See the Colorful, Unbelievable “Suits” of Mardi Gras Indians at Artspace

The new exhibit at Artspace, Art of the Mardi Gras Indians, is one of the most eye-poppingly colorful and awe-inspiring exhibits I’ve ever seen in Artspace’s mainspace gallery. The exhibit features 10 massive, ornately beaded-and-feathered costumes handmade by Big Chief Howard Miller of the Creole Wild West Mardi Gras Indians as well as Big Chief Victor Harris of the Fi-Yi-Yi and other prominent members of New Orleans’ Mardi Gras Indian community. The elaborate suits can take an entire year to create and are worn on Mardi Gras day by the tribes of Mardi Gras Indians as they parade through the streets of New Orleans. The Creole Wild West Mardi Gras Indians led a walking parade through downtown Shreveport on Saturday, Jan. 28, and the suits will be on display through March 18. Visit the Artspace website for hours of operation and more info.

Further reading: Gambit answers the question “What are the Mardi Gras Indians?” 

A photo of Big Chief Howard Miller
Big Chief Howard Miller (left) of the Creole Wild West Mardi Gras Indians of New Orleans.

If seeing these incredible suits makes you want to learn to do the kind of bead work practiced by Mardi Gras Indians, you may want to consider signing up for the beading workshop hosted by Big Chief Howard Miller on Saturday, March 4. Cost to attend is $50 and you can sign up here. There’s also a Facebook event where more details will be posted as they become available.

For more information on planning a visit to Shreveport-Bossier or to book a hotel room directly, visit Shreveport-Bossier.org.

Featured photo: An example of the incredible suits currently on display at Artspace in downtown Shreveport.

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