By Walter Greene
When the West Indian American Day Carnival hit Brooklyn this year's
Labor Day weekend, the Jouvert band that will have all eyes on them as
usual is Pagwah - The Band. An expected contingent of some 500 mas
players will hit the streets during the early morning hours of Labor
Day in Brooklyn. This year, Pagwah The Band's theme will be "The
Rebirth" portrayed in a myriad of colorful costumes designed and
created with the theme in mind. White is used as a canvas, aided and
abetted by a burst of vivid color including elaborate hats, brightly
colored wrap-arounds and elongated earrings add to the mystique and
glamour of the costumes. Pagwah is known to bring fashion and pageantry
to their band's costume each year. Themes like "Here Comes the Sun"
"Those Who Have Eyes" and "One Blood" were played out over the past
years. This year's 2012 spectacular presentation "The Rebirth" has
already caused a buzz among Jouvert players, who look forward to
Pagwah's amazing theatretical presentation for Jouvert.
Pagwah - The Band came out in 2008 through the vision of their talented
band leader Richard Pacific. The band's mission is to united people
under one positive vibration. Designers and creators Donna Dove and
RoseAnn Baptiste, two of New York fashion industries leading
visionaries work alongside Pacific to conceptualize yearly themes and
produce the award winning costumes. Their collaborative effort bring
cutting edge ideas and great energy to this rapidly growing movement.
And, as they say..."but remember it's PRETTY DIRTY MAS."
Pagwah is an Indo-Caribbean Hindi celebration, held in Trinidad &
Tobago, Guyana and other countries. It is a festival of fun and
laughter. Pagwah celebrates springtime and re-newal. Harking back to
the ancient life of the holy youth `Prahalad', whose name means `joy.'
Pagwah is played out as the climax of a three day festival of colors, a
street celebration where people arrive wearing all white and leave
alive with color, their clothes having been squirted with brightly
colored dyed water called; abeer. The festival offers devotees a unique
opportunity for release and self expression.
Jouvert is derived from French patois which means "day break." This
celebration started with the slaves, and speaks to the mimicking of the
slave master's persona. The day starts before dawn and peaks a few
hours after sunrise. In Trinidad & Tobago a part of the tradition
involves smearing paint, mud, powder or oil on the bodies of the
participants while they dance on the streets to the music of the steel
drum, iron percussion instruments and regular drums.
For more information and registration, visit pagwah.com or visit their
new location at Volume 2 band yard; 112 Veronica Place, between
Albemarie & Tilden.