Glendon Morris Speaks

Glendon Morris displays his father's old Matador costume
Glendon Morris displays his father's old Matador costume

Pages: 01 | 02 | 03 | 04 | 05 | 06 | 07 | 08 | 09 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15

The Early Years Reporters
Interview Recorded: April 25, 2005
Posted: May 15, 2005

I was born in the General Hospital, but grew up a little boy in Barataria and then moved to Mt. Lambert at the corner of Fourth Street and Second Avenue. I have two other brothers, but they were never interested in art, although the one who is teaching at the Teacher's College in San Fernando became an artist, but he became an artist in his old age. When he was around thirty years old, he decided to go to school. As a young guy, I always used to be carving, always making something and my father would watch me, and one day he was doing a drawing. I remember it was an Atlas with a strong man pushing a globe and that got my attention, so I got a piece of wood and started carving it. Of course it looked like hell, but at the same time, just the thought that I was trying to do that, he took it and kept it for years and brought it down here. When I was old enough, which was about ten years old, he decided to bring me down here and train me to do his work one time. I never used to get holidays from school. As soon as Easter and the other holidays came, he would come and say, "ok it is time for us to go," and he would wake me out of bed. My mother would say to him, " Oh god Ken, give Glendon a little two days nah before you take him down to the mas camp!" He would say, "No, no, we have work to do." That is how I ended up down here at #107 B Belmont Circular Road.

I have been around mas since I was a child about nine years old. As I got older, I got into it because my father, who was Ken Morris, was always into mas. Even long before he even got his own band, he would make mas for different bands like Harold Saldenah, Jack Brathwaite and those guys. In those days, of course mas was history, far from what we have now. There were no bikinis and beads in those days. Everything was history because you had to portray some sort of historical mas.

We grew up in an upstairs house at number 15 Tenth Avenue Barataria, and every Carnival they would start to make mas around October at the bottom of the house, and then they would bring it into town at some other location where they would form and play mas. As a child I would always wander into the mas camp and would always be among the guys when they were joking amongst themselves and working till three o'clock the next morning. My mother would always say, "come upstairs it is time to go to bed." I had a special interest in what my father was doing. The mas graduated after a time and the place became too small, so they came right here, (present mas camp in Belmont).

The nice thing about it was what we now call traditional mas. The mas had a lot of papier mâché and moldings. Papier mâché is actually making a shape using paper and starch. Anything you want to make, you can actually make it out of a mold. Years ago they used to use clay and it was very popular. Clay was easier to work with, and we had more time before because for some reason, Carnival used to take long to come but not now, by the time you wink, it here. You had to make a clay mold and put it in the sun to dry for the same reason, and keep wetting it because this sun will crack the mold in no time, so you had to keep wetting it and damping it until it dried slowly. Then you put Vaseline over the mold, then you wet the paper and you use starch or you mix a flour paste and put a sheet without paste so that it can come off the mold, and you keep putting layers upon layers until you feel it is thick enough and then it dries, so when it comes of, it comes of with the shape of the mold, and then you can paint it and glitter it or do whatever stuff you want. This type of mas is a rare thing now.


Pages: 01 | 02 | 03 | 04 | 05 | 06 | 07 | 08 | 09 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15

Homepage | Carnival Features