Nelson Thompson, Sr.
is laid to rest

The President of the Money Wasters Social and Pleasure Club and Flag Boy of the White Eagles Mardi Gras Indian tribe was honored with a jazz funeral on Saturday, May 17, 2014.

Following a mass at Our Lady of Guadeloupe Church on the edge of the French Quarter, Mardi Gras Indians from all over the city crowded around his casket and sang the traditional black Indian hymn, “Indian Red” as white-gloved pallbearers loaded a horse-drawn hearse.

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A brass band struck up another traditional tune and members of the Money Wasters fell in line to honor their longtime president with lively dancing. A vintage car, adorned with a giant, diamond encrusted dollar sign (the symbol of the Money Wasters) on its hood, led the way onto Basin Street followed by the band. A group of Mardi Gras Indians brought up the rear, tambourines ringing and voices chanting for the longtime flag boy.

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When the cortege reached N. Claiborne Avenue and St. Phillip Street, the two separate divisions joined together for a rousing send off. Trumpet and trombone blared and the Indians beat their tambourines in an outpouring of emotion.

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The casket was transferred from the ancient conveyance to a modern automobile; it drove up the ramp onto the interstate and disappeared from sight.

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As the procession disbanded, a small group of Indians, led by Big Chief Daryl Montana of the Yellow Pocahontas, circled up and sang “Indian Red” one final time for Nelson Thompson, Sr.

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PHOTOS: CHRISTOPHER PORCHÉ WEST

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