So, So Pretty ~ African-Indian Queens in New Orleans
By Maroon Queen Cherice Harrison Nelson and Karen Celestan
(anticipated release - Fall 2016)
So, So Pretty: African-Indian Queens in New Orleans will detail the culture of women – from 18 to 80 – who are purveyors of a specific African-centric ritual and culture seen only in New Orleans.
The women support their husbands/partners/relatives who are are Mardi Gras Indian chiefs, but many stand as sole entities – Big Queens – with their own stature. Mardi Gras Indian Queens remain true to a majestic culture which has been a part of their lives for generations. They are dedicated to their respective tribes, creating delicate, labor-intensive suits for themselves and tribe members in addition to maintaining jobs/careers, homes and family life. Queens have carried on this unique tradition while battling sexism, racism and economic deprivation.
So, So Pretty will showcase distinctive performance art that is emotional, intuitive and precise. The creation of Mardi Gras Indian suits and the scheduled street parades pay homage to the spirit world and tribal ancestors. The struggles and challenges of being of African descent in America is displayed in a vibrant swirl of dance, music and theater.
This book project is supported by a grant from