The Mardi Gras Museum of Costumes and Culture premiered their newest exhibit on Friday, September 29, 2017. Jour des Fantomes – Masks and Mayhem: New Paintings by Herb Roe is an amazing collection of the Cajun Mardi Gras experience. Also featured with Roe’s works are Cajun Rider Costumes by Scooter Yerow, Handmade Zydeco Accordians by Andre Michot and Handmade Zydeco Fiddles by Thomas H. Pierce.
Roe’s oils are incredibly detailed and show a different face of Mardi Gras. Roe was on hand to speak not only about his paintings but the traditions of Carnival in that area of the state. It was a fascinating talk and I highly recommend everyone to check out his show.
I knew about Mardi Gras in Cajun country, but this evening I discovered so much more. Roe’s work focuses on depicting the relevance of traditional communal and community building events such as the boucherie and the Courir de Mardi Gras. The majority of this focus has been on the ‘courir’, the traditional pre-Lenten celebration of the Prairie Cajuns of southwest Louisiana, an entire day of masked revelry with its roots in the ancient Roman Lupercalia and Saturnalia. The participants don elaborate costumes drawn from medieval traditions, frontier era depictions of Native Americans and political and social commentary; costumes meant to simultaneously conceal ones identity and through the temporary repeal of societal inhibitions display their inner selves.
This exhibit will stay up through December. The Mardi Gras Museum of Costumes and Culture is located at 1010 Conti Street.
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