Tag Archives: Cropover

Kadooment Costumes… the Band Launch!

You’ve seen it on this blog time and time again…. now guess what… it’s about that time again! Get ready for Kadooment Costumes… the Band Launch!

Recent years and more history described in detail can be found by viewing additional posts about Barbados Crop Over.

Masquerading (dressing up incognito or costume) is an old African tradition in which to remove evil spirits and bring luck to the village, they’d dance around in masks and costumes. The basic attire was produced of things such as grass, twine, beads, feathers and bones. If this intrigues you, I highly suggest doing more research. It’s pretty interesting to see then compared to the elaborate designs now decorating the streets.

Kadooment today is a celebration involving hundreds and thousands of people in several different countries parading around in elaborate costumes, bedazzled skin jewelry and detailed body paint.

Just like last year, I was able to work with a great team putting together the grand finale showing off this seasons Kadooment costumes.

Designers Sheena Gill and Sandie Archer got to observe their creations come to life with a runway show hosted at Harbour Lights in Bridgetown.

With my hands in the hair working with the talented Anya Wiles, creative makeup artists, a variety of jewels and all final touches complete, we were prepped and ready for the event!

Here’s an entertaining video produced by Matt Stone, followed by a few photos capturing the evening. Enjoy more pictures at www.stonesharpimagesphotography.com


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Tek off somethin and pelt it away!

Instead of repeating myself in describing Cropover and the Grand Kadooment, I invite you to check out my friends from Tree Frog Trips and their post called Beginners guide to Cropover. They do a fantastic job of guiding you through the week of celebrations. On this post, you’re going to get a bundle of photos and a general layout of our fabulous day. Enjoy!

Here are memories from past years. Just click on the title if you’d like to read the entire post.

My first Kadooment!


Second time down de road – 2013

Jump up all day! 2014

So many feathers in 2015!

Let’s start 2016! Costume prepped and alarm is set for dark-o-thirty. This year I was up styling hair for some of the gorgeous girls of kadooment while others were just getting home and going to bed.

 
Who’s open at 3:45 in the morning? The one and only Nina Thomas Salon located in Limegrove, one of the newest malls in Barbados. 

With morning treats and some bubbly to offer, we worked through sunrise prepping for the big day. Fun fact, my first client was actually a repeat client from Trinidad Carnival! Second fact, the stunning girl to the right of the bottom photo is beautiful Nina herself! I was honored to style her hair and had a blast with the others. Thank you Nina for the oppurtunity! 

For more action at this salon please visit Insatgram @ ninathomassalon, click here for their Facebook page and to make an appointment please call 246-622-2385.

So I finished up and flew back to the house to greet my friends arriving. A bus ride and short walk lead us to the main meeting point.

The stage!

Of course a shot for the Handstanding around the world page was a must! My favorite face in the phots below is the full-on head turn and curious frown from the woman on the right in purple.

After a handstand, a few greetings and a feather check, it’s time to cross the stage!

Thank you Blue box cart and your shared photos. You clearly have a talent of capturing the true happiness that stems from the people sporting your costumes and supporting the legend that still continues. To read a small story on the history of this band that started back in 1982, check out the beginning years at Bajanthings.com.

Photo Creds: Myself, Bruce Carroll Mayhew, Maria Hatch, Barbara Greenidge, Craigg Basham, Wave, Zulu, Aura and other random attendees.

After crossing the stage we were ready to hit the road. “De road” is where the music blares an inviting beat for all the participants to chip away in full costume. Thirsty already? Find a drink truck, lift your cup and make a request. These hard working bartenders keep the hydration (or dehydration) flowing throughout the entire trek.

Music pumpin, cup over flowing and friends rallying around… Time for bacchenal!E
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Everyone looking a little hot? I’m talking temperature, not just those stunning costumes. How do we cool down? We’ve got some options.


