Default

Book Your Trip

  
You have (0) items in
your Itinerary

Upcoming Events

|

“The National WWII…

Aug 27 - 27, 2016
The French Market welcomes The National WWII Museum's Victory Belles back to… more

29th Annual Fall…

Aug 27 - 28, 2016
This year’s show will feature exhibitors who have the latest products in… more

Abita Springs Opry at…

Aug 27 - 27, 2016
The Abita Springs Opry returns to the French Market Farmers Market Every… more

Alliance Française…

Aug 27 - 27, 2016
Join us for our annual Fall Open House on August 27 from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm to… more

Backyard Grooves

Aug 27, 2016 - Jan 10, 2026
In The Voodoo Garden, All Ages.   more

COOLinary New Orleans…

Aug 27 - 31, 2016
It is going to be a delicious summer!  During the month of August, enjoy… more

Didn't Wash Us Away: …

Aug 27 - 27, 2016
Join us for the Book Signing and Reception for Didn't Wash Us Away:… more

Double Dose

Aug 27, 2016 - Jan 10, 2026
ActionActionReaction and friends keep the dance floor energized with mixes of… more

End of the Rainbow…

Aug 27 - Sep 26, 2016
Come join for the exhibition of  End of the Rainbow, which is an extension… more

Entergy Giant Screen…

Aug 27 - Sep 6, 2016
When Dory said "just keep swimming" in 2003's Oscar®-winning film… more

Irvin Mayfield's Jazz…

Aug 27 - 27, 2016
Come join us at the Royal Sonesta for Irvin Mayfield's Jazz Playhouse featuring… more

Jon Cleary & The…

Aug 27 - 27, 2016
The Orpheum Theater will celebrate a full year since re-opening its doors to… more

Louisiana Music…

Aug 27 - 27, 2016
Come and listen to music by Trouble In The Garden @ Noon Captain Ledge… more

Mama's Music

Aug 27, 2016 - Jan 10, 2026
In Big Mama's Lounge. 21+ with valid photo I.D. 7-string guitarist Justin… more

Modgun by Robert…

Aug 27 - Dec 18, 2016
The public is invited to tour the newly installed ModGun by Robert Tannen, the… more

Morris Bart Presents…

Aug 27 - 27, 2016
Mark your calendars! Lil Wayne featuring Collegrove, 2ChainzX,  and… more

New Orleans Museum…

Aug 27 - 31, 2016
New Orleans Museum Month, now in its third year, is a collaboration between… more

Nik Richard - A Dream…

Aug 27 - 27, 2016
Local New Orleans author, Nik Richard, is having a book release this Saturday… more

Ogden Museum Presents…

Aug 27 - Sep 18, 2016
Join us at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art  for the exhibiition,… more

The House of Groove

Aug 27, 2016
The House of Groove is a House Party and a live improvised musical journey… more

“The National WWII…

Aug 27 - 27, 2016
The French Market welcomes The National WWII Museum's Victory Belles back to… 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.

Loading Map