Another image from my book ‘Meditation on the Traditions’ which chronicles Trinidad and Tobago’s endangered traditional carnival masquerade. This is Esau Millington- the last of the first generation Midnight Robbers. The Midnight Robber is a fascinating masquerade which could be the god-father of rap in the New World. These masks who wear massive stylized sombrero type hats with sculptures on them and Mexican guacho style outfits arrayed in Day of the Dead and Haitian Baron Samedi type iconography are masters of the African ‘boasting’ tradition. Most of their long ‘boasting poems’ are about their power, prowess at criminality and destruction, and all round invincibility. Esau here is 93 year old, blind, in a wheelchair, and still performing every year!

Another image from my book ‘Meditation on the Traditions’ which chronicles Trinidad and Tobago’s endangered traditional carnival masquerade. This is Esau Millington- the last of the first generation Midnight Robbers. The Midnight Robber is a fascinating masquerade which could be the god-father of rap in the New World. These masks who wear massive stylized sombrero type hats with sculptures on them and Mexican guacho style outfits arrayed in Day of the Dead and Haitian Baron Samedi type iconography are masters of the African ‘boasting’ tradition. Most of their long ‘boasting poems’ are about their power, prowess at criminality and destruction, and all round invincibility. Esau here is 93 year old, blind, in a wheelchair, and still performing every year!