The Creole Wild West was a group of African American men in New Orleans, Louisiana who are believed to have organized the first Mardi Gras Indian parade in 1885. The group was formed in the late 19th century, and was made up of men from the city's Creole community. Creole is a term used to describe people of African, Native American, and European descent who were born in Louisiana before the state became part of the United States in 1803.
The Creole Wild West was heavily influenced by the Native American tribes that they saw at the World's Fair in New Orleans in 1884. They were inspired by the regalia and costumes worn by these tribes, and decided to create their own costumes to wear in a parade on Mardi Gras day. The costumes were heavily influenced by Native American regalia, with colorful beadwork, feathered headdresses, and intricate designs. They also incorporated African and Caribbean influences into their costumes, such as cowrie shells and colorful fabrics.
The Creole Wild West is credited with starting the Mardi Gras Indian tradition, which quickly spread throughout the African American community in New Orleans. The group was composed of men from different neighborhoods in the city, and each had their own "Big Chief" who was responsible for creating the costumes and leading the parade.
The Creole Wild West is also considered as a symbol of resistance and cultural expression of the Creole Community against the discrimination they faced. They were not allowed to participate in the mainstream Mardi Gras celebrations, and the Creole Wild West parade was a way for them to assert their cultural identity and create their own traditions.
It's important to note that the history of the Creole Wild West is not well-documented and there is a lack of reliable sources. Some of the information about them may not be entirely accurate or based on oral tradition.