Mas Dominik in living colour
Colours as bright as Dominica's sun, music as hot as only Dominican bands can jam, carnival lovers jumping as if tomorrow would never come.
That's was Mas Dominik on the streets of Roseau, Dominica's capital, this Monday morning.
There were the ever-present Castle Bruce masqueraders, among about a dozen of them a women with a coconut and a breadfruit perched on her head, darkies as dark as sin hitting white goat-skin drums and playing the "gwaj".
Preschoolers came too, some recreating the fairy tale about an old woman who lived in a shoe who had so many children she was "bazoudi". One child was happily sipping a Quenchi Tangie Manderine while another looked so miserable the frustrated old woman probably had scolded her.
The Saint Mary's Primary School boys were there too dressed in yellow and blue and white pushing their multi-coloured "kabouwe".
Among the most creative displays from Dominica's schools at carnival 2015 was the St. Martin Primary School's depiction of the splendid "Parrots of the Caribbean" from Trinidad and Tobago, St, Vincent and the Grenadines, Jamaica and Belize.
The people who never seem to miss a mas were there as well, among them Gerard Cools Latigue, the LIAT local manager and Jenifer Wallace- Lafond who would not be enjoying the "jump up" with such expressive joy if her nomination for the post of President of Dominica was not withdrawn. Heads of State don't jump up in carnival bands.
A man had painted 2015 on the back of his head and used glittering golden paint on his face; a large shaggy dog was leading a blind man ahead of the band, the man was dancing, the dog didn't seem to mind; a few old ladies were taking pictures with tablets and they were laughing as they shared the photos- technology apparently does not discriminate either by gender or by age in Mas Dominik; a short lady hugged a tall dark gorilla monster dressed in sensay, he growled, she kissed him on his ugly lips and they hugged again; an obviously extremely drunk man with a goofy smile on his face stood in front of a moving truck with his arms stretched wide like the Tank Man of Tiananmen Square in 1989; and there were the tall trucks with huge monster speakers making a cacophony of music that made everyone jump and chip.
And there was bad news too. A young man was stabbed to death this morning during the closing hours of j'ouvert.
Mas Domnik, the spontaneous, unscripted, unique carnival of the Caribbean, is apparently alive and well.