1. Tek of somethin and pelt it away!
(Or gently remove it and give it away). Throughout the parade a few of us start removing pieces of our outfits and gifting it to the little ones watching from the side.

2. Find the water showers coming from the side of the road!

3. “Accidentally” get in the way of water truck and dance through the spray! Another option is a good ol fashion snow cone.

You can imagine some of the sights seen from the visitors along the path . Maybe one year I’ll just attend as a bystander with a camera.

As the route hits the home stretch, the crowd starts to thin. Some go home, others head to after parties and a few simply don’t make it to the end. (I’ll spare the photos of those poor fellas). This year, a few of us headed back to the pleasure of an infinity pool with a view of the gorgeous west coast. As exciting as it is to get those costumes on, it’s even more refreshing to take them off! (Enter cheeky grin here).

That sums up yet another year down the road and the beginning of what some call PCD (post carnival depression). How do you over come such withdrawals? That’ll be in the next post!

“People fete’n like family, having fun in good company”

Wikipedia says: Soca- also known as the soul of calypso, is a genre of Caribbean music that originated within a marginalized subculture in the Trinidad and Tobago in the late 1970s, and developed into a range of styles in the 1980s and later. Soca developed as an offshoot of kaiso/calypso, with influences from cadence, funk and soul.

So I’ll admit that now, a solid 80-99% of Soca songs mention something in regards to rum, wukkin up, grindin, rum, chippin, fettin, rum, a waistline, bumpa and/or rum. For this post, I wanted to point out a few other lines that shine a different light on the irreplaceable energy that surrounds Cropover. Family, connection, unconditional friendships and love for the islands.

Red Plastic Bag- I love it– “Fetting is not a crime. I think that everybody should find time to unwind. I just love to be in a good party, I just love to see love and harmony. People fetting like family, having fun in good company. Please dont stand there and judge me, I like to have me fun. Love to see people happy and see people as one”.

Peter Ram- All Ah We -“Me nah want no drama, come pure upset di karma”. 

Machel Montano- Happiest Man Alive “We don’t got no time for no worries, We don’t got no time for stressin…. We come out to live we life… the happiest people alive”.

PeterRam- Good Morning! – “It’s another episode, when we out on de road. Dis is what we love, to celebrate to celebrate. This is not Hollywood, we doh come out to pose, we does party with no restraint.”

Benjai- Phenomenal “It’s a wonderful feeling, share with others, all my brothers, all my sisters. Today we making we name.”

Then there’s the not-so deep lyrics that still have us jumping around and smiling to the soca vibes!

Machel Montano- Like uh boss – “Is whole year I wait for de Carnival and I know that it will be magical. Misbehaving and ah doh care at all. So don try stop me, I’z ah professional… Cuz when I fete’n of course, I jus do it like a boss!”

King Bubba- Callin in sick – “I callin in sick, this is too much vibes to miss. Meh doc tell meh this, rum is meh only medicine. So tell di boss I call in sick.”

Destra Garcia- Lucy– “I grew up as a real good girl, always home doh go nowhere. Ah soon as I was introduced to Carnival deh say I loose!”

Stiffy- Tek off something– “Tek off something and pelt it away… Fling it pon the ground…. cuz it’s yours, you buy dat…could be a shirt or skirt or earring back… Could be uh belt,slippers or bras of yuh strap”.

You’ll hear all of these songs supporting the fetes (parties) during Cropover season here in Barbados. One of my top picks for fete of the year goes to the annual Collets Cruise! In order of oldest to most recent, below are collages of this event from the past. (Click on the provided link to read the entire post)

2012- Cool Runnings and the Buccaneer

2013- Big kids pretending to be adults

2014- Next time I’m bringing a pirates hat

2015-Spontaneous salted Prunes

…and now, 2016! All aboard, drop your bags and start spreadin the love.

Time has shown that you can always count on someone sporting a new shirt with a written phrase that may or may not offend you. This year was clean and simple with a basic “bucket list”. 

