Controversy! Strong opinions! International media coverage! Know a thing or five about the most talked about creation of T&T Carnival 2016.

  1. Minshall first thought of the costume over a decade ago. Newsday reports, “he came up with the ballerina idea around 2001 when he was working on another production in New York months before the September 11 attacks”.
  2. Jha Whan Thomas has played a Moko Jumbie King before. A few times, but most famously in 2007 when he fell while playing the elephant ‘Raj Kumar Boyie’ for Brian MacFarlane. Click here to check out that costume (it was pretty great too).
  3. Before this presentation, no one seemed to have picked up on the opportunity to manipulate the actual stilts of the Moko Jumbie instead of just covering them up. Let’s see what mas makers will do next with this now seemingly obvious innovation.
  4. ‘Ras Nijinsky in Drag as Pavlova’ is not just an ‘arty sounding’ subtitle. ‘Ras’ is not just referring to the dreadlocks on Jha Whan’s head, or rather it is, but you first have to understand what locks mean. To be brief, ‘Ras’ is an Ethiopian title equivalent to prince or chief. Nijinsky refers to Vaslav Nijinsky. Pavlova would be Anna Pavlova.
  5. No this doesn’t mean Minshall is bringing out a band. The mojo king is attached to the band K2K Alliance and Partners for their presentation this year entitled ‘Searching For Shangri-La’. It may or may not be a loose arrangement with them (one of the rules of the King and Queen competitions is that presentations must be part of registered bands, so some large costume makers are forced to make deals with bandleaders that do not include creative collaboration or funding) but whatever the arrangement, their mas is pretty awesome. And unlike several other bands who have tried to come with a non-bikini & beads band in the past, K2K doesn’t get seem to get saddled with the constant accusations that they are “just copying Minshall” – which just makes it even cooler than Minsh has made this super legit connection to them.

Haunting pic from @yahudah_solutions_photography on Instagram.

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