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“A Building With A…

Sep 29 - 30, 2016
In 1974, roughly two years before the founding of the CAC, the artist Gordon… more

Creole Italian…

Sep 29 - Oct 27, 2016
The Southern Food and Beverage Museum is pleased to announce its latest edition… more

David Hansen's Garden…

Sep 29, 2016
Since 2006, Hansen's Garden District Jazz Trio has performed every night at… more

End of the Rainbow…

Sep 29 - 29, 2016
Come join for the exhibition of  End of the Rainbow, which is an extension… more

First Annual…

Sep 29 - Oct 4, 2016
Come out and learn the role the Black Panther Party played in the recovery of… more

Food Hop + Shop…

Sep 29 - 29, 2016
Spice up your Friday lunch hour in the heart of the CBD with Food Hop + Shop. … more

FREEMAN'S OWN: A…

Sep 29 - 29, 2016
Join writers Garnette Cadogan, Aminatta Forna, Honorée Fanonne Jeffers… more

Heart of the House

Sep 29, 2016 - Jan 08, 2026
In The Voodoo Garden, All Ages. Heart of the House puts the spotlight on House… more

Historic New Orleans…

Sep 29, 2016 - Apr 09, 2017
The Historic New Orleans Collection is gearing up for an exciting new… more

Jazz in the Park

Sep 29 - Nov 3, 2016
Jazz in the Park returns for its 10th season this fall running from September… more

Joy Theater Presents…

Sep 29 - 29, 2016
Join us for an epic night of music at the Joy Theater for The Bear Creek Bayou… more

Ogden Museum of…

Sep 29 - 29, 2016
Join Gregory Saunders for a demonstration of the non-traditional techniques and… more

Pippin

Sep 29 - Oct 2, 2016
In the carnival circus of Charlemagne’s crusades, the young prince Pippin… more

The Irish House…

Sep 29 - 29, 2016
Join us at the Irish House for O'Sullivans Ladies Night. Music with Roy Gele. more

Thursdays at Twilight…

Sep 29 - 29, 2016
Stroll through the New Orleans Botanical Garden at twilight, settle indoors at… more

Tujague's 160th …

Sep 29 - 29, 2016
Tujague's 160th anniversary  will offer  a Grand Finale Anniversary… more

Tujague’s 160th…

Sep 29 - 29, 2016
Tujague’s 160th anniversary celebrations this year have included soirees,… more

Ultimate Lindy Hop…

Sep 29 - Oct 3, 2016
Come experience the wonders of our magical traditional jazz, blues, and swing… more

Closing Celebration…

Sep 30 - 30, 2016
The New Orleans Workers' Center for Racial Justice and the New Orleans People's… more

FREEMAN'S OWN: A…

Sep 30 - 30, 2016
As a follow-up to the panel discussion and book signing with editor John… more

“A Building With A…

Sep 29 - 30, 2016
In 1974, roughly two years before the founding of the CAC, the artist Gordon… 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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