By Glenn Jones
1940’s – 1958 Big Chief Joe Le Baker
1959 – 2015 Big Chief Theodore Emile “Bo” Dollis Sr.
2016 – Present Big Chief Gerard “Bo Dollis Jr.”
2004 – Present Big Chief Otto “Fiyo” DeJean
When I met Chief Fiyo his profile and mannerisms reminded me of a prize fighter. My father is a fight fan so I’ve seen a lot of boxers and their profiles. His body stocky, like Tyson, his voice smooth like Smokey Joe Frazier and his image and swag, Ali. Just like those legends, so too were his teachers in the Black Masking culture.
By Glenn Jones
42 Tribes Recap
Beginning June, 2017, Data News Weekly’s special feature, 42 Tribes has been shining the spotlight on the “Big Chiefs” of the 42 tribes that comprise the Black Indigenous Masking culture, which is the heart and soul of Black New Orleans culture. It is a supreme collective tradition and sacred heritage. With the Tri-Centennial coming next year, Data News Weekly is highlighting all 42 of the Present Big Chiefs, and telling the stories that bring us closer to, and show proper reverence for this great and powerful history. Masking tradition is New Orleans, no Tri-Centennial celebration can be made here, without celebrating Indian culture. Here is a quick look back at the 18 Chiefs we have profiled so far, and next week, we will bring you two new Chiefs on our way to 42 Tribes. Visit www. http://ladatanews.com/category/42-tribes/
By Glenn Jones
1980 – Present – Big Chief Tyrone Casby
1972 – 1979 – Big Chief Frank “Summy” Jones
1971 – 1967 – Big Chief Rayfield Parker
1956 – 1966 – Big Chief Mosquito Blue
Big Chief Buck
Big Chief Wardell Harris
1955 – 1947 –Big Chief Frank Casby Sr.
1860 – 1919 Big Chief Becate “BK” Batiste
1920 – 1954 Big Chief Cornelius “Brother Tillman” Tillman
1955 – 1964 Big Chief Donald Harrison Sr.
1971 – 1972 Big Chief “Hercules” Gateman
1972 – 1973 Big Chief Bruce Gateman
1973 – 1974 Big Chief “Hercules” Gateman
1975 – 2016 Big Chief Walter “Lil Walter” Cook Jr.
By Glenn Jones
1968 – 1980 Big Chief George “Jolly” Landry
1981 – 1982 Big Chief Norman Bell
1983 – 1984 Big Chief Thomas Landry
1986 – 1989 Big Chief Johnny Diggs
2000 – Present Big Chief Roderick “Bald Eagle” Sylvas
From the time Carl Reed could walk out his door with or without his parents’ permission, he has been in love with the Black Masking culture. At the age of seven he saw his idol and later mentor mask for the first time. The late Big Chief Butter Bo of the White Eagle tribe gave the young Carl Reed his first dream. His first goal to set his sights on becoming a big Chief one day himself. Not only did he achieve that goal but has been featured on National Geographic and 60 minutes to name a few. Continue reading →
2017- Present – 7Th Ward Hunters Tribe
2004 – 2010 – Young Cheyenne Tribe
Big Chief WAR a.k.a Brick is part of a great legacy in this culture. He was introduced to this culture by his father Verdell “Brick” Sceau and uncles who were in the Cherokee Hunters Tribe. The Cherokee Hunters tribe became the Flaming Arrows after the death Big Chief Clarence “Boy Boy” Guadet. Theodore “Merk” Goodman, original chief of the Flaming Arrows from Back-a-town (back end of the 7thward aka BaKaStan), welcomed their cousins into the tribe. Currently the chief of Flaming Arrow is Kevin Goodman the son of “Merk”. Continue reading →
2014-Present – Big Chief Juan “Carlos” Pardo
2014 – 2004 – Big Chief Wallace Pardo
The Renaissance Chief:
Big Chief Juan is considered a young chief, but his journey and experiences in and outside of this culture makes his approach to this culture steeped in tradition but fueled by innovation and evolution. During this interview, I came across in conversation two instances that paint the picture of this Renaissance Chief. First instance, tradition: Chief Juan masked his first year as Spy Boy for his older brother Wallace and first Chief of the Golden Comanche. Chief Wallace having permission to start his tribe from his former Chief, Eugene “Pepe” Esteban of the Golden Eagle Tribe.
1984 – 1993 – Big Chief Joe Pete Seminoles
1994 – Present – Big Chief Keith “Keitoe” Jones
Chief Keitoe has traveled a long road to get to this point in life as a man, as a Big Chief and as a leader in this culture. As chief will tell you, in his journey he has come across a lot of haters. I’m talking the type of haters that transform from decade-to-decade assisting in the overall iron sharpening iron trials and tribulations one goes through to reach their ultimate goal in life. The unique aspect of Big Chief Kietoe is his resilience. Chief has lost tribal chiefs that have resulted in tribes disbanding. Continue reading →