The Midnight Robber is one of the more popular and well loved characters portrayed in the traditional mas of Trinidad and Tobago. A typical Midnight Robber costume consists of a wide brimmed, tassled hat, a cape and accessories such as weapons and/ or a coffin. The Midnight Robber always makes use of a shrill whistle to command the attention of his audience or other Robersons nearby. He performs a drastic and rhythmic speech, often about his ancestry mixed with other themes of history, religion and mythology. At the end of his speech, Midnight Robber will often ask for money.
This week’s Colouring page is based on the traditional Carnival Character fondly known as Dame Lorraine.
The Dame Lorraine character is a parody of the masquerade played by French planters of the 18th and 19th century. On the Sunday before carnival, they would dress up and parade in fancy costumes of the French aristocracy at group gatherings at private homes where they would also dance sophisticated dances of that period.
The liberated slaves recreated these elaborate costumes with whatever scraps of readily available materials they could collect. They would often emphasize the bosom and behind with pillows or stuffing for added comedic effect.