Louisiana News

New exhibit celebrates the legacy of Big Chief Monk Boudreaux and the Black Masking Indians

NEW ORLEANS – The New Orleans Jazz Museum is proud to announce the opening of a new exhibit dedicated to the legacy of Big Chief Monk Boudreaux featuring the photographs of Erika Goldring. The exhibit opens on March 22, 2022, with a 5 p.m. performance by Big Chief Monk and the Golden Eagles.

For more than fifty years, Big Chief Joseph Pierre “Monk” Boudreaux has led the Golden Eagles, a Black masking Indian tribe. Last year, he turned eighty, which makes him one of the true elders of the Mardi Gras Indian masking tradition. While many masking tribes are family based, the Golden Eagles are particularly known as a multigenerational family affair. His children Joseph and Wynoka; his grandchildren J’wan, Marwan, and Michael; his wife, Chellene; and his brother, Yetti have all been a part of the tribe.

“We are honored to present an exhibit highlighting one of New Orleans’ most prominent culture and tradition bearers,” said Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser. “By celebrating the city’s history and traditions, the New Orleans Jazz Museum strives to showcase our unique musical culture to locals and visitors alike.”

Erika Molleck Goldring’s photography spans a wide range of culture and entertainment. Her portraits of everyone from Fats Domino to Keith Richards, Beyoncé, and Jason Isbell show energy and emotion amid balance and simplicity. Her work has appeared in Downbeat, Rolling Stone, Garden and Gun, the New York Times, the Delta Blues Museum in Clarksdale, Mississippi, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Her portraits show the detailed artistry and eye-catching colors of their suits over the years, serving as an extraordinary archival record.

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