Courtesy of @SkinnyInTheCity


Courtesy of @SkinnyInTheCity


Courtesy of @KristineOlaris


Courtesy of @KristineOlaris


Courtesy of @SkinnyInTheCity


Courtesy of @SkinnyInTheCity


Courtesy of @SkinnyInTheCity

POSTED Thu. Mar 20, 2014

Some shots from St Joseph's Night.

Some shots from St Joseph's Night.
Adam Karlin
Written by ADAM KARLIN

Erin Michelle, who tweets at @SkinnyInTheCity, and Kristine Olaris, who tweets at @KristineOlaris, got some fabulous snaps of St Joseph’s Nights. Here’s some of the best.

1 A history of resistance

The Mardi Gras Indians say their costumes are inspired by the legacy of Native Americans helping escaped slaves hide in the bayous. While this narrative is contested, it has become accepted wisdom among the tribes and, in any case, symbolizes a general sentiment of resistance to slavery and colonialism.

2 It's all in the details

Modern costumes speak to this legacy; the Indian depicted here are more vocative of Plains Indians as opposed to local Houma or Chitimacha. Anyways, it’s best to avoid getting caught up in historical fact checking. These costumes, as noted above, are more symbolic of resistance and tribute than representative of specific Native American culture. And the handsewn bead work, as you can see, is stunning.

3 Family traditions

Masking as an Indian is a legacy passed down among family members, as demonstrated by the cutest Mardi Gras Indian ever.

4 Well...

OK, maybe this youngest member of the Fi Ya Ya is the cutest Mardi Gras Indian ever. I’m calling it a tie.

5 Wild Man coming

The Wild Man clears the way for the rest of the tribe with war cries and powerful chants. Their costumes often utilize animal imagery, like these horns.

6 Ties that bind

For young African American New Orleanians, masking as an Indian is about more than pretty feathers and beads. It’s a link to the strength of the past and the community bonds that underlay the present.

7 Who's the prettiest?

I can never answer that question. All of these suits drop my jaw.


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