Thursday, April 06, 2006

Cast of Characters

Each Indian tribe has a complex hierarchy of members: chiefs, flagboys, spyboys and the like, with specific roles to play. And in a addition to the Indians, themselves, there are various supporting characters with their own distinct costumes and roles. I don't know much about it, but I'm curious. Here are two notable characters from last Sunday's procession (the names are my own - I have no idea what the proper terms are, if any):

The Bone Man:

The back of the costume is embellished in an elaborate skeleton design. He would slowly walk about, staring sternly at the crowd. And note the flag rocking a bit of West Bank pride.

The Jester:

This man was both hilarious and terrifying (oh, by the way, the Indian on the right in white is a spyboy - note the "spy"-der designs in the beading). Actually my full name for him was "the Malicious Jester." He would energetically stride up and down the procession, periodically stopping to face the crowd, splay his legs far apart, raise his antlers, and shout hoarse, incomprehensible, menacing utterances at the people. But you've got to admit, those Spanish moss culottes are pretty snazzy.

I don't quite understand it, but I like it.


  1. Anonymous12:37 PM

    I know I'm late to comment here, but I've been REALLY under the weather this week, and therefore not terribly cogent. But I've enjoyed you Mardi Gras Indian photos and would love to see more. The suits seem more expressive and individualized this year. more please!

  2. That jester looks like Buckethead on some sort of drug. I have no illicit drug use experience so I can't narrow it down to one.