Jouvert in San Fernando is suffering from the absence of traditional mas.
And D Blue Boys bandleader, Val Ramsingh, is desperately trying to hold on to the artform, his band being the only traditional mas band to cross the stage on Carnival Monday.
The band consisted of 15 masqueraders, the founding members, accompanied by the Old Tech Steel Orchestra.
Ramsingh said he was afraid that traditional ole mas was making its way out of the Carnival celebrations, as masqueraders were opting to parade in the modern mas bands.
But he will not give up, Ramsingh said, trying to revive the tradition.
Ramsingh’s band has won the title of San Fernando’s traditional mas champion 32 times.
The bandleader said he was saddened that this country’s culture was dying and was being “replaced by bikini and beads”.
D Blue Boys presented Ah Blue Polly Ma at Jouvert celebrations in San Fernando on Monday.
The short satirical presentation poked fun at politicians and other public officials.
Holding placards, the masqueraders highlighted the leaking roof of the newly refurbished Red House, Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi’s role at the recent wedding of soca star Machel Montano and the sale of marijuana along High Street, San Fernando.
Band member, David Sammy, presented an individual portrayal titled “No laundering my money tithes”. The portrayal was well received by the crowd which lined High Street.
San Fernando Mayor Junia Regrello opened the Jouvert celebrations at around 4.30 a.m.
The judging point was relocated to RRM Plaza, High Street.
Regrello explained that the previous judging point at Harris Promenade was not suitable as it was too close to the San Fernando General Hospital.
Asked his feelings on the death of traditional mas in San Fernando, Regrello said Jouvert mas was evolving.
“There is modern and traditional mas in San Fernando but mas is evolving and we have to give them support and encourage them,” he said.
Twenty-three Jouvert mas bands were registered to cross the stage on Monday.
The modern mas bands were large, colourful and accompanied by music trucks and live entertainment.
The costumes were mainly t-shirts, shorts and beads.
“Stage Gone Bad” by Kees Dieffenthaller and Neil Iwer George, “Conch Shell” by Machel Montano, Skinny Fabulous and Iwer George and “Fatt” by Nadia Batson were the road march contenders in San Fernando.
Regrello said Trinidad and Tobago Police Service and municipal police officers had teamed up to patrol the streets during the two-day celebration.
He said no serious incidents were reported during Jouvert celebrations.