The feathers and binki/thong is but one aspect. When you look at the overall presentation of the various samba schools, the vast majority of masqueraders are covered up. What I love about them, is even if you don't speak Portuguese, you can figure out what the theme of the school is...the costumes tell the story.Have to agree with LIONESS onda RISE. Our carnival has lost most if not all of its' past creativity. We saw real creativity with designs from Peter Minshall, Wayne Berkley, Alvin Kalliecharan and such great mas men. Mas in Trinidad is now just a bikini and feathers. This is exactly what Brazil Carnival parade has been about for decades. LIONESS, you are correct. While Brazil may not have the pre-shows, calypso monarch competitions, etc., they are the ones who made mas into a string bikini, head dress and feathers. Now this is where we are. Thousands of dollars for a non-costume, with our women folk gyrating half naked down the streets. The creativity is gone.