Mamou’s Courir de Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday run has maintained authenticity for decades.
It’s a reenactment of early begging rituals brought to Louisiana by French settlers in the 17th century. The Mardi Gras runners wear costumes and travel the countryside seeking ingredients for a communal gumbo at the end of the run.
In the past, Mardi Gras runners would catch chickens for the gumbo but now it’s prepared beforehand. Micah Rasberry has been running for six years and knows a thing or two about chasing chickens where he says catching chickens is serious business. Rasberry says there’s a strategy to it.
Rasberry says, “Number one, you got to be good at hiding; you got to be good at hiding, and then you got to be able to make a good chicken noise so that they’ll come towards you. If you make a good chicken noise they’ll come looking for you.”
Christian McGee’s has been a part of Mamou’s Courir for the past couple years but this is his first year riding on horseback and McGee has his eyes set on the prized bird.
Chickens aren’t just a gumbo ingredient but a trophy and a good time.