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"Organ & Labyrinth"-…

Jun 27 - 27, 2017
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“Giants of Jazz: Art…

Jun 27 - Dec 17, 2017
This spring, art and music converge as The Historic New Orleans Collection… more

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Jun 27 - Jul 9, 2017
Spanning several generations, five Puerto Rico-based artists Zilia… more

Cafe B Tiki Summer…

Jun 27 - 27, 2017
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David Hansen's Garden…

Jun 27, 2017
Since 2006, Hansen's Garden District Jazz Trio has performed every night at… more

David Hansen's Garden…

Jun 27 - Dec 29, 2017
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New Orleans Museum of…

Jun 27 - Oct 8, 2017
Jim Steg (American, 1922 -2001) was the most influential printmaker to be based… more

New Orleans Museum of…

Jun 27 - Oct 1, 2017
In celebration of beloved chef, civil rights activist, and art collector Leah… more

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Jun 27 - Sep 3, 2017
Pride of Place: The Making of Contemporary Art in New Orleans showcases… more

New Orleans Museum of…

Jun 27 - Oct 8, 2017
Paintings from throughout Scully's career are presented with a selection of… more

Newcomb Art Museum -…

Jun 27 - Jul 9, 2017
Spanning several generations, five Puerto Rico-based artists Zilia… more

Rivertown Theaters…

Jun 27 - 30, 2017
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Singer/Songerwriter…

Jun 27, 2017 - Jan 06, 2026
In The Voodoo Garden, All Ages. House of Blues New Orleans hosts a new weekly… more

Storyville: Madams…

Jun 27 - Dec 9, 2017
Storyville: Madams and Music revives the sights and sounds of New Orleans's… more

The Historic New…

Jun 27 - Oct 21, 2017
The Historic New Orleans Collection's Laura Simon Nelson Galleries for… more

Chicken on the Bone…

Jun 28 - Dec 6, 2017
Want to enjoy some nightlife? No trip to New Orleans is complete if you have… more

Comedy Gold hosted by…

Jun 28, 2017 - Jan 07, 2026
In The Voodoo Garden, All Ages (content may not be appropriate for all ages).… more

Gordon Biersch…

Jun 28, 2017 - Feb 27, 2019
Come enjoy the  monthly Brewer's dinner where the Chef and Head Brewmaster… more

Royal Sonesta Hotel…

Jun 28 - 28, 2017
Join us every Wednesday  at the Royal Sonesta for the… more

The Maison Presents -…

Jun 28 - Jul 26, 2017
The New Orleans Jazz Vipers play a free dinner show at The Maison every… more

"Organ & Labyrinth"-…

Jun 27 - 27, 2017
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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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