Mardi Gras Indians

Big Chief David Montana of Washitaw Nation Mardi Gras Indians

Fri, 01/06/17
Big Chief David Montana, preparing for Mardi Gras, talks about the challenges of keeping the Mardi Gras Indian traditions alive. Read more

In Memoriam Mercedes "Queen Mercy" Stevenson

Fri, 08/12/16
Mercedes "Miss Mercy" Stevenson is one of the first Big Queens of the Wild Tchoupitoulas Mardi Gras Indians, founded by legendary vocalist George "Jolly" Landry. The early Wild Tchoupitoulas Queens wore headdresses, carried fans, and liberally added velvet, marabous, and be... Read more

Takin' It to the Streets

Tue, 03/01/16
Takin' It to the Streets® is WWOZ's coverage of second line and Mardi Gras Indian events. This week:  Money Wasters Second Line Parade - Sunday 1p   Plus:  Wild Opelousas: a new Mardi Gras Indian tribe grows out of a Westbank Charter School Photo highlights of Mardi Gras ... Read more

December: Malon McGee

Tue, 12/15/15
 From an article with Little Queen Malon McGee from the Times-Picayune, 2014: "Sometimes when I'm doing my homework, I just pick up a needle and start sewing," Malon said. "And then I get back to doing my homework. I have to manage the time."Malon hopes to attend Southern o... Read more

November: Mary Kay Stevenson

Fri, 11/13/15
  Mary Kay comes from a royal heritage, the daughter of the first Queen to mask Indian, Queen Mercedes Stevenson. A suit is part of a long tradition, passed down from one generation to the next.  "Every Queen has her own style.  Sewing a suit is abut design and style, becau... Read more

October: Cherice Harrison-Nelson

Tue, 10/06/15
  Whether reading to children, responding to an interview question, or creating art through her beadwork, Cherice Harrison-Nelson of the Guardians of the Flame never stops teaching or celebrating New Orleans' indigenous cultures. She is a teacher, institution builder, and a... Read more

September: Wanda Womble

Mon, 09/07/15
  Wanda Womble earned the title of Big Queen in the Mardi Gras Indian culture due to her quick sewing skills, patience, commitment, and colorful suits. Big Queen Wanda has participated in Mardi Gras Indian culture for more than 25 years. Womble has endured hand surgery and ... Read more

August: Patrice Gordon

Thu, 08/06/15
  Big Queen Patrice's 7th Ward neighborhood family were mostly members of the Creole Osceola, led by Big Chief Clarence "Delco" Dalcour. Patrice began sewing at age 8, helping her sister make a suit. She joined the Creole Osceolas and demonstrated the seriousness of purpose... Read more

July: Pauline 'Ree' Johnson

Tue, 07/07/15
  Pauline "Queen Ree" Johnson has masked for 36 years. In 1977, her brother, David "Lightning" Johnson, who was flag boy for the Wild Magnolias, introduced her to "Lil Walter" Cook, Big Chief of the Creole Wild West gang. Queen Ree sewed her first suit and made her Mardi Gr... Read more

June: Gina Montana

Tue, 06/09/15
 Gina Montana, Big Queen of the Yellow Pocahontas, grew up in a family and community rich with unique culture and tradition.  Gina's passion to mask Indian arose in the 1990s. With the guiding hand of Big Chief Tootie Montana, her second cousin and "Chief of Chiefs," she le... Read more

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