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Greek gods grace Carnival
Armed with shields, swords and mock armour, Greek gods and goddesses from the reigning South band Ivan Kallicharan glided across the stage in San Fernando, yesterday, doing a unique portrayal Rise of the Olympians. Like other bands, including Lionel Jagessar, preservation of local and foreign history remained part of Sando mas as more than a dozen small, medium and large bands crossed the stage.
From as early as 9 am, families came out with coolers and chairs, and lined Rienzi Kirton Highway in anticipation of the mas. One hour later, the first band, Southern Mas Associates came out, followed by Nation’s People and then the reigning South band.
Kallicharan’s king Marlon Rampersad portrayed the Spirit of the Underworld as he made way for the various sections which portrayed the gods and goddesses of love, war, wine, sky, youth and hunting. It was not the usual jump and wine which spectators were accustomed to. Instead, the alien sound of Greek instrumentals filled the air.
The masqueraders chipped to the slow music doing a well-choreographed, ancient belly dance, while the Greek gods knelt on the hot asphalt as if frozen in time. Next in a mock battle, the gods went into war while the goddesses cheered for their mates. The dance of the Greek deities then ended with Machel Montano’s hit Float and it was then the masqueraders came out in a blaze of orange and pink.
Also portraying foreign history was Jagessar who portrayed Lakota Dream, a tribute to the native Indians of America. The band featured the native American Indians including Teton Sioux, Santee Dakota, Ogalala tribe, Kiowa, Wichita and Osage.
They also did a choreographed dance to the native Indian gods before the first section chipped on stage to the music of SuperBlue’s Fantastic Friday. Jagessar’s son, who portrayed the King Chief Matoskah—Protector of the Medicine Skull, had difficulty battling fierce winds as he crossed the stage at Skinner Park. Andy Kangoo followed in Jagessar’s footsteps by doing a portrayal of the Drums of Navaro.
Meanwhile, some aspect of local history was portrayed in some of the bands. Selwyn Patrick James in his band Rally Round the West Indies, paid homage to Brian Charles Lara, the prince of Port-of-Spain, while Owen Hinds Foundation portrayed Pterios, the predator lion fish, which came into Tobago’s water’s recently.
Fireworks Promotions Queen of Carnival Zoharia Maharaj, who portrayed Drinks Galore, carried her costume well as she crossed the stage at Skinner Park around midday. The sections featured several of T&T’s most popular drinks, including Bloody Mary, Tequila Sunrise, Club Cuba and Helium.
Despite concerns raised by bands, music trucks were able to successfully navigate the raised cycle tracks to get on the field. Spectators also expressed satisfaction with the seating arrangements, but were disatisfied with the shortage of portable toilets.