Cocoyea is one of the few masquerade bands that have stood the test of time.
This year, the band is celebrating 35 years on the road.
The story starts in the early 80s. Dexter Khan (pictured in the header) founds Cocoyea with former members of a former masquerade float headed by Peter Minshall, that has returned to Trinidad.
In the early days, costumes are imposing backpack creations that require a lot of engineering to sustain a day on the road.
Armed with Peter Minshall and Wayne Barclay’s creative legacies, Cocoyea rises to prominence and remain a notable masquerade bands in the Notting Hill Carnival.

In 1983, the Destroying Angel float takes the road with an African theme.
Soon enough, Cocoyea becomes a family affair, as Dexter’s son swaps summer holiday with friends for costume crafting and becomes an active pillar of the band, on and off the road.

Dancing Queen - Dorothy Johnson in a Wayne Barclay costume
Dancing Queen – Dorothy Johnson in a Wayne Barclay costume – photo Carl Gabriel

In recent years, the Cocoyea has been affected by the lack of funding for Notting Hill Carnival bands. It has been a challenge to create the larger than life costumes of the early days.
Nevertheless, Cocoyea has adapted to changes, and has associated with different designers throughout the years to bring a genuine carnival experience to its followers.

Happy 35th anniversary Cocoyea, we wish you longevity and creativity for the years to come!

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