Mardi Gras 'Indians' want legal protections for costumes

The Mardi Gras "Indians" of New Orleans say they are tired of people using their images without permission.

The "Indians" come up with elaborate suits to wear for the annual Mardi Gras street celebrations. Many costumes contain elements of traditional Indian regalia that could be found at powwows across the country.

But the Mardi Gras "Indians" say they are the ones being exploited. Their likenesses, and costumes, are being used in photographs without their consent and they usually don't have any recourse.

“We have a beef with anybody who takes us for granted," Howard Miller, the Big Chief of the Creole Wild West, told The New York Times.

To address the issue, some revelers are copyrighting their suits, which can cost up to $10,000 to produce.

Get the Story:
Want to Use My Suit? Then Throw Me Something (The New York Times 3/24)