RE:SEARCH logo
University of Detroit Mercy Libraries / Instructional Design Studio
UDM HOME KNOWLEDGE [BLACKBOARD] TITAN CONNECT QUICK LINKS
RESEARCH HOME / FIND / SPECIAL COLLECTIONS / THE JAMES T. CALLOW FOLKLORE ARCHIVE /
James Callow Folklore Archive

Collection Home

About Dr. James T. Callow

Dr. James T. Callow publications

Collectors

Browse by

Subject heading

Keyword

Location

Questions or comments on this site? Please email davidsor@udmercy.edu.

The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

search for

Content filter is on

Your search for 484 returned 138 results.

prev | items
| next

FLOWERS MAY WITHER,
SONGS MAY DIE,
SOME WILL FORGET YOU,
BUT NEVER WILL I...

Where learned: LOUISIANA ; BATON ROUGE

Keyword(s): AUTOGRAPH VERSE? ; RHYME: MASCULINE, ABCB ; SINCERITY INDIRECTION PLEDGE FRIENDSHIP

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Lyrical Verse C730.325

View just this record

Entry filtered.

Ethnic: Song/American Indian/Mardi Gras

THESE ARE THE WORDS TO THE SONG:
ME GOT FIRE CAN'T PUT IT OUT
ME FIRE WATER GONNA MAKE ME SHOUT.
I AM GOING DOWN AND GET MY SQUAW
ME MIGHT BUY GREAT BIG CAR.
I AM GONNA DO EVERYTHING I COULD
ME BIG CHIEF I'M FEELING GOOD.
ME BIG CHIEF I GOT 'EM TRIBE
GOT MY SQUAW RIGHT BY MY SIDE.
MY FLAG BOY HE JUST WENT BY
MY SPY BOY HE'S FULL OF FIRE
ME WHOLE TRIBE IS HAVING FUN
WE GONNA DANCE 'TIL THE MORNING COME

Submitter comment:

THE SONG 'BIG CHIEF' WAS WRITTEN BY A BLACK MAN NAMED
PROFESSOR LONG HAIR. HE WROTE THE SONG AROUND THE EARLY
1950'S. THIS SONG IS STRICTLY A MARDI GRAS TUNE. IT HAS
SURVIVED THROUGH THE YEARS AS ONE OF THE CLASSIC SONGS OF THE
MARDI GRAS SEASON. HE DID NOT BECOME RICH WITH THE SONG
BECAUSE IT IS ONLY UNDERSTOOD AND LOVED IN NEW ORLEANS
DURING THE MARDI GRAS SEASON. THE MAN IS PRESENTLY
WORKING ON THE RIVER FRONT WHARFS IN NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA
AT THE TIME OF HIS WRITING THE SONG, PROFESSOR LONG HAIR
WAS AN INDIAN CLUB MEMBER. HIS STORY IN THIS SONG IS
ALMOST THE SAME AS THAT OF THE OTHER INDIANS. HE SIMPLY
STATES WHAT HE IS GOING TO DO ON MARDI GRAS DAY AND
INVITES EVERYONE TO JOIN IN THE FUN WITH HIM.

Where learned: LOUISIANA ; New Orleans

James Callow Keyword(s): FIREWATER ; LIQUOR ; NEGRO COMPOSER, PROFESSOR LONG HAIR

Subject headings: 663 Mardi Gras
Favorites
Filter - Mature Content

View just this record

HANDA WANDA CHANT

****** VERSE ONE *************************
INDIAN!!!!
INDIAN FROM HAN DOUAH MAKE LOU AH!!
SAID UPTOWN RULERS AND DOWNTOWN TOO,
SAID THE WILD MAGNOLIAS GOT INJUN BLUE!
HEY BOY WE (BE?) READY, YA'LL WE RIGHT
HANDA WANDA , OH MAMA!
WE THE PRETTIEST IN THE CITY ON MARDI GRAS
HANDA WANDA, OH MAMA!
OH KEDDIE-FAY-HACKO-MA-HO-NA-NAE
HANDA WANDA, OH MAMA!
OH TELL ME BOY WHAT THE INJUN SAY
HANDA WANDA , OH MAMA!
LITTLE BITTY BOY AND LITTLE BITTY GIRL
HANDA WANDA, OH MAMA!
****** VERSE TWO *********
ON MARDI GRAS MORNING THEY WON'T GO WRONG
HEY COME HERE BOY WON'T YOU STAND BY ME
I'M THE PRETTIEST BIG CHIEF YOU EVER DID SEE!
HEY HANDA WANDA HAN DAN DEY
SAY RING THEM DRUMS ON A HOLIDAY
MARDI GRAS MORNING, IT WON'T BE LONG
THEM INJUN RULERS GONNA SING THEIR SONG
RUN GET YOUR MAMA AND YOUR PAPA TOO
HEY THEM INDIAN BOYS GOT INDIAN BLUE
******* VERSE THREE ********
DON'T DENY YOUR NAME YOU GOT YOUR GANG
DON'T DENY YOUR NAME YOU GOT YOUR FAME
NOW HANDA WANDA YA HA NA NEY
HEY WATCH THEM BOYS IN A MARDI GRAS DAY
ON THE PRETTIEST IN THE CITY THE WHOLE DARN LAND
HEY MARDI GRAS MORNING WE DON'T GIVE A DAMN
RUN GET YOUR MAMA, PAPA TOO,
******VERSE FOUR *********
OH THEM INJUNS COMING, GOT INJUN BLUE!
OH TELL ME BOYS WHAT THEM INJUNS SAY
SAY HANDA WANDA HA NA NEY
HEY PRETTIEST IN THE CITY ON A HOLIDAY
HEY REX IS THE RULER MARDI GRAS MORN
I'M A INDIAN RULER GON' CARRY ON'!
HEY SPY BOY JUMPING UP AND DOWN
OH SPY BOY SAID WE GOIN' DOWNTOWN
OH JAK E MA FINO PUT HOLE IN THE GROUND
PUT A HOLE IN THE GROUND AND DANCE ALL AROUND
JAK E MA FINO MA HO NA RAY
OH JAK ON A HOLIDAY
MARDI GRAS MORNING HERE THEY COME
OH THEM INUJUN BOYS GONNA HAVE THEIR FUN
HAN-DIE-KIL-A-WAY
***** VERSE FIVE **********
OH DO LIKE YOU WANNA ON A MARDI GRAS DAY!
OH YA'LL WE READY, YA'LL WE RIGHT
WE THE PRETTIEST IN THE CITY OM MARDI GRAS
HEY COME HERE BOY, WON'T YOU STAND BY ME
I'M THE PRETTIEST BIG CHIEF YOU EVER DID SEE
HAN-DIE-KIL-A-WAY
HAN-DIE-KIL-A-WAY
OH JAK E MO FINO ON A HOLIDAY
OH BOY WE READY YA'LL WE RIGHT

