Let the Prikichi Shine
By Rona Coster
For Carnival 65, within the OPC group, a special section dedicated to conservation won many accolades from spectators and an official award for creativity from our national TV station. The section, named Lag’e Prikichi Briya, featured a Carnival interpretation of our much-loved indigenous Aruban parakeet, Aratinga pertinax arubensis (locally known as the prikichi), which was declared a national bird in February 2017.
The costumes were made of linen, iron, and spray paint, motivated by the idea that no bird should lose its features to Carnival. It is probably the first time in Aruba’s Carnival history that individual MOVABLE body pieces were engineered into the design.
The creators of the section, Isabel & Chris Dammers—she is an official in the island’s land department, and he is a member of Parliament—wanted to raise awareness of the species, endangered due to tourism development.
In the parade, the female group members personified the caged birds, who want to fly out and escape to freedom and peace, while the male group participants, wearing movable wings on their body pieces, symbolized the rescued birds flying away to liberty.
Thank you Chris, Isabel & team for this original and amazing idea and your ingenuity in making the impossible come true! The group consisted of ten participants who did not sleep for five weeks while building the costumes: Ruby Lattig, Ifna Noguera, Natascha Davelaar-Jansen, Mirjam Auwerda-Jansen, Micheal Lattig, Igmar Davelaar, Peter Auwerda, Kenneth Vorst, Chris Dammers, and Isabel Dammers-Alves.
Supported by Shakaina Querero, Robby Querero, and Phil Schouten.
Designer: Michael Douglass
Their message: Let the prikichi shine, don’t cut his wings, protect his nest. Our national bird is in danger of extinction, and it is our responsibility to save it.
Lag’e prikichi briya!
No corta su hala, cuida su neishi!
Nos parha nacional ta na peliger di extension y mester nos proteccion.
Sera den haula of pafo den fresco,
Su hala ta sangra y no por carga nos peso.
Un tiki dimi, un tiki dibo por tene nos dushi kiki bibo.