Jab Molassie

Uploaded 8 Sep 2009 — 9 favorites
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© Dwayne John
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Photo Info
UploadedSeptember 8, 2009
TakenSeptember 7, 2009
MakeNikon Corporation
ModelNIKON D60
Exposure1/50 sec at f/9
FlashNo Flash
Focal Length82 mm
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Q: Focus Fine Art Magazine

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Photo license: © All rights reserved

Originating during the colonial 19th century, the Jab Molassie is one of several varieties of devil mas played during the J'Ouvert morning Carnival celebrations in Trinidad & Tobago.

Jab is the French patois for 'Diable' (Devil), and Molassie is the French patois for 'Mélasse' (Molasses). The costume consists of short pants or pants cut off at the knee, a mask, horns and a pitchfork. In bygone days, the masquerader also smeared every inch of his body with black molasses as an act of defiance against colonial sugar plantation owners – as molasses is a valuable byproduct of sugar production, the devil was essentially robbing the plantation owners of their profits by covering his body with this viscid product. In modern Carnival however, the molasses has been replaced by the use of grease, tar, mud or colored dyes (red, green or blue).

Lefferts Garden, Brooklyn.

Please take a look at my Photo Essay including this photo by clicking below ↓

In the Black & White Portraits photo essay.

7 responses

  • Zohar Lindenbaum

    Zohar Lindenbaum gave props (8 Sep 2009):

    Very nice, Dwayne! Thanks for the info too!

  • Markus Weber

    Markus Weber said (9 Sep 2009):

    Hey Dwayne, that info is neat. Excuse my sassy Flava Flav comment on that other image ;-)

  • Ryan John

    Ryan John gave props (12 Sep 2009):

    Excellent capture!!

  • Zerina Phillip

    Zerina Phillip gave props (14 Sep 2009):

    The devil sure has his day here. Nice B & W.

  • Steve Wilson

    Steve Wilson (Deleted) said (15 Sep 2009):

    This is over the top and wonderful.

  • Ginevra Radice Fossati

    Ginevra Radice Fossati said (13 Mar 2010):

    Vote!! Photo and story are absolutely interesting!!

  • Luke Everett

    Luke Everett gave props (29 Mar 2010):

    This is simply AMAZING!!! GREAT BW!!!!

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