Unit Plan

The Music of the Mardi Gras Indians

The traditions, costumes, and the music of the Mardi Gras Indians, African-Americans and those with African American or Native American Heritage are the focus of a unit that introduces class members to a little-known group that plays a key role in the Mardi Gras celebration.

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Instructional Ideas
  • Although designed for higher ed, many of the activities in this unit could easily be adapted to other grade levels
  • Have class members research the connections between African Americans and Native Americans during and after the Civil War
Classroom Considerations
  • Class members should have a general knowledge of the Atlantic slave trade
  • Requires percussion instruments such as drums, tambourines, cowbells, bottles, woodblocks, etc.
  • The All on Mardi Gras Day DVD is available for purchase online
Pros
  • The 19-page packet includes links to Smithsonian Folkways recordings, research prompts, discussion questions, and background information about the traditions of the Mardi Gras Indians
Cons
  • While the packet does include suggested lessons, no detailed plans are included