It was an incredible honor to be welcomed warmly into the home and studio of master beader Big Chief Demond Melancon of the Young Seminole Hunters while in New Orleans this summer. He and his partner Alicia gave us a glimpse into the beautiful traditions and culture of New Orleans.
“With a career spanning almost three decades, Melancon is well-known for his meticulous hand-sewn beadwork used to create massive Mardi Gras Indian suits which are composed of intricately beaded patches depicting actual and imagined events from African and American history. His complex and multidimensional portrayals draw inspiration from indigenous people in America, enslaved Africans, and inspirational leaders from history. His work draws from a broad variety of stylistic influences, features imagery rich with symbolism and meaning, addresses stereotypical representations of black people, and tells powerful stories from his experience of the African diaspora.”