Muhammad Abu Bakr Speaks on Mas

Muhammad Abu Bakr
Muhammad Abu Bakr

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Staff Article
Interview Recorded: April 24, 2005
Posted: April 30, 2005

Muhammad Abu Bakr is a Trinidad and Tobago national, Band Leader, Costume Designer, Mas Maker, Singer, Tailor and so much more. He builds constumes locally and abroad. Mr. Bakr said: "The love in it is not the money, although we need the finance to do it, but the love that exists in it is important. There is nothing like that love you experience. If paradise is like that I want to go, where else would you get that. You should really get into a Mas camp and see how it functions." Read on as he shares his experiences of Carnival through the years.

The Early Days

I remember the days when all the Mas used to pass, coming through Belmont. Those are the early days of George Bailey, Ken Morris, Harold Saldenah and Neville Aming. All of them were the early bands when Mas used to pass through here in Belmont and go through the avenue into the Savannah. There was a time when the 'City of Carnival' was around this area. We used to have the children and their parents on the bridge with their little bench and they were all dressed up in their sailor suit watching Mas. We had more costumed Mas in those days, not like now. We have lost the culture in Carnival. Now it is just the bath suit and the bra with beads. Back then you used to get costume with Paper Mache.

Mas used to come around the bridge, up Observatory Street or up Charlotte Street, around the Circular into the Savannah. You didn't have a problem then with the Savannah crowd, although they say the crowd now is because of all the people that play Mas. Back then the flow was freer because we had a traffic lights system. The shift took place in the eighties when they cut off the entrance from the Avenue. Because most bands do not leave from their Mas camps now, all the band leaders now try to locate themselves within the area that brings them as close to the Savannah as possible. In the early days Harold Saldenah would leave at seven o'clock, and if you are not there on time then you have to catch up with him. He would come around the bridge and head for the Savannah because he already made the circle, come back to the area and pick up his people. They were nice days.


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