“Won’t Bow Down On That Dirty Ground”: The Mardi Gras Indians Uptown

126 Uptown Indians Near 2nd & Dryades147 Uptown Indians148 Uptown Indians155 Uptown Indians156 Uptown Indians157 Uptown Indians158 Uptown Indians159 Uptown Indians160 Uptown Indians161 Uptown Indians162 Uptown Indians163 Uptown Indians164 Uptown Indians165 Uptown Indians165 Uptown Indians166 Uptown Indians167 Way Uptown
When I left the North Claiborne Avenue area, it was dark and I was hungry. I thought about heading on to find something open for dinner, but I decided to head Uptown first and see if I could find any of the Indians out and about on Mardi Gras evening. Thanks to my friends in the TBC Band, I had known exactly where to find the Downtown tribes of Indians, but I was not so sure about the Uptown tribes. There were two places where I thought it likely that I might run into Indians; one of these, Shakespeare Park proved to be a disappointment, as it was mostly dark and unoccupied, as were the streets of the neighborhood around it. There were lots of cars parked in some blocks, but they represented private indoor house parties rather than any outdoor activities. But the other one, the area around 2nd & Dryades is a known hotbed of Indian activities, and is the location of a club called Handa Wanda, where Indian practices take place in the months leading up to Mardi Gras. Sure enough, I was not disappointed, although finding a place to park the car proved difficult. At least three different tribes of Indians were visible, with fair-sized crowds on the sidewalk of First and of Dryades. These Indians seemed a little wilder than those Downtown, the confrontations between tribes a little more heated, the drumming a little rawer and more insistent. At least one encounter between tribes looked as if it was going to become a fight, but somehow tempers were cooled and the tribes parted amicably. Unfortunately, the night’s activities were marred by a girl from the Ninth Ward that had come with one of the tribes. She kept starting an argument with a girl from Uptown, and the argument escalating into fighting. She refused to stop, even when asked to do so by a Big Chief. The recurring fight darkened the mood of those gathered, and the tribes started walking away and getting in cars to go home. A New Orleans police car came through shortly after, but the combatants had already left. It started raining, and I headed down on Magazine to eat at Pizza Domenica, which I had seen open when we passed by on the Jefferson City Buzzards’ bus earlier in the afternoon. The pepperoni pizza was absolutely amazing.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oC04xS1kCC0
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=28K8MV5wCEI
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KwwwBQ2HHWI
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tY-rX1T-0sE
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TFGEvAVIHL4

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