NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Under sunny skies, they finally got a chance to shine.
"We done put it back so many times but now we're going to do it today," says Terry Decou, "Queen" with the Mohawk Hunters. "I'm looking forward for that day to just start up."
Dozens of Mardi Gras Indians donned their elaborate suits for Super Sunday.
The annual event brings together tribes from across the city. Everyone who masks shows off a personal masterpiece.
"I designed it with the pieces," says Eric Smith, "Flag Boy" with the Red Flame Hunters. "We just start off with cardboard and then we just bead it with needle and dental floss. We use dental floss because it's a lot stronger."
Behind every suit, there's a story. Each tribe member has a different reason to mask.
"I used to do it in 1983," says Decou. "I came back in 2014 after my mother passed and I dedicate this to her."
"It's blessed to be out, you're giving back to the community, showing the people what you've been working on all year," says "3rd Chief" Jerry Butler of the Mohawk Hunters. "You gotta realize, when you sew these suits, you're not just sewing for yourself, you're sewing for other people to see too. People come from all over the world just to see these suits."
Dow Edwards began his suit last April, paying tribute to some of the first African-American soldiers in the U.S. Army.
This is Edwards' fifth time making a Mardi Gras Indian suit.
For him, masking is a celebration of both the past and future.
"This means that my ancestors did the right thing," he says. "This means that the Indians helped free us when we were here. This means that we're liberated today and this means that New Orleans is the greatest city in the world."
That's easy to remember on a Super Sunday like this.