I started watching the HBO show Treme not too long ago. It’s about post-Katrina New Orleans and it’s culture and inhabitants. What I’m most amazed about is the whole Mardi Gras Indian culture. The tribes take the entire year to make these elaborate costumes and then on Mardi Gras they “battle” other Indian tribes. I find this scene from Treme absolutely beautiful and I had to watch it 4 or 5 times before I finally got it. It’s hard to understand what they say with their pseudo-African language but you get it. It’s all quite beautiful and the fact that the battles are non-violent and really based on creativity and art makes it that much more wonderful.
There is footage of real Mardi Gras Indian battles on YouTube and it’s not much different than the depiction in Treme.