Laurita Dollis, known as the Big Queen of the Wild Magnolias Mardi Gras Indians, grew up in Pontchartrain Park. Her husband, Bo Dollis (the legendary Big Chief of the Wild Magnolias) brought her into the tradition.
“When I first met him he was already a chief, he was already recording music; I met him in 1976. And we were going out courting, and from that time, I started helping him sew on his Indian suit.”
“Rita’s husband is, who helped bring Mardi Gras Indian culture to international attention in the early ’70s, working with crack local musicians like Willie Tee, Earl Turbinton, Snooks Eaglin and Alfred ‘Uganda’ Roberts to blend traditional Indian chants and percussion with New Orleans funk, on wax.”
“I made my suit, and I wore it, and it felt so royal. The royal-ness was unbelievable. The respect that queens get is unbelievable. And from that time I never stopped. That was about 22 years ago. It’s a wonderful feeling to wear it.”
Read more about the Rita and the Queens here: