Darryl Montana

Darryl Montana is the Big Chief of the Yellow Pocahontas Hunters Black masking Indian Tribe. The New Orleans indigenous Black Indian movement of “masking Indian” on Carnival Day began in the Montana family in the late 1800s. Darryl Montana hails from a prominent family of Black masking Indians and is the son of the Chief of Chiefs Allison “Big Chief Tootie” Montana. He began learning how to string beads at age six and made his first suit when he was eleven using a used vinyl raincoat as his canvas. His suits can take up to 5000 hours to complete and they are in response to themes like metamorphosis and evolution. In addition to creating these massive pieces, Montana passes his techniques on to children and teaches them how to construct sculptural costumes. Montana’s work is in the public collections of the International Folk Art Museum and the Joan Mitchell Foundation and private collections of the late John Scott, Diego Cortez, Ron Bechet, and Mapo Kinnord-Payton, to name a few.