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MONKEY AND COCK
LUCKY NEW ORLEANS
BEING FOUND THROUGHOUT
LOCALS MYSTIFIED AS LUCKY VOODOO STATUES
TURN UP IN SEVERAL LOCATIONS AROUND NEW
by Staff Reports. Photos by C. Modjeski.
Construction Worker Finds Rare Collectible
14 Karat Gold Leafed Monkey and Cock Statue
Buried in Hurricane Katrina Mud on Damaged
Canal Street Sidewalk!
“I never felt luckier!” says local
Ray Eslick. “I’ve seen them before
and always wanted one – now it looks
like one found me!”
While assisting other workers in a repair
survey in downtown New Orleans, local construction
worker Ray Eslick caught sight of something
shiny in the scaled, caked-on mud near the
edge of a Canal Street sidewalk. Grabbing
a small survey pick, Eslick instantly went
to work to uncover the mysterious object.
When he pulled it from the dirt, Eslick found,
to his amazement, that he held in his hand
a rare and much sought-after old New Orleans
Voodoo Charm: a 14-karat gold leafed Sacred
Monkey and Cock Statue!
Said to be one of the most powerful totems
of New Orleans Voodoo, with a history that
can be traced back to Voodoo Queen Marie Laveaux,
and beyond, the Sacred Monkey and Cock is
famous for granting its owner three wishes
in a three year period. The golden Monkey
and Cock, however, is said to grant the owner
three wishes almost as soon as it is found.
Eslick, who is employed with Boh Bros., a
local construction company that has labored
continuously since the onslaught of Katrina
to help the city of New Orleans recover and
rebuild, believes his find to be an indication
that “the powers that be” are
smiling on the work he and his colleagues
“I think it’s a positive sign,”
Eslick said as he displayed his find to crewmembers
gathered nearby. “I know we’ve
been working hard to get this city back to
the way everyone wants it to be. I hope this
is a sign that we’re going to be able
to do that.”
The little figurine, depicting a monkey and
a cock (or rooster) dancing in celebration,
is legendary for its ability to bring good
fortune, love and health to its bearer. A
“wishing curio,” the Monkey and
Cock Statue is nonetheless designed to be
shared: when the recipient receives his or
her three wishes (usually at the end of a
three year period), the owner is then obligated
to hand the little curio back to the spirits
by “abandoning” it for some other
lucky person to find.
Monkey and Cock Statues should be left at
a crossroads or other familiar place, or at
a gravesite. This is why many such statues
are found among the graves in New Orleans
cemeteries, and at the tomb of Marie Laveau
in particular, the Voodoo Queen who is credited
with popularizing the curio during her reign.
Today Bianca, reigning Queen of New Orleans
Voodoo, is the main reliquary of knowledge
concerning this strange curio, its powers
and origin. Most modern versions of this ancient
symbol are produced by associates of Queen
Bianca who are members of the secret voodoo
sosyete she maintains as a descending queen
from Marie Laveau. Each year, Queen Bianca
conducts ritual blessings of the statues,
hand-crafted in everything from plaster to
gold, and oversees their distribution among
voodoo devotees and other lucky people. Bianca
has only very recently allowed a wider access
to these unique New Orleans talismans by placing
them for sale online.
Eslick knew a little about the history of
the statue from his grandmother whom, he says,
once had her own Monkey and Cock.
“I can’t tell you what happened
to that thing,” Eslick said. “Of
course, I was little and I didn’t know
anything about having to give it back [after
the three year period]. Now I understand completely.”
Asked if he would observe the ritual and abandon
his find when his three years are up, Eslick
hesitated and then replied, “Well, if
I want to have good luck, I guess I’m
going to have to. But I think my grandma would
want me to do that, so, yeah, I’m going
to give it away when I’m supposed to.”
In the meantime, however, Eslick intends to
look forward to having his wishes fulfilled
and to enjoying them when they do.
Mother Finds Sacred Monkey and Cock Statue
in New Furnishings – Takes It As a Sign
that New Baby is Important to Rebirth of New
Like most New Orleanians, Colleen Decoubier
evacuated with her family when Hurricane Katrina
threatened New Orleans in August 2005. Over
the intervening months, Decoubier, pregnant
with her first child, agonized over whether
or not to return to her hometown, a place
she had known from childhood but which now
seemed foreign and desolate.
Eventually, the decision was made for her
when her husband’s company became deeply
involved in the recovery effort, requiring
the couple to return to New Orleans.
