Q: How many Mardi Gras Indian gangs are there today and what are their names?
A Here is the roll call of Mardi Gras Indian gangs that masked in 2016. We update the list yearly.
Q: I am visiting New Orleans soon. Where can I experience Mardi Gras Indians?
A: It depends on when you visit.
All culture-minded residents of and visitors to New Orleans should check out the WWOZ-FM “Live Wire” music calendar and OffBeat Magazine for up-to-date listings of live music performances and cultural events, including those of Mardi Gras Indians. The Blue Nile, The Maple Leaf, and Tipitina’s are the local clubs where Indian groups play most often.
Whatever time of year you come to New Orleans, we recommend a visit to Backstreet Cultural Museum.
If you are here on Mardi Gras Day, you can be sure to see some Indians under the I-10 overpass at the intersection of Claiborne Avenue and Orleans Avenue.
Soon after Mardi Gras, Indians hit the streets again to celebrate St. Joseph’s night. Later in Spring, Indians come out for daytime “Super Sunday” processions Uptown (from Shakespeare Park down LaSalle and up to Claiborne), in Mid-City (starting around Bayou St. John), on the West Bank, and way Downtown.
If you are here at Jazzfest, you can catch Mardi Gras Indians performing daily on the Jazz and Heritage Stage and leading infield parades.
Indian groups regularly perform as part of French Quarter Festival and the Bayou Boogaloo.
Almost every Sunday afternoon starting around 2 pm, the Congo Square Preservation Society gathers to drum and dance in Armstrong Park. Many regular participants are involved in Mardi Gras Indian culture. The public is welcome to drop in on the sessions.
You may wish to visit the statue of the late Yellow Pochahontas Big Chief Allison “Tootie” Montana just inside the Rampart Street entrance to Armstrong Park as you make your way to or from Congo Square. By declaration of the City Council, January 6 is Big Chief Tootie Montana Day in the City of New Orleans.
Finally, you may find our Google Earth map overlay of the Mardi Gras Indian calendar (kmz file) interesting.