Monday, February 24, 2020

Tomorrow is Mardi Gras

My participation in this year's Mardi Gras season so far has been indulging in a few bites of scrumptious king cake with strawberry and cream cheese filling. 

Last year instead of parades and crowds, we celebrated with a mid-morning visit to a Mardi Gras exhibit of elaborate costumes and masks at our town’s cultural center.


 The masking Mardi Gras Indians of New Orleans create  colorful, intricately decorated costumes each year.

Their creations are part of a tradition that pays homage to the south Louisiana native Americans who helped  “Maroons,” most of West African descent, who were escapees from enslavement on plantations.





The masking Indian tradition has been maintained in the New Orleans African American community since the 1800s.


Design and construction begins about a year or more before Mardi Gras. The finished items, from head to toe, are heavy with intricate beadwork and other embellishments.

The design, construction and parading in the flamboyant works of art portray "liberation, self-determination and freedom of expression," according to the exhibit displays.


Let the good times roll! 


More on the tradition and history of Mardi Gras Indians here.


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10 comments:

  1. These are wonderful! I would love to see the costumes in person. I wonder if they are as heavy as I think they might be.

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    1. Relatives who are more into Mardi Gras than I am have assured me that the beaded costumes are extremely heavy. Getting to see the beadwork up close in that exhibit was an experience in itself.

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  2. Those items look very elaborate and detailed.

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  3. I had no idea! These are GORGEOUS!!!

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  4. So glad those lovely costumes don't have just a one and done life. How neat to see them up close.

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  5. they are gorgesous, love all the brilliant colors. did not know about this history you shared with us. I thought Mardi gras was when everyone got drunk and ran through the streets partying.

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    1. Sandra, drinking and partying are definitely on the list. But there is a lot of pomp, ceremony and expenses involved in the balls and floats and marching units for the parades of the different krewes. I am not clear on whether the masking Indians have adopted those practicess or maintain their earlier marching traditions.

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  6. Dear LC, thanks for introducing me to the Mardi Gras Indians and their history and costumes. I'd never been known that such a tradition and people existed. Thanks, too, for the link. So interesting. And the costumes are so exquisite. Peace.

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  7. What amazing costumes and so colorful.
    I am sorry I haven't stopped by your blog for a while...I don't know how I missed your new post.
    I feel you have given us an interesting look at the "other side" of Mardi Gras
    Sue

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