Joy and I were out this afternoon, after having our second coffee at the Cake Cafe in the Bywater, when she decided to give me an impromptu tour of the Treme, and as we cruised around she remembered we had yet to get to the Backstreet Cultural Museum.
As you may recall, our time here is running out, so no time like the present!
We were met at the door by Sylvester Francis the man who started all this in 1988 when he began displaying his photos and Mardi Gras Indian memorabilia in his garage in the Treme.
Since then his collection, and the interest and support in and of it, have grown to where it is now housed in the former Blandin Undertaking Co.
Mardi Gras Indian costumes are impressive when you know nothing about them, but when you understand that each takes a year to hand sew and bead, that they weigh 90 to 120 lbs each, and that they are worn all day in all weather — including hot, muggy temps — then they jump from impressive, to awesome.
Mardi Gras Indians mask in either the Native American style…
Or in the African Warrior style…
Either way, they are nothing to mess with…
and definitely deserving of our admiration and respect.
See ya later, alligator!