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"Thanks for the…

Sep 20 - 20, 2014
Take a seat in the crowd as Bob Hope takes the stage, just as he did during… more

A Better You

Sep 20 - 20, 2014
Ashé Cultural Arts Center invites you to join UnitedHealthcare for an… more

American Theater…

Sep 20 - 21, 2014
American Theatre Project of New Orleans (ATPNO) returns to Dillard University's… more

ART GUMBO

Sep 20 - Dec 20, 2014
River Region Art Association presents THE ART GUMBO MARKET every third Saturday… more

Big Sam's Funky Nation

Sep 20 - 20, 2014
Come join us with live music from Big Sam's Funky Nation more

Family Art Day

Sep 20 - 20, 2014
Join the Newcomb Art Gallery for a kid-friendly tour and hands-on activities… more

Free Kinder Garden at…

Sep 20 - 20, 2014
Play, learn and grow in this hands-on introduction to the world of gardens for… more

Irvin Mayfild's Jazz…

Sep 20 - 20, 2014
Join us at The Irvin Mayfield Jazz Playhouse at the Royal Sonesta Hotel for… more

Jefferson Performing…

Sep 20 - 28, 2014
The Jefferson Performing Arts Society will be opening their 37th Season with an… more

Jefferson Performing…

Sep 20 - 20, 2014
The Jefferson Performing Arts Society will be presenting the Dr. Suess… more

Joy Theater Presents …

Sep 20 - 20, 2014
Come and enjoy a special performance by Dr. John & The Nite Trippers with… more

Knit-in at the Museum

Sep 20 - 20, 2014
To kickoff our 9th year of Knit Your Bit, join area knitters and crocheters for… more

Le Petit Theatre…

Sep 20 - 20, 2014
Just a week later, the popular Broadway comedy "Vanya and Sonia and Masha… more

Le PETIT THEATRE…

Sep 20 - 20, 2014
In this regional premiere of Christopher Durang's uproarious Tony Award winning… more

Living History Corps

Sep 20 - 20, 2014
The Museum's World War II re-enactors, collectively known as the Living History… more

Mark of the Feminine

Sep 20 - Oct 4, 2014
Curator Regine Basha's Mark of the Feminine is the first in a series of… more

New Orleans Burlesque…

Sep 20 - 20, 2014
The closing night celebration follows the 2014 "Queen of Burlesque"… more

New Orleans Fringe…

Sep 20 - Oct 15, 2014
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Nick Moss Band

Sep 20 - 20, 2014
Join us for Nick Moss Band. more

Rivertown Theaters…

Sep 20 - 28, 2014
Based on the Oscar winning DreamWorks film that started it all, we bring the… more

"Thanks for the…

Sep 20 - 20, 2014
Take a seat in the crowd as Bob Hope takes the stage, just as he did during… 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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