Bury the Hatchet | 2010
Deep in the heart of New Orleans is a celebration hidden from mainstream Mardi Gras. Each year, members of a predominantly African-American neighborhood dress up as Indians to honor the Native Americans that harbored blacks in the bayous of Louisiana to aid their escape from slavery. Dating back to the mid-19th century, the "Indians" have created a highly intricate structure with over 40 tribes, featuring hierarchical roles such as chief, medicine man and flag boy. On Mardi Gras, they parade through the streets wearing elaborate and colorful costumes, while singing traditional songs that contribute another layer to New Orleans' already rich musical vernacular. Despite enduring street violence, police harassment and the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, the Mardi Gras "Indians" find the strength to represent-as bearers of tradition, as artists and as musicians.