Carnival was introduced to Trinidad by French settlers in 1783, a time of slavery. Banned from the masquerade balls of the French, the slaves would stage their own mini-carnivals in their backyards — using their own rituals and folklore, but also imitating and sometimes mocking their masters’ behavior at the masquerade balls.
Every year the Caribbean population in various cities including Baltimore, MD; Atlanta, GA; Boston, MA; Miami, FL; New York, NY and Toronto, Canada replicate the carnival that takes place in Trinidad and Tobago. This massive celebration, includes a parade through the streets of the various cities.
The origins of street parties associated with J'ouvert coincide with the emancipation from slavery in 1838. Emancipation provided Africans with the opportunity, to not only participate in Carnival, but to embrace it as an expression of their newfound freedom. Some theorize that some J'ouvert traditions are carried forward in remembrance of civil disturbances in Port of Spain, Trinidad, when the people smeared themselves with oil or paint to avoid being recognized.[
In Trinidad and Tobago, a part of the tradition involves smearing paint, mud or oil on the bodies of participants.
"I have so much fun playing with this group. For one day I feel as if I'm back in Trinidad and Tobago- the comraderie of this band is phenomenal."
Janet H. Washington, DC
"I have never been to Carnival but if this experience is like Carnival in the islands... I am ready to go"
Steven J. Austell, GA
"What I admire about this band, is that it transcends race, class, gender and age. The young and the not-so-young are all together as one. "
Duane C. Baltimore, MD
"Awesome experience!!! - The MUSIC was pumping!!"
Cristina F. Baltimore, MD
"Mud Sweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeetttttttttt!!! "
Susan B. Baltimore, MD
"The only time you can truly "Spread yuh hands and leggooo!!!"
Alan A. Washington, DC
"OMG- Had a time..."
Cherrie W. Ontario, Canada
"I will never miss playing mud!!"
Sandy R. Brooklyn, NY
"MUD! MUSIC! MAYHEM!
Tony C. Washington, DC
"I've been playing mud since in Trinidad BUT I have never played mud like this!
David T. Trinidad and Tobago