Mardi Gras Indians teach traditions of Mardi Gras to children at local shelter

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - The Guardians of the Flame Maroon Society paid a special visit to the New Orleans Women and Children's Shelter.

The Queen of the tribe read a book to kids while also teaching them about the traditions of Mardi Gras.

Kids listened intently, asked questions and danced with the Big Chief and Big Queen.

Organizers at the shelter say they put this on because it's important for children to know their city's history.

Queen Cherice Harrison-Nelson says every year, she goes to schools to give them books in honor of her father's birthday.

She says this is special for the family because her father is an avid reader.

"He always gave books to children as gifts, and so we get to carry on his legacy of giving children books as gifts," Harrison-Nelson said.

"I think it was really a nice chance for them to connect with people that a lot of us see. I see Mardi Gras Indians walking up the street and never really spoken to any member of those groups and learn more about them, so it's just really a great experience for the kids here and the staff," Development Director Melissa Tyler said.

Harrison-Nelson says she hopes to pass on to the kids that masking in the Indian tradition is both ancient and contemporary.

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