Mardi Gras Costumes get a Copyright

I’ve seen countless Mardi Gras costumes, so have you probably, but growing up in New Orleans, this was not uncommon. Of these, the most recognizable referring to New Orleans tend to be The Mardi Gras Indians. I recently learned that up until now there hasn’t been a copyright on their costumes but they are starting to see what benefits this could bring. Having people pay to use photographs of their images would bring a hefty sum. I agree that their suits are creations of art, so it stands to reason that if pictures are being used with these artistic images, then their creators have a say in how those images may be used. This goes the same for any artist who’s work is being represented in a gallery and photos of it are being published in a book. One would have to get permission first if that book is for sale. Once that picture is out in the public domain, however, it could be used on blogs, etc. without proceeds involved and this would actually help to promote and gain that artist exposure. That should be a welcome thing, but I understand the lack of control involved over how these images are used without a copyright, which would provide a basic layer of ownership and protection. A little side note:  Why just last week a reader wrote to ask me for permission to use one of the images I used in blog post about coffee art. I usually go to great lengths to always give the source of where I find my blog photos but for some reason, I could not find a source for this one. I thought it was very thoughtful, nonetheless, that she even took the time to ask, but it wasn’t originally my picture. Here’s more about the Mardi Gras Indian Costume story on NPR. Until this is resolved, I better use this photo of the Mardi Gras Indians pretty quickly…(odd that I found it on Houston Institute for Culture…maybe when there was a mass exodus from New Orleans during Katrina, the Zulus have set up camp there and  are now parading in Houston?).

indian from The Houston Institute of Culture, as seen on Art is Everywhere

Here are two classic  Mardi Gras tunes from Professor Longhair for Kick Starting your Mardi Gras weekend. I’m envious because my son is there but I’m not envious of my mother who is gracious in letting him crash for a night or so with his fraternity brothers.  Maybe Piers will remember to bring a King Cake back for his parents? The Washington Post just named these places as having the best for their taste test. I haven’t tried the top two but have heard good things about them. I like Gambino’s and they rated this third on their list. They should have chosen the Bourbon Cream Cheese or the Pecan Praline filling.

Ahhhhh, I remember the days — just let this music course through your veins and you’ll be transported right there.

For some reason, I cannot get the following videos to embed, so please click on their links.

Big Chief, by Professor Longhair

Go to the Mardi Gras by Professor Longhair with scenes from Mardi Gras.

I did see Marc Broussard in concert last night, however, which was great. I could only find a 2009 version of him playing, Home, while at the Birchmere and last night’s version was more intense, including an unexpected and surprise version of Led Zeppelin’s Dancing Days. Fantastic! I was also impressed with Drew Holcomb and Neighbors, the warm up band, who’s bassist also played with Marc Broussard.

Thanks to my friends for joining me!

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