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"Sew Sew Sew": Mardi Gras Indian Bead Work

Lolet Boutté doing  Mardi Gras Indian beadwork
Lolet Boutté doing beadwork. Still image from the video (3:16).
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The 15th Annual Mardi Gras Indian Hall of Fame Memorial, Awards and Induction Ceremony happened on Sunday, August 11, at the Ashe Cultural Arts Center. So it seemed like a good time to share this video, in which artist Lolet Boutté gives a behind-the-scenes look at the elaborate and labor-intensive procedure that goes into making Mardi Gras Indian costumes.

She attaches beads individually, using 8 pound monofiliament thread, and it takes her 24 labor hours to do each square foot of the design.

The piece she's working on was worn by Big Chief Clarence Dalcour of the Creole Osceola Mardi Gras Indians on Mardi Gras Day, 2013. You can see it in this photo, on his chest, partially concealed by the headdress. And here's a somewhat better view of the headdress and the bear motif.

 

 

This is one of a number of excellent videos by James DeMaria; check out his YouTube channel here.

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