Soca star Machel Montano, performing as Monk Monte, at the Heat Wave event during Carnival 2015, produced by Eventology. Photo by Mark Phillip-Simpson, courtesy Eventology

Eventful times

Carnival is big business in Trinidad and Tobago — and not just during the “season,” as festival entrepreneurs move into year-round event coordination.

The Merchant of Feathers

Caribbean Bookshelf (January/February 2016)

This month’s reading picks.

Cyah Help It

Caribbean Playlist (January/February 2016)

This month’s listening picks.

Illustration by Shalini Seereeram

Pelau vs Pelau

It’s a tasty staple of family get-togethers, beach limes, and Carnival festivities — and there are as many recipes as there are cooks. Nazma Muller offers three versions of T&T’s beloved pelau.

The popular Carnival band Yuma hits the Socadrome stage. Photo by Dwayne Watkins

Not your parents’ carnival

Times change, and Carnival changes with it — for better or for worse? Mark Lyndersay, Laura Dowrich, and Tracy Assing talk to eight Carnival insiders about the state of the mas and the state of the music, where the festival is heading, and how it will get there.

Peter Minshall on the road with the band. Photo by George Tang

The history of paradise: on Peter Minshall’s Paradise Lost

It’s the stuff of Carnival legend: the eruption of masman Peter Minshall’s Paradise Lost on the streets of Port of Spain, forty years ago. Now a new documentary, using long-forgotten archival footage, brings the band back to life. Ray Funk tells the story.

Philipsburg, capital of Dutch Sint Maarten, stretches between Great Bay and Great Salt Pond. Photo by Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

St Martin: an island like a new world

One small island, part Dutch, part French, where everyone speaks English, spends US dollars, and dances to salsa and bachata — that’s the puzzle of St Martin, where many worlds meet and mingle. Montague Kobbé explains its unique charms.

A75T6X Taino Indian petroglyphs on basalt rock on the Caribbean island of St. Kitts

First things first: the Caribbean’s First Peoples

The Caribbean’s First Peoples shaped our landscapes, language, and culture — and across the region, our indigenous heritage remains within reach, if you know where to look.

Preparing for a jaunt in an outrigger canoe off Mactan Island. Photo by pmrmichaelangelo / Shutterstock.com

A taste of Cebu

Georgia Popplewell finds herself in the middle of a colourful street masquerade, in a tropical city with a colonial past, in an archipelago of islands. But she’s not in the Caribbean. Welcome to Cebu, the Philippines “second city”.

Niven Narain. Photo courtesy Berg LLC

Niven Narain: smarter medicine

The tragic death of his grandmother inspired Niven Narain’s career in cutting-edge cancer research. Erline Andrews learns how the Guyanese-American scientist is pioneering the use of artificial intellignce to create better, cheaper drugs for all.