Sunday, February 17, 2013

Cajun Mardi Gras 2013 - Our Costumes

My friend David and I spent Mardi Gras 2013 in Cajun Louisiana, where we had the marvelous fortune to be invited to participate in a Courir de Mardi Gras, or Mardi Gras Run. This involves costumed and masked participants trekking from farm to farm, sometimes on horseback and sometimes on foot, to beg ingredients for a community gumbo to be cooked and served later in the day. Each participant is called a Mardi Gras.

My previous post describes how I made my costume and shows photos of the costume itself. This post will show David and me in our costumes, and future posts will describe additional elements of the Courir.

David and I had arrived in Cajun country with Cajun Mardi Gras costumes, but without masks. Both a proper costume and a proper mask are required to participate in a Courir.

The Cajun Mardi Gras mask is typically made of wire mesh. We were able to buy masks in Eunice LA, but these were very plain - just simple suggestions of eyes, nose, and mouth painted onto the wire. David was eager to embellish the masks, so we bought some art supplies, and David went to work with awesome results! We took the photos below in our motel rooms on the evening before the Courir.

Me in full costume and mask

Me, showing mask up close
Me, without mask
David in full costume and mask
David, showing mask up close
And finally, here is a lagniappe photo (below), This shows costumed and masked Mardi Gras gathering for the start of the Courir, with me (back to camera) in the foreground! You can a see a bit of how David's and my costume compared with those of others.

Costumed and masked Mardi Gras gather for the Courir! That's me in the foreground!
A huge thank-you to David for creating our fantastic masks! My next post will tell more about the Courir de Mardi Gras itself.