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Mardi Gras All Day Celebration

Celebrate all day by watching some great New Orleans and Mardi Gras related films. Our favorites are the Les Blank films: Whatever Les Blank focused upon, he always delved deeply into the soul of it. In his films, Les gives us intimate portraits of American Bluesmen such as Lightnin’ Hopkins and Mance Lipscomb, he takes us to exuberant parties with Cajun music and food, we march along with Mardi Gras celebrations in New Orleans, we dance with polka culture the Midwest, we listen to sweet fiddle music in Appalachia, and we learn about film making itself. Les Blank has captured on film, the people, regions, foods, musical styles, dances, costumes and wonderful spirits that make America the unique cultural patchwork quilt that it is.

The photograph used for this event is a Mardi Gras Indian: "Coming out of slavery, being African American wasn’t socially acceptable. By masking like Native Americans, it created an identity of strength. Native Americans under all the pressure and duress, would not concede. These people were almost driven into extinction, and the same kind of feeling came out of slavery, “You’re not going to give us a place here in society, we’ll create our own.” In masking, they paid respect and homage to the Native American by using their identity and making a social statement that despite the odds, they’re not going to stop."

-Ronald Lewis, former Council Chief of the Choctaw Hunters, a Mardi Gras Indian tribe he helped to start

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