Submitter comment: THE HANDA WANDA CHANT IS ONE OF THE OLDEST AND BEST KNOWN CHANTS
SUNG BY THE WILD MAGNOLIAS INDIAN GROUP. WHEN THEY DO THEIR CHANTS ON
MARDI GRAS, THEY ARE USUALLY MARCHING IN THE STREETS. THE HEAD
INDIAN CALLS THE RHYMES, WHILE THE TOLL OF OTHER INDIANS
AND THE PEOPLE MARCHING ALONG, SING THE PHRASE 'HANDA WANDA, OH
MAMA'. THE INDIANS KEEP IN TIME TOGETHER BY SHAKING
TAMBOURINES, AND BEATING DRUMS. THIS CHANT WAS LATER PUT TO
MUSIC ON RECORD BY THE MAGNOMIA (MAGNOLIA?) INDIANS
IN MY ATTEMPT TO CONVEY THE PROCESSIONS OF AN INDIAN ON
MARDI GRAS DAY. I WOULD FIRST LET MY FRIENDS LISTEN TO THE
RECORD "HANDA WANDA."
IT EXPLAINS SOME OF THE PRESTIGE AND PREPARATIONS
THESE BLACK PEOPLE PUT INTO THE ACT OF AN INDIAN ON MARDI GRAS DAY.
UPON HEARING THE RECORD, INSTANT DISLIKE ON THEIR PART. I INTERPRET
THE WORDS OF THE SONG AND TRY TO GET THEM TO LISTEN TO ONLY
THOSE WORDS THEY CAN CLEARLY UNDERSTAND, THE REST IS
WHAT WE CALL MARDI GRAS BLUES. I THEN TRY TO EXPLAIN WHAT
IS BEING SAID BASICALLY IN EACH VERSE. I DIVIDE THE SONG INTO
FIVE VERSES, AND I TRY TO SHOW THEM THAT THIS SONG OF THE INDIAN
IS ONLY A PREP SONG OR RALLY SONG.
FROM FIRST VERSE-- 'HEY BOY WE READY , YA'LL WE RIGHT'--
THE INDIAN IS
INDICATING THROUGH WORDS THAT ARE NOT EASILY UNDERSTOOD IN ENGLISH,
THAT THEY ARE GETTING READY TO START.
FROM VERSE TWO IS THE INDICATION OF HOW THE INDIAN LOOKS UPON
HIS WARDROBE, 'I'M THE PRETTIEST BIG CHIEF YOU EVER DID SEE.'
FROM VERSE THREE IS ANOTHER PROCLAMATION BY THE INDIAN THAT HE IS
'THE PRETTIEST IN THE CITY THIS DAY, GO GET YOUR MAMA AND YOUR PAPA,
TELL THEM I'M COMING YOUR WAY'.
FROM VERSE FOUR, YOU SHOULD KNOW THAT THE INDIAN HAS STARTED
ON HIS LONG JOURNEY TO DOWNTOWN NEW ORLEANS.
THEY ARE DEEP INTO THE SONG
NOW AND WANT TO KNOW IF THE PEOPLE FEEL AS GOOD AS THEY DO, SO THE
LEADER ASKS WHAT DOES THE INDIAN SAY. THE PEOPLE REPEAT A CHORUS
'HANDA WANDA YA HA NA NEY.'
CONTINUATION OF VERSE FOUR, THE LEADER KNOCKS THE KING OF CARNIVAL,
REX. HE SAYS REX IS THE RULER ON MARDI GRAS DAY, I'M AN INDIAN
RULER GONNA CARRY ON.' HE THEN GOES INTO AN INDIAN TYPE DANCE.
'PUT THE HOLE IN THE GROUND ME GON' DANCE AROUND.'
FROM VERSE FIVE THE INDIAN WANTS TO KNOW IF EVERYONE HAS GOTTEN
THE MESSAGE. SO HE STATES HIS PROPOSITION ONE MORE TIME. 'OH DO
LIKE YOU WANNA ON A MARDI GRAS DAY'.
IF YOU NOTICED THAT IN VERSE ONE, TWO AND FIVE, THAT THE INDIAN
WAS TELLING THE PEOPLE TO DO WHATEVER THEY WANTED TO DO BECAUSE
THIS IS MARDI GRAS DAY, THEN YOU CAN PROBABLY READ THE VERSES
AGAIN AND THEN THROUGH LISTENING TO THE SONG AGAIN, YOU SHOULD BE
ABLE TO FEEL, IF NOT UNDERSTAND, THE EXCITEMENT AND GAIETY THE
INDIANS ARE TRYING TO GENERATE FOR THIS MARDI GRAS DAY.

Where learned: LOUISIANA ; New Orleans

Subject headings: 663 Mardi Gras

View just this record

SOMEBODY GOT SOUL, SOUL, SOUL (MARDI GRAS SONG)

I SEWED , SEWED, ALL NIGHT LONG.
SOMEBODY GOT SOUL, SOUL, SOUL
SAID MARDI GRAS MORNING GONNA BRING NEW DAWN
TIL SOMEBODY GOT SOUL, SOUL, SOUL CHANT
ODO LIKE YOU WANNA, DO LIKE YOU KNOW
HEY JAK E MA FINO ANYWHERE YOU GO
OH TAKE ME DOWN, DOWNTOWN
SAY TAKE ME DOWN, DOWNTOWN
SAID MARDI GRAS MORNING GONNA HAVE MY FUN
OH OH DON'T YA'LL WORRY AND DON'T YA'LL RUN
JUST DO WHAT YOU WANNA ON MARDI GRAS
PIPE LUNIE MA DUKE CREE AYE LUSTILLE
I WEAR MY FEATHERS WITH A HEART OF STEEL
I WON'T BOW DOWN, I DON'T KNOW HOW
SAID I WON'T BOW DOWN ON THE DIRTY GROUND
HEY JAK E MA FINO MA HO TAN DEY
OH TELL ME BOYS WHAT THEM INJUN SAY
I DIE, KILL AWAY
HA DIE, KILL AWAY
HA KIDDIE FAY HAKO HA HO NA NAE
SAY EARLY IN THE MORNING THE SUN DON'T SHINE
OH THE WILD MAGNOLIAS GONNA BE ON TIME
OH THEY RUNNING UP AND THEY RUNNING DOWN
GONNA RUN THAT GANG ALL OVER TOWN
OH MEET EVERYBODY ON A HUNDRED AND ONE
SAID A HUNDRED AND TWO GONNA MEET EM TOO?
TAKE ME DOWN, DOWNTOWN
SAID MARDI GRAS YA'LL WANT TO HAVE FUN
CREE AYE LA JON, LA DU CREE AYE
WE THEM INJUNS HOLLERING ON MARDI GRAS
OH TAKE ME DOWN, DOWNTOWN
SAY TAKE ME DOWN, DOWNTOWN
HEY EARLY IN THE MORNING GONNA HAVE MY FUN
SAID DO LIKE YOU OUGHTA, DO LIKE YOU KNOW
SAID MEET THEM BOYS ANYWHERE YOU GO
SOMEBODY
SOMEBODY GOT
SOMEBODY GOT SOUL
SOMEBODY GOT SOUL, SOUL
SOMEBODY GOT SOUL, SOUL, SOUL
SAID JAK E MA FINO MA HO TAN DEY
I'M AN INJUN BOY ON A HOLIDAY
DON'T YA'LL WORRY BOY, DON'T YA'LL RUN
SAID MEET EVERYBODY ON MARDI GRAS
COME TO NEW ORLEANS ON MARDI GRAS
SAID ASK ANYBODY WHERE THE INDIAN FROM
OH THEY'RE FROM UPTOWN WON'T BOW DOWM
OH THEY'RE FROM UPTOWN, THEY DON'T KNOWN HOW
THEY GONNA MEET EVERYBODY ON MARDI GRAS
MAGNOLIA GONNA SEW ALL NIGHT
OH NOW DON'T YOU WORRY BOY, DON'T YOU RUN
SOMEBODY GOT SOUL, SOUL, SOUL
OH SOMEBODY GOT SOUL, SOUL, SOUL

