Mardi Gras Morning: A Family Affair
Niya Zulu and her family are key figures in the New Orleans marching and parading culture. Niya’s father, Shaka Zulu, is Chief of the Yellow Pocahontas Tribe. He and Ziya’s mother Na’imah Zulu run the Golden Feather Mardi Gras Indian gallery and restaurant. At a young age Niya began touring with her family’s performing arts groups, learning the stilt dancing tradition, and photographing Mardi Gras Indian parades. Niya’s grandfather, Zohar Israel, is the second Chief of Northside Bone Gang, and she interviewed him to learn more about his masking experiences. Israel discusses Mardi Gras Indian traditions and songs, the origins of the Northside Skull and Bone Gang, the politics of urban space in Tremé, and the preservation of parading culture.
Neighborhood Story Project
African Americans; Race; African diaspora; Mardi Gras; Mardi Gras Indians; Carnival; Northside Skull and Bone Gang; Super Sunday; Yellow Pocahontas; Masking; Performance; Folk Art
New Orleans, Louisiana; Tremé
Social and Cultural Anthropology
Zulu, Niya. “Mardi Gras Morning: A Family Affair.” A Guide to South Louisiana: Stories of Uncommon Culture, edited by Rachel Breunlin, Neighborhood Story Project, 2017.