Another little tradition is my trusty Heritage stickers. I’ve been sreading them around the world for over 4 years now and here in Barbados they usually find themselves stuck to a cup (so I don’t lose which one is mine)!  To be continued…

Speaking of rituals, here’s one I dread to love. In the collage below you’ll see us in years past on the left and to the right is a column from this year. Sweet Snuffy, my dearest of Daniels… I admire your consistent cheeky smile and bottle-o-fun that keeps some drawn to you and others avoiding you.

…and the winner of best facial expressions goes too… A split between Jason and Rachel. Congrats!

Anchor = swim! 

Ryan didn’t let us down with his annual acrobatics routine, a backflip wit de floaty!

Dear Cupid, well done. Sincerely, Erika
Ok back to Soca music. How do you bust out a party that’s already ripping at the seams? Bring aboard the Soca Bashment King of the year to perform his top hits! Yep, Stiffy from above (song- Tek off something) got dropped by boat and ramped up our energy. Try sitting still through this set…. Not possible.

To Captain Ronald and crew, much gratitude for a safe and success journey each year. Even though most of your guests are giggling their way off more concerned about where their other shoe is, you hidden hard work doesn’t go unnoticed and we all thank you.

Daniel, Sean, Dwayne and Clint (please forgive me if I’ve left out anyone). I’m honored as a returning friend to play a small part of the familiar faces that make this day a reunion of good vibes! There are 365 days in a year… your cruse is in my top 3 favorite. Counting down till next round!

“Spontaneous” salted prunes

Caution: The following post has consumption of adult beverages and soca music inspired dancing not suitable for all ages. 

The annual boat cruise that takes place the day before Kadooment is without a doubt my favorite event of Cropover week.  With a limited guest list and returning friends, it’s the most welcoming gathering to enhance an already jam packed celebration.

The first year I was honored to be an attendee and I thought for sure the expectations had been set high.  How will this party on the Buccaneer in 2012 ever be topped? 

 

Then I returned and seemed to be equally impressed with the top of the line entertainment of Kids pretending to be adults 

 

Last year didn’t fail to hypnotize the guests with quality music, tasty treats and a group of characters that left me thinking, Next time I’m bringing a pirates hat. 

 

…and now it’s that time again.  Sit back and enjoy the ride!

First things first, welcome to the beautiful Caribbean waters off the west coast of Barbados. The sea glows a transparent turquoise that doesn’t need any type of camera effects to enhance the natural vibrancey that welcomes us every year.

 

Since most of you (I hope) have seen the posts from years past, you understand that the routine generally consists of greeting your friends, grabbing a beverage and letting the rest unfold. 

  

    
 

Once along the way, you can expect one of the hosts to be cirlcling the boat with appetizers usually consisting of liquor soaked fruit and well… liquor. Here’s a fun flash collage of then and now. Deja vu? 

Another snack option, salted prunes (dried plums that are salted and sometimes sweetened with sugar and anise or coated in chili and lime). An aquired taste for sure.  You either love ’em or… spit ’em out. Well Jason? 

 Aldo, the white get-up on your head doesn’t compare to the previous cupcakes. Happy birthday anyway! 

Another then and now comparison highlights this adorable couple who always happen to find their same side of the cruise to connect. I love it!  
All of socializing continues as we drop anchor for a bit to cool off in the crystal colored sea. Seriously, stop and really look at the next photo… then exhale.

  

Safety flotation devices? Check! 

 

Time to get back on the cruise and head back.  This typically brings more soca music that literally rocks the boat!  Care to know what everyone is juming to? Try Like Uh Boss by Machel Montano or All Ah We by Peter Ram.

I’ll pretend you all read the previous post and can clearly recall how I had the song Spontaneous by Red Plastic Bag repeating over and over in my head. So there we all were, enjoying life to the fullest when a small speed boat pulls right up along side us. Who is that? What? No way! It’s him!  

