Ronnel Butler

Peacemaker, 2016
Glass seed beads (size 10/0) hand sewn on canvas. 20‐30 different colors used. Rhinestone, pleated velvet, marabou feather, and chandelle feather border
39 x 42 x 1 in
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Mr. Butler’s brother Teral (leaning against the tree) looks on as Big Chief Demond encourages the Uptown tribes and Downtown tribes of New Orleans Mardi Gras Indians to come together as a peaceful nation. The theme of Peacemaker is one of historical and cultural significance in the Black Masking cultures. Peace between Uptown and Downtown tribes (geographically separated tribes in New Orleans) is an ongoing conversation and debate within the culture and its participants. The piece is a well-balanced composition framed by the tree on the left and the teepee and figures on the right. The stitching is tight and even with well placed rhinestones accents.

As Flag Boy, Mr. Butler relays signals and messages from Spy Boy to his Big Chief during the ritual parade on Mardi Gras, St Joseph’s Day, and Super Sunday. Flag Boy is appointed by Big Chief carries a flag/staff representing the tribe and acts as spokesman at Big Chief’s direction.