PHOTOS: Mardi Gras Indians take to the streets for St. Joseph’s Night

It is more intimate than the block party of Super Sunday, more sacred than the raucousness of Mardi Gras.

by Matthew Hinton
March 20, 2019

It’s something about the moonlight that makes sequins and beads glisten. Under the cover of dusk, the mysterious Black Masking Indians came out March 19, the evening of St. Joseph’s Night.

St. Joseph’s Day is prevalent in Italian communities, which were a large part of New Orleans’ mixing pot.

As the Sicilians partied into the night, the Indians could hide in plain sight, taking part in the festivities, which were already familiar to them.

Before Super Sunday, the Indians only came out on Mardi Gras Day and St. Joseph’s night, the most important days in their tradition.

Read Also: Every Mardi Gras Indians’ suit has a story, hers is a love song to strong women

Read Also: It’s a family affair: Super Sunday showcases heritage, culture

Click here to learn about the traditions of St. Joseph’s Day and Night in New Orleans

Mary Staes and Chef James Cullen contributed to this story.

Matthew Hinton is a New Orleans area freelance photographer whose work has been recognized by the National Press Photographers Association (NPPA) Best of Photojournalism Awards in 2014 and 2016, and by numerous awards from the Press Club of New Orleans, including the Hal Ledet President's Print Photography Award, the highest honor the Press Club can bestow upon a photographer. Matthew Hinton has previously been a staff photographer at both of the daily newspapers in New Orleans. His work has appeared nationally and internationally through freelance work with the Associated Press and AFP, Agence France-Presse.