Indian Family

Spirit Character “Red”



ASU Indian Family


The ASU mascot is a trio of Indian-attired students popularly known as the Indian Family. Chief Big Track (named after the legendary chief of the Osage tribe which occupied Northeast Arkansas) is the head of the Family, which also consists of an unnamed princess and an unnamed brave.


The "Family," which had been dormant for some time, was resurrected when Barry Dowd took over as ASU's Director of Athletics in March 1996.


In 1996, members of the Athletic Department, Alumni Relations and the Student Government Association along with former Indian Brave John Phillips and former Princess Genie Harrell, joined together to install tryouts for Indian Family members during the summer.


The group visited with and received a vote of approval from a group representing the Cherokee nations as well as other native Americans about authentic dances, symbols, costumes, etc.


The Indian Family, ASU's official mascot, represents the University and its athletic programs in a stately and dignified manner befitting the Indian tribes which once lived in the area.


The expensive costumes, funded by the Alumni Association, were designed and hand stitched by Phillips along with help from Harrell and seamstress Shelly Kelly of Bono.


The Brave's costume is the same worn by Phillips as an ASU student with intricate beadwork. Chief Big Track's outfit was fashioned by Phillips from raw leather from Texas. It is an authentic chief war shirt with hand-stitched beadwork of an authentic Cherokee design. The headdress of 36 feathers was made by Native Americans in Texas.


The dress worn by the Princess, designed by Phillips and sewn by Kelly, is made of bleached garment leather. All garments required tedious hours of meticulously hand-stitched beadwork.


The Indian Family is selected by a campus committee through tryouts in the spring. Candidates must qualify through interviews, horsemanship, appearance, attitude, school activities, and academics.


Since the Indian Family represents the university as a whole, special legislation was passed in 1997 by the SGA and the Student Activities Board to take the Indian Family under its wing. The Indian Family is currently funded by the ASU Spirit Club, a campus group which is a joint venture of SAB and SGA. The Indian Family represents ASU not only at athletic events, but at other campus functions as well as in the community.


If you are interested in becoming a member of the Indian Family.  Please fill out the application and submit to the Athletic Department along with a picture. Tryouts are held in the spring, applications are taken year round.  If you have any questions please contact Andrea Scott at 870-972-3930 or email at aball@astate.edu



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