Jack Robertson is the Spirit of Fi Yi Yi and the Mandingo Warrior’s Master Sewer. Since the mid-1980s, Robertson has helped create incredibly detailed beaded patches and masks that have been displayed at the Backstreet Cultural Museum and in Prospect 1 at the New Orleans Museum of Art. In addition to sewing, Robertson also plays the drums with the tribe during their annual processions and in other performances.
2 p.m. to 3 p.m.
State Capitol Building, House Committee Room 5
Spy Boys, Flag Boys, Big Chiefs: Mardi Gras Indians
3:15 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Barnes & Noble Bookselling Tent
Fire in the Hole: The Spirit Work of Fi Yi Yi & the Mandingo Warriors
During Mardi Gras, spectators wait for the approach of the Mardi Gras Indians, a sublime spectacle of dancing, chanting, and gorgeous hand-sewn costumes. But rarely are they shown the human stories behind this unique New Orleans tradition. Told through a collective oral history, Fire In The Hole weaves together the voices of costumers, anthropologists, and photographers to offer the previously undocumented stories of crafting costumes, tribe formations, and political engagement that has been so important to generations of New Orleanians. Accompanying these stories are over 200 color photographs, which capture the intimate, candid, and ecstatic moments of Fi Yi Yi and the Mandingo Warriors.
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