Sunday, February 14, 2016

Carnival 2016 - Trinidad Style - The Terminology

Pic by Kurt

Brief history of Trinidad and Tobago Carnival here 

Mas – Masquerade, Carnival parade.

Mas camp - A Mas camp is a camp set up for masquerade costume designers, costume assemblers, carnival costume order takers to get together a month or two before a major carnival mardi gras event.
Carnival participants can visit the mas camp for complete information on carnival masquerade bands, view costumes in each section of a masquerade band, be fitted for a costume before purchase and other related activities that occur during a carnival.

Play Mas – To dress in Carnival costume, dance and parade in the streets.  "I play with Hart band."
Pic by Kurt

Band A group of Carnival masqueraders with costumes designed on a related theme. A band can have 4,000-7,000 people divided into 25 or more sections, each with it’s own theme and several music trucks. Each band has a huge King and Queen costume. Carnival Tuesday will see about 20 large bands go across the Savannah stage and parade in the streets in competition.

Ole mas- Ole mas is the abbreviation for ‘Old Masquerade’. It refers either to the ‘mud mas’ on J’ouvert morning, or the witty street satire of lampooning popular personalities or issues through placards and odd costumes.

Joo-vay-(Jouvay, Jour Ouvert, J’Ouvert) “Opening of Day” in French, Carnival Mas beginning before dawn on Carnival Monday wearing costumes of mud, old clothes (Ole Mas), devil costumes or satirical themes.  Modern day J'Ouvert involves bands covered in paint, mud, oil, ash or chocolate dancing through the streets behind music trucks.

Monday Mas – The Monday before Ash Wednesday costumed bands of masqueraders take to the streets after the J’ouvert revelry clears wearing all or part of their costume or even alternative attire known as Monday Wear. A warm up before Carnival Tuesday.

Pretty Mas – Today’s dominant form of masquerading emphasizing beautiful costumes with elaborate decorations. Many pretty mas costumes are now decorated bikini style garments.

Las Lap/Last Lap – Last minute street partying on Carnival Tuesday just before the official end of Carnival at midnight when Ash Wednesday begins. The very last of Carnival.

Fête - a party, usually the parties around Carnival time are referred to as fêtes. 

Chip - a walking shuffle step done to slower soca tunes.  Although we saw chipping to all Soca tunes.
Pic by Kurt

Wine/Winin - a seductive form of dance involving circular or semi-circular movement of the hips especially. Can be done alone, with a partner, or many partners.  You see all ages winin. 

Throw Waist - to dance, specifically to "wine"

Grinding, also known as juking, freak dancing or freaking (in the Caribbean, wining) is a type of close partner dance where two or more dancers rub or bump their bodies against each other, generally with a female dancer rubbing her buttocks against a male dancer's crotch area.  You see all ages grinding.

Jump Up – To participate in Carnival masquerade, especially pretty mas. The term also describes those who crash a band or play in street clothes. e.g. “I going and take a jump up with a band”

Storm - Similar to Jump Up -Those who crash a band or play in street clothes.
Pic by Kurt

Road - Parade route.  "I goin out on de road."

Road March – Kind of Trinidad’s song of the year, or best song of Carnival. As the costume bands cross the stage in the Queen’s Park Savannah, the song that most bands dance to is declared Road March for the year, and wins a large cash prize.

Soca – Soul-Calypso, the modern version of calypso music. Hardcore political satire, scandals, sexual double entendre and comedy, wrapped up in dance music with an African beat and heavy baseline.

Steel Pan, Steel band – Melodic percussion instruments made out of oil drums and invented in Trinidad in the 1930’s. One hundred piece steel orchestras compete playing classical, soca, pop during Carnival.

Pic by Kurt
The Big Truck - Speaker truck leading a band.  Large bands can have as many as four to six speaker trucks spaced out in their procession.  "I gonna jump up when de big truck pass."

Lime/Liming - a party or any get-together/to hang out, or (more recently) to date someone.

The Savannah - Queen's Park Savannah in Port of Spain and the center of carnival activities.

The Stage - Stage in The Savannah where bands (a group of Carnival masqueraders) pass to be judged.  It can also be a section of "De Road" where there is a judging stand.

Panorama– Held since 1963, Panorama is the premiere steelband competition of the carnival season.

Panyard– Where steel bands rehearse and have events.

For more definitions click here.  I got many of the above from this web site.

Special thanks to fellow cruisers Kurt Andersson sv Imagine for letting me use some of his pics.

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