88Nine Radio Milwaukee

Today's stream is sponsored by Maxie's

Who Dat Tribe?

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As we skate on the new ice of January in Wisconsin, 88Nine is keeping the Fat Tuesday fire hot with a daily dose of New Orleans music and culture-- or as we call it, a Mardi Gras Moment. On the last Mardi Gras Moment we talked about some of the first krewes, both Rex and Zulu

One of the things that struck me about the early days of Mardi Gras in New Orleans, is that the early krewes were an all-white affair. It got me wondering how black folks ended up breaking that barrier...

...as it turns out, they circumvented some of the toughest racial profiling laws, aka Jim Crow Laws. They did it by dressing up in elaborate costumes replete with bright beads, colorful plumage and headdress representing themselves as "indians." Apparently, this was okay...and is a tradition that survives to this day and is one of the main draws of the Mardi Gras Parade. Today, Mardi Gras Indians shine at every opportunity by showcasing their spectacular hand-made costumes, lovely songs and contagious spirit. 

I thought it'd be most appropriate to play a song by a band that represents the spirit of the early African-American krewes and the Mardi Gras Indians, The Wild Magnolias. Here we have them on a NO standard "Iko-Iko"...

The Wild Magnolias "Iko-Iko" The Call Us Wild