Saturday, August 31, 2013

White Buffalo Day 2013

I have admit, I've never heard of White Buffalo Day until a week ago, when WWOZ posted an article about the upcoming celebration on their Facebook page.  It didn't give much information, other than it was the "gathering of tribes for unity, peace, and healing."  This years celebration was to honor the Big Chief David Montana and unveil his new White Buffalo suit, a beautiful piece of art.  As I've said before, these photos cannot possible do these suits any justice.  They are huge, intricate, and detailed.  It takes to better part of a year to complete, and no two suits are ever the same.  

The celebration started at the Backstreet Cultural Museum, gradually marching it's way to Congo Square in Armstrong Park.  The weather could not have been better...low 80's and zero humidity.  You cannot ask for much more in August.

We would stop and pay tribute to the late Tootie Montana, the chief of chiefs, the man responsible for turning the violent culture of the Indians into one of beauty and pageantry.  After a prayer and a couple of songs at the foot of his statue, we made our way the Congo Square, where a couple of "real" Indian medicine men were waiting for us.  We formed a large circle and the Rev. Goat Carson blessed us and reminded us of the importance of living in harmony with each other, and living in harmony with nature and Mother Earth.  We as humans need to realize we are a part of it all, not above it.  A peace pipe was passed around for all those who wanted to participate. 

Read a great article on White Buffalo Day from the Huffington Post here.

It was really cool to witness, and just another example of how New Orleans is never boring.  You should definitely check it out next August 27th.  Enjoy the photos.

The Chief of Chiefs.

This little dude was not entertained.

A beautiful end to a beautiful day.


  1. James, Indeed what "A beautiful end to a beautiful day." You have once again brought to light the grand history of New Orleans through your photography. I am always thrilled to see your work, which makes me feel closer to home. Thanks you for your love of beauty.
    Judie Kopfman, Cheraw, SC

  2. I really enjoy your blog James. Keep up the good work.

  3. Hi James, I was there this day with my babygirl and we got saged "Smudged", listened to the drumming, and enjoyed a beautiful day. I am a lifelong New Orleanian and I love doing things like this and always incorporate my daughters in anything culturally New Orleans. You caught a glimpse and me & my daughter. We are picture #9 from the bottom and I would like to know how I can get a copy of this picture. You can email me at or find me on FB under MARTHA ALGUERA. Your work is beautiful

    1. Thanks Martha...just seeing this! I'll send you an email shortly!