A German Carnival Association in the town of Frechen has changed its name and vowed to stop performing black face after 20 of its members defected.

The Deputy Head of the Group, Guenter Coellen, told dpa on Wednesday.

He said that the group was founded four decades ago with the name “Frechener Negerkoepp,’’ which roughly translates to “Negro Heads of Frechen.’’

It is now changing its name to “Wilde Frechener,’’ Coellen said.

He says instead of performing black face, its members will wear animal costumes in this year’s parade.

He added that “we do not want to be political or discriminatory.’’

Around 20 members of the group had defected, citing racist practices.

Carnival celebrations in Germany traditionally include revelers’ use of black face and stereotypical Native American costumes.

Many see it as simply a joke, while others call it racist.