Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program




Major Professor

Mizell-Nelson, Michael

Second Advisor

Atkinson, Connie

Third Advisor

Dupont, Robert L.


Mardi Gras draws millions of tourists to New Orleans yearly, contributing to the economy of the city. Visitors soon discover the thrill of catching "throws" tossed to paradegoers by members of parade organizations' riding floats. For tourists and locals alike, throws become the cultural currency of New Orleans during Carnival. Beads, doubloons, coconuts, cups and other throws develop an inherent value, enticing crowds. People esteem throws enough to compete for them, with varying levels of intensity, along parade routes and on the streets of the French Quarter. The purchase of throws by Carnival krewes also brings revenue into New Orleans. Scholars have written many studies on Mardi Gras, including studies on individual organizations, tourism and economy. However, no study examines the history of Mardi Gras throws. This thesis seeks to fill that void, and establishes an earlier date for the first time beads were thrown from floats.


The University of New Orleans and its agents retain the non-exclusive license to archive and make accessible this dissertation or thesis in whole or in part in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. The author retains all other ownership rights to the copyright of the thesis or dissertation.