Film Screening: “The Black Indians of New Orleans”

Joan Mitchell Center, Indigo Building
2285 Bayou Road
Saturday, September 21st, 2013, at 7 pm

Join us for a screening of the 1976 documentary, The Black Indians of New Orleans, followed by an interview of Dr. Maurice Martinez (filmmaker) by Kalamu Ya Salaam.

The Black Indians of New Orleans has received international acclaim and attention and is considered the first definitive film looking at the origins and rituals of the Black Mardi Gras Indians of New Orleans. A 1976 documentary by filmmaker Dr. Maurice Martinez, the focus is on two tribes:  the Yellow Pocahontas, led by Big Chief Allison “Tootie” Montana, and the White Eagles, led by Big Chief Gerald “Jake” Milon. The film reveals the sociocultural history of the Mardi Gras Indians, their costume preparation, music, songs, dance, and gatherings for a ritual practice. The second half is a sunrise to sunset visual account of the processions and street culture of the Black Indians on Mardi Gras Day. An interview with Dr. Martinez follows the film.

Maurice M. Martinez, Ph.D. is a New Orleans-born poet, photographer, musician, and filmmaker; he is a Professor in the Department of Instructional Technology, Foundations and Secondary Education at University of North Carolina Wilmington. Dr. Martinez is steeped in African American culture through both his heritage and scholarly endeavors. In addition to The Black Indians of New Orleans, he has written numerous articles about the Mardi Gras Indians. To find out more about Dr. Martinez’s films and music visit:

For more information, email

2275 Bayou Road | New Orleans, LA 70119
office: 504.940.2500 | fax: 504.940.2501