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7th Annual Pumpkin…

Oct 9 - 31, 2015
The Lutcher/Gramercy Lions Club presents its 7th Annual Pumpkin Patch at the… more

A Louisiana Parlor:…

Oct 9 - 11, 2015
This exhibition is in celebration of the acquisition of a superb Rococo Revival… more

Ariana Grande Concert

Oct 9 - 9, 2015
Ariana Grande is bringing The Honeymoon Tour to New Orleans! Few artists are… more

City Park Pumpkin…

Oct 9 - 25, 2015
Get ready for some nonstop fall fun at New Orleans' City Park! Located at City… more

Collective Media…

Oct 9 - 25, 2015
Join Longue Vue for the first opening of its three-part "Collective… more

Fats Domino & Dave…

Oct 9 - Dec 27, 2015
Join us at the Carver Theater for a Music Tribute honoring Legendary Musicians… more

Foundation for…

Oct 9 - 10, 2015
The International Organization, Foundation Languages, will hold its 19th Annual… more

Friday Nights at NOMA

Oct 9 - 9, 2015
Every Friday evening, come to the museum for activities and entertainment.… more

Gentilly Fest

Oct 9 - 11, 2015
Free to the public, Gentilly Fest celebrates all things … more

Hell Yes Fest

Oct 9 - 11, 2015
HUKA Entertainment and The New Movement are proud to announce the 4th Annual… more

James Beard Taste of…

Oct 9 - 9, 2015
Enjoy a tasting reception featuring an exciting lineup of New Orleans' finest… more

Longue Vue House and…

Oct 9 - 11, 2015
For the 10th Anniversary of the storm, Longue Vue will commemorate the revival… more

Newcomb Art Museum of…

Oct 09, 2015 - Jan 03, 2016
Join us for the  Exhibition: "A Shared Space: KAWS, Karl Wirsum,… more

Southern Rep presents…

Oct 9 - 10, 2015
Does art imitate life or vice versa? In this effervescent romantic comedy by… more

The Cinderella…

Oct 9 - 27, 2015
Donations of costume jewelry, girls' princess dresses and teen prom dresses… more

The Foundation…

Oct 9 - 30, 2015
Join us at the Foundation Gallery for  House: Group Exhibition with Andrew… more

The Historic New…

Oct 09, 2015 - Jan 09, 2016
The Historic New Orleans Collection marks the 10th anniversary of Hurricane… more

The Photography of…

Oct 09, 2015 - Mar 01, 2016
The Photography of Modernist Cuisine: The Exhibition, a collection of over 50… more

The Roosevelt New…

Oct 9 - 11, 2015
The Waldorf Astoria Driving Experience returns to the streets of New Orleans… more

The Sweat Social…

Oct 9 - Dec 20, 2015
Designed for wellness travelers visiting New Orleans, the Sweat Social offers… more

7th Annual Pumpkin…

Oct 9 - 31, 2015
The Lutcher/Gramercy Lions Club presents its 7th Annual Pumpkin Patch at the… 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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