Kenny Klein with Stapler

Kenny Klein with Stapler

Monday, February 4, 2013

Oshun and Cleopatra

 This past week Mardi Gras was interrupted by a rather high profile sports event. The entire city shifted its focus from the parade routes to the Super Dome and Jackson Square. Good for Jackson Square, bad for everyone else. I played a gig on Friday to six people (most of the people in town for the Super Bowl were at the Jackson Square show, which featured sports figures and CW stars). Artists and readers in the Square said they've never had such poor sales, and bars on Frenchmen Street, the heart of NOLA music, were pretty much deserted. But now that's all over! The electric went out, the Ravens won when it came back on, the football fans are clearing out, and now we can get back to Mardi Gras!

Since there were no parades this past weekend, I ran through some photos of last week's Krewe of Oshun and Krewe of Cleopatra parades. Enjoy them. There will be lots more Mardi Gras action in just a few days!

The Krewe of Oshun is an African-American krewe named for the Yoruba Goddess of love and fertility. Their focus has always been on family, and they maintain a family-oriented social club year round, culminating in their MG parade. Above, a float that honors the Yoruba God Shango (these Yoruba Gods and Goddesses are honored here in NOLA as the Orishas, or Lwa, of Voodoo). 
Below, throwing beads from a street car themed float.

Above: marching bands are a huge part of the larger parades. These are high school bands, and we are incredibly proud of these kids, who spend hours and hours of their week all year preparing for the honor of marching at Mardi Gras. 
Below: the Goddesses throwing beads.

Oshun herself, above. 

The Krewe of Cleopatra rolls, above and below.  Cleopatra herself sits on her mighty ship, riding the rolling waves.

 More marching bands...

 ...And horses!

Above: Lauren decked out for parade watching. Below: the final floats of Cleopatra.

From the parades of Oshun and Cleopatra, and looking forward to getting back to Mardi Gras now that all this sports stuff is over, this is Kenny Klein explaining it all. (And check out this article in the Huffington Post about the feelings of locals toward the Super Bowl, both good and bad: look at the slide show at the bottom of the article, and you will see two of my photos therein!).

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