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Jagessar hopes to score big with Lakota
The air in the capital Port-of-Spain, is thick with all things Carnival and in San Fernando it is no different. South bandleaders, who have kicked their operations into high-gear in preparation for Carnival 2013, are burning the midnight oil to have costumes ready for the reign of the merry monarch.
Today the T&T Guardian shines the spotlight on Lionel Jagessar and Associates’s 2013 presentation, Lakota Dream.
A family affair
The band is run by husband and wife team Lionel Jagessar and Rosemarie Kuru-Jagessar. The couple’s children Lionel Jr, Larry Darryl Kuru and Lisa Jagessar-Bhagwandeen also play an integral part in the production of the costumes.
“Jagessar is a family affair. I must say thank God for the children I have because they born in the mas camp and they are still in the mas camp irregardless of the jobs that they have, mas is what they know,” Jagessar said.
Lakota Dream features seven sections: Osage, Tetron Sioux, Hunk Papa, Santee Dakota, Kiowa, Oglala Tribe and Wichita.
Jagessar says this year the band marks its 33 year in mas in San Fernando and they intend to make it memorable with its 2013 offering, Lakota Dream.
Carnival track record
With 33 years under their belt Lionel Jagessar and Associates is no stranger to success and is considered a mas icon in San Fernando.
Jagessar, 63, said the response to his 2013 presentation is great.
“This year we have good hopes, the designs are good. The way people spoke about it when they saw it in the fete, they were really excited and they give me a good feeling about it,” he said.
He said his sections are selling quickly and masqueraders are registering daily.
“We have no problem with the sales. We have people coming everyday to register and we have our die hard members too. We want to make sure that everybody is happy and we hope that they come early enough to get into the band. We do not want to leave them out,” he added.
Traditional mas or bikini and beads?
San Fernando bandleaders, for the most part, maintain traditional mas and Lionel Jagessar and Associates is no exception.
Jagessar said, his favourite traditional mas is fancy Indian which his band is renowned for in South Trinidad.
This year he has returned to fancy Indian with Lakota Dream which he said was inspired by the Native American Indians of the Lakota or Dakota (depends on who is pronouncing it) tribe.
He said Lakota/Dakota is a Sioux North American Indian Tribe which has a lot tribes under its umbrella.
“This is where I got the names for my sections. The sections are the tribes found within the Lakota band of Indians, so every section will be one of the little groups that is within the Lakota tribe,” he explained.
Carnival 2013 is a short season and Jagessar said “We are under a lot of pressure.”
“Sometimes we will have (a) long time, sometime we will have short time. When the time is short we will have to take night and turn it into day to make costumes and that is happening this year,” he added.
Jagessar said this year he is using a lot more vibrant colours for his costumes and elaborate headpieces.
Each section features bright colours such as neon green, pink, silver, red and gold. He said braids have also been worked into the design of the costumes to accentuate the fancy Indian look.
“I am using all the colours of the rainbow in the sections I have in the band. If you like red we have a red and gold section. If you to must have pink, we have a pink and white section. Whatever colour you desire we have a section with that. Green, blue or orange we have sections to suit you,” he said.
He said he decided to design bigger headpieces for greater impact.
“The judges are usually seated at a height and looking down at the masqueraders and do not get to see the full costume. So I am making more vibrant headpieces for impact,” he said.
Jagessar said the band is also willing to work with masqueraders who may want to adjust their costumes for comfort.
“We try to be flexible with the people. Sometimes the parents will be playing with their children and they might not want the look to be too revealing so we are flexible enough to let them have a skirt or something like that or make sure that they are properly attired,” he said.