Meet Mardi Gras Indian queens at St. Charles Avenue Baptist Church

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FiYiYi’s Mandingo Warriors’ Queen Cinnamon Black

St. Charles Avenue Baptist Church is welcoming the Carnival season with a free, open-to-all community event, “Meet The Mardi Gras Queens,” on Saturday afternoon (Jan. 20).

Big Queen Gina Montana of the Yellow Pocahontas and Queen Cinnamon Black of the FiYiYi’s Mandingo Warriors will explore the history and cultural importance of the Mardi Gras Indian tradition and take questions.

Queen Montana is a long-time masking Indian in New Orleans’ second oldest Mardi Gras Indian tribe. In addition to masking as a member of one of the original Mardi Gras Indian families, she is an entrepreneur and an actor best known for her role in “Beasts of the Southern Wild.”

Queen Cinnamon Black is a Baby Doll and a Voodoo priestess as well as a masking Indian queen. On Mardi Gras day, she comes out in the morning as a Baby Doll and by noon transitions into her Indian suit to join the tribe.

Their presentation will be in the St. Charles chapel, St. Charles and Broadway, at 2 p.m. on Saturday.

All are welcome to celebrate Carnival and learn more about the heritage of Mardi Gras. For more information, go to

St. Charles Avenue Baptist Church (via

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