Tulane Experts on Mardi Gras

January 28, 2005

Kathryn Hobgood
Phone: (504) 865-5229

Mardi Gras Music and History
Bruce Raeburn, curator of the Hogan Jazz Archive at Tulane University, oversees the world's premier source of recordings, photographs and books about New Orleans jazz. He can discuss the role jazz music plays in the Mardi Gras celebration and the history of the Mardi Gras Indians. Contact: (504) 865-5688 or
Terrence Fitzmorris, associate dean of University College at Tulane and adjunct assistant professor in the department of history, can discuss the importance of Mardi Gras in New Orleans history and culture. Contact: (504) 865-5556 or
Mardi Gras in Cajun Country
Mardi Gras doesn't begin and end on Canal Street. Many outlying communities in Louisiana have carnival celebrations of their own. One of the most spectacular of these, according to Tulane sociologist Carl Bankston, is the Cajun "Courir de Mardi Gras" or "Mardi Gras Run." This Cajun carnival features a wild chicken chase, costumed riders who dance astride their horses begging their neighbors for the ingredients for a communal gumbo and other traditions unique to this distinct region of America. Contact
Putting the "Gras" in Mardi Gras: Overindulgence
Jeff Wiese, associate professor at the Tulane School of Medicine, has conducted research on hangovers which, among other health perils, may increase the risk of heart attacks. Wiese's advice is to drink moderately, consume water throughout the evening, drink lighter colored alcohol and eat food to absorb the alcohol. Contact: (504) 988-5221 or
"Throw Me Something Mistah" - but Keep Mardi Gras Safe
Jeanne James, a Tulane pediatrician, says Mardi Gras fun calls for increased supervision of children. Beads and other items thrown at parades can injure a child if they hit them and should be kept out of the mouths and hands of toddlers. Children should never be left unattended on a ladder or platform set up along the parade routes and families should plan in advance where to meet if someone gets separated. Contact: (504) 988-5221.
Norman McSwain, a trauma expert, can talk about street safety issues at Mardi Gras parades and reveling. Contact: (504) 988-5221

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Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000