April 11, 2015
1522 DOMINICA - Mas Domnik
Dominica draws on a mix of cultures: Names of French places appear as often as English. African language, foods and customs often mingle with European traditions as part of the island's Creole culture. The Caribs still carve dugouts (canoes), build houses on stilts, and weave distinctive basketwork. Rastafarian and Black pride influences are also common. However, the core of Dominican culture is deeply embedded in the European culture, specifically that of the British. Music and dance are important facets of Dominica's culture, and its carnival is known to be the most original and least commercialized giving the carnival its name the original mas.
Chanté mas is a form of Carnival music of Dominica, performed by masequerading partygoers in a two-day parade, in a call-and-response format (lavwé), with a lead female singer (chantwèl) dancing backwards in front of the drummer on a tambou lélé. It has African and French roots and is known as Mas Dominik. The chanté mas tradition started to become dominated by imported calypso and steel pan music in the early 1960s. After a fire in 1963, the traditional carnival was banned, though calypso and steel pan continued to grow in popularity. Calypso appealed to Carnival-partygoers because the lyrical focus on local news and gossip was similar to that of chanté mas, despite a rhythmic pattern and instrumentation which contrast sharply with traditional Dominican Mas Domnik music.
Carnival in Dominica is held in the capital City of Roseau, and takes elements of carnival that can be seen in the neighbouring French islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe, as well as Trinidad and Tobago Carnival. Notable events that take place during the season leading up to carnival include "j'ouvert" the opening of Carnival celebrations, the calypso Monarch music competition, the queen of Carnival Beauty Pageant and bouyon music bands. Celebrations last for the Monday and Tuesday before Ash Wednesday.
About the stamp
The stamp, showing Vincent's Least Gecko, is part of a series of 12 depicting species of lizard found in Dominica, released on October 1, 2011.
Culture of Dominica - Wikipedia
Sent from Roseau (Dominica), on 24.03.2015