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Is Foreday Morning becoming like ‘Monday mas’?

Like night and day? A match up of Foreday Morning costumes from Barbados' Crop-Over and Monday mas outfits from Trinidad Carnival. (All photos
Like night and day? A match up of Foreday Morning costumes from Barbados’ Crop-Over and Monday mas outfits from Trinidad Carnival. (All photos

With Foreday Morning now officially the biggest event of the Crop-Over festival (46 bands and 21,000 revellers this year), there has been much debate about the direction of the event.

Foreday started out as a j’ouvert-type, ‘dutty mas’ street party, a mud-and-paint-and-chocolate alternative to the pretty mas of Kadooment Day.

But at some point a few years ago, Foreday started to get prettied up. The costumes became…well costumes, not just t-shirts and short pants and colour-coordinated mud. They became sexier, with brightly coloured fabrics and gems and even feathers and sequins.

As with all change, this has not necessarily been welcomed, with veteran Kadooment band leaders and even Foreday band leaders complaining that the pretty costumes were taking away from the essence of the jump up. More crucially, band leaders are worried that Foreday Morning is taking away their Kadooment revenues with Betty West saying:

“’Even some of my band members are telling me ‘Betty why go in the hot sun when I could jump at night’. I’m kind of concerned about that being a threat to the actual Kadooment.”

To be honest, we have wondered about it too, such as last year when there was the kerfuffle over the costumes by Island Fusion (Barbados’ biggest Foreday band and probably the biggest band full stop). We asked then:

I mean… it’s Foreday/Jouvert. It’s going to get covered in paint. What’s the big deal? The vast majority of jouvert costumes I see wherever West Indians are found still consist of a t-shirt, short pants, head tie and paint. It’s dutty mas not pretty mas.”

Of course, we were wrong about that since at the end of the jump, many revellers don’t even have a smidge or a smudge of paint on them, with makeup, hair and gems still in place. It’s a whole new (fore) day which makes me wonder if Foreday Morning isn’t evolving into something else more like what has been happening with Monday mas in Trinidad, where designers have been popping up to do custom-designed Monday wear that is an appropriately sexy and glamorous precursor to the Tuesday Carnival costumes.

A comparison of the costumes above (all from Bajantube) of costumes from Foreday Morning and Trinidad Carnival Monday would certainly seem to suggest that.

And if that’s the case, are we in some way making up for being one of the few places with only a Monday jump by using Foreday as another pretty mas jump? Questions, questions…

By Me

island ~ ista
From Latin -ista via Portuguese -ista
one who follows a principle; an adept.

As an islandista I live, embody, exude the spirit of the Caribbean islands.

One reply on “Is Foreday Morning becoming like ‘Monday mas’?”

J’ouvert/Foreday morning mas is about getting ‘dutty’ and that’s the beautyof it. The J’ouvert in Trinidad is ‘j’ouvert’ and sticks to what it represents, a time when that was the way the people could express themselves about the order or the day and what was going on in the country. It also depicts the start of the revellery that is carnival’ showing the transition from Tambo-bamboo to the glory of Tuesday’s display of colours. Don’t pretty it up, its a thing of beauty in itself.

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