Though they could not return to their original
home, lost to the floodwaters of the 17th
Street Canal, the Decoubiers were able to
find a “reasonable facsimile,”
says Colleen, and determined to “start
over, just like everyone else.”
“Everything needed to be replaced,”
said Colleen, including the furniture and
baby items she had been accumulating in anticipation
of her baby’s arrival.
“We had to wait for stores to open,”
she says, “but eventually more and more
locations came back. Before the storm, I had
been planning the entire nursery around an
antique baby-bed that we had purchased from
some friends of my parents – a Victorian
bed in a turn of the century style nursery.
Of course, that bed was destroyed when the
Decoubier was intent on recreating her dream
nursery just as she had envisioned it before
the storm, and she began to search for a new
baby bed among the antique shops in and around
Magazine Street in New Orleans. The search,
however, continued to be fruitless. Then her
Standing in one of the endless post-Katrina
grocery lines at a Metairie supermarket, Colleen
ran into a friend whom she was grieved to
learn had lost her grandmother during the
storm. The sweet elderly woman had drowned,
Colleen learned, when she had refused to leave
her Gentilly home.
“We’ve been going back there cleaning
up and going through stuff,” the friend
said. Then a sudden thought came to her. “Would
you like to have a baby bed?”
This was the first turn of good fortune in
weeks and Colleen was especially excited when
she and her husband went to pick up the antique,
Victorian baby bed. It, and several other
pieces, had survived the floodwaters in the
attic of the elderly woman’s home.
“I was happy to take it,” Colleen
said. “I remember my friend’s
grandmother as the sweetest person, so I was
overjoyed to take something that had been
so important to her.”
Colleen did not realize at the time that fortune
was about to smile again.
When the bed was brought into her home, the
first thing she did was go through the bedding,
pulling it out so that she could replace it
with something fresh for the new baby.
To her amazement, there, under the tiny mattress,
lay a strange little statue: a genuine Sacred
Monkey and Cock curio!
“Who knows how long it might have been
there?” says Colleen. “I think
it was meant for me to find it!”
Coincidentally, Colleen Decoubier, known to
many as Madame Decoubier, a seer and intuitive,
is descended from a long line of New Orleanians
who can trace their ancestry back to French
nobility and includes among her relatives
descendants of the Marigny and Bienville families.
Another interesting fact, which Colleen finds
not so coincidental, is that, in her lifetime,
Voodoo Queen Marie Laveau was hairdresser
to the Decoubier females.
“I completely understand this find to
be proof that Marie Laveau is still looking
over us on a very personal level,” says
Colleen. “I had serious misgivings about
returning to this city and having my child
born here. Now I have no doubts at all: finding
this Monkey and Cock has erased all my misgivings!”
The new baby is due “around Mardi Gras,”
says Decoubier, who is quick to point out
how much a time of renewal and celebration
this particular Mardi Gras season will be
for the battered city.
“I think it means renewal all around,”
she concludes. “It’s safe to go
forward from here.”
Finds Sacred Monkey and Cock Good Luck Voodoo
Curio on Shop Doorstep – Vows to Display
Statue for All to See!
Harriet Cross, owner and operator of the Flower
Basket LTD. Florist in Metairie, was astonished
to find a Sacred Monkey and Cock Statue sitting
on her doorstep when she went to open this
past Saturday morning.
With no one around and no clue as to who might
have left it there, Cross was at first puzzled
by her find.
“I had to look at it really good for
it to sink in,” she said. “Then
I remember seeing something like it at my
aunt’s home when I was younger.”
Cross related that her elderly Aunt Bertha
had been known for her large collection of
porcelain and plaster figures, some run of
the mill, whimsical, and others one of a kind.
The Monkey and Cock of her childhood memories
came vividly to her mind.
“I remember my Aunt Bertha bringing
it to show my mother,” she said. “She
[Aunt Bertha] was all excited about it, but
my mother wasn’t happy to see it. You
have to understand,” Cross explained,
“she grew up a strict old-Protestant
and was taught not to trust other religions.
She was afraid of things like voodoo; she
was very superstitious in that way.”
But Cross remembers her Aunt Bertha having
no such fear of the curious little object.
“She seemed to know about it already.
I even remember her talking to her neighbor
about it.” Bertha’s neighbor,
it turns out, was an elderly black woman named
Pearl, and Cross believes it was Pearl who
must have told her aunt the facts about the
fortune behind the Monkey and Cock statue.
