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Backbeat Jazzfest…

Apr 26 - 26, 2015
Join us for Fest Mob featuring Steven Bernstein, Will Bernard, Johnny… more

Big Lil' Baby Jesus…

Apr 26 - 26, 2015
Come join us at the Maple Leaf Bar for Big Lil' Baby Jesus Peasant Party. more

Edgar Degas: The…

Apr 26 - May 24, 2015
Featuring drawings, prints, sculpture, and photographs, all from a single… more

EN MAS’: Carnival and…

Apr 26 - Jun 7, 2015
Curated by Claire Tancons, Krista Thompson, EN MAS': Carnival and Performance… more

ETCHYNPÜFE Group Show…

Apr 26 - May 31, 2015
The Foundation Gallery is excited to host ETCHYNPÜFE, a group show… more

FOUR VOICES at the…

Apr 26 - May 24, 2015
The Garden District Gallery is pleased to present FOUR VOICES featuring… more

Hotel Monteleone …

Apr 26 - 26, 2015
Jazzy Jam gives Carousel Bar and Lounge patrons a place to relax and unwind… more

JAZZFEST 2015 - MAPLE…

Apr 26 - 26, 2015
Join us at the Maple Leaf Bar for Joe Krown Trio feat. Walter… more

JAZZFEST 2015 - MAPLE…

Apr 26 - 26, 2015
Join us at the Maple Leaf Bar for Maple Leaf Bar Allstars: Ivan Neville, Jon… more

Jim Roche: Cultural…

Apr 26 - Jul 12, 2015
Born in 1943, Jim Roche received a BA from Florida State University (1961)… more

Joe Krown Trio feat.…

Apr 26 - 26, 2015
Join us for the  Joe Krown Trio feat. Walter "Wolfman"… more

JPAS Presents The…

Apr 26 - 26, 2015
For decades, renowned advice columnist Ann Landers answered countless letters… more

M.S. Rau Antiques…

Apr 26 - May 4, 2015
Long established and leading art, antiques and jewelry specialist M.S. Rau… more

Maple Leaf Bar…

Apr 26 - 26, 2015
Join us for Big Lil' Baby Jesus Pesant Party featuring Jesus Coomes, Eric… more

Mark Steinmetz: South

Apr 26 - May 10, 2015
Mark Steinmetz lives and works in Athens, Georgia. His work transcends the… more

New Orleans Jazz &…

Apr 26 - 26, 2015
Jazz Fest is the celebration of the unique culture and heritage of New Orleans… more

Tennessee Williams:…

Apr 26 - May 31, 2015
Tennessee Williams was one of the most admired playwrights of the 20th century.… more

The Irish House -…

Apr 26 - 26, 2015

The New Orleans…

Apr 26 - Nov 18, 2015
Marvel Universe LIVE! will captivate audiences with an authentic and original… more

Trinity Artist Series…

Apr 26 - 26, 2015
The celebrated Gospel Collective Choir from France comes to New Orleans to… more

Backbeat Jazzfest…

Apr 26 - 26, 2015
Join us for Fest Mob featuring Steven Bernstein, Will Bernard, Johnny… more

Krewe of Zulu

February 12, 2013

Early in 1909, a group of laborers who had organized a club named "The Tramps" went to the Pythian Theater to see a musical comedy performed by the Smart Set. The comedy included a skit entitled, "There Never Was and Never Will Be a King Like Me," about the Zulu Tribe.

That is how Zulu began, as the many stories go...

Years of extensive research by Zulu's staff of historians seem to indicate that Zulu's beginning was much more complicated than that. The earliest signs of organization came from the fact that the majority of these men belonged to a Benevolent Aid Society. Benevolent Societies were the first forms of insurance in the Black community where, for a small amount of dues, members received financial help when sick or financial aid when burying deceased members.

Conversations and interviews with older members also indicate that in that era the city was divided into wards, and each ward had its own group or "Club." The Tramps were one such group. After seeing the skit, they retired to their meeting place (a room in the rear of a restaurant/bar in the 1100 block of Perdido Street), and emerged as Zulus. This group was probably made up of members from the Tramps, the Benevolent Aid Society and other ward-based groups.

While the "Group" marched in Mardi Gras as early as 1901, their first appearance as Zulus came in 1909, with William Story as King.

The group wore raggedy pants, and had a Jubilee-singing quartet in front of and behind King Story. His costume of "lard can" crown and "banana stalk" scepter has been well-documented. The Kings following William Story (William Crawford - 1910, Peter Williams - 1912, and Henry Harris - 1914) were similarly attired.

1915 heralded the first use of floats, constructed on a spring wagon, using dry good boxes. The float was decorated with palmetto leaves and moss and carried four Dukes along with the King. That humble beginning gave rise to the lavish floats we see in the Zulu parade today.

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