Mas Productions Unlimited visits the ‘Safari’

From left: Aubrie Pinder-Mathias, Ethan Hodge and Mierah Millington.
From left: Aubrie Pinder-Mathias, Ethan Hodge and Mierah Millington.
Photo by Nelson A. King

After seeking “Sanctuary” during the pre-COVID-19 West Indian American Carnival Parade in 2019, the Brooklyn-based Mas Productions Unlimited is visiting the “Safari” during this year’s extravaganza.

“The Standard will be representing the animals,” Band leader Wesley Millington told Caribbean Life at the mas camp on Remsen Avenue in the Canarsie section of Brooklyn.

“This year, it should be interesting,” added the veteran Vincentian mas designer and producer. “We’re sticking to the traditional design and principle. We try to make the portrayal like it’s themed to be.

“When you look at the costumes, it should be self-explanatory,” continued Millington, who has been producing mas for Mas Productions Unlimited for 30 years. “We’re making the masks for the kids to match the costumes.”

He said that, in view of the limited time to prepare for Labor Day, this year’s presentation comprises only three sections in the Junior Mas: “Lion Hunter,” “Zebra” and “Leopard.”

Aubrie Pinder-Mathias, 8, portrays "Leopard."
Aubrie Pinder-Mathias, 8, portrays “Leopard.”Photo by Nelson A. King

“We don’t have enough time, and we had to limit the carnival,” Millington said. “It’s not going to be a full-scale carnival.

“The only reason why we’re doing this is to keep the kids involved, to keep participating,” he added. “This band (production) started for 2020; then, everything shut down.”

Millington said, this year, the West Indian American Day Carnival Association (WIADCA), organizer of the Brooklyn-based annual Caribbean carnival is judging all junior bands together, “giving them one prize.”

“Those of us are doing it (producing mas) for culture’s sake,” he said. “This is the only incentive.”

In 2019, Mas Productions Unlimited placed second in the small band category.

Mierah Millington, 15, portrays "Lion Hunter."
Mierah Millington, 15, portrays “Lion Hunter.” Photo by Nelson A. King

Mierah Millington, 15, Millington’s granddaughter, said she will be playing with Mas Productions Unlimited for the very first time, portraying “Lion Hunter”.

“I feel like I’m going to have a lot of fun, honestly,” she told Caribbean Life. “I grew up around mas.”

Trinidadian Gail Mathias brought along her grandchildren, Ethan Hodge, 10, and Aubrie Pinder-Mathias, 8, to play with Mas Productions Unlimited.

“They know what carnival is all about,” said Ms. Mathias, after her grandchildren modeled their costumes for Caribbean Life.

Ethan Hodge, 10, portrays "Zebra."
Ethan Hodge, 10, portrays “Zebra.” Photo by Nelson A. King

Ethan, who will be playing mas for the first time, portraying “Zebra”, said: “I saw the carnival (in Brooklyn) before, and I walked down the street.”

Aubrie will be portraying “Leopard.”

The mas camp is located at 1504 Remsen Ave., between avenues L and M, in Canarsie.

Millington can be reached at (718) 759-7766.

More from Around NYC