New Orleans Jazzfest: Mardi Gras Indians


During my first trip to New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival the thing that stood out the most to me, were the Mardi Gras Indians. The whole culture was new to me and I was floored when I saw them on stage moving to the beat of a drum and a grimy, soulful, distorted electric guitar riff. As they  moved rhythmically around the stage a man narrated the plight of African slaves landing in a foreign land and how the Native Americans would hide runaway slaves.

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That day in 2009 will always stick with me because it was one of those moments in time when I saw something for the first time and was completely taken by surprise and blown away. It was of course a special moment when I had a chance to share that with my family earlier this year at the New Orleans  Jazz  and Heritage Festival. The wet conditions detracted  slightly from the moment as the crowds packed the path struggling for a dry piece of earth. The Mardi Gras Indians chanted and danced by and the cloudy skies did nothing to diminish their colors.

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This week marks the 15th anniversary of the Mardi Gras Indians Hall of Fame down in the Big Easy. To learn more about the indians and be a part of the celebration see the schedule of events below:

15th Annual Mardi Gras Indian Hall of Fame Awards Week (August 4 – 11, 2013)

Sunday, August 4: Curator’s Kick-Off at Congo Square, 3 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Monday, August 5: Blue Linen Monday ft. Year of the Spy Boy Exhibit Opening at New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation Gallery, 6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, August 7: Spy Boy Yearbook Release & Book Signing at Community Book Center, 6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, August 8: 2013 Mardi Gras Indian Honorees City Council Recognition at City Council Chambers, 9 a.m. – 10 a.m.
Thursday, August 8: Queens Rule! Panel Discussion at Joan Mitchell Center, 6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, August 10: 2013 Honorees Reception at Basin Street Station, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. ($25)
Sunday, August 11: 15th Annual Mardi Gras Indian Awards & Induction Ceremony at Ashe Cultural Arts Center, 3 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
*All events are free and open to the public, unless otherwise noted.

List of 2013 Awards & Inductees, More Info:


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