This volume marks a radical departure in the study of Carnival and a distinct addition to knowledge and understanding of this important area of life in the African Diaspora. In beginning at the beginning, the contributors almost always move beyond the regular misrepresentation of the festival as a creation of Europeans. The contributors are all both highly trained and experienced in several relevant fields. Some are practicing academics; all are long-standing initiates and intellectuals of the beloved festival. The resulting work is not merely informative, but also authoritative, challenging, and stimulating. Carnival practitioners, government officials, students, and, indeed, the general public will find this volume essential, perhaps indispensable.