Red Plastic Bag made an appearance to perform live (I’ll give you one guess on which song he started and ended with). Either way, our ship-kickin festivities amplified to a raging dance party within seconds!  

   Photos with a celebrity? (I think he’s the lucky one!) What a brilliant way to wrap up an incredible experience!

 Many thanks to the hosts for always providing a safe and memorable event, I’m already counting down the days till next time! Red Plastic Bag, cheers to you and “Spontaneous” for pleasantly crowding my mind. And to South Africa, much gratitude for sending me a new connection full of intriguing conversation and magnetic energy.

Leave the baby oil at home

Mud: soft, sticky matter resulting from the mixing of earth and water.

Paint and colored powder: a tinted substance that is spread over a surface and dries to leave a thin decorative or protective coating.

Moonlight:  the light reflected from the surface of the moon.

Happy People: a group of persons feeling or showing pleasure or contentment. joyful; blissful; carefree; untroubled.

Combination of all of the above = A really good time! Also properly known as J’ouvert! (sounds like joo-veh), Foreday Morning Jam or Mud and Paint.

To understand the history of this event (or to see the controlled chaos of past episodes) please see the posts Mud and Paint partyAn orbit gum commercial, Bajan style or last years Paint me up mudder cup.

Quick history lesson: During the time of slavery, Carnival was introduced to the Caribbean by French settlers in 1783. Banned from the masquerade balls, the slaves would stage mini-carnivals in their own backyards creating new rituals. The origins of the street party also referred to as Foreday Morning Jam coincide with the emancipation from slavery in 1838. People smeared themselves with mud to avoid being recognized and partied down the street late at night while the wealthy were sleeping.


In present time, the Bajan version includes mud, paint and powder with energetic soca music to enhance the walk, which in all reality is a bunch of dancing. One motion is called chipping, a step that is flat footed, knees bent and moving forward, almost as if to “chip” away the street. If the music is right, you can sneak in some whining. This is when people attach themselves to one another by their middle section and pulse, sway and thrust to the rhythm in every conceivable manner. 

Here’s a collage of the past Morning Jams. Kind of tricky to compact 3 nights and over 300 hundred photos into this little dandy, but hey… worth a try!  

  

Now we come to J’ouvert 2015.
As seen before, we take our basic t-shirts (that are given a few days prior to the event) a pair of scissors and Viola! 

 

 

Time for the bus ride to the starting line!

  

…and by “starting line”, I mean a huge parking-lot full of thousands of your friends you haven’t met yet.  All being served rum punch, light up toys and uhh baby oil? This is new for me, but apparently it helps keep the paint from staining your skin.  Meh, I’m not too worried about it! 

   
At this point, you slowly start to see colors emerse from all directions. Powder and paint begin to flood the sky (and your hair and your face) while the energy of the crowd magnifies in seconds! 

    
Once the pre-party is over, we take it to de road! Bouncing to soca music (I still have Spontaneous by Red Plastic Bag stuck in my head) we follow the drink trucks that escort our band. Drink trucks? Yes, a mobile bar that flows with the parade serving all participants whatever they’d like. Soda, water, juice, beer, liquor and/or all of the above.  

     
   
    

  

 
  
Flashback collage! I feel the need to recognize this open armed, welcoming gentlemen that took me under his wing during my first (second and third) trip for Cropover. Thank you Ryan for the lessons, fun-facts and freedom to explore! Here’s a look back on years at this event followed by a photo from tonight.

   

My favorite progressive photos of the night: Before, during and after.  Well done girls… well done!

 As the sun began to rise we all started to reach the point of hunger, sore feet and a desire for some sort of water soaking. In past years, I’ve expressed my love for the end of this celebration. It’s almost like I sign up (to get demolished with mud and paint), just so I can stay and play in the water. Since we didn’t stick around for the aqua party this round, I combined 4 of my favorite photos from the past 3 years.  

 
Finally getting home… well, you get it.