Submitter comment: THIS IS ANOTHER CHANT (IN) WHICH THE INDIAN TELLS
THE PEOPLE ABOUT HIS
FEELINGS ON MARDI GRAS DAY. HE BEGINS BY TELLING ALL HIS LISTENERS
HOW LONG AND HARD HE HAS BEEN WORKING ON HIS COSTUME; EVEN UNTIL
THE BREAK OF DAY ON MARDI GRAS DAY.
NOW HE IS READY TO HIT THE STREETS AND HIS DESTINATION IS
DOWNTOWN BECAUSE THE INDIANS GET TOGETHER IN THE UPTOWN PART OF THE
CITY. HE IS EXPLAINING THAT HE IS GOING TO DO EXACTLY WHAT HE
WANTS TO ON THIS DAY AND INVITES EVERYONE TO DO THE SAME.
HE THEN GOES ON TO TELL HOW PROUD HE IS ABOUT HIS OUTFIT
BY SAYING 'I WEAR MY FEATHERS WITH A HEART OF STEEL',' I WON'T BOW
DOWN, I WON'T BOW DOWN'. HE TELLS YOU THAT EARLY IN THE MORNING
BEFORE THE SUN IS OUT, THE INDIAN GROUP, THE WILD MAGNOLIAS, ARE
UP AND READY TO GO. THEY ARE PREPARED TO RUN THEIR FOLLOWERS, THE
CROWDS OF PEOPLE WHO COME TO SEE THEM, ALL OVER TOWN. HE IS ALSO
GUARANTEEING THE PEOPLE THAT THEY ARE GOING TO HAVE A GOOD TIME.
HE EVEN CONVEYS A MESSAGE TO THE TOURISTS THAT THEY SHOULD ASK
WHERE TO FIND THE INDIANS ON MARDI GRAS DAY.

Where learned: LOUISIANA ; New Orleans

Subject headings: 663 Mardi Gras

Date learned: 03-14-1975

View just this record

'IF EVER I CEASE TO LOVE '

DURING THE MARDI GRAS PERIOD, THE STREETS AND BUILDINGS ARE
GAILY DECORATED WITH THE OFFICIAL MARDI GRAS COLORS OF
PURPLE, GREEN, AND GOLD. THE MUSIC WHICH IS THE OFFICIAL
MARDI GRAS SONG IS 'IF EVER I CEASE TO LOVE'.

Submitter comment: THIS IS AN INSTRUMENTAL. IT HAS THE QUALITY OF A MARCH.
EVEN THOUGH IT IS THE OFFICIAL MARDI GRAS SONG, MOST PEOPLE
DON'T LIKE IT. IT IS BORING, FORMAL AND IT LACKS LUSTER.

Where learned: LOUISIANA ; New Orleans

James Callow Keyword(s): COLOR ; CONTRAST

Subject headings: 663 Mardi Gras

Date learned: 02-11-1975

View just this record

SECOND LINE

THIS IS AN INSTRUMENTAL. THE MUSIC GIVES THE IMPRESSION
OF A SNAPPY MARCH.

Submitter comment: THE 'SECOND LINE ' IS NOT ONLY A SONG, BUT A DANCE OR STRUT.
IT IS VERY POPULAR AMONG BLACKS IN NEW ORLEANS. THIS STRUT
IS NOT ONLY PERFORMED DURING THE MARDI GRAS SEASON, IT IS
PERFORMED AT THE END OF LAMOST EVERY DANCE, WHITE OR BALCK.
WHEN YOU HEAR THE BLAST OF THE TRUMPETS, IT IS LIKE CALLING
ALL THE PEOPLE TO THE DANCE FLOOR. YOUNG AND OLD ALIKE
CANNOT BEAR TO SIT WHILE THIS TUNE IS PLAYING.
IT IS ALWAYS THE LAST DANCE OF THE BALL. THE SECOND
LINE TUNE IS ALSO PLAYED AFTER A JAZZ FUNERAL, BUT THEY
USUALLY REMEMBER THE SONG 'WHEN THE SAINTS GO MARCHING IN.'
ON MARDI GRAS DAY YOU WILL SEE THE INDIANS DOING THE
'SECOND LINE DANCE' TO THEIR CHANTS AND TO THE MUSIC THAT
THEY MAKE.
THE TUNE ITSELF CAN BE PLAYED AT A RELATIVELY SLOW TEMPO FOR
THE PRESENTATIONS OF THE MEMBERS OF THE CLUB GIVING
THE BALL. THE TEMPO IS QUICKENED FOR THE FINALAE OF THE BALL.
THE SECOND LINE DANCE IS KNOWN BY MANY WHITES IN NEW ORLEANS,
BUT IT IS BASICALLY A TRADITION OF THE BLACKS THERE.

Where learned: LOUISIANA ; New Orleans

James Callow Keyword(s): INTERRACIALISM, NOT RACISM

Subject headings: 663 Mardi Gras
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Dance
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Festival C436.663
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Music
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Entertainment Diversion
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Death Funeral Burial

Date learned: 02-11-1975

View just this record

MARDI GRAS SOUVENIERS

ONE 8 X 10 ENVELOPE CONTAINING BEADS, DOUBLOONS, AND BACCHUS BOGUS,
A RECENT SOUVENIER FROM THE KREWE OF BACCHUS; SQ731458-2

Submitter comment: SOUVENIRS AND FAVORS USED AT THE MARDI GRAS SELDOM HAVE ANY
IDENTIFICATION WITH THE EVENT OR THE CITY. _THEY ARE USUALLY
COSTUME JEWELERY THAT IS AVAILABLE THROUGH ANY NOVELTY OR DIME
STORE. SIX LOCAL WHOLESALERS WILL SELL THIS MERCHANDISE BY THE
GROSS IF YOU INSIST.
BUT DO NOT BECOME ANGRY WHEN YOU DISCOVER YOU COULD
HAVE BOUGHT THE SAME ITEM IN YOUR HOME TOWN. DURING MARDI GRAS TIME
YOU WILL OFTEN SEE ELEGANT LADIES STUMP, PUSH, OR FIGHT WITH
A GROUP OF SMALL BOYS FOR A WORTHLESS GLASS BEAD NECKLACE THROWN FROM
A FLOAT. IF THE INCIDENT ABOUT THE SCRAMBLE FOR BEADS SEEMS SILLY,
YOU SHOULD SEE THE PEOPLE FIGHT AND I DO MEAN FIGHT FOR DOUBLOONS.
THESE DOUBLOONS ARE SOUVENIER COINS MADE ESPECIALLY FOR EACH KREWE
YEAR. THEY ARE NOW BECOMING COLLECTORS' ITEMS, ESPECIALLY THE REX
DOUBLOONS.
SO MANY BATTLES HAVE BEEN FOUGHT ON CANAL STREET ON MARDI GRAS,
THAT YOU JUST WOULD NOT BELIEVE IT. BROKEN FINGERS, JAWS, AND HEADS
ARE ALL PART OF THE QUEST FOR THE ULTIMATE SOUVENIERS. WHY, I DO NOT
KNOW. I GUESS IT IS THE SPRIT OF MARDI GRAS.

Where learned: LOUISIANA ; New Orleans

Subject headings: 663 Mardi Gras

Date learned: 02-11-1975

View just this record

MARIE LAVEAU

AMONG SOME OF THE SUPERSTITIOUS NEGROES OF SOUTHERN LOUISIANA
AND NEW ORLEANS IN PARTICULAR, THERE IS A PERSISTENT BELIEF
IN MARIE LAVEAU, THE VOODOO QUEEN OF NEW ORLEANS. BELIEVERS
MARK WITH CHALK ON HER TOMB WALL AND ASK FOR SUPERNATURAL
ASSISTANCE. ALSO, IT IS BELIEVED THAT SOIL FROM HER GRAVE HAS
MAGICAL PROPERTIES SO IT IS USED IN DIFFERENT VOODOO RITES.
MARIE LAVEAU'S GRAVE IN NEW ORLEANS DATES BACK TO THE LATE 18TH
CENTURY AND IS A WELL KNOWN PLACE FOR VOODOO FOLLOWERS. NEW
ORLEANS ABOUNDS WITH STORIES AND LEGENDS OF HER FANTASTIC LIFE.

