Bacchanal Jamaica…Let’s get you acquainted.

As you may or may not know, Lehwego hails from the island continent of Jamaica:).

I have long told of the joys of doing the double (Trinidad and Jamaica carnivals) and as such will try, over the coming months to highlight different parts of Jamaica’s carnival season.

Today I will bring you excepts of an interview I did with one of the section leaders for Bacchanal Jamaica, Natalie Chung.

The section is called Jus LYME and they annually bring something a bit different to the carnival table, and for a reasonable price.

Here are some photos from the last two years.  See below for the interview.

Lehwego: Tell me a bit about Jus Lyme.

Natalie:The Jus Lyme Group, founded in 2008, is striving to make a meaningful difference in Jamaica. Honouring the legacy of such stalwarts as Professor Rex Nettleford, Dr. L’Antoinette Stines, Dr. Monika Lawrence, Tony Wilson, Bert Rose, Barry Moncrieffe and many more. The mandate of the Jus Lyme Group is to imbue the social landscape of Jamaica, “Land We Love”, with the enriching and empowering spirits of the visual and performing arts and to focus the attention of all the persons impacted by its events on Jamaica’s rich cultural heritage; be it through carnival, themed lymes, benefits or live performances. 

The group consists of professionals, artists and students who have pooled their diverse talents to promote longevity and prosperity by encouraging our people to Jus Live Years More Eagerly (Jus Lyme).The Group is tilling and nurturing the metaphoric soil of our people’s hearts and minds for the cultivation of positivity, togetherness and love – the greatest of all human attributes – so that Jamaica may, under the banner of Jus Lyme, grow in peaceful unity and share as one community with one aim and one destiny – JUS LYME!
Professor Nettleford – mentor, educator, philosopher and statesman advocated “Renewal & Continuity” of all things beneficial to the development of our people and in continuation of this noble effort Jus Lyme is renewing and continuing the movement toward harmonious social integration. “WE simply must continue”.

Lehwego: What inspired you to start a carnival section in Bacchanal Jamaica?

Natalie:Well this is how it all began, lolol. I used to watch and even be a part of carnival through the years and was always amazed by the colours, the dimensions, the various characters, the huge floats, the stilt walkers,the pitchy patchy people mixed with jonkunoo. Then, slowly I watched it all just start to dwindle. It was then I decided I wanted to bring something to the carnival table and through jus lyme I was inspired as we are “theatre” people mixed with professionals and students a great combination to bring a sweet blend for the road.I wanted to bring the arts from off the stage and present it on the road to help promote and boost creativity and to pump an artistic vibe. Still of course showing off our Jamaican culture and uniting everybody, artist and non-artist.

lehwego:Who does your design work?

Natalie: Our first costume was designed by playwriter Aston Cooke when we brought Cleopatra from the dead. Other designs are done by myself, barry Moncrieffe, brandon ferguson and Andrew Chuck.

Lehwego: What are some of the limitations you have with costume design?


Natalie: Well the limitations are really the bacchanal rules that we must abide by. Bacchanal are the chief theme designers and as such we can’t go too over the top. I have always seen a problem with male costuming here in Jamaica as quite a number of men are scared of costumes. I guess because of our homophobic society.


Lehwego: If money was no object, what would you offer?  Would you have Frontlines?


Natalie: I am indeed looking seriously at frontliners as that is very effective to have in any section. You must have leaders and with an extremely Grand Flair than the rest. I love out of the box thinkers, so I plan to take it to the edge and Over.
If money was no object I would definitely do stage make- up for all the women and men who of course can manage that as well as body spraying ,spray tans, and body art. Everybody would get special tights and foot wear for just purchasing a costume.


Lehwego:Where do you get raw materials from?  


Natalie: We use every kind of material, I tend to stay in Jamaica and utilise what we have here, be it shells, husks from coconuts, palm leaves. And then for swim wear and bigger designing we head to Mushrooms Or Moncrieffes.



Lehwego will try to bring you more from the Who’s who of Bacchanal Jamaica.  Stay tuned and keep an eye on Thecarnivalconnections facebook page for information on Jamaica Carnival costume and ticket packages.


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