Mardi Gras Indians on display at Jazz Fest

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Mardi Gras Indians have been parading at Carnival and Louisiana festivals for generations, but growing interest in their culture has the dancing, chanting costumed Indians on display in a new way at this year's New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.

Hurricane Katrina and the HBO television series "Treme" put a national spotlight on the Indians - African-American troupes whose members dress in ornate Indian costumes.

The growing interest couldn't be ignored, said Jazz Fest producer Quint Davis.

Though the Indians have been showcased at Jazz Fest for more than 40 years in parades and on-stage performances, this year they have an entire pavilion to display their costumes, explain their culture and demonstrate how they create elaborate headdresses and aprons.

The festival runs through the weekend.

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