Moko Jumbies first protected believers from evildoers. Originally a West African tradition, men and women on gigantic stilts would dress in long gowns and masquerade as gods. Gods can look down on humanity from above, and foresee danger better than mere mortals. The stilt-walkers would collect donations, from revelers and onlookers on second-story balconies.
They now dance in the streets of Trinidad and Tobago for every Carnival. ‘Moko’ is the name of the an old African god, ‘the diviner.’ ‘Jumbies’ - ‘ghosts’ - was added by the emancipated slaves. After decades of decline, a man by the name of ‘Dragon’ Glen de Souza actually revived the Moko Jumbie tradition in the early 1990s, in an effort to teach children how to dance.