The Mardi Gras Indians of New Orleans
The origin of one of the oldest traditions in New Orleans is shrouded in mystery. Some people say the roots of the Mardi Gras Indians are buried in slavery, while others believe they originated with the earliest native people of Louisiana. Today, the Mardi Gras Indians of New Orleans represent a living, breathing culture surrounded by feathers and woven in beads. It is a culture of pride and honor, ritualistic song and dance, spirituality and craftsmanship. On Mardi Gras morning across New Orleans from Uptown to the Ninth Ward, the Mardi Gras Indians emerge from their homes to the beating of drums and tambourines to parade their way through the streets to confront each other in ceremonial battle wearing intricately beaded suits covered in colorful ostrich plumes, glass beads, feathers, and rhinestones. The art that the Mardi Gras Indians create is some of the most important folk art in the United States. This multi-faceted, fully developed culture is over 200 years old and is still thriving in New Orleans today. This website has been created to support and continue this culture and tradition. The majority of the proceeds of sales will go directly to the artists themselves with only a small percentage taken to cover costs. This will allow these artists to continue to share their magnificent gifts with the public but most importantly allow them to teach and mentor the next generation.