There is a lot more to the Mardi Gras Indians than just Mardi Gras. There is a long history. It's a family tradition for the men in the tribes and the making of the outfits is handed on from man to boy. the outfits are handmade every year by the boys and men. They burn there outfits at the end of the year and start over for the next year. And if I'm right, you can't just BECOME a Mardi Gras Indian. It is something that is handed down.
The songs (calls) they sing are unique to each tribe. Here
is an interesting article on their history. They are very elusive on Mardi Gras Day because they don't have a set route. Their biggest day is Saint Joseph's Day when you can catch them the Downtown Tribes around Bayou St. John & Esplanade Ave. or the Uptown Tribes at Washington & LaSalle streets. Also, sometimes some of the tribes perform at Jazz Fest.
I've likened finding a Mardi Gras Indian on Mardi Grad day to finding a unicorn. I think Ken Burns has a great documentary that includes the Mardi Gras Indians.
That last scene with the gentleman showing up in full regalia to ask for help was very powerful. Putting that outfit on is no joke.
Edited by Chrysmus, Apr 11, 2010 @ 11:04 PM.