December 2018

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National competitions for traditional carnival characters notwithstanding, no one site brings such a comprehensive collection together than the Old Yard hosted by The UWI’s Department of Creative and Festival Arts (DCFA) every year. And it isn’t just robber talk from some mocking pretender to make that claim.

The Old Yard, which began life as Viey La Cou, took place on February 3 at its regular venue: the DCFA’s Gayelle on Agostini Street in St. Augustine.

The care and attention to detail that goes into creating this gayelle is heart-warming. The yard is remade with an architectural style reminiscent of times gone by, and the characters come out flexing exquisite detail as they bring to life the figures from the past and demonstrate the antics and traits for which they are known.

Dames, devils, jab jabs, baby dolls, gorillas, imps, medieval figures, donkeys, pierrots, minstrels, midnight robbers and ghostly figures were all present.

Like a heritage fair of sorts, onlookers can stroll, sit, feast, and play games while mingling with the masqueraders, and for the children it is always an enormous treat, while being an unnoticed history lesson.

Photographer Aneel Karim was at the gayelle and came back with so many spectacular shots that it was difficult selecting just a few for these pages, so why not visit us online at Flickr and check out some of the others?