Very briefly. The Diablo de Portobelo is the main character in the Festival of Diablos and Congos held in Portobelo, Colón, Panama.
Congos of Portobelo today are the descendants of the cimarrones—runaway slaves
who fiercely fought for their freedom during the Spanish colonial period. Today,
the Congos memorialize their ancestors during Congo Carnival in street
performances, music, dance, and costumes. http://www.coloncity.com/congos.html
Diablo de Portobelo
I use to hate hate hate the diablos growing up, they scared me shitless. But like most haters I was just a misguided admirer. My brothers got to make their own diablo masks and I'd be stuck doing girl stuff. Diablos are a common figure at Caribbean carnivals, every country has their own version... of course I think my country has the best *wink*
The seed to be a diablo was planted when I went home to Colón, Panama this summer. We were on our way to La Playa (the beach) and I saw the diablo below painted on a wall when we stopped in Portobelo. The painting brought back childhood memories. While we were there, my cousins also took me to see the Portobelo ruins below and also seen in the video above.
Miss Panama won best national costume in the Miss Universe competition in 2009 with her version of the Diablo de Portobelo. You can't tell me this isn't the dream carnival costume for any girl that had to sit back and watch her brothers make their own diablo costumes. *Photo also taken at the Portobelo ruins*
Making my basic version of el Diablo de Portobelo was pretty simple. I went into a store that I would never normally shop in and bought a one piece jumpsuit that I would never normally wear. Bought red, black & white felt from Michael's crafts to make the eyes, mouth and flames. I used white pom pom fringe to simulate the bells that the diablos wear on their legs. I didn't wanna walk around jigglin baby!!! The diablos wear bells on their legs so that you can hear them coming and run for your mutha BEEP'n life!!!
The tail was made out of braided yarn. I cut triangles and sewed them to the seams of the jumpsuit (btw the jumpsuit is inside out cause the outside was actually grey/black). Bought a dreaded wig and glued on horns and then add face paint.
My brother has a smaller diablo mask that I thought about wearing, but alcohol, hot packed club and masks don't mix. I would like to one day make my own mask, most are made out of
paper mache. I'm pretty crafty, I think I can do it.
Festival de Los Congos - Portobelo, Colón, Panama
Any who, just wanted to give a quick history lesson on my costume so that those Not In The Know understand that the picture below is NOT what I was aiming for. One has nothing to do with the other.
*NOTE* Diablo Rojo is the nickname of the beautifully decorated city buses in Panama, which is why you see a bunch of buses in the 1st video.
First step, where does one find a cheap purple jacket?BOOM, thanks Joker costume.
Next step was to bling it out just a
tad.Prince has silver studs on the
shoulder of his jacket. I couldn’t find silver, so I had to go with gold iron ons.
Next step was to buy a yard of lace, we know Prince LOVES
I made two arm pieces to give the impression
that I had a seriously ruffly shirt on under my jacket.
Next I cut two strips of lace, one wider than
the other to tie around my neck to again give the impression that I had on a
seriously ruffly shirt. I actually just wore a short sleeved collared shirt under the jacket & popped my collar up.
To complete the look I added some faux leather pants (cause
I can’t afford real leather), black heeled boots (Prince would probably laugh
at my low heels and out dance me in higher heels). Added a lil cheap wig, a mole, a seriously sexy sideburn and mustache.Final touch was my daughter’s Guitar Hero guitar
so I could ROCK OUT!!!
Although Miami carnival road march is my absolute least favorite of all road
marches, the carnival weekend is at the top of my list. My Caribbean peeps from
around the globe fly in for a week of straight bacchanal at what I like to call
“The Annual Caribbean Reunion”
I was supposed to fly out Thur nite, but the anticipation got the best of me
and I switched to an early afternoon flight. Stockpiled the condo with booze,
relaxed then spent the evening picking up Autobots from the airport.
We had a
pregame fete at the condo Thursday nite then headed off to Tribe Ignite at the new location of
Solare Garden. We had a really good time although it didn't seem as insane in
the membrane as previous Tribe Ignites at the old location of The Hard Rock. DJ Private Ryan was there so I was good. We
had a Day 1 casualty, but I’m not gonna name names. Maybe sharing my Puncheon
wasn’t a good idea.
DJ Private Ryan & Walshy Fire
Day 2 was Rise / Shine at Virginia Key Beach and Socavivor did not disappoint.
