Africa’s Influence in Carnival. The Sensay of Dominica.
The word Sensay comes from the Ghanian word ‘senseh’.
In the Twi language spoken in Ghana, ‘senseh’ is a chicken with ruffled feathers.
Traditionally, Sensay costumes were made of sisal rope, derived from natural fibres of the agave sisalana plant.
Today, they are made from crocus bags, banana leaves, frayed rope and cloth, with a mask and cow horn headpieces.
The costume is tied around the entire body in layers so that it falls from the head to the feet- resembling a ‘frizzle fowl’, held sacred among the Twi people.
The sensay figures or band mauvais as they are called can be even more intimidating wearing platform shoes and armed with a whip or baton while teasing onlookers.
Following the abolition of slavery and the slave trade, the freed slaves celebrated by engaging in masquerade, dancing and singing in the streets and embracing carnival as an expression of their new found freedom.
Reminds me of the #zangbeto and #igbomasquerade also.
#knowyourcaribbean #dominica #realmas #sensaymas #sensaymasquerade #sensay #ghana #twi #traditionalmas #blackhistory #caribbeanhistory #africanhistory