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Midnight Robber of Trinidad and Tobago
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Midnight Robber

One of the most colourful old time mas figures, the Midnight Robber, is immediately identifiable by his extravagant costumes and blood-curdling speech. Originally inspired by cowboy costumes, the Robber sports an oversize hat with fringed brim, the crown assuming different shapes (graveyard, The Red House); a flowing cape decorated with symbols of death and destruction; satin shirt and pantaloons generally in black and shoes or boots resembling an animal with moving eyes. He summons and dismisses his audience with the blow of his whistle while threatening them with a gun or dagger.

Robber Talk, characterised by its boastful, mocking style was derived from a variety of sources: the Bible, literary texts and school readers and speaks of the Robber's invincible ancestry as well as his terrifying exploits. The striking similarity to the extemporaneous delivery of today's calypsonians is immediately evident.
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