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Illiniwek 'chiefs' say they are proud of tradition

University of Illinois students who have portrayed the school's controversial Chief Illiniwek mascot say they are carrying on a proud tradition.

Students act as "chief" and "assistant chief." They are taught how to "dance" and perform by Former chiefs who have worn the costume.

"Any time any of the former Chiefs come to a performance, I'll get five phone calls later that night that say, 'Hey, that looked really great, but try doing more of this,'" current chief Kyle Cline told The Daily Illini. "All the former Chiefs help you perfect the dance."

The former chiefs also act as spokespersons and defenders of the mascot. "Part of being Chief is being a former Chief," said Tom Livingston, who wore the costume in the 1980s.

Get the Story:
Maintaining the tradition (The Daily Illini 4/22)

Relevant Links:
Chief Illiniwek, University of Illinois -
Retire the Chief -

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