Where learned: LOUISIANA ; New Orleans

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Witch Shaman
BELIEF -- Explanation of a name
BELIEF -- Emblem
BELIEF -- Use of Object

View just this record

KREWE

THIS IS THE GENERIC TERM FOR CARNIVAL ORGANIZATIONS. THERE ARE
66, REX IS THE OLDEST AND CELEBRATED ITS 100TH
PARADE AND BALL THIS YEAR. SOME GROUPS
SPONSOR ONLY A PARADE OR BALL BUT MANY HAVE BOTH. THE MARDI GRAS
LASTS FROM 12TH NIGHT TO THE TUESDAY BEFORE ASH WEDNESDAY.

Where learned: LOUISIANA ; New Orleans

Keyword(s): FEASTING BEFORE FASTING

Subject headings: 663 Mardi Gras
663 Ash Wednesday
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- January 6 Twelfth Day Epiphany

Date learned: 02-00-1971

View just this record

BOEUF GRAS

A FATTED OX, PART OF THE PRE LENTEN FESTIVITIES OF THE REX
--THE EARLIEST KREWE OF THE MARDI GRAS. IT IS THE SYMBOL OF THE LAST
FLESH MEAT EATEN BEFORE THE LENTEN AUSTERITY.

Where learned: LOUISIANA ; New Orleans

Keyword(s): FEASTING BEFORE FASTING

Subject headings: 663 Mardi Gras

Date learned: 02-00-1971

View just this record

MARDI GRAS PARADES

PARADES FOLLOW THEIR OWN PRESCRIBED ROUTES OF ABOUT ONE AND A HALF
MILES THROUGH THE CITY. THE PARADES WHICH ARE FOLLOWED BY BALLS
TERMINATE AT THE AUDITORIUM AROUND 9 ( 9:00 ) P. M. ON THE NIGHT OF
THE BALL. FROM THE FLOATS DOUBLOONS AND PLASTIC BEAD NECKLACES ARE
THROWN TO THE CROWDS LINING THE PARADE ROUTE. FLAMBEAU BEARERS ARE
PICANNINY NEGRO TYPES WITH RAGS IN THEIR HAIR AND WHO CARRY TORCHES
AND DANCE ALONG WITH THE PARADE. THE QUEEN AND HER COURT RIDE ON
ONE OF THE FLOATS. BANDS AND VARIOUS MINSTRELS PROVIDE THE MUSIC.

Where learned: LOUISIANA ; New Orleans

Subject headings: 663 Mardi Gras

Date learned: 02-00-1971

View just this record

MASKERS

THE MASKERS ARE THE KREWE MEMBERS WHO RIDE THE FLOATS AND DANCE AT
THE BALLS. THEY WEAR FLESH COLORED PLASTIC FACES AND GLITTERY SATIN
COSTUMES. THEY ARE HATTED AND WIGGED SO IDENTIFICATION IS NEARLY
IMPOSSIBLE. THEY CARRY SMALL LAUNDRY BAG LIKE PURSES TO MATCH
THEIR COSTUMES WITH SMALL GIFTS INSIDE WHICH THEY GIVE TO EACH
LADY THEY DANCE WITH JUST BEFORE SHE IS RETURNED TO HER SEAT.

Where learned: LOUISIANA ; New Orleans

Subject headings: 663 Mardi Gras

Date learned: 02-00-1971

View just this record

UNMASKING

NO ONE IS ALLOWED TO WEAR A MASK AFTER SIX O'CLOCK P.M. ON THE
TUESDAY BEFORE ASH WEDNESDAY, MARDI GRAS DAY.

Data entry tech comment: KEYPUNCHER HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO ATTEND THE 1976 MARDI GRAS
CELEBRATION IN NEW ORLEANS AND CAN REPORT THAT THIS CUSTOM IS
NOW DISREGARDED BY A GREAT MANY CARNIVAL PARTICIPANTS.
INSTEAD OF SIX OCLOCK P.M. BEING THE THE TIME OF UNMASKING,
TWELVE MIDNIGHT, THE ACTUAL BEGINNING OF ASH WEDNESDAY AND THE
LENTEN SEASON SEEMS NOW TO BE THE UNMASKING HOUR, AS WELL AS
THE FORMAL ENDING OF ALL CELEBRATIONS.

Where learned: LOUISIANA ; New Orleans

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Spring Planting After all

Date learned: 02-00-1971

View just this record

KING CAKE -- A PART OF MARDI GRAS

THE FIRST BALL OF MARDI GRAS IS ON THE TWELFTH NIGHT. TRADITIONALLY
THE QUEEN AND HER ATTENDANTS WERE DETERMINED BY THE KING CAKE.
THIS IS A SWEET CAKE MADE IN A RING WITH DIFFERENT COLOR SUGARS
ON THE TOP. INSIDE ARE A CERTAIN NUMBER OF SILVER BEANS AND ONE
GOLD BEAN. THE GIRL WHO GOT THE GOLD BEAN WAS THE QUEEN OF THE
BALL, AND THOSE WHO GOT THE SILVER BEANS WERE ATTENDANTS.
NOW IT IS PLANNED WHO WILL GET WHICH BEANS, BUT THE CAKE
IS STILL A PART OF THE MARDI GRAS FESTIVAL.

Where learned: LOUISIANA ; New Orleans

Subject headings: 663 Mardi Gras
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Spring Planting After all

Date learned: 02-00-1971

View just this record

KREWE OF TUCK -- A PART OF MARDI GRAS

THIS IS A GROUP OF LOYOLA UNIVERSITY STUDENTS WHO HAVE A GREAT MOCK
PARADE -- A PARODY OF THE REGULAR CARNIVAL KREWES.
THE DESTINATION OF THIS KREWE IS THE "FRIAR TUCK'S" BAR NEAR
THE UNIVERSITY WHERE THE "BALL" IS HELD.

Where learned: LOUISIANA ; New Orleans

Subject headings: 663 Mardi Gras
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Spring Planting After all

Date learned: 02-00-1971

View just this record

ZULU PARADE -- A PART OF MARDI GRAS

THE ZULU KREWE (PRONOUNCED "CREW") IS THE ONLY NEGRO KREWE. IT WAS
ORGANIZED IN 1929 BUT WAS NOT RECOGNIZED UNTIL THE LAST FEW YEARS.
RATHER THAN A SET ROUTE, THEY PARADE FROM BAR TO BAR. THEY THROW
COCONUTS PAINTED WITH FACES, OR RATHER THEY USED TO.
NOW, IN ORDER TO GET ONE OF THESE MOST PRIZED FAVORS ONE
USUALLY HAS TO PAY A SUM OF FIVE DOLLARS OR SO TO ONE OF THE KREWE
MEMBERS TO BE GIVEN ONE.

Where learned: LOUISIANA ; New Orleans

Subject headings: 663 Mardi Gras
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Spring Planting After all

Date learned: 02-00-1971

View just this record

THE QUEEN'S SUPPER -- A PART OF MARDI GRAS

AROUND ELEVEN O'CLOCK P.M., AFTER THE BALL, THE KREWE HAS A SUPPER
FOR THE QUEEN. THE QUEEN'S FAMILY GENERALLY INVITES MANY GUESTS
BECAUSE OF THE HONOR BESTOWED UPON THE FAMILY. THERE IS A BALL AND
STREAMERS AND HATS AND FIREWORKS. AFTER SEVERAL HOURS OF DRINKING
CHAMPAGNE OR SCOTCH OR WHISKEY, A BREAKFAST IS USUALLY SERVED.

