Mardi Gras Carnival Art / February 19, 2019 / Laurel Hawkins
So if you happen to find yourself at your grandma s house on Mardi Gras night watching the Rex/Comus ball impress ya maw maw that you know that classic tune that keeps playing over and over. Maybe even sing a lyric or two. The oldest Mardi Gras song in the book is likely one of the most important songs in the history of our city. "May the moon be turned to green cream cheese If Ever I Cease To Love." Chuck Credo IV is a contributing author to GoNOLA.com the Official "What s Going On In New Orleans?" Blog with reviews of live music spots restaurants festivals art and so much more. GoNOLA is what you want to do on your next trip to New Orleans! Chuck Credo IV is a fourth generation New Orleans musician.
Masks made from pale pastel plumage with shiny sequins are standard fare at Mardi gras Carnival and masquerade parties. There s an allure and style to them possessed by no other costume element. Much is made of our desire to pretend and the imagination s ability to do so. Few activities give us the opportunity as readily as does the costume party. Frills and flourishes that have no other place are found in abundance at parades of show costume-clad dancers wearing yards of sequined fishnet and feathered elegance. None of it would have the same mystery without the elegance of the mask. These beautiful adornments have a history of their own that heralds back to court functions in pre-Revolutionary France. There s the hint of a palace in every feathery sequined one of them.
Behind the band come six "strong men" from the village often the tradition of carrying the torch or flambeaux is passed from father to son as the elder gets on in years. They sometimes have a helper walking beside them just in case. It s a hard and difficult job. The torches are similar in length to a caber and have been soaked for many months to ensure they stay alight. The flambeaux are then followed by many floats in which the local inhabitants deck both the float and themselves out in a variety of colours and costumes. Many are topical political statements. The more whisky that s handed around the waiting crowd the funnier they seem.