Description

Bele carnival costume. Commissioned by the British Library and designed by Brixton-based Ray Mahabir of Sunshine International Arts.

Ray’s beautiful and intricate costume, which took two weeks to create, takes its name from the tradition on which its design is loosely based – Bele or Bel Air – which is a song and drum dance linked to Caribbean history. This photo was taken by Toby Keane at the opening of the British Library's West Africa: Word, Symbol, Song exhibition (2015-16).

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