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"Residue" / Wetlands…

May 24 - 26, 2016
Join us Second Saturday for the Opening Reception of "Residue" with… more

BB King's Blues Club…

May 24 - 24, 2016
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BB King's Blues Club…

May 24 - 24, 2016
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Birdfoot Festival

May 24 - 28, 2016
Join us for the 5th Anniversary Birdfoot Festival. Through live chamber music,… more

David Hansen's Garden…

May 24, 2016
Since 2006, Hansen's Garden District Jazz Trio has performed every night at… more

HUKA Entertainment &…

May 24 - 24, 2016
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Maple Leaf Bar…

May 24 - Sep 27, 2016
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New Orleans Photo…

May 24 - 29, 2016
The New Orleans Photo Alliance (NOPA), is proud to be the first venue to … more

Singer/Songerwriter…

May 24, 2016 - Jan 06, 2026
In The Voodoo Garden, All Ages. House of Blues New Orleans hosts a new weekly… more

BB King's Blues Club…

May 25 - 25, 2016
Join us at the BB King's Blues Club New Orleans for BB King Allstar Band ft.… more

BB King's Blues Club…

May 25 - 25, 2016
Join us at the BB King's Blues Club New Orleans for BB King Allstars Band ft.… more

Biz Night on the…

May 25 - 25, 2016
Network and swap business cards at Biz New Orleans' Biz Night aboard the Creole… more

Comedy Gold hosted by…

May 25, 2016 - Jan 07, 2026
In The Voodoo Garden, All Ages (content may not be appropriate for all ages).… more

Saenger Theatre…

May 25 - 29, 2016
WICKED, New Orleans' most popular musical, looks at what happened in the Land… more

The Maison Presents -…

May 25, 2016 - Jul 26, 2017
The New Orleans Jazz Vipers play a free dinner show at The Maison every… more

Traditional Home's…

May 25 - Jun 12, 2016
Join us in the Uptown District for our first-ever New Orleans Showhouse!… more

YLC Wednesday at the…

May 25 - 25, 2016
Join us for Wednesday at the Square. The 12-week concert series takes place in… more

"Is Shakespeare…

May 26 - 26, 2016
Lecture with Hillary Eklund, English Dept., Loyola Univ., New Orleans more

BB King's Blues Club…

May 26 - 26, 2016
Join us at the BB King's Blues Club New Orleans for Jonte Mayon more

BB King's Blues Club…

May 26 - 26, 2016
Join us at the BB King's Blues Club New Orleans for BB King Allstars Band ft.… more

"Residue" / Wetlands…

May 24 - 26, 2016
Join us Second Saturday for the Opening Reception of "Residue" with… 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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