NEW ORLEANS -- This Mardi Gras will be bittersweet for one Mardi Gras Indian. Big Chief Michael Jordan of the 9th Ward Warriors says this Tuesday will be his final time marching on Fat Tuesday.
Jordan has spent 25 years as a Mardi Gras Indian and six years as a chief.
The second lines, the music -- Jordan will miss it all when he retires after Mardi Gras.
With the big, bright, and beautiful costumes, Jordan was consumed with being a Mardi Gras Indian since he first set eyes on another Indian's feathers.
“I can't remember how old I was, but it's been year's back, but I can tell you now, I'm the baddest chief ever to roam the west nation."
Boastful, never bashful. It comes with territory the Mardi Gras Indians inhabit, and Jordan has been there for 25 years.
It was the costumes that first captured his imagination as a young boy.
“I went home and told my mother, I said 'Hey, I want one of those costumes,” he said. “She said, 'You know what to do?' I said no ma, and she said well, we'll put it together."
Eventually he learned how to sew and maintain his own costumes through the years, but now Jordan says it's getting too expensive and too painful to keep it up.
"I got arthritis. My hands get cramped up when I pull that needle and thread."
When he puts on this costume one last time on Tuesday, Jordan says it will help showcase the beauty of Carnival in the city.
“It’s no place like New Orleans. I don't care what nobody say."