Default

Book Your Trip

  
You have (0) items in
your Itinerary

Upcoming Events

|

17th Annual Martin…

Mar 6 - 7, 2015
Join us for the 17th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Art… more

Andrew Jackson: Hero…

Mar 6 - 29, 2015
THNOC's exhibition tracks Jackson's rise from humble beginnings to immortality… more

Artist Spotlight…

Mar 6 - 31, 2015
New Orleans-based woodturning artist Tom Dunne will be the featured artist in… more

Edgar Degas: The…

Mar 6 - May 24, 2015
Featuring drawings, prints, sculpture, and photographs, all from a single… more

Friends of the…

Mar 6 - 6, 2015
Local jazz band, the Panorama Jazz Band, will bookend the final concert of… more

International…

Mar 6 - 7, 2015
Now in its seventh year, the New Orleans International Children's Film… more

Jefferson Arts…

Mar 6 - 15, 2015
Mrs. Stancliffe's Rose Cottage Bed & Breakfast has been successful for many… more

Jim Roche: Cultural…

Mar 6 - Jul 12, 2015
Born in 1943, Jim Roche received a BA from Florida State University (1961)… more

Lauren Sturm - Bayou…

Mar 6 - 6, 2015
Performs solo acoustic piano. more

Maple Leaf Bar…

Mar 6 - 6, 2015
Join us for live entertainment featuring Groovesect. more

Mark Steinmetz: South

Mar 6 - May 10, 2015
Mark Steinmetz lives and works in Athens, Georgia. His work transcends the… more

Music at the Mint…

Mar 6 - 6, 2015
Billie performs mainly in an avant-garde, free style painting expansive… more

Opening Reception -…

Mar 6 - 6, 2015
Join us  for a free opening reception for Radcliffe Bailey: Recent Works… more

Ponchatoula Antique…

Mar 6 - 8, 2015
Featuring-Antique Collectibles Booth, Fine Arts & Crafts Booth, Food Booth,… more

Preservation Jazz…

Mar 6 - 6, 2015
Live New Orleans Jazz Nightly! more

Preservation Resource…

Mar 6 - 6, 2015
The patron party features specialty cocktails and cuisine from world famous… more

Stage Door Canteen…

Mar 6 - Apr 5, 2015
"Always ... Patsy Cline," a musical play, complete with down-home… more

Tennessee Williams:…

Mar 6 - May 31, 2015
Tennessee Williams was one of the most admired playwrights of the 20th century.… more

The Boat Show

Mar 6 - 8, 2015
The entire Mercedes-Benz Superdome floor will evolve into the region's largest… more

The French Market…

Mar 6 - 6, 2015
Deborah Etienne creates her gumbo while the local musicians talk about the… more

17th Annual Martin…

Mar 6 - 7, 2015
Join us for the 17th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Art… 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