My First Kadooment!
Posted on August 8, 2014
Ken’s first time in Barbados was epic. How? Well he took his camera so that we can see first hand for ourself. Here is his “eye witness account” of his experience:
Let me start off by stating, I am a Trinidadian. I live in Carnival Country. So I thought I was ready. I honestly did. Turns out… I was not ready for Kadooment.
Ps. If you don’t like to read, watching this video will be sufficient:
Well, it would seem that you are still here… so here goes my story:
I met my band Zulu International around 8:30am. I was greeted with a strong security presence of mounted police officers. I’m almost certain they hardly had work to do as the Bajan people seem so peaceful.
While milling around nibbling on breakfast (a kinda preserved doubles something from the band), I noticed how diverse most of the bands were. I heard many accents and I even saw a huge Trinidad and Tobago Flag!
There was also a band from Guadeloupe who paraded in front of us with very cheerful people full of soul and rhythm. They were like a walking rhythm section, beating on drums and chanting all the way. They needed no music truck.
Between 9am and 10:30am we paraded in the Nation Stadium which seems to be the ‘Stage’. Compared to Trinidad, generally the mas was much more relaxed and slow paced. So our band finally put on their music and pulled off at 11am. At the time I wondered if I would be able to get a proper experience in what I thought to be ‘limited time’.
After a corner or two, and maybe after their second or third drink the girls were whipped into a frenzy by the pulsating sounds of AH Feeling by “Lead Pipe and Saddis”. Everyone sung to the top of their lungs while giving each other a little social wine. Pretty cool and reserved I thought.
There were about ten girls who consistently were in front of the music truck, leading the band with vibes that was consistent regardless of if they heard the music or not.
The route seemed to be standard, and one long stretch. Which made it difficult and just not practical to go “Band Hopping” as in Trinidad. In Trinidad the parallel streets make it easy to jump from band to band, or even you stay with one band your band is going to pass other bands on the road. In Barbados, the road was so small, there was no possibility (in my opinion) for two bands to pass each other. Also I found it interesting that the announcer kept telling masqueraders to come off the pavement because the police said so; apparently there is a law against chipping on the pavement\outside the rope in costume. (Hopefully a Bajan Lawyer will comment on my article and tell us)
These differences took me a minute to get accustomed to, as I expected to go find other bands but after a 20 min walk in a random direction I realised that there probably is not a short cut “to St James” lol. All of this didn’t matter anyway, Zulu international served up enough vibes to satisfy my Carnival needs.
So about this BENUP song. And about this Bajan Wukup thing. I’d describe the wukup as a passa passa type stab out accompanied with a vigerous sorta half jump and down. (Speaking from observation here people, If i got it wrong it means that those people were wuk’in up wrong).
BENUP left the streets BENT UP. No I mean, I am from Trinidad — we flex all the time — we roll our waistline. BEN’in UP skips all of this rolling sing song Trinidadian thing. Ladies went directly to the 6:30 position and ‘bent’ their backside and twerked everything their mother gave em. I was fascinated. As a “camera man” when they noticed me they either stopped for a photo or wukked up harder.
Like a child was almost murdered because of BENUP.
I produced an entire video JUST TO PROVE MY POINT!
Drinks flowed like water as per usual, a full premium selection n the bar. Although the street was cramped some drinks were delivered to the masqueraders which was pretty good.
Also remarkable was the amount of organised spectators. These spectators hardly moved, but set up camp in one spot and simply watched on. Compared to Trinidad, much fewer people chipped on the pavement. Most people were content just looking on.
Around 4pm we turned off the major road and the mas winded down. It was particularly enjoyable to parade so close to the coastline. Our “Lunch” was at 5pm where food was served and the parade ended. Although a much shorter pump, my first Kadooment left me wanting more!
I’d definitely back next year; with the team.
Photos taken by: Shutter in Motion \ Donovan Jordan and Myself.