This is all Cross could think about when she
found her own Monkey and Cock sitting on her
doorstep. She took it as a good omen, even
possibly a message from a favorite Aunt that
things are going to get a lot better.
“Well, everything’s been slow,”
Cross said, looking out her shop window at
the sparse traffic. “Not a lot of customers.
A lot of my regular people are still displaced.
Some are slowly coming back. But it’s
been very disheartening, to say the least.
For instance, when I first opened, about a
month after Katrina, the only business I was
doing was to funeral homes.”
Cross said she sent out her first “New
Baby” plant just two weeks ago, and
it was the first glimmer of hope she’s
had since the devastating storm. Finding the
Monkey and Cock, she says, was the second.
Cross has decided to share her good fortune
with her friends and customers in the form
of a window display featuring the Monkey and
Cock Statue as a centerpiece. “I think
it’s the only way I can really share
it with everyone,” says Cross. “That
way people can come by and see it and feel
like they’re a part of the experience.”
With the Chinese Year of the Rooster
coming to an end on January 29th, Cross feels
it is appropriate to celebrate the passage
of the Old Year (a particularly bad year for
most people in South Louisiana) by placing
her good luck Monkey and Cock Statue clearly
facing the coming of the new.
“If that monkey’s dancing,”
Cross laughed, “then he can keep dancing
and bring all the luck back that got washed
Cross hopes the new Year of the Dog will be
better for everyone; she believes that finding
such a lucky New Orleans Voodoo curio is just
a taste of what’s to come.
“We’re rebuilding and moving ahead,”
she says, “but there’s definitely
a lot of milestones left in the path from
last year. I hope my Monkey and Cock will
help me to get around those. Lord knows, we
need all the help we can get!”
Harriet Cross’s Sacred Monkey and Cock
Statue will be on display in the front window
of her floral shop, The Flower Basket, Ltd.,
located at 731 Bonnabel Blvd., in Metairie,
LA Visitors and the curious are invited to
stop by and view the statue and are encouraged
to leave coins or other small offerings to
be placed in the window display.
The Flower Basket LTD. can be contacted directly
at (504) 833-9773
Cock Adorns Altar at Marie Laveau’s
House of Voodoo Famous Voodoo Shop!
Anonymous Donor, Excited and
Teary Eyed, Gives Monkey and Cock as Gift
to Local New Orleans French Quarter Voodoo
Haunted New Orleans Tours has received information
about additional Sacred Monkey and Cock Statues
turning up in significant locations in New
One keen observer recently spotted a statue
on the Voodoo Queen’s altar at the famous
Marie Laveau’s House of Voodoo on Bourbon
Street. Although the appearance of Sacred
Monkey and Cock Statues is common at Laveau’s
famous gravesite, this is the first recorded
instance of such a statue openly placed on
an altar in the building that was once her
Reports are also surfacing of an anonymous
donor entering the famous New Orleans Voodoo
Museum on Dumaine Street and gifting the proprietor
with a Monkey and Cock Statue, circa 1970,
rumored to have once been in the actual possession
of reigning Voodoo Queen Bianca. At press
time, we are still trying to track down the
anonymous donor who was described as “shaking
excitedly with tears in his eyes” as
he turned over the little statue to the Voodoo
Sacred Monkey and Cock Statue Findings Good
Omen for City of New Orleans?
Everyone who has had the good fortune of finding
a Monkey and Cock curio has expressed the
overwhelming belief that these unexplained
findings are an omen of good fortune for New
Orleans and the region.
Each lucky treasure holder was exhilarated
by the find and immediately felt an improvement
in their outlook about the future in general,
and their future in particular.
Could this strange phenomenon be connected
in some way to the recent sightings of the
ghost of famous New Orleans Voodoo King, Chicken
Man, and to other portents sited by local
psychics and mediums as evidence that New
Orleans’ powerful ancestors have arisen
to aid and protect the famous city?
Haunted New Orleans Tours is determined to
bring you all the information possible on
this amazing phenomenon as it becomes available
If you encounter a Sacred Monkey and Cock
Statue, or know someone who does, please contact
our site as soon as possible and we will be
happy to tell your story!
BECOME PART OF THE MAGIC NOW!
TO OBTAIN YOUR OWN, PERSONAL
SACRED MONKEY AND COCK
NEW ORLEANS VOODOO CURIO