Here are some real, live Mardi Gras singing the Chanson de Mardi Gras near Iota, Louisiana. “Mardi Gras,” or “Fat Tuesday” is the last day before Lent. It is the last day for feasting before the austere Lenten season. In Cajun country, men and women dress up in colorful costumes and ride the highways, going from house to house, begging for ingredients for the communal gumbo eaten at the end of the day. “Mardi Gras” refers to the day and, in Cajun country, to the riders themselves. There are two figures with mock whips in hand, one in brown and one in a red vest. Looks like the man in the vest is the capitain (captain), who is responsible for keeping a semblance of order among the riders. Singing begins at about 0:43. Every community has its own version of the chanson de Mardi Gras. Here are three: Balfa Brothers, Austin Pitre, and Steve Riley. The one sung here doesn’t match exactly any of them. Love the look of wariness on the dog on the porch, and the frisson on the faces of the children. The wire screen masks are evident, the conical capuchon hats, and the fringe on all the costumes. Capitaine, Capitaine voyage ton flag!
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