About Us

panisha imagePanisha was founded in 2003 by Patrice Francis and Aisha Duplessis. Their vision of mas with distinction was molded from their prior cultural experiences.

Aisha is a graduate of Gibbs College in Visual Communication. She was born in St. Croix and is of St. Lucian descent. Aisha got her start in mas making by helping to design and make costumes for a small band.

Patrice is a University of Maryland at College Park graduate in Elementary Education. She was born in Washington D.C. and is of Trinidadian descent. Patrice's opportunity to make mas began with T&T Masqueraders, Inc. as a section leader in 2002. Patrice took on the challenge of leading, designing, and making the costumes for a section, Aztec Maidens, of T&T Masqueraders, Inc. band Lost Realms.

These individual experiences and a new friendship led to a higher level of cultural creativity. Panisha emerged. With the support of family and mentors they fused their separate strengths into a united vision.

"Mas with distinction" is their idea that each costume designed portrays their unique signature. Every costume made carries Panisha’s distinct craftsmanship. The Panisha mas experience is exquisitely different from any other.

From this vision Panisha led a section in T&T Masqueraders, Inc. band with Aztec Maidens (2002), Forest Rain (2003), Sapphire (2004), and Colors of the Bayou in 2005.

In 2006, Panisha expanded their vision beyond a section. They presented a small band for DC Caribbean Carnival 2006 portraying Rhythms United. This venture continued in 2007 with their presentation of Vices and Virtues when they placed second in the Band of the Year competition. In 2008 Panisha achieved its goal of winning the Band Of The Year title with A Brazilian Dream, becoming the youngest band leader ever to win the title in the Washington/Baltimore Metropolitan area.

panisha imageIn 2009 Panisha presented Essence of Light. The music truck was the best on the road, earning DJ Gekko his first win on the road. The band won in the Spirit of Carnival and Best Float categories, and placed second in the Band of The Year competition, and Patrice earned the second place in the Individual of the Year competition at the annual Dimanche Gras competition.

Panisha continues broadening their vision each year with renewed creativity. Teaming with venerable master costumer builder Kendrick Smith, this young band remains a steadfast participant and a major competitor in Carnivals around the DC Metropolitan area.


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