"Dealing With The Devil" was the theme of my costume for the Jouvert band "Jouvay Ayiti: ‘Mamaguy and Pappyshow in a Family Bacchanal’.
The Character was a White Devil; a traditional and almost forgotten, it seems, Trinidad and Tobago Carnival character.
Additionally the costume had to address issues facing the arts and the artist in the Caribbean.
The devil can be ambiguous. The question that arises for the viewer is, are the artists being mamaguied to stay in line and serve the function that society wants them to serve or do they mamaguy the public, giving it what it thinks it wants in an effort to ensure their survival.
In the latter sense, the devil is the hero because it represents the artists in their struggle to survive as creatives in a sometimes hostile environment.
The horns were based on preliminary designs by Aisha Provoteaux Webster.
The horns bend forward almost as a subjugating gesture but they are still horns and therefore are not simply a sign of submission.
The face mask is hinged. This means that even when the performer bows to the audience the full face is always presented and the character is always on guard.
Other elements of the costume were
a bucket of white body paint, that was distributed to whoever fell for the mamaguy and wanted to become a Whit Devil them self.
a white bag with the word tricks painted on the face of it.
A large part of the success of this portrayal was the use of old techniques to do new things and the introduction of new ideas to traditional mas. What unexpectedly arose was an interesting statement about the possibilities for the future of traditional mass and pretty mas.
To fool someone with smart talk. To make fun of. To ridicule. Flattery. Fatigue. From Mamar gallo - a Spanish metaphor about a fighting cock (Gallo) that fakes or pretends to charge, thereby suckering (Mamar) the other rooster into bad moves. Misleading actions to set up a sucker punch.
The art of sweet-talking someone into doing your bidding, using flattery, cajolery and Chouter. “You so han’some. I know you could fix car an’ t’ing, ent sweet boy”
To ridicule or make fun of someone. “Doh pappy-show meh.”
From Puppet show.
From Coteci Cotela