Shoreline canter on horseback. Photo by Piotrandrewsphotography.com

Escape to Tobago | Destination

Even at the height of Carnival season, Trinidad’s sister island maintains its laid-back, tranquil vibe. Need to escape from the fetes and frenzy? Welcome to Tobago’s beaches and bays, forests and waterfalls — a natural vitamin shot for the soul.

Moko jumbies from the Touch D Sky group join the Canboulay Riots 
re-enactment at Piccadilly Greens on the Friday before Carnival. Photo by Maria Nunes

Walk tall, moko jumbie | Closeup

It’s one of the oldest masquerades in T&T’s Carnival, brought across the Atlantic from West Africa. The moko jumbie tradition once seemed to be dying away, but in recent years a handful of enthusiasts have created a moko jumbie revival, training hundreds of young people in the art of stilt-walking. Ray Funk investigates, and explains the power of these towering figures.

Desperadoes, 2016 Panorama champions, rehearsing for the finals. Photo by Maria Nunes

Word of mouth (January/February 2018)

It’s Carnival time! Come on a panyard lime with Barbara Jenkins, experience the thrilling, shape-shifting ritual of J’Ouvert in a poem by Shivanee Ramlochan, and discover Carriacou’s unique Shakespeare mas. Meanwhile, Jamaica celebrates its musical heritage at Reggae Month.

MX Prime (centre) and Ultimate Rejects, 2017 Road March champs. Photo by Michele Jorsling courtesy Ultimate Rejects

How to win the road (march) | Backstory

T&T’s Carnival is full of rivalries and competitions, and none is more fierce than the annual Road March battle. Mark Lyndersay traces the history of the musical title that reflects the will of masqueraders on the street — and we dare to share our picks for the top ten Road March songs from the 1930s to the present day.

Genevieve Jodhan. Photo courtesy Angostura

Genevieve Jodhan: a legacy of change | The Deal

When Genevieve Jodhan was named CEO of Angostura, T&T’s 193-year-old rum distillers, it was a decisive change for an industry still dominated by male executives. But, as Cate Young finds out, her understanding of the Angostura legacy is what makes Jodhan exactly the right woman for the job.

Programmers, artists, and management of Coded-Arts at the company’s U-Start incubator offices in Caroni, Trinidad. Photo by Mark Lyndersay

The games are afoot | Snapshot

Video games aren’t just for teenagers to have fun — globally, they’re a highly lucrative business, requiring state-of-the-art technical know-how, creative flair, and significant investment. Mark Lyndersay meets the minds behind Couple Six and Coded-Arts, video game developers in Barbados and T&T, whose agenda includes creating games that reflect the culture of their home islands.

Hollywood Africans (1983, acrylic and oil stick on canvas), by Jean-Michel Basquiat. © The Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat, Licensed by Artestar, New York, courtesy The Barbican Art Gallery

Word of mouth (November/December 2017)

Why Jean-Michael Basquiat is a posthumous art star, how the Sunset Festival in Trinidad is changing Caribbean dance music, and where to end 2017 with a truly big bang: Paramaribo.

Illustration by Rohan Mitchell

Defenders of the faith | On this day

Exactly a century ago, anti-African prejudice prompted Trinidad and Tobago’s colonial legislature to ban the indigenous Spiritual Baptist religion. But, as James Ferguson explains, the draconian law never dissuaded the Baptist faithful.

Photo by Joel Hinkson

Woodbrook, Trinidad | Neighbourhood

Once a residential suburb, the west Port of Spain neighbourhood is now a hub for nightlife and culture — including Carnival.

Photo by iStock.com/Byrond

Word of mouth (September/October 2017)

Hook, line, sinker: a fishing tournament in Antigua means equal parts exhilaration and exhaustion, and a one-off public holiday commemorates the First Peoples and indigenous heritage of Trinidad and Tobago.