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"12 Days of…

Dec 19 - 19, 2014
There's holiday fun for the whole family in the historic Warehouse District… more

"Prospect.3: Notes…

Dec 19, 2014 - Jan 25, 2015
Prospect New Orleans, the International Contemporary Art Biennial,  will… more

"The Victory Belles…

Dec 19 - 19, 2014
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“Dirty Dancing — The…

Dec 19 - 21, 2014
Dirty Dancing - The Classic Story On Stage is an unprecedented live experience,… more

Andrew Jackson: Hero…

Dec 19, 2014 - Mar 29, 2015
THNOC's exhibition tracks Jackson's rise from humble beginnings to immortality… more

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Dec 19, 2014 - Jan 03, 2015
City Park's annual holiday lighting exhibit and festival returns with one of… more

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Dec 19, 2014 - Jan 01, 2015
Celebrate the season in New Orleans' historic Warehouse District with dazzling… more

Christmas New Orleans…

Dec 19 - 31, 2014
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Freret Street Puliq…

Dec 19 - 19, 2014
Live performances by Solar Strut plus TJ Sutton. more

Holiday Home and…

Dec 19, 2014 - Jan 04, 2015
Visit the festively decorated residence and courtyard of General and Mrs. L.… more

Music at the Mint…

Dec 19 - 19, 2014
Phil DeGruy, inventor of the Guitarp, combines virtuosity with hilarious… more

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In December, NOMA's iconic Great Hall will be transformed by The NOLA Project… more

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Dec 19 - 24, 2014
Tour the historic grounds, Slavery at Oak Alley Exhibit, Civil War Exhibit and… more

Prospect.3 - Basquiat…

Dec 19, 2014 - Jan 25, 2015
Curated by Franklin Sirmans, the Artistic Director for P.3: Notes for Now,… more

Prospect.3 - Keith…

Dec 19, 2014 - Jan 25, 2015
A selection of images from Calhoun and McCormick's extensive body of work on… more

Royal Teddy Bear Tea…

Dec 19 - 22, 2014
Little Princes & Princesses are crowned as they enter into our Magical… more

Self-Processing –…

Dec 19, 2014 - Jan 04, 2015
Before the instantaneous gratification of digital photography there was instant… more

The Gasperi…

Dec 19, 2014 - Feb 22, 2015
Richard Gasperi opened Gasperi Gallery in the French Quarter in 1980.… more

The Irish House…

Dec 19 - 20, 2014
Get ready for a fantastic and magical music performances by The Louisiana… more

"12 Days of…

Dec 20 - 23, 2014
There's holiday fun for the whole family in the historic Warehouse District… more

"12 Days of…

Dec 19 - 19, 2014
There's holiday fun for the whole family in the historic Warehouse District… 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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