Where learned: LOUISIANA ; New Orleans

Subject headings: 663 Mardi Gras
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Spring Planting After all

Date learned: 02-00-1971

View just this record

NEW ORLEANS MARDI GRAS

REGARDLESS OF WHEN ONE TRAVELS TO THE CITY OF NEW ORLEANS, THE
VISITOR IS SURE TO BE GREETED BY BEAUTIFUL AND HISTORIC SCENERY,
SUPERB CUISINE, AND A WILDLY PULSATING NIGHT LIFE. THOSE FORTUNATE
ENOUGH TO VISIT THIS CITY DURING THE ANNUAL PRE-LENTEN MARDI GRAS
FESTIVAL, HOWEVER, WILL SEE THIS ALREADY UNIQUE CITY TRANSFORMED INTO
A FUN-FILLED PARADISE THAT LITERALLY DEFIES JUSTIFIABLE DESCRIPTION.
MARDI GRAS, WHICH TRANSLATES FROM THE FRENCH TO MEAN "FAT TUESDAY"
IN ENGLISH, IS THE TRADITIONAL CELEBRATION MARKING THE END OF A
CARNIVAL SEASON THAT BEGINS ON THE TWELFTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS.
HISTORICALLY, IT IS A CELEBRATION THAT HAS BEEN PRACTICED FOR YEARS.
GEOGRAPHICALLY, IT IS A CUSTOM THAT OCCURS ON A WORLD WIDE SCALE.
AFTER VISITING NEW ORLEANS, HOWEVER, ONE WILL SWEAR THAT THIS
CELEBRATION IS THE SOLE PROPERTY AND INVENTION OF THIS SOUTHERN
LOUISIANA CITY, FOR NEVER WILL ONE SEE AN ENTIRE URBAN DEVELOPMENT
OF THIS SIZE SO GEARED TOWARD ONE GOAL -- SEEING THAT MILLIONS HAVE
THE MOST ENJOYABLE TIME OF THEIR LIVES. HAVING BEEN LUCKY ENOUGH
TO ATTEND THE MARDI GRAS CELEBRATION IN NEW ORLEANS, I BELIEVE THAT
MILLIONS DO INDEED HAVE THE TIME OF THEIR LIVES, AND ALMOST ALL
HOPE FOR THE OPPORTUNITY TO RETURN AGAIN. HERE, THEN, ARE JUST A
FEW OF THE FACTORS WHICH CONTRIBUTE TO THIS WILDLY FESTIVE CARNIVAL,
ALL OF WHICH (WITH THE EXCEPTION OF THE BALL SCHEDULE AND A FEW
TECHNICAL TERMS WHICH WERE PROVIDED BY TEXT BOOKS) I PERSONALLY
WITNESSED WHILE I WAS THERE.
MARDI GRAS DAY ITSELF OCCURS ON SHROVE TUESDAY, THE DAY BEFORE ASH
WEDNESDAY AND THE BEGINNING OF LENT TRADITIONALLY, THIS DAY MARKS
THE CULMINATION OF NEARLY TWO MONTHS OF MERRY-MAKING AND UNINHIBITED
INDULGENCE. IN NEW ORLEANS, THIS PERIOD THAT LEADS UP TO MARDI GRAS
IS MARKED BY A SERIES OF FORMAL MASQUERADE BALLS THAT ARE SPONSORED
BY BOTH SECRET AND WELL KNOWN SOCIAL ORGANIZATIONS. MILLIONS OF
DOLLARS GO INTO THE FUNDING OF THESE ELABORATE PRODUCTIONS, AND
SECURING AN INVITATION TO THE MORE ELITE BALLS IS NEARLY AN LM IMPOSSIBILITY.. THOSE ATTENDING THESE BALLS, THEREFORE, ARE
USUALLY MEMBERS OF THE SO CALLED "UPPER CLASS" OF NEW ORLEANS
SOCIETY. FOR A YOUNG LADY TO BE CHOSEN QUEEN OF SUCH A BALL IS
A MOST HONORED AND FLATTERING PRIVILEGE FOR BOTH HER AND HER FAMILY.
A CALANDER OF CARNIVAL BALLS FOR A TYPICAL YEAR IS PROVIDED BELOW,
WHICH SHOWS NOT ONLY THE EXTENSIVENESS AND TIGHT SCHEDULING OF THESE
PARTIES, BUT ALSO, PROVIDES AN ACCURATE LIST OF THOSE GODS WHO ARE
TRADITIONALLY HONORED DURING THIS CARNIVAL SEASON.

DECEMBER
31, MONDAY. BALL OF HARLEQUINS
JANUARY
5, SATURDAY. BALL OF TWELFTH NIGHT
6, SUNDAY. BALL OF OKEANOS
10, THURSDAY. BALL OF JUPITER
11, FRIDAY. BALL OF NAIADS
13, SUNDAY. BALL OF HERA
16, WEDNESDAY. BALL OF ACHAENS
16, WEDNESDAY. BALL OF DIANA
17, THURSDAY. BALL OF THERON
18, FRIDAY. BALL OF IRIS
19, SATURDAY. BALL OF OLYMPIANS
22, TUESDAY. BALL OF ORION
23, WEDNESDAY. BALL OF PANDORA
24, THURSDAY. BALL OF NEOBIANS
24, THURSDAY. BALL OF CUPID
25, FRIDAY. BALL OF CALIPHS OF CAIRO
26, SATURDAY. BALL OF BARDS OF BOHEMIA
28, MONDAY. BALL OF VIRGILIANS
30, WEDNESDAY. BALL OF HYPATIAYNS
31, THURSDAY. BALL OF NEREUS
31, THURSDAY. BALL OF MOKANA
FEBRUARY
1, FRIDAY. BALL OF EROS
1, FRIDAY. BALL OF MAIDS OF TROY
2, SATURDAY. BALL OF OSIRIS
3, SUNDAY. BALL OF ALLA
4, MONDAY. BALL OF ELENIANS
5, TUESDAY. BAL MASQUE
6, WEDNESDAY. BALL OF ALHAMBRA
7, THURSDAY. BALL OF DORIANS
8, FRIDAY. BALL OF APAROMEST
9, SATURDAY. BALL OF ATHENIANS
11, MONDAY. BALL OF PROMETHEUS
12, TUESDAY. BALL OF SPARTA
13, WEDNESDAY. BALL OF ORPHEUS
148 THURSDAY. BALL OF MITHRAS
15, FRIDAY. BALL OF LES MARIONETTES
16, SATURDAY. BALL OF PERSIA
16, SATURDAY. BALL OF OMARDZ
17, SUNDAY. BALL OF CARROLLTON
18, MONDAY. BALL OF OBERON
19, TUESDAY. BALL OF ATLANTEANS
19, TUESDAY. BALL OF THE KNIGHTS OF MARS
20, WEDNESDAY. BALL OF MYSTERY
238 WEDNESDAY. BALL OF BABYLON, PRECEDED BY PARADE
21 THURSDAY. BALL OF MOMUS, PRECEDED BY PARADE
21, THURSDAY. BALL OF ALPHEUS
22, FRIDAY. BALL OF HERMES, PRECEDED BY PARADE
23, SATURDAY. BALL OF MYSTIC CLUB
23, SATURDAY, BALL OF MOSLEMS
24, SUNDAY. BALL OF MID-CITY, PRECEDED BY AFTERNOON PARADE
248 SUNDAY. BALL OF VENUS, PRECEDED BY AFTERNOON PARADE
25, MONDAY. BALL OF PROTEUS, PRECEDED BY PARADE
26, TUESDAY. MARDI GRAS -- STREET MASKINGS; PARADES OF ZULU
KING, REX, KREWE OF ORLEANIANS; MANY NEIGHBORHOOD PARADES,
INCLUDING CARROLLTON; NIGHT PARADE OF MYSTIC KREWE OF COMUS;
BALLS OF REX, COMUS, AND ZULU.

