Tribe Mas Camp Visit: In Which Your Girl Goes to the Louvre

I promise I will return to more usual subjects–running, being absent-minded, cycling, running, obsessing over my fabric stash, cycling, running–soon…

But I just can’t help myself!  It’s carnival band launch and registration season!  It’s too exciting!  So, rather than apologize, I’m going to follow Rachel’s lead by owning it.  I’m sorry that I’m not sorry for being unable to think of anything but my future feathers.

As for reviewing Tribe when A) everyone and their mother has already seen their costumes and B) the band will probably have sold out the very second registration opened online, when its thousands of potential masqueraders probably created an internet forcefield the likes of which have never been seen before…  I am truly sorry if this post has the effect of pouring boiling salt water into the disappointment wounds of many.

But I just have to talk about these costumes–and the plants are tired of hearing it.

So… Last Friday, when I went to the YUMA mas camp, I also hit up Tribe’s mas camp.  With a belly full of food and eyes ready for the dazzling, I reverentially bowed before entering:

And walked right into my idea of costume heaven.  Seriously.

First up was Iroquois:

Love it.  I don’t usually like ANY fancy Indian (Native American, to the North American audiences) costumes, but this one is really striking.  Red and turquoise make me go googly-eyed–and would you believe that I have a necklace with that large amber stone motif?  Super-sharp headpiece too.

Next, Xi’An Warriors:

Another set of gorgeousness.  The details are hard-edged and tough, and the contrast between all those metallic tones is smoking hot.  It also has a lovely dark purple accent (it’s too subtle to really seem like a background); it’s a color combo that I don’t remember seeing before and, if I have, it certainly didn’t stand out as well as this.

On to Persian Gold:

So many shades in this one!  The iridescent effect makes for striking, not wishy-washy, contrasts, and the work on the headpiece is truly stunning, as is the heavily embellished belt.  I’m not a violet girl, but this really caught my eye–I’d totally wear this.

Next up we have Massai Tribal Warrior:

I have never, ever, EVER seen anything like this!  The beading is amazing–small and intricate, yet still very distinct and striking.  The super-bright shades work together so well here.  And the beading cascading from the middle of the bra, down onto the torso, and from the belt is incredibly graceful.  Any ladies in Masai Warriors, please stay far, far away from me–I’m liable to jump on you and thief your costume.

Next in the parade of gorgeousness is Knights Templar:

I may have a hot-pink bike, but I’m not down with pinks as a general rule.  However, the color contrast with the green stones and all that gold make it lovely to my persnickety eyes.  I love the armpieces, though I wonder how wearable they’ll be for hours and hours in the hot sun.  The headpiece is small but it still looks finished; I would not feel ripped off in the least if I were to sport it.

Ready for more gorgeousness via Amazons?

Oh, orange and green–I love those colors on my wall and I love them even more on a mas costume, with gold and turquoise accents,  and with seriously chunky beads, especially when there’s large beadwork/piecework from the necklace hanging almost down to the belt.  Another section that I’ll need to be kept away from lest a feather-fight ensues.

Everyone seems to be doing a silver-and-grey costume this year, so voila Arctic Warriors:

I really like the large swirly work on the bra and more so on the belt.  I like the idea of the armpieces, but I think it would have been nice to somehow carry that same belt and bra motif onto them as well.  As for the headpiece, I like the design, but I’m not down with the white feathers–I would have gone for darker feathers, and more feathers, period, to balance out the big spikiness going on.  All in all it’s cool, but I still like Spice’s Haute Couture grey costume better.

If you thought that was spiky, you need to check out Mongol Fighters:

Wow, wow, wow.  The spikes on the headpiece are just on the right side of too much, the bra chains and shoulder detail put me in the mind of some very sexy armor, and that belt…  Could Tribe please make and sell extras of that belt after Carnival so I can pick one up, please?  The different detailing on each of the straps is killer. And it’s orange.  What more could I want?

Well, what more than this?  Voila Mayan Eagle:

Apart from the gorgeous Rubies of Mumbai which I played in last year, this may be my favorite costume EVER.  Let’s not even talk about how beautiful and saturated that greeny teal is.   The headpiece is full and lush and swishy, the detailing on the headpiece is spectacular (sequins and braid and alternating gem colors), and the design of the actual top and bottom (with that ridonculously gorgeous and creative necklace and fringe overlay) is funky and wearable and sexy and unexpected all at once.  That costume is going to move on the road!

I hope the ladies that get to play in Mayan Eagle know how truly, truly lucky they are to have scored this costume, and that they have a drink or two for this very envious girl.

Next is Gladiator:

More gold-tone, but not in any way repetitive!  I love the contrast between the different types of detailing (small fringed beads, chunky pieces, filigree, gems), and that bra with the asymmetric strap and fringe is hotness.  Regardless of the politics of charging extra for a feathered headpiece and offering a headband as the standard option, I like both options; the costume would look finished even with the headband, which is really flattering and goes well with the costume.

And, bringing up the rear, we have Sashura:

It’s purple but, despite that, it’s my least favorite of Tribe’s costumes this year.  I don’t generally love that kind of gem work and, as with Arctic Warrior, I’m not feeling the contrasting white (what is it with me and the white feathers?).   However, I do appreciate the contrast between those gems and the chains.  I’m sure it will look nice on the road and, if this is what the least fab looks like, it’s not too shabby at all.

Final thoughts?

I feel like I went to the Louvre.  Seriously. I can go into a museum and admire my heart away because I know I won’t be buying anything off the walls.  Same goes with Tribe; because I know there’s no way on earth I’m getting into Tribe (loyalty card woes–namely, not having one), I can look at these costumes with my eye-candy glasses on.  Apart from Sashura, I’d be beyond thrilled to wear any of these, and I like them much better than last year’s offerings.

All I can wish is that, when I die of horrible, burning envy, someone will have the kindness of heart to bury my jealous green corpse in Mayan Eagle.  Frontline, backline… either will do, please and thank you.

Otherwise, rest assured:  this girl’s covetous soul will haunt your ass.


(Please note: I do not have any links, official or otherwise, to any carnival band.  I am not a committee member nor can I provide information as to sizes or costumes available—if you need that information, please contact the band/s directly.  All opinions about costumes and bands posted on this blog are solely my own.  I am not paid by bands to write reviews and I do not give my reviews to any band for approval before I publish any carnival-related post.)

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