Mardi Gras Indian Hall of Fame Induction set for Sunday, 7/29

For the past fourteen years, Big Queen Cherise Harrison-Nelson has presented an annual ceremony honoring members of the Mardi Gras Indian nation. It takes place from 3-4:30 PM at the Ashe Cultural Arts Center.

The event has grown into one of the most exciting awards shows ever seen in New Orleans. Dozens of Mardi Gras Indians, some in street clothes, others resplendent in their handmade suits, arrive ready to demonstrate the age old traditional songs and dances.

Harrison-Nelson, who is the daughter of the legendary Big Chief Donald Harrison, co-founded the Hall of Fame in 1998 along with the principal, Roslyn Smith, at the elementary school where she was teaching at the time. The ceremonies in those pre-Katrina days took place in the school’s courtyard. A couple of hundred little kids in their uniforms stared wide-eyed as the Indians did their thing. It was quite a sight to see.

This year’s inductees have already been announced, but that’s no reason to skip the ceremony.

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