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“Giants of Jazz: Art…

Oct 19 - Dec 17, 2017
This spring, art and music converge as The Historic New Orleans Collection… more

Amazing Scavenger…

Oct 19, 2017 - Jul 03, 2027
Turn New Orleans into a giant game board with this fun scavenger hunt… more

David Hansen's Garden…

Oct 19, 2017
Since 2006, Hansen's Garden District Jazz Trio has performed every night at… more

David Hansen's Garden…

Oct 19 - Dec 29, 2017
Since 2006, Hansen's Garden District Jazz Trio has performed every night at… more

East of the…

Oct 19, 2017 - Jan 07, 2018
The New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA) will present East of the Mississippi:… more

East of the…

Oct 19, 2017 - Jan 07, 2018
The New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA) will present East of the Mississippi:… more

Heart of the House

Oct 19, 2017 - Jan 08, 2026
In The Voodoo Garden, All Ages. Heart of the House puts the spotlight on House… more

Houmas House Presents…

Oct 19 - 31, 2017
For the month of October, there will be a 6:00 pm and 7:00 pm haunted tour.… more

Jazz in the Park

Oct 19 - Nov 2, 2017
Jazz in the Park returns this fall running from September 14th to November… more

Lilith in Loa…

Oct 19, 2017
From Laurel Canyon to the West Village, Nashville to New Orleans, the LOA Bar… more

The Fountain Lounge…

Oct 19 - Nov 18, 2017
Join us for Amanda Ducorbier at the Fountain Lounge in the Roosevelt Hotel.… more

The Historic New…

Oct 19 - 21, 2017
The Historic New Orleans Collection's Laura Simon Nelson Galleries for… more

22nd Annual Pasta &…

Oct 20 - 20, 2017
Join us for an unforgettable evening ..Paris, Montmare, Cabaret, Can Can, and… more

Boo at the Zoo

Oct 20 - 28, 2017
Bring your little ghosts and goblins to Boo at the Zoo Presented by Bryan… more

Concerts in the…

Oct 20 - 20, 2017
The Historic New Orleans Collection's popular outdoor music series Concerts in… more

Golden State Warriors…

Oct 20 - 20, 2017
Come experience NBA basketball at its best as the Pelicans take on the NBA's… more

Magazine St. Art…

Oct 20, 2017
Magazine St. Art Market is a unique way to experience the best of our local… more

Oktoberfest NOLA

Oct 20 - 21, 2017
Cost $8 - children 12 and under free - tickets available at gate … more

Saenger Theatre…

Oct 20 - 28, 2017
Plan your escape to the new musical comedy getaway ESCAPE TO MARGARITAVILLE!… more

The Fountain Lounge…

Oct 20 - Dec 29, 2017
Join us for Sam Kuslanr at the Fountain Lounge in the Roosevelt Hotel. While… more

“Giants of Jazz: Art…

Oct 19 - Dec 17, 2017
This spring, art and music converge as The Historic New Orleans Collection… 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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