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Music of Mardi Gras Indians

New Orleans Mardi Gras Indian music changed drastically in the 1970s, especially when chiefs Bo Dollis and Monk Boudreaux introduced the concept of Mardi Gras Indian funk. This African American tradition of chanting and parading in carnival suits, honoring the American Indians who allied with black slaves, started more than a century ago. It has since transformed to become part of mainstream culture in New Orleans. This playlist includes some of the earliest recordings of the Indian music available from 1957 and unpublished concert recordings from the 1985 Smithsonian Folklife Festival. It accompanies the Smithsonian Folkways Magazine article “Indian Generations.