While its theme is Haiti, traditional Guyanese masquerade characters like the Long Lady and a mas similar to T&T's version of John Canoe were exhibited at the crack of dawn. Gibbons said: "The focus is on traditional mas, including Guyanese Indian mas and a type of John Canoe mas...It is really made from rice bags." Pointing to the slender silhouettes of the Guyanese woman, he said: "They are all characters bird, bull and the long lady. "These traditional characters each have their own dance and role in the Guyanese masquerade...Every year we try to feature them in the Old Yard (Viey La Cou)," Gibbons said. "The re-enactment of the Rara Band also forms part of our guest performance at the Old Yard."
For 2010, they had showcased the New Orleans black Indians for traditional mas connoisseurs. Tall like a giraffe, the Guyanese Indian woman mas looms over the banana-shaped John Canoe type mas docked at the base of a house boasting jalousies and wooden front doors. Suspended on bamboo stilts, her breasts thrust forward like torpedoes. The stitching is haphazardly done. A shock of black hair falls over her plain Jane face.
Haitian Rara Band
Gibbons said the Rara Band displays similarities to calypso and forges strong links with voodoo. "It is also like traditional masquerade, but it is strongly linked to the Haitian religion (voodoo)," he said. "It is a roving band of musicians and dancers who sing and parade throughout the Lenten period. "They come out right after Carnival and they culminate on the Easter weekend. "That is the form in which in their songs are heavily coded like calypso-lot of double entendre...sexual overtones and it comes out in the Rara songs. Yet, it is a spiritual ensemble."