Where to see the Mardi Gras Indians
Mardi Gras has always had an air of mystery around it. Masked krewe members throw trinkets to street crowds from their floats, whose themes are kept secret until sometimes days before the big events. Kings and Queens are voted on in private, and their identities are closely guarded for long stretches of time. The list goes on.
Perhaps one of the biggest kept secrets though is the society of Mardi Gras Indians.
The Mardi Gras Indians are a group mainly made up of black New Orleans citizens from the inner-city. The society has a colorful history that’s well worth reading up on. Once made up of violent krewes, these now-peaceful tribes now compare their tribal song, dance and dress with other tribes as they meet that day. It’s a friendly competition of sorts.
To see these historic tribes, visitors must look for them on Mardi Gras day and on Suuper Sunday (usually the Sunday closest to St. Jospeh’s Day in March) – the only two days the Indians parade. The routes are not published anywhere, but they usually take place in and around the inner city neighborhoods.
According to some sources, the Creole Wild West tribe gather yearly at the corner of LaSalle and 2nd Streets sometime on Mardi Gras morning, after the Krewe of Zulu passes by. Another meeting place for tribes is at the corner of Claiborne and Orleans after the Zulu parade.
There is also an Indian Sunday on the third Sunday of March, held by the New Orlens Mardi Gras Indian Council. Festivites begin at Noon in A. L. David Park. It’s a great opportunity to see the Mardi Gras Indians dress in their features and suits, and take to the streets to meet other tribes.