About the Chicken Man of New Orleans
The Chicken Man was well known for his gris gris which he always made tied to a chicken claw for that extra "kick." Nothing fancy here, but then power doesn't require fancy.
“I saw him down there,” she said, pointing over her shoulder in the direction of Bourbon Street. “He came over to me,” she chuckled when they chided her for hooking up with a colorful local stranger. “He walked over to me and stopped me. He said he knew what I needed and he gave me this green bag.”
With that, she pulled out a little green mojo bag and all her friends recoiled in horror; not because they recognized anything about the bag immediately, but mostly at the sight of the gnarled, black chicken claw tied to it.
“Ewww!” said one of the group. “That’s disgusting!” said another. As the women stood by laughing at the little bag they were overheard by one of Pat’s longtime doormen. He came over and said, quietly, “Say, where’d you get that mojo bag, ma’am?” And when he heard the woman’s story, that she had got it from a Voodoo man on Bourbon Street, and when he asked her to describe what the man looked like, Nathan the doorman just about fell down.
“That’s The Chicken Man!” he said, eyes wide and staring. He eyed the little bag curiously. “You just met up with The Chicken Man!”
But as they slowly became aware of the blood draining from the curious doorman’s face, they fell quiet again. “What about Chicken Man?” cackled one of the women.
“Well,” the doorman replied, “it can’t be Chicken Man you saw! Chicken Man’s been dead now for years! Ain’t nobody like him on Bourbon Street nowadays. If HE gave you that mojo bag, I’d make sure I NEVER lose that thing!” (From Purloined Stories and Early Tales of Old New Orleans by Alyne Pustanio).
Chicken Man-style Gris Gris with Fixed Chicken Foot
While the Chicken Man was well known for his chicken clawed gris gris, we've taken it a step further and include the whole chicken foot. Chicken feet can be used to bless a person simply by brushing it over the body in a downward and outward direction. It is good for locating jinxes, because chickens, especially frizzly chickens, like to scratch the ground and dig up bugs and other pests. This gris gris is a wonderful protection gris gris, especially for guarding and protecting your money. The bag contains money and prosperity drawing ingredients while the chicken foot is tied to it to protect your assets, both what you have currently and what you will have.
Get your lucky mojo on and order your own Chicken Man-style gris gris! If it is something other than money you want, you may request a different purpose by making your choice: Money, Love, Protection, Blessings, Good Luck and Success, Healing or Custom - tell us what you need by indicating your preference in the comments section upon checkout. Comes in a handcrafted paper box with complete instructions and a copy of the whole Chicken Man story by Alyne Pustanio.
Chicken Man's Remains in Limbo: Ashes May Rest in Voodoo Temple
By LESLIE WILLIAMS Staff writer
Times-Picayune (New Orleans, LA)
Monday, January 25, 1999
His walking staff -- adorned with a fake hand, a monkey skull and a patch torn from a Mardi Gras Indian costume -- rests alongside his feather-laden black hat on an altar at the Voodoo Spiritual Temple and Cultural Center. Soon Chicken Man's ashes may rest there, too.
That would resolve a weeks-old dilemma about just what to do with the remains of one of the French Quarter's most distinctive street celebrities, said Voodoo Priestess Miriam Chamani, who operates the temple at 828 N. Rampart St.
Since Fred Staten, a.k.a. Chicken Man, died last month at 61, his body has been in limbo. The coroner's office took charge of the remains Dec. 10, said John Gagliano, chief coroner's investigator, who attributed the death to natural causes. Police would provide no other details.
On the 11th, the Estelle Wilson Funeral Home picked up the body, only to return it to the coroner about two weeks later, Gagliano said.
A funeral director said Staten's body was returned to the coroner's office after embalming because the woman with whom he had been living had neither the money to pay for services nor the authority to fill out required paperwork.The coroner's office will hold Chicken Man's body until Feb. 1, Gagliano said. If no one comes to claim him, the city will bury Staten.
The funeral director, though, said she doubts that the burden will fall to the city. She said Anna Marie Gonzales, Staten'sdaughter, spoke to her Friday, and "on Monday, she's coming in to do the paperwork." Gonzales could not be reached for comment.
Once that task is completed, "the plan is to pick up the body and have him cremated," the funeral director said.
Chicken Man -- so named because of his willingness to demonstrate the sacrificial voodoo rite that involves biting the head off a chicken, Chamani said -- added to the color of the city's oldest neighborhood. He operated Chicken Man's Voodoo Shop at the building on North Rampart that is now the Spiritual Temple. Staten conducted tours, did readings and sold candles and other items bearing his seal: "Blessed by Chicken Man." His business on North Rampart lasted from early 1992 to March 1994, Chamani said. In the past year, he was often seen hawking voodoo dolls, incense and other wares on Bourbon Street. Passers-by knew him as an oddly dressed and bearded figure, quick to enter into friendly conversation.
"He was an ambitious man, who often talked about his dreams, his plans to expand his voodoo business," said New Orleans Police Department Sgt. Louis Colin, who got to know Chicken Man well during the years Colin walked the beat in the French Quarter. "His business never really got off the ground that well, but 90 percent of the time when I saw him, he was happy and content."
Chamani and her now deceased husband, Oswan, met Chicken Man in early 1991 while they were on the veranda of their residence at 716 N. Rampart.
"I knew immediately from his energy there was something different about him," she recalled, her reverie interrupted by a shrill shriek as a python caged beside her chair devoured a white rat. "He gave me and my husband monkey paws."
The gift still dangles from Chamani's key chain. A rooster crowed in the courtyard as she spoke of the man "who had compassion for people and the kind of energy that caused people to come close to hear what he had to say."
Staten was fond of animals, keeping turtles, snakes and pigeons at the former voodoo shop on Rampart.
"He was like a mojo bag that would make a person feel good," Chamani said. "Last Mardi Gras, he brought a tour group here.
"In his heart, he had a lot of things he wanted to do," she said. "A lot of people feasted on his fame." Chamani, describing herself as the godmother of Staten's daughter, said Chicken Man was living Uptown when he died. "That one body has had a joyous ride," Chamani said of the recent uncertainties surrounding her friend's final resting place. "But he's not going to be cast out in the potter's field."