By Kortney Rodgers
WITH carnival fever in the air and the inaugural Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival just months away, the Vindi Dynasty Carnival Group is promising the Bahamian public “a cadre of blissful days and exuberant nights filled with exhilarating parties and events”.
Formed in May of this year, the organisation of Vindi Dynasty was inspired by its parent company, Vindi House of Straw, which produces a unique line of authentic Bahamian handbags, accessories and home items made from straw.
Young designer and entrepreneur Letara Ingraham, who is also president of Vindi Dynasty, decided to make use of this indigenous material and form a group that showcases authentic carnival costumes made from straw, sisal and coconut leather.
Giving credit where credit is due, Ms Ingraham said she would not have been able to complete the task of designing these costumes without the support of her team.
“We knew we had something unique to showcase. They asked for costumes made from indigenous material and that’s our speciality, so we took them up on the offer,” Ms Ingraham said.
“Though I design the costumes, my team made the wings and head pieces.”
In accordance with the group’s theme, “Land of the Enchanted,” Vindi Dynasty unveiled their unique straw-based costumes at the Road Fever Costume Expo on September 27, and again at their launch party on October 4.
The costume design and concept is relative to the group’s four sections – spring, summer, autumn, and winter – and includes front and back line fairy costumes for women and elf costumes for men. Vindi Dynasty is also introducing a T-shirt line for those who cannot afford a costume. In addition, the group has designed packages that include a payment plan, event tickets and souvenirs for locals, as well as a tour of the island, tropical drink and a day at the beach for international guests.
“At our launch party we had about 300 people who came to experience authentic Bahamian cuisine and costumes. We also showcased stilt walkers and Bahamian dancers who performed both old fashion style dances and modern day dances,” said Ms Ingraham.
“Persons were able to get up close and see the detailed work of our costumes and were in disbelief when they realised what they were made from. We were able to show everyone that the same materials used to make straw bags could be used to make costumes.”
With plans to remain “truly Bahamian by sticking to our Bahamian roots,” Ms Ingraham said Vindi Dynasty is eager to reveal its Junkanoo orchestra at Road Fever Day in May. The group also plans to associate themselves with various cultural events such as the International Food Festival this Saturday.
Vindi Dynasty, which aims to become the country’s ‘ultimate carnival group’, will host a series of promotional events leading up to the Bahamas Carnival in order to promote the positive aspects of the entire carnival experience, which is being done for the first time in the Bahamas.
“Junkanoo is a spectator’s event. With carnival, local and international guests are able to be a part of the experience,” Ms Ingraham said.
“During Junkanoo people dance on the side of the road and want to be involved, but with carnival you can participate in it and be a part of the culture. It’s also a great opportunity for young entrepreneurs like myself to be exposed to an international market.”
For more information about Vindi Dynasty and how you can become a member, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, call 1-242-535-4339, or follow the group on social media (Twitter, Facebook and Instagram) by searching for Vindi Dynasty.