Studio Lafoncette Photography
Pictured above is Courtney Browne from the band Belmont Exotic Stylish Sailors (B.E.S.S.) out of Jerningham Avenue. Adults in traditional costumes competed Wednesday night at Victoria Square. Mr. Browne is portraying Egungun, Celebrating Our Ancestors. This year B.E.S.S. is portraying Celebration. One ancestor that is likely dear to the heart of B.E.S.S. masqueraders is their own Reynold Cooper, a gentleman who played fancy sailor mas for over 50 years and whom I featured on this blog last year. Mr. Cooper was a darling filled with interesting stories and really a treasure to know. I do miss him and I am glad I had the opportunity to meet him.
It is really exciting to know that the Egungun tradition is being perpetuated in Trinidad carnival in the adult and child portrayals.
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Odinani: The Sacred Arts & Sciences of the Igbo People
From “After God is Dibia: Volume 2”, pages 34-35
During Uga Chi (the second age), death came to the world for the first time. The earth dwellers then who were still able, like the Uga Aka (first age) earth dwellers, to see and speak face to face with Chukwu (God) were so perplexed and disturbed by this new phenomenon called death that they quickly conferred amongst themselves and elected the dog and the chameleon to meet God immediately on their behalf and tell him what they had witnessed and plead with him that whoever died must wake up. In other words, death should strictly be like sleep. It was the origin of Ula bulu onye ma ya e buna uche ya (sleep should carry one without one’s uche). In other words, at the end of the time measured allotted to death, on the same principle as sleep is time…
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