Bourik with Kanaval Superheroes

  • Posted on: 18 January 2009
  • By: Bryan Schaaf
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Today is the second Sunday into Carnival season and all the antics are already in full swing and from now on they will build and build each Sunday up until Mardi Gras. Bourik (BOS) had a chance to get up close and personal with an original karnaval troupe in Cayes Jacmel. And this is what came of talking to Spiderman, Flash Gordon, Black Spiderman, Unfinished Paper Mache Head-man and another masked boy… well at least until another troupe busted in trying to outdo the “Superheroes.” It was real good versus evil like stuff. And being that we’re in Haiti…

BOS: Yes. Go ahead and do your dance and singing.

Superheroes: Singing and the shaking of plastic water and soda bottles filled with pebbles ensue.
5 Minutes Later

BOS: OK wait a minute. What are you guys singing?
MB: Our Carnival song.
BOS: And how does it go?
MB & UPMHM: “If you need to know what my mom is cooking… rice and pigeon peas.”
BOS: Why do I need to know what your mom is cooking? And why are you singing about that?
SM: Because it’s a carnival song.
BOS: Singing about mom’s cooking is a carnival song? Ok and next line is what?
MB: “If you need to know what’s in the box… pay me and I’ll show you.”
BOS: Wait. What box?
MB: We don’t have the box yet. It’s at the carpenter’s shop getting built but we don’t have the money yet to pay him for it.
BOS: So you’re out making money now so you can pay for the box that’s already in your song?
MB: Yes.
BOS: Ok and the next line?
MB: “OJ here we are in front.”
BOS: OJ? What is OJ?
MB: OJ is a person.
BOS: Thought to self… Simpson? Ok, go on.
MB: “They come to test him. They can’t find him. They find the Lord.”
BOS: OK go on.
MB: “There’s the army turning at your back. Don’t stand there. If you stand there you’ll burn.”
BOS: I don’t understand. Why will you burn and why is the army on your back. Wait first. Where did you get this song?
MB & BSM: It’s our song. The five of us wrote it.
MB: I have another song that’s just mine. It goes like this…
PMB: No that’s enough. He heard enough.

Just then in busts another group. About 9 boys a few wearing wigs, sunglasses, and a mix of rags and jazzy shirts, splashed on make-up and the smallest of the bunch wearing a lavender chicken outfit with green gold wings. The cacophony of banging on buckets, shaking plastic bottles filled with pebbles, and shrilling pubescent voices took over. And as the song went on the lead boy (11 years old perhaps) with the staff wearing the blue shirt with white hibiscus, sunglasses and a silvery wig bent the smallest of the bunch over, the one in the chicken suit and gyrated to the lyrics, “fè pwent nan bounda fè bound fè reso.”
BOS: What did you just do to that little chicken!?
LB: That chicken? That chicken asked for the cock. So I gave it the cock.
BOS: Where did you learn that song?
LB: We heard it on the radio.
BOS: I see you guys have a box. What’s in the box?
Boy: Pay us and we’ll tell you.

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