Jazz Fest: Cha Wa Hits Refresh on the Mardi Gras Indians Album

It’s hard to know what to think of Mardi Gras Indians in 2016. The neighborhoods that spawned them aren’t what they used to be, and many of the figures who dominated the conversation are gone. Listen to long-time Indians talk and they say new Indians don’t respect traditions and are all chiefs, no followers, but it’s hard to know if some of that is standard issue generational grievances. Because Mardi Gras Indians remain an insular community—even today, certainly by 2016’s oversharing standards—it’s hard to be sure of what’s real.

An Emotional Send-Off for Bo Dollis

[Updated] No event with Mardi Gras Indians can be entirely solemn. Saturday at the funeral for Bo Dollis, Big Chief of the Wild Magnolias, more than 25 Indians came in their suits to pay respects, and their suits had few colors suitable for mourning. Instead, they stood in canary yellow, lime sherbet green, and a variety of purples. One Mardi Gras Indian with his back to me had a patch with a beaded image of Barack Obama and the cutline, “Mr.

Funeral Arrangements for Bo Dollis

[Updated] Last week, Big Chief Bo Dollis of The Wild Magnolias finally succumbed to the illnesses that forced him to turn over the leadership of the Mardi Gras Indian gang and band to his son Gerard, who performs as Bo Dollis Jr. Dollis' funereal activities will take place Friday and Saturday.

There will be a public visitation Friday, January 30, from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Historic Carver Theater (2101 Orleans Ave.), and Saturday, January 31, from 8 to 10 a.m. at the Xavier University of Louisiana Convocation Center (1 Drexel Dr.).

Remembering Bo Dollis

Yesterday, Bo Dollis, Big Chief of The Wild Magnolias, died after a prolonged battle with ill health. As a musician, Dollis had a Wilson Pickett-like, flame thrower voice that might have been recognized as such had he been singing traditional R&B. He helped bring Mardi Gras Indian culture out of the haze of legend and mythology by recording the single “Handa Wanda” in 1970, and leading an Indian parade with Big Chief Monk Boudreaux that year in conjunction with the first New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.