Sexy and modern will meet the storied past when Carnival band Ramajay takes to the road Labor Day. Ramajay founders and sisters Reisha Holder and Reishelle Maynard-Richards have never lacked vision, they began five years ago with the goal to bring the all inclusive mas experience to Brooklyn: “We noticed a void on the parkway. a lot of people were playing mas in Trinidad or Miami but not here” Reisha explains.
Five years later, as reigning top band their theme “Reflections of Carnival Then and Now” merges the energy of contemporary mas with Trinidadian traditional characters such as sexy and modern Firemen, Fancy Sailors, Jab Molassies, Midnight Robbers, Fancy Indians will parade on Eastern Parkway this Labor Day with 11 sections and 50 to 75 masqueraders in the barrier breaking production.
A visit to their mas camp at 1012 East 92nd St. in Flatbush found activity in full swing, bandmembers were on hand to welcome visitors who browsed through the two rooms of stunning costumes displayed on walls and mannequins. In a corner, Roll Alleyne and several others worked constructing the headdresses for the Dame Lorraine section.
Designer Reishelle explained the theme “Then and Now” is educational for young generation of masqueraders unfamiliar with the rich history of carnival. It bridges the gap between traditional and modern by introducing elements of old mas characters into the sexy modern look.The Midnight Robber costume is easily recognized by the broad brimmed hat, and emphasizes a skeletal pattern in the rib cage. The Mama dis is Mas costume, inspired by the 1964 Kitchner calypso, is held together by a belt of blue ovals representing the notes of a steel pan.
The Jab Mollasie costume is crowned with devil horns and black color represents the burning of the cane for mosses.
All sections can be seen on their website www.ramajaymasny.com. the mas camp is open 4:00 – 9:00 p.m. Monday – Thursday; 6:00 p.m. – midnight Friday and 4:00 – 9:00 p.m. Saturday. The adult mas package includes snacks and non alcoholic drinks all day; souvenirs and costume accessories and on the road repairs; security and roaming photographers; top DJs and appearances by soca stars (Super Jigga TC, Machel Montano, Shal Marshall, and Kes the Band have appeared in past years). “Sections are filling up quickly,” says Maynard-Richards.