Monday, March 19, 2012

Super Sunday brings out the feathers

Yesterday was Super Sunday. The Mardi Gras Indian celebration coincides with the feast of St. Joseph because, somebody told me, freed slaves hung out with Italians because they were both part of the underclass. Does this make sense? Maybe because Italians had the food and African Americans had the music.

It probably makes as much sense as an African-American dressed like a Native American except with technicolor beads and feathers.

Escaped slaves hid out in Indian villages and assimilated into their culture. Thus, Mardi Gras Indian rhythms are both African and American Indian.

You see it and hear it all on Super Sunday. In fact, now you see regular white folks in the Mardi Gras Indian entourages. And I swear I saw a guy who might have been Jewish dressed in a chief outfit.

I suppose this is all good news. We aren't fighting - except fighting over wanting to be part of the cultural mix.

Super Sunday has become a tourist attraction. Although there are a good number of police visible, nobody seems scared. The park where the parade ends is in the newly redeveloped housing project - all freshly painted townhouses. The most challenging part is taking a photo without another photographer in the way.

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