Sunday, March 11, 2012

Skeletons from "All On A Mardi Gras Day", written and produced by Royce Osborn
Former North Side Gang Big Chief, Al Morris
Chief Al Morris responsible for resurrected the North Side Skull Gang from oblivion. In 2003 he recruited Sunpie Barnes to his one man gang. Sadly Morris passed away in 2010 but still lives through the traditions carried on by new members.
photograph curtsey of Rick Olivier

Mardi Gras Tradition

The Skull and Bone Gangs is a lesser known New Orleans Mardi Gras tradition that dates back to the early 1800s.  One reason most people haven't heard of them is that you have to literally get up at the crack of dawn to see them. As you can imagine that doesn't always go well with the late night partying that happens during Lundi Gras. On Mardi Gras morning,the North Side Skull and Bone Gang meet up around 5 a.m at the Back Street Museum ( . From here the bone men traverse the Treme neighborhood, eager to wake up the locals with chants like "The Worms Go In, The Worms Go Out", "You Next ! " and "If You Don't Live Right, The Bone Man Is Commin For Ya".

Mardi Gras, 2009
North Side Gang
Some people might find this kind of celebration strange. But, in New Orleans it somehow makes sense.  Based on Haitian spiritualism the bone gangs are here to remind us of how precious and frail life can be. Don't waste another minute being sad or angry , enjoy today, for might be NEXT ! ! Don't wait until it's too late !