BUT WHILE MASQUERADE BALLS ARE A VERY IMPORTANT PART OF THE MARDI
GRAS CELEBRATION, THEY CAN IN NO WAY COMPARE TO THE PARADES WHEN IT
COMES TO PURE MASS APPEAL. FOR MANY, IN FACT, THE PARADES ARE THE
HIGHLIGHT OF THE ENTIRE CARNIVAL SEASON. THE SCHEDULED PARADE
PROGRAM BEGINS OFFICIALLY ON THE THURSDAY NIGHT PRECEDING MARDI
GRAS, AND CONTINUES AT A RATE OF SOME FIVE PARADES PER DAY RIGHT
ON THROUGH TO MARDI GRAS NIGHT, WHEN THE PARADE COURTS OF COMUS AND
REX MEET AT ELEVEN OCLOCK P.M. IN WHAT IS PERHAPS THE PEAK OF THE
ENTIRE MARDI GRAS CARNIVAL. AND WHILE IT IS THE UNION OF THESE TWO
PARADES THAT EVENTUALLY BECOMES THE CENTER OF ATTENTION, ANY MAJOR
MARDI GRAS PARADE IS TRULY A SENSUAL TREAT FOR ALL WHO EXPERIENCE
IT. THE SIGHT OF A MARDI GRAS PARADE IS SIMPLY AWESOME. HUNDREDS
OF THOUSANDS, PERHAPS MILLIONS OF PEOPLE LINE THE WIDE BOULEVARDS
OF CANAL, ST. CHARLES, AND RAMPART STREETS WAITING FOR A CHANCE TO
SEE THE KING OF COMUS, OR REX, OR THE ZULU KING, THE LATTER, AS HE
MAKES HIS WAY FROM HIS BARGE ON THE MISSISSIPPI TO THE DESTINATION
POINT OF ALL MAJOR PARADES, THE MUNICIPLE AUDITORIUM. THE CROWD
THAT LINES THESE WELL TRAVELED PARADE ROUTES IS THE MOST COLORFUL
ONE TO BE SEEN ANYWHERE, AND THE ENERGY THAT IS GENERATED THROUGH
THEIR ANTICIPATION ALONE IS FANTASTICALLY EXCITING. MANY VIEWERS
WEAR COSTUMES THAT RIVAL THOSE OF THE PARADERS THEMSELVES. OTHERS
DANCE (WHERE THEY CAN FIND ROOM) TO THE RHYTHM OF A FAR OFF PARADE
BAND. STILL OTHERS WAIT IN EAGER ANTICIPATION (SOME WITH BUSHEL
BASKETS OR LONG HANDLED NETS IN HAND) FOR A CHANCE TO CATCH
ONE OF THE MANY TOKEN FAVORS THAT ARE TOSSED FROM THE PARADE FLOATS.
IF ONE IS LUCKY, HE WILL OUTDUEL SCORES OF OTHER HUNGRY SOUVINEER
SEEKERS AND EMERGE VICTORIOUS FROM A MAD SCRAMBLE FOR A CHEAP
TRINKET (A STRING OF PLASTIC BEADS OR AN IMITATION DOUBLOON) THAT
IS WORTH PERHAPS A FRACTION OF A CENT , AND YET, IS INVALUABLE AS
A MARDI GRAS SOUVINEER. AND THEN OF COURSE, THERE ARE THOSE WHO ,
WHETHER STRENGTHENED OR WEAKENED BY EXCESSIVE AMOUNTS OF THE
ALCOHOL THAT FLOWS SO FREELY, COULD CARE LESS ABOUT PARADES.
OCCASIONALLY, BEFORE THE ACTUAL ARRIVAL OF A LONG AWAITED PARADE,
A YOUNG MAN, A MILK CARTON FULL OF BEER IN HIS HAND, WILL FIND HIS
WAY OVER ONE OF THE RETAINING BARRIERS THAT LINE THE PARADE ROUTE.
IN THE MIDDLE OF CANAL STREET WITH THOUSANDS WATCHING HIS EVERY
ACTION, THE YOUTH RAISES HIS MILK CARTON IN A TOAST TO THE CROWD
AND TO MARDI GRAS. THE ONLOOKERS ROAR THEIR THUNDEROUS APPROVAL,
AND SECONDS LATER, ONE OF NEW ORLEANS FINEST, A THREE FOOT NIGHT
STICK IN HIS HAND, IS ESCORTING THE YOUNG MAN BACK INTO OBLIVION.
MINUTES LATER, HOWEVER, SOMEONE ELSE WILL STUMBLE UPON THE SAME
STAGE, AND THE ACT, WITH SOME CREATIVE VARIATION, WILL BE REPEATED.
WHEN THE PARADE FINALLY DOES ARRIVE, NO ONE IS EVER DISAPPOINTED.
THE ROARING CONVOYS OF POLICE MOTORCYCLES, FOLLOWED BY ROWS OF
STATELY MOUNTED POLICE ARE BOTH IMPRESSIVE AND FUNCTIONAL, AS THEY
CLEAR THE WAY FOR THE PARADE THAT FOLLOWS. EACH PARADE WILL CONSIST
OF AT LEAST TWENTY OR THIRTY FLOATS, INTERSPERSED BY MARCHING
PARADE BANDS OR TRUCKLOADS FULL OF JAZZY DIXIELAND MUSICIANS.
THE MASKERS ON THE FLOATS ARE A MOTLEY BUNCH, COSTUMED SO AS TO
DISPLAY THE THEME OF THE PARADE, AND ARE CONTINUALLY ACTIVE AS THEY
THROW BOTH KISSES AND TRINKETS TO THE WAVING AND SCREAMING CROWDS
BELOW THEM. AS THE LAST FLOAT PASSES BY, THE CROWD QUICKLY BREAKS
UP; WITH SOME PEOPLE FOLLOWING THE PARADE ON ITS WAY TO THE
AUDITORIUM; SOME GOING IN SEARCH OF ANOTHER PARADE, WHICH THEY
WILL INEVITABLY FIND; AND SOME HEADING DOWN FOR THE CHAOTIC
EXCITMENT OF THE FRENCH QUARTER.
FOR THOSE WHO ARE NOT INTERESTED IN PARADES, OR FOR THOSE WHO HAVE
ALREADY SEEN THEIR SHARE OF THEM FOR ONE DAY, NOTHING CAN BEAT THE
ROUND THE CLOCK EXCITMENT OF THE FRENCH QUARTER FOR PURE, NON-STOP
MARDI GRAS ENTERTAINMENT. IT IS IN THIS MOST FAMOUS SECTION OF NEW
ORLEANS THAT THE REAL GRASS ROOTS CELEBRATION OF MARDI GRAS SEEMS
TO TAKE PLACE. HERE, IN THIS HISTORIC DISTRICT THAT IS ALSO KNOWN
AS THE VIEUX CARRE (VEE-YUH CAR-RAY) OR "OLD SQUARE", JAZZ MUSIC,
CREOLE FOOD, AND WILD DANCING IN THE STREETS CONTINUE TWENTY FOUR
HOURS A DAY FROM THURSDAY NIGHT THROUGH MIDNIGHT ON MARDI GRAS.
ONE COULD EASILY ENJOY THESE SIX MOST ACTIVE DAYS OF THE MARDI
GRAS CELEBRATION WITHOUT EVER STEPPING BEYOND THE NINETY SQUARE
BLOCKS THAT MAKE UP THE FRENCH QUARTER. MANY PARTYERS, NO DOUBT,
DO EXACTLY THAT.
THE FRENCH QUARTER OFFERS AN ABUNDANCE OF ENTERTAINMENT FOR
EVERYONE, AND FEW PEOPLE, IT SEEMS, WILL EVER WANT TO SPEND LESS
THAN SEVERAL DAYS THERE. ACTIVITY IN THE FRENCH QUARTER IS A
TWENTY FOUR HOUR A DAY AFFAIR. DURING THE DAYLIGHT HOURS, ONE MAY
WANT TO JOIN THE CROWDS WHO STROLL UP AND DOWN THE HISTORIC STREETS,
PEEKING INTO QUAINT ANTIQUE SHOPS AND BEAUTIFULLY LANDSCAPED
COURTYARD GARDENS. OR ONE MAY SPEND THE BETTER PART OF A DAY
MERELY SAMPLING THE WIDE VARIETY OF CREOLE FOODS THAT ARE SOLD THERE.
RED BEANS AND RICE, MISSISSIPPI BAYOU CATFISH, SOFT SHELL CRABS,
OYSTERS ON THE HALF SHELL, GUMBO, JAMBALAYA A LA CREOLE, OR FRESH
CRAWFISH ARE JUST A FEW TASTY POSSIBILITIES. FURTHER, ONE WILL
SURELY WANT TO WALK DOWN TO THE JACKSON SQUARE AREA TO VISIT
HISTORIC SAINT LOUIS CATHEDRAL, THE FAMOUS CABILDO, PIRATES ALLEY,
AND DOZENS OF ADDITIONAL LANDMARKS THAT SIMPLY MUST BE SEEN.
AS THE LATE AFTERNOON APPROACHES, HOWEVER, BE SURE TO GET ONE FINAL
LOOK AT THE "DAYLIGHT" FRENCH QUARTER, FOR ONCE DUSK FALLS, THE
QUARTER DOES A COMPLETE FLIPFLOP. THIS DISTRICT THAT WAS SO QUAINT
BY DAY BECOMES EXCITINGLY NAUGHTY AND WILD BY NIGHT. THE BEAUTIFUL
SECOND AND THIRD STORY WROUGHT IRON BALCONIES THAT LINE THE STREETS,
FOR THE MOST PART VACANT DURING DAYLIGHT HOURS, NOW BECOME HOTBEDS
OF ACTIVITY. MANY BALCONIES BECOME HOME BASE FOR NECKLACE AND
DOUBLOON PITCHERS WHO TEMPT THE TEEMING ELBOW-TO-ELBOW CROWDS
BELOW WITH THE SAME CHEAP TRINKETS THAT ARE THROWN DURING PARADES.
