Monthly Archives: January 2013

Studio Lafoncette Photography

Hello Carnival Enthusiasts!

About Town with Mas Legends

I’ve been wanting to talk about wire bending for ages, but I hadn’t found the appropriate material. Two weeks ago I had the serendipitous gift of a meeting with an elder who made that a reality. I talked recently with Mr. Narcenio “Señor” Gomez at his home in Port-of-Spain. Señor Gomez is 81-years-old and he began learning the art of wire bending at age 10. Wire bending is one of the basic foundations of modern mas that transformed ideas and inspirations from mere images in one’s mind into carnival costumes on the road. Tomorrow I’ll give you some of Mr. Gomez’ steps on how it was done in the past and what they do now, but I just wanted to share a tiny bit about this great, dear gentleman.

About Town with Mas Legends

Mr. Gomez, as I said, has been involved in wire bending since he was a boy in Port-of-Spain. His parents were…

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Studio Lafoncette Photography

About Town with Mas Legends

The wire frame for a sailor headpiece.

As mentioned in the previous post, wire bending is a traditional art form in Trinidad Carnival. It has been used possibly for the last 90 years as a staple in fashioning head pieces, small figures, and all of the shapes and structures around a costume. As explained by Mr.  Gomez in our interview, artists draw designs of the form they would like to construct and create a frame using medium gauge wire. He said he learnt his first methods from a gentleman called Luray Jacob – a cabinet maker. In the old days they would use joiner glue (which smelled awful, he said, and had to be boiled) and cement bags to cover the frame. They would make a frame with nails and wrap the wire around as if crocheting something it then flip it and replicate the other side to have symmetry.

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Studio Lafoncette Photography

Syncretism:
1
: the combination of different forms of belief or practice
2
: the fusion of two or more originally different inflectional forms
More illustrations counter to the point that carnival was simply Africans appropriating European culture. Rather, they found subversive ways to protest the status quo and to act out their spiritual and religious practices as best they knew and remembered in environments where these practices were (and still are) treated with disdain, suspicion, demonized and dismissed. And today we have carnival.
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MASSASSINATION.: www.studiolafoncette.com

 

MASSASSINATION.: www.studiolafoncette.com.

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MAS REPUBLIC: HAPPY NEW YEAR PEOPLE!

 

MAS REPUBLIC: HAPPY NEW YEAR PEOPLE!.

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