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Arts & Culture

Mardi Gras Indians Mask 'For The Glory Of My Own Suit'

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StoryCorps
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Littdell "Queen B" Banister, left, and Mary Jones, right, agree that Mardi Gras Day is the biggest day of the year.

Conversation by conversation, interview by interview, StoryCorps collects the stories and voices of our time. This week, Littdell “Queen B” Banister and Mary Jones give us a snapshot into the lives of the Mardi Gras Indians, where personal pride is sewn into every stitch of their annual suits.

When you’re a Mardi Gras Indian and it’s time to debut your new suit on Mardi Gras Day, you’re bound to get plenty of respect. But once you hit the street, you’ve got to keep your wits about you, because there could be a lot of aggression directed your way. Here, Mary and Littdell talk about the unwritten code of ethics of the Mardi Gras Indians.

Littdell “Queen B” Banister is a member of the Creole Wild West Indian Tribe and, at 80 years old, the oldest masking queen in New Orleans. Her dear friend, Mary Jones, used to mask with Chief Monk Boudreaux’s tribe, the Golden Eagles. To hear another performance by the Monogram Hunters, click the link below.

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"Sew Sew Sew" by The Monogram Hunters, recorded by Joe Stolarick.

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