Thursday, February 15, 2007

Typical elaborate Mardi Gras Indian costume

Mardi Gras Indian with Eagles
Originally uploaded by Ed Newman.
Afro-Americans have been masking as Indians for decades. In recent decades the costumes have become immense. The headdress & crown feathers tower and the suit itself is trimmed with feathers.

In numerous panels a mass of sequins are sewed so as to present design motifs of the native peoples. But the spirit of the costume is African.

The Indians chant in a Creole patois and play percussion as they march through their neighborhoods on Fat Tuesday. The following year an Indian will entirely redesign his "suit." It is made by hand with help from family and friends.

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