Shelby Ivey Christie

Shelby Ivey Christie



A quick THREAD about the Mardi Gras Indian tradition + the costumes it birthed ? In 1718 runaway slaves were taken in + hidden by the indigenous ppl in the NO Louisiana area. Throughout the centuries African + Native American cultures mixed to create a new masking culture??

Even after slavery was outlawed in the U.S. Black NOLA residence were kept from participating in the Mardi Gras parade It was not until 1992 that NOLA passed legislation to desegregate Mardi Gras krewes which had been largely or exclusively white up until that point...

Getting parade permits was very hard, particularly for Black folks but during Mardi Gras so many parades were already going on, so the Mardi Gras Indians figured they’d blend in — It’s not known exactly when they started masking but it’s before WWI —

The NO Mardi Gras Indian Council was est in 1969 + they’ve paraded every 3rd Sunday in March(Super Sunday)since?? The Indigenous Indian tribes who sheltered runaway enslaved Africans discovered that their cultures had similar costumes + blended them: masks, beading + headdresses

Most of these beautiful costumes are hand made by the Mardi Gras Indians themselves! All of that patchwork ? 3 main pieces: a crown, a dickie + an apron. The crown is the headdress, the dickie is the portion that covers the chest + the apron covers the waist to the ankle

Mardi Gras Indians are divided into two groups: Uptown + Downtown. Uptown Indian groups have more West African influence + create abstract costumes w/beads. Downtown Indians designs are focused on scenes + pictures within the design ??

It takes anywhere from 6 months to a year for these costumes to be made — After the parade the costumes are retired. Before synthetic fabrics were made the costumes were destroyed because they were made from perishable material The Blackstreet Cultural Museum preserves some ??

Just wanted to share some indigenous/Native American history + show how it touches Black history as well — And of course: COSTUMES ??? Our native neighbors have been allies to us + have lended pieces of their culture to our own to collaborate on something special. We Stan ?

Our good sis @DawnRichard shared this rich, rich culture with Vogue — Bringing our stories to high places ????

IMPORTANT: the Mardi Gras Indians aren’t some obscure groups - They are 30 to 40 tribes made up of teachers, attorneys, NFL players, entertainers — Just folks like you + I who are upholding our cultural practices ✨ Thank you to them!

EYE TRULY BELIEVE THE MARDI GRAS INDIANS ARE BLACK COUTURIERS - This is very intracate design work by hand. Black ateliers!!!!!!!!!!

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