Spy Boy of The Beautiful Creole Apache tribe in the Woods
March 6, 2023
We had the pleasure of witnessing Walter Sandifer III – Spy Boy of The Beautiful Creole Apache tribe, as he built his beautiful Indian suit here in the woods – just in time for Mardi Gras morning 2023!
Walter was born into the New Orleans masking tradition and has made a commitment to teach middle schools to sew and to drum the rhythms of the Mardi Gras Indian tradition. He also partners with his father, Big Chief Beautiful, to hold sewing classes for the public. The 26-year-old emerging artist is determined to expand his vision of masking to fashion and other art forms and share worldwide.
“During my time at the studio I have found myself blending in with the ecosystem here by taking walks through the woods finding a shady spot to lay down on falling trees and feel the breeze that the Mississippi River brings in. The area I accompanied was very spacious and allowed me to spread my art supplies out as I constructed a new Mardi Gras Indian suit for carnival day. Here in the studio space I was able to complete my entire suit on time for carnival day and it gave me the greatest joy, and part of me can’t believe such a serene place exist for dedicated cultural bearers like me (…) The environment definitely influenced my approach to building my Spy Boy suit. Sewing next to the river and actually having the river sewed on my suit will always be a legendary moment for me I gained a new respect for the Mississippi River.”
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