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15th Annual Satchmo…

Aug 2 - 2, 2015
Celebrate our native son, Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong, at this free… more

Anthony Bean…

Aug 2 - 2, 2015
Experience over 80 youth giving an electrifying performance in tribute to the… more

Ashe Cultural Arts…

Aug 2 - Oct 4, 2015
Join us for Ashe to Amen: the Enduring Spirituality of People of African… more

Ashe Cultural Arts…

Aug 2 - Oct 4, 2015
Join us for Ashe to Amen: the Enduring Spirituality of People of African… more

Ashe Cultural Arts…

Aug 2 - 2, 2015
Join us for the opening reception for Ashe to Amen: the Enduring Spirituality… more

COOLinary New Orleans…

Aug 2 - 31, 2015
It is going to be a delicious summer!  During the month of August, enjoy… more

Louisiana SPCA’s…

Aug 2 - 31, 2015
In memory of the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, the Louisiana SPCA is… more

New Orleans Museum of…

Aug 2 - Sep 7, 2015
Ten Years Gone brings together six artists whose work engages with the broad… more

Off-site Pet…

Aug 2 - 2, 2015
Off-site Pet Adoption, sponsored by the Louisiana SPCA, will be held in the… more

The Historic New…

Aug 2 - 2, 2015
One of the premier decorative arts events in the country, the four-day program… more

The Sweat Social…

Aug 2 - Dec 20, 2015
Designed for wellness travelers visiting New Orleans, the Sweat Social offers… more

American Recovery…

Aug 6 - 8, 2015
The American Recovery Association (ARA) and Harding Brooks Associates, LLC… more

Langlois Girls Night…

Aug 6 - Sep 3, 2015
Bring your friends to Langlois on Thursdays or Fridays this summer for girls'… more

Yappy Hour in the…

Aug 6 - 27, 2015
Join us for  Yappy Hour in the Courtyard at Rare Form, to benefit the… more

Chef's Taste Challenge

Aug 7 - 7, 2015
The Farm to Table Chefs Taste Challenge (CTC), scheduled for August 7, 2015 at… more

Dirty Linen Night

Aug 8 - 8, 2015
Not to be outdone by White Linen Night, Royal Street merchants decided to… more

Off-site Pet…

Aug 8 - 8, 2015
Off-site Pet Adoption, sponsored by the Louisiana SPCA, will be held at… more

Opening Reception -…

Aug 8 - 8, 2015
Join us for the opening reception  at The Foundation Gallery for the… more

Red Dress Run 2015

Aug 8 - 8, 2015
The Annual Red Dress Run through the French Quarter and downtown New Orleans is… more

Saturday Farmers…

Aug 8 - Dec 26, 2015
We are excited to announce the Saturday Farmers Market at the French Market!… more

15th Annual Satchmo…

Aug 2 - 2, 2015
Celebrate our native son, Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong, at this free… 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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