REGION: Caribbean
COUNTRY: Dominica
VALUE: 1 cent

This stamp was issued by the government of Dominica to celebrate the Sensay masqueraders of Carnival.  The word sensay comes from Twi language of Ghana, the origin of many Dominicans, and it refers to a bird with ruffled feathers.  Traditionally, Sensay costumes were made of sisal rope from the agave plant, but today they are made from burlap sacks, banana leaves, and frayed cloth or rope, with a mask and cow horn headpiece. The costume is tied around the entire body in layers so that it falls from the head to the feet. The sensay figures or band mauvais as they are called sometimes wear platform shoes and are armed with a whip or baton to torment onlookers.