MARDI GRAS INDIANS PARADE
TO A DIFFERENT BEAT
story and all photos by Phil Moore (C) 2008 katrinaconnection.com
NEW ORLEANS (MARCH 17, 2008) -- Members of the Wild Tchoupitoulas, Wild Magnolias,
White Eagles, Golden Eagles, Apache Hunters, Fiyiyi, White Cloud Hunters, Wild Mohicans,
Geronimo Hunters, Blackfoot, and other Mardi Gras Indian tribes all converged on Taylor Park
in uptown New Orleans on Palm Sunday to celebrate "Uptown Super Sunday".
The celebration, staged by the New Orleans Mardi Gras Indian Council is indeed as much a part
of New Orleans as Mardi Gras, where anyone who cared to want to know about the Mardi
Gras indian tradition could witness firsthand .
From all parts of the city and beyond, the tribes come together to show off a custom passed
through generations of blacks in New Orleans and bring a celebration to a city that has almost
forgotten what it means to be at peace.
Super Sunday compiles all that the indian culture of New Orleans can be into a celebratory
language maybe only the locals of the city can understand. As "Monk" Boudreaux, Big Chief of
the Golden Eagles testifies, "all the cultures came together to call us the 'Mardi Gras Indians'",
but we're not just Mardi Gras indians".
Boudreaux is one of the most popular leaders in the tradition, who claims on his website to be
THE Big Chief of the Mardi Gras Indians. "We are ALL Choctaw indians", he said, "other
people started calling us 'Mardi Gras Indians'". We are direct decendents of the Choctaw nation".
As the New Orleans tribes made their way from A. L. Davis Park to Taylor Park, with chants,
drums and tambourines resounding, literally thousands of people gathered in and around the area.
With kids on an inflated spacewalk or small ferris wheel or on a small party train winding
through the crowds at Taylor Park and food vendors at every corner, for at least a moment one
could forget they were in a city that care forgot.
Red, yellow, green, purple, blue, pink, lavender, and every color imaginable come together with
rhinestones to create a glistening rainbow of feathery beauty that's truly a breathtaking sight to
behold. Big Chiefs, Lil Chiefs, Spy Boys, Queens, Wild Men, and other tribal rank and file, New
Orleans residents in stunning elegance pose and become celebrities for a day as reporters and
photographers jostle for position to capture the essence of the tradition.
Some indians were displaced by hurricane Katrina but traveled back home to don their costumes
for a day.
Another Super Sunday celebration, led by the Tambourine and Fan Club is to take place
downtown within the next few weeks. The tribal chants, drums,tambourines, elaborate
costuming, festive atmosphere, and character pay tribute to the history of native American
The indian culture, Monk Boudreaux said, "is a language people don't understand, but need to
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