Sunday 5 April, 2020

12 Bajan characters you could be for Halloween

You don’t need to look to Hollywood for a fun costume this weekend.

With a culture so diverse and rich, finding a character to embody for Halloween can be especially easy for a Barbadian.

If you walk the streets of Barbados every other person that you pass exhibits mannerisms that without a doubt are bizarre and in most cases pleasantly and hilariously so. Additionally, our folklore which is a direct result of our African ancestry has birthed many characters which we treasure. Bearing this in mind, below you can find a few Bajan figures you can be for Halloween.

Baccoo - This creature has many origins and versions but here in Barbados it is defined as a short manlike creature that is owned by an itinerant sales man of Indian descent and summoned to punish those who refuse to pay outstanding monies. Once captured the Baccoo is kept in a bottle and is said to grant the wishes of the capturer much like that of a leprechaun.

Steel Donkey – This eerie beast is said to roam the streets of Barbados at night but to this day it has not been seen… or has it!?

The Heart Man – Said to be a scary-looking man who rips out the hearts of “hard ears” children. Some also believe that he is “heartless” hence his name and therefore he steals hearts for personal benefit.

Mother Sally – Usually accompanied by the tuk band this Barbadian character is a woman dressed in traditional Bajan wear who is well endowed in the bosom and derrière area and dances vigorously. Ironically, this character is often played by a man.

Shaggy Bear – Also called “The Bank Holiday Bear” since he makes appearances mostly on bank holidays, the shaggy bear is said to depict an African witch doctor and resembles a shaggy dog rather than a bear. He executes has commendable dance moves and acrobatic skills.

Green Monkey – This character is usually portrayed by a man outfitted in a full body suit that resembles the actual green monkey animal found here in Barbados. This character imitates the agility of a green monkey and its noises as well.

The Stilt Man – Originally called the ‘tilt-man’, the stilt-man is referred to as a  ‘moko jumbies’ by other cultures and is a man who walks and dances on tall, slender elevated posts.

Mr. Harding – Symbolising hard times, “Mr. Harding” is a figurine made of cane bits which are sculpted into the form of a human body and stuffed into a pair of trousers and a coat with a top hat on its head.

Duppy – “Duppy” is the Bajan term for a corpse or the spirit of a dead person.


Modern-day characters

You don't only have to stick to folklore and tradition - check out some contemporary subjects that are sure to be a hit.

Ninja Man – Usually spotted around various areas of Bridgetown, Ninja Man is not a ninja but his fashion taste is definitely sharp. This street character has delighted many Barbadians with his eclectic fashion sense, and you can’t go wrong this Halloween by recreating some of his more notorious looks. A super-soaker and a jeans shorts is an easy outfit to whip up.

Lord Zenn’s Overly Conscious Friend – Created by the entertainer and social media sensation Lord Zenn, this character is very ‘woke’ and disagrees with many of the customs of society. This character also popularised the phrase “iz de system, fam” which he uses to justify his conspiracy theories about society. All you need for this one is a bed sheet, a towel, a broom and a large rolled up piece of paper.

De One Eyebrow Girl – This outspoken lady was made famous due to her dissatisfaction with having to evacuate her workplace mid make-up application with only one eyebrow drawn on due to a fire drill. A red shirt, a heavily drawn-on eyebrow (or plaster over one eyebrow) and you’re set.

For sure Barbados is home to countless other characters, so let us know some of your favourites and what outfit you’ll be putting together this coming weekend.

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