Since 1909 the Zulu Club has exuberantly turned Mardi Gras tradition upside down. Today their parade is a highlight of the carnival season. Their elaborate regalia are beautifully crafted and visually stunning. But the interpretation of their attire and use of blackface has become more fraught in 2019. Here are the official Zulu statement and two thoughtful articles that take a nuanced look at Zulu traditions:
Zulu press release February 13, 2019
Times-Picayune op ed February 16, 2019
New York Times article February 14, 2019
I shot most of these photos February 2, 2019 at the annual Flag Raising ceremony for the incoming Zulu King held this year in Algiers. The four dukes in the bottom row are from Mardi Gras day 2018. Their costumes show a strong linkage to the fabulous finery of the Mardi Gras Indians.