The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH)



From the earliest known incarnations in twelfth-century Rome through the present,
carnival season has allowed participants to play.

Rich or poor, young or old—all break loose, often in unusual ways. In Laza, Spain, celebrants might throw dirt and ants at neighbors. On the other side of the Atlantic, in Recife, Brazil, throngs gather to play frevo music or dance the passo, while in Tlaxcala, Mexico, men burlesque as French dandies. In New Orleans, the famed Mardi Gras krewes don outlandish costumes and parade
the streets.

This exhibition provides windows into eight communities in Europe and the Americas where carnival is a high point of the yearly cycle. ˇCarnaval! features individuals who have dedicated much of their lives to planning, creating, and carrying out the festivities. Images, video, costume pieces, and masks from their performances relate the history and cultural traditions, while conveying the importance and function of community building through play.

ˇCarnaval! is accompanied by a
full-color catalog.


exhibition schedule

powered by Free State Group.