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CANO & PhotoNOLA…

Jan 22 - Feb 28, 2017
CANO is proud to announce our first photography exhibition in conjunction with… more

October @ The Front

Jan 22, 2017
Lemon Lovers features Alanah Luger-Guillaume and Rebecca Spangenthal as they… more

Rashaad Newsome:…

Jan 22 - Feb 12, 2017
New Orleans-born artist Rashaad Newsome returns for this interdisciplinary… more

Saenger Theatre…

Jan 22 - 22, 2017
Experience the phenomenon of Grammy and Tony Award Winning Disney's The Lion… more

David Hansen's Garden…

Jan 23, 2017
Since 2006, Hansen's Garden District Jazz Trio has performed every night at… more

Monday Blues

Jan 23, 2017 - Jan 05, 2026
In The Voodoo Garden, All Ages. Get your live local blues fix with Sean Riley. more

New Orleans…

Jan 23 - 26, 2017
Join us for Master Sugar Sculptor Sidney Galpern. She will be offering free… more

The Historic Carver…

Jan 23 - 23, 2017
Join us at the Historic Carver Theater for the Monday Night Blues Series,… more

The Irish House…

Jan 23, 2017
This is the Biggest Irish Music Session in the south. On a Night you will see… more

The Maison Presents -…

Jan 23 - Jul 31, 2017
The Royal Roses grew out of the rich resurgence that traditional jazz is seeing… more

The Somerton Suitcase…

Jan 23, 2017
The Somerton Suitcase is live every Monday night at VASO on Frenchmen St. Catch… more

Clarence John…

Jan 24 - Mar 25, 2017
A Louisiana native, Clarence John Laughlin (1905 - 1985) ranks among the most… more

Exhibition to feature…

Jan 24 - Mar 25, 2017
 The Historic New Orleans Collection will open its next exhibition,… more

First Time Renovator…

Jan 24 - 31, 2017
Topics covered at this two-night workshop will be an analysis of the pros and… more

Saenger Theatre…

Jan 24 - 29, 2017
Experience the phenomenon of Grammy and Tony Award Winning Disney's The Lion… more

Singer/Songerwriter…

Jan 24, 2017 - Jan 06, 2026
In The Voodoo Garden, All Ages. House of Blues New Orleans hosts a new weekly… more

Comedy Gold hosted by…

Jan 25, 2017 - Jan 07, 2026
In The Voodoo Garden, All Ages (content may not be appropriate for all ages).… more

Live Opera…

Jan 25 - 25, 2017
Opera Returns to Bourbon Street. Enjoy FREE opera entertainment at the Puccini… more

Opera on Tap

Jan 25 - 25, 2017
Now in its 10th season, Opera on Tap presents the finest young local and… more

The Historic Carver…

Jan 25 - 25, 2017
Join us at the Historic Carver Theater for the  Midweek Jazz … more

CANO & PhotoNOLA…

Jan 22 - Feb 28, 2017
CANO is proud to announce our first photography exhibition in conjunction with… 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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