Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Here's Lookin' At You, NOLA! Happy Mardi Gras!

I know people don't really say Happy Mardi Gras, but you know what I mean. :)

With today being Mardi Gras, I thought I would send a visual shout out to NOLA. I really loved our very short trip to New Orleans. The food is fantastic; the people friendly; and the history so intriguing. My most favorite historical tidbit being that although Husband J and I would not be able to legally marry in most states in the U.S. in the 19th century (or for a good majority of the 20th century, but who's counting?), I could have been his common law wife under the Placage system, which allowed this extra legal marriage and financial relationships between mostly white men and free Black and biracial women. I never even knew something like this existed in the United States. Read about that here.

While we weren't there during Mardi Gras nor did we hop across the river to go to Mardi Gras World (you can see actual Mardi Gras floats, etc. there), we did get to see a Mardi Gras exhibit at the Louisiana State Museum in the historic Presbytere, the former residence of Capuchin monks who helped to settle the New Orleans area.

You can seriously write an entire blog or book about the various Mardi Gras krewes in New Orleans and their history. I'm just going to show you the spectacular costumes that we saw at the museum.

Many of the costumes pictured here were donated by the Zulu Social Aid & Pleasure Club, one of the oldest and largest predominantly Black carnival association participating in the Mardi Gras parades.

Part of a float...

I'm not sure if this exhibition is still there, but Husband J and I learned quite a bit about the origins and history of New Orleans' Mardi Gras celebrations. I will say that many of these costumes reminded me of Caribbean carnivals as well, which make sense since they come from similar origins.

Wherever you are today, make sure you have a "Laissez les bon temps rouler" (Let the good times roll) kinda moment before Lent like true Carnival revelers. :)


BigAppleNosh said...

Those costumes are amazing!

Diana said...

Beautiful details on these costumes. Love the history. I hope you have a great day Terri. :)


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