WIADCA Carnival 2017

by Weldon Ryan

Labor Day Carnival this year was outstanding despite the looming thoughts in the back of everyone's mind  about the potentially catastrophic hurricanes that threatened the Caribbean Islands and Miami Florida.  It was so appropriate that the Carnival road march song this years was "We Jammin Still" by Ultimate Rejects FT. MX PRIME FULL EXTREME. With lyrics such as " ohlord the city could burn down we jammin still we jamming still the building could fall down we jammin still we jammin.  My crew( Richlin and Xavier) and I started at the beginning staging area and migrated to Kingston taking as many pictures of this fete as humanly possible.  What made it almost impossible was the revelers in full enthusiasm and security roping out undesirable participants.  The ruckus was on!  As my the crew faded and lost in the crowd I hobbled my way to the rendezvous location  hoping to reunite with them but this was not possible.  As faith would have it I plopped my tired backside in front of the judges stand where I took some awesome  pictures which will no doubt end up on canvas!

JabJab

by Weldon Ryan

Jab Molassie-Jab is the French patois for Diable (Devil), and Molassie is the French patois for Mélasse (Molasses). The Jab Molassie is one of several varieties of devil mas played in Trinidad and Tobago Carnival.  I asked Arlene, a Grenadian participant I met walking to my car about why Grenadian JabJab don't have the variety of blue JabJab.  According to her "The Blue JabJab is Trinidad jabJab. Grenada Tried having Blue JabJab's but it wasn't popular so they stopped having blue JabJabs".  

Moko Jumbies

by Weldon Ryan

Moko Jumbie is played atop tall stilts. Moko Jumbie is a very popular character of Carnival and Christmas celebrations throughout the Caribbean.  The mas player would wear an elaborate hat and garment styled in various manner.  Moko is a derivation of the god “Moko” from West African traditions. The term “jumbie” is a ghost or spirit.  Moko is a protector of villages.  Being that they are of giant height, this allow them to foresee danger and evil faster than men.  Moko Jumbie mas players dance in a particular manner as they dance the parade route along side the trucks.

Jacksonville Caribbean Carnival 2017

by Weldon Ryan

It was a severely hot day as with most August days in sunny Florida.  But no one seemed to mind.  All of the vendors were set up very organized and ready for business.  It seemed the right amount of vendors because the Carnival had one food vendor that constantly busy with lines spanning across the field.   "The Art of Carnival" tent was no exception to the set up.  We had our display up and we were ready with our pop-up Art of Carnival" show featuring the fine art prints we have for our "Art Basel or Bust" fund raiser.

Despite having a small array of Mas Bands there was sufficient creativity and reverie to make the parade of revelers a dynamic procession.  The Mojo Jumbie's  were great.

The Blue Haze

The West Indian Day Parade gets a lot of attention every year.  Whether that's because it's actually the largest parade event in NYC or whether it's the expectation of violence I can't say.  Carey Gabay, 43, the first deputy general counsel for the Empire State Development Corp., was shot in the head on Bedford Ave. near Sullivan Place in Crown Heights at 3:41 a.m. while he and his brother tried to take cover from the gang gunfire.  He grew up in that neighborhood so being out at J'ouvert is what is done.  This was during J'ouvert last year.  Unfortunately because of incidents like this many cops lined the parade route.  I was happy to see NYC's finest not because I fear violence or crime during Carnival but because I want them to see my people in one of the greatest creative endeavors of the year in NYC.