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Cannes brulées: Canboulay: Burnt Sugarcane

(pron. CAN BROO-lay, can-BOOL-lay) Carnival is an outdoor festival party held in South America & the Carribean for three days before Lent. There are parades with large floats, costumes, music, parties, food, alcohol, and dancing. In Trinidad, originally called Iere - Land of the Hummingbird before Columbus destroyed the Arawaks and Carribs, the midnight opening of carnival is called Canboulay after the french phrase cannes brulées; which is the burning of the sugar cane. During slavery Carnival was restricted to white upper class and freedmen called maroons. By 1838, the aristocracy had lost control, and former slaves flocked to the streets and africanized the festival. Today thousands of people and tourists visit Carnival. Popular African origin carnival dances are: the Tango (Argentina), Rumba (Cuba), Biguine (Martinique), Samba (Brazil), and Calypso (Trinidad). Calypso music uses steel pan drums [drums were outlawed by the British] and is sung in the french-creole language called patois. Soca is a hybrid of calypso and electric guitar. There is a Calypso Queen and a Soca Monarch for the masquerade which is called mas. Popular costumes are: insects, birds, bloodsuckers, ghosts, outerspace themes, folklore and shapeshifters. (6, 7)

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