Bettina Hansen

photojournalism in musing and pictures

Mamou Mardi Gras

with 5 comments

My first real Mardi Gras experience was one I will never forget.  I went out to Mamou, LA for a true cajun experience.  Mamou is famous for its ‘chicken chase’, a tradition rooted in the old-time practice of the men of the town going from house to house on horseback to collect the ingredients for a Gumbo.  Today, it has evolved into an all-day spectacle where men from around the state (and even some from out-of-state too) come to start drinking at 6 a.m., do crazy dances and tricks on horseback, and most importantly, chase chickens.

This is just another example of how Louisianans fiercly protect their customs – and I really respect that.  Fellow photographers Noah Devereaux and Matt Eich came down to visit Denny and one of my editors, Kevin Martin, and had a totally different experience in the town of Mamou, outside of the chicken chase.  Another example of what amazes me about Louisiana is how two different groups experience the same event in different ways on opposite sides of town.  Check out Noah’s pictures to see what I’m talking about.

This is just a tiny chip off of the iceberg of pictures I have to edit.  More coming soon.







Written by bettinahansen

March 3, 2009 at 4:26 pm

Posted in bettina hansen

5 Responses

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  1. oh those poor chickens! that one in the second to last picture looks dead. do they kill them after they catch them? :'( well aside from the harm to chickens, i like your pictures, the first one is pretty awesome, they all look like rugby players and then you realize they’re fighting over a chicken… in masks hehe


    March 3, 2009 at 7:24 pm

  2. that last one is incredible!


    March 5, 2009 at 5:56 pm

  3. What a year.Theres always something new that becomes of mamou mardi-gras.Thats my chicken in the second to last pictur. Dont worry, I took care of him.He was worse off then me.Cant waight until next year.

    Brandon Gaspard

    March 10, 2009 at 3:06 pm

  4. I moved to Mamou, after hurricane Katrina, and my heart will never be the same. I enjoyed my first experience at the Mardi Gras in Mamou !Whoever said they will never be the same is right. I was raised South from New Orleans, and have been to many Mardi Gras, but nothin! It is not about the party as the atmosphere is wonderful, bands, fiddles, and those beautiful washboards, and accordions like Mamou. It is so hard to explain, for if you have never done this before, do it this year!
    This quaint country town flowing with rice fields, cattle and the best smoked meat anywhere, overnight becomes like a Cajun Broadway. Every house and every street are lined up cars, campers, buses, horses, chickens, etc.
    Mamou has my heart and is the best family fun, that is diminishing everywhere else, that you could do.
    I miss Mamou

    Desie Poston

    July 27, 2009 at 1:20 am

  5. I went to mamou for Mardi Gras 2010 first time in thirty years. I went to school in Mamou in the early 80’s i have wonderful memories & looking forward to 2011 Mardi Gras.

    Lisa Putnam

    October 19, 2010 at 1:46 pm

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