black holes and gray matter. in one thousand tangos.

             
claytoncubitt:

Legend has it that Mardi Gras Indians originated as a show of respect for the neighboring Native American tribes that sheltered runaway slaves. Comprised of working class men and women, the Indians sew their own beaded costumes all year in preparation for Mardi Gras. Weighing up to 130 lbs and standing as tall as 10 feet, the costumes are different each year.
But also, underneath the Indian imagery, intermixed with it, is African imagery and chants. As one big chief said, the costumes were also a way to celebrate their African heritage in a hostile culture. Mardi Gras has a long tradition of this, from the Indians to the gay ball culture, anything is possible when everyone is in masks.

claytoncubitt:

Legend has it that Mardi Gras Indians originated as a show of respect for the neighboring Native American tribes that sheltered runaway slaves. Comprised of working class men and women, the Indians sew their own beaded costumes all year in preparation for Mardi Gras. Weighing up to 130 lbs and standing as tall as 10 feet, the costumes are different each year.

But also, underneath the Indian imagery, intermixed with it, is African imagery and chants. As one big chief said, the costumes were also a way to celebrate their African heritage in a hostile culture. Mardi Gras has a long tradition of this, from the Indians to the gay ball culture, anything is possible when everyone is in masks.

claytoncubitt:

Most people have heard the song Iko Iko, but they don’t know it’s a New Orleans classic that portrays a Mardi Gras Indian battle. Besides the Big Chief, there’s a Spy Boy who runs ahead looking for other tribes, and a Flag Boy who carries a symbolic flag to wave and warn the Chief when the Spy Boy spots trouble. Near the Chief is the Wildman, who is kind of like his hype man during battles.

claytoncubitt:

Most people have heard the song Iko Iko, but they don’t know it’s a New Orleans classic that portrays a Mardi Gras Indian battle. Besides the Big Chief, there’s a Spy Boy who runs ahead looking for other tribes, and a Flag Boy who carries a symbolic flag to wave and warn the Chief when the Spy Boy spots trouble. Near the Chief is the Wildman, who is kind of like his hype man during battles.

"mardi gras is one of the best things in this world: it combines the amazing spirit of new orleans with music, friends, children, old people, booze, crawfish boils, beads, screaming, laughing, stumbling, masks, strategizing, saying ‘sidewalk side’ a lot, lights, floats, confusion, koozies, dancing, costumes, and a willingness to endure some pain and lose some sleep. time exists on another plane—each parade seems to hold a universe. in many ways, it makes me feel more alive and more like a child than anything else i know; i have never felt such pure joy from catching a plastic cup. it is something i find impossible to explain to those who have never been. and i could cry just thinking about how i have to wait a year to go back." 

— littlepotato [please click through for mills’ post on photographing mardi gras!]

©2011 Kateoplis