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America, Illustrated:…

Nov 25, 2015 - Jan 05, 2016
New Orleans based M.S. Rau Antiques will pay tribute to The Saturday Evening… more

Ashe Cultural Arts…

Nov 25 - Dec 31, 2015
Join us for Ashe to Amen: the Enduring Spirituality of People of African… more

Blaze Pizza's Wine…

Nov 25, 2015 - Feb 24, 2016
Join as at Blaze Pizza New Orleans for Wine Down Wednesday. Purchase a glass of… more

David Hansen's Garden…

Nov 25, 2015
Since 2006, Hansen's Garden District Jazz Trio has performed every night at… more

Jasper Johns:…

Nov 25, 2015 - Jan 31, 2016
Prints from the Donna Perret Rosen and Benjamin M. Rosen Collection: Jasper… more

Lakefront Arena…

Nov 25 - 25, 2015
The Festival of Praise Tour is bigger and better than ever! The tour was an… more

Newcomb Art Museum of…

Nov 25, 2015 - Jan 03, 2016
Join us for the  Exhibition: "A Shared Space: KAWS, Karl Wirsum,… more

Patriot, Planter,…

Nov 25, 2015 - Mar 20, 2016
NOMA will present the first exhibition to focus on the works of Pierre-Joseph… more

The Historic New…

Nov 25, 2015 - Jan 09, 2016
The Historic New Orleans Collection marks the 10th anniversary of Hurricane… more

The Maison Presents -…

Nov 25, 2015 - Jul 26, 2017
The New Orleans Jazz Vipers play a free dinner show at The Maison every… more

The Photography of…

Nov 25, 2015 - Mar 01, 2016
The Photography of Modernist Cuisine: The Exhibition, a collection of over 50… more

Tim Youd: 100 Novels

Nov 25, 2015 - Feb 21, 2016
Los Angeles-based contemporary artist Tim Youd will visit NOMA to perform the… more


Nov 25, 2015 - Jan 10, 2016
This exhibition features work by the Japanese artist Bidou Yamaquchi. Trained… more

Visions of US:…

Nov 25, 2015 - Jan 24, 2016
Visions of US explores evolving ideas about American cultural identity from the… more

Bayou Classic…

Nov 26 - 26, 2015
Join us for the Bayou Classic Thanksgiving Parade. The parade will begin at the… more

Clyde & Iggy

Nov 26 - Dec 31, 2015
Join us for the local musical duo Clyde & Iggy.  Their repertoire… more

Fats Domino & Dave…

Nov 26 - Dec 27, 2015
Join us at the Carver Theater for a Music Tribute honoring Legendary Musicians… more

Florida Room: Jessica…

Nov 26 - 29, 2015
The Foundation Gallery is excited to present Florida Room by Jessica Bizer … more

2015 Battle of the…

Nov 27 - 27, 2015
The Bayou Classic is more than a football game. This annual event is one of the… more

Celebration in the…

Nov 27, 2015 - Jan 03, 2016
City Park's annual holiday lighting exhibit and festival returns with one of… more

America, Illustrated:…

Nov 25, 2015 - Jan 05, 2016
New Orleans based M.S. Rau Antiques will pay tribute to The Saturday Evening… 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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