Last year we almost passed out from the heat so this year we decided to go the
VIP route so we could relax in the shade. Originally we planned to go out onto
the other side of the venue and link with other friends but Socavivor spoiled
us with the free booze, snacks, entertainment, cool air mist and we ended up
not wanting to venture into "general population" as it became called.
Eventually we ventured over to the water and it became a wet fete... for me at
least. Rise /Shine remains at the top of my fete list.
Friday afternoon was spent picking up costumes & jouvert packages. I
think when picking a band the costume or price shouldn't be the deciding
factor, the mas camp location should be. The one thing we don't have a lot of
is time and mucho was time was wasted during this process, but anyway.
Another pregame fete at the condo Friday nite and it was off to Big Phatt
beach party at Nikki beach. The girls had a blast. Shots shots shots, they were
wine’n on every sexy man that passed by them.My main concern was getting out onto the beach, I couldn't be that close
to the beach and play in the water. So they honored my request and we went out and
danced in the sand for a while. Then back inside to bump and grind. I had a
good time, no complaints.
Saturday morning was jouvert and I found myself sounding like Peter Ram,
"Is this a carnival or is this a bacchanal?" Pure madness to the 10th
power. The video and the photos speak for themselves.Paco called jouvert the equivalent to Monday
mas in Trinidad and like I said in my Trinidad blog, I had more fun on Monday
than I did on Tuesday.I can’t wait to
do jouvert next year; I think I just might come a lil earlier.
Saturday afternoon we went to South Beach for some tasty Fat Tuesday and
beach fete with Mr. Bose. We shoulda had our asses in bed resting, but feters
Saturday nite pregame fete at the condo of course and then off to the Miami
Nice boat ride around midnight. The first 2 hours of the boat ride were awesome.
The beauty of Miami, being on the water, awesome chunes... good times. Then
shit got real! Its 2:30am, we been drinking and partyn nonstop for a couple
days. Everybody is mutha frekkin tired and tryn to plot an escape off the boat.
I promise u if the DJ said they were gonna extend the time they would have had
a full blown mutiny on their hands. It wasn’t just us feeling like this, a lot
of people on the boat were like, “SET US FREE!!!”Lesson here... no mo midnight boat rides.
Carnival was Sunday and as carnival pros we know to arrive whenever
the *BEEP* we feel like it and NOT 10am
like the bands advise. 2 of my peeps were in Generation X, 2 of my peeps were
in Euphoria Mas, and 3 of my other peeps designed their own costume and we
comprised the band "Party Crashers Inc. (PCI)" I’m pretty sure PCI
had the most fun on the road and should win band of the year.We started the parade with Gen X, wandered
around for a while and ended with Euphoria. I had a dayym good time regardless
of the horrible parade route that has you doing laps around Sun Life Stadium.
Booze, soca and friends equal a good time wherever.
Got like an hour power nap after carnival and it was off to Bongos for Jabba
Strikes Back round 1am. I was pretty useless there. I had nothing left to give.
I only stayed about 90min and then it was off to bed dammit!!! A couple of the girls stayed later and partied their lives away. I did however
eat like a champ Nom Nom Nom!!!Some people
don’t like Jabba because they say it is too packed.I will admit the inside is Fire Hazard jammed
packed, but they play reggae inside so I am very content in the large open area
outside where the soca is played and there is plenty of space to dance. It has
its own bars, bathrooms and seating areas so I’m good.
Monday a couple of the peeps flew out and the others spent the first half of
the day stockpiling energy.Around 6pm
we went to the Glasshouse fete back at Solare Gardens. Lesson learned here is
if you are gonna party at Solare Gardens, do so at the beginning of the long
weekend.By Monday the bathrooms were
like something out of a Dave Chappelle Popcopy skit.Other than an insane fear of having to go to
the bathroom, Glasshouse was a blast although I really wanted to go to Wet
Fete.The girls once again GOT IT
There was no last lap for us Monday nite, We had an old people fete at the condo and we were in bed nice and early like
good little girls.Well, MOST of us were in bed early like good
girls. Once again NO NAMES!!!
the girls had early morning flights out Tuesday.It was just the two Panamanians left to hold
down the fete fort Tuesday. Hilariously I was supposed to leave Tuesday
morning, but I wasn’t ready to leave. I changed my flight and hit the beach and
then ended up missing my 2nd flight.I just wasn’t meant to leave Miami. muahahaha keep the party going!
The beauty of Miami
Over all I wanna say that I was really impressed that the Caribbean DJs are playing more and more African chunes. Slightly out dated chunes, but progress is progress. See you mutha socas next year!!! MUAH!!! xoxo