Vincy Carnival

Vincy Carnival

Late June to early July
Carnival festivities take place on the Caribbean island of St. Vincent from late June to early July. Touring musical groups, led by one or two "maskers" who act as leaders, are a primary feature of the celebrations. The leaders are usually dressed as traditional characters—among them the Devil, Wild Indian, Bold Robber, and the hump-backed Bruise-ee-Back. Each group may perform a song written for the occasion by its leader, and usually acts out some kind of violent argument that will amuse or scare the onlookers and persuade them to donate some money. The songs are mocking or even slanderous in nature, and usually concern an individual or event associated with a particular locale. The band members typically dress in costumes based on that of their leader, but sometimes they merely blacken their faces, dab crude slogans and faces onto their white t-shirts and pants, and wear washikongs (tennis shoes) and strangely constructed hats.
CONTACTS:
St. Vincent and the Grenadines Tourist Information Office
801 Second Ave., 21st Fl.
New York, NY 10017
800-729-1726 or 212-687-4981; fax: 212-949-5946
www.svgtourism.com
SOURCES:
FolkWrldHol-1999, p. 146