Muhammad Abu Bakr Speaks on Mas

Carnival Monday at the Savannah
Carnival Monday at the Savannah

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Carnival Monday and Tuesday

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

Another thing I have watched too is Carnival. They say Carnival has outgrown the Savannah, which is not true. They are too unfair and I do not care what anybody says but I saying it with conviction. People pay Monday and Tuesday to go in the Grand Stand. If there are forty bands, and you let twenty costumed bands come through the Savannah on Monday and they know they have to play Tuesday elsewhere, you know there are twenty more to go. Carnival is the most important day because they declared Carnival from Jouvert morning to midnight Tuesday. That means you could play the whole of Carnival Monday and that is why I did a Monday band. If costumed bands go in the Savannah Monday, they could spend how much time they want, but they cannot do that Carnival Tuesday because you have a cut off point and that's it. When you have a big band going across the stage with seven thousand players without costumes, what sense does it make? What sense does it make for Poison or any other band to go in the Savannah on Carnival Monday, and then telling the government Carnival has outgrown the Savannah?

You go in the Savannah on Carnival Monday and you see a lot of people with a jersey, or a headpiece, or a piece of waistband, what sense does it make? With a draw you can have "X" bands go Monday; "X" bands go Tuesday. I would feel good to know my band went in the Savannah Monday? Tuesday I will come out and head downtown because I am going to play Mas. I do not have to go by the Savannah again because I went there already. You will get Mas in the city. Why would these same bands that come out on a Monday without costumes come in the Savannah? Do we want to see that? Do you want to see some people dress in a T-shirt and a little short pants and maybe a fan in their hands? Hundreds of them passing you with nothing, saying nothing, meaning nothing, and then want to say Carnival outgrow the Savannah. The system is real bad. They can use Carnival Monday because Tuesday is not the main Mas day. You can go from Jouvert morning right through. We are a fêting people so do not be fooled, the judges will be tired. I know people who fête everyday in the week, I was one.I used to go to every fête at one time. I wanted to go fêtes like Customs and Over the Hills Boys. I wanted to go to all the fêtes the last week of Carnival, and I would still come back and make my Mas. In those days when you see your partner come by at twelve o'clock or one o'clock, we would go and fête and come back right here, get something to eat and we start to work again. If another partner passes the following night we do the same thing again, because you know just now you will be sad because Carnival will be coming to an end.

It is a depressing kind of state after Carnival. I wish we had a Carnival mentally right through, like three hundred and sixty five days. We would be the nicest people because we do not see anything. You do not see if your partner has or not. Everybody will have around that time, because you have a woman walking in your camp with a pot of food, one with a pot of coffee or somebody with two bottles of whiskey. I remember a nurse living in Boston but she is from Tobago, would come with her little basket with whiskey, coffee and every little thing for us. I worked for two months from nine in the morning till five the following morning to produce a band in Miami and I enjoyed that. People were glad to come by, and not just the people who were working in the camp, we had air-hostesses, coming, and a woman from Cuba would come and want to work with us in the Mas camp, and the people would not only come but would bring six packs and other things with them. I do not want to live outside of Carnival; I want to live within it because to me that is paradise, I do not care what anybody say. To me everybody lives like one, you do not watch to see who coming in your house to sleep or who bathing in your bathroom or who is making the coffee. I remember a Jouvert morning I was tired and we were doing some screening and this girl told me she was going to make a cup of coffee for me. This girl put coffee, green tea and cocoa all in one. When I start to drink it, I had to ask her what it was she made. Sometimes you might get a 'pelau' like a soup. It was so much fun, it was good and I love it. Carnival is not just the Monday, the Tuesday and the Sunday, Carnival is a season and it starts from July.


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