12 Feb Women in Carnival: A Tradition Since 1922
It’s that time of year again where families flock to the neutral ground for their favorite Mardi Gras parade. Men, women, and children alike all hope to catch a novelty throw from a krewe member. It’s no mystery that both men and women assemble on elaborate floats for a day of good fun, but it wasn’t always that way. Up until the late 1800s, all-male krewes were the only participants in carnival, or so we thought. What we didn’t see were the wives, sisters, mothers, and daughters making the behind-the-scenes decisions.
In the South, tradition holds that prominent families of larger communities often present their daughters to society at one or more balls or cotillions. Most of those same families would invest in the Mardi Gras celebration. The reigning “kings” would need a “queen” and eventually a “court”. The daughters being presented that particular season would fulfill these rolls, and the rest is history! The first all-female krewe formed in 1922 and named themselves Krewe of Iris, which still rolls today.
Other notable krewes that we have come to love are the Krewes of Muses, Nyx, Eve and Cleopatra. Each of these groups bring female empowerment and friendship to all they encounter. As a company with quite a bit of our own girl-power, we love to see and support the ladies who work hard to add a woman’s touch to the Carnival season. We are especially proud of our very own Jill Musgrove who is kicking it up a notch as a member of the Nola Nyxettes dance troupe. Be on the lookout for her and all the fabulous ladies rolling through the streets this Mardi Gras season.