Thursday, March 09, 2006

The Moko Jumbies Book

I worked on my first book titled ‘MOKO JUMBIES: The Dancing Spirits of Trinidad’ over the course of about 7 years. I started to photograph the Keylemanjahro School of Arts & Culture in Cocorite in 1997 and it took about 10 to 12 trips per 2 to 3 weeks each to complete the work on this long term project. I am getting dizzy thinking about the hundreds or rather thousands of rolls of transparency film that I shot during that time. It is probably last project shot entirely on film, except for that one image (page 205). I was very lucky to have found a publisher (Suzanne Slesin / Pointed Leaf Press, New York) who took great care in both the physical and story telling quality of the book, which was edited and designed by Stafford Cliff from London, England. My favorite novelist from Trinidad, Earl Lovelace (The Dragon Can’t Dance), wrote the introduction and the preface is by Geoffrey Holder. Read book review...

New York based artist Laura Barbata Anderson is seen above with her costume making crew in February 2006. She has been the principal designer for the Keylemanjahro School for the last three years and her costumes are on view on many pages of the book like on the page shown here. She also added interviews with Moko Jumbies and their parents and the founder of the school, ‘Dragon’ Glen De Souza.

Images from the book where shown at the photo journalism festival Visa Pour L’Image 2004 in Perpignan, France, accompanied by an 8 page spread in PHOTO France.

'MOKO JUMBIES: The Dancing Spirits of Trinidad' is published by Pointed Leaf Press 1100 Madison Avenue New York, NY 10028 tel (212) 535-1086 List price: US $65.00 216 pages Over 200 color photographs ISBN: 0-9727661-3-8
Available online at:
or at good bookstores
in the US at Barnes & Noble ,
in Trinidad at Nigel Kahn bookstores at West Mall, the Normandie bookstore in St. Anns ,
in England at Waterstones

Please also visit my Trinidad and Tobago related posts:
Moko Jumbie Heaven
Laura Anderson Barbata
Moko Jumbies 2007


  1. I absolutely love it – more Art than Photography

  2. Anonymous1:51 AM

    Cool guestbook, interesting information... Keep it UP

  3. Anonymous9:30 AM

    Stefan, Love this page... so nice to see the people in and out of character!!

  4. Anonymous9:45 AM

    Really warming to see a project like this continue and grow in the community... and to imbue these young peoples lives with hope and joy and a sense of themselves... great work!!