New Orleans Carnival Krewes:: The History, Spirit and Secrets of Mardi Gras

New Orleans Carnival Krewes:: The History, Spirit and Secrets of Mardi Gras

Rosary O'Neill

Language: English

Pages: 240

ISBN: 1626191549

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


New Orleans is practically synonymous with Mardi Gras. Both evoke the parades, the beads, the costumes, the food--the pomp and circumstance. The carnival krewes are the backbone of this Big Easy tradition. Every year, different krewes put on extravagant parties and celebrations to commemorate the beginning of the Lenten season. Historic krewes like Comus, Rex and Zulu that date back generations are intertwined with the greater history of New Orleans itself. Today, new krewes are inaugurated and widen a once exclusive part of New Orleans society. Through careful and detailed research of over three hundred sources, including fifty interviews with members of these organizations, author and New Orleans native Rosary O'Neill explores this storied institution, its antebellum roots and its effects in the twenty-first century..

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$160 if you had the right homeowner’s exemption. With more revenue in its coffers, city leaders can pay for needed civic services. Although there are still flaws in the tax system, there are no longer huge loopholes available to property owners. The concerns posed by Katrina (falling population, forsaken houses, restructured schools) have shifted the focus of many New Orleanians. Fewer people appreciate social honors the way they used to. A year ago, the Times Picayune decided to publish its

create the head itself. The members wore aprons with a skeleton-bone emblem on them that read, “You Next.” The gang’s goal was to demand that the community (especially the younger members) stay away from the bad aspects of the streets, especially gun violence. The Northside Skull and Bones Gang’s rituals go back to nineteenth-century New Orleans and echo customs in Cuba, Haiti and other islands. The tradition reflects the spiritual roots of Mardi Gras, with its indulgences before penance. “We

Orleans had “ample means for eating, playing, dancing, and making love.” Educational facilities for men were severely neglected, especially before 1803, and most boys did little studying anywhere. The few young men sent to France often spent more time in the brilliant society of Paris than in university halls. Society’s emphasis on a life of sensation condemned girls to careers of appearing beautiful. As late as February 7, 1836, the New Orleans newspaper L’Abeille claimed that knowledge in

1971. Mrs. JJ. Telephone interview, September 14, 1971. Mrs. KK. Telephone interview, September 14, 1971. Exultant Ruler LL. Telephone interview, September 7, 1971. Miss MM. Private interview at her office, New Orleans, September 13, 1971. Mr. NN. Private interview at his office, New Orleans, September 13, 1971. Mr. OO. Private interview at a public library, Mobile, Alabama, August 16, 1971. Mr. PP. Private interview at his office, New Orleans, August 9, 1971. Mr. QQ. Private interview at

admittance cards; invitations; and call-out cards. Mrs. CC. Personal letters, January 14, February 6, April 24 and April 26, 1972. Chairman of the Ten-Year Reunion Committee, Alumni of Sacred Heart Academy, New Orleans. Letter to alumni, April 14, 1972. (Mimeographed) Eleanor P. Thompson Collection, 1869–1939. Howard-Tilton Memorial Library, Tulane University, New Orleans. A miscellaneous collection of 366 pieces of material relating to social and business life of New Orleans in that era.

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