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Veteran mas man talks the ritual of the Black Indian

Thursday, February 6, 2014

This evening, the Propaganda Space in Belmont is set to come alive with memories of the masquerade, as veteran mas man Nari Approo shares his experiences of being and becoming the Black Indian.


Nari Approo is the eldest of the last line of Black Indian masqueraders known as Warriors of Huaracan. The Black Indian masquerade which he portrays is a merging of Indigenous and West African masking rituals that can be found in Trinidad, Louisiana and South America.


There are special dances, songs and rituals that accompany the masquerade. The warriors also communicate in their own language which is a Creole derived from Aruacan, Yoruba and patois.


This unique session is being hosted by Vulgar Fraction—an independent mas band led by designer Robert Young of the Cloth Caribbean. A release from the organisers said this year Vulgar Fraction will portray Black I, an interpretation of the traditional Black Indian mas.


Today’s talk is part of Unconquered—a series of interactive Carnival Conversations and Actions.