Traditional Mas Characters - Moko Jumbie
The Moko Jumbie derives its name from West African tradition. The "Moko" is an Orisha (God) of Retribution. The term "Jumbie" — "ghost" — was added post-slavery. The Moko Jumbie was regarded as a protector whose towering height made it easier to see evil before ordinary men.
As a masquerade, these characters make long strides balanced on stilts that can be from 10 to 15 feet in height. In the past, the Moko Jumbie was sometimes accompanied by a dwarf in similar costume but without stilts, to accentuate Moko's height. He danced all day through the streets, collecting money on a plate from the people crowded on the second-floor windows and balconies. Often the stilts are painted in stripes or decorated with coloured fabric. The Moko Jumbie is usually dressed in brightly coloured costume that consists of long pants or skirts and a simple shirt. The Moko Jumbie may also wear a hat.
Today's moko jumbies — often children and teenagers, taught to balance on the stilts from an early age — may not be aware of all these cultural resonances, and the traditional costume is often simplified. But, defying fears of heights, overhanging electricity cables, and an absence of insurance coverage, moko jumbies in their hundreds, if not thousands, at carnivals all over the world, continue to walk tall.
-National Carnival Commission of Trinidad and Tobago
-© MEP Publishers | Creatures of the mas | Caribbean Beat Magazine https://www.caribbean-beat.com/issue-71/creatures-mas#ixzz6kN6GIyci
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Traditional Mas Characters
Carnival is one of the most unifying events and creative extravaganzas. It is an expression of culture that encapsulates music, dance, colorful costumes, pageantry, and performance in a highly spirited festival of energy for many countries. The Traditional Mas Characters became overshadowed by more modern, 'bikini and bead' costumes throughout the years. Fortunately, many people still love to play classic characters (mas) on the streets during carnival, preserving traditions and heritage.
Collection conceptualized by Trini Jungle Juice and art Made in Paris by Trinbagonian artist Neishel.