Big Chief Andrew Justin began preparing for Mardi Gras 2000 on February 28, 1998—just after returning to Los Angeles from the place he calls “home”: New Orleans. If it had been left up to the doctors, Chief Drew would never have set foot on the Zulu parade route. More generally, the term denotes a parade involving a brass band, Mardi Gras Indian gang or second-line club. The pieces for three of them—worn by his sister Mildred Collar, her daughter and her husband—were shipped to Los Angeles from New Orleans. Four days earlier, he’d taken to the streets on Fat Tuesday, leading a one-two punch in the Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club parade—The Wild Tremé Mardi Gras Indians and The New Orleans Shake ‘Em Down Second Liners. Below it are patches depicting a peace pipe and other Native American symbols. Get that needle and thread. Chief Drew, who founded the club in Los Angeles, was a top-flight designer of second line regalia before he set his mind to mastering the Mardi Gras Indian arts. Albert Lambreaux is a Mardi Gras Indian chief, well-respected in his community. Between the arms is a pyramid with an all-seeing eye. This is a cultural site dedicated to educating the public and preserving the tradition of The Mardi Gras Indians of New Orleans, Louisiana. Like a painter who explores specific motifs through a series of works, Chief Drew, in designing his son’s electric pink Mardi Gras 2000 suit, elaborated on the themes portrayed in his own suit. Over the years, in addition to ostrich plumes and marabou—standard fare for Mardi Gras Indian suits—mink, sheepskin, coque quills and fox pelts have figured into his regalia. Meanwhile, if his health holds up, Chief Drew plans to keep bringing his own culture to a wider audience. A year-and-a-half would pass before he divulged his idea for putting a gang on the street to Shake ’Em Down Grand Marshal Don “Doc” Robinson, a physician and New Orleans native who, at the time, maintained a practice in Los Angeles. The Wild Treme & The Shake 'Em Down Second Liners taking to the streets to share Our Works. The upshot: He’d have to ride in a convertible for at least part of the parade, an arrangement that was subject to a flurry of last-minute negotiations with Zulu officials. One of their daughters, Anna, married Chief Drew’s father, Maurice Lionel Justin, a New Orleanian of French descent. Anna and her sister Pauline Guillemet were Baby Dolls. Harrison died two months before Mardi Gras 1999, which would have marked the 50th anniversary of his first appearance as a Mardi Gras Indian. She told him, “Son, you don’t have to worry about nothin’. The invitation to roll with Zulu came after the second liners’ Doc Robinson approached Zulu’s chairman of Carnival activities, Joseph Falls. After returning to Los Angeles, Chief Drew had surgery on his right knee. The fact that Chief Drew’s family was relatively well off—Uncle Teddy would pay to have Mardi Gras Indian regalia made for his nephew—probably didn’t help to endear the young upstart to the likes of the rough-hewn Tillman. We can’t stop thinking about him. He imported the blade from Kenya, had it triple-dipped in chrome, and then mounted it on a broomstick. At the time, Chief Drew was working as a mason for the federal government, in the engineering department of a VA hospital. Ivory-colored ruffles made of 100% virgin silk trimmed the shoulders, cuffs and Egyptian-style collar. Chief Drew with finery for Mardi Gras 2000 on display outside of his garage in Los Angeles. In 1962, he arrived in Vietnam. Now it’s time for them to give you something. They first hit the street, with a live band, as part of the LA LA event in 1988. For Mardi Gras 2000, Chief Drew returned home as a Mardi Gras Indian version of a Zulu warrior, masking once again in the Zulu parade. The work eventually claimed his right kneecap, requiring an artificial replacement. After Chief Drew, a stickler for aesthetic perfection, completed the suits, he sent them back to New Orleans. “I wasn’t going to join no Jehovah’s Witness. Perhaps because his father was such a demanding musical taskmaster, Chief Drew, who liked to tap dance on the sidewalks, shied away from taking up a “serious” instrument, gravitating instead toward percussion. Patrick Tyler of the Wild Tremé on Carnival Day 2000, Big Chief of the Congo Nation, Donald Harrison Jr., on Carnival Day 2002, Shake ’Em Down Grand Marshal Doc Robinson on Mardi Gras 2000, “Opening up” on Jackson Avenue, on the first leg of the Zulu procession, Skull and bones maskers on Carnival Day 2009. Maurice Justin’s brother Theodore “Teddy” Justin served as the original vice president of the club, under founder Dooky Chase. Little wonder the entire suit, including the staff stick, weighed in at over 130 pounds. He shared Chief Drew's vision for having second liners parade in tandem with a Mardi Gras Indian gang, in the limelight of the Zulu parade. Donald told me: ‘Look, man. Then one day in his back yard, where he often prays underneath a tree, he gazed up at the sky as a bird flew by. Sewn onto the front of each boot was a beaded tableau, or “patch”—one depicting an African warrior, the other an African woman. Why is my crown so hard to pull?” Some of the younger members of his extended family, who were tagging along with the gang, were laughing. Eventually, Chief Drew, having been implicated in a burglary, found himself before a judge. We have a rattler around.’ ” Chief Drew didn’t flinch, even though it felt as if a critter might have been crawling on him, and thus was adopted as a “brother.”.

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