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"Prospect.3: Notes…

Nov 28, 2014 - Jan 25, 2015
Prospect New Orleans, the International Contemporary Art Biennial,  will… more

"The Victory Belles…

Nov 28 - 28, 2014
Our popular, charming vocal trio is in a holiday mood! Come jingle all the way… more

2014 Battle of the…

Nov 28 - 28, 2014
The Bayou Classic is more than a football game. This annual event is one of the… more

An Evening of…

Nov 28 - 28, 2014
Join us for an evening of elegance with Lalah Hathaway, Najee, and Kindred The… more

Andrew Jackson: Hero…

Nov 28, 2014 - Mar 29, 2015
THNOC's exhibition tracks Jackson's rise from humble beginnings to immortality… more

Celebration in the…

Nov 28, 2014 - Jan 03, 2015
City Park's annual holiday lighting exhibit and festival returns with one of… more

The Victory Belles…

Nov 28, 2014 - Jun 24, 2015
Noted for their close harmonies and synchronized dance steps, the Andrews… more

The Victory Belles…

Nov 28 - Dec 28, 2014
Our popular, charming vocal trio is in a holiday mood! Come jingle all the way… more

ThinkerKids Holiday…

Nov 28 - 28, 2014
Come explore science, technology, art and math with us at ThinkerKids Holiday… more

"The Victory Belles…

Nov 29 - 29, 2014
Our popular, charming vocal trio is in a holiday mood! Come jingle all the way… more

Bayou Classic

Nov 29 - 29, 2014
The 41st Annual Bayou Classic will take place in the Dome on Saturday, November… more

"The Victory Belles…

Nov 30 - 30, 2014
Our popular, charming vocal trio is in a holiday mood! Come jingle all the way… more

"The Victory Belles…

Nov 30 - 30, 2014
Our popular, charming vocal trio is in a holiday mood! Come jingle all the way… more

300 Riderz Horse…

Nov 30 - 30, 2014
Bayou Classic weekend the city of New Orleans will witness its biggest trail… more

Kirk Franklin…

Nov 30 - 30, 2014
Raise the roof Sunday mornings with brunch featuring the explosive energy of… more

Teddy Bear Tea

Nov 30 - Dec 21, 2014
Teddy Bear Tea returns to The Roosevelt, inviting everyone to celebrate the… more

Christmas in the…

Dec 01, 2014 - Jan 01, 2015
Celebrate the season in New Orleans' historic Warehouse District with dazzling… more

Christmas New Orleans…

Dec 1 - 31, 2014
There's no place like New Orleans for the holidays during Christmas New Orleans… more

Christmas New Orleans…

Dec 1 - 18, 2014
Local choirs and New Orleans artists herald in the season with nightly… more

Melissa Etheridge:…

Dec 1 - 1, 2014
Academy Award and GRAMMY winning artist, Melissa Etheridge, will take the… more

"Prospect.3: Notes…

Nov 28, 2014 - Jan 25, 2015
Prospect New Orleans, the International Contemporary Art Biennial,  will… 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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