Mardi Gras Indians Episode 153
Big Chief Suit

Big Chief Suit

Mardi Gras Indians – a New Orleans Treasure!

In this episode Mark explores the history and traditions of the Mardi Gras Indians.  We give you the run down on who they are, and what they do.  We discuss their significance in New Orleans and the tremendous effort they put into their craft.  We also give you the inside knowledge you need to see the Mardi Gras Indians when you visit New Orleans.

All this and more on today’s show!

Resources for Discovering More about the Indians

To learn more about the Mardi gras Indians, consider a visit to the following museums during your next trip to the Crescent City:

The Backstreet Cultural Museum

1116 Henriette Delille Street
New Orleans, LA 70116
Telephone: (504) 577-6001

The Backstreet Cultural museum is located in the Tremè, immediately behind the French Quarter.  Just across the street from the museum is St. Augustine Church, the oldest African American Catholic parish in the United States.

If you’re not going to make it to New Orleans anytime soon, check out Ronald Lewis’ book The House of Dance and Feathers.  Written with Rachel Breunlin the book is filled with stories and photos from Ronald’s collection. Mr. Lewis was my source for this episode. He has since died, but the book will give you a great look into the people and the history of the Indians, in even more detail than we discuss on the podcast.

Where to see the Mardi Gras Indians?

Traditionally, the gangs of Mardi Gras Indians can be found on Mardi Gras morning, of course, if you know where to look.  You also have to be in the right place, at the right time.  If you can’t get down to New Orleans for Mardi Gras, how about St. Joseph’s Day?  The Indians are out in force on St. Joseph’s night.  You can also find them on one of the Super Sundays held in March and April, and at Jazz Fest.


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Until next time, laissez le bon temps rouler!


New Orleans is so much more than the Bourbon Street scenes you may have seen–– it’s a 300-year-old city made up of vibrant neighborhoods, diverse populations, and traditions layered upon each other.
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