The Mardis Gras, or “Black Masking,” Indians are a classic New Orleans phenomenon, black “tribes” that pay homage to the Native Americans that helped free their ancestors from slavery. They build intricate costumes of feather and beadwork over the year then come out on Mardis Gras Day and a couple of special days following called “Super Sunday” and parade around. These photographs are taken from these latter days.

These photographs were originally done for an exhibition (then used once again for another exhibition). In trying to keep with a unifying theme, besides the Indians of course, I looked toward what most struck me about each individual photograph and it came to me…emotion! You can see from the facial expressions that there are clear indications of their emotional state. Hence the titles.

In a previous life I was a biologist; more specifically, an ecologist; and even more specifically, a behavioral ecologist and ethologist. That means that I studied behavior is a survival tool, as behavioral ecologist, and evolutionary constraints forging adaptation to a particular niche, the ethological aspect. In fact, Charles Darwin was one of the first to study with with his tome The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals. This work has been extended to apply to psychiatric diseases though evolutionary medicine.

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