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For Tahj Williams, Queen of the Golden Eagles Mardi Gras Indian tribe and NOLA native, masking is more than a tradition. It’s a modern-day New Orleans phenomenon. And it’s the crown jewel of New Orleans’ bright future.
The elaborate, radiant suits. The familial bond and symbolic roles. It all called Tahj to follow the family tradition and led her to the Golden Eagles tribe.
In the long and storied history of Mardi Gras Indians, the Golden Eagles are larger than life.
"What sets us apart from every other tribe in the city,” Tahj explains, “is that we mask under the legendary Chief Monk Boudreaux, who traveled around the world singing Mardi Gras Indian songs.
Like so many Mardi Gras Indian traditions, the artistry of suit-making perseveres through each new generation. And it empowers Tahj to find her own creative freedom within a time-honored practice.
“Every year I make a different suit. I let the needle guide me and I build whatever my heart tells me to build.”
For Tahj, Super Sunday is always a highpoint. It’s a city-wide festivity filled with tradition, pride, and personal connections.
The largest Super Sunday celebration takes place in New Orleans’ Central City neighborhood, where the Golden Eagles parade through the streets and meet dozens of other tribes, converging to perform and display their suits. And the community gathers every year to watch this iconic New Orleans tradition come to life.
The excitement of Super Sunday is where Mardi Gras Indians shine. It’s where where Tahj honors tradition and finds inspiration. And it’s her opportunity to inspire the next generation of Mardi Gras Indians.