Westfest. May 10, 2015. Just a few more very tight portraits of Mardi Gras Indians and their handy work. I’ll move on to other weekend work soon.
These suits are worn for a year. They are made by hand by the person wearing them. The suit alone weighs about 75 pounds. With the head-dress the weight pushes closer to 125 pounds. The suits seem to get bigger and heavier with each passing year. Often, you’ll see an Indian walking without his head-dress. There will be somebody walking beside him carrying it. Helping him out. I don’t know, but I’d suggest that’s a pretty big honor.
These parades are long. The weather is starting to get hot. Many of the Big Chiefs are getting up there in age. Even with somebody carrying their head dresses, all I can say is that they are very, very strong men. Inside and out.
In theory, last night is the last time that we’ll see the 2015 suits. New suits will be complete by Mardi Gras Day and fine tuned by St. Joseph’s Night 2016. “In theory” means that unless something unplanned happens that brings them out again we likely won’t see these suits again. Usually, that means a passing in the community. You know what John Lennon said about that. “Life is what happens when you are busy making other plans.”