Volume 2021, Issue 1
  • E-ISSN: 22202293


The tradition of the Mardi Gras Indians is one of the least known in the southern United States. Every year in February or early March, over forty “tribes” with names such as Wild Magnolias, Golden Eagles and Washitaw Nation join the New Orleans Carnival* to compete in symbolic jousting, outdoing each other with their ritual songs and dances. The exuberance of their outfits is inspired by the ceremonial clothing of the indigenous people of the Plains. This is one way for the city’s African-American communities to pay homage to the Native Americans who took in runaway slaves in the bayous of Louisiana.

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