Friday, May 27, 2011
The Rogue Speaks:
In America, flambeaux (Keepers of The Light) originated in New Orleans 150 years ago. Their purpose was to light the floats for the night-time Mardi Gras parades. The torches were originally carried by the slaves of wealthy men who funded the parades, and by free men of color. The clowning around and twirling that they did while walking the parade route was always enjoyed by the people, who would throw coins as a gesture of thanks.
I have seen very few of these torch bearers in the last several years. Many people now believe that it is politically incorrect because it is a reminder of the days of slavery in our country.
There are a few krewes (social groups who sponsor floats)who still use flambeaux, such as the krewes of Baccus, Endymion, and Hermes.
Traditionally, African American men have carried flambeaux. They line up the morning of the parade, hoping to be chosen to be Keepers of the Light.
The photo above is a contemporary sculpture of a flambeaux, given us by daughter Beth.
Rod and I, along with daughter, Beth, were at one time very active in Mardi Gras. It was always exciting to plan our theme for our walking krewe, Krewe of Dew, and to design and make our costumes. We had a very large group in our krewe, and gathering on Mardi Gras day was always great fun. Krewe of Dew was so named because the night before Mardi Gras day, the younger men in the group would stay up all night, guarding our ladders, placed along the curb for the younger members, the children, to sit upon in order to better see the parades. They would be relieved in the morning, and would return to our "Mardi Gras Central" with their clothing damp with dew!
In 1998, our krewe dressed as pirates. The above photo shows Rod, me, and daughter,Beth on Mardi Gras day.
I hope you have enjoyed my "F" word!! Please check out Jenny Matlock's blog for more entries on this Alphabe-Thursday!