This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional support is provided by the Nathan Cummings Foundation, New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and Foundation, Art4Moore Foundation, and the Sewing Machine Project.
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
Sew Sew Sew
Today was the first full day of sewing in the Downtown style for students in the program. The day began, as every day will for the next four weeks, with Big Chief Darryl Montana leading the students in singing Indian Red. Indian Red is a traditional song considered sacred by the Mardi Gras Indians. It is the most important song a new Indian will learn to sing and great emphasis is placed on getting it right.
The students first art project is to sew a bust of a Mardi Gras Indian. It is designed to teach students fundamental sewing stitches, how to sew using pearls, sequins, and beads, and how to construct a three-dimensional piece in the Downtown style. Chief Montana described for students the various parts that make up a Mardi Gras Indian suit (the hat/crown, apron, boots, neckpiece, sleeves) and showed them examples of sewn pieces.