We have so much culture in New Orleans we don't know what to do with it. This is a fact, and it's never more evident than when someone dies. We throw a party. We celebrate the life that was. Now, just like anywhere else, death is sad. Death is a mystery. We miss the hell out of our loved ones...we're no different. But like New Orleans, we just like to show it a little differently. So we parade in the streets. From an outsiders point of view, it may almost seem like a cliche. But I assure you, once you have experienced this, it gets inside you...it sticks to your ribs.
This particular celebration was half jazz funeral and half Super Sunday. It was beautiful- hundreds of Indians in full regalia, parading and chanting in the streets, honoring a man who was the epitome of New Orleans and the peaceful Indian culture. I saw hope for our great city, as I always do when I witness things like this. I saw tradition alive and well. I saw little kids in full costume, ensuring that what makes this place so unique will be here awhile. I saw people enjoying the beauty in life. And that's what it's all about.
I won't try to explain who Big Chief Bo Dollis was. You can read this article here that will do a much better job. He was a trendsetter though, and by all accounts a great man who believed in the beauty of life. We need more like him.
I still don't quite understand what makes this place so special. It's like John Goodman once said, "If I could put my finger on it, I'd bottle it and sell it." Some people don't get New Orleans, and that's fine. But if you get it, you get it. It's that simple.
Hit play and enjoy. Big Chief got his golden crown.
So long Big Chief.