Showing posts with label mardi gras indians. Show all posts
Showing posts with label mardi gras indians. Show all posts

Monday, February 1, 2021

Send Love To The Second Line In New Orleans

Unfortunately the pandemic has hit New Orleans extremely hard and lot of the people impacted are of color. Another project of the Krewe of Red Beans, a nonprofit organization, is called Feed The Second Line. 

The second line refers to the folks who are the culture bearers, the people who make up the Black Mardi Gras experience like the Social Aid and Pleasure Clubs, Mardi Gras Indians, Baby Doll groups, musicians and other artists throughout New Orleans.

The elders receive rides to get their vaccines through younger musicians for hire.  Also donations go to local restaurants to order meals which allow those businesses to stay open. Then the meals are delivered to the elders in the communities where it's most needed.


To support our culture bearers during this difficult time visit:  https://www.feedthesecondline.org  Please donate what you can.

Photo credit: NY Times, City of New Orleans, courtesy of Crista Rock. Member of the Young Men Olympians Benevolent Association, a Social Aid and Pleasure Club.

Thanks for stopping by. Leave comments on what you'd like to see here. 


Sondra Carpenter
The Mardi Gras Girl

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Support The Red Flame Hunters Children Mardi Gras Indian Tribe For 2013

The Mardi Gras Indians have been a part of New Orleans Mardi Gras traditions for hundreds of years. You can view my previous post by clicking here to read more about their history. This post is to help generate publicity for The Red Flame Hunters Children Mardi Gras Indian Tribe. They are asking for support to help with creating their Mardi Gras Indian suits for 2013. Funds will be used for materials such as beads, feathers, sequins and fabric. The group is made up entirely of children who are making their suits by hand after school and continuing the tradition through the next generation.
The Red Flame Hunters want to be ready to mask with the other Mardi Gras Indian tribes in the parades on February 12, 2013. 

 You can click here to view their Kickstarter page for more information as well as to make a pledge. The minimum pledge is only $1.00, they are looking to raise at least $3,500 by January 12, 2013.


Thanks for visiting, feel free to share this post!


Sondra Carpenter
The Mardi Gras Girl

Saturday, October 20, 2012

The Backstreet Cultural Museum In New Orleans

There are so many cultural treasures in New Orleans and one of my favorites is the Backstreet Cultural Museum in the Faubourg Treme. Faubourg is French for district or neighborhood outside of the city limits. The Backstreet Cultural Museum offers an extensive selection of Mardi Gras Indian suits as well as costumes worn by some of the original New Orleans brass bands and social aid and pleasure club members throughout the years.
Photographs, videos, collections and exhibits provide an inside look into the African American culture in New Orleans.

During my travels to New Orleans for Mardi Gras that year I was told about the museum by some hotel staff, so I decided to check it out. While I was there I was able to take pictures of some of the displays. Also I had the pleasure to be able to speak to the founder of the museum, Sylvestor Francis, who opened it's doors in 1999. Several years ago he was a member of the Gentlemen of Leisure Social Aid And Pleasure Club.

He originally started gathering collectibles from the Mardi Gras Indians, brass bands and social clubs. Because of his love of the African American Mardi Gras culture in Treme, he gave pictures to anyone who participated in parades that he photographed. He was rewarded for his generosity when people who he gave photographs to started giving him costumes, suits and keepsakes.

The picture below is of Sylvestor Francis in the museum.


He took time to discuss the museum displays and their history. Also he had me watch a documentary called "All In A Mardi Gras Day" which I purchased a copy of. It's a great reference for anyone interested in the African American Mardi Gras culture in New Orleans. It covers the Mardi Gras Indians, Zulu Krewe, Skull and Bone Gang and lots more.


Click here to view The Backstreet Cultural Museum website. You'll find information on exhibitions, community programs and hours of operation.

Hope you enjoyed this post as much as I did sharing it. Feel free to leave comments below.


Sondra Carpenter
The Mardi Gras Girl

Sunday, October 14, 2012

The Mardi Gras Indians, First African American Mardi Gras Krewe

You won't see them with the rest of the krewes and walking clubs during the Mardi Gras celebrations.That's because they don't hang out around Canal Street near the French Quarter or Uptown near St. Charles Avenue where all the other krewes parade. I admit, because I didn't know the schedule until late last year, I still haven't seen them perform myself. You may be able to see them at the Jazz and Heritage Festivals if you don't catch them on Mardi Gras Day, St. Joseph's Day or a Super Sunday. I'm referring to the Mardi Gras Indians, the oldest African American Mardi Gras Krewe.

The Mardi Gras Indians mask in the historically African American neighborhood of Treme in New Orleans and make stops at different local restaurants and taverns in the community. Since African Americans were not included in the earlier Mardi Gras parades, they created their own celebrations within their neighborhoods.

You can contact the Backstreet Cultural Museum in Treme for information on the schedule, which is where I found out a lot about the history. This amazing African American cultural tradition goes back to the early 1800's with the Creole Wild West shows. Native Americans were credited with assisting African Americans during slavery and this was a way to pay homage.

The costumes, called suits, are made of not only feathers but also intricate bead work. They take about a year to make and weigh at least 100 pounds. They also don't wear the same one twice. The downtown suits are made more of feathers indicative of Native American tribes and the uptown costumes are more reminiscent of West African beading traditions.

The amazing picture displayed on this post is of the Cheyenne Gang. Photo credit goes to Perry Braniff, Sr.


*** Click here also for more information on the Mardi Gras Indians.

Thanks for visiting. There is so much more to the Mardi Gras Indian culture than what's covered on this post. If you'd like me to add more about information about this topic on the blog please let me know by posting your comments below.


Sondra Carpenter
The Mardi Gras Girl