After Katrina, photographer Christopher Porche West took pains to recover a suit. A very special suit, as reported by the Times-Picayune. Beaded from head to toe, the now-legendary "Geronimo suit" took 9th Ward resident Carl Merricks four years to create. And it might have languished in a trash bag forever had Porche West not rescued it.
That suit was a key into the mysterious world of the Mardi Gras Indians — a mainstay of New Orleans' Fat Tuesday celebrations going on today. For three decades, Porche West has been documenting New Orleans' Indian culture. And he's had the privilege of access, which is not easy to get.