every swingin' lick in town

a subterranean guide to New Orleans music

St. Joseph's Night in New Orleans:
Out After Dark with the Wild Indians

By John Sinclair

Mardi Gras Indians on parade in New Orleans; copyright © Michael P. Smith

Editor's Note:

Shortly after Mardi Gras of 1997, we were chatting with John Sinclair about his annual trek with Bo Dollis and the Wild Magnolias Indian tribe and we happened to ask him about the first time he ever saw the Wild Indians of New Orleans. Contemplatively scratching his grizzled trademark goatee, he recalled having written an essay describing that occasion in 1976, and consented to dig down into his memory chest and locate the piece for us to read. We were so delighted with what he presented to us -- especially in light of his twenty-one intervening years of parading with the Indians and writing about their musical and cultural influence -- that we asked him if he would share it with us as a tribute to and commemoration of the 1997 celebraton of that secondary but equally important Black Indian holiday, St. Joseph's Day. Herewith that recollection, introduced with a brief contemporary preface from the Professor of Rhythm & Rhyme himself.

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photo © Michael P. Smith - article originally appeared at ikoiko.com in 1997.

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