Foreday started out as a j’ouvert-type, ‘dutty mas’ street party, a mud-and-paint-and-chocolate alternative to the pretty mas of Kadooment Day.
But at some point a few years ago, Foreday started to get prettied up. The costumes became…well costumes, not just t-shirts and short pants and colour-coordinated mud. They became sexier, with brightly coloured fabrics and gems and even feathers and sequins.
As with all change, this has not necessarily been welcomed, with veteran Kadooment band leaders and even Foreday band leaders complaining that the pretty costumes were taking away from the essence of the jump up. More crucially, band leaders are worried that Foreday Morning is taking away their Kadooment revenues with Betty West saying:
“’Even some of my band members are telling me ‘Betty why go in the hot sun when I could jump at night’. I’m kind of concerned about that being a threat to the actual Kadooment.”
To be honest, we have wondered about it too, such as last year when there was the kerfuffle over the costumes by Island Fusion (Barbados’ biggest Foreday band and probably the biggest band full stop). We asked then:
“I mean… it’s Foreday/Jouvert. It’s going to get covered in paint. What’s the big deal? The vast majority of jouvert costumes I see wherever West Indians are found still consist of a t-shirt, short pants, head tie and paint. It’s dutty mas not pretty mas.”
Of course, we were wrong about that since at the end of the jump, many revellers don’t even have a smidge or a smudge of paint on them, with makeup, hair and gems still in place. It’s a whole new (fore) day which makes me wonder if Foreday Morning isn’t evolving into something else more like what has been happening with Monday mas in Trinidad, where designers have been popping up to do custom-designed Monday wear that is an appropriately sexy and glamorous precursor to the Tuesday Carnival costumes.
A comparison of the costumes above (all from Bajantube) of costumes from Foreday Morning and Trinidad Carnival Monday would certainly seem to suggest that.
And if that’s the case, are we in some way making up for being one of the few places with only a Monday jump by using Foreday as another pretty mas jump? Questions, questions…