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Carnival Is WomanFeminism and Performance in Caribbean Mas$
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Frances Henry and Dwaine Plaza

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781496825445

Published to University Press of Mississippi: September 2020

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496825445.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM Mississippi SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.mississippi.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Mississippi, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSSO for personal use.date: 24 June 2021



(p.3) Introduction
Carnival Is Woman

Frances Henry

Dwaine Plaza

University Press of Mississippi

While the literature on Carnivals is fairly substantial, especially in the Americas, the subject of women in Carnival as a serious topic of inquiry is relatively new. While the glamour of skimpily clad young and very beautiful women celebrated in the Rio Carnival makes annual headlines, increasingly similarly dressed women in the Caribbean Carnivals also attracts media attention. One of the main differences between the Rio Carnival and those in the Caribbean and its diaspora is that in the former those who are chosen to head the glamorous floats are always young, slim, beautiful, and invariably white. The current Caribbean Carnivals, on the other hand, celebrate ordinary women of all ages, all skin colors, all ethnicities, and most of them are far from slim. As the numbers of women have grown in recent years to about 80 percent of the participants, this phenomenon has caught the attention not only of the media but also of scholars. The growth of feminist research, especially in the social sciences, has spurred on scholars to more closely examine the reasons for this growth in numbers as well as what these large ranks of women are actually expressing as they wine and carouse in very skimpy bikini-and-beads types of costumes (Hosein 2017; ...

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