Wednesday, January 21, 2015

"It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Mardi Gras, Everywhere You Go!"

Krewe of Zulu 
This is a historical display of the Krewe of Zulu at the Lakeside Mall in Metairie, LA. I shot this while downing some beignets and coffee at Cafe Du Monde after having had a wonderful talk with a tech dude at the Apple Store which is directly across from this display. 

In the fifties, my sisters and I were forbidden to go and follow the Zulu parade although they did follow the main Krewe, which was called,"Rex" and ran the entire distance on St. Charles Avenue into downtown New Orleans. 

 Zulu revelers, at one time, wore grass skirts and African attire with their faces all painted up like Indian warriors occasionally throwing real and sometimes decorated coconuts out to the crowd. You had to be on your toes to not get beaned with a flying coconut. Most of the time, revelers in costume would just point to a particular person from the crowd and hand the valued coconut to the parade goer, but I have heard some wild stories of the damage a thrown coconut could do.

Drunken fist fights, knife and gun play were all my parents heard, which did occur back in the twenties and thirties when the club was in it infancy. It wasn't until we were well into our teens that we really got to see what the krewe was all about and by that time, the krewe was sporting lavish costumes of beads and feathers not unlike the Mardi Gras Indians as they danced threw the parade route on foot and on floats.

The Zulu Mayor's Costume
Anyway, here in the local mall, as in New Orleans, Christmas trees and quickly turned into Mardi Gras trees with fleur de luis, tragi-comedy masks, strings of beads and purple, gold and green ribbons. King cake parties abound everywhere and red and green decorations give way to purple, gold and green. For sure, it will be a fun time before Ash Wednesday and the Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club will be definite part of the celebrations.

Copyright 2015/ Ben Bensen III