Mark, Nagassar crowned Carnival King and Queen

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

RULERS: The King and Queen of Carnival, Raymond Mark and Priya Nagassar with their trophies after being crowned at the Dinmanche Gras, Queen’s Park Savannah. – JEFF K. MAYERS

THE Senior King and Queen of Carnival are masqueraders Raymond Mark and Priya Nagassar. They were crowned following the finals of the competition during Dimanche Gras at the Queen’s Park Savannah on Sunday.

Mark portrayed The Feathered Serpent Creature Ku Kul Kan, out of the band Mythical Creatures. For his presentation, he was preceded on stage by a Mayan warrior. The serpent’s head in Mark’s costume breathed steam as it crossed the stage.

In Mayan mythology, Ku Kul Kan was worshipped as a god with great strength, having control over the air and the wind. He was depicted on stage as a fantasy creature having feathers, wings and adorned in royal colours.

KINGLY ACT: Raymond Mark in his costume The Feathered Serpent Creature Ku Kul Kan en route to being crowned King of Carnival on Sunday at the Dimanche Gras, Queen’s Park Savannah. PHOTOS BY JEFF MAYERS –

The peacock-like feathers were trimmed in lighted neon tubes, and Mark sported a feathered headdress. The skirt of the costume showed the other faces of the god. Mark said it felt fantastic to get a crown after eight years of being in the finals of the competition.

“To actually be crowned King of Carnival, words cannot begin to explain, it is a fantastic experience.” He said his portrayal was based on Mayan mythology and Mayan-influenced mas.

“We took a fantasy spin on it and entered it into the fantasy category. By doing so, we were able to do the Mayan mas but to add the little glitz, the technical things with the lighting etc., to have the traditional aspect of the mas evolve into something different.”

Mark who designed the costume thanked his team in the band for working together to make the costume a success.

“When I started doing the Kings and Queens competition, it was Ernesto Jardine who got me into it and he has been my biggest influence in this mas and the King of Carnival, so I have to thank him and all of my team.”



Nagassar was visibly emotional when her name was announced and she collected her prize. She said this is only her second year participating in the senior queens competition.

“I’ve been playing mas since I was four. I’ve done Junior Queens before, this year is my second in senior queens and by far the best year of my life.

“I thought I was dreaming, when I came up on stage. I had to ask someone to pinch me. I’m really, really overwhelmed and I’m really happy and so thankful to the judges for this experience I’m facing right now.”

Nagassar, 22, portrayed The Mother of All Carnival Celebrations, from the band Celebration of the People. For her presentation, she was preceded on stage by child dancers whose wings welcomed her on stage. The description of the costume said that the people of TT eagerly awaited the arrival of the mother of all carnivals.

ALL HAIL THE QUEEN: Priya Nagassar’s The Mother of All Carnivals costume won her the Queen of Carnival crown on Sunday evening. –

“As the saying goes, Carnival is colour. This is the most colourful, energetic, vibrant, dazzling and music-filled celebration. Multi-coloured satin fabrics, gold braid, gold lace, netting, spangles, and gemstones were used to construct the costume on a structure made of steel, fibreglass, aluminium rods, PVC pipes, and wire,” the queen said.

Nagassar thanked her parents, grandparents, and costume designers Franklyn Jagdeo and Rickie Sooknanan from Hott Stuff Promotion in Curepe, who brought out the band.

Dethroned monarchs Joseph Lewis and Shynel Brizan, each placed third this time around.

Lewis portrayed Udeveli Oluhlaza – The Haunted Jab of Canboulay, from the band Wonders of This World, A Tribute to TT. Brizan portrayed Aimee, A Dancer Of Freedom’s Cousinship to Epitaphs of Fate, from the band Carnival.

Veteran masman Ted Eustace placed second with his presentation El Conquistador from the band Breakaway Beats. The competition took place before a packed audience in the Grand Stand.

Neither the competitors nor the audience were deterred when a cold drizzle began to fall around 1 am on Monday although the stage had to be cleared and dried several times to ensure the safety of the performers, some of whom were on stilts.


1. Raymond Mark, The Feathered Serpent Creature Ku Kul Kan

2. Ted Eustace, El Conquistador

3. Joseph Lewis, Udeveli Oluhlaza – The Haunted Jab of Canboulay

4. Kyle Anthony Matas, Creatio Ex Nihlo – The Eternal Source Of Light Divine

5. Ravi Lakhan, Tribute – Jesters of the Tainted Past

6. Joel Lewis, Waterfall Oracle

7. Russell Grant, The Resurrection Mule

8. Ronald Barney Blaize, Legacy of the Mighty Spartans

9. Marlon Rampersad, Hades King of the Underworld

10. Tekel Sylvan, Believe It Or Not They Are Here


1. Priya Nagassar, The Mother of All Carnivals – Celebrations

2. Marie Eligon, Cleansing Fire

3. Shynel Brizan, Aimee, A Dancer Of Freedom’s Cousinship to Epitaphs of Fate

4. Dana Rampersad, For The Love of TT – A Tribute

5. Savitri Holassie, Masquerade – The Hidden Beauty

6. Laura Rampersad, Athena Goddess of War and Wisdom

7. Nisa Nathu Hari, Khione: Winter’s Enchantress

7. Krystal Thomas, Sa Sa Yea

9. Tekeyah Fletcher Marshall, The Spirit of Carnival – Tribute to Roland St George

10. Ruth Adams Mendez, The Emergence Of The Maraval Lily