‘All on a Mardi Gras Day’ Follows Giant Leader Demond Melancon as He Creates His Beaded Swimsuit for the Annual Party — Colossal



#Demond Melancon
#social justice

February 28, 2023

Grace Ebert

“Who’re the Indians? That is the outdated tales that had been instructed to me. The slaves ran away throughout the routes within the Underground Railroad, and the Indians gave them safe haven in numerous spots. So the Mardi Gras Indians pay homage to them,” says Giant Leader Demond Melancon on the opening of “All on a Mardi Gras Day.” The quick, intimate documentary, directed by way of Michal Pietrzyk, follows the artist as he prepares for the once a year birthday celebration, which comes to painstakingly beading the colourful swimsuit he’ll put on throughout the competition.

Melancon, who we spoke with remaining spring as he labored on an ongoing portrait sequence, is a pace-setter of the tribe of the Younger Seminole Hunters in New Orleans, the town the place he used to be raised. A lot of Pietrzyk’s movie facilities on position and neighborhood, describing how gentrification has driven the artist out of his community and the way his position as Giant Leader turns him right into a type of father determine to one of the most more youthful contributors.

“All on a Mardi Gras Day” additionally finds Melancon’s immense sacrifice for and willpower to his artwork, from waking up sooner than first light and retiring smartly after middle of the night to residing in a local with inexpensive hire in order that he can find the money for the beads, feathers, and different fabrics he must create his fits. Because the birthday celebration nears, he sequesters himself at house for concern of lacking the parade, which as soon as took place when he used to be detained by way of police.

Despite the fact that a centuries-long custom, Melancon is fast to indicate that being a Black Masker, the title he prefers to Mardis Gras Indian, continues to carry relevance these days. “As a result of no longer with the ability to take part in Mardis Gras at first, we made a carnival for ourselves. We made Black Overlaying. You’ll’t omit. You’ll’t omit as a result of the injustices which might be nonetheless happening, so after I put my swimsuit on, after I stitch my swimsuit, I’m stitching my swimsuit in rise up to that,” he says.

After appearing at a number of fairs, “All on a Mardi Gras Day” has garnered a large number of awards and nominations. Watch the documentary on Pietrzyk’s Vimeo, and in finding out extra about Melancon and his paintings on Instagram.


A video still of a hand beading

A video still of a person wearing an elaborate beaded suit with numerous orange feathers

A video still of two people wearing elaborate beaded suits with numerous orange and yellow feathers

A video still of a person wearing an elaborate beaded suit with numerous orange feathers

#Demond Melancon
#social justice


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