Mary Tutwiler

Coconuts: Zulu goes to Washington

by Mary Tutwiler

Among the thousands of gifts Barack Obama will receive as he becomes America’s new president will be a coveted throw from Mardi Gras. The Times Picayune reports that Charles Hamilton Jr., the president of The Zulu Social Aid & Pleasure Club, is on his way to the inauguration, and carefully packed in his luggage is a specially painted commemorative coconut. A continuous painting around the specially prepared surface of the coconut depicts the face of a Zulu member on one side and an American flag flapping over the White House which is flanked by Zulu spears. Hamilton’s inside connection is New Orleans native and former Zulu queen Desiree Glapion Rogers, who was tapped to be White House social secretary. A copy of the presidential coconut will be displayed at the Louisiana State Museum.