending to construction is my husband, Lionel. “God blessed him with the talent, and even the children have the talent. “They are all about keeping the culture alive,” she boasted. Some of the sections that were on display were Grass Dancers, Sub Chief, Ceremonial Dancers, Keeper of the Fire, Fox Hunter and Eagle Dancers.
“Our costumes are colourful. Carnival is colour and we need to keep the young people in San Fernando. “We had to keep our traditional theme but with a conventional outlook. “People were telling us, our costumes not naked enough, but how naked can you go with Indian costumes? “We tried and came up with these costumes, and I know it would be a big hit for Carnival,” Kuru-Jagessar said.
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