LOUISIANA: Coconuts

It is Shrove Tuesday in New Orleans. Early on this Mardi Gras morning, before the white folks' Rex comes in splendor to Canal Street, the Negroes are having their own carnival. Up squalid New Basin glides a barge, canopied in sacking, to the wharf at Rampart Street and Howard Avenue. Off the barge strides the King of the Zulus, right royal in black underwear, a hula skirt of sea grass, a tin crown. His sceptre is a broomstick, topped by a snow-white rooster. Preceding him is his Queen, behind are his capering dukes. The King mounts his throne—a decrepit...

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