Dean Ackin, centre, is flanked by beautiful Tribe models. Photo: Sean Nero
Tribe Carnival will launch its tenth anniversary presentation for C2K14 titled TRIBETen—a tribute to traditional Fancy Indian mas—on July 20 at the Queen’s Park Savannah, Port-of-Spain.
This mas was the genre with which Tribe debuted in 2004 when it presented a section titled Tribe in the now defunct band Poison. The modernised fancy Indian costume presented by the fledgling Tribe back then impressed many, including legendary masman Peter Minshall who said it “looked like a band on its own” crossing the stage at the Queen’s Park Savannah. Minshall said the design took him back to the Carnival he knew.
This encouraged Tribe’s Dean Ackin and his wife Monique Nobrega to expand into a full-fledged band, which has become a top mas band, spawning a sister band, Bliss. TRIBETen celebrates these achievements and also the traditional mas that paved the way. One new element of Tribe 2014 is Anya Elias, who founded Spice mas band, joining the team to produce a section in TRIBETen. Elias and her Spice management committee took a break from producing the band because they are now involved in projects that leave them with little time to devote to the production of their band. Elias is completing her degree in business administration and also embarking on a new business venture.
Akin invited Elias to design and manage a section for TRIBETen and although having already set her mind to stay away from Carnival for a while, she accepted the offer. She decided that she loved mas too much to stay away completely and because Tribe is big on customer service, she felt it would be the best fit for her and her masqueraders. Some of Elias’ Spice masqueraders had expressed great disappointment over the band folding and Elias thought she could at least make some of them happy by doing the section in Tribe.