Laissez les Bons Temps Rouler, Y’all
Right now we’re in the throes of Mardi Gras, so here’s an obligatory post regarding that — actually a fun one.
Over at Civil War Talk, user 18th Virginia has been posting a series of illustrations for costumes from the 1873 Krewe of Comus ball in New Orleans. The theme that year was “The Missing Link of Darwin’s Origin of the Spiecies,” and all the costumes were fantastical, garish blends of humans and animals designed to mock the evolutionary theories of Charles Darwin.
Then as now, current events and politics found their way into Mardi Gras festivities, with prominent figures coming in for a lot of deliberate ridicule — in this case, by associating them with unpleasant creature or pest. In that light, I present the 1873 Krewe of Comus costume for “the Tobacco Grub:”
If that one looks familiar, you won’t want to miss “The Hyena.”
Image via the Louisiana Research Collection at Tulane University.