THE 42—TRIBE SERIES

For 42 weeks, we will highlight 42 present day Tribal Chiefs. The documentary series will describe the individual Tribal History. We will also have the rare opportunity to photograph and publish each Tribal Chief.

WHO WE ARE

THE 42—TRIBE SERIES: HISTORY OF NEW ORLEANS INDIGENOUS MASKING

TRIBAL TIMELINE
1951 – 1967 Big Chief Lawrence Fletcher
1967 – 1981 Big Chief Percy “P” Lewis
1982 – 2011 Big Chief Gerard “Rardi” Lewis
2012 – present Big Chief Curtis “Suge” Williams

Big Chief Suge has a rich lineage from Big Chief Curtis “Suge” Williams, masking in the 50’s with Golden Blade Big Chief Paul Lonpre, then ultimately Sr. bringing out Cheyenne Hunters in 1970. The Jr. Big Chief Suge, will be bringing out, for his first time, the Black Eagle Tribe. The Bloodline Chief is Michael Lewis, who has been masking under Big Chief Walter of the Creole Wild West. After Big Chief Suge Sr. returned to New Orleans, before he passed, he encouraged Jr. to get back to masking. But Chief became an Executive Chef, spending time in Atlanta and fighting a valiant fight against cancer. As we all know, life can throw challenges at us and knock us off of our true path; but, Chief got an extra boost of inspiration to Mask again. It was his fellow young Chiefs that grew up like him, in this culture since childhood; Big Chiefs such as Big Chiefs Bo Dollis Jr., Big Chief Demond Melancon, Derrick Hillard, Romeo Burgees and Otto (Chief Fiyo). From their words of encouragement, to the high level of artistry they displayed in their suits, Chief said “they’re bringing fire, I’ve got to get back in this.” As a Big Chief he has gone through some changes, so has the Black Eagle Tribe.

42 Tribes Questions & Answers

How Much Do you know about the Mardi Indians?