Monday, June 25, 2012

My Home Trinidad And Tobago, My Hero Peter Minshall.

As a child I lived in a small village and day after day I was lucky enough to experience something new and wonderful. Some of the things that have stayed with me include the time I learned African dance in the village community center. I vividly remember the African Baptist dressed in their white and blue head wraps and big skirts, chanting in rhythm. And I especially remember the East Indian women dancing on the corner to the beat of the Tassa drums.

During the Christmas season, the sounds of Spanish-influenced music called Parang would fill the streets. But what most sticks in my mind is, of course, Carnival!  The Trinidad and Tobago Carnival is regarded as being one of the greatest shows on earth. The steel pan bands, the calypso beats…you have never seen anything like it until you see it for yourself. To describe Trinidad and Tobago's Carnival, I can sum it up in two words, Peter Minshall!

Photographed Noel Norton

I remember the first time I saw his costumes cross the stage at Carnival. I thought to myself, “What is happening!!” It was my first spiritual experience...
Here is a video that shows you the power of Peter Minshall.



Can’t get enough? Here’s more from Minshall.

 He is our first Emmy award-winning designer. And along with four other designers, he shared an award for contributions to the Opening Ceremony at the Salt Lake 2002 Olympic Winter Games.

In his acceptance speech on September 14, 2002, at the 54th Annual Emmy Awards ceremony in California, Minshall said: “I want to thank all my ancestors. The African, the Indian, the European, all the others. They made me who I am, a Caribbean, a wonderful hybrid man. They came together and made the mas, a wonderful hybrid art, an original form of expression, never before seen.”


What’s amazing is some of these costumes were created over 20 years ago. Every time I go to the movies and I see costumes that are clearly influenced by Minshall, it makes me smile.

I look forward to bringing you all things from Trinidad and Tobago…my home sweet TnT!


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