Queen Zulu 1997 #watercolorwednesday

Queen Zulu 1997 #watercolorwednesday

Designers created a red costume for Queen Zulu 1997. (cross-posted to krewehistory.info)

Queen Zulu 1997

Queen Zulu 1997

Costume for Queen Zulu 1997. Here’s the LSM record for the watercolor:

Costume drawing for queen’s costume, Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club, queen was Mercedes Antoine-Robert (wife of king), standing figure in large costume in watercolor shades of pale red, gold scrolls, wearing “Z” headpiece, signed “Colombo” l. r.

This illustration is part of the extensive Carnival Collection at the Louisiana State Museum.

Zulu Royalty

Carnival organizations use a number of methods to choose their kings, queens, and other “royalty.” For example, the School of Design’s choices for King of Carnival (Rex) are usually civic leaders. They don’t necessarily have to be a member of the organization. Endymion chooses their king via a lottery. Members desiring kingship pay a fee, their name goes in a hat, and the last name remaining in the hat as they draw them out becomes king.

Zulu holds an election for their king. Candidates for the position “campaign” by holding lavish parties and dinners for voting members. The club votes, and the man elected chooses his queen. Many Zulu kings select their wives to be their queen. That’s what happened in 1997. Reigning as Zulu the King is an expensive proposition, between the “campaign” and actual expenses for the parade and ball.

Carnival artwork

This watercolor is signed “Colombo.” I haven’t researched who this artist is. If you have more details, please comment or drop me a note. These illustrations are incredible. They offer a vision to the costumers. Those folks build on that vision, lifting it from the page.

LSM Tour

While they don’t offer a tour every year, the tour of the LSM Carnival Collection is absolutely worth the price of admission. The tour is sponsored through the Friends of the Cabildo, so members of that organization get dibs on reservations. The curators pull out all sorts of interesting pieces from the collection that you can walk through and see up close. It’s a blast.