WILD SCRAMBLES ENSUE AS THESE COLORFUL REMEMBRANCES ARE DROPPED
TO THE EAGER STREET CROWDS BELOW. THOSE LUCKY ENOUGH TO CATCH A
STRING OF BEADS WEAR THEM PROUDLY AROUND THEIR NECK. OCCASIONALLY,
A BALCONY BECOMES A STAGE FOR AN UNINHIBITED YOUNG LADY AS SHE DANCES
EROTICALLY FOR THE CHEERING ONLOOKERS. IT SHOULD BE POINTED OUT,
OF COURSE, THAT DURING MARDI GRAS, SUCH DISPLAYS ARE TOLERATED BY
THE LAW. ON THE STREET BELOW, OPENINGS THAT WERE MERELY DOORWAYS
BY DAY BECOME TEMPORARY BEER, WINE, OR "HURRICANE" STANDS AT NIGHT
(A HURRICANE IS A VERY POTENT RUM BASED DRINK THAT IS EXTREMELY
POPULAR IN NEW ORLEANS). NO GLASS BOTTLES OR CANS ARE ALLOWED IN
THE FRENCH QUARTER DURING MARDI GRAS, BUT THE MERCHANTS WHO DEAL
IN SPIRITS OBLIGE THE THIRSTY CROWDS BY SELLING THEIR QUENCHING
DRINKS IN LARGE QUART OR FORTY OUNCE PAPER CUPS. A QUART OF DRAFT
BEER DURING MARDI GRAS USUALLY SELLS FOR ABOUT $1.50 .
DURING THE DAY, EVERY FRENCH QUARTER STREET APPEARS EQUALLY
INTERESTING, AND THE CROWDS SEEM EVENLY DISTRIBUTED AMONG THEM.
AT NIGHT, HOWEVER, BOURBON STREET UNDOUBTEDLY BECOMES THE CENTER
OF ATTENTION. LITERALLY FROM DUSK UNTIL DAWN, THE STREET IS
COVERED BY A CURB TO CURB CARPET OF HUMANITY. BOURBON STREET, LIKE
MOST OF THE NARROW VIEUX CARRE STREETS, IS CLOSED TO AUTOMOBILE
TRAFFIC DURING CARNIVAL EVENINGS, LEAVING IT FREE TO BECOME ANYTHING
FROM A LARGE DANCE FLOOR, TO AN INSTANT JAZZ BANDSTAND, TO AN
IMPROMPTU PARADE ROUTE. IMPRESSIONS OF BOURBON ON A CLEAR AND WARM
MARDI GRAS NIGHT WILL REMAIN ETCHED IN ONES MIND FOREVER, AS THE
MAGIC OF THIS STREET LITERALLY ATTACKS ALL OF ONES SENSES. PERHAPS
THE STRONGEST OF THESE OVERWHELMING IMPRESSIONS IS CREATED BY THE
PIERCING SOUND OF JAZZ MUSIC THAT CONTINUALLY FILLS THE AIR. DURING
MARDI GRAS, ONE SEEMS NEVER TO BE OUT OF EARSHOT OF THIS GREAT
SOUND THAT WAS BORN ON BOURBON STREET NEARLY A CENTURY AGO. THE
ARTISTS WHO PROVIDE THIS FINE MUSIC, CONTRARY TO WHAT ONE MAY EXPECT,
ARE NOT YOUNG MEN, BUT INSTEAD, ARE SEASONED VETERANS OF THE JAZZ
CIRCIUT, MANY OF WHOM ARE IN THEIR FIFTIES, SIXTIES, OR EVEN
SEVENTIES. THESE GREATS, IT SEEMS, ARE ATTRACTED TO THE FRENCH
QUARTER AS IF IT WERE A GIANT MAGNET DURING MARDI GRAS, THE BEST
OF THE BEST INVADE BOURBON STREET, AND BECAUSE OF THIS,
THE MUSIC THAT ONE HEARS HERE IS THE BEST DIXIE JAZZ TO BE HEARD
ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD. THE LARGE WINDOWS, WIDE OPENED
FRENCH DOORS, AND THE HIGH STAGES IN THE CLUBS WHERE THESE MASTERS
PERFORM ALLOW THE MUSIC AND THE MUSICIANS TO BE APPRECIATED NOT
ONLY BY THOSE INSIDE, BUT ALSO BY THE HYSTERICALLY HAPPY MASSES
WHO JAM THE STREETS. AND WHEN ONE IS READY TO TAKE A "REST" FROM
THIS MAD STREET SCENE, THERE IS A GOOD CHANCE HE WILL END UP AMONG
THOSE CROWDED TOGETHER IN THE STANDING ROOM ONLY GATHERING AT
PRESERVATION HALL, TO HEAR WHAT IS PERHAPS THE EPITOME OF SOLID
NEW ORLEANS JAZZ. THE CONSTANT SOUND OF JAZZ MUSIC THAT ROLLS OUT
INTO THE STREETS OF THE FRENCH QUARTER LEADS QUITE NATURALLY TO AN
ABUNDANCE OF UNCONTROLLABLE DANCING. MARDI GRAS, IT SEEMS, HAS
A WAY OF FREEING THE PENT UP INHIBITIONS OF ALL PRESENT, AND THIS
RELEASE MANIFESTS ITSELF BEST THROUGH WILD DANCING. YOUNG AND OLD
PEOPLE ALIKE, INSPIRED BY A FEW DRINKS, SOME GREAT MUSIC, AND THE
FACT THAT THEY ARE OFTEN INDISTINGUISHABLE BEHIND ELABORATE
COSTUMES, LET THEMSELVES GO. PERHAPS A COUPLE WILL SIMPLY START
DANCING ON A CROWDED STREET CORNER; OR MAYBE A HUGE CIRCLE OF
FIFTY OR SIXTY DANCERS WILL FORM SPONTANEOUSLY AROUND A "SPASM"
BAND, COMPRISED OF MUSICIANS PLAYING ON KAZOOS, EMPTY BEER CANS,
AND OLD TREE LIMBS. OR PERHAPS A SNAKE LIKE CARAVAN OF DANCING
BODIES WILL WIND ITS WAY THROUGH THE THRONG, LED BY A MAN IN A
GORILLA SUIT PLAYING A SOUR VERSION OF "WHEN THE SAINTS COME
MARCHING IN" ON A RUSTY TRUMPET. MINUTES LATER, ONE MAY FIND A
LARGE CROWD GATHERED AROUND A GROUP OF FOUR, EIGHT YEAR OLD BLACK
BOYS, TWO OF WHOM ARE FEVERISHLY TAP DANCING WHILE THE THIRD SHINES
THE SHOES OF INTERESTED ONLOOKERS AND THE FOURTH BUSILY CIRCULATES
THROUGH THE CROWD PASSING A BEAT UP OLD TOP HAT. THE CROWD
CONTRIBUTES GENEROUSLY, FOR THEY ARE BEING ENTERTAINED, AND THEY
LOVE EVERY MINUTE OF IT. BUT ASIDE FROM SIMPLY "BEING ENTERTAINED",
THE MARDI GRAS CROWD IS ALSO THE ENTERTAINER -- AND EVERYTHING ONE
SEES DURING MARDI GRAS, IN SOME STRANGELY INEXPLICABLE SENSE,
BECOMES AMUSING. ESPECIALLY WHILE IN THE FRENCH QUARTER, ONE NEVER
KNOWS WHERE TO LOOK NEXT. LOOK IN ONE DIRECTION, AND YOU CAN SEE
A BEAUTIFUL YOUNG LADY, DANCING ENTHUSIASTICALLY TO JAZZ MUSIC, WHO
REFUSES TO SPILL A DROP FROM THE CUP FULL OF BEER THAT BALANCES
STEADILY ON HER HEAD. LOOK IN ANOTHER DIRECTION, AND SEE SEVERAL
OVER-ZEALOUS DRINKERS, SLEEPING WITH BOWED HEADS ON NARROW
DOORSTEPS, WHO ARE COMPLETELY OBLIVIOUS TO THE NOISY CROWD THAT
SHUFFLES PAST THEM. FURTHER ENTERTAINMENT MAY BE PROVIDED BY A
DANCING SEVENTY YEAR OLD MAN SPORTING A FULL, GREEN BEARD; OR BY A
HELL AND DAMNATION PREACHER WHO CONDEMNS THE CROWD FOR THEIR LOOSE
AND CAREFREE LIFESTYLES; OR BY THE BANTERING BARKERS WHO TRY TO
LURE PASSERS-BY INTO THEIR BOURBON STREET STRIP PALACES, WHERE
THE DRINKS ARE WEAK AND THE PRICES ARE STRONG. IN TIME, IT SEEMS,
EVERYONE BECOMES THE CENTER OF ATTENTION OR THE PROVIDER OF A
GOOD, HEARTY LAUGH. THIS, PERHAPS, IS THE
KEY BEHIND THE CONTINUAL SUCCESS OF THE NEW ORLEANS MARDI GRAS
CARNIVAL. EVERYONE PARTICIPATES; PEOPLE LAUGH AT AND WITH EACH
OTHER; AND BECAUSE THOUSANDS IN FULL COSTUME MINGLE TOGETHER, IT
IS POSSIBLE, WITHIN THE SPAN OF A FEW MINUTES, TO WALK WITH DEATH,
DRINK RUM WITH BLUEBEARD, AND DANCE WITH A RED GORILLA. IT IS
A RELEASE THAT MANY PEOPLE NEED, AND ONE THAT SEEMS TO WORK
WONDERS FOR THOSE WHO PARTICIPATE IN THIS ANNUAL SPRINGTIME
CELEBRATION. ARRIVING HOME AFTER CELEBRATING MARDI GRAS IN SUCH
A WAY, MANY, NO DOUBT, WILL RECALL A SONG THEY HEARD SO MANY TIMES
WHILE WALKING THE STREETS OF THE FRENCH QUARTER, FOR NOW THEY TOO
"KNOW WHAT IT MEANS TO MISS NEW ORLEANS."

Data entry tech comment: AMEN

Where learned: LOUISIANA ; New Orleans

Subject headings: 663 Mardi Gras
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Spring Planting After all

View just this record

ALL SAINTS DAY

THE DAY AFTER HALLOWEEN IN SOUTHEAST LOUISIANA IS A DAY SET ASIDE
BY MANY PEOPLE TO LAY FLOWERS ON THE GRAVES OF FRIENDS AND RELATIVES
AND REPAIR THE GRAVE SITE.
I HAVE SEEN THE TOMBS IN NEW ORLEANS ON ALL SAINTS DAY COVERED WITH
FLOWERS AND VISITED BY MANY PEOPLE, FRIENDS AND JUST CURIOUS
PEOPLE. IT IS A BEAUTIFUL CUSTOM MEANT TO REMEMBER THE DEAD.

Where learned: LOUISIANA ; METAIRIE

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- November 1 All Saints
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Death Funeral Burial

View just this record

MARIE LAVEAU

AMONG SOME OF THE MORE SUPERSTITIOUS NEGROES OF SOUTHERN LOUISIANA
AND NEW ORLEANS IN PARTICULAR, THERE IS A PERSISTENT BELIEF
IN MARIE LAVEAU, THE VOODOO QUEEN OF NEW ORLEANS. BELIEVERS
MARK WITH CHALK ON HER TOMB WALL AND ASK FOR SUPERNATURAL
ASSISTANCE. ALSO, IT'S BELIEVED THAT SOIL FROM HER GRAVE HAS
MAGICAL PROPERTIES SO IT IS USED IN DIFFERENT VOODOO RITES.
MARIE LAVEAU'S GRAVE IN NEW ORLEANS DATES BACK TO THE LATE 18TH
CENTURY AND IS A WELL KNOWN PLACE FOR VOODOO FOLLOWERS. NEW
ORLEANS ABOUNDS WITH STORIES AND LEGENDS OF HER FANTASTIC LIFE.

Where learned: LOUISIANA ; New Orleans

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Witch Shaman
BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal

View just this record

prev | items
| next

University of Detroit Mercy
4001 W. McNichols Detroit , MI , 48221-3038
This site is endorsed by the University of Detroit Mercy (UDM) and supports the views, values, and mission of UDM. The University of Detroit Mercy web site provides links to other web sites, both public and private, for informational purposes. The inclusion of these links on UDM's site does not imply endorsement by the University. Please contact the Instructional Design Studio for any questions regarding this web site.