It’s the first day of spring today, and it is also the closest Sunday to St. Joseph’s Day, which means in New Orleans that today is Super Sunday. This is the day that most of the Mardi Gras Indian tribes from all over the city come together to parade through Central City and then gather in the park, displaying their suits and rehydrating after marching in the heat wearing up to 150 pounds on their backs. After getting a little of this and a little of that done, I hopped on the bike and headed out to meet S. for an afternoon with the rest of the city to loiter, linger, and look. The weather was positively perfect–warm, sunny, and just a little bit thick–and we rode around before locking up and walking toward the park. We stopped along the way to watch different Indians dance and sing and show off and try to be the prettiest. I snapped this picture of a chief as crowds gathered to snap pictures too. So many pictures of so many suits that are the product of so many hours of careful and ridiculously creative work. Most of us are taking pictures to show our friends and ourselves, but some folks will make money off their pictures. But this year the suits are copyrighted as pieces of sculptural art, and photographers can’t make money on their pictures without paying the Indians too. After spending an afternoon viewing suit after suit after amazing suit, I can surely say this is impressive art. How about this photo? Am I breaking copyright by taking this picture? I don’t think so–I’m not making any money off this here blog, and this picture is not even primarily of the suit. It was much, much easier to get a picture of other people taking pictures today, and I don’t blame us. Afterward we rode our bikes downtown for a treat and then I rode along the river and did a loop through the Bywater before riding back home. It really was a most perfect day.
Now, that is one outrageous “suit.” Can you get one for me?