Lewicito ‘Cito’ Velasquez, one of Trinidad’s most renowned Wire-bender/Masmen, passed away after suffering a stroke on 8th April, 2006, at the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex in Champs Fleurs, Trinidad.
Cito, as he was commonly called, was born on 51 Frederick Street, Port of Spain, on 23 June, 1928. As a boy, growing up on Port of Spain’s St. Vincent Street, Cito learned to sculpt at his family’s doll factory. What he learned during the early period of his life, later served him well over the years in his profession.
Narcenio Gomez better known as Señor Gomez, is one of the leading wire benders (sculptors) in Trinidad and Tobago. He has been designing, bending wire and making costumes for over 50 years. Mr Gomez shares his experiences with us.
Glendon Morris, the son of legendary Ken Morris has created a history of his own. Following the footsteps of his late father, Mr. Morris continues traditional mas making, including the use of copper work in mas. Morris is fundamental to Carnival in Trinidad and Tobago, keeping alive the traditional Fancy Sailor mas. He has also displayed his skills as a talented costume designer, with consideration for past traditions. Not limiting himself, he is multi-talented as he has done work as a dye-sinker, plumber, electrician, carpenter, and welder.
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.
Jason Griffith, one of Trinidad and Tobago’s renowned mas men was born on the 20th June 1927 at Pelham St. Belmont. He attended the Miss Lewis Private School and Belmont Boys’ Intermediate School. As a youth growing up, he was influenced by Jim Harding’s Mischievous Sailor Band, a very popular band in the thirties. He participated in the revelry of masquerading for the first time in 1946 and has been actively involved in the production of headpieces for the mas ever since. After working with the mas director, Cecil Jobe, Griffith felt ready to launch his own production unit – the “U.S.S. Sullivan” – in1949 and joined with other bands – the “Syncopaters” and the “Desperados”. This was done in the attempt to increase the band’s numbers to participate in “big band” competitions.