Friday, May 16, 2008
Main Line Clubs
Here is a photo of a member of yet another New Orleans social group. (Pipi swears she saw a billboard advertising a fraternity while we were there—New Orleans takes its clubs very seriously.) I originally assumed this guy was a slightly less flamboyant Mardi Gras Indian, but he’s not. He’s part of a “main line” club called the Original C.T.C. steppers.
The term “main line” originally referred to the core group of participants in a parade—the family of the deceased at a funeral, for example. There would be a second line, too; this would be made up of people who weren’t quite as close to the deceased. The second line often got pretty big as the parade went on attracting spectators from the neighborhood, but the main line was the main attraction.
Now the term usually refers to musical social aid & pleasure clubs. A few mainline clubs were scheduled to march during Jazz Fest and I was lucky enough to catch this performance of the Original C.T.C. Steppers, a relatively new group. Without even understanding the tradition, I became a temporary second liner as I scampered along with a large group of other photographers, trying to get a shot of this colorfully dressed man.