Backyard boils come a dime a dozen in New Orleans. Finding one is as easy as asking a bartender where they’ll be at shifts end. Jackie, whose backyard boil we attended, and James of Clesi’s, may seem laid back when putting together these down south cookouts, but make no mistake, they aren’t messing around.
The history of Mardi Gras Indians has been shrouded in mystery and folklore since they began taking to the streets in the mid-19th century. There is a reason for that. The rituals of these tribes aren’t for sale. In fact, very little profit comes from being a Mardi Gras Indian, but the love of New Orleans and the ancestry it affords is more than enough for the men and women keeping this tradition alive. Dressing up in full regalia to celebrate festivals like Super Sunday is a point of pride for them.