UNH Student Spends Summer Researching Mardi Gras Indians

UNH student Kendra Hanlon spent the summer of 2011 researching the Mardi Gras Indians in New Orleans. She found that the culturally rich community has rebounded since Hurricane Katrina. Read the news release.


Championship banners and football from University archives

A young Mardi Gras Indian boy “masks” on Super Sunday, March 20, 2011.

Slideshow: Lori Wright, UNH Media Relations.

Photos: Bill Ross, UNH Professor and Head of the Milne Special Collections and Archives

An original barnacle pin

UNH student Kendra Hanlon interviews Ron Lewis, owner of the House of Dance and Feathers on Tupelo Street in the Lower Ninth Ward. Lewis started the House of Dance and Feathers in 2000 in a shed behind his house to teach local children about the area's culture. Lewis is the president of the Big Nine Social and Pleasure Club and the former Council Chief of the Choctaw Hunters. His museum celebrating the history of the Mardi Gras Indians in the Lower Ninth Ward has become a small ray of hope within a community that is still struggling to recover from Hurricane Katrina.

photo of freshman beanie's

The Mardi Gras Indians are known for their intricately beaded costumes. Here part of a Mardi Gras Indian costume is on display at the House of Dance and Feathers, Tupelo Street, Lower Ninth Ward, New Orleans.

photo of ornately carved Senior Canes

Moccasins for a Mardi Gras Indian costume on display at the House of Dance and Feathers, Tupelo Street, Lower Ninth Ward, New Orleans.

photos of the orange and gold and brown and tan carpet samples that were in Dimond Library

Mardi Gras Indians parade on Super Sunday, March 20, 2011.

photo of the wool baseball warm-up jackets

A Katrina Voodoo Doll at the House of Dance and Feathers, Tupelo Street, Lower Ninth Ward, New Orleans.

photos of UNH megaphones

A young girl marches in a Mardi Gras Indian procession on Super Sunday, March 20, 2011.

photo of UNH milk bottles in the crates that they were carried in

The Backstreet Cultural Museum opened in 1999 on Saint Claude Avenue in New Orleans and houses the world's most comprehensive collection related to New Orleans' African American community-based masking and processional traditions, including Mardi Gras Indians, jazz funerals, social aid and pleasure clubs, Baby Dolls, and Skull and Bone gangs. The museum's filmed records of more than 500 events constitute the most cohesive archive documenting these cultural traditions.

old leather ice speed skates

A Mardi Gras Indian processes on Super Sunday in March 2011.

photo of cans that say Pure UNH Air

A Mardi Gras Indian mask at the Backstreet Cultural Museum in New Orleans.

photo of a freshman girl, wearing her beanie and her parents helping her move in

Sylvester Francis, founder of the Backstreet Cultural Museum of New Orleans, discusses the museum's collection of Mardi Gras Indian costumes with visitors.

photo of a freshman girls at Hewitt Hall bookstore

Mardi Gras Indian family processes on the evening of St. Joseph's Day, March 19, 2011.

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UNH Student Spends Summer Researching Mardi Gras Indians

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UNH student Kendra Hanlon spent the summer of 2011 researching the Mardi Gras Indians in New Orleans. She found that the culturally rich community has rebounded since Hurricane Katrina. 8/22/11

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