Author Topic: Mardi Gras Indians?  (Read 3323 times)

Offline Coastrangechild

  • Posts: 9
Mardi Gras Indians?
« on: November 21, 2013, 11:38:52 pm »
Hello -

I have always wondered on peoples perspective on the Mardi Gras Indians. Obviously they have taken large pieces of "Indian" culture and taken to an extreme spectacle/theater. And it seems highly offensive on one hand.
BUT on the other hand the direction it has gone is so flamboyant no one is truly passing it off as authentic. And in some regard it is a subculture all its own.
I am just wondering peoples thoughts in this who may be more familiar with the issues than myself.
Thank you!

Offline milehighsalute

  • Posts: 355
Re: Mardi Gras Indians?
« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2013, 03:58:51 pm »
i wouldnt call them "frauds".....i would call them adherants to asshole culture though.......they arent trying to defraud people or make money like most of those we discuss here.....

im not defending them though

Offline earthw7

  • Posts: 1415
    • Standing Rock Tourism
Re: Mardi Gras Indians?
« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2013, 04:20:26 pm »
they are just entertainment  :o
In Spirit

Offline pantspants

  • Posts: 10
Re: Mardi Gras Indians?
« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2021, 09:43:03 am »
Hello, I am very late to this thread, but just wanted to direct anyone still looking for information to the following page:

And in particular, this pull quote:

The Mardi Gras Indians named themselves after native Indians to pay them respect for their assistance in escaping the tyranny of slavery. It was often local Indians who accepted slaves into their society when they made a break for freedom. They have never forgotten this support.

The communities who participate in this tradition are very limited in size, and that suggests to me that they actually have a genealogical connection to when this started. It's not just any Black person who is picking up these regalia and going to town with it.

I admit I am not an expert in this, and am just beginning to learn about the connections between very small communities like these, and the much larger (and older) Carnival throughout the Caribbean, and the once again very small (but far younger) Carabana community in Canada. But for whatever it's worth, I hope this helps someone.

Offline RedRightHand

  • Posts: 183
Re: Mardi Gras Indians?
« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2021, 06:47:44 pm »
Some of us here know quite a bit about these groups and their history, from family roots in the region and interacting in person. The Mardi Gras "Indian" Crewes have developed their own subcultures. Like many Societ├ęs, this community is valuable to them. Some of the costumes they design are intricate works of art. Unfortunately, many also depict problematic caricatures of Plains Natives, and other disconnected stereotypes, that have nothing to do with the Indigenous people of the region.

Thanks to these Crewes, we now have mainstream performers, including white men like Harry Connick Jr, performing songs of theirs like "(Big Chief Like Plenty of) Fire Water". They also think they're "being respectful" and "honoring".

While the history of Black Indians is real and at times painful, it's not as mysterious as some think. There are ways of reconnecting for those who are actual descendants. Like any descendants, it's about being good relatives. Black Natives are almost always a very different group than these performers at Mardi Gras.

Offline pantspants

  • Posts: 10
Re: Mardi Gras Indians?
« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2021, 09:37:48 pm »
Thanks for the heads up.