Mardi Gras morning (Part 9): The future

Niya: Going back to what you had said about the exposure that you have now, that the Northside Bone Gang has now with the photography and stuff, do you think that that will evolve too, as time goes by?

Zohar: Well, it’s really gonna be left up to us. We have to pass it down to the youth, and we have to be confident because when you pass it along, you have to pass it to someone who’s gonna carry our culture. Your dad has this place that’s a museum and restaurant called Golden Feather, and he’s supplying feathers to the guys who make the costumes. He’s also selling his costumes now. He’s taking it to another level. We have to find people that are still interested in the Bone Gang the same way and will take on the tradition, learn the culture, and be willing to get up at three in the morning, Mardi Gras day, and we will come out, daybreak. Mardi Gras Day. A lot of the young people have a problem getting up early in the morning, in the community, by five am or four thirty am. Mardi Gras morning, which is Fat Tuesday.

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Every time I see my Dad and Granddad together, I’m reminded of how similar their personalities are. Not only do they have the same talents, and followed the same career paths (most likely a result of my Dad following my Granddad’s guidance), but they also have the exact same mannerisms in general. Conversations with either of them are always lively – they both have pretty keen memories when it comes to their experiences, and are always able to tell a story about a past experience in the most engaging way possible. They stay true to their beliefs and values, which makes them good at arguing their opinions on any topic and determined to always come out on top – which I’m sure comes in handy in terms of vending. With several professions under their belt, they’re always jumping from one to another, making sure not to spend too much time doing one thing. Traveling is a must for the both of them – they’re never in one spot for too long.

Photo by Shelby Leco.

Editor’s Note: This story is one of a series reprinted from the book A Guide to South Louisiana: Stories of Uncommon Culture. Each author was a student in Rachel Breunlin’s “Storytelling and Culture” course for the Department of Anthropology at the University of New Orleans in the Spring of 2017. The Neighborhood Story Project sponsored the project as part of its mission to publish collaborative ethnography in high quality books in which the authors receive royalties for their creative labor.


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