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Manuel, Allen

Cajun Mardi Gras Screen Mask and Costume Maker

Allen Manuel was born in Eunice, Louisiana. A masonry contractor. Allen and his wife Georgie prepare Cajun Mardi Gras masks and costumes together in their spare time or when needed. Allen first learned this craft as a child from his father who attained it from his father. There is a total of five generations that know and practice the craft of making masks and costumes.

Allen utilizes handmade molds, a small hammer, a piece of window screen, and paint to create the masks. The costumes are made with old cloth and feed sacks. He has demonstrated his creativity at Jazz Fest '96; Festival of Arts in Eunice; Festivals Acadian in Lafayette; Louisiana Folklife Festival in Eunice, Monroe, and Natchitoches; Red River Revel in Shreveport; Cajun Music and Heritage Festival in Lafayette; Craft Days in Lafayette; St. Landry Parish Heritage Festival in Opelousas; French Market Festival in Abbeville; and the International Festival in Baton Rouge. He was also featured in By Southern Hands, by Jan Armore and received an award at the Creole State Exhibit.

Updated March 23,2017 by Natchitoches-NSU Louisiana Folklife Center Staff