Friday, February 03, 2006

African-American role in Carnival, a European celebration / Gregory Cooper at Artspace, Shreveport

Gregory Cooper at Artspace
Originally uploaded by trudeau.
African-Americans in Louisiana colony had unusual freedoms, according to Gewndolyn Midlo Hall, in her book Africans in Colonial Louisiana: The Development of Afro-Creole Culture in the 18th Century. Among the freedoms accorded by the French colonial administration was weekly dancing and drumming in the "back of town."

The costumes donned by African slaves as they danced on the levee or back o' town, Place Congo, were extravagant, according to European observers. In these improvised costumes we see the roots and inspiration for New Orleans costumes.

Thanks to Shreveporter Greg Cooper, Artspace staffer, for holding a copy How To Mardi Gras. It's an excellent place to purchase this comprehensive guide to Louisiana's Carnival celebrations.


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