General World News

New Orleans Hosts a Very Different Mardi Gras

A festively-dressed dinosaurs greets visitors at this home in New Orleans. (Matt Haines/VOA)

“Our Big Chief told us he doesn’t want us out there this Mardi Gras because of COVID,” Aaron “Flagboy Giz” Hartley told VOA. “He said it wasn’t safe for our members or for the public watching us.”

Until this year, Hartley took part in a festive New Orleans tradition dating back to the 1800s, the Mardi Gras Indian. In a unique intermingling of African American and Native American cultures, scores of Black paradegoers don colorful renditions of some elements of Native American garb.

“There’s nothing like it in the world,” said Hartley.

February 16 is Fat Tuesday, which literally translates to “Mardi Gras.” details ⇒

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