Fox Carnival Band
    The Foxy Midnight Robber
     
 
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The Foxy Midnight Robber
 
   
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
We are delighted at this year's chance to explore the "ole mas" (elsewhere sometimes "dirty mas") from Trinidad and Tobago. During these pre-Lenten festivities, held the night before Carnival Monday, participants would create a vibrant performance mocking of "high society".
Ole mas dates back to an era when, at the time of year between New Year's Eve and the start of Lent, slave-owning French colonialists held elaborate parties. Their slaves retaliated with wit and ingenuity, fabricating characters and dress for lively balls of their own. The slaves created costumes and roles from any scrap to which they had access, using them to exaggerate, criticise and parody their owners and the colonial system. Ole mas proved that moral correctness could not be purchased or owned.
Although the Midnight Robber is just one of its many characters (such as jab-jab devils, bookmen and burrokeets), he serves ole mas as a wily avenger of the wronged. The Robber's role is to surprise, speak out and subdue. His character usually carries both a weapon and a whistle and is known for his boastful "robber talk". There have been many Trinidadian legends who played this part - such as Esau Millington, who remains in action even after the age of ninety.
Another legend, the late Puggy Joseph, helped Millington tutor Trinidad's great updater of the role, Brian Honoré. Honoré, who passed in May of 2005, was known throughout his community as "Commentor".
In 1995, to ensure the role lived on, Honoré had formed The Mystery Raiders, his personal Midnight Robbers. The Mystery Raiders (CLICK HERE or contact Fédon Honoré) still welcome both young and old participants and are led by Anthony Collymore a.k.a. "The Mellancolly Marauder". We pay homage to them and all their foxy predecessors!
 
 
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