Celebrating de Icons in de Mas
This section pays homage to veteran Band Leader Marcia Chandler. In 1988, Marcia presented Top Mode Faces , a colourful band which highlighted the beauty of the many Barbadians who graced all walks of life. This presentation along with the ever popular calypso Faces by Lord Radio took Crop Over by storm that year. Before she retired Marcia made many valuable presentations to Kadooment including her ever popular Windforce , which was a tribute to the Mighty Gabby. She also designed for popular bands like Baje International until her official retirement in 1995. Marcia , we at Ooutraje salute your for your hard work, dedication and invaluable contribution to Kadooment.
Like Ooutraje Winston Jordan’s Band was very much a family band. Together with his children and other family members he produced many bands. In fact, his daughter Tricia was the youngest person to ever play Queen of the Bands, with a costume called Ella Mella Dressed in Yella. We at Ooutraje have also benefitted from Winston’s expertise, with two of his most dedicated members becoming two of our most dedicated members. Wilfred Prescod also known as Beardy and Owen Quintyne have been with Ooutraje since its inception. From sun up to sun down, Beardy and Owen could be found working in Winston Jordan’s Band House. This holds true to today as they can be found in our Band House from sun up to sun down as well. Winston was known for his traditional themes. In 1992, he presented a theme of Bajan folklore, which was entitled. Mr. Harding takes a Bride. This section showcases the creativity and uniqueness which was synonymous with the late Winston Jordan- a cultural icon who lived for creating mas.
Last year as we made our way down to Spring Garden, we received the most terrible news. We had lost one of our very own, Renee Sheppard-Ratcliffe. Renee loved mas with everything that was in her. She created vibrant and colourful costumes which matched her personality. Each year, Renee would ensure that she produced bands for Kiddies and Grand Kadooment. Renee was never one to be consumed by competition, in fact in one of our last conversations with her she wished us all the best and requested that we take a photo with her to add to the myriad of photos she took, as photography was also in her blood. The colours used in this costume are synonymous with those of the Dragon Fly. Renee adored dragonflies and so we pay tribute to her by using the insect she loved most as a symbol of her and her love for mas. Continue to sleep in peace Renee, your contribution to the festival will be missed.
Cranston Browne is undoubtedly one of the best Band Leaders to have graced the Kadooment stage. Today, Cranston serves as the Chief Executive Officer of the National Cultural Foundation. We know that the NCF is definitely benefitting from his expertise. However, this year we are looking at another aspect of Cranston. Not only are we highlighting him as a Band Leader but also as a cultural practitioner and entrepreneur. In the 80s and 90s, Cranston’s Band House known as De Paling was a hub for band fetes and limes. Before all of the popular band fetes and limes of today, there was De Paling with its fetes and limes. Out of de paling came the legendary Grass Skirt Posse. A group of young men who donned Grass Skirts and performed with our very own Krosfyah. Costumes in this section are bright and vivid in colour to represent the ambiance which pervaded De Paling. Also featured are pieces of straw which was used in the making of the grass skirts to acknowledge the contribution of the Grass Skirt Posse and Cranston Browne to the cultural landscape of Barbados.
When the name Robert Weekes is mentioned, there is one word which comes to mind- genius. Roberts was an extraordinary designer who created many winning bands. He along with Kenny Bovell, Lusca Compton, the late Alfred Elias and our very own Trevor Chase came together to form Phase 2, an award winning Kadooment Band out of which evolved Ooutraje. Robert strongly believed in the judicious use of colours to capture the essence of design. A perfectionist, he would spend hours drawing and creating costumes until he got the idea he intended to produce. Robert was a great influence on Band Leader Trevor Chase. Even today, Trevor still takes to heart the sound advice Robert would have given him and has vowed never to forget it. Such was Robert’s contribution to Grand Kadooment that upon his passing the National Cultural Foundation named the Festival Designer of the Year award after him. Colour We Crop Over represents the essence of Robert Weekes; his vitality , his dynamism and his love for mas.