Authentic Cajun Mardi Gras Costumes, Masks & Traditions features costumes from the 1940s and '50s and a variety of masks, some dating back to the late 1800s. Two captain's capes hang on the museum's wood wall, one pink with "Captain" written in gold, the other less extravagant in orange and black with a wide sailor-like collar. The pink cape belonged to Nelson Godeaux and the black and orange one to Hillman Smith. "Hillman was a throwback to the early Mardi Gras in Eunice," says Manuel. "He passed away recently and had been doing it for 70-80 years. Nelson worked with Hillman."
While captains wore the traditional cape and capuchon ' tall pointed hat ' the rest of the Mardi Gras participants made their own colorful costumes trimmed in fringe. Disguise was the main function of the outfit, and some screen masks in the exhibit are trimmed with hair for eyebrows and mustaches.
Cajun Mardi Gras costumes haven't evolved or changed much over the years. "It's still the fringed costume, pajama-like, made out of feed sacks and leftover work clothes," says Manuel. "There was no color combination. There are no standard colors in Cajun Mardi Gras. We couldn't afford to have colors." The screen masks were available in catalogs around the country, possibly for Halloween, and were available for sale in Opelousas, says Manuel. Her guess is that locals couldn't afford them and made their own.
There's no official written history of Mardi Gras in Eunice, but the exhibit includes an account by fiddle player Napoleon Fruge, who claims he started Mardi Gras in 1910, because he was the only one who could sing the songs. While Fruge's claim should be taken with a grain ' or a full shaker ' of salt, his descriptions of costumes, masks and Mardi Gras roles still ring true today. "The captain of each Mardi Gras group would walk across the field with their white flag on a bamboo cane, but always with discipline and respect," he wrote. "The captain is and was boss."
The Eunice Depot Museum is located at 220 S. CC Duson St. in Eunice. Authentic Cajun Mardi Gras Costumes, Masks & Traditions will be on display through March 31. Call 457-6540 for more info.
By now, the story of how longtime LSU coach Dale Brown discovered Shaquille O'Neal has been told many times: Brown happened upon a massive 13-year-old at an army base in Germany, stayed in touch with him and eventually became like a second father.
Fate simply wasn't ready to give the New Orleans Saints a break from longtime nemesis Steve Smith.
Facing opposition from a powerful industry, the governor and many in the Legislature, a New Orleans-area flood board's lawsuit against dozens of oil, gas and pipeline companies seemed doomed early on.
"I want to take an opportunity to thank the people of Lafayette for allowing me to serve you for the last three years as your school superintendent."
After Thanksgiving, the small town of Moreauville plans to confiscate and kill all rottweilers and pitbull's, including a service dog.
Pot industry gearing up for holiday shoppers; uncertainty in Ferguson; Patriots' winning streak and more national and international news for Monday, November 24, 2014.
Monday's Blogs from the Bog!
Lafayette Police have had a busy day.
Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration will use $130 million in patchwork financing from a tax amnesty program, insurance settlement, uninsured motorist penalties and other excess funds to close most of the state's midyear budget deficit.
Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu said she disagrees with President Barack Obama's actions on immigration, hoping the latest controversy doesn't worsen her campaign difficulties.
Two bedroom in Lafayette or two bedroom in Kaplan
Sennond trunk show at kiki
Gay-rights advocates challenging Louisiana's same-sex marriage ban announced Thursday that they have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review their case before it is heard by a federal appeals court.
Thursday’s explosion aboard an oil production platform in the Gulf of Mexico is now under investigation by the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Thinking himself the “son of God,” the man charged with the 2013 killing of an officer of the Chitimacha Tribal Police will not stand trial following a ruling Thursday on his mental competency.
Four hours after inviting supporters to a rally with Sen. Marco Rubio, Bill Cassidy claimed that Mary Landrieu “voted against stopping executive amnesty.”
Either Saints coach Sean Payton doesn't want to tip Baltimore off as to who'll start in New Orleans' secondary on Monday night, or he really doesn't know yet.
Money from the first and only settlement so far in a Louisiana flood board's lawsuit against dozens of energy companies will be placed in a special account dedicated to coastal restoration.
The Ethics Board gives the lame duck Youngsville mayor permission to offer a sweet parting gift to the community he’s presided over for three terms.
Carencro ranch style home or three bedroom traditional in St. Martinville
The money came through a general obligation bond sale Thursday.
A legend in the Acadiana Oil Patch, Comeaux died Monday, Nov. 17.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
With a growing number of alleged sexual assault victims coming out against Bill Cosby in recent weeks, upcoming projects have been canned by NBC and Netflix, but that won’t affect the once-loved comedian and actor’s scheduled performance in Lafayette.
The Baltimore Ravens' retooled secondary had no trouble against a rookie quarterback at home. This week, however, their task is far more challenging: stopping Drew Brees on the road in New Orleans.
Add Texas Gov. Rick Perry's name to the list of possible Republican presidential candidates flooding the campaign trail for GOP Senate candidate Bill Cassidy.
Gov. Bobby Jindal is in Florida this week with his fellow Republican governors for another gripe session aimed at their favorite target, the president, this time taking aim at his immigration plans.
Early voting for the runoff is shortened by two days because of